"I can’t believe the things we do in the night when we feel like there will never be daylight again."
High school sweethearts that never were... Aaric Christos wanted Bryn Kelly from the moment he first saw her, and she denied him regardless of the way she felt about him. But, that was years ago. Bryn is older now and her entrepreneurial mind needs Aaric, and his money. Aaric has plenty of money to throw around, and that's exactly what Bryn is hoping for. He likes to invest in start-ups and all she wants is for him to latch on to her idea so she can do her thing and prove to him and herself that it was all worth it.
“I wanted you before. That doesn’t hold a candle to the way I want you now.”
It's obvious from the very beginning that the sexual tension is through the roof. I mean come on, this guy oozes sex and charm and danger, even his name is sexy! And, I adore Bryn, she's smart and persistent and she has these great endearing quirks about her that add humor and vulnerability to her character. Both of these characters make you fall in love with them effortlessly, and sometimes I really need that! It's refreshing.
"You make me want to protect you and at the same time you make me want to break you."
There is angst! I wasn't really expecting that, but nevertheless, there it was! As this story consumes you with its lovely slow burn, it also keeps you right on that edge because there are some things in the plot that you aren't quite sure about. Things that will make you scratch your head and say hmmnnn, I wonder where this is going? And I LOVE that! Everything about the the slow burn and the angst was sexy too! It was all just very smooth and charismatic, the mood was set and the characters brought all of that together in the most delicious way.
"The way she looks. The way she walks. The way she smiles. The way she talks. The solar-plexus punching, gut-wrenching, bucket-of-water feeling of seeing my future in her eyes."
I really respect the way Katy Evans builds her stories and her characters. She sets the tone like a movie, and I'm over here like, wow the cinematography is great! I could see everything I was reading so perfectly in my head, and a simple walk through New York turned into a beautiful memory and one of my favorite parts of this story, amongst many. There's something to be said for writing that can translate so well into a vivid landscape that only I can see, that we all get to create because of great writing! I'm definitely recommending this one if you want a super sexy, fun summer read!
Read An Excerpt
I hop off the train and walk several walks to his building.
It’s a brownstone in Park Avenue, one of the most elite of the elite spaces in town.
My lungs feel a little bit overworked from awe as I head up the steps to the double doors, grateful that I came dressed to kill in a little black dress, a jacket, and pumps. Simple, but effective.
See, I may be feeling a little awkward, but at least I don’t look it.
I’m greeted by his maid. She’s dressed in black and white, her hair drawn back in a neat bun, her expression stoic and formal as she leads me down the hall to a gorgeous study.
I catch my breath when I notice all the books and shelves.
It’s like a reader’s paradise in here. There’s a sleek chrome bar, a modern mahogany glass-topped desk, and two huge whiskey-colored leather chairs that almost swallow me up when I’m instructed to wait in one.
I drum my fingers, inhaling the scent of leather and wine, remembering a guy I knew with his mechanic navy-blue uniform, black streaks on his jaw, his big nose always the first thing you’d see, which was a pity because he had beautiful eyes and a really sinful pair of lips.
He’s living in luxury now. Wow. Good for him.
I hear footsteps approaching and the little hair on my arms prick at attention. My head turns as a tall, dark figure steps into the room, and the most intimidating guy I’ve ever seen enters and crosses the room toward the desk. He walks like he’s the shit…his strides proud and composed, elegant and powerful.
Christos, I hear myself breathe in surprise.
He’s so tall now…six three, at least. Dirty-blonde hair, gold-green eyes, chiseled jaw, and a gorgeous profile.
All in black, he looks very much a New Yorker.
He’s wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a black turtleneck beneath the jacket...
I stare at him, my jaw hanging a little bit open. The man is….all man. Testosterone. Muscles. Height. Width. My chest hurts all of a sudden because I realize…
The boy you knew is gone.
I force myself to stand. “Thank you for seeing me.”
He heads to the bar to pour two drinks, then he prowls over, takes the whiskey leather chair across from mine and leans forward, pushing a glass of cognac with one finger across a small table, toward me.
And he waits.
But my stomach dips as if he’d said something ultra-sexy and decadent.
“You might not remember me, I’m sorry to be reaching out like this,” I say, nervous.
“What do you want?”
There’s a pleasant shiver as he speaks. Recognition of his voice, even though it’s far deeper than I remember.
“I was told you sometimes invest in startups.”
“I’d say more than sometimes.” He raises his eyebrows as if I should’ve done my homework better.
Ugh, Bryn! Focus! Be SMART! Make yourself and your business irresistible! A silence settles as he eyes me, slowly setting his drink down as he leans forward and finally, unexpectedly, smiles. At me.
It’s just a smile.
But the world tilts under its impact.
“Hello, little bit.” Amusement touches his gaze as he tilts his head and watches me. “You know, I’d think you’d have grown up the ten-plus years since I last saw you. At least an inch.” He leans back in his seat, seemingly displeased. Wow, this guy is not the lanky kid I knew once. This guy oozes danger.
Every ounce of “boy” is gone. Oh God. For a moment I wish that we could go back in time and I could discuss my startup with the guy I knew before.
But time travel is not really my talent, and it seems like I have yet to see if I even have any special talents at all—depending on what this guy thinks.
“I grew two in width,” I shock myself saying.
He laughs then, his eyes drinking me in openly.
“Shame on you, you’re not trying to see if it’s true?” I ask him, frowning now.
He shrugs casually, his lips curved at the corners. “I can’t help it. Something has to have changed.”
“Because nothing good ever lasts. Even you, little bit.” A smile touches those unforgettable gold-green eyes.
A shiver runs through me. Because…
Christos recognized me.
“I can tell you’re as incorrigible as ever.” I shake my head, but I’m smiling, truly just relieved that he recognized me.
“I try to be,” he purrs dangerously.
I’m feeling warm all of a sudden. I can’t believe I’m staring at him so much, but it’s like I cannot take my eyes away. He looks achingly familiar, but at the same time, so different I cannot help but stare and track the differences in his features. The way his jaw squared out even more, the way his body filled out with hard, lean muscles that shift and ripple beneath his expensive designer clothes. I cannot believe that this is a guy I knew once.
He seems to silently be taking in my changes too, his keen stare allowing me to see that he seems to approve of it all. Even the dress I’m wearing. “You changed enough for the both of us,” I blurt.
“Really. How so?” he asks.
“You grew into your nose.”
“Really?” He chuckles as if despite himself.
“Width and height too. Quite a bit,” I add.
“Anything else,” he prods, one eyebrow rising.
“You learned how to dress.”
He looks down at his black suit. “This old thing?” He grins, then shifts forward, sobering up. “What can I do for you, Bryn? Considering I’m rather surprised to see you here, I’m eager for you to satiate my curiosity.” His stare becomes keen.
“So am I. I didn’t expect to be here,” I admit, and for a moment when I look into his eyes, all I see is someone I’ve seen before. Someone who belonged in my life long ago. “You know when you had that misplaced crush on me and told me one day I’d know what it felt like to throw pebbles at someone’s window wanting them to open? I’m sort of throwing rocks here.”
“Not to sing me a love song,” he says flatly, his eyes shuttering.
“No. Well, you know that was never....I mean...” Don’t bring up your rejection of him, Bryn! “It’s for something better. Business.”
“I knew that’d get you.” I smile privately. “So it’s true your love is money now.”
“She gives back what I put in. Though her ass isn’t as juicy as I like,” he says nonchalantly.
“Wow. No matter how polished you look, your mouth is still as crude as ever.”
“Thank you,” he purrs, his eyes grinning at me.
I laugh. Then I sober up and realize he’s waiting for me to speak. “I’m looking for money for my startup,” I say.
“One hundred thousand.”
“I don’t invest less than a million.” He twirls his whiskey in his glass, eyeing the liquid.
“Well then, I’ll ask for a million.”
He raises his brows, setting his glass down. “It’s not how much you want to ask for, it’s how much the company’s worth.” Eyebrows up, he skewers me with a cold, intimidating look.
“It’ll be worth more than a million, trust me,” I bluff.
“Good for you. Except…” he leans back with a rustle of clothes, every athletic inch of his black-clad body flowing sinuously like a feline with the move, “considering that has yet to happen and I’ll need to trust you on that, my trust needs to be earned.”
This version of Christos is even more intimidating than the old one, unfortunately.
I try to hide it, keeping my voice as level as possible. “How does one earn your trust?”
“I’d tell you if I were interested, but I’m not exactly sure that I am.” He eyes me as if debating in silence.
This guy is the only guy in the world that unnerves me in this way, and I can’t seem to slow the fast pounding of my heart in my chest as I try to remember what I came here to say.
“I have a full presentation for you. I’m not taking no for an answer.” I reach into my briefcase.
“Darling. Are you ready?”
I start at the female voice and glance at a gorgeous woman striding into the study. Christos continues looking at me as he stands and reaches for the cell phone the woman extends out.
“We’re done here,” he answers her as he pockets the phone, his gaze remaining on me.
“I’ll wait for you in the car.” She leans up and kisses his jaw, her hands proprietary on his chest, then sends me a woman-to-woman claiming look, before she swishes away, all glittering jewels and lean body.
There’s a silence as he approaches, and for a second all I can hear is the sound of a toilet flushing, taking my only opportunity with a possible investor away.
“I’ll think about it,” he says.
“I said I’ll think about it,” he says from the door.
“Please do,” I say as he exits the room. I cup the sides of my mouth, “I’ll be back tomorrow. Same time?” I say jokingly.
I’m surprised when I hear footsteps returning. He pauses when our eyes meet. “I’ll make contact,” he says, raising his eyebrows meaningfully, “If I’m interested in hearing more.” He nods. “Nice to see you, Bryn.”
“Nice to see you. Christos.”
Well, that went sort of awful.
About The Author
Katy Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.
Connect with the Author:
Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for The Bars Between Us by A.S. Teague!! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy July 20th!!
Title: The Bars Between Us
Author: A.S. Teague
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20th
About The Bars Between Us:I don’t have a damn thing in common with the beautiful rich girl who walks in to my bar. She’s southern class, fancy cars, and designer shoes. I’ve got a drunk for a mother, a cheater for a father, and a reputation for trouble I’ve more than earned. I look the other way, pretending I don’t notice how perfect she is. She wouldn’t give me the time of day anyway. Until she shatters that first impression and shows me she’s so much more––everything I never thought I deserved. After a lifetime of being a disappointment, I want to prove to her that I’m better than my past. We have one tragic thing in common, and the thread that binds us together will tear us apart as it unravels. Are we strong enough to break through the Bars Between Us?
Exclusive Excerpt:Parked beside my car is a truck that’s got to be twice as old as I am and looks like it should have been buried long ago. Bronn hooks a thumb in the rust bucket’s direction and tells me, “Bessie’s seen better days, but I just can’t bring myself to put her out to pasture.” I pull my door open and toss my purse inside, before turning to face him. “Bessie, huh?” He props a hip on her front fender. “Belonged to my dad. When he died, Dani’s mom kept her. Gave her to me.” His face is relaxed, but the pain of his loss is still in his eyes, and I’ve come to notice that it’s a look that’s always there. Even when he’s laughing, it doesn’t erase the perpetual sadness that he carries with him. It’s a sadness that I carry with me as well. “When I was a kid, my dad took me to the beach once.” Bronn’s brows knit and I hurry to continue my story. “It was cold that morning, early spring, the breeze causing goosebumps to take up permanent residence on my arms. I remember Daddy taking his sweat shirt off and putting it on me. The thing swamped me.” I pause and laugh, remembering how the arms of the hoodie had drug the ground and how daddy had belly laughed at the sight before rolling them up. “Anyway, we searched for shark’s teeth that morning. It was too cold to swim, too cold to play in the sand. But I’d had a fascination with the predators of the sea, a newfound one, and Daddy had been determined that we were going to find a great white’s full jaw, I think.” I’d been staring up at the sky, but I glanced at Bronn to see his face rapt with attention, his expression intense. “We looked and looked until my eyes went cross. But, we didn’t have any luck.” I can’t tear my gaze away from Bronn’s, even though the way he’s studying me is a little unnerving. “We found all kinds of amazing shells, rocks that were smooth from being tumbled by the waves, crab shells that must have been eaten by gulls. But nothing that came from Jaw’s mouth.” I shrug, and smile. Bronn smiles back. His face finally relaxes, but his eyes are still full of emotion. “I remember Daddy was so disappointed. But I wasn’t. I’d spent the morning with my favorite person in the world. I may have been freezing the whole time, my face chapped from with wind and sand whipping in it, my hair a tangled mess that took mama an hour to brush, but it was the best day.” The half-smile that I’d been sporting while lost in the memory fades. “That was my last happy memory with him. He died not long after that.” I swallow hard, determined not to cry. The memory is bittersweet, but it’s still sweet. That’s the thing about memories. The same exact memory can be happy or sad, depending on how you choose to remember it. And I choose to remember the sheer joy I’d felt that day, not the crushing sadness that it was the last time I’d felt that way. I clear the emotion from my throat. “Anyway, I don’t know why I shared that. Just, maybe, to tell you, that I understand holding on to something because it has sentimental value.” I nod at his truck, “Bessie may not be worth any money, but she’s worth her weight in gold if she makes you happy.” My lips quiver as I offer a smile. Bronn may think that we come from different worlds, and maybe we do. Nana would have killed me dead if I had ever come home from a date in a truck like his. But there’s sadness and loss everywhere, no matter how much money you have. And that common thread binds us together, whether Bronn realizes it or not.
About the Author:A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.
Follow A.S. Teague on social media:
on twitter: @authorasteague
on Instagram: @authorasteague
Join her mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/crfehH
Enter A.S. Teague’s Giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway
***A new adult STANDALONE from the author of Full Tilt and The Butterfly Project***
Nikolai Alexei Young was born with a special gift…one he’d do anything to lose. The heart and soul of every person he comes into contact with is an open book to his heightened senses. Colorful emotions, whispers of thoughts, the sour tastes of old memories…He feels them all. The sci-fi books would call him an empath. For Nikolai, his ability has made him an exile. He roams the U.S. alone, avoiding the glut of life in big cities, and using his innate talents to win money in underground poker games. Just enough to keep going, one town to the next. He has no hope that his life can be anything else, until he meets her…
At nineteen, Fiona Starling was trapped in an ugly, desperate situation until she freed herself the only way she knew how. Now three years later, living outside Savannah, Georgia, she is rebuilding her life on her own terms; seizing every moment and saving every penny so that she might fulfill her dream of moving to the raw wilderness of Costa Rica. But behind her carefree smile beats the heart of a lonely young woman haunted by her past, until a chance encounter with a tattooed stranger changes everything…
Fiona takes Nikolai under her roof for three sultry nights, waiting out the rain of a summer storm. She grows more and more fascinated by this brooding stranger with whom she shares an intense physical connection—a connection so strong, she wonders if there is something between them beyond lust and passion. Nikolai is shocked to discover that Fiona calms the raging turmoil in his heart. She alone silences the din of other people’s lives, and envelops him in the sweet beauty of her inner self. Every moment he’s with her—every touch of her skin—brings him closer to the peace that’s been eluding him his entire life.
But Fiona harbors secrets that she is too terrified to reveal. After Nikolai confesses his unique ability, she is caught between wanting to believe him and fearing he’ll eventually unearth her own dark past. When the unthinkable happens, Fiona’s plans come crashing down, and Nikolai discovers his hated ability might be the only thing that can save the woman he loves.
Sugar & Gold is a new adult romance with shades of the paranormal and is the second book in the Dreamcatcher novels, a series of interconnected STANDALONES. It is NOT necessary to have read How to Save a Life (Dreamcatcher #1) first in order to follow the story, but characters will appear across all novels. Intended for readers 18 and up.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2svLwhN
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/SugarGoldEmmaScott
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2tfNHCG
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
“Find the sunshine…”
You ever start a book and know that it’s about to change everything? You think its your typical boy meets girl. They fall in love. You learn quickly that this is not the case. As the story unravels, so does your heart.
“Like a book that’s never read, the emotions are lost unless given weight and breath and voice.”
Nikolai (Nik) Alexei Young has a gift. He feels emotions of others on a level that completely consumes his life. Emotions are revealed to him in color and and light. He meets Fiona Starling, a girl coasting through life trying to forget the pain of her past. They agree to a night. Just one. But just that one night changes everything. That one night becomes so much more. That one night neither can say goodbye to. Both of these lost and beautiful souls have secrets. Secrets that could unravel everything they have up until this point. A connection neither one of them can explain is threatened by the weight of their secrets.
“This feeling right now?”
“Do you feel it?”
Nik and Fiona are not blinded by their future commitments, but in the present they know they have something. So they agree to explore this connection knowing of its temporary status. Their compelling story is not for me to tell in any detail. It is for the reader to experience narrated by these characters. They both fight demons that no one else can see. They harbor pain for something beyond their control. But in the presence of the other, there is peace. Disorder and unrest becomes absent. But what happens when the truth unravels?
“Until I met you, Fiona. I don’t know why, but you’re the only person who can silence the cacophony.”
Exhilarating. Poignant. Moving. THIS. BOOK. It’s message inspiring. A true testament to finding love in the darkest places. Exquisitely written. Devastatingly beautiful, this tumultuous and daring love story is life changing. It challenges love in all its aspects. I was left completely spellbound. The love between Nik and Fiona is chaos in it’s most beautiful form. Their love is palpable. Felt on every page. Every look. Every touch. You have no choice but to become deeply enthralled by these characters. Their love is magic in it’s purest form. Bewitching. Powerful. They love with a ferocity that will overwhelm you to understand how a love like theirs could prevail.
“Yeah, Fiona. It’s loud out there, like I said. In here? With you? In here, it’s quiet.”
There is so much that this book speaks to that I cannot even begin to describe. The depth of this story is felt through its deeply moving words and emotions. Its power lies in the souls of Nik and Fiona.
Emma Scott’s characters are painted with vibrant colors. They are truly extraordinary. Electrifying. To say I am moved by the power of the words crafted by this skillful author, and their existence would be an understatement. The author has written with purpose. These characters give weight to her words. Weight. This entails that her words are written with substance and depth. Her words are written with meaning and resolve. This is the author who always gives a voice to those silenced by their circumstance. To the unloved and unwanted. To those that strive to live in the darkness. You are heard. I see you. As Nik and Fiona suffered through their trials in silence. And even as loudly as they loved without words, I heard them.
“I want to walk in the sunshine with you.”
The breath of life in this story and in the characters is seen by the beauty in their actions. Tormented, forgotten, these two lost souls felt a unequivocal connection the moment they meet. But it doesn't stop there. There is no insta love. It's the soulful kind. Their circumstances should’ve made them stay away. But like magnets, they were tethered to each other. But isn’t that what love does? It makes you brave? Doesn't love fight to stay where it belongs? Their love did. And more. Their love was chaos, yet unyielding. Treacherous. But isn't love worth that fall? Their love is strength. Undaunting. Bold and valiant. Enthralling and phenomenally written, Sugar & Gold is easily one of my most unforgettable reads this year.
About the Author
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. Emma loves to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we all do in real life. She digs realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. She also loves to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as possible, but with big smooshy HEAs. Emma believes in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. She adores sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope. Love always wins.
Where to find Emma:
Release Day! All I Am: Drew's Story (A This Man Novella). Stacy's Review, and #Giveaway @JodiEllenMalpas @ForeverRomance
"No commitment. No complications. Just raw, carnal fucking."
It's been years since I read the This Man series, and to be honest, there's no need to read those books before you read this novella. But, there are character connections so if that's something that bothers you, maybe read that series first, It's one of my favorites! But other than that, if you want a fun, quick, sexy-as-hell read, look no further! Jesse Ward makes some appearances too! Which, was so nice, but this book is ALL DREW.
“This isn’t a date, Raya. The only expectation I have is a wet pussy.”
Drew Davies is a hot single dad with a kinky habit that leads him to some spectacular night-time extracurricular activities. He doesn't date, and he's perfectly content living life his way. Hux is a sex club and he's found comfort in releasing himself there, pun intended.
"this isn’t a date. All you need to know is that I have a cock and I have ability, and with them I can blow your mind.”
Raya Rivers specifically requested Drew at Hux because he came highly recommended. She wanted someone cold, and emotionless, and that's exactly who Drew could be for her. She had needs and omg did Drew fulfill them!
"I think I just made love to a woman. I don’t make love to women. I don’t gaze into their eyes. I don’t sink my nose into their skin and try to store their scent. Shit,"
The chemistry is great, the sex is HOT, the romance levels are just perfect. It's a little insta-love-ish but, I think for this book and its length, combined with how quickly you get to know the characters- it's great! Drew is the perfect mix of hot alpha male and swoon worthy book boyfriend, and in typical JEM fashion, he falls at the knees of a woman in a way that we can all appreciate and fantasize about. If you need a quick read that will tickle you in all the right places, this little novella is packed with all the sexiness you need!
“I was at Hux to avoid the complications of feelings. To get lost for a while without worrying about trust. I had planned on being just as cold and emotionless as I requested, but I couldn’t. Not with you. You weren’t supposed to be so amazing.”
Read An Excerpt
‘What do you want, Raya?’
She steps toward me tentatively, as if she’s questioning what she’s doing. And when she reaches me, her chest pressed to mine, she gazes up at me. ‘I don’t know.’ Her eyes are wild and unsure. ‘But I know that every time we’re close, something powerful takes over. And you’re trying hard to fight it. You’re warm and cold. What are you scared of?’
‘You.’ My mouth is on her before I can think better of it, and I’ve lifted her from her feet before my tongue breaches the seam on her lips. We should talk, but this is the only thing I know what to say right now, and when her arms circle my shoulders, her mouth opening up, inviting me in, I know she’s okay with it. I know she gets it.
With one arm around her waist holding her to me and one secured on the nape of her neck, I walk to my office, my kiss deep, my blood racing, my heart bouncing off my ribcage. I set her on her feet and take the hem of her dress, pulling it up over her head, losing her lips for just a second in the process. She wrenches my shirt open, scattering buttons in the process, her hands immediately finding my skin beneath. My forward steps encourages her backwards, our kiss deepening as she unfastens my trousers and I push her knickers down her thighs.
We’re all over the place, desperation getting the better of us, a mess of tongues, hands and bodies. I pull some strength from nowhere, seize her hands and break our kiss, breathing heavily. Her unsure brown eyes soon prompts me to start ridding myself of the rest of my clothes, all under her watchful gaze. Until I’m naked.
‘This wasn’t supposed to happen,’ she whispers.
About The Author
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.
Social Media Links
I’m cooking when she opens the door.
I shouldn’t be in her kitchen, but I haven’t had a kitchen in weeks. I need to eat and she has food in her fridge.
She drops her purse on the table and stares at me.
The circles under her eyes are a lot bigger than they were two days ago.
It’s because of me. I’m stressing her.
Good. I’ll make it worse, inflicting it on her body and her mind. My plans have solidified today. There’s nothing more torturous than being denied something you want. And if she wants sex, I have to find out how badly that includes me. If it’s as bad as I think, my new plan is by far the best I’ve ever thought of.
“You’re cooking,” she says.
“I do eat.” I stir the pan.
“What are you making?” She walks into the kitchen and I don’t like it. It’s too domestic. Her, coming home to me cooking. It’s too familiar. I should’ve made ramen on my cookstove out on her deck.
“Stir fry.” I frown at the vegetables and meat frying in the pan.
She comes close to me. Too close. Despite everything I’ve done to make this woman afraid of me, the more scared she is, the more she can’t stay away. Her arm brushes mine and I can smell her.
Over the sesame seeds and the soy sauce, stronger than the steam or the food, it’s her.
She smells like girl. Like too much sugar, too much sunshine, and way too much soap. Why does she have to be so clean?
“I’ll make rice.” She too gracefully goes to the cupboard.
I refuse to watch her. But I can feel her behind me. Her softness and too gentle movements. It should make me want to get rid of her. I don’t have to hang out in her house. Why am I here? I should be down on the beach.
But I’m not.
I’m in her kitchen with her pulling out pots and pans behind me. And I want to touch her.
It’s a strange sort of want. Like a physical pulling. Like a rubber band pulled taut begging to be released. Like it’s harder for me not to touch her than it would be to haul her against me and bury my fingers into her skin and my tongue in her mouth. It would be easier to take over her the way I couldn’t stop myself yesterday. My hands beneath her clothes, her fingers clutching my hair, begging to go deeper.
And it’s almost like she’s begging for it again. Reaching in front of me to plug in the cooker, when there’s a perfectly good outlet on the side. Pulling open the drawer next to my hip for a spoon when there’s a perfectly good one in the jar by the stove.
I turn the burner down to simmer, then back her into the corner.
I cage her with my arms on either side of her, and her eyes widen in fear.
“You want to play my game?” I can’t help my eyes roving over her face: her mouth, those pert little lips, her eyes, even her nose with these tiny freckles you can’t see except up close. She’s sickeningly sweet.
Makes it all the sweeter when she stutters her answer. “I’m, uh, h-hungry.” She’s panting, her mouth open. I catch a glimpse of her pink tongue.
I lean over her and mock her. “What do you want? Do you want more of me? Are you aching for me to give you the fuck of your life?”
She shakes her head. “N-no.” But her chest is pumping air at a fierce rate and her tone goes up in that way it does when she’s lying.
She does want more of me.
I don’t understand why. But I can use this. I can work her to my advantage. Toy with her. Torture her. I would enjoy that. I would enjoy seeing her driven mad with wanting me—the man who’s out to destroy her life.
Fear. And Need. Her body is stiff like she wants to run, but her eyes scream wreck me, use me, make me into something other than me.
I lean toward her ear. “Are you tired of being a good girl?”
“That’s not an answer.” I breathe against her skin.
“Yes.” She shivers.
“You like it when I scare you.”
Her eyes fall closed. “Yes.”
“You’re afraid I’ll make you do things you would never do.”
Her throat works on a swallow. “Yes.”
“You want me?”
Her eyes flash open, those light blue ovals that are so clear, I can almost see myself.
She wants me.
I stand back and go to the stove.
I have my answer. It should disturb me, surprise me: I don’t want her to want me. She doesn’t know me. No one does. No one will.
I don’t want them to know me.
But it doesn’t matter. My plan is accomplished. Now she knows she wants me. She’ll long for it. I’ll never give it to her.
But I’ll taunt her without mercy.
About The Author
Robin Lovett is the author of Stranger. She enjoys writing romance to avoid the more unsavory things in life, like day jobs, housework, and personal demons. Reading romance has always been her addiction of choice. When not writing or reading with her cat, she’s busy embracing untamable curly hair or adventuring into the outdoors with her husband. She loves chatting about life and romance on Twitter and Facebook, so don't be shy!
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Series: Book #1 Shipwrecked Series
Author: L. A. Fiore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Cover Designer: PopKitty
I didn’t set out to be a pirate.
Life for me was about surviving the ugliness that people knew existed but didn’t talk about.
I lived in hell.
Then I saw her.
I knew I couldn’t keep her, but for just a little while I had found heaven.
Eight years later, I can’t get her out of my head.
It is a mistake sailing to her island.
It is a mistake reaching out to her.
She doesn’t recognize me. Or maybe she does.
Closure, it is all I’m after.
Then my past comes back to haunt me.
She’s thrust into my ruthless world. An angel.
A romantic who has a journal that leads to a shipwreck and a lost treasure.
She wants to find the ending to a love story that is over two hundred years in the making.
I want to help her find it.
I didn’t set out to be a pirate.
I didn’t set out to fall in love with an angel.
I did both anyway.
L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including Beautifully Damaged, Collecting the Pieces and His Light in the Dark. Her favorite movie is Star Wars, a love her son shares. They hope to build their own Millennium Falcon one day. She would like to meet the Winchester Boys to thank them for enlightening her on the versatility of salt as not just a food enhancer, but as protection from supernatural threats. And she thinks it would be interesting to be a zombie, to get an idea of what life is like as a brain-addicted fiend so she can be their voice to tell their side of the story. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and kids, their two spoiled cats and their awesome dog.
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Emmeline Austin wants a night filled with adventure when her friends decide to desert her for some random guys, so she decides to take the reins of her own life and marry a man she's just met. This isn't a spoiler, as is it happens almost immediately. What happens in Vegas and all... This is when we first meet Nick Slater, and Emmeline doesn't see him again until 9 years later. When she moves to Montana to follow her dream of being a kindergarten teacher. The Cover Chapel is small town romance at its best and for those of you that are into overbearing alphas and the women that own their hearts, this book gives new meaning to whirlwind romance!
Nick is persistent and HOT and he wants another chance. But, Emmy has a boyfriend and doesn't want to let Nick back in even though she can't forget about the night that insta-love took over her world and she recklessly gave her heart to a stranger. So, she reluctantly agrees to give him a chance to explain. “Five dates. One week,” Normally I would call this a second chance romance, but in this case since the first chance lasted less than 24 hours I can't really classify it that way. And to be honest, the second chance, even though it was 9 years later was a little too insta-love as well. I mean, I guess it could happen but, for me personally I'm not the biggest fan of that type of thing. But for those that are, it was done really well! Nick was way more alpha-male than I'd thought he'd be too, almost too overbearing at times. But I’ve got to give a guy props for trying so hard. He really was sweet and protective and he says the most swoonworthy things to get Emmy back.
I did not read the first book in this series, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, what I can say is that the writing is exceptional. Even though the chemistry and love aspect was super quick, the character development was great and I love the added element of suspense and danger, that totally brought up the angst factor and kept me going. The second half of the book was where it really locked me in, so if all that stuff I mentioned turns you off, just keep going because the latter part of the book is way stronger than the first, in my opinion. And I have to say that by the time the book ended, I had a huge smile on my face and I was kind of surprised by that myself!! I will definitely be going back to read the first book in the series, The Coppersmith Farmhouse. And I’m really looking forward to book 3, The Lucky Heart which comes out this August. These are all standalone novels with interconnected characters, so if you’re a stickler for order than read book one first. I guess I’m a rebel because I’ve never really cared about rules or order and I enjoyed it just fine! This really is the perfect read for summer, great characters, great writing and overall a cute and sexy story that can pull anyone out of a bad mood. This book reads like the perfect fairy tale that every woman wants.
About The Author
Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.
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How much can a man take before he breaks?
1,843 days. That's how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I'll do anything to get back to her.
Only Shelby Eubanks isn't the girl I left behind all those years ago. She's someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother's ambitions. But I won't give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The book has an emotional start. Marine, Elijah (Eli) James has been through hell. Despite his circumstances and the hardships he endured, the woman he loves, Shelby Eubanks was what kept him going. Kept him wanting to survive. To return to her. And when he returns she is a shadow of the woman she was. The woman he always that she would come to be. Shelby and Eli are from different worlds, but their love didn’t know circumstance or social status. There are secrets and promises that deeply impact their story. Sacrifices made on both their parts that will be sure to have you turning the pages to understand just how their love came to be. But is love really enough? Do their memories run deep enough to get them back to what they once had?
I am a huge fan of military romances. Especially the ones that are a second chance romance. So when I saw the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book. While it started off strong, I just never felt a deep connection to the characters or their story. I wanted to love them but their story just never resonated with me as deep as I needed it to. I felt that the author had the perfect recipe for a deeply moving story, but the execution fell a little flat for me. I can say that there are raw emotions in this book. I applaud the author for writing a story about these brave souls like Eli. Because freedom isn’t really free. Not without the sacrifice of the courageous men and women who give their lives to protect our freedoms. That was definitely clear in this book. Just because it fell short for me doesn’t mean that I won’t pick up another book by this author again. I certainly will. I also know that there are people that loved this book and I can definitely see why. If you are in to military second chance romance stories, then this could be the book for you!
About the Author
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted as Best Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader's Choice Awards for 2014.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she'll do and naps she'll take when she ever gets spare time.
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When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann
Publication Date: June 5th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations
“Today is my favorite day.”
Parker Cruse is a young twenty-something woman who has just moved out on her own from her parents, she's young, slightly immature, and doesn't make the best choices. When she caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her twin sister, she thought it would be a great idea to ruin their wedding in the grandest way possible. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty hilarious. I wasn't sold on Parker in the beginning of the book because so many things she did annoyed me, but she seemed to mature as the book went along and I can appreciate character development like that.
“…my touch is the only one that will ever matter.”
Humor- one of the first things I notice about Jewel's books are the humor in them. Whether it be a darker more complex story or a lighter romantic comedy, jewel always manages to deliver her classic humor and quick wit into every character. It's one of my most favorite things about her as an author, especially since our real lives are infused with humor every day, why shouldn't our books be? All I have to say about this is "pony scene". If you've read it, you get it. I laughed so damn hard! I'm laughing just thinking about it. If you haven't read it, do that, and you'll understand why Jewel's humor makes any book such a unique experience. Her mind is such a special place. This book had me laughing out loud so many times, the banter was hilarious!
“Did you check your vulva? Maybe you’re in heat.”
Rage/Love- Often, the second thing I feel when I read a Jewel book! Just kidding, this doesn't happen in every Jewel book, but in this book, YUP. HOW? How in all the crazy hell does an Author do this?!? It's NUTS. I'm officially perplexed. Like one minute I'm yelling and acting all stabby, and the next minute I'm all bunny rabbits and kittens. This book should be in a new genre-- the contemporary/bi-polar/romance genre. Because as crazy as I'm acting while reading it, I'm gonna need some horse tranquilizer to get through this. <--- All true things that happened while reading.
“If I can’t love you, then I’m just going to love everything about you.”
This is a long book and let me tell you before I knew it I was halfway through and then, before I knew it I was finished! It was addictive and kept me glued to the page, there is so much going on in the first half of the book that you don't realize that by the time you get to the second half of the book, you're starting almost a completely different story. It's crazy! I'm not mentioning the male characters for a reason, because if I do that will basically ruin the whole plot for anyone who hasn't read it. But, there are two men in Parker's life, and both of their individual stories are as unique and beautiful as this book as a whole. So much happens to Parker throughout this book and it's a beautiful thing to see a character grow in such a way.
"For the tiniest moment, she let herself wonder if everything in her life to that point had truly led her to him."
Jewel has a way of taking her readers on a journey that is unforgettable. And with this book that journey was hard, and rigid and ended on beautiful notes. When life happened is the most perfect title for this book because the simplicity and complexity of those three words hold more meaning than one would think. When I was finished reading I sat there for a minute and just stared at my ceiling with tears in my eyes, because I felt so consumed by this beautiful story. It moved me so much, and it will stay with me forever. This is a book everyone needs to read!
“I’m afraid of having everything that means nothing and nothing that means everything.”
“You … you tried to seduce me.” Anger fueled her fight, overriding how terrified she felt being feet from naked Gus.
He laughed. That fed her anger even more.
“I wasn’t seducing you. I was making a point.” He slipped on a white T-shirt.
“Bullshit. I was there.”
“Precisely. Then you should know that I wasn’t seducing you.” He grabbed her shoulders and steered her away from the entrance to his closet.
She turned, relieved to find him dressed. “I felt you.” Her eyes narrowed.
He smirked. “You did, did you?”
Heat spread up her neck and burned her cheeks. Discussing Gus’s erection in his bedroom with Sabrina out of town qualified as the most inappropriate conversation she had ever had. “You’re such an ass. Just tell me why?”
Twisting his lips to the side, he narrowed his eyes. “You’re young. You think the world is so black and white. In your fairy-tale world, love is a magic wand spreading trails of glitter and granting happily ever afters.”
Parker stepped closer, knowing the lion could pull her into his den. “I don’t believe in fairytales.”
“No?” He shrugged. “Then I guess I made my point.”
“I don’t get your stupid point!” Her fingernails dug into her hands as she clenched them.
Gus leaned forward, putting them at eye level. She held her ground, even though his proximity made her body tremble.
“Someone cheated on you. And you’re so fucking mad about it because you can’t understand it. But love is an emotion that resides in your head and your proverbial heart. It has to be nurtured to grow or it dies. But … desire … it’s instinctual. Physical. Carnal. And when it wants its way, your brain shuts down and the only heart you hear is that blood-pumping organ in your chest. A slave to your desire, readying your body to do one thing and one thing only …” He leaned into her ear and whispered, “Get. Off.”
August Westman proved he was the devil. Parker became the worst possible version of herself in his presence. He drugged her with his words, pulled her under with his confidence, and stole her innocence with a whisper.
About The Author
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.
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Series: Sinners of Saint #2
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 26, 2017
"This series is one of the best I've read all year" - Angie, Angie's Dreamy Reads
"LJ Shen delivers and then some. I am loving this series." - Kylie Scott New York Times Bestseller
"It's unpredictable, raw, emotional, and edgy- pure chaos contained in a beautiful package." - TJ Loves Books
"LJ Shen just wrote her best love story ever!" - DD's Boom Room
They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They're right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister's ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.
They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I fucking dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.
"He was beautiful, but he was also a mess of epic proportions."
After reading Vicious I was SO excited for this book to come out!! The glimpses I got of Dean in book one were way more than enough to fuel the fire for book two! I was very intrigued as to where Dean's story would lead, and it was just as great as I thought it would be! We first meet Rosie and Dean in Book one, Vicious. Rosie is Millie's sister and Millie just happens to be Dean's ex-girlfriend. But Rosie saw him first, wanted him first, you get it... Even though Dean went out with Millie for 8 months, he always knew it wasn't real with her. His affections had always been with Rosie from the very beginning, but time and circumstance made it nearly impossible for him to have the woman he desired.
"Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucked you over with a polite smile on his face."
There is a lot of Dean's POV in this book, which I LOVED. And his hothole behavior lives up to the name. Dean is the stoner, the one with all the mojo in my opinion but, you almost get a sense that he's lost because he continues to fall into bad behavior with women, booze, smoking, etc... And it's not like he's not successful, because he is. Extremely wealthy too! But one would assume his teenage vices would be left far behind by now. And living right under his nose is the one woman that has driven him crazy for years, Rosie, or "Baby LeBlanc" as he likes to call her.
“This thing right here? It fucking beats for me. You know it. I know it. Keep lying, Rosie. I’ll milk the truth out of you. One way or the other.”
Rosie has Cystic Fibrosis, and she's fully aware of what the outcome of that diagnoses usually means, she knows her life isn't as promising as those around her, but she refuses to let this disorder take over her life. And knowing this as a reader it just ups the angst even more, I'm always freaked when I hear something like this because we all know how things like this usually turn out! I'm not going to say what happens, but I will say that I loved how Dean treated Rosie in regards to this. He never treated her like she was sick, even when everyone else around her was fawning all over her, he still treated her just as he always did.
“I don’t want to make you forget. I want to make you remember. And I’m about to, Rosie.” He breathed hard against my skin. “I’m about to rewrite the pages of our fucking history, baby.”
Dean is cocky as hell, and nearly every comment out of his mouth was a sexual innuendo aimed at Rosie. I’ve got to give it to the guy, he tried HARD to break through Rosie's tall walls. And the banter between these two was overflowing with sexual chemistry, so it was just a matter of time before they gave in to each other. And when they did, DAMN. It was hot, and Dean's dirty mouth does not disappoint! I love his non-existent filter as well. Dean is so full of spice and the vulgarity behind some of his comments are just that, yet somehow, I found him to be sweet and endearing. And I love how he held his confidence throughout the story. He never once thought that he wouldn't win Rosie over, and I kind of loved him for that.
"He was going at it like he was trying to kill me. And in a way, he did. He killed every single chance I had to enjoy sex with anyone else."
Vicious was my first book by this author and this was obviously my second, and I must take a moment to mention the writing. L.J. Shen has such a unique way with words, and I believe that her brand is truly one of a kind. Her writing has so many dimensions and colors and it makes me want to read everything she writes. It's funny, hot, dirty and beautiful too! Definitely a new favorite series of mine, and obviously I'm girl-crushing on the author as well. Do yourself a favor and one click these books, you won't be sorry!
L.J. Shen resides in sunny California with her husband, son, chubby cat and wild, wild dreams. Her passion is to write badass stories, sushi, UFC and her awesome family and friends (not in this order, though. Obviously, sushi comes before writing. Oh, and also the family part.) She spend the first half of her twenties traveling the world and is now paying all the fun with extra shifts in front of her MacBook. Feel free to contact her on her Facebook page. She loves to hear from her readers.
Three book besties who love to read and discuss books. We are addicted to all kinds of romance with Alpha Hero's, Kick-ass Heroine's and plenty of angst.
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