New Release and Review: Unconscious Hearts by Harper Sloan

 

Ari Daniels didn’t count on her whole world tumbling down around her in a mess of shredded promises, broken love, and unbelievable heartbreak. Alone and stricken with grief, she shouldered the blame and eventually closed her heart off, refusing to open it for another. After all, anytime she tried, guilt and regret were waiting in the wings to remind her how painful it was.

A bet and one steamy night with a stranger force Ari to confront all she’s been hiding behind. She tries to move on, but he refuses to stand down, wanting what she is terrified to give—herself. This man may very well destroy her in the end, especially when it’s clear he has his own demons.

What happens when two broken souls come together, finally allowing themselves to believe in the beauty of love … only to have to fight harder than ever to keep it.

 

Review

This is the first book in the new Hearts of Vegas series.  It is a complete standalone and no cliffhangers.  This book packs a punch.  You get sexy, sweet, steamy and suspenseful all in one book. Not only that, it’s about characters that are beautifully broken, who are both searching for the courage to overcome fear, heartbreak, and pain.  They both have a past and personal battles that they are striving to move forward from.  Thorn is a protective, hot, alpha male with a sweet side that will make you swoon.  Ari is strong yet vulnerable. This book is meaty.  You aren’t going to fly through it and be thinking “is that it?”.  You definitely get a lot with this book.  There are so many things that are a little different that you normally don’t read.  I mean different in the BEST way.  I don’t want to spoil any of it for you.  You need to take the journey of this book yourself.  Just trust me when I say to go get it!

 

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His eyes get hard for a beat before his features smooth back out. “Yeah, beyond sure. No one to pass this shit down to, and even if there was, I wouldn’t be givin’ someone ideas of materialistic bullshit if I did. More to life than all this shit.”

“Okay, well, in that case …” I cough, not wanting to fight with him about our views when it comes to expensive wants versus needs. Last time I tried to argue the benefits of learning to care for and value something you work hard to buy, I had a black eye for almost two weeks. “In that case, I’m prepared to offer you a lump sum as a buyout for the whole collection, but I also want to mention, again, that consignment would be a more lucrative approach. Our buyout is just a standard percent of resale value, but consignment would allow us to mark up each to give you a larger profit.”

“Told you, babe, want it gone. I don’t give a shit about making it more lucrative. Look around you, hardly hurting.”

“Still, it’s my obligation to make sure you’re informed.”

“Consider me informed.”

“Okay … so I can offer a tentative amount of three million. I would need more time to inspect each item in depth for any defects that could affect the value and also to research a few pieces I feel may be limited editions so that could also affect the value. Meaning that amount could go up or down, but I wouldn’t expect it to be less than two point five or more than four point seven-ish. I wouldn’t need but maybe five days tops, and I can come during the day if that works better for your schedule.”

“You get this gone in two days, and I’ll take one mil.”

My whole body jerks back as if I had been slapped, staring at him like he was absolutely insane.

“That’s absolutely insane,” I tell him, voicing my thoughts.

“No, that’s me not giving a shit and wanting it gone so I can get out of this place and sell it and all this shit some hand with care placed around each room. Woulda left this shit in and sold it with the house, but for some reason I’ll never understand, you’re here, and I still just want it gone. You don’t need five days when I’m taking a two mil hit, babe. That would waste your time and mine, and I’m not a huge fan of wasting my time. Way I see it, you win, and I get a cold mil for some shit I didn’t buy nor care about. So you get this shit outta here, and all I need is that.”

“Thorn, I can’t in good conscience accept that.”

“Then dirty that conscience up and laugh your tight little ass all the way to the bank. Don’t give a shit as long as it’s gone, and I don’t have to do anything to make it that way.”

“This is insanity.”

“Insanity would be tossing it all at the Goodwill drop-off. I’m making money. You’re making money. Only thing sweeter than making money is doing it while I’m getting my cock wet, and babe, that only happens when my stock rises at the same time my cock does.” He steps closer, and I back into the island, my chest burning as I hold my breath. “Course, never had four mil worth of shit to sell to a woman who makes my cock rise without even trying.”

“Thorn,” I whisper, placing my hand against his hard chest with the intention of pushing him back. Only, the second his warmth burns through his shirt and hits my skin, I can’t move an inch.

“Ari,” he mocks, his eyes bright.

“I, uh, the paperwork …” I close my eyes and focus on my breaths and the words my mouth can’t seem to form. When my heart slows enough that I won’t die of a heart attack right here in heaven, I look back up at him. “You’re breaking my brain, Thorn. Please step back so I can think clearly without my body trying to die on me.”

The corners of his eyes crinkle as he continues to gaze down at me, but he does step back. My arm falling down to my side.

“As much as I wish I could have this room cleared out for you tomorrow, it will take at least until late Monday. I’ll need to meet with you beforehand to have some legal paperwork signed for the sale due to its size. But my lawyer is an old family friend, so I can have that by tomorrow around dinnertime, if you wouldn’t mind meeting me to take care of that. I won’t be able to get the cashier’s check until after those are signed, so late Monday is the best I can offer you.”

“Want this shit gone, but it’s hardly a hardship to wait a few more days if that means I’ve got a few more opportunities to try to make you want me as much as you want this shit around you,” he says, his deep voice thick with desire.

“Good heavens, you don’t stop, do you?”

“Not unless you beg, babe.”

“I think it’s best we went back to keeping things professional, Mr. Evans.”

This time, it isn’t a ghost of a smile on his lips. Oh, no. Not this time. If I thought he was handsome before this moment, I was a fool. Because Thorn Evans giving you his full, unhindered smile and a gaze so thick with unspoken promise as it washes over you and creates a fire of the desire you already felt … well, that expression on him turns him from sinfully hot to heart-stopping and irresistible instantly.

“It would take me five minutes to get you to beg me for it, Ms. Daniels. Admit it.”

Offended at the thought that I’m easy, I narrow my eyes. Finally. At least anger is an emotion I’ve had plenty of practice dealing with. “I’m not sure what kind of women you’re used to, but I promise you, I am not that type of woman.”

“Maybe three,” he oddly says, ignoring me.

“Three, what?” I snap.

“Minutes, sweetness. Three minutes and you’d be begging me for all this shit and my cock.”

My mouth flounders, and I gasp.

“Though, pretty sure I could get that in less than a minute and get you doin’ all the work while I watch from my back.”

My arm is up, palm cracking against his cheek before I have the ability to do anything to stop it. “I think we’re done here.”

I walk around him, ready to find my way out and let him find someone else to take all of this off his hands even if it kills a little part of my lux loving soul. When his hand curls around my bicep—not painfully, but firm enough to make me stop—I look over my shoulder with a frown. For a man who was just slapped, he looks almost gleeful.

“One minute, Ari. Give me a minute and if you aren’t ready to beg me for it, when those sixty seconds are up, you can take this shit and not give me a penny for it.”

Walk away, Ari. Walk. Away. No amount of money is worth being some man’s whore.

Spinning away from his hold, I jerk my arm free and step toward him with a roll up to my toes, getting my face as close to his as I can. His scent overwhelms me. The subtle notes of his cologne fog my rational thought, making me drunk with need, and I sway slightly before correcting myself.

“Thirty seconds,” I retort, my jaw tight with stubbornness.

I’m not sure who I shocked more—him or me. I have my answer, though, when I see victory flash in his eyes. Oh, my God … what have I done?

“You’re on,” he agrees, his eyes alight with the promise backed up by his devilish grin.

I nod, incapable of anything more. I stand there in shocked silence as he takes my phone, his thick fingers moving quickly over the screen. I vaguely hear a chime from his pocket and before I can so much as blink, he’s handing me my things.

“Tomorrow, I’ll text you. Paperwork first, then you beg.”

I gulp, jerk my head in what I hope resembles a nod of agreement, and then … I flee.

 

harper1Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

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Cover Reveal: Hard Pressed by Kate Canterbary

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Hard Pressed

Title: Hard Pressed
Author: Kate Canterbary
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Cover Design: Anna Crosswell, Cover Couture

They think they’ll be able to keep their relationship quiet and casual, and free from feelings.

They’re wrong.

 

Blurb:

Dear Jackson,
I’m leaving you this note because I know you’re very busy and I don’t want to waste the town sheriff’s time. Lord knows I’ve already wasted enough of it.

Thank you for taking me home last night and…everything else. I made you a basket of wild blueberry muffins for your trouble. That seemed like the appropriate baked good for getting naked in your living room.

I wasn’t myself last night. I didn’t mean to kiss you or fondle your backside or ask all those intimate questions. Thank you for pretending to enjoy it.

It was very noble of you to sleep on the couch while I was starfished on your bed. I couldn’t help but notice it’s quite large. The bed, that is. I swear, I didn’t notice anything else when I let myself out this morning.

As you know, Talbott’s Cove is a ridiculously small town and there’s no chance we can avoid each other. Not that I’d want to avoid you, of course, but I’m not sure I can look at you without thinking of the forty different ways I made a fool of myself.

Instead of avoidance, let’s try to be friends. We’ll forget all about last night…if that’s what you want.

Please burn this note after you read it—

Annette

p.s. I whipped up some cinnamon buns, too. Please enjoy them. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t get buns out of my mind today.

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Author Bio:

Kate Canterbary doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since.

Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her days around the region’s best food trucks.

 

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New Release and Review: Only Him by Melanie Harlow

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MHOnlyHimBookCover5x8_MEDIUMOnly Him, an all-new sexy and emotional second chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available NOW!

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Sometimes your first love deserves a second chance…

He was my first crush, my first kiss, my first everything.

But I’m not a lovesick teenager anymore, and I’d never let that cocky troublemaker break my heart again.

So when he shows up out of the blue asking me to have dinner with him “for old time’s sake,” I say I will. After all, it’s been twelve years, and I’m stronger and smarter than I was back then.

Except…he still does something to me. He’s got those eyes that make me weak, those hands that drive me wild, and a body I can’t resist—especially once I see the tattoos. It doesn’t take long for our trip down memory lane to go from sweet to sizzling.

We’re just as good together as we were back then—better, even—and I’m willing to give the only man I’ve ever loved another chance.

But he’s got to tell me the truth.

* * *

All I wanted was to see her again. Tell her I’m sorry. Make her smile.

Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to do more than that—a lot more. But I know she’s better off without me, and I promised myself I’d behave.

Except I’ve never been much good at keeping promises…or my hands to myself when I’m around her.

I can make her laugh, I can make her cry, I can make her body surrender to mine in ways that neither of us could have imagined back then. I can—and I do—love her more than she’ll ever know.

But I can’t tell her the real reason why I’m here.

And I can’t stay.

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Review

This is the second book in the One and Only series.  It is a complete standalone with interconnected characters in the series.  I really like this author and all of her books.  However, this book fell a little short with me.  It’s a second chance romance with the characters having a 12 year split.  There are some very sweet moments and the book does pull at your heart strings.  As for the characters, I really liked Dallas.  There is something real about him and his struggles.  I could not connect with Maren at all.  She seems so immature and naïve for a 29 year old.  The “woe is me, I’m never going to love again” attitude was way too dramatic and annoying.   The whole book and storyline seems very rushed and forced. There was very little in the arc that was believable or real in the timeline it was given.  It’s an ok story.  If you like Melanie Harlow, I’m sure you’ll like this book.  I have a feeling this will be a good stepping stone for Stella’s story.

Excerpt

Maren glanced back at me, more puzzled than ever, but she started up the cement stairs. I couldn’t take my eyes off her legs in front of me. Her calf muscles were insane from all the ballet training. I remembered how flexible she’d been and felt my dick start perking up.

“In addition to all the history I just gave you,” Aiden said, his voice echoing off the walls, “this hotel was also the site of a certain prom a few years back.”

All of a sudden, Maren stopped moving and looked down over her shoulder at me. “No way.” The stunned, joyful expression on her face was worth every penny I had to pay to make this happen.

Goose bumps rippled down my arms inside my jacket. I smiled at her.

Her jaw dropped, and she continued up the stairs. At the top, Aiden moved ahead and opened the door to the rooftop. “Ballrooms were not available tonight, but when Dallas asked if you could have the roof to yourselves, I had to admit no one had booked it. In fact, no one has ever even asked to book it.” He laughed.

Maren stepped over the threshold onto the rooftop. “Dallas is definitely one of a kind.”

The three of us moved away from the door, and I saw the table that had been set for us, complete with white linens, flower centerpiece, and candlelight. Luckily, the air was warm, and the wind was soft. The sun was still setting beyond the skyline to the west, and to the east the Detroit River was visible; a little to the south was the Ambassador Bridge, and beyond the river, Canada. The view was breathtaking on all sides.

After turning around in a full circle, Maren looked at me with shining eyes. “Dallas. This is incredible.”

“You’ll have your own server for the night, and he should be up shortly,” Aiden said, checking his watch. “I should get back downstairs. Dallas, you have my cell if you need anything. Maren, good seeing you again, and I hope you enjoy your evening.” He gave us a smile before heading back to the stairwell door.

As soon as he was gone, Maren turned to me. “I cannot believe you did this.”

I shrugged. “I felt pretty bad when you said you’d missed the prom because of me. I figured I owed it to you.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes, which were filled with tears. “You didn’t, but whatever. I’ll take it.” Opening her purse, she hunted around in it for something. “God, I don’t even have tissues. I didn’t know you were going to make me cry.”

“No crying allowed at the prom. And I hope it’s okay I’m wearing jeans.”

“It’s fine.” She sniffed and closed her purse. “I’m not that dressed up either.”

“You’re perfect.” Our eyes met, and the air between us suddenly felt full of hope and possibility. In any other circumstance, I’d have kissed her.

But I couldn’t do that tonight.

“Oh, I almost forgot.” Reaching into the inside pocket of my jacket, I pulled out a wrist corsage. “Sorry if it’s a little smashed. I had to get rid of the plastic container to hide it from you.”

She giggled and held out her arm. “That’s okay. It’s beautiful.”

“Good.” I slid the elastic band with three deep red roses attached to it along with some other green stuff onto her wrist. “I told the lady at the florist to make it a prom corsage. Pretty sure she thought I was crazy. Or creepy.”

“You might be crazy. But I love it. Thank you for this.” Then she rose up on tiptoe and pecked my cheek. When she lowered her heels, she stood there for a moment, her hand on my arm, her mouth so close I could have simply tipped my head down and my lips would be resting on hers.

My heart stumbled over its next few beats. I wanted to do it so badly, but I’d promised her I’d behave. I’d promised myself I’d behave. There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t be here tonight, standing so close to the only girl I’d ever loved, tempted beyond reason by her legs and her lips and her laugh and her eyes and her ability to make me feel like I fucking mattered in the universe.

What was the right thing to do?

If only—

The door from the stairwell opened, and we moved apart.

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About Melanie

Melanie HarlowMelanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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New Release: Rough Edge by CD Reiss

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“This series grips you by the throat and refuses to let go—and you’ll be begging for more the entire time.” Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling Author

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“𝑼𝒏𝒛𝒊𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝑰 𝒔𝒉𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒕.”

You married a decent man.

A rock solid, arrogant war hero who knew exactly who he was and what he wanted. He wanted you, and you gave yourself to him.

You are his only desire–the only woman in his orbit–but the intensity of that desire is turning dangerous.

Love may be the death of both of you.

NY Times Bestselling author CD Reiss brings dark intensity to a couple so in love, they’ll make the darkest of sacrifices to save each other.

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Read the prequel, Cutting Edge FREE today!

Exclusively on iBooks: https://apple.co/2Ia9q6U

Excerpt:

In the dark, during the fundraising video, she leaned into me, taking my hand. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing.”

“Caden.” My name was more than a statement. It was a comment on how well she knew the animal, and how well she loved it.

If eyes could listen, hers did, gazing at me in the darkness. I couldn’t lie to her for much longer.

The entire invite list was watching the video. The bar was empty. The hallway lights were dimmed. The kitchen staff moved constantly and quietly to set up the buffet.

I laced my fingers in hers. She had a gold band we’d gotten out of expediency. No big sparkling rock. No sign I’d ever courted her properly before marrying her.

My father always said a man didn’t skip steps if he wanted to do something once.

I slid my cheek to hers and whispered in her ear, “I want to destroy you.”

Her hand tightened in mine so tightly I could feel our bones. Her glands must have fired, because the apples and the perfume melded and became something so uniquely her my balls ached—but not for simple release. For something more. An agreement of ownership.

Waiting wasn’t an option.

Pulling her by the hand, I headed for the hallway.

“Caden,” she said when we were away from the event, “slow down.”

I didn’t. I couldn’t. I pulled her down the carpeted steps to the lower level, stepping over a velvet rope at the bottom. The lights were out in the hall. Three doors led to three empty event rooms.

“What’s with you lately?” she asked.

“Are you saying no?”

“I’m asking a question.”

I backed into one of the rooms and pulled her in. It was dark but for light coming from under the doorways on each side. I walked in deeper, eyes adjusting quickly enough to avoid the tables and stacks of chairs on wheeled dollies.

“So am I.” I faced her. “Are you saying no?”

“What are you hoping I’ll say yes to?”

“I’m going to pull that dress up until I can get to these hard nipples.” I pinched them through the dress and she gasped. “Then I’ll bend you over one of these tables and fuck you so hard walking’s going to hurt. Are you saying no?”

“I’m not. But I want to know what’s going on with you.”

“Pull your dress up before I shred it.”

About the Author

CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.

She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

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New Release and Review: Cross by Adriana Locke

ecover Cross (1)

Title:          Cross
Author:      Adriana Locke
Series:        The Gibson Boys #2.5
Cover Designer:           Kari March at www.karimarch.com
Goodreads:         http://bit.ly/CrossGR
Release Date:      Friday, May 25, 2018
Live Release on Amazon and in KU
Giveaway:           http://bit.ly/CrossReleaseGiveaway

Blurb:

Cross Jacobs was a screw-up.

Everyone knew it, especially him, and the point was hammered home when Kallie Welch drove herself right out of his life.

But, she’s back.

Seeing Cross wasn’t on Kallie’s to-do list. She didn’t think she could avoid him forever but trying never hurt anyone. One minute she’s standing by herself and the next she’s accosted by a rich, velvety scent that could only belong to one man: Cross.

At face value, he’s divine. All rugged and confident with a smile that melts her right where she’s standing. It doesn’t take long to find him to be charming, witty, and the owner of a few legitimate businesses. Not at all like the mischievous boy she left.

He laughs and her heart flutters. With a touch of his hand, she’s dizzy. She’s fairly certain she’s going to die when he pulls her into an embrace and touches his lips to her forehead.

It feels right. It feels so right.

But is it?

Review

This book was originally released as part of an anthology.  It is now available as it’s own book.  Good thing is there is extra content!  This is part of the Gibson Boys series.  Cross is a long-time friend of the Gibson family.  I really enjoy this series and this book.  Cross is so lovable.  I’ll be honest, Kallie was a little on the immature side for me, but the charm of Cross made up for it.  This was a sweet, sexy, and fun read.  It’s the perfect addition to the series.  I especially loved the additional short stories at the end of the book.  This book is definitely worth checking out.

 

Cross - Try harder

 

Chapter One

Cross

“Where have you been in that thing?” Machlan shouts.

The roar of his muscle car’s engine winds down and he clicks the transmission into park. The purplish-black paint shines in the early afternoon sun.

Having just backed out of a parking spot onto Main Street, I check my rearview mirror. No one is coming. “Bluebird Hill,” I tell him. “After all that rain last night, I figured I’d test the new tires Walker put on my truck last week.”

“You’re a fuckin’ kid.” He laughs.

“Says the man driving that,” I tease, pointing at his ride.

“I’m not sure what your point is. This car is the baddest thing in town.” He punches the gas, the motor roaring like a banshee.

Glancing around at Doc Burns’ office with two cars in the parking lot and the Linton County History Museum across the street that only opens for the Water Festival once a year, I grin. “That’s not saying much.”

“Go to Hell.” His hand slips through his dark hair and over his chin. The amusement in his features evaporates as I watch … and cringe.

I know this look. I know all of his looks, actually, a by-product of being his best friend as long as I can remember. Many of them concern me and a lot of them worry me. But this one? It’s a flashing red sign with Vegas-inspired lights.

The thing is, I can’t just ignore it. When this look comes, so does the topic of my sister and, even though I love the both of them, I wouldn’t mind seeing them in a padded room until they fix whatever it is between them that is so broken.

With a sigh, I jam my truck into park too. “Yes,” I say, answering the question he’s yet to ask. “Hadley called and isn’t coming home this weekend. She said maybe next week.”

His jaw works back and forth as he stares down the street. “Why?”

That single word is spit with a lifetime of emotion. Machlan has loved my sister since the day she moved to Linton with our father and me when our mother died. She was fourteen and innocent and he was fifteen and infatuated. Through the years, they were off and on and together and not—at least officially. Everyone knew Machlan and Hadley were one and the same.

I’m not sure why she moved away from here. Being both her brother and his best friend precluded me from certain information, which is for the best. They both drive me nuts without having the details.

“Not sure,” I reply. “She left a voicemail last night saying she wouldn’t be home today. She didn’t pick up when I called her back.”

He flips his gaze to me. “You didn’t talk to her after that?”

“She’s a big girl, Mach,” I mock. “I’m sure she had shit to do.”

“Yeah.” His fingers regrip the steering wheel as his jaw goes back to work again.

“I’m gonna go wash this before I head back to the gym—”

“She’s all right, though. Right?” he interrupts. His face is stone-cold sober. “I mean …”

“She’s fine.”

He waits. Blinks. Re-grips the wheel again. “That’s it?”

Popping my truck into drive, I blow out a breath. “Yeah, that’s it. You want to know more? Call her. What a fucking amazing concept.”

“Yeah. I’ll get right on that,” he snips back.

“You should. Then you could quit this whole thing.”

“Got nothin’ to quit, man. Just being a decent guy.”

A decent guy. It’s my turn to turn my knuckles white on the steering wheel.

Machlan isn’t a decent guy. He’s a fucking great one … much better than the guy Hadley is seeing now. A guy I haven’t mentioned to Mach since I got home a couple of weeks ago from visiting her. I’m not mentioning him, either. I’ll save the boyfriend an ER bill and myself the bail money.

I can’t blame him. It has to be hard to see Hadley with another guy when, in Machlan’s mind, she’s his girl.

My stomach twists like it always does when my mind goes down this road. At least my girl didn’t bring other guys back with her. Hell, she didn’t even come back at all.

“Here comes Kip,” Machlan says, bringing me out of my reverie. Nodding toward the road in front of him, he laughs. “I’m not moving.”

I twist in my seat to see the sheriff coming toward us. He blares the siren twice as if to get us to move. We don’t.

Machlan pokes his head out of the window. “Need somethin’?” he shouts.

Laughing, I watch Kip’s car slide carefully between Machlan’s and the curb on the other side.

“You can’t park in the street!” Kip yells.

“What are ya gonna do about it?” I holler.

“Take ya both in.”

“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Machlan asks. “Someone to protect and serve? Or service, if I know you?”

Kip shakes his head as Machlan flips him the bird. The sirens come on again before Kip hits the gas and speeds off down the street and vanishes over the hill.

When I look back at Machlan, his attention is on his phone.

“What?” I ask, curious about the smile on his face.

He looks at me and laughs. Sticking the phone in the cup holder, he shrugs. “Nothing. But can you do me a favor?”

“No.”

“I need help moving a couple of things at Crave. Come help me. Just for a few.”

“What’s in it for me?” I ask.

“A beer?”

Throwing the truck in neutral, I rev the engine. It barely sounds before his is screaming over top of mine and we jet off in opposite directions. I get to a stop sign at the end of the street and do a quick one-eighty to head to Crave.

USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.

 

 

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New Release and Review: Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

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Speakeasy (True North #5)
by Sarina Bowen
Release – May 29, 2018

SpeakeasyWeb

 Blurb

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

May
Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.

Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

Alec
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.

It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.

Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

Review

Let’s get the basics out of the way.  This is a standalone book.  This series has interconnected characters, but each book can be read as a standalone.  But let me warn you, if this is your first book of the series you will definitely want to read the rest.  So get your one-click fingers ready!  The True North series is one of my top 5 favorite series, so I was very excited to be heading back to Vermont and this family.  I’m a big fan of this author, but there is just something about this series that is so amazing.  I think that it’s because this book and this series has so much heart and so many different emotions.  She also tackles some difficult topics in a realistic way, which I appreciated.

Both May and Alec are struggling in their lives.  May just got out of a bad relationship, and is trying to find her way with her career.  Alec is faced with the challenges of running his own business.  They both have family issues and are hit with bouts of self-doubt and uncertainty.  Neither have time nor want a real relationship, but both need a friendship.  I really like how the story makes you think about how some of the best friendships happen in unlikely places.   May’s alcoholism is an underlying theme of the book.  The way this is interwoven into the book seems so authentic to me.  It’s always there and something to deal with, but it doesn’t consume the story.  I also appreciate how her illness affects those around her, and how they have to learn to deal with it just as much as May does.

This book definitely takes you on a different path than you would expect.  But I think that’s one of the reasons I love this book so much.   Things in this book may be unconventional and messy, but isn’t that the way life is?  It’s just another example of how life can take you down a long, winding, confusing road, but you end up right where you are supposed to be.  Definitely check out this book, this series and this author!

Links

Retailers

Bio

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller’s list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina’s books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

 

 

New Release: Stay with Me by Kristen Proby

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Stay With Me by Kristen Proby
Series: With Me In Seattle #9
Release Date: May 29, 2018

Stay With Me FOR WEB

Synopsis: From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes Stay With Me, an all new addition to the series that has sold more than a million copies to date, her beloved With Me In Seattle Series!

Amelia Montgomery has left her past behind her. With a beauty and fashion career that’s skyrocketing and a loving family around her, everything else is just junk in the rearview mirror.

Until it’s not.

When she has to drop out of the public eye, her cousin Jules offers her a new, temporary life on the Puget Sound. Her past may be catching up with her, but hope for the future is in Seattle.

Wyatt Crawford can’t figure out the enigmatic beauty who’s living next door. As an architect, he’s usually good at looking beneath the surface—but she barely even leaves her house.

Until she needs his help.

When she knocks on his door, how can he resist? It isn’t long before Wyatt and Amelia become more than just neighbors. But when he finally learns the truth, will the skeletons in her closet be too much for him to handle, or will he stay?

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 Read Today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2s0zHyu
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2rWBg0C
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2IYbHGa
iBooks:https://apple.co/2kiL153
Nook: http://bit.ly/2LhGewO
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rZTlea

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2J19d9M

Release Day Teaser

Excerpt:

I bang on his door and look around. No lights on in the houses on the street. His car is in the driveway, so I know he’s home. I mean, it’s the middle of the night, so where else would he be?

I bang again. If he’s sleeping, which I can’t imagine how he could through that noise, he can just wake up and deal with me. I may sound irrational right now, but damn it, a girl needs to sleep.

Finally, he yanks the door open and glares at me with shining hazel eyes.

“What is that noise?” I demand.

“You. You are the noise.” His chest is heaving. His naked, slightly hairy, very sexy chest. Not to mention, his light brown hair is a mess, and his chin is stubbled, and his tattoos are just…yum.

“There’s a chirping,” I insist, trying to ignore the fact that he’s only wearing short boxer briefs. The kind that clings to a man’s ass and shows off his thighs.

And, you know, other things. Like the generously sized dick outlined in the cotton.

Holy hell.

“I don’t hear anything.”

I scowl and pause, listening. Sure enough, it’s gone.

“Come on.” I grab his hand and pull him behind me. I can hear the door shut. “You have to hear this.”

“It’s two in the fucking morning,” he says but doesn’t pull away from the grip I have on his wrist. “Can’t this wait?”

“No, because I can’t sleep.” I pull him into my house and shut the door, then hold my hand up. “Stop. Listen.”

Chirp.

“See!” I push my finger into his firm chest, and then back up a step so I’m not standing so close to his sexiness. Because I seriously want to attack him.

“So change the battery in the smoke detector.” He shrugs and turns to leave, but I run in front of him and block the door.

“I’ve looked for it everywhere, Wyatt. It’s not in this house.”

He frowns. “Well, it’s not at my house.”

“Please, help me.” I bite my lower lip and watch as he pushes his hand through his already messy hair and feel my nether regions immediately sit up and take notice.

“Can you put clothes on?”

“I’m wearing clothes.” I roll my eyes and lead him through the living area, the kitchen, and out to the backyard. “Where is the chirping coming from?”

“You don’t have a robe you could put on?”

I turn to frown at him. “You’re only wearing underwear.”

“Yeah, because it was the only thing I had time to pull on when you were banging my door in.”

1P0A9162Meet Kristen:

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

Connect with Kristen:

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