Title: Con Man
Author: T. Torrest
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Lucas Taggart is the best con man in the business, so to speak.
A former-geek-turned-hottie, Luke is now an image consultant and life coach to the rich and privileged in New York City. His eight-week program is designed to transform ugly ducklings into swans by instilling some much-needed confidence, and hey, a makeover never hurts.
But when Ainsley Carrington signs up as a client, Luke's world is thrown into a tailspin. Ainsley doesn't need an image consultant; her image is already perfect just the way it is. Luke immediately finds himself grappling with his attraction to the introverted beauty as all his old insecurities come bubbling back to the surface.
Thankfully, his new friend Mia is around to help him out. Soon enough, the teacher becomes the student as lines get blurred and professionalism gets thrown out the window.
The thing is, Luke doesn't date his clients. Ever. But fighting his desire is proving more difficult than he ever imagined. Especially since the cocky and arrogant "confidence man" has just completely lost his cool.
***CON MAN is a romantic comedy novel intended for ages 18+ due to some offensive language and graphic sex/sexual situations.***
READ WHEN YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR: cocky, fun, dramatic, insightful, relatable.
The gorgeous redhead leaned forward across my favorite table at my favorite restaurant, and from the look in her eyes, I already knew what was coming next.
“So, what do you think?” she asked. “Should we take this conversation back to my hotel room?”
The two of us were seated at a prime patio table at Ocean, a fairly classy restaurant bordering the south end of Central Park. We’d been having a pleasant conversation from our outdoor post, enjoying the mid-summer breeze which was made blessedly cooler from the shade of our umbrella. We’d been planning to indulge in a leisurely meal as we talked, but Charise’s question ensured that this little luncheon was going to be cut rather short.
I eased back in my chair and assessed the fiery-haired bombshell seated across from me. Her invitation was unmistakable, and I found myself letting out with an exasperated breath. “I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”
“Well, maybe I should have been a little clearer,” she purred, sliding a finger to trace along the swell of her ample breast. “I’m hoping you’ll be able to, ah, teach me a thing or two about what a man really wants.”
“That’s not what I do.” I’d encountered this scenario a time or two, and I’d learned it was best to just confront the situation head-on, without mincing words. “Look, Charise, I think you’ve been misinformed about what kind of service I provide. I’m not a sex therapist; I’m an image consultant.”
I’m the founder and CEO of Swan, Inc., New York City’s preeminent makeover service. People who felt stuck in the “ugly duckling” stage of their lives came to me for transformation. My services provided much more than a simple makeover, though. Aside from helping these ladies out with a new hairdo and some clothes, I also offered some intensive remodeling of a client’s self-esteem. Reputedly, these methods helped to unleash a woman’s inner sexpot.
It kinda went with the territory. The sex appeal was simply a happily unexpected side effect of the confidence training I provided.
Charise blinked a few times in my direction, clearly confused. “I was told that you teach women to be absolute maneaters. And after I saw the change in Darla Haagen… I mean, she was positively glowing by the time you got through with her. She said you were a godsend. She said she never experienced a better eight weeks in her entire life. I’m sorry. I guess I just assumed…”
“Sometimes people do. I’m not offended.”
Most of the time, a new client and I will have engaged in a series of emails prior to our first meeting. Even if we haven’t, it was easy enough for them to do their homework on their own; my website clearly lays out what it is that I do. But sometimes, like in the case with Charise, here, people jumped to their own conclusions and thought they were merely hiring a high-priced escort. Hell, even if I was in the sex therapy business, actual sex isn’t a part of the therapy provided.
I gave Charise a smile, trying to put her at ease regarding the mixup. Essentially, the woman had just offered herself up on a silver platter only for me to turn her down. Rather than dwell on her undoubtedly bruised ego, I decided to point her in the right direction. “In fact, if you’re looking for a sex therapist, I can recommend someone for you. I have a friend out in Arizona—his name is Justice Drake and he’s the best at what he does. But he and I don’t work in the same field, understand?”
Charise tipped her head to the side and eyed me curiously. “No. I guess I don’t understand. I thought I was hiring you to teach me how to please a man.”
“Yes, to a point. Essentially what I do is teach you how to please yourself.” Charise’s lip curled, confirming that her mind was spinning all over again. Before she could jump to another conclusion, I added, “I teach confidence. That’s it. When you think about it, that’s the sexiest trait of all, wouldn’t you agree?”
I could see the shift in her posture as my words finally sunk in. “But I already have confidence.”
“Yes, you certainly do. Rightfully so.”
She gave me a flattered smile for that. “So, I guess this isn’t going to be a good fit, is it?”
“I’m sorry, no, it’s not.”
There was an awkward pause between us as the situation sank in, until finally, she let out with a resigned sigh. “Well,” she said agreeably as she rose from her chair. “It looks like my little sex-school adventure is going to turn into a shopping marathon instead.” She gave me a smile and held out her hand. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Luke.”
I came around to her side of the table to give her a hug. “You too, Charise.”
When we pulled away from each other, there was a devilish twinkle in her eye as she purred, “You know, Luke… Just because I’m not hiring you for sex, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun off the clock. Armed with nothing but false information and your photograph, I flew all the way out here from Houston, and I have to say, you’re even more delicious than your picture. I’d hate to think the sexy vacation I was planning is actually going to be a complete letdown. I could use some company over the next couple of months while I’m here.”
I couldn’t contain my smirk as I answered, “That is one tempting offer, Charise. Truly. But I’m going to have to respectfully decline your generous proposition. Something tells me you’re going to have one hell of a vacation without me. Here,” I added, pulling out my wallet and digging around for my friend’s business card. “Maybe after you’ve torn up New York for a few days, you’ll decide to reroute to Sedona. Give Drake a call. He really knows his stuff.”
She took the card from my hand, flicking it around her fingers as she said, “I will. I promise.”
One of my brows raised as I added, “Although you strike me as someone who’s already well-schooled in this area.”
Charise grinned as she gave me a last peck on the cheek before jaunting across the patio and into the park.
My morning appointment was a bust, and my afternoon appointment wasn’t scheduled to be here for another two hours. Since now I had some time to kill, I decided to take a walk to clear my head. I asked Fernando to hold my table, then slipped out of the gated patio and into the courtyard.
There were a few high-end boutiques that bordered this end of the park, so I did a little window shopping. Eyed up a new suit in the display at Brooks Brothers; checked out a new watch in the front case of Tiffany’s. When my stomach started growling, I became aware of my abandoned lunch, and stopped off at a corner pushcart to get a dirty-water dog with the works.
I loved the city. New York was the best place in the world to test a person’s mettle. You could live out your every dream or disappear into a sea of faces. Do whatever you wanted to do; be whoever you wanted to be.
I headed back to Ocean and hit the men’s room to clean up before my next appointment, throwing a couple bucks in the attendant’s tray and giving a quick glance in the mirror as I ran a hand through my hair.
I wasn’t always this good-looking.
Before you can accuse me of being an arrogant, conceited jerk, I’ll tell you that the personal assessment of my handsomeness is mentioned without spectacle or vanity of any kind.
Well, maybe a little pride, but that’s it. And I’m only proud because it took a ton of hard work to get myself looking this way. Countless hours at the gym, consultations with fashion gurus, and a whole helluva lot of mental reprogramming all combined to create the man you see standing before you today.
Fact is, before I was one of the “beautiful people,” I used to view an attractive person with the same sort of indifference as I would an air balloon.
Pretty to look at, but there’s no substance to it.
Strange that I should’ve made my living as an image consultant, right? If I had such disregard for external beauty, then why did I make it my mission to help women achieve the height of theirs?
And no. Before you can ask, I’ll tell you emphatically that I did not start this whole venture as some elaborate scheme to pick up chicks. I’m not looking to hit on them. I’m looking to help them.
Unfortunately, the sad fact is this: I’ve been where these women are now. I know from firsthand experience what it’s like to be ignored or downright snubbed for not looking like those people you see on your television screens. Society as a whole has always been impressed with such superficial qualities in a person. Looking good is the easiest way to catch a guy’s eye, and if a woman is coming to me to help her land a man, she’s going to have to understand that men appreciate external beauty above all else.
At least they think they do.
That’s why the second part of my service is even more important than the first. Yes, I’ll whip your body into shape. Yes, I’ll hook you up with hair and makeup professionals. But while all that is happening, I’ll be working on your internal assets. Pointing out your positive attributes, trying to teach you how to use them to your advantage. Building your confidence in little baby steps until you’re ready to do it on your own.
At the end of it all, you’ll have reached a point where you don’t even need that spa-day makeover, but you’ll get it just the same. Although by then, it’ll merely be icing on an already delicious cake.
T. Torrest is a fiction writer from the U.S. She has written many books, but prays that only a handful of them will ever see the light of day. Her stories are geared toward readers of any age that know how to enjoy a good laugh and a dreamy romance.
Ms. Torrest was a child of the eighties, but has since traded in her Rubik's cube for a laptop and her Catholic school uniform for a comfy pair of yoga pants. She's a pop-culture junkie, a movie aficionado, and an enthusiast of talking about herself in the third person. A lifelong Jersey girl, she currently resides there with her husband and two sons.
She also really digs it when she hears from readers, and is known to use words like "dig" in a non-sarcastic way. You can find out more about her books at her website: https://www.ttorrest.com/
She also LOVES to get friend requests on Goodreads and Facebook, and personal messages from readers via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Release! WEDLOCKED by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine is LIVE TODAY! @BrookeBlaine1 @EllaFrank2012 #1Click #MM #Romance #HOT #Trilogy
Wedlocked from Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine is now LIVE!!!
Wedlocked by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine
Cover Reveal: March 2nd, 2017
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Designer: Jay Aheer Genre: Contemporary Romance
Because you have believed in them,
Celebrated with them,
Loved and encouraged them,
Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine invite you to join
Ace Samuel Locke
Saturday the Twenty-Fourth of May
At Six-O’Clock in the Evening
The Grand Floridian Hotel
4406 Palm Way
For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After
(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2n8U5K7
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Start the series today!
About Ella Frank:Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the 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. Connect with Ella: Newsletter – www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn Bookbub - http://bit.ly/29d67dD Website – www.ellafrank.com Twitter – @EllaFrank2012 FB - www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31 FB Street Team - www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/ Instagram - www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/ Email: email@example.com
About Brooke Blaine:You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas. She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series. If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.
Connect with Brooke:
FB Street Team- www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.
In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.
But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.
It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.
Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.
Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?
Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Caleb and Joshua (Josh) grew up on a polygamist religious compound. One that most of us would consider a cult. Their world revolved around working at the farm and prayer. Caleb and Josh have been best friends since they could remember. These men were to eventually get themselves ready to have a large family which included many wives. But Josh was always seen as the weak one. He was bullied by his peers. Caleb was always the one to step in for him. To shield him from all the evil thrown at Josh that he could. And Josh has always been grateful for this. The truth is he’s in love with Caleb. Always has been. But he knows Caleb will never feel the same. Until Josh is forced from the compound. Homeless. Lost. Forgotten. Little did he know that Caleb had plans. And they’ve included him. Always.
“Whether I’m stupid or smart, and whether you still love me anymore, or not. I never could help loving you. It’s just the way I’m wired.”
This story was truly a tumultuous and heart wrenching journey. Two men who grew up believing their feelings were a sin are now in the real in the real world and they are left to fend for themselves. And they must learn so much that as people we take for granted. These two have so many obstacles to overcome. And their sexual orientation is just the beginning. I don’t want to give too much away regarding the plot. But you get the privilege of watching love in it’s rawest form. When they realize their feelings for each other there are no constraints. Their guards come down. The shame no more when they are together. They do fear what others may think. And that becomes a point of contention between them. They’ve escaped the cult, but they know that doesn’t guarantee that the outside world is going to accept them either. All I will say here is that their journey is worth it. Read this book!
I think the author is brave for writing a story such as this. Not that religion takes a huge part in this book, but it puts things into perspective. To live a life that you were always told was wrong. The author challenges the reader to truly see things from Caleb and Josh’s eyes. This is so much more than a friends to lover story. Fans of M/M will love this as well as those who have never read M/M. In true Sarina Bowen fashion, things do get steamy but this further adds to the passion between these two men. Their intimate moments give such depth to the story and how these two best friends found the greatest love in each other. I found Goodbye Paradise to be authentic and genuine in its depiction of love in the face of fear and the unknown.
Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college.
Waiting for more Ivy Years? You can read more about upcoming volumes in the four book series athttp://www.sarinabowen.com/theivyyears
Also, the Gravity series.
Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
To be kept abreast of new releases, please feel free to sign up for the mailing list at http://www.sarinabowen.com/contact.
Or visit the her Facebook page, or tweet her @sarinabowen
Fighting Pride by Jennifer Miller
Release Date: March 20, 2017
It’s been five years since I’ve seen her.
Five years since we lost everything.
Five years since I sold my soul to the devil and broke her heart to save her.
The years have been long, the sacrifice and loneliness have been crippling…and now, she’s back.
I’m not supposed to see her, talk to her – I’m not supposed to want her. It will only break open wounds I’ve fought to keep closed, but I can’t stay away. I tell myself I only want to see her face, to know my sacrifice has been worth it.
Because I sold my soul, and sometimes I’d do anything, even if it means hurting her again, to get it back.
- “I’m not willing to take a knife to my scars and allow them to bleed anymore. I’ve come too far to take steps back to that painful time, and that’s what you are. I can pretend all I want but that’s what you are. You’re pain.”
WELCOME TO ST. ANNE
The loss of her mother turned her world upside down and revealed a truth she had never known. Her entire life felt like a lie.
Now, she lives on her own terms. She does what – and who – she wants, when she wants. She can’t get hurt if she doesn’t let anyone get close enough. Being lonely is just the price she has to pay. She isn’t about to let a man like Brig get to her, no matter how good his looks or intentions.
As one of St. Anne’s favorite sons, he has lived a charmed life, never wanting for anything. Family, friends, business – he is wealthy in ways that mean more than dollar signs. He doesn’t know what it means to fail. Foul-mouthed and beautiful, yet cautious, Sonny is everything he never knew he wanted. But when it comes to her, want has become need, and for the first time in his life, he has to fight for something.
Sonny has spent so much time keeping people out that the idea of letting Brig in feels dangerous.
But danger is already coming for her
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Emerson (Sonny) Decker doesn’t let anyone get close. After losing her mother, the trajectory of her life has forever changed once her death revealed a truth. She is determined to live life by her rules. And no one is going to change that. Not even Brigham (Brig) O’Neal . The town’s favorite son. He’s drop dead gorgeous. Wealthy. And is known to always get what he wants. He doesn’t understand why Sonny keeps him at a distance. The more he pushes, the more he pulls away. He’s never been challenged, but Sonny is one challenge he is up for. And he shows no sign of giving up.
The push and pull between Sonny and Brig was a slow burn. Sonny usually has no issue with loving and leaving them, but with Brig everything is so different. She knows that once her walls come down there’s simply no turning back. Brig makes her want to break every rule that she has established for herself. Brig is drawn to Sonny’s hardened exterior. He knows beneath her snarky and witty personality there’s a woman his heart wants to love. Their story isn’t an easy one, but Brig is patient. And he knows his connection with Sonny is one of a kind. The build up of their connection will have you on edge and once desires are given into, you feel everything. There is also a suspense type of feel within the story that the author subtly threads throughout. This will have you turning the pages.
Beautifully Broken is a southern romance that I think will easily charm any reader. The book is narrated seamlessly by dual POVs which truly allows you to experience Sonny and Brig’s story from their eyes. The town of St. Anne was very interesting with so many striking characters that I know we haven’t heard the last of them. While the author was great with executing a complex storyline, I do wish that the characters were introduced rather than told to us. They were presented in such a way that I felt like I was expected to know who they were, except I didn’t. As if I was in the middle of a series rather than the first of a series. Nonetheless, this debut was a great one. I found it to be funny, heartbreaking at times, but overall a solid and enjoyable read.
Em Frances is a foul-mouthed, filterless Jersey girl who lives in northern Florida with an extremely patient and tolerant husband and their two dogs.
When she isn't writing, or when she's supposed to be writing (lol), she's usually on Facebook, reading or binge-watching TV...and sometimes all three at the same time!
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
I knew little of Raphael Amado’s history with my family, but when he turned up on our doorstep demanding restitution, my grandfather quickly conceded. That restitution? Me.
Six months later, on my eighteenth birthday, Raphael came for me. He stole me from my home, taking me to his Tuscan estate, where from the crumbling chapel to the burnt-down vineyard, to the cellar that haunted him, the past stalked him like a shadow. It waited for him, hid behind corners for him and trapped him at every turn.
As much as Raphael's cruelty terrified me, his darkness seduced me. But in the end, it was his tenderness that devastated me.
Sofia came to me like an offering. Like a virgin to be sacrificed at the altar. But truth was, her grandfather betrayed her. I guess we had that in common. He’d screwed me too.
I knew hate. I'd vowed vengeance. This was never supposed to be about anything else. But in the end, her innocence broke me. The very thing I would destroy, destroyed me.
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I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I will admit that I am not usually a reader of dark romance. I love angst and suspense, however I am usually unable to connect to the characters and/or the storyline. But when it comes to Natasha Knight’s novels I can never say no. There is something about them. Although dark and twisty, they just pull you in and never let you go. Dishonorable was no different. This was my favorite of hers to date.
“Take care when fighting the monsters you don’t become one.”
Raphael Amado has a history with Sofia Guardia’s family. He wants revenge. A debt to be paid. To teach her grandfather a lesson, he takes Sofia as his bride. Unwilling and hesitant, she goes as she knows this will protect her family. Most importantly her sister’s future. In a sense, she has become collateral damage. I won’t go into the plot too much, but the way this story is executed was simply brilliant and addicting. I held on to every last word. I was hooked from the prologue but to learn the family history and how everything unfolds truly testifies to the gifted talent of this author.
“Because some part of me, it liked this side of him. This damaged, dark, broken soul. It longed to touch him. To touch that fractured part of him. The one that left him open and lost and dangerous.”
In true Natasha Knight fashion, this is not for the faint at heart. Raphael is fractured. His soul in pieces. There is no lightness that revolves around him. He simply lives in darkness. The story is flawlessly narrated in dual POVs. It flows effortlessly moving between both the voices of Sofia and Raphael and the pacing of the story is skillfully fulfilled. This book is also very hot. The steam and darkness is perfectly balanced with emotions that simply jump off the page. You will feel anger for Raphael. And your heart will also bleed for him and everything he has endured. The author allows you to feel his resentment and despair. His only light and hope for redemption was found in Sofia. While she was taken and she found it hard to love a man like him, she accepted everything about him. Even the darkest parts. And the monsters he battled inside due to his past. I never wanted to put this book down. The actualization of the storyline was masterfully done.
Dishonorable is an intense read. There’s greed, betrayal, lies. It’s a vivid telling of when darkness challenges light in the face of redemption. There are so many twists and turns in this story that you can never guess what is to happen next. Their past, present and future are tied to each other and their families in so many ways. As the storyline unfolds you are absolutely blown away with how each detail adds to the intricate plot. It’s a powerful love story, yet it will make you question everything about love and all it can go against. It reminds you that love always threatens darkness even when it seems impossible. Sofia and Raphael’s love story is a tumultuous one. With so many ups and downs. But their journey is worth it. It may not be a story that fits every couple, but it’s theirs. If you are a fan of dark romance, be sure to read Natasha Knight. This was certainly an unforgettable read.
American Prince, the highly-anticipated follow up to American Queen by Sierra Simone is available now!!
American Prince by Sierra Simone Publication Date: March 7th, 2017 Genre: Contemporary Romance
I’ve been many things.
I’ve been a son and a stepbrother. An Army captain and a Vice President.
But only with Him am I a prince. His little prince.
Only with Maxen and Greer does my world make sense, only between them can I find peace from the demons that haunt me. But men like me aren’t made to be happy. We don’t deserve it. And I should have known a love as sharp as ours could cut both ways.
My name is Embry Moore and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States…for now.
This is the story of an American Prince.
Excerpt:In an instant, he was on me, straddling my thighs, one hand yanking my head back so I had to look up into his face. “Don’t play games with me,” Ash warned in a low voice. “Not tonight. Not after what you did. You don’t even want to know the things I’m thinking about right now.” I could barely breathe. Pain sang out from my shoulder and hunger sang out from my thickening cock. I was at the mercy of a monster—in the hands of an angry god, as they say—and I’d never felt more alive. It was like kissing his boot, like that first moment I’d been shot at in the trees—the whole world came to life, the forest thrumming and the leaves rustling and my blood and heart all part of this incredible symphony of magic and music that was playing all the time, if only I had the ears to listen. Being with Ash was like my battle high, the fragility of life so apparent, the thrill of surviving it so exhilarating. Surviving him. “Take it,” I said, my fantasies from all those years ago coming back and making me stir underneath him. “What?” he asked quietly. “Take what you’re owed. Take what you deserve for saving my life.” His lips parted, his eyes hooded, and he pulled my head back even more, exposing my throat. “And what exactly do you owe me?” he asked. “What exactly do I deserve?” I met his eyes, which were almost black in the dark. “Whatever you want.” “What I want will have you flat on the ground with tears in your eyes. You think you want to give that to me?” “No.” I swallowed. “I want you to take it from me.” He went still. “Let me thank you,” I begged. “Let me make you feel better. Use me. Use me how you need.” “Oh, that’s what you want, is it?” he breathed. He leaned in, his thighs on my throbbing erection, and I felt his own, an iron bulge pressing into my stomach. It was massive. He’d tear me apart with it. “You won’t let me have you any other time, not with kisses or love letters, but when you’re bleeding and I’m furious, that’s when you’ll open yourself to me? That’s when I get to have this?” How could I make him understand? That it had to be like this? That I had to be conquered, not wooed?
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Start the Trilogy with American Queen Today!
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About the Author:Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
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The lavish milestones.
The exciting adventures.
The grand celebrations.
The unforgettable choices that altered your path.
When you ask someone to define their life, they give you the fluffy version.
No one ever wants to hear about the grief, pain, or misfortune. Right?
Those cracks are what make life truly beautiful and worth living.
If you asked me about Xander Dixon five years ago, I could tell you anything you needed to know. He was my best friend, a constant presence, loyal and dependable, a highlight on each day, and a monumental landmark of my childhood.
If you asked me about him now, I would tell you he's a complete mystery. I have no idea how to define Xander because he's no longer a piece in my life puzzle. Xander removed himself without my permission but I am going to get him back.
Xander is stuck in a bleak moment that no one wants to hear about. But I do. I want to know all about his torment, heartache, and suffering. I don't want the glossy stuff. I want to know why he is trapped in the dark and cannot escape.
A loud bang on the trunk of my car causes a high-pitched scream to rush out of my throat. I also bump my head on the window and nearly have a heart attack. What the heck? I whip around in my seat and see the reason for my panic. Xander, in all his hulking glory, is glowering at me from behind my vehicle. He’s looking at me like I’m responsible for some serious crime by just sitting here. Am I supposed to get out? What does he expect me to do? He must have noticed me spinning out. I’m clearly not going anywhere, anytime soon. He can’t possibly expect me to walk home. Even though I’m a bit distracted by my mental musing, I can still make out the yell from outside. “Get in the house!” Xander growls out, accompanied by another solid pound to my trunk. He’s literally going to let me into his place? I didn’t expect that at all. Maybe this will give us an opportunity to actually talk. Opening my door takes serious effort but I manage when I throw my whole body into the action. Of course this also causes me to tumble out into the snow. Can I get a freaking break? I lay there for a moment, basking in my embarrassment, while waiting to see if Xander will offer me a hand. I don’t hear any movement so I tip my head back to make sure. Just as I figured. The butthead is still standing in the exact same spot with the scowl still firmly on his lips. I make sure to groan extra loud while awkwardly rolling over, followed by ungracefully standing up. I almost want to take a bow because this whole situation is so ridiculous. Once I’m back on two feet, I make a big production of brushing all the white fluff off my clothes. Still no reaction from the big guy. I’m seriously beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with his brain functioning. "Get in the house. I'll stay in the shack." Xander grumbles out and jerks his chin in the direction I'm assuming he plans to go. Considering the condition of the house, I was beyond concerned what shape the other building was in for him to refer to it as a shack. We might not be friends anymore but I still care about the man. "Can't we go into your house together?" I question. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm scared to be in his home alone but I'm also worried about him holed up someplace even more rundown. His response is immediate. "No." That's it. Just no. It would be a waste of breath arguing. I've quickly figured that out in the short time we've... conversed, if you could call it that. Xander turns and heads toward the forest side of his property. I quickly lose sight of him due to the weather still wreaking havoc on visibility. Just in case he is still within hearing range, I decide to give him some gratitude. “Great! Thank you so very much, Xander. You have been really helpful!” I scream out into the wind. What a jerk.
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Devil You Know by L.A. Fiore, Stacy's review, #ReleaseBlitz #Giveaway #Teasers #Excerpt @lafioreauthor @givemebooksblog
I knew this book was going to rip me apart when I was already in tears before the prologue was even over. Just wow. This isn't just a second chance romance, this is an epic love story that takes you through 14 years of two people that were meant to be, but never quite got it right. These two go through some pretty crazy circumstances both together and apart, and it is truly a heady journey you go on while reading their story.
Damien Tate had a rough life, with both parents abandoning him, one physically the other emotionally and all he wanted to do was escape the evil that was his mother and let me tell you she is absolutely horrific. So, when Damien found Thea Ahern, the twin sister of his best friend, he finally found some peace in knowing that not all women were bad. Just seventeen years old when they first met, they had a first love romance that could never be forgotten, but once they turned 18 they knew they had a decision to make.
Thea was off to college at NYU and Damien enlisted in the Army for a long time, longer than expected considering he went into special forces. And when he finally came home for good, so many years later he was a different man shrouded in mystery and a broody temperament that Thea took on as a challenge. He was her theoretical onion that needed peeling.
This book goes way deeper than your typical love story. Thea's family is the heart and soul of this book, and Damien is and always has been a part of the Ahern family, so when the twists and turns come into play it really gives you a broader idea of what is going on. The character development is great, even with the side characters like Anton (Oh how I love Anton!!) and Thea's brother Cam. I really fell in love with those guys as the book progressed. The same goes for Kimber and Ryder, Thea's best friends. But things aren't always as they seem and when truths are revealed I was filled with all kinds of emotions. The angst was oh so present, because even though it wasn't glaringly obvious, the undertone of something big was always just below the surface. It's what drove me to keep going, because I was like ahhhhh what is going onnnnn, when will I find outttttt?!? Yes, if that sounds like whining it is. Because I was.
I loved the weird dynamic to Thea and Damien's relationship, and it cracked me up that the silliest things like pizza toppings or Thea's mindless rambling could bring Damien back to Earth, or that a simple rare smile from Damien would make his despondent and abrasive temperament irrelevant in Thea's eyes. I was really pulling for these two because after all those years I was ready for them just to be happy already!
This is really a great story that takes you on an unexpected journey of love and deceit and SO many other things, the writing was great and the author did a wonderful job of keeping me my interest piqued the whole time, I'm really excited to read more by this author. Great, GREAT read.
Before I could scan the crowd for Damian, a hand wrapped around mine...one with cuts and blood on the knuckles. It was Damian and he looked pissed.
“What the fuck are you doing here?”
My heart hurt seeing his face—a cut near his left eye, blood smeared down his cheek and a blooming bruise on his jaw. “I heard you and Cam talking. I was curious.”
He had been walking me toward the exit but those words stopped him. His feet sort of rooted themselves to the concrete floor as his head turned in my direction. “So you walked here alone?”
“It wasn’t far.”
That wasn’t the right answer apparently because he hissed between his teeth. It wasn’t an actual word, just a release of frustration.
He started toward the exit again. “What are you fighting when you are out there?”
We had just reached the stairs when he pulled me behind them and pressed me up against the wall. “Come again?”
“When you fight, what are you fighting?”
“Not who am I fighting?”
“No, your opponent isn’t what you’re fighting.”
He leaned in and lowered his head to look me right in the eyes. “How do you know that?”
I gently wiped the blood from his face. “I know you.”
He had the strangest reaction to that. He closed his eyes, like he was in pain, and lowered his forehead to my shoulder. “This can’t happen.”
Those words caused a chill to move right down my spine. He was wrong. It totally could and should happen. “Why not?”
He lifted his head and for the first time I saw so much more in those eyes. “Cam is a good friend and your parents are like my own.”
His lips brushed along my jaw and I had to lock my knees to keep from sliding down the wall. “And if I did to you all the things I wanted, I couldn’t sit at their table without them knowing that I claimed every part of you.”
L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including: Beautifully Damaged, Beautifully Forgotten, Beautifully Decadent, His Light in the Dark and A Glimpse of the Dream. She's also the social secretary for her two children, a tamer of ill-mannered cats, the companion to one awesome dog and married to her best friend. She likes her wine red, her shrimp chilled and her social gatherings small and intimate.
Title: Something in the Way
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken...no matter how hard we tried.
I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.
Set in the 90's I was the exact same age as Lake, so I totally connected with all of the 90's references and loved reliving those things through Lakes eyes.
She's a 16-year-old girl who's super smart with an extremely strict father who has her future planned out for her. This book is Southern California based and there's even mention of USC. I swear this book was written for me.
Lake meets a handsome construction worker on her way home from school and he's quite a bit older, 7 years to be exact. His name is Manning and Lake feels immediately attached to him in some sort of way, but she can't place those feelings just yet. This has forbidden written all over it! And those weird feelings you get when reading a forbidden romance, the ones that threaten your morality but you don't care? Yep, those feelings were present the whole time, and I loved how the author navigated those tricky waters because that can't be easy. And as a reader I can see how other readers might feel, and I think the author was very smart with her writing, especially with the events that occurred at the end which I won't divulge for obvious reasons.
I was completely sucked in to this story. Not only was I waiting for something to happen, I assumed it would be predictable and there would be a time jump in order to eradicate the forbidden aspect, and I was so pleased that this didn't happen! There's nothing worse than predictability in a storyline, and I truly loved how innocent this felt, while at the same time feeling taboo and naughty.
You really get a STORY, and it's kind of beautiful. I love that I was able to really get to know these characters and their back stories. Manning is such a good guy, laced with subtle mystery and his attachment to Lake and her older sister is so peculiar, while being completely normal at the same time. Lake’s older sister, Tiffany isn’t my favorite character but I appreciate her significance to the story and she kind of grew on me towards the end. The more time that passes since I finished this book, the more I love it. Like I really, REALLY love it. I can’t wait for May because I need book 2 like right now! This was a great read, and if you can be open minded and get over the cliffhanger I know people will love this book, and I can tell that this will be a great series already!
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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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