Notice in Ann Marie Walker’s
new standalone romantic comedy, Black
new standalone romantic comedy, Black
Today I have a special excerpt for you from Bad Romeo Christmas by Leisa Rayven!
From the internationally best selling author of BAD ROMEO, BROKEN JULIET, and WICKED HEART comes an anthology of sweet and sexy novellas featuring beloved Starcrossed characters such as Ethan and Cassie, Liam and Elissa, and Josh and Angel; as well as the gang from The Grove.
Have Yourself A Sexy Little Christmas: An Ethan and Cassie Novella
Ethan and Cassie’s first Christmas with the Holt family should be nothing but jolly. Sure, Cassie’s a mess trying to impress her future in-laws with the perfect casserole, but when an unexpected blast from Ethan’s past shows up beneath the tree, the season gets a whole lot more serious—and sexy.
The Naughty List: A Liam and Elissa Novella
After being apart for months, Liam and Elissa are making up for lost time on a secluded island, where they think they’re free to explore each other’s bodies in peace. But when it turns out their Christmas sanctuary isn’t as deserted as it first seemed, their Christmas dreams turn into a nightmare.
Happy, Horny New Year: A Josh and Angel Novella
When the gang from the Grove gets together at a lavish New Year’s Eve party, it’s like no time has passed. Except Elissa and Josh are dating Hollywood royalty, Jack and Zoe have been hooking up in secret, Connor’s new girlfriend wants to murder Cassie, and Erika’s mystery man has everyone talking. Before midnight, shocking revelations are made, industry tongues are wagging, and the poor mistletoe is ready to pass out from overuse.
No matter how you’re spending the holidays, BAD ROMEO CHRISTMAS is sure to heat up your festive season this winter.
It’s Lily Parker’s first day at a new high school. She’s a senior finishing her last semester, and all she wants to do is graduate and get out of town. Her home life is a secret hell, and she’s trying to find a way out. But everything changes when Ren says hello and sees right through to her truth.
Ren Hendrick’s succeed’s at everything he touches, including football. But he’s never been passionate about anything. He’s quiet and keeps to himself, which pisses people off. But he can’t find the desire to care. He’s lived a life without color, until Lily walks in and lights up his world.
Their story is one of sweet young love and finding your forever before you can even dream of what that is. It’s one of protecting what belongs to you and having the courage to follow your heart, no matter your age.
Warning: Call your dentist and schedule an appointment, because you’re going to get nothing but cavities from this sugary book. Ren and Lily start off so innocent, but by the time it’s over, you’re gonna need to hose yourself off. We’re talking two virgins who turn into maniacs. You’re welcome!
Chapter 1 *Lily*
The sounds of banging cabinets startle me awake before my alarm can go off. Rolling over to my side, I see I still have thirty minutes before I need to get up. I’d set my alarm a little earlier than I should have because I’m nervous about my first day. I’m going to a new school and have no idea what this one is going to be like. You never know what you’re going to get. Most of the time I can blend in and let myself get lost in the crowd of other students. No one notices me for the most part, but it doesn’t always work.
I should be used to changing schools by now. I think this is the fourth time I’ve moved in the past two years. The schools are starting to run together, but I hope this is the last. Only months separate me from graduation, and only days from my eighteenth birthday. I’ll be able to make my own choices then.
A sound of something shattering in the kitchen followed by a string of curses causes me to hold my breath. I can only hope he doesn’t call out my name. Monday mornings are the worst. Dad’s always coming off a weekend bender, because alcohol seems to be my father’s reason for living. It wasn’t always like this, but it is now.
Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I slowly sit up and listen for his movements. Things have been getting unstable lately, and it’s only getting worse. Dad used to be able to drown his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle and pretend I didn’t exist. But recently his anger has been rising and flying my way. I’m constantly walking around on eggshells, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the look in his eyes, but I can see it. I can feel it deep inside me, like he’s waiting for me to do something wrong so he can strike out.
But I always make sure there isn’t a reason. I desperately don’t want that change to come. I’m a skittish rabbit in my own home. When I finally hear the front door slam closed, all my muscles release, and an all-too-familiar tension within me relaxes.
I pull myself from the bed and get ready for school. I go with a short button-up blue jean dress with wool leggings underneath. They’re soft and warm and will help with the chill on my mile-long walk to school. It’s early January, and the Minnesota winter is raging. The more layers I can put on, the better.
Looking in the mirror, I part my hair a little to the side so more falls to the right, before putting in a small clip to hold it in place. I make sure the scar by my ear is hidden as much as possible, then I look myself over, double-checking everything. The scar is all I ever see when I look in the mirror. It’s the bitter reminder of the day that changed my world. My mom might have died in the car, but she dragged my father with her into the grave. Nothing has been the same since that day.
Now when I look into the mirror, the scar isn’t the first thing I see. I see my mother. When I was unpacking boxes last night I pulled out a photo album of my parents when they were younger. I look just like her at my age. From my white-blonde hair, to my too-big blue eyes that take over my face, to my front teeth that are a little bigger than the rest, and my small upturned nose.
We almost look like twins in pictures of us at the same age. Reaching out, I touch the mirror, wishing it was my mother. But all the wishing in the world can’t turn back the clock. I spent the first year after she died wishing for so many things. Wishing gets you nowhere.
I wipe at the tear that’s somehow escaped. I miss when I looked in the mirror and I only saw the scar. It was easier to deal with. Grabbing my bag, I head downstairs knowing the mess my dad made will still be there.
Since my mom died I’ve sort of taken her place when it comes to the household chores. I make sure everything is kept clean, the laundry is done, and dinner is on the table before my dad gets home from whatever job he is doing. Normally it’s some kind of security since he lost his badge after one too many DWIs. I don’t know how he can drink all night and still get up for work, but he does it.
I finish cleaning up the shattered coffee mug from the floor and make sure everything else is in its place. I pull a pack of hamburger meat out of the freezer and sit it out on the stove to defrost. I’ll make something with it when I get home.
Bundling up the best I can, I pray that the weather won’t be too bad when school finally lets out. I need to see about finding a job on the weekends. Maybe I can fill out most of the applications online during lunch at the school library. I’ve seen a few small places in town that are on my way to school. I can see about popping in and applying on my way home. They’d be the best bet being so close. Maybe I’d get lucky and could even work a few hours after school, making it home before Dad.
Dad will never go for me working through the week if it means no dinner on the table, but the weekends he seems okay with. I’ve been pooling every penny I can and saving it away. I feel like time is running out and I need as much money as I can get to try and get a place of my own. I want to be able to afford college next year and to put a roof over my head. I have to get out of here. I can’t watch my father kill himself. I already watched my mother die.
Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.
They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!
for the release day spotlight today!
Check out this new excerpt from Stina Lindenblatt, My Song For You (Pushing Limits #2).
Coming this September 6th.
I knocked on Mason’s door. Logan and I didn’t have to wait long before it opened.
Mason’s gaze dropped to Logan. “Is there something you’ve been keeping from us?”
“Logan, this is Mason, the drummer,” I said. “Logan’s the son of one of my friends. She has to work and her babysitter is sick.”
Mason raised an eyebrow. “So you thought you’d fucking bring him to work, like one of those spend-the-day-at-your-parent’s-job events?”
“Fuckin’,” Logan repeated.
Shit. “Logan, we don’t use that word,” I gently admonished.
That caused Mason to snicker. “If you didn’t want him talking like you, why the hell bring him here?”
I grounded my teeth together. “I’m seriously going to kill you, Mas.” Right before Callie killed me.
He grinned at me. “You’re welcome.”
We entered the loft, Logan holding tight to my hand. Mason lived on the top floor, in one corner of the building. Large windows filled most of the space on the two exterior walls. Mason wasn’t much into furniture and went for the minimalist look, which meant there was plenty of room for our instruments and amps in the center of the room. Much like Callie’s parents, Mason had great taste in furniture. But unlike Callie’s parents, Mason’s taste ran more modern.
And yes, I’d finally pieced together why Callie’s furniture looked more expensive than what I would’ve expected a twenty-two-year-old to own, and why it had looked familiar. She had inherited it when her parents died.
“Hey, man.” Tomas gave me his standard head nod, his lips stretched into a wide grin.
“Congrats. I heard you’re now drumming for Burning Wire.” They were a new band that had started to generate buzz in the L.A. music scene. They weren’t bad, but Tomas was much too talented for the band.
“Thanks. They’re a great bunch of guys.” He peered down at Logan. “Hey, buddy.” He gave the four-year-old a fist bump, which Logan happily returned. Then to Mason and me he said, “I’ll let you guys get to work. See ya later!”
The introduction of Logan to the rest of the guys in the band went a little more smoothly than it had with Mason. Hailey had the day off and was sitting with Nolan on the black leather couch.
“Logan, this is Nolan, our lead singer, and his girlfriend, Hailey.”
“You have puppy, yes?” he asked them, his small body pressed against my legs.
“Would you like to see a picture of him?” Hailey asked.
Logan took a tentative step forward. “Yes. Please.”
She removed her smartphone from her purse and handed it to him. On the screen was a fluffy, nine-week-old golden retriever puppy, snoozing on Nolan’s shirtless chest. The puppy wasn’t the only one sleeping on the couch. Nolan looked pretty out of it.
“His name is Rocky,” she said. “He’s a golden retriever.”
“Why the fuck is our lead singer half-naked with a dog sleeping on him?” Mason asked. “Who the hell removed his nuts and gave him ovaries?” He laughed. I glared at him, my message clear. He abruptly stopped.
Kirk and Aaron looked from Mason to me, amused.
“My sister makes me cough up a quarter every time I swear around her kids,” Aaron said.
“Not a bad idea.” I pointed at Mason. “Every time you swear, you have to pay Logan a dollar.”
“Why the fuck do I have to pay him a dollar when Aaron only has to pay a fucking quarter?”
“Oh, look at that, Logan,” I said, doing everything in my power not to strangle our drummer. “Uncle Mason owes you two bucks. By the time practice is over, you could be a millionaire.”
The guys and Hailey laughed. All the guys but Mason, that is. He reached into his back jeans pocket and pulled out his wallet, then handed Logan the money. Logan’s face lit up.
“Do you wanna feel some music now?” I asked him.
“Don’t you mean f—uh, hear music?” Mason said, frowning. I had no idea if that was because not being allowed to swear would kill him or because my question confused him.
Born in Brighton England, I have lived in a number of countries, including England, the U.S, Finland, and Canada.
I have a Physical Education degree from the University of Calgary and a Master’s of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Alberta, where I specialized in energy metabolism. Definitely cool stuff (seriously, it is!). I also had the opportunity to work with elite athletes through the universities and at several sport-training facilities (you know, in case you’re wondering why I always have athletes in my stories). During my undergrad, I worked in Helsinki (Finland) for one summer, cleaning bathrooms and saunas in a recreation center for the elderly. The seniors were great. The bathrooms, not so much. I eventually became a pharmaceutical sales representative (not a great one may I add) and now I write full time.
In addition to writing fiction, I love photography, especially the close-up variety, and currently live in Calgary, Canada, with my husband and three kids.
MIDNIGHT SOUL is here! This amazing fantasy takes place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true…but perhaps not all you would expect. MIDNIGHT SOUL is the highly anticipated finale to Kristen Ashley’s bestselling Fantasyland Series. Be sure you check out the excerpt and giveaway below and order the final novel in this amazing series today!
I remembered that look.
I relished that look.
Not only on my Antoine but any lover I’d had (but, obviously, getting it from Antione was far more rewarding).
It was a look I worked toward, putting great energy and imagination into it, losing myself in these endeavors, feeling free of my name, my history, my secrets, my responsibilities, and reveling in my success as if I’d scaled mountains.
It was my greatest talent outside, of course (as any good Drakkar would excel), honing in on any vulnerability and manipulating it for the greatest possible gain—coin, jewels, furs, favors, silence, information, or simply for amusement.
Seeing the look on Noctorno at that moment, I knew Circe too had performed well (admirably well, I might add, considering her dismal past).
I also recognized—focusing on it keenly—what Circe might have missed, or perhaps what Noctorno hid from her understanding, or simply just sensing, how she came to him.
He was not done.
If she had not given indication she wished him out of her bedchamber, he’d still be in it.
Indeed, he might be in it all night, and not to sleep.
He might have been in it, perhaps, for days.
As these thoughts flitted in my mind, I became aware he’d fully entered the room, was stopped not far from my chair, and was standing, chin tipped down, eyes regarding me with a scrutiny that I found so uncomfortable I actually shifted in my seat.
I ceased this reaction the instant I became aware of it, appalled at myself.
Giving something away so easily? Especially something like discomfiture?
You’ve ruined me, I snapped silently at Antoine.
My dead lover had no rejoinder.
“You okay?” Noctorno asked.
“Am I what?” I asked in return.
His head gave a slight twitch before he went on, “You okay? All right?” His voice lowered. “It’s been a tough day, babe, for all of us. Including you.”
I looked beyond him to the fire, lifting my wine to my lips but not sipping it until after I murmured, “I’m perfectly fine.”
“Yeah, right,” he stated, and the disbelief veritably dripping from his tone made my gaze flick immediately back to him.
This meant I watched as he sauntered right in front of me to the chair accompanying mine, threw his lengthy frame in it and reached for the wine at the table that separated our seats.
He also reached for the extra glass.
These were seats, I shall add, that were turned at corners to each other with a small, round table in between, so my knee was nearly touching his.
It was on the tip of my tongue to share that I had not invited him to attend me.
Alas, I became distracted by his long fingers, and the words died in my mouth.
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her mask slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
And then make her want to stay.
Order MIDNIGHT SOUL here!
And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series!
About Kristen Ashley:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.
Enter the giveaway here for a chance to win a Stella McCartney “Shaggy Deer” Card Case for 1 winner,
Signed Set of the Fantasyland Series for 1 winner,
Signed copy of MIDNIGHT SOUL for 1 winner, and 3 eCopies of MIDNIGHT SOUL for 3 winners.
MIDNIGHT SOUL is coming! Being released on August 15th, this amazing fantasy takes place in our world and a parallel universe where fantasies are true…but perhaps not all you would expect. MIDNIGHT SOUL is the highly anticipated finale to Kristen Ashley’s bestselling Fantasyland Series. As a special treat the first books in the series are on sale for a limited time only, including the first book in the series, WILDEST DREAMS, for just $.99! Pre-order this amazing novel today, and be sure to check out the exclusive excerpt below!
In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…
No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.
Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?
Being the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn’t easy. As the San Diego Shock’s newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players’ advances. Given she’s already the subject of a handful of rumors about how “lucky” she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can’t so much as flutter an eyelash a player’s way if she wants to be taken seriously.
But number eleven is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie’s way. Far more. Luke Archer is at the top of his game and doesn’t let the fear of striking out keep him from swinging. This is a motto he applies both on and off the field, but Allie appears immune, seeming to view Luke as nothing more than caution tape on legs.
He’s a player, and in Allie’s experience, they’re all the same. She won’t risk her job or her heart to another one, no matter how different this one claims to be. But as Allie gets to know him, she discovers the number eleven the public thinks they know is very different from the real Luke Archer. He seems too good to be true.
And maybe he is.
Allie will have to confront the stories attached to a player of Luke Archer’s stature and decide who she’ll put her faith in—The man she’s falling for? Or the rumors?
“Shouldn’t you buy me dinner first or something?” Archer smirked at me when he lifted up onto his elbows as I tugged his sweats down his legs.
“Tell you what,” I replied after I gave one last pull, freeing the dark gray sweats from him. After handing him a towel, I waited for him to drape it over his lap. Instead he curled it up and tossed it across the hotel room. “How about I draw you a nice, soothing, relaxing bath? Full of ice.”
As I came around the side of his bed, it took all of my concentration to focus on the compress I needed to unwrap instead of what was resting just a little higher. At least he had underwear on, but it wasn’t like they provided much coverage. Especially when what was tucked inside them looked about ready to burst free.
And dammit. I’d looked. From the way I could feel him watching me, he knew I’d looked too.
“Another ice bath. Sounds perfect. Since my balls aren’t already blue enough.” Archer spread his legs open farther as I reached down to unwind the compress circling his upper right thigh.
“Yeah, well, that’s what you get for not listening to the recommendation of your athletic trainer to take it easy.” I unwound the bandage slowly, not wanting to further inflame the area. “Every three hours, we’ll alternate fifteen minutes of ice and heat.”
“Yay.” He cleared his throat when my fingers brushed his inner thigh as I unwound the last of the compress Shepherd had wrapped back in the locker room after his first ice bath. “Since you got to decide on the ice option, how about I decide on the heat option?”
From the low notes in his voice, I knew exactly what he meant. “The plan is to calm the tear. Not further aggravate it.”
“Okay. I can work with that.” When I exhaled, he added, “I’ve got ideas.”
“Ideas that involve what you have in mind and not using your groin muscles?” My gaze wandered back to that part of his anatomy. Right before moving onto a different part of it. Holy shit. Something about knowing he wanted me and wasn’t concerned with hiding that desire made me dizzy. “Good luck with that.”
Archer watched me as I disappeared into the bathroom to turn off the water filling the tub. “Never underestimate the ingenuity of a desperate man.”
After testing the temperature of the bath, I grabbed one more bag of ice and dumped it in. I’d arranged to have four new bags arrive every few hours through the night so I could mitigate the damage Archer’s pulled groin muscle would have on his season.
The team doctor had done an exam in the locker room and assured Coach Beckett that with aggressive care these first twenty-four hours, Archer should be able to play the game in New Orleans three days from now.
From my own exam, I knew the doctor was giving Coach a serious case of lip service. The only way Archer would be able to play the Shock’s next game was if we injected him with every illegal substance in this sport and on the market in general. It was a class two pull—no amount of walking off would fix this in a couple days’ time.
“Are you hungry, Doc?” Archer called from the other room.
“That depends on the context of that question.”
His laugh carried into the bathroom. “You know me too well. However, in this instance, I’m referring to hunger as in for food. The room service type specifically. I can order something for us so we can eat once you’re done cryogenically freezing my gonads.”
Wandering back into his room, I dried off my hands with a towel. “Hey, this isn’t my fault—I warned you to take it easy.”
I ceremoniously waved my arms toward the bathroom, feeling nervous. I’d given so many ice baths I could have filled an entire ocean with them, but this one was different. It was for Luke Archer. In his hotel room instead of the locker room. Plus, back there, the entire coaching and medical staff had been present, pow-wowing a plan of treatment. No one else was here now though.
Just me. Just him. And a locked door.
“Dinner?” Archer waved the room service menu at me.
“I’ll order it for us. We need to get you in the tub before you get any more swollen.”
Archer’s gaze swept down his body, landing on the very part of him I was trying not to inspect. “I can think of something to help with the ‘swelling.’”
Crossing my arms, I gave him an unfazed look. “I’m here to see to your leg. Not your dick.”
“I think that by taking care of one, you’ll be taking care of the other.”
“True. Ice baths are up to the task of tending to torn muscles and swollen dicks. So let’s get started.”
Archer lay stretched out in bed for another minute, calling my bluff, but when I made no move to throw myself at him, he sighed. “The ice bath it is.”
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.
for making this blog tour possible.
Today we’ve got an exclusive excerpt for you from No Falling Allowed, book 2 of No Kissing Allowed by Melissa West. It’s funny you might swoon a little.
Check it out!
Friendship—forever and always.
That is our agreement. Besides, I’m not looking for sex. I get lots of sex! I’m also not looking for forever. I’m a now kind of man.
Jess has been my best friend since we were dirty faced kids finding trouble around every corner. We are the kind of friends who are always there for one another, through thick and thin, the one who knows each other’s secrets and dreams. That can’t change just because we’ve both grown up, or because she’s beautiful, funny, smart and quick witted.
Until it does.
One call, one night. That won’t change are agreement…then again, agreements can be amended, right?
Ashton is a manwhore. I’ve heard all his stories and despite them all, I love him.
Not the passionate love. I’ve never looked at him like that—like the cocky, confident, sexy, man he’s become. Because to me, he’s just Ashton, my best friend—until one night.
One night when I learn that the rumors are true, that in reality, they don’t do him justice. His mad skills are off the charts. Yet, that can’t change our agreement. One night has to be enough.
It has to be.
I’m not giving up my best friend for crazy hot lovemaking. But then again, do I have to?