Hot on the heels of her beloved Marriage to a Billionaire novels,New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst nails it with the first in an all-new sexy romance series featuring red-hot contractor siblings who give the Property Brothers a run for their money!
Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.
Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.
But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?
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Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.
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Sergio looked ready to strangle me. “No. I don’t believe I asked for an annoying little sister, but if that’s what you’re offering, please don’t let me stop you. Just know, I won’t hesitate to put you over my knee if you get out of hand.”
The minute the words left his mouth. I froze.
The taxi driver stared little laser like holes into the rearview mirror.
And Sergio leaned toward me.
I swallowed as tension swirled around us.
He gripped me by the chin and turned my head to the side, his lips brushing my ear. “It’s like you have a death wish.”
“You wouldn’t do it.”
He pulled back as both of his eyebrows shot up, and then he looked down, like he had spotted something.
I followed the direction of his gaze and let out a little gasp as a gun dug into my stomach.
“It’s been directed at you for the last four minutes,” Sergio said through a practiced smile. “I meant what I said. Listen well. I keep my word. Kiss me, and blood will be spilled.”
“Y-you’re a crazy person!” I hissed, shoving at his chest. “And I wasn’t going to kiss you!”
“Sure you weren’t.” He put the gun away. “Good talk though, right? Oh look, the movie theater.”
To say that I scrambled out of the car like a kid running away from her kidnapper would be a gross understatement, but the minute my feet hit the pavement, I paused.
My body told me to run.
The guy had pulled a gun.
I didn’t even watch violent movies.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.
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ALL-NEW ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE featuring secrets, lies, royal high jinks, scams and double-crosses; breathless, swooning lust, cocky princes, dominant alpha future-kings, and crafty courtiers, who are not always what they seem…
Cinderella plays dirty...
Two brothers: One a crown prince; one a “playboy prince.”
Two sisters: One a con artist and card shark; one a pickpocket and petty thief.
One twisted plot for revenge.
When Grand Duke Reginald Winchester is exiled in disgrace, he vows he won’t go down without a fight. Crossing paths with Zee Wilder and her younger sister Ava at a gambling resort in Miami is the stroke of luck he seeks.
Zee is the counterfeit courtier in Reggie’s plan to humiliate Rowan, the controlled heir who kicked him out of the kingdom. In return, the sisters get a permanent spot on Easy Street.
If only Zee didn’t keep finding herself in a clutch with Cal, Rowan’s playboy younger brother. Ava’s no help, as she finds quiet walks in the moonlight discussing poetry and leadership with the brooding, future king irresistible. Even more irresistible is kissing his luscious lips…
The whole plan is falling apart, and neither sister is sure she wants to stop it.
Amazon US: http://smarturl.it/PPAmz
Amazon UK: http://smarturl.it/PPIntl
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have been a huge fan of Tia for some time now. Ever since her first book. So when I read the synopsis, I was intrigued as it was very different than her usual reads. So I took the plunge and read this and I am so glad I did!
Ava and Zelda Wilder are two American girls who also happen to be orphans. These girls are not only smart. But beautiful. Oh and their con artists. They only have one thing on their mind. Survival. Circumstances lead them to meeting two princes that may just give them a run for their money. Princes, Cal and Rowan are playboys at heart. After the death of their father these playboys planned to leave those days behind them. Until those Wilder sisters came running into their lives. Now all bets are off. But what happens when this group actually starts falling for each other? Can two con artists fall in love with two playboy princes?
In true Tia fashion, she brings us the steam, while still giving the reader a well written and intricate story that keeps you engaged throughout the entire reading experience. I really enjoyed the mysterious and some what suspenseful nature of this book. It kept me on my toes, never knowing what to expect next.
The Prince and The Player is certainly not one to miss if you enjoy a fast paced, witty, and sexy story. Looking forward to what’s to come next for these characters.
★★★ EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT ★★★
THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER
By Tia Louise
© TLM Productions LLC, 2016
~ Zelda ~
“Feeling better?” Hazel eyes hold mine a moment.
Reaching up, I trace a finger along the line of his jaw, thinking how this might be the last time we’re together. It’s a sad thought, I decide to put out of my head.
“Yes,” I say softly, and in that moment, the space between us disappears.
His mouth covers mine, pushing my lips apart. A little whimper squeaks from my throat as our tongues curl together, and I hold the lapels of his coat. Warm hands are again on the bare skin of my waist, but this time, his thumbs slide in the front of my dress, sliding up the skin of my stomach. I groan as the bell rings, and the elevator stops.
“I’m ready to get you out of that dress,” he says, taking my hand and pulling me out of the shiny mirrored box to the gleaming entrance of the suite.
“Dom Pérignon?” I read on the plaque.
“I told you,” he slides the card and the door opens. “Lots of champagne.”
We stop just inside the door for another kiss, and as it closes, I feel his fingers working behind my neck, sliding the zipper down the back of my dress. His lips chase mine, and my top falls to my waist, revealing the pink satin demi-bra that only covers the lower half of my breasts. My nipples play peek-a-boo over the tops of the lace edges.
“Jesus, it just gets better,” he groans deeply, leaning down to cup the bottom of one and pull my beaded nipple between his lips, soaking the lace.
The sensation registers directly between my thighs, and I let out a little moan, threading my fingers into the sides of his hair.
“Cal,” I gasp. “You’re getting my bra all wet.”
“To match those panties… Oh, right,” he teases, with a wink.
With a flick of his wrist, his bow tie undone. Coat off, he unbuttons his top two buttons followed by his cuffs, never taking his eyes off me. I shiver at the darkness brimming in his eyes.
“Take off your dress,” he says in a low voice, as he pulls his shirt over his head, exposing his lined chest.
I reach down to unfasten my heels, and he stops me. “No, leave those. Just the dress.”
Straightening, my back is still against the wall, I hook my thumbs in the sides of my skirt and shimmy it over my hips. It lands on the floor in a soft thump around my heels, and I step out. Cal stops moving, and I’m sure I’ll burst into flames at the look in his eyes. Those hazel eyes move from my breasts, down the line of my stomach to my bare pussy, down my legs to the gold, strappy heels. I see his Adam’s apple move once before he steps forward, catching my face roughly in his grip and pulling my mouth to his.
Once our lips collide, his other hand moves straight between my legs, cupping me, plunging two fingers deep inside. My gasp of shock and passion disappears in his mouth. I’m grasping at his arms, his shoulders, my nails scratching his skin.
“Come with me,” he says, his voice low and thick.
The “Queen of Hot Romance,” Tia Louise is the Award-Winning, International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.
From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.
A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations...
Books by Tia Louise:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014
One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014
One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014
One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014
One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015
One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), 2015
One to Take (Stuart & Mariska), 2016
The Prince & The Player, 2016
Paranormal Romances (all stand-alones):
One Immortal (Derek & Melissa, #SexyVampires), 2015
One Insatiable (Koa & Mercy, #SexyShifters), 2015
SIGNED COPIES: http://smarturl.it/SignedPBs
Connect with Tia:
Amazon Author Page: http://smarturl.it/TLMAA
Instagram & Twitter: @AuthorTLouise
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Eleven years ago, I saved her. I loved her. But they took me away from her and locked me up. For two years, all I could think about was her. She consumed me. Took up every room in my head and gave me something to focus on, knowing I would see her soon.
Nine years ago, I watched her as she walked down the aisle and into the arms of a man who wasn't me. My brother. I left my home and never looked back.
Now, I'm staring at seven letters, each envelope stamped with one word in bold, red ink: URGENT.
I have no choice but to go back home. Seeing her will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But in order to reconcile with my past, I have to face my present. Even if the thought of seeing her, knowing that she is out of my reach, kills me.
I have no idea what awaits me, but I can only hope that the demons of my past will finally be buried and put to rest.
**Due to possible triggering descriptions of self-harm, and some sexual situations this book is not recommended for anyone under the age of 17 years old**
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
From the moment I began this story, I knew it was different. I knew it would make me FEEL. And it did. Every word. Every sentence. This story is a testament to love and all it can endure.
“I would have sold my soul to the devil to hear her voice.”
From the moment Cole Holloway and Eleanor (Nor) Blake met, they just knew their lives would never be the same. They knew they’d fall. Cole was different. And Nor found that to be comforting as she was also different. Cole saw that Nor was in pain. Lonely. He understood those feelings. They both recognized that they would be the one to save each other. They just didn’t know how or when. Their connection was undeniable. The more time they were around each other, there was this spark between them that would not go away. There was this invisible thread that held them together. And the author never tells you this. She allows you to feel it.
“This girl is trouble. She is chaos. She is perfect.”
As the synopsis suggests, circumstances tear Cole and Nor apart. Lies, deception, and fear have kept these two apart. But nine years later, Cole gets an urgent letter where he has no choice but to face his past. Face the woman he still loves so deeply, but in no way belongs to him. Face the only love he’s ever known.
“I couldn’t love you any quieter or harder even if I wanted to.”
This story is told in flashbacks, and it is executed flawlessly. The author is brilliant in her ability to weave the reader effortlessly through this beautiful and heartbreaking story as it flashes between past and present. When Cole returns home, emotions are high. There is real pain here. And it spans many years. That spark between them never left. It always remained. But both are resistant. Hesitant to put their heart on the lines. Not wanting to take a risk and give the other that power to destroy them. Again. As truths are revealed, and lies unravel, the story continues to peel back layer by layer. But can they truly face the consequences of the damage those lies ultimately left?
“Give me a chance to love you. All of you. I want those parts you’ve hidden so deep inside you…those parts you think are unworthy of me loving. I want those. I crave them.”
Fall Back Skyward simply echoes the true meaning of love and if love could be defined its definition would be found inside the pages of this book. Cole and Nor are special. Broken down by life, but their love? Unequivocal. Selfish. Selfless. Astounding. Breathtaking. Their love IS chaos. But it’s their love. A great love. An Unyielding love. Their love shatters lies of the past while facing demons of the present. Their love breaks. But it also heals.
“It’s everything that is Cole Holloway, a quiet yet powerful storm, which could wreck me.
I swear this boy will be the death of me.”
This story hands down had the most stunning and overwhelming declarations of love I have ever read in my life. The words? The writing? Riveting. When this author writes, its simply magic. Her words are beautiful and magnetic. The storyline is spellbinding as she crafts as brilliant story that is rooted in love, forgiveness, heartbreak, and sacrifices.
“You’re not just my ordinary, Eleanor. You’re my extraordinary. My everything.”
Cole and Nor’s story moved me. It was awe-inspiring and thought provoking. Cole and Nor faced tragedy after tragedy as life threw every obstacle in their way that was possible. But despite it all, even through many years of heartbreak and lies, they pushed against it all. Fall Back Skyward attests to the fact that wherever there is darkness, there is light.
“I want nothing more than to fall back skyward with you. Every day. Every night. Every second of the day. I love you, Cole.”
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my. Once again, Ella Frank has made me fall in love. Every time I read one of her books, I’m like this is it. This is her best. But Devil’s Kiss? It simply stole every piece of my heart.
“In amongst all of the chaos and all of the ugly, Jordan was, as always, there for him. His rock. His everything.”
We met Derek Pearson and Jordan Devaney in the first book in this series. At this point, we know there is a past. Student and teacher. But there is so much we don’t know. There is so much to them than beyond the surface. There is a definite push and pull as they both struggle in their attraction to each other. But their chemistry is undeniable. Unstoppable. There’s this powerful force whenever they are together. They ease into a friendship, but they are always cautious. Hesitant. Their hearts are falling, while their minds tell them something different. Despite the ups and downs these two endure, their connection remains. Unbreakable. Always.
“Thank you for picking up.”
“You’re welcome. But I haven’t done anything.”
“You answered. That’s everything to someone with nothing.”
As the author moves the reader through the story, we are transported into the past to the very first moment Derek and Jordan laid their eyes on each other. From the very first moment Jordan saw Derek, he knew his life would change. He just didn’t know how much He saw beyond the brokenness that Derek tried so desperately to hide. Their story? Profound. Their love? Transcending. Moving. Powerful as it challenges them both to face something neither one knew was possible. To love and be loved.
“Want to know a secret?”
“You dared me.”
There was a slow and sensual burn with this one. But it was what makes their story so authentic. Genuine. Real. There is so much I want to say, but this is truly a story for you to get lost in. You as a reader are there through their highs and their lows. Through the darkness. When they are lost. The author masterfully weaves a story where two men fall in love over the course of many years. But circumstances are never right. As love is a risk. A dare. One they cannot take. Until they break.
“You ground me. You make me believe the impossible. You make it all seem obtainable. And you make me want to be better…for you.”
Devil’s Kiss is a true testament to the raw and incomparable talent that this author possesses. This story is deeply rooted in painful pasts, regret, risks, and sacrifices. But most of all it is rooted in love. An all consuming, overwhelming love. And the sexy times? OFF THE CHARTS. These two are so connected. Every thought, every move is felt. The author holds nothing back as these two had the most sensual, passionate, yet sexiest love scenes I have ever read in my life. Devil’s Kiss is heartbreaking, yet full of hope. Beautiful, but raw. Passionate and sexy. I absolutely adored every moment of this book.
Oh my stars.
Someone get Ella a crown, please. Everyone needs to know that she is royalty amongst authors.
I was intrigued by the slight view of, what seemed like a volatile relationship between Derek and Jordan, that we got in Finley. They clearly had a history, and I needed to know all about it! Luckily, Ella is a mind reader, and gave me exactly what I was looking for in Devil's Kiss.
Derek and Jordan are two people who, maybe on paper, you wouldn't ever see as "end game," they come from two, completely different worlds. While Derek comes from a broken home with an alcoholic, abusive father, Jordan has been brought up in wealth, luxury, and access to the most talented educators his parents could find. He's a genius who was always supposed to be successful; Derek has scraped by every step of the way, and managed to put himself through college with financial aid and the luck of a scholarship. These two are very different, and yet so perfect for each other; they are each other's yin and yang.
I loved the way Ella told the story of Derek and Jordan's journey. The time jumps that allowed us to see them each grow as individuals, and also as a couple/non-couple/"what the heck are we", only deepened my feelings for both of them. The way they balance each other out was so refreshing, and yet they never seemed dependent on one another in an unhealthy way. My heart hurt for Derek in numerous instances, and then swelled when Jordan was there to help him every time.
Ella pieced together the perfect mix of sweet, funny, and raw emotion to create a beautiful second chance love story between these two men. (Is it second chance? I think it's second chance…I'm calling it second chance!) Everyone knows I'm a sucker for student-teacher romances and Devil's Kiss reiterated not only why I love those kind of stories so much, but also why I love Ella's writing so much. It's pure gold all the way around, and it looks like I'm adding another couple to my "favorites" shelf.
From the very beginning the sexy prologue grabs you and has you begging for more, and I've grown to expect that from Ella, talk about making you want to turn the page! She has brought us two super dynamic characters which we've met before from Finley, book one. I absolutely loved meeting these characters in the first book, so I was so excited to learn they were getting their own story.
Derek Pearson, whoa is he HOT and full of attitude, he's everything you want in a tattooed, cigarette smoking bad boy and once you get to know him the layers peel back and you get to know him on a much more vulnerable level. Derek has a pretty bad past and definitely sat at the wrong end of the poker table when it came to parents, and living with an abusive, homophobic father for years is enough to make anyone turn stone cold and put those walls way up high. This made me love him even more, I love my flawed characters who don’t let their past define who they are.
Jordan (Posh) Devaney, he's privileged, smart--not smart, more like genius and he was raised with a great set of parents and is Derek's opposite in every way. Except the hot way, they pretty much match up on the "holy crap I'm hot" scale. I LOVE Jordan's no nonsense attitude and tight pants and brightly colored personality. Jordan also happens to have a nice past as Derek's professor, and I just loved reading those early beginnings of how it all started. I didn’t realize when I started reading this what a righteous love story it would be. And that might sound strange because the description of the book doesn’t necessarily allude to that, but oh boy, trust me in saying that it truly is.
These two have a silent challenge going on between them in the very beginning, and watching that grow and fester was pretty rad. Talk about your sexual chemistry! Holy crap, I swear you'd think these two would rather fight than anything thing else, they have this kindergarten game of "I hate you" going on and to be honest some of the banter back and forth was freaking hilarious. Beyond that, was a beautiful friendship that was being formed. The slow build up was great, because you know the whole time they just want to rip each other's clothes off, so bravo you strong willed beasts, because I would have failed that challenge way before you did. But holy cannoli, when the clothes DO come off, watch out! I mean it’s Ella Frank, do I need to say much more? Her sex scenes are some of the best out there, if not THE best, no joke this woman can write some sexy times.
Derek and Jordan’s journey was so much fun to read, and of course I read it slow, like I do with all of my Ella books, but with this one specifically I’m so glad for my slow-poking ways because what was waiting for me throughout was just wonderful to read. The emotion behind these characters is so real and unhurried, it’s sweet (yes, sweet) and funny and raw and emotional and I just love how Derek and Jordan came full circle and complemented each other. These two men have secured a very special place in my heart, and I encourage all of my book loving friends to go read it!
Copyright © 2016 Ella Frank
* * * *
DEREK PEARSON PUSHED open the door of Leighton, Finley & Associates, and stepped out on the paved sidewalk. It was the first day of August, and if the sweltering Floridian sun was any indication, today was going to be hotter than hell’s waiting room.
As he strolled toward the curb, he pulled a pack of Marlboros from the pocket of his shorts and flipped open the top. He needed a fucking cigarette after watching Daniel Finley and his damn professor get all sappy and shit. That was gonna get old real quick if he had to stomach their nauseating displays of I love yous longer than the fifteen minutes he’d been in there. But he’d known he had to make an appearance sooner or later; otherwise Danny boy would’ve shown up asking questions. Questions he wasn’t ready to answer.
There’d been a reason he hadn’t come around to see Finn when he first moved back from Chicago two months ago, but it wasn’t something he was in the mood to talk about yet, even if he was one of the two people on the planet who would get all the shit he’d been dealing with.
Yeah… He just wasn’t ready to go there.
With a smoke between his lips, he lit up, then shoved the pack back in his shorts. He was so damn antsy lately, and for that he could thank his brother, Alan.
He walked around to the side of his Jeep and pulled open the door. After climbing inside, he grabbed his cell phone and stared at the dark screen, contemplating his next move.
Am I really planning to do this?
Fuck, it seemed that he was, even when he knew better.
If he did this, it would be nothing more than a Band-Aid over the real problem. A shot to numb the more painful issues he was dealing with right now. He would be slipping back into a pattern he had pulled himself out of. An addiction he’d broken free from. But he was also aware that if he didn’t do it, the alternative would be to spiral out of control, and solitude was no longer helping his fucked-up nerves.
He brought the phone to his ear and waited. The phone rang and rang, and fucking rang, until he was close to hanging up—and then it connected.
“You free?” were the only two words out of his mouth. He waited, not caring to pursue small talk. That wasn’t what this was about. All he cared about in that moment was getting what he needed.
When an affirmative came through the phone, he hung up, tossed it on the dashboard, and brought the Jeep to life. As he sped across town, he white-knuckled the steering wheel and didn’t allow himself to think about the consequences of what he was about to do.
It took him less than ten minutes to pull into the underground parking garage of The Palisades and take the elevator up to where his drug of choice waited for him. He glanced up into the camera in the corner of his metallic confines and stared boldly into the face of the one who was waiting at the other end of this ride.
Yeah, he was about to fall off the fucking wagon big time. Was about to slide back into the one place he promised himself he wouldn’t go again. Yet as the elevator came to a halt and the doors opened, there was no denying this was exactly what he wanted.
“I have thirty minutes,” were the words that greeted him.
Derek walked off the elevator and over to the naked man waiting for him. He took the haughty chin between his thumb and forefinger and promised in a voice thick with arousal, “I only need ten. Take me to your room, Jordan. Time’s a wasting.”
Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”
A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author
Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.
Ella Frank’s Newsletter – www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn
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Books by Ella Frank
Sunset Cove Series
Finley #1- http://amzn.to/1MshEaY
Try - http://amzn.to/1SndAIf
Take - http://amzn.to/1q8fxz9
Trust - http://amzn.to/1q8fymN
The Exquisite Series
Exquisite - http://amzn.to/22Dnwpm
Entice - http://amzn.to/1q8fNOI
Edible - http://amzn.to/1UQ73ta
Masters Among Monsters
Alasdair - http://amzn.to/1q8fRhs
Isadora - http://amzn.to/1RGmELp
Blind Obsession - http://amzn.to/1UQ7544
Veiled Innocence - http://amzn.to/21MqYYZ
Title: Breaking Skin
Author: Debra Doxer
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Release Date: June 20, 2016
“Deep down, we all want a no-matter-what kind of love.”
Dancing is like magic. It makes me disappear. When I dance I’m not a sister or a daughter, not a lover or a friend. I exist in the moment, onstage, where I turn pain into art and pretend the illusion is real. My past is an abomination and my future is unwritten, but my present is pure, fluid, and focused. I’m content, or at least I think I am, until the night I meet a man who makes me want more.
He’s broken, just like me, but in different ways. He’s older and nothing like the men I’m used to. Compared to him, they’re all boys, immature and insipid, while he’s a force of nature, confident and virile. Virile is a word I’ve never used before, and I only use it now because he embodies it so completely.
At first, he fights the attraction between us almost as hard as I do. But when words like destiny and soulmate whisper through my thoughts, how can I ignore them? He can have any girl he wants, but he looks at me as if I’m the girl he’s waited for his whole life. How can I tell him I’m not that girl?
I wish I were enough for him, wish I were whole. But beneath my facade, I’ve been falling to pieces for a long time, and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the downward momentum.
“What can I do to help?” he asks.
“You can kiss me.”
Cole goes still.
Wide-eyed, I gaze up at him. I can’t believe I just said that. God knows I want to kiss him.
“It doesn’t have to be anything more,” I say when he doesn’t move. “Just a simple kiss to relieve the tension, because we want to, because it will feel good. It doesn’t have to be a complication.”
Surprise flickers in his eyes as they search mine. He licks his lips but still he hesitates, and I want to scream in frustration. Where’s the Cole I met two years ago, the one who homed in on me like a laser at Blackburn’s? The one who in his own quiet way made it impossible to refuse him.
Before I can think better of it, I push up onto my toes and wrap my arms around Cole’s neck, pushing my body flush against his.
“Please,” I whisper, ashamed that I have to beg but willing to do it anyway.
His jaw flexes and thoughts war behind his eyes, but finally his arms come around me as his lips slant over mine. He pulls me closer, and when his hand fists in my hair and gently tugs my head back to deepen the kiss, I’m lost to him.
Cole takes control and there’s no slow buildup, no gradual descent. Passion consumes us, and it wouldn’t matter if a tornado came tearing through the yard. I wouldn’t notice. But somehow Cole keeps his wits about him. He drags his mouth from mine.
“Langley,” he says, his gaze focused above my head toward the slider into the kitchen. Thinking quickly, he moves us to the side, out of view.
“Did she see?” My heartbeat is frantic, my body strung tight.
“I don’t think so.”
We stand there and catch our breaths together. He rests his chin on my head because neither of us have relaxed our arms. We still have them wrapped around each other.
“A kiss between us is complicated, Nikki. Let’s not fool ourselves.”
Slowly, I unwind my arms from his neck. “Why? Because of Renee?”
He leans back to look at me. “Because of us. Because of how this feels.”
This feels incredible, but I can already sense him pulling away. He’s shutting down again, and my racing heart beats even faster because I’m going to ask the question that hangs between us. The one reason I’m most afraid is the source of his hesitation.
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
Koda's found his sister, Winnie, and now he's made a life for himself in Gray Ridge, Colorado. As a bear shifter, he's naturally a loner, and with so few females around, he's resigned to never finding his mate. But when he stumbles upon a woman in the woods, his whole world changes.
Snow's been on the run and has made a makeshift family with a band of seven wanderers. While resting in the woods and waiting for them to come back, something big finds her.
When Koda and Snow collide, they realize their stories are woven together more tightly than they could have imagined. Will the truth break their mates bond? Or will it bind them closer together?
Warning: This fairy-tale shifter story is full of alpha sweetness with a side of growly bear. What's not to love?! If you love a classic story with a dirty twist, then get your click on!
It’s still dark when I wake up with a jolt, the cold sweat covering my naked body. It takes me a moment, like it always does, to remember where I am and that I’m safe. The seconds tick by, and my breathing evens out. Rubbing my hands against my eyes, I remind myself that I’m not in a cage.
I give up on sleep and get up from the bed. I make my way to the bathroom, turn on the shower, and get in before the water has a chance to warm up. I’m used to cold showers after being denied the luxury of hot water for so long and then having to bathe in rivers when I escaped.
I soap up and try not to think about my past, but it always comes flooding back after a nightmare. I can’t seem to stop it, so I just have to ride it out until all the feelings pass. This dream was like so many before, most of it exactly the same, but sometimes my mind likes to add in details that weren’t there, just to fuck with me.
This time when I was dreaming, I was in the cage again. The one they kept me locked in unless they were running tests. They had a theory that if shifters were kept in small places, they would be less likely, or unable, to shift.
In this dream, I was in the cage, and I could hear Winnie crying. I know this didn’t happen because Winnie was never captured with me. She got away. I always have to remind myself of that. We were young when we were caught, but she fought and was able to get free. I was too drugged up to know what happened, and all I could remember was waking up in a cell without her.
I'd learned over the years that we were taken by a company that was doing research on shifters. They kept us as if we were animals in a lab. It was a horrible time in my life, and ever since I broke free, my only goal was finding my sister. When I found her, it was only to see that she had amnesia and was being cared for here in Gray Ridge. Winnie had gotten lucky, and Alpha Stone had taken her into the pack and kept her safe. When I found her, and when her memories came back, I felt like my journey had finally come to an end.
Only it didn’t.
I’m a bear shifter, and there aren’t as many of us as there are of other species. Even fewer bear shifter females exist. When Winnie mated with Alpha Stone, I could have left, but I didn’t want to. Bears aren’t normally pack animals, but they are close to their families. I couldn’t move away from Winnie after finally finding her, even though she was mated.
Thankfully, Alpha Stone welcomed me into the pack and gave me some land. Xavier, one of the wolf shifters, and I built my cabin out here to give me some space away from the pack and also to have a way to stay close to Winnie.
I’d been in captivity for so long that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adjust to pack life. But Xavier had gone through some trauma before he met his mate, and he was able to give me some advice to help me cope.
When we built the house, he helped me put in extra security measures so that I could feel safe again. My nightmares used to be a lot worse, and I think he knew it. So to help, we installed bolted locks both inside and outside the entry points of the house. The locks are in place in a way that no one is going in or out of my home without my permission. The extra security helps me sleep. As long as the nightmares don’t creep in.
When I’ve finished showering, I make myself breakfast and have coffee. My life is very quiet, and I don’t have many friends—just the Gray Ridge pack people who Winnie makes me hang out with. I look over at the counter and see an invitation to a kid’s birthday party at Xavier and Gwen’s home. I know I should want to go and be around everyone, but I feel myself getting tired and wanting to hibernate.
I let out a long sigh and try to shake off the dark mood. Internally, I know that I’m safe and everything is okay. I’m just getting used to the world again. Also being around a lot of happy mated couples can start to wear on any single shifter after a while. There’s a longing that comes with wanting to find your mate, and knowing I probably never will sends another wave of sadness over me.
Closing my eyes, I see dark hair and blue eyes. I try to grab on to the image, but it’s gone like smoke through my fingers. I think of the image every time I think about finding my mate. I don’t even know where the image is from or how I remember it, but something about it is familiar.
I push away from the table and clean up the kitchen. When I finish, I look outside. The sun has come up and it’s starting to snow a bit. I love this time of year. The cool air and the clean smells of the forest calm my bear. I feel him stir inside me, and I decide he could use a walk in the woods.
Bears aren’t much for running or spending energy when they don’t have to. Our shifters are usually really big and solidly built. I lost a lot of weight when I was being held captive, but in the time since, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It feels good to have the extra layers of thick muscle and even a little extra around my mid-section. We’re pretty hairy, too, and I definitely meet that type. My long beard and chest hair help keep me warm when it's cold out. So even though it’s snowing, I don’t need much coverage.
I’ve got on a long-sleeved, cream-colored thermal shirt and jeans. I go over to the door, pull on my boots, and then go about unlocking the door. I walk outside and turn, locking the cabin back up.
The woods are quiet, and my bear is enjoying the peace. He likes being outside, but a lot of times my fear overrides his need and we stay indoors. This is good for both of us, at least for a little while.
I walk for a few miles and come through the clearing next to the lake. I don’t usually venture to this side of the protected lands, but I just need a change today. New scenery. Something inside me is telling me this will be best for me and my bear. That we need a new direction and something different to see today.
Looking off in the distance, I see a dark figure on the ground. My bear is instantly alert, and I widen my stance, preparing for danger. I raise my nose, trying to catch a scent, but the wind is at my back. Slowly and silently, I walk around the edge of the lake, looking for danger from every direction.
My bear is pacing, trying to get out, but I want to be able to hold my skin. I’m always terrified that someone will try to take me again after getting captured the last time, so I’m being extra cautious.
I don’t know what possesses me to even want to investigate the dark figure. Normally, I would just turn and run. But something’s pulling me in that direction, and I need to see what it is.
As I step closer, I see the dark figure take shape. The scent still hasn’t come my way, but I can make out that it’s a person lying in the snow. My steps are tentative and slow, and I move closer and closer.
When I realize it’s a woman, my heart starts to beat faster and my steps quicken. What if she’s a shifter in trouble? I don’t know everyone in the pack yet, so this could be a member in distress.
Moving close, I see that her eyes are closed and she’s lying on her back with her arms outstretched. She must not have been here long because not much snow has fallen on her. It’s starting to come down heavier now, and she’s getting a small dusting on her face and body.
She’s got thick black hair and skin the color of cream. Her lips are blood red, and something inside of me is pulling me towards her. I can’t explain the force that makes me go to her, but something inside me knows that I must help her.
Something inside me needs to kiss her. Taste her… Brand her.
I kneel down beside her, and the sound wakes her. Her big eyes pop open, and the blue there strikes me right in the chest. Her eyes are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I want to get lost in them and let them carry me away. There’s something about them that’s familiar and safe, but also terrifying and confusing.
A heartbeat passes between us, and for a second I’m pulled back in time to a place I thought I’d left. Fear grips me, but then the woman smiles up at me, and all of that melts away.
“Hi,” she whispers, and I light up at the word. I start to say something back, but at that moment her scent hits me, and I my throat nearly closes up.
Rage pulses through me, and I start to stand. I want to get away from this human as fast as I can, but suddenly I’m dizzy with need. I inhale again, and I feel my bear trying to take over. He’s clawing inside me to get out to roar, but I hold him tight, trying to catch my brain up to my body.
Mate, my bear growls over and over, and I realize that this human is my mate. A human. The one thing in this world that I not only fear but never want to be near again is my mate.
I growl long and low, but the human doesn’t look surprised. She sits up and pushes back from me, but I reach out, snatching her ankle before she can get away.
“Mine,” I say through gritted teeth. I didn’t want this, not like this. But my body has no choice.
“Let me go.” I look into her eyes to see panic there. “Don’t, please. My brothers will worry. I know what you are, please don’t do this.”
The plea for her family pulls at my heart. How many times had I begged to be let free to find my family? How many times had I begged for news of my sister? I feel sadness for her, but then it’s followed by anger. Her kind are the ones that kept me from Winnie. This human is my mate. I have every right to take her from her human people.
“You’re mine now,” I say, pulling her off the ground and throwing her over my shoulder.
“Please let me go. I swear I won’t come back. I’ll never tell anyone.”
As the snow comes down heavier and heavier, I carry her back to my cabin. Our tracks are covered and no one will be able to find us. I’m taking my mate home, and she will get used to it.
“You can’t do this. You can’t take me.” There is so much panic in her voice that I nearly stop and go back, not wanting to upset her.
“I will treat you kindly and no harm will ever come to you as long as I live.” I take a breath and keep walking. “It’s more than your kind ever gave me.”
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!
These Royals will ruin you…
From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.
Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.
What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.
Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.
She might be right.
Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.
Order the first book in the series- Paper Princess
From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.
These Royals will ruin you…
Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.
Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.
Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.
He might be right.
Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.
Title: Finding Me (Second Chances, #2.5)
Author: Stephanie Rose
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: May 22, 2016
SynopsisI've always been lost . . . Abandoned by a father who didn't want me. Cherished by a stepfather, though I wasn’t his. Shattered by a boy who swore he loved me. But I belonged nowhere, to no one. Then I met Owen, the sweet-talking hockey player who made me love him. He gave me the courage to trust in someone besides myself. He showed me a love I longed for. When an unwanted ghost comes knocking on my door, my heartbreaking history threatens to repeat itself. But where do I turn if I lose everyone? And how do I find where I belong, when I’m still Finding Me? Finding Me is a spinoff from the Second Chances series and can be read as a standalone.
Purchase your copy today!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I have loved this series from the beginning and couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see little Bella all grown up and fall in love. Well. Stephanie knew exactly what she was doing. She hit it out of the park with this one.
“When you’re around, I don’t see anyone but you.”
Bella is off to college and excited for a fresh start away from her parents. And the ex that broke her heart. While at a coffee shop with her roommate, she meets drop dead gorgeous Owen. A hockey player. He seems a bit interested, but Bella just plays that up to him just being a guy. How could he even be interested in someone like her? The thing is, despite having loving parents, Bella has always felt abandoned. Especially by men in her life. And she is not up for setting herself up to be disappointed ever again.
“You’re enough. You’re everything.”
Owen sees Bella. Like really sees her. She tries hard to hide her true self, but Owen recognizes a part of his soul when he meets Bella. And you feel this. A light he never knew existed in his heart simply comes alive the more he is surrounded by her. And while Bella tries her hardest to not give in to Owen, she finds him irresistible. And not because of his looks. But simply because she got to know his heart.
“You’re my stars, my sun, my sky. You’re my whole damn universe.”
I’m vague on the plot, but please know so much happens in this story that you can relate to. This story will resonate with you on so many levels as it did with me. There's heartbreak, disappointment, but most of all a great love. The writing in this story is effortless as she weaves you through a love story of a woman who never felt worthy of love and a man willing to love her through that pain and a host of insecurities. His love. Her love. It is enough.
“You outshine everyone to me. You’re bright…like a sky full of stars.”
Owen. His heart. His soul. His love? Profound. Overwhelming. He’s simply a testament to the talent of Stephanie Rose and her fascinating ability to create characters with so much heart. She never falls victim to the typical alpha male or overbearing man we see way too often in books these days. Owen is good. He is light. There is something about him that I was immediately drawn to as as reader. The author doesn’t try to sell you something that he’s not.
“You’re my City. I can’t share you. I need you to be mine-and no one else’s.”
Bella and Owen’s love will simply astound you. Finding Me is a beautiful and heartfelt story that will have you engaged with the characters the entire time. This was simply everything I adore in a good romance. Can’t wait to see what else is next for this author.
ExcerptI couldn’t quite make eye contact with Ethan since the last time I came back to the apartment with Owen before Thanksgiving break. We caught Ethan naked in the hallway—on a date and thinking they had the place to themselves for a night. I was no prude, but seeing junk not belonging to my boyfriend turned me three shades of red. I hadn't even seen Owen's, but I . . . felt it . . . a lot. On my leg, against my stomach, sometimes rubbing my back if he was holding me from behind. Why I was so bashful I couldn't say, especially since I didn’t have a cherry to pop. But it was only one guy and only one time, shortly before he shredded my heart and then stomped all over it. Even though I couldn't make my virginity grow back, I wasn’t quite ready to go there again. However, not being ready for sex had absolutely nothing to do with wanting it. Our time together always ended with a scorching kiss and groping against the nearest wall. Owen’s Southern gentility was probably wearing thin these past few weeks. “Owen? The movie starts in a half hour!” I called as I strolled down the hallway. “Hey, City. Give me a minute, practice ran late.” Owen had just stepped out of the shower and was dripping freaking wet. The V on his hips disappeared into a towel cinched around his tapered waist. Water traveled from the stray tangled locks at his neck and trickled down over his ripped chest and his abs before disappearing into the bunched up material at his waist. I licked my parched lips and tried to remember how to speak. How many damn abs did he have? Six? Eight? I was gaping at a wet, half naked Owen while the corner of the bastard's mouth turned up in a smirk. I didn't have the faculties to scowl back. My tongue didn't want to work unless it was tracing the water trails across Owen's body. “Keep looking at me like that, baby. We won't be going anywhere tonight.”
About The AuthorStephanie Rose was born and raised in the Bronx, New York and still lives there with her superhero-obsessed husband and son. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a day job in marketing, but she always has a story in her head. Her books are full of swoon-worthy men and feisty heroines. This lifelong New Yorker lives for Starbucks, book boyfriends, and 80s rock. Her voice is often mistaken for a Mob Wives trailer. Goodreads |Facebook | Twitter
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.
Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.
When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.
Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.
As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.
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Don’t worry, Sprite, bad decisions always make for good stories…
I could hear my dad’s gruff voice, lightened with humor, in my ear as he told me those words every single time I got caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to do when I was growing up. I was always doing something I shouldn’t then and now, so I heard those words a lot from him. Unfortunately, as an adult, my bad decisions resulted in consequences far worse than a scraped knee or a broken wrist from falling out of the tree in the backyard he warned me repeatedly wasn’t sturdy enough to limb. And sadly, my dad reassuring me in his firm and gentle way, while calling me his little Sprite as he kissed my boo-boos, wasn’t going to help my current situation at all.
This boo-boo was big-time.
This boo-boo was life-changing.
This boo-boo was anything but a good story waiting to be told.
This boo-boo very well could be the end of me, the end of the rope where my patient parents had dangled precariously for years, and it very well could be the end of any kind of future I may have had. A future I was well on my way to letting a lifetime of bad decisions and even worse choices screw up. At barely twenty-two, bad decisions had sort of become my stock in trade and were as familiar to me as my own face. I was almost legendary, at this point, for putting all my trust in the absolutely wrong kind of people. If there was a wrong path to take, I was going to skip gleefully down that road and not look back until I ended up exactly in the kind of situation I found myself in at the moment. It wasn’t like this was even a new dead end; it was the same one I ran into over and over again. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get myself turned around, and the longer I was at this dead end, the darker and more wicked it became.
I knew better. I really did, even if there was a boatload of evidence contradicting that fact.
I wasn’t stupid, naïve, immature, or senseless. I might appear that way to anyone on the outside looking in, but I had my reasons for being a consummate failure and lifelong loser. All of those reasons had nothing to do with me not knowing better and everything to do with me knowing exactly what I deserved.
For a long time now I had been spiraling out of control, whirling, falling deep and deeper into a pit of really awful actions and consequences, each seemingly worse and more painful than the last. I also hadn’t made any kind of effort to try and pull myself out of it, so logically I knew the only place I was going to end up was right here, right at the lowest part of rock bottom. I never imagined the landing would be so jarring.
Don't miss the first titles in the Saints of Denver series!
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.
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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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