When Life Happened, an all-new standalone romance from Jewel E. Ann is coming June 5th!

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When Life Happened, an all-new standalone romance from

Jewel E. Ann is coming June 5th!

WLH Full

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann

Publication Date: June 5th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Parker Cruse despises cheaters. It might have something to do with her boyfriend sleeping with her twin sister.

After a wedding day prank involving a strong laxative, that ends the already severed relationship between the twins, Parker decides to grow up and act twenty-six.

Step One: Move out of her parents’ house.

Step Two: Find a job.

Opportunity strikes when she meets her new neighbor, Gus Westman. He’s an electrician with Iowa farm-boy values and a gift for saying her name like it’s a dirty word.

He also has a wife.

Sabrina Westman, head of a successful engineering firm, hires Parker as her personal assistant. Driven to be the best assistant ever, Parker vows to stay focused, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, and not kiss Gus—again.

Step Three: Don’t judge.

Step Four: Remember— when life happens, it does it in a heartbeat.

Exclusive Chapter One Reveal:

 

http://www.jeweleann.com/when-life-happened-exclusive

Preorder exclusively on iBooks:

https://goo.gl/6TsEdH

 

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/2Nkk9h

About Jewel:

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

Connect with Jewel:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjeweleann/

Twitter: @JewelE_Ann

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http://www.jeweleann.com

Trashy Foreplay by Gemma James releases on June 22nd! Keep reading for an excerpt!

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Trashy Foreplay by Gemma James releases on June 22nd!
Keep reading for an excerpt!

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Preorder on:

iBooks: http://apple.co/2nEgfEt
Nook: http://bit.ly/2mZy4k0
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2mZuExJ
Amazon – sign up for her newsletter to get alerts: http://authorgemmajames.com/newsletter/

Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2nHZHNf

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Blurb:

Never flirt with temptation.
Never lust after what I can’t have.
And never, under any circumstances, screw a married man again.

By the time this story is told, I’ll have failed at all three…

With my heart and reputation in ruins, I can’t afford to make another mistake. Boarding a flight to Seattle is supposed to give me a clean slate, but from the moment Cash Montgomery slides into the seat next to mine, I’m captivated by his steel eyes that see too much. I ache for this stranger in a way I’ve never ached for anyone.

But I didn’t know he was married, and I sure as hell didn’t see the curveball fate had in store. My clean slate in Seattle isn’t so clean after all because my new boss is the man forbidden to me.

And the only man I want.

The only man I’ll do anything for, even if it means breaking the promise I made to myself when I fled my old life in shame.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for a married man, but I did.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Though the subject matter deals with cheating, there are no innocent parties here. Book 1 in the Trashy Affair series.

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Excerpt:

I go perfectly still as his arm snakes around me from behind. A warm palm flattens against my stomach, and the tips of his fingers inch beneath the waistband of my jeans. Everything south of that tempting hand flares to life, setting off a deep ache I know only he can fix.

Pulling me against his body, he leans down and whispers into my ear. “Watching him touch you is killing me.”

“Knowing you’re married is killing me.”

He curses under his breath. A hint of his woodsy cologne, along with the sweet aroma of bourbon fills my nostrils.

“Have you been drinking?”

“Maybe a little.” He whirls me around until we’re face-to-face, and my heart flutters in my throat as he tightens his arms around me. “Come upstairs with me.”

His proximity riots through me, the heat of his body sizzling all the way to my fucking toes. We fall into a lazy sway, dancing but not quite, and for a crazy second, I consider following him to the VIP area in the loft. As far as I can tell it’s empty unless a stray couple is hiding in the shadows in the very back. I doubt it though. The club is vibrating with restless energy as everyone crowds the first floor in anticipation of the concert.

“Look at me, Jules.”

His words jolt me to awareness, and I realize I’m staring at his chest. I curl my hands into fists at my sides, too tempted to run my palms down that broad expanse hiding underneath cotton. I bet it’s the softest material on the planet, but I won’t find out because I’m not going there.

Nope.

Not. Gonna. Do. It.

Because I have zero control right now, and we’re standing in the middle of a busy club with God-knows-who watching. And if I do touch him…I might not stop.

“Jules,” he murmurs. “Bring those gorgeous eyes up here.”

I lift my chin and dive headfirst into the fire of his gaze. His eyes are a smoldering, liquid steel. “Cash…please…”

“Please what?”

“Don’t make me want to give in. You’re married.” My voice cracks on that ugly word.

“My marriage is a sham.”

“Your marriage is your business.” I grip his arms, intending to push him away. But somewhere along the way, my brain gets its wires crossed, and I end up curling my fingers around his biceps. God, he’s built—solid man through and through.

“I disagree,” he says, dipping his head until our mouths linger a hairsbreadth from each other. “Everything about me is very much your business.”

W-why?”

“Because I can’t feel this way about you without it being your business.”

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About the Author:

Gemma James is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of a blend of genres, from new adult suspense to dark erotic romance. She loves to explore the darker side of human nature in her fiction, and she’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy, from deviant sex to serial killers. Readers have described her stories as being “not for the faint of heart.”

She warns you to heed their words! Her playground isn’t full of rainbows and kittens, though she likes both. She lives in Oregon with her husband and their four children–three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.

Connect with Gemma:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorgemmajames/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gemmajames80
Website: http://www.authorgemmajames.com
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eW8W5X
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/gemmajames
Newsletter: http://authorgemmajames.com/newsletter/

#Chapter Reveal#Trigger ( Devil’s Reach Book 1) = JL Drake

Title: Trigger

Series: Devil’s Reach Book 1

Author: JL Drake

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designed

 

 


I was raised by the Devil himself.

Formed into a man that was unreachable.

I went from the boy with bruises to the man with a trigger.

Killing is the only thing the calms the itch.

The demons inside were a constant battle.

…until she changed everything.

When you spend most of your time

in the dark, is it smart to step into the light?

Trigger
Devil’s Reach, Book 1
J. L. Drake


 

Prologue

 

 


I used to watch them play in the streets, kick the ball between the cones, and toss their hands in the air. They’d high five, laugh, and stop for ice cream when the truck came around the corner at the same time every Saturday. 

They’d sit in the shade, pick at the grass, and tell made-up stories. Sometimes on summer break they’d stay out after dark and play ghost in the graveyard, head for the hills. That was, until they spotted me. 

Then they’d scatter. Head for their bikes. Disappear. 

Why? 

Because I was weird…and weird was scary. 





 

Chapter One

 

 


 

Trigger

 

 


 

Click! Click! Click! 

 

 


Shit!” I turned back around, barely missing the bumper of a semi-truck. His horn blew as we drew up along both sides. Two more bullets skimmed by my head and took out the mirror above me. The trucker screamed at us as he tried to keep his vehicle straight. 

Jamming my empty clip into my boot, I reached to grab my spare as another truck flashed his lights and hit the horn to alert us we were in his lane. The cliffs were too close to the edge of the road to spare us any room, and the others were gaining on us. 

I pointed my empty gun at the trucker to my left. “Slow down!” When he didn’t react right away, I moved the gun to his tire. His hand went up and he nodded repeatedly. 

He eased off the gas and allowed Cooper and me to slip in front. Cooper’s wheel bumped off mine, and I reached out and used my momentum to grab his shoulder to stabilize him. The roar of our bikes ripped through the mountains, alerting my men we were coming. 

“Brick!” I held up my hand, and he tossed me a clip. I quickly clicked it in place with my thigh. 

The minute I saw them appear in my mirror, I signaled for my men to get ready. With one quick movement, our black van skidded to the shoulder of the road in front of us. The back doors swung open, and the four of us spread apart as my two prospects popped out with their semi- automatics. It was a beautiful sight. Orange lit the dawn sky while bullets flew into their chests, blood shot across the pavement, and three more Stripe Backs lay mangled for their crew to clean up. They had taken our bait, and our plan worked perfectly. Though we wouldn’t go down for the kill, we still made our point. Don’t fuck with my club. 

I smirked at Brick as we each tossed our Cabo Wabo Anejo tequila bottles off to the side. 

We picked up speed and made good time well before any cops would be called.

Once we hit the city limits, my phone buzzed. The phone’s screen attached to my handlebars popped into view.

 

Cray: Ready in the morning. 

 

 


 

Good. Better to let the fear of what’s to come marinate. Then to end it quickly. 

I signaled to the men it was time. I decided to take the side streets so we’d be more visible and, as hard as it was, I slowed our speed to show we were in no rush.  

It worked. A few local shop owners gave us a wave before they pulled their steel doors down for the night. Mud, the local surf shop owner, was out for his nightly ride and gave us a nod. 

Rail and Cooper split off, while Brick and I rounded the back of our clubhouse and got to work.

***

“Ahhhh.” Spit jumped from his lips, but most of it pooled in the corners of his mouth. He looked like a wild dog. His pupils dilated when they focused on the tiny eyedropper that hovered above. “Please, no! I’ll do anything!” 

Brick glanced at me and shook his head. I agreed; it was tiring. As much as I’d have liked to slap that comment right out of his head, I couldn’t fault human reactions. It was in their DNA to beg for their lives. I always promised myself that when my day came, I would take it like a man. Silently. 

The heat from the hanging lamps plastered my hair to my neck like a second layer of skin. We really needed to turn on the AC. 

The slaughter room, as I named it, had tiled walls up to the ceiling, easy for cleaning, and a huge industrial drain in the middle for the larger pieces we needed to wash away in a hurry. No windows, no cameras, just lots of equipment to work with. 

Brick brushed the hair out of the bastard’s sweaty face so he could see me better. I licked my lips as I lowered myself to his level, and my men stiffened at this action. I never lowered myself to anyone’s level unless I was about to make a point. His eyes met mine, searching for some trace of a soul. Unfortunately, I was not born with one. 

I leaned down so he could see for himself the emptiness that lived inside me. Once he focused in and got a glimpse behind the curtain and I saw this realization, I spoke quietly. “Everyone dies sometime. We all have choices, and you made yours.” I motioned for Brick to move into position and spread his eyelid open. The bright pink flesh fought to go back in its place, but it was no match for Brick’s fingers. The man shook and kicked, but my expression told him to remain quiet. 

Holding the dropper above his eye, I squeezed the rubber and let the tiny drop of bleach fall and coat the pupil. His screams deafened me momentarily, but I welcomed the sound. That was fate’s way of thanking me for doing the devil’s work. 

He kicked and bucked as the minute drop burned its way through his cornea, blinding and eating as it traveled into his brain. His chest heaved and sweat pooled along his collarbone as his neck strained against the pain. 

The high I got off his terror made me hard, and my heartbeat raced. I swallowed hard in an attempt to lubricate my parched throat as I continued to blind his left eye. This was what I was made for. It was what separated me from other motorcycle gangs around me. I showed no mercy and punished those who needed it through their greatest fears. I knew it was only when you had nothing that you couldn’t be touched.

“Brick.” I held out my hand, and he passed me a hunting knife. Walking around the steel table, I took a deep breath. 

“You saw too much,” I whispered as he fought to see where I was with his clouded eyes. “You heard too much.” I grabbed his right ear, pulled it out, and sliced the outer part off. His face twitched, his mouth opened, and his wound quickly drained of blood, but he still stayed mute. “You stole from me.” Holding his hand down, I sliced his finger off at the second knuckle. Tossing it out of the way, I pressed on his open palm and stopped the flow of blood, just to fuck with his body. 

He jerked to the side and vomited in a silent cry. His mind must be spinning. Too much pain coming from too many directions could throw you off. 

“You were part of this family and chose to defy me. Never again will you disobey me.” I raised the blade above my head and drove it straight into his shoulder, hoping this would be the last tip to his sanity. “Just in case you think revenge is the answer…” Brick tossed me a switchblade, while Rail grabbed his head and yanked out his tongue. The blade drove through the center. 

Silence. Nothing but the hum of the lights. 

“See you below.” 

The voice in my head returned, so I waved at Brick, grabbed my shit, and left.

I waved at Morgan, who was on the phone on a smoke break, then fastened my helmet and wiped my hands clean. Revving the engine, I turned into the sun and drove out onto the smoldering road. The guys could handle the rest.

The engine was hot, and without realizing, I let my mind go there…

 

The burning poker skimmed my calf, and I jolted back with a scream. Tears streamed down my dirty cheeks as I hugged my knees to my chest. The heat burned the surface then traveled down to the muscle where it spread in a blanket of pure pain. 
“Stop!” I cried out, desperate for him to get bored and move on to something else. I was four years old, and this was the fifth time he had done this. 
“Come here, boy!” His huge hand swiped at me, but I pressed my back flat to the wall under the table, becoming as small I could. 
His brown eyes squinted as he drew back the poker. Dropping it on the floor, he cursed, grabbed a fresh beer from the fridge, banged it loudly on the table, and left. 
My heart pounded until it hurt my chest. 
If he had wanted to, he could easily have climbed under there. Allen was a fit man, muscles that attracted all the wrong kinds of women, a strong jaw, and defined, broad shoulders with a lean waist.  
I tucked the fear away and turned into the cool wall with my cheek pressed to it, seeking some relief from the terrible heat in my leg. Closing my eyes, I stayed under the table until morning, where I knew it could all begin again. 

 

 


Blinking to clear my head, I pulled off onto a dusty path and headed up into the hills. 

The yellow trailer sat on cement bricks; the wheels had been removed years ago. The slider-style windows were open, and broken blinds bounced around in the breeze. The place was a dump, and I wasn’t sure why he insisted on keeping it, but that was his decision. He had earned that right many years ago.

Backing under a shady tree, I turned the engine off and unclipped my helmet, hanging it off the handle of my matte black Kawasaki Vulcan 900.

I turned and found a beer can flying in my direction. I caught it and opened it slowly so as not to get sprayed. 

“Day?” his raspy voice croaked. 

I settled into an old folding chair that dug into my legs. “Three Stripe Backs down, and one of my prospects gone.” 

“Anyone hurt?” 

“Nope.” 

“Prospect stole? Or leaked?” 

“Stole.” 

“What you remove?” 

“Fingers. Eyes. Shoulder. Ear. A little tongue.” I shifted so the bar didn’t cut into my hip. “This shit is old, Gus.” 

“I’m old.” He passed off my comment, like always. “How much?”

Removing my hat, I swiped my long hair out of my face. 

“A little over forty thousand.” 

Gus shook his head and rubbed his knee. Three stab wounds to the same spot would screw anyone up. “Reason?” 

“Does it matter?” I tossed my empty can in the trash before I reached for another. My dusty boots landed heavily on his wooden table.

“Where is he?” 

“Thought the guys could have some fun.” 

He nodded. 

We sat in silence. I might not talk much, but I hated the quiet. My knee started to thump, and Gus took the cue. He leaned over and tapped his phone, and a moment later the band Disturbed filled the silence, and I let out a long breath as the guitar hit my ears and calmed me.

“Hungry?” he asked awkwardly as he got out of his chair. His battered body tilted to one side as he stood straighter. His head always hung to the right because of a bullet wound to the spine. Gus was sixty, but his soul was thirty. 

“No.” I downed my beer and rose. “I should get back.” 

He followed me to my bike. “Meeting tomorrow?”

“Yeah, eleven.” I buckled my helmet.

“New shipment?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Tomorrow,” he repeated with a small nod. 

Raising two fingers, I waved a goodbye and kicked the engine over. 

I weaved in between traffic. The bike was a part of me, and I’d been riding for as long as I could remember. Gus always joked that I drove before I learned how to walk. It was the closest thing I ever felt to freedom. 

Two headlights flashed in my mirrors, a signal for me to pull over. I waited until I was sure who it was, but he always flashed lights to me the same way. One short, one long. Easing over to the other lane, I exited at the gas station and parked on the shoulder. 

The Mustang came to a stop behind me, and Officer Doyle hauled himself out of the car. I chuckled as I sat on my bike and watched him take his sweet-ass time to get to me. 

“Trigger, I thought that was you.” His voice was raised to give a show to the people watching. Everyone knew my bike, and everyone loved to see me lose my shit on punk cops like Doyle.  

“You found me,” I said, playing along. “Now that you have, what can I do for you?”

Doyle kept his back to the spectators as he removed his sunglasses and cleaned them with the side of his oversized shirt. “I heard your boys got into a little trouble last night.” 

“Not sure what you’re talking about.” I shrugged. “What happened?”

“Eli’s boys got hit.”

 

Huh. “Alive?” 

 

 


“Two dead, one hanging on.” 

“Wasn’t mine.” 

He smirked and leaned closer. He smelled like cherry chew. “And if it was?”

I laughed at his act. I’d bet Doyle had never fired his gun other than training. “You got something to say, Doyle?” 

He bent my mirror to straighten his tie, and my fingers twitched to break his. “Known you a long time, Trigger. I also know when you’re lying.” 

Looking into the crowd who had nothing better to do than watch, I spoke very carefully, because I knew my switch was about to flick. “You have no idea who I really am. If you have a problem with my guys, you come to me with proof.” 

“Your boys better have some strong alibis.”

“Do me a favor, Doyle. Give your sister a kiss for me.” Just as he went to flip me off, I skidded my bike, kicking up a dust storm before I raced down the ramp and onto the freeway. 

Letting the engine sooth my nerves as I wove through the cars, it wasn’t long until I was back in my own territory and making my way down the street and into the abandoned movie theater I owned where I parked my bike. I took the elevator up to my place. 

I needed some time to think. 

“We are all moving forward, and my past’s catching up. Time’s a-running out, and my days are numbered. Too strong to run, too proud to hide, for this I’ll pay, for this I’ll die,” I sang, watching the lights flicker below me. I leaned my weight into the hot stone wall that overlooked Santa Monica, my guitar propped on my thigh, and plucked the strings to one of my own songs.

I could see for miles. This was my town, and this was my spot. Everyone knew when I was here to leave me the fuck alone. I stroked flint against metal and held the flickering flame to the end of the joint. With a deep drag, the smooth smoke traveled to the bottom of my lungs. I could feel it dancing around inside me. I squinted, tipped my head back, and made an O with my lips, letting a trail of white float up toward the stars.

The joint slipped further between my fingers, and I brushed the strings, sending blues rock into the warmth of the night. 

My mind raced back to this morning when everything had changed. The possibility that the club may have more rats was making my neck tick. I would need to flush them out with whatever means possible. Then I’d deal with them personally. 

I put my guitar down and ran my hands through my hair, letting it drop back down over my shoulders. I needed an outlet, so I stripped off my vest and hung it over an old chair so the devil could stare at me. Pulling my phone free, I swiped to hear The White Buffalo, turning the volume up and letting it cut through the silence. I hated silence; it brought too many memories. Of him.

I removed my t-shirt, flexing my neck back and forth, then pulled my arms over my head and leaned back. My fingers cracked as I laced them together and gave a good tug. I stared at the punching bag for a second then let loose. 

My lips curled from the impact that pounded my muscles like a hammer. Pain was good. Pain was easy to control. Every other emotion was just a waste of time. 

Twisting my torso, I did a roundhouse and kicked the black bag high in the air. 

Punch, punch, punch, punch. I couldn’t get enough until my arms locked and my throat begged for water. I wiped my face clean and brushed my hair out of my face, holding it in place with my ball hat. Kicking open the cooler, I popped open a cold beer and leaned against the rail. 

Finally, the voice was muted, but I knew it wouldn’t last long. 

My phone vibrated next to me. 

 

Brick: Prospect has been dropped off.

 

 


***



 

Tess

 

 


 

I poured myself another glass of wine from the bottle that sat on my night stand. With the lights down low, I looked around my room and was thankful I was alone tonight.
Picking up the heavy book, I settled back and pulled the duvet up to my chin. My eyes scanned for the place where I left off a moment ago. 

 

“Please stay and let me protect you.” His face is inches from hers. He gently lifts the sheet and dries the corners of her eyes. “You have to trust me.”  

 

 

I let the book fall forward onto my lap, my eyes closed. Damn, I had to keep reading. Where was I? Oh, right. “Did you spend the whole night with me?”
I let the book fall again. I’d never get this book read if I kept allowing myself to become her, but should I? I reached for my bag and dumped it out in front of me and grinned at the purple lipstick that just so happened to have a fresh new battery inside. Why the hell not? 

Later, before turning out the light and settling in for the night, I got out from under the sheets and looked out the window. I loved the night sky; something about it was peaceful. A flash of movement caught my attention, and I turned the lamp off so I could see better. Oh, my. “Hello, Remington Tate.” I opened my window. I was totally creepin’, but come on…

It was about ninety degrees in Santa Monica, yet this guy was wearing a hoodie. He moved about like a dancer, his fists hitting the bag. I heard the bang, bang, bang as his fists made contact with it. It was fascinating to watch. The rooftop he was on was only slightly higher than my window and gave me a good view of him, backlit by the moon. It was quite a beautiful sight. 

I grew tired in spite of myself and knew tomorrow would be a busy day, including more unpacking stuff that wasn’t even mine. I dragged my gaze away from the rooftop boxer and glanced around the room. It was much better than my old place. Well, anything was better than my old place. Closing my eyes to the memory, I tried to push his scent out of my mind, although I still felt the deep ache. Tears prickled my eyes, but I kept them away. I channeled the hurt into anger—something I was a pro at. Sadness never healed anyone. 

I was to start a new job tomorrow at Helmond’s Bar. It might be only temporary until I found something else. I didn’t want to be serving drinks forever, but damn, it was money, and I needed that right now.

My phone lit up, and I smiled at the text. 

 

Matt: T-minus eight hours. 

 

Tess: You better be there when I arrive. 
Matt: Have I ever let you down? 

 

My heart warmed a little. 

 

Tess: Never.

 

 


Holding up my beloved camera, I snapped a picture of my rooftop boxer, hoping I had captured the light just right. I knew it would be an image I would wouldn’t easily forget.

“Night,” I whispered before I crawled into bed and slipped the book under my pillow. I hoped it would bring me good dreams. 

***

Nearly falling into one of the boxes, I dug for the black leather skirt and red tank that Matt told me to wear. Once dressed, I wiggled into my high heeled boots and glanced at myself in the mirror propped up against the wall. I leaned upside down and ran my fingers through my long blonde hair to give it a little more volume. Five bike chains wrapped my left wrist halfway up to my elbow, and my silver hoop earrings swung as I moved, giving me an extra pop of color. 

I was never a girl who could wear cute sundresses and carry Prada bags. There was too much shit going on inside to ever wear something so cheerful. 

Grabbing my bag, I downed a glass of OJ I’d bought from the gas station across the road, and then locked the door and ran downstairs and out to the sidewalk. I wasn’t far from the address of my new job, but Matt had made some comment about how I should be careful which streets I used. Trouble was, he never said which ones. He told me to use a cab, but that was ridiculous. I’d Googled the location and saw it was only a fifteen-minute walk. Sorry, Matt, but I will not call a cab for that. Money was not something I had a lot of at the moment.

Holding the scrap of paper, I headed east and let the warm morning air wake me. That was, until I felt my bag vibrate. Not recognizing the number, I answered it, tucking the Post-it in my boot. 

“Hello.” 

“You want to tell me where you are this time?” 

My blood pressure dropped. 

“What do you want?” I held up my hand to a car to let him know I was about to jaywalk. The driver whistled, and I flipped him the bird. 

“Just want to know where you are. I have that right, Tessa.”

“No, you don’t.” 

There was such a long pause I looked down at the phone to see if it was still connected. After a moment, the screen indicated the call had ended. So much drama was laced up with that woman. I hurried as fast as I could. I really should have done a practice run, but moving your life from one state to another was exhausting. A few more blocks and two turns, and I shielded my eyes to read the number on the wall. 

Wait. I must have taken a wrong turn. Dammit.

Turning back around and getting completely confused, I saw a few guys staring me down. I felt a bit uncomfortable but tried to act normal. With my head up, attempting to show confidence, I hurried but tripped in my stupid boots and tumbled to my knees. My phone went flying, leaving me to wince as pain shot through my legs.

“Yeah, right where she should be,” one guy called out, making me blush from head to toe.

I scrambled to stand, when one of them reached for my arm and hauled me up like a child.

“As much as you looked good on your knees, that fall looked like it hurt. You okay?” My eyes met an elderly man, maybe in his sixties, a scary-ass lookin’ dude. A deep scar ran from his right eye down to the corner of his mouth. He reeked of beer, which literally took my breath away.

“I’m fine.” I pulled my arm out of his grip and somehow plastered on a smile to be nice. I caught sight of his biker vest. In fact, they all were wearing them. A skull with a devil and a snake coming out of its eye was patched on the back of them. Satan’s Serpents. 

I should have been terrified, but all that ran through my head was I was going to be late on my first day. I can’t let my best friend down.

One of the guys handed me my phone, but when I reached for it, he pulled it away. He clicked on the screen and grinned at the picture of me and my friend Mags. 

“Pretty dress.” He winked and handed it back to me. “Wear it on our date next week.” My face dropped further…if that was even possible. I’d lived with men like this, and it was tiring behavior.

He started to say something else, but a loud rumble from a pack of motorcycles deafened me as they drove by a cross street. A stillness spread through all the men. 

Four guys on choppers slowed as they caught sight of us. Traffic didn’t seem to mind. Sunglasses covered their eyes, but I knew they saw us. I was frozen, waiting for something bad to happen. The tension was so thick it made it hard to breathe. 

A few pulled their guns, but the old man with the scar shook his head, and they stood down.

 

Seriously, where the hell am I?

Again, the devil made its way into my vison, only their jackets had a skull resting in the Grim Reaper’s outstretched hand. Devil’s Reach was patched across their shoulders. I noticed both jackets had Santa Monica on them. 

Sensing the men were preoccupied, I took advantage of the moment and darted down the street.

I fished around in my boot for the stupid Post-it that I had written Matt’s address on. 

Fifteen minutes later, and I was finally there—5627 Dustin Street. 

I stared up at the rundown building with painted black windows. It was huge and wide, but the few buildings around it were abandoned and had some broken windows. I really hoped I had the address wrong. I tugged on the handle, and to my disappointment, it opened, letting out a cloud of smoke. I coughed to catch my breath, and when my eyes stopped stinging, I took in my surroundings. 

Holy fuck…

“You want somethin’?” a husky voice barked at me from behind the bar. I blinked to clear the haze and observed a tall man with a long beard that stopped at his belt. Tattoos ran around his shaved head like the rings on Saturn. 

I shook my head and realized it might be wise to leave. “I think I might be in the wrong place.”

He poured a shot and slid it my way, nodding for me to take it. I stepped up to the bar and thought why the hell not? At that point, I was sure I’d lost the job anyway. I tossed it back while he watched. “Where are you supposed to be?”  

I waited for the burn of the whiskey to leave before I answered. “I’m looking for my friend Matt Montgomery. I think I wrote the address down wrong.” 

He studied me a moment then his eyebrow ring twitched as his eyes narrowed in on me. 

“Brick! Company!” he shouted over my head.

 

Seriously? 

 

 


“No, I’m looking for a Matt.” 

“Not anymore.” 

 

Huh? 

 

 


A moment later, a door flew open and out came my best friend, who I hadn’t seen in six years, wearing a Devil’s Reach vest. 

 

Okay…

 

 


He flew toward me, scooped me up, and greeted me with a big bear hug. 

 

Hold up!

 

 


“Tess!” He smiled down at me through a mass of long brown hair that touched the bottom of his ears. “You look amazing!” 

“You expected less?” I joked to give me an extra moment to process the situation. “Um, not sure where to start here, so…what’s with the name Brick?” 

 

His eyes flickered with something before he spoke. “Nickname.” 
“Okay.” I noticed the words Vice President patched above his new name. What had I missed?
As bizarre as the situation was, I couldn’t deny how good it was to see him. It was like hugging your blanket when you were a child. Instant comfort.
I hugged him even tighter. “You look completely different.” I tugged on his long hair. “I love it!” 
He rested me back on the ground, and I swatted his arm, nodding at the fucking motorcycle bar. “Thanks for the warning.” 
A guilty grin spread across his face. “I didn’t want to run the risk of you not coming.” 
“How well do you know me?” I shook my head, feeling better already. “Anything is better than the house.” 
He reached for my hand and slid my bracelets up to check my wrists. His lips pressed together as his finger ran over the vertical scar on my left wrist.
“I know you better than anyone.”
I pulled my hand free and pushed the bracelets back in place. 
“How are you?” Before I could answer, he gave me his look. “Without the bullshit, Tess.” 
Stepping back, I noticed the bartender was listening to us with no shame. 
“Fine. Like I said, happy to be away. You going to show me around?”
His shoulders sagged, but he didn’t push it. Instead, he looked over my shoulder at something.
“Yeah, I can do that.” He waved around the bar. “Helmond’s Bar. Which is the club’s bar.” 
“Okay.” I saw their cut picture was painted onto the wall in black and gray, and there were three women who were high on something. Two of them were draped over a chair and a bench, and the other was butt naked, spread-eagle on the pool table. 
“Nothing you haven’t seen before.” Brick shrugged. 
A little boy, maybe six years old, came running out from behind the bar with what I hoped was a water gun and started to shoot the woman on the chair in the face. She squinted at him before she snatched it away and tossed it across the room. 
“Go get ready for school.” 
I shook my head before I saw Brick point. “That’s Gus’s old lady, and his son. You’ll meet him later.” I nodded, and he went on. “Through those double doors,” he pointed to the wall underneath the Devil’s Reach logo, “is the president’s office and the meeting room. Most of the time, the doors are open, but when there’s a meeting, they stay closed and the bar shuts down.” He beckoned for me to follow him past the bar and out through another set of huge, heavy doors. My guess was they would be bulletproof. 
We headed to our left first. The hallways were wide and the floors were tile. The walls were painted a dark beige, and to my surprise, it didn’t look too rundown, not like the front of the building. After a few quick glances out the windows, I saw the building was formed into a horseshoe with a party place in the middle. 
“These are the bedrooms for us main guys. Pres, Vice Pres, Sergeant-at-Arms, Treasurer, and so on. This is mine.” He pointed quickly before he turned me around and started back up the hallway again. Once we passed the huge doors, he opened another and let me step inside. Two women who looked to be my mother’s age, and one guy who was about the size of a house, glared at me. 
“Kitchen. No need to tell you their names. They have zero personality, and even if they did, they never leave this room, so it’s pointless.” 
“Hi.” I waved, and the guy snickered something in Spanish, so I shrugged. “Never knew an MC could live so well.” 
“We are not like most MCs.” Brick laughed as he opened the door for me to leave the kitchen. “Down there are more bedrooms.”
“What about that door at the end?” I noticed the same type of doors we went through to get into the living corridors were also at the end of the hallway.  
“Ah, that’s to go outdoors. They’re normally locked, so just use this one.” He tapped the door in front of me. “Okay, so, for the rules.” He led me outside, maybe away from ears. I didn’t know. 
The courtyard was mostly concrete, with a lot of trees that shaded the actual building. There was a huge rectangular pool with a little changing house next to it that matched the look of the stone barbecue. Tables and lounge chairs were scattered around, and an old pickup truck was off to the side, hidden between some trees against the stone wall that ran along the perimeter. The place did give you the sense of safety, that was for sure.
“I get it, it’s a lot to take in.” Brick looked up at me with one eye closed. I sat so he didn’t have to squint. 
“Not that bad.” 
“When you’re not working, you can be out here. We normally are. The guys will have their families over for Friday night dinners. You’ll be working with Morgan. He’s good, doesn’t talk much, but he’ll teach you lots. You got a problem, talk to him.” 
“Morgan have a family?” 
“Nope. You saw Gus’s old lady on the chair. Her name is Vib. She’s a junkie, but she shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They have two kids, Den and Fin. They are little dicks, but they’re family, so we love them.”
Awesome. I wasn’t a huge kid person. 
“Rail and Cooper are two more main guys who live here. Rail only thinks with his dick, so stay away. Cooper is…well, you can be friends with him. I’ll allow that.” 
I smacked his arm. 
“Don’t touch the drugs. There’s a lot kickin’ around. Us higher-up guys don’t touch it. Trigger, the president, wants us to stay clean. You can do pot, but not coke, okay?”
“Have you ever known me to stick a tube up my nose?” 
“Been six years, Tess. A lot has changed.”
“Like your name.” 
He laughed darkly. “Yeah, a few of us adopted a nickname after our first kill.” 
“Thanks for that image.”
“Think about Rail’s.” He laughed then stood and offered me a hand. “Come on.” He held my hand tightly as we walked back inside. “You have any problems, you come to me. Promise?” 
“I will.” I waited for him to close the door behind me, and I noticed the bar had gotten a lot busier. At least the naked chick on the pool table had closed her legs. “So, where am I working, exactly?” 
He tipped his head toward the bar. “Morgan,” he called out to the bartender as we joined him. “This is Tess. She’s the new bartender.” Morgan didn’t blink an eye at me as he opened the wooden latch to let me in behind the bar top. “Hey.” Matt tugged me closer. “It’s Brick now, okay?”
“Yeah, that’s been burned into my head nicely.” 
“We only deal in cash.” Morgan started right in. “The guys with the skull patches on their collars drink for free. No one else, no exceptions.” I failed to mention that he just gave me a free drink. “We only serve beer and hard liquor.” He pointed to the bottles. “You clean?” 
I glanced up at him, puzzled. 
When I didn’t respond, he flipped my arms over and checked my skin for tracks. “Take off your shoes.” 
“Pardon?” 
“She’s clean,” Brick barked out as a warning. Morgan nodded once then went back to explaining things like he didn’t just ask if I shot heroin. 
“You can drink, but don’t get drunk,” he mumbled and stroked his thin beard and twisted it around his finger as he thought. “Don’t call him Matt. His name is Brick. It’s disrespectful to the club. He earned that name.” 
So I’ve heard, although Brick never used the word earned.
“Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to,” Morgan muttered, and Brick seemed to agree. 

 

Shouting from a room off to the side drew my attention, followed by a loud crash. I looked at Brick, who just shook his head as if to ignore it.
Morgan handed me another shot. “Have you ever bartended before?”
“I have.”
“All you need to know is how to read the labels, pour a shot, and count.” He tapped his glass to mine and tossed the shot back, and I followed suit.
“Any tips you make are yours. As long as the till is even, you’re good. Make sure you wear something hot, give the guys a little somethin’ to look at.”
“Seems easy enough.”
Morgan glanced at Brick with a bored expression then back to me. “I give her to the end of the shift before she fucking quits.”
“Thanks.” I glanced over at Brick, who gave me a playful wink.
A door burst open and out tumbled a man with a face full of blood. He stumbled to the bar with one eye open and the other swollen shut. I noticed Morgan stood back to see how I’d handle the situation. It didn’t rattle me; not much did anymore. Brick’s comfort with the situation made it obvious the guy was on their shit list. I slammed a shot glass down, poured some whiskey, and when he reached for it, I slid it aside.
“Seven fifty.”
His watery, bloodshot eye stared at me. It took a second, but he realized I wasn’t screwing around, and his face scrunched up.
“Bitch, give me the drink.”
“Seven fifty.” My hip cocked out as I raised my chin to hold my own.
He reached for it again, but I moved it further away. He didn’t have the skull patch Morgan mentioned, and I wasn’t going to give it to him for free. The guy leaned forward, grabbed my arm hard, and pulled me close to his face. I had to choke back the smell of blood and sweat.
“Listen, you little cuntface. You want to know what it feels like to get a fist to the —” One moment he was threating, and the next his head was slammed onto the bar top by a very battered hand.
I jumped back to see a massive man with his nose just inches from the asshole’s face. His eyes were murderous as “Get the fuck out,” hissed from his lips. He then picked him up and dropped him to the floor like he hardly weighed anything. Moments later, the asshole was gone, and I was left staring at the big, lean man with one hell of a set of deep green eyes. I forgot how to breathe when they locked onto mine. His white shirt was stained with blood, his knuckles were raw, and his bottom lip was cracked. His dark hair curled slightly under around his collarbone.

I rubbed my arm, the pain slowly easing.  

“He’s out,” the man grunted to Brick. Even though he continued to stare at me. “Take care of it.” 

“Will do,” Brick answered from somewhere close. His fingers brushed over my shoulder. “You all right, Tess?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Trigger, this is Tessa.” Brick cleared his throat. “She’s the one I was tellin’ you about.”

 

Trigger? Oh, yes, the pres. 

 

 


“Tess,” I corrected him. 

Trigger didn’t say a word but held my gaze then looked down my front and back up again. His tattooed hand tugged on the bottom of his short beard. My skin heated, my chest burned, and my throat went dry. Mother of hell, his was gaze was intense. Though I knew men like this, and they were all the same. 

Trigger leaned forward to reach behind the bar, his eyes still locked with mine. He removed the whiskey bottle and tossed the cap next to me. He downed about a quarter of it then finally broke his hold to focus on Brick.

“They’re gonna eat her alive.” His voice had a little rasp to it, but my annoyance got the better of me. 

“Gotta love the encouragement here, boys.” I snickered and ignored his expression. Brick sucked in a sharp breath, and I guessed people didn’t talk to him like I just did, but I really didn’t care. 

I worked a long shift and met everyone as they trickled in and out of the bar. I turned a deaf ear to all conversation that didn’t include me. I felt like everyone was testing me to try to trip me up. So I kept my mouth shut and did my job to make sure everyone paid. Brick stayed true to his word to hang around and make sure I was okay.  

Morgan helped me a few times, but for the most part, I got it. At the end of my shift, I took a seat in a booth with Brick, and he ordered us a late dinner. 

The place was busy, the smoke got thicker, and the music pounded. 

“When did you join?” I asked right before I bit into my burger. 

I was surprised it was good. Most bar food sucked. I wasn’t picky. I even ate from a stranger’s plate once, but I did know good food, and this was pretty damn good. 

“Six years ago.” I looked up at him. “Right after you went back. I followed a lead that my father was part of the Devil’s Reach. He’s dead now, but I got accepted in and quickly climbed the ladder in the family.” 

I examined his vest and saw the skull on the front and VP patch. 

“Trigger is the president, I’m vice, and Rail, who I advise you stay away from, is below me. You’ll meet him tomorrow.” 

I rolled my eyes. “Do you like this life?” 

He stuffed in a handful of fries and chased it with his beer. “Yup, best life so far.” He eyed me as he thought. “Did they let you leave easily?” 

“What’s the bloody guy’s story from this morning?” 

Brick tapped his ring against his bottle. I could tell he was getting annoyed with me dodging his questions. “Stole from the club. Does your mom know you’re here?” I was about to change the subject again, but he gave me a warning by crossing his arms.  

“She knows I’m not in Vegas.” I shook my head, remembering that morning. “I need to change my number.”

“I’ll get you a new one,” he added quickly. “Are you all right in that apartment? Sorry it’s not closer, but I’m working on that now.” 

“No, don’t. It’s perfect. Thank you. As soon as I get some cash coming in, I’ll pay—” 

“No, you won’t.” He cut me off and glanced across the bar at someone. “Just don’t leave this time. If you need anything, you come to me, and I’ll help you.” He looked back at me then down to my stomach. “When did you get the tat?” 

I closed my eyes briefly and hated that he went there. Inching down my shirt, I shifted.

“Tess.”

“Two months…after you left.”

“How was the funeral?” 

I huffed loudly and pressed the pain down. “No money, no funeral.” 

His jaw locked in place before he spoke. “They never helped out?” 

“You’re forgetting she broke a house rule, Brick,” I muttered darkly. 

“Where is she?” 

“With a friend.” 

“She okay?” 

I finally looked at him full in the eyes. “Would you be?” 

I saw his chest rise and fall while he thought about it. “No. I wish you didn’t leave me when you did.”  

“You know why I did. No sense looking back. It doesn’t—”

“Brick!” a larger man with thin gold glasses and a kind smile shouted in our direction.

“Shit, I gotta go.” He moved out from behind the table. “That’s Big Joe, Trigger’s muscle. If he calls on you, go. His bark isn’t nearly as big as his bite.” He winked as my stomach turned. “Stay. If you want my room, it’s the second door on the right. Take the bed. I have a sofa. If you’re going to leave, Morgan will walk you home.” He leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and left. 

After I polished off my burger and stole the rest of Brick’s fries, I grabbed my bag and headed out into the quiet street. I would rather get comfortable walking home than spend any more time within those walls. 

I needed fresh air.  

About a dozen bikes were parked out front, and I wondered which one was Brick’s. One was blacked out completely and looked like it cost more than a house. It was interesting, with thin gold lines that raced along the edges of the bike. If you looked closely, you could see faint drawings that faded as you walked by it. It was a bad-ass bike, for sure. 

My heels pounded the pavement, and I enjoyed the cool breeze on my hot, sticky skin. I couldn’t wait for a shower. 

Three blocks, then a right, six more blocks, then a…hmm…
I heard laughing up ahead and saw the guy from earlier who had my cell phone. Damn! I really needed to use my phone so I wouldn’t get lost anymore. 

I slipped into an alley and hurried around the buildings. It was dark, but it was better than having to deal with those guys. I wished I knew where the border for the club’s territory was. I wasn’t stupid and knew borders meant everything when it came to motorcycle clubs.  

A strong smell hit my nose, and Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People caught my attention. Sweat, booze, and desperation swarmed in my head and brought some old comfort seeping to the surface. No windows, no sign, just the beat to the song. Pushing the heavy door open, I stepped inside. Neon purple tube lighting swirled down the hallway, escorting me deep into the Dirty Demons strip club. 

The bouncer who stepped in front of me was about twice my width. He flicked his head at me to pass. No need for an ID, no weapons check, and no need for male company. 

 

Interesting. 

 

 


Three platforms had naked women in cages dancing to the beat. The main stage had two women spinning on poles, and another slid across the stage thrusting her hips in a man’s face. The customer tucked a twenty into her g-string before she winked and moved on. 

 

It is a good living. 

 

 


Slipping into a booth in the corner, I rested my tired feet and ordered a rum and Coke. 

I let the music wash over me, and the hairs on my arms stood at attention as the goosebumps pushed them upward. I let my mind wander back to the good old days when things were so much easier.

 

Mags grabbed my arm as she stepped off the platform. “You’re not really going up there? She’ll kill you if she finds out.”
I tossed my top hat in the air and caught it on my head. “What else can she possibly take from me that she hasn’t already?” 
“You’re asking for trouble.” 
“Aren’t I always?” I winked and saw her devilish smile widen as she motioned for me to go on. 
“There’s a military party in the front. They’re tippin’ hot tonight.” 
“What about—?”
“He’s at the bar.” 
I gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before I took a deep a breath and felt the rush as I stepped out and locked eyes with him. 

 

 

“You here for amateur night?” The waitress pulled me from my memory and set my drink down on a black napkin. 

I handed her a ten and shook my head when she reached out to make change. 

“When is it?” 

“Every Tuesday, at midnight.” I nodded, but she stared at me. “You wax?”

I nodded again. 

“Real?” She pointed to my boobs. 

“Yeah.” 

“Impressive.” She looked over her shoulder at her boss, who was watching us carefully. “Well, I’d be happy to see you up there.” 

“Thanks,” I muttered into my rum and Coke, avoiding her boss’s nasty stare.  

Settling in, I watched the girls and how they moved. Some were better than others. A few of them asked me for a lap dance, but I wasn’t in the mood. Besides, it would only make the addiction stronger. 

 

My hips shook as I dropped to the ground in a split. I swiveled to my stomach and ever so slowly pulled myself back into a sitting position. Rolling backward, I did a somersault and hooked my leg around the pole. Using my stomach muscles, I grabbed the pole with my hand and twisted into a spin. That was, until I saw her wrap her arm around his neck and look in my direction. Her look of hate ripped right through me. 
As soon as the song ended, I rushed off the stage and burst through the doors and out into the stuffy night air. I rubbed my fingers over my wrist, over the spot that nearly took me away from this hell. I needed to get away from here. 

 

 


I nursed my drink until I grew tired. Waving at the waitress, I found my way back outside. I stayed in the cover of darkness until I was at the back of my building then hurried to the front and let myself in. 

Pressing eight on the elevator, I sank into the corner and waited for the floor to arrive. My pillow never felt so good.
Bestselling author J. L. Drake was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, later moving to Southern California where she lives with her husband and two children. 

When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her family, travelling or just enjoying a night at home. One thing you might notice in her books is her love for the four seasons. Growing up on the east coast of Canada the change in the seasons is in her blood and is often mentioned in her writing. 
An avid reader of James Patterson, J.L. Drake has often found herself inspired by his many stories of mystery and intrigue. 

She hopes you will enjoy her stories as much as she has enjoyed writing them.
 
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#Book Blitz# Who She Was = Stormy Smith is Now LIVE!!

Who She Was
Stormy Smith
Publication date: May 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Trevor Adler loathes the music he used to love, but it’s the key to his full-ride scholarship and the ticket away from his dysfunctional parents. To kick off their freshman year, Trevor’s roommate drags him to a frat party, where he ends up face-to-face with his childhood best friend and finds himself entrenched in memories he’d rather forget.

Unable to let Charlie go again without understanding the truth of why she disappeared from his life and chose to become the type of person they always hated, Trevor is relentless in his pursuit of the girl he once knew.

Charlotte (Charlie) Logan is broken. Under her perfectly-crafted exterior are the shards of a shattered heart. A handful of angry words changed her life completely and Charlie’s never been able to forgive herself for the truth she’s hidden from everyone.

While Trevor pushes Charlie to remember the music that lit her soul and the laughter they shared, they find themselves reverting to a banter-filled rhythm that feels all too familiar, yet different now. When Trevor’s own secrets come to light, it becomes clear he and Charlie both must face their tragic pasts if they have any hope at a future together.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

Charlie

August

Are you guys ready for this?”

The overly-excited frat boy in charge yelled into the microphone and the backyard of the Sigma Alpha house hit deafening levels. Inside their dingy kitchen, I shared a wary look with a few of the Kappa pledges.

“As much fun as we’re already having tonight, it’s about to get real! The fifth annual dating auction is about to start. That means the only thing standing between you and a hot little sorority pledge is your parents’ money!”

A petite redhead who barely looked fifteen, let alone eighteen, drew back the curtain of the kitchen window to peek out as he continued and then giggled.

“I can’t believe rush week is finally here and tonight is the auction!” She actually clapped her hands together and I forced my eyes not to disappear into the back of my head. “I hope Austin bids on me,” she gushed. “He’s so hot.”

“And you will be yet another notch on his freshman bedpost,” I muttered before I could stop myself. The girl behind me in line stifled a chuckle, and I smiled knowing there was someone else who understood how absurd this was.

“Your mom was a Kappa, too?” She asked.

I nodded. The line of sorority pledges filed forward through the kitchen to the back door as the emcee announced the next piece of meat up for bid. I kept my eyes forward and not on the half-filled keg cups and ripped open chip bags.

“Can you believe we have to go through with this just to pledge?” The girl twisted a piece of her hair and I didn’t miss the fear that flashed in her eyes. “The worst part was when I told my mom, she was actually excited.”

We took another step forward as I shook my head in disbelief. I hadn’t bothered to even tell my mother since it wouldn’t have mattered. Getting in was all she was worried about and Katie was the only one who ever mattered to her.

Then, I was next. I swallowed down my own anxiety and pressed my sweating palms down my skirt. It was tight and high-waisted, and my heels were higher than I was comfortable with.

Katie would have loved me in it.

I missed my Chucks.

My name came over the crackling sound system and I felt warm fingers encircle my own.

“You’ll do great, Charlotte,” she encouraged. I hadn’t even bothered to ask her name and she’d been astute enough to pluck mine from the bio being read to the crowd. I gave her a tight-lipped smile and returned the gesture even though I wanted to yank my hand from hers and wipe it off again.

I pushed through the torn screen door and pulled the humid August air into my lungs as I straightened my posture and put one foot in front of the other. My smile was so automatic it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel it anywhere but the shift in my cheeks—not too much teeth to seem fake, just enough for no one to ever think anything was wrong.

The emcee’s voice was lost in the cat calls. I heard bids of anywhere from five dollars to twenty as they commented on my rack or how my long hair would come in handy. My fingers tapped out a familiar rhythm onto my hip, one that I refused to acknowledge, but it was the only way I could keep circling the rickety stage.

I had to get into this sorority. It was what she wanted. It wasn’t optional.

“Two hundred and fifty dollars.” His voice silenced the crowd.

My smile didn’t waver as I let out a longer exhale and thanked whoever he was while also praying he wasn’t a psycho.

A sweaty, drunk guy helped me off the stage, and I was thankful when my heels sunk slightly into the ground because it was over and all the attention shifted to the next piece of cattle. I followed the turning heads in the direction of my bidder, who was still lost in the crowd.

The crowd shifted as their attention focused back on the next pledge up for bid. The light from the porch found him and he stood facing me, clearly waiting. For a split second, time stopped.

He smirked, catching my pause. The baby-face Trevor had the last time I saw him was gone. Instead, angular features and questioning eyes stared back at me.

I wanted to spin on my heel and run the other direction. Trevor was the slip knot of my life. The carefully intertwined ropes I’d wrapped around the person I used to be — the one he alone had understood and yet still abandoned — could be unraveled with one tug. He could destroy me and everything I’d done to atone for my mistake.

No one knew what I’d done. How it was all my fault. I’d never told anyone so he couldn’t know. It was a secret I desperately wanted to share so I no longer had to bear it alone, but knew I couldn’t.

“Fancy meeting you here, Charlie,” Trevor said as he pushed his thick-rimmed glass up his nose, failing to convince me he was any more comfortable with our impromptu reunion than I was.

I didn’t need him anymore. He was the who’d disappeared and left me all alone. It didn’t matter that he was the one who knew the rhythm I tapped out to get through the worst of times. Or that in an instant I remembered what real laughter felt like and the feel of ivory under my fingertips. It couldn’t matter. Not anymore.

I charged forward, auto-smiled and played the part I’d cast for myself.

Charlotte,” I stated. “My name is Charlotte.”

If you’re ready to spend 99 cents to find out what happens next, click here. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

 

Author Bio:

Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her.

When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband, twin sons or girlfriends.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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#Book Blitz# ENSNARED = RITA STRADLING is Coming May 23rd!!

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

2 mugs, tote bag, and signed copy of Ensnared ( US/CAN)

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#Book Blitz# Cake: A Love Story (Cake #1) = J. Bengtsson

Cake: A Love Story
J. Bengtsson
(Cake #1)
Publication date: May 14th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all.

Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

*This novel was professionally re-edited on June 28th, 2016*

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

-Banter-

I gave an apologetic look. “I know. Sorry. You intimidate me. I mean, it would take no effort on your part to get with pretty much any girl at this wedding.”

Jake didn’t refute my claim – probably because he knew it was true. In fact, he was actually giving what I said quite a bit of thought. What was I getting myself into?

Finally, he sighed, and said, “Sometimes having sex just isn’t worth the consequences.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that with sex comes expectations.”

I waited for him to explain his comment, and when he didn’t I said, “And?”

Jake exhaled dramatically, as if he were expected to explain himself to a child. “If I’m going to have meaningless sex with someone, I need a quick exit strategy; otherwise she’s going to want to follow me around – or worse, talk. In a setting like this, there’s no way to disappear after getting it on, so sex wouldn’t be worth the consequences… get it?”

“Wow, you’ve really given this a lot of thought.”

He nodded in agreement. “I’ve learned from experience.”

“I’m sure you have. So, then, I guess it’s a good thing we aren’t going to have meaningless sex tonight.” I laughed. “Because I would definitely be following you around trying to talk to you.”

“I know. You’d be the worst.”

 

Author Bio:

J. Bengtsson lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. Her favorite things to do are laugh, go for walks, and hang out with family. ‘Cake’ is her debut novel.

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GIVEAWAY!

First place is a choice between a $25 Amazon gift card OR J. Bengtsson’s two audiobooks: Cake and The Theory of Second Best (a $45 value). 

Second place is one Audiobook (winner’s choice between Cake or The Theory of Second Best) ($24 value).

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Cake[52305]
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Dirty Thief, an all new sexy and scandalous installment in the Dirty Players Series by Tia Louise is available now!

 

DIRTYTHIEF-BT[51916].jpg Blog Tour

Dirty Thief, an all new sexy and scandalous installment in the Dirty Players Series by Tia Louise is available now!

DIRTY THIEF DT PB wrap[51793]

DIRTY * SEXY * SCANDALOUS

What do you get when you mix a brooding king with a sexy pickpocket? Not your usual fairy tale.

Ava Wilder is beautiful, she lives in a pink castle, and she’s a thief. Rowan Westringham Tate loves power, speed, and Ava.

Their romance is straight out of an erotic Cinderella story, until the one man Ava is running from shows up to claim what she stole—or to claim her.

Now Ava might be forced to take another thing to protect her happily ever after… A life.

Excerpt:

Ava

I’m just about to text Rowan back when the door opens, and he’s standing in the entrance. His face is unreadable. He doesn’t enter. He only waits looking like the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen in a dark suit and tie. He’s still wearing the glasses he’ll occasionally put on when he’s reading, and I rise out of my chair, closing the laptop before I go to him.

“I’m sorry, “I say, reaching out for his hand.

He takes mine and raises it to his lips before pulling me closer.

“What’s troubling you, Ava?”

I look down at my shoes, awkwardness filling my stomach.

“You didn’t have tocome all the way over here.”

“Why are you having second thoughts about the baby?”

I take a deep breath and sigh, lifting my eyes to his.

“It just seems like everything is in such chaos. What makes us want to bring a child into this mess?”

His dark eyes soften as they hold mine, but he doesn’t answer immediately. I love that he doesn’t pat me on the head and tell me to stop being ridiculous. He takes my fears seriously.

“It’s our royal duty,”he finally says.

Now I’m frowning.

“That’s your only reason?”

“No…”

He touches the side of my cheek with his thumb, and I wait.

“I’d also like to see what happens when we take half of you and mix it with half of me.”

My frown softens a little.

“I have dreamed of our babies.”

I remember my chubby, dark-haired daydreams.

“I expect we’ll have an overly analytical, extremely controlled little leader,” he says,and I sigh and nod. “Or a thief who steals cars and races them away.”

“Rowan!”

I push his arm, ready to storm across the room.

DIRTYTHIEF-AN[51792]

 

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DIRTY THIEF POST TPATP-FREE[51791]

 

Start the Series FREE with Prince and the Player Today:

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About the Author:

“Queen of Hot Romance”; Award-winning, International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.

Her debut adult romance ONE TO HOLD was a 2014 “Lady Boner” award-winner, #1 in Military Romance, and a Top 20 Contemporary Romance novel for several months. ONE TO KEEP, #2 in the series of stand-alone novels, followed the same course, with the remaining performing equally well.

From being a “Readers’ Choice” nominee two years running, to picking up USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, 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 U.S.A. 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…

It’s possible she has a slight truffle addiction.

Connect with Tia:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiaLouise/

Twitter: @AuthorTLouise

Stay up to date with Tia Louise by signing up for her newsletter:

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https://authortialouise.com/dirtyplayers/

The Terms: Part One ( The Terms Duet ) =  Ruby Rowe is Now LIVE!!!

 

 Title: The Terms: Part One
Series: The Terms Duet
Author: Ruby Rowe
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Erotica Romance, BDSM
 Release Date: April 27, 2017
  
 
 

I wanted to hate her. For three years, Camilla withheld the fact that my brother had a son, Liam.

Then, Tony died without ever knowing his kid, and I was going to make sure Ms. Rose paid a price for her deceit. I also wanted Liam to be raised as a Burke. Our family’s legacy was one to carry on, so the terms were straightforward.

Live in my home.

Allow me to help raise Liam.

Oh, and agree to be my submissive.

In return, I agreed not to rip Camilla’s child away from her. I also offered them both financial security and a life of luxury. It seemed generous to me. It might’ve been simple, too, had she not reminded me of the lady in red. The one who haunted my dreams at night. Camilla’s hazel eyes were a mirror image, her sweetness more than an acquaintance to my subconscious.

I was a hacker by trade, and the internet was my best friend, sharing with me every secret I wished to unearth. I believed that until an unfathomable truth revealed itself in a different way.

Some secrets are never whispered, only sensed by the heart, and all along, my soul held the truth. It hid even from me the most important secret of them all.

The Terms ends in a cliffhanger. It contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM. The second novel in the duet, The Terms: Part Two, will release June 1st.

 

      

    

 

 

 

  

Excerpt from The Terms: Part One (The Terms Duet)
© Ruby Rowe 2017
Tears well up in my eyes, and my lower lip quivers. “Tony was right; you’re evil.”

His fingers grip my chin once again and press harder this time.

“I knew he’d cause me grief from the grave. You and Tony Jr. are interruptions I don’t need, but my parents deserve to know their only grandchild. For that reason, I’ll allow this situation to disrupt my world. Besides, it will be good to have another male to carry on the family name.”

“Please, leave us be. Let me raise Liam. I promise I’m a good mother. I struggle financially, but he’s always cared for and loved.” Desperation tips the scale, and my lukewarm tears tumble to my cool cheeks. Looking away, Ellis clears his throat and releases my chin.

“Money, right… I recommend you change the password to your bank account to something more challenging. It was quite easy to empty that miniscule nest egg of yours.”

From my dry throat, a sob emerges. He’s going to take Liam away and leave me homeless. I have no choice but to play by his rules, so I cough from my cry and suck in short breaths, attempting to collect my dignity. Sniffling, I pull a tissue from my purse and wipe my eyes.

“OK, I’ll do whatever you want. Please, please, don’t take my child from me.”

Snaking his fingers through my hair, his thumb skims along my cheekbone, wiping away the tears. He moves closer, his sultry breath inches from mine, and his eyes roam my face as if he’s admiring a gallery painting.

“There’s no need to cry. If you’re open to this, your life will be easier–better even. Do exactly as I say, and you won’t lose Liam.”

I should shove him away. Spit in his face. Anything other than what I’m doing, which is leaning into his hand at my cheek to savor his touch. I’m emotionally fucked in the head, always finding myself attracted to the villain instead of someone nice, like my friend Christopher, for instance.

As if Ellis feels something, too, he withdraws his hand. “First, you’re going to quit your job.”

 

The Terms: Part Two (The Terms Duet, #2) 

 

If you are a Reader/Reviewer or Blogger that is interested in receiving an ARC and participating in the Cover Reveal & Release Blitz of The Terms: Part Two, please sign up!

 

COLTON

I tried to keep my distance. I knew how much trouble Summer could cause me once she was, in her words, “legal.” She wouldn’t accept that being my best friend’s sister meant she was governed by another set of laws.

She was the forbidden fruit.

The “off-limits” trophy prize I couldn’t win.

The “don’t look and sure as hell don’t touch” female in my life.

But Summer pushed until I was backed into a corner. My hands and mouth had nowhere to go but on her. That was my story, and I was stickin’ to it.

SUMMER

I’d known Colton Graham all my life, and he was always a pest … until he wasn’t. That handsome face and masculine body he grew into became hard to look away from, and the more he matured and distanced himself from me, the more I wanted him close.

Since I’d grown up with a brother, I knew how college guys operated. Relationships were off the table, and fine by me; I only wanted two adventurous months with Colton. I knew he wouldn’t be my last, but I was hell-bent on making him my first. What was the harm in that? I could do casual … or so I thought.

Summer Trouble is a Ruby Romp Novella, meaning it contains insta-lust, along with an abundance of dirty talk and graphic sex. It can typically be enjoyed in one reading, so get ready for a fast-paced “get your panties wet” ride.

 

  

 

Q: “Where do you get the ideas for your books?” – Author Autumn Sand

A: I come up with the ideas for my books in several ways. Sometimes, I can’t explain why a character or storyline appears in my mind, and other times, an idea evolves from personalities or situations I have a desire to write about.

There are certain types of people and lifestyles I’ve never been exposed to, but I’m curious about them, so I often build stories around those personalities or situations. For example, after reading novels with wealthy, affluent alpha-male heroes, I wanted to try writing about one, so I created a story around that type of man.

Other times, there is a life lesson or topic I want to expose readers to. Like under my pen name Scarlet Wolfe, I wrote a story about self-harm to shed light on that subject.

I admit to living vicariously through my stories and characters. I mean, isn’t that a big reason why people read? We’re eavesdropping on a life we’ll likely never live.

Q: “How did you get started writing?” – Reader Amber Dover

A: Unlike a lot of authors who say they’ve been writing all their lives, I had never tried to write anything other than what was assigned to me in school. A few of my friends insisted I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and I actually laughed because I’d never read anything racy before.

Once I finished the series, I found myself creating characters in my mind at random moments. From there, I started thinking of a premise. A friend of mine at the time had written a couple of books, and once I shared with her that I had all of these thoughts crowding my head, she encouraged me to type them out.

That’s how my other pen name, Scarlet Wolfe, came about. Sometimes I wish I had known more about writing when I began, but on the other hand, naivety got me to take that first step. I don’t think I would’ve written a book had I known the challenges that would lie ahead.

Q: “What’s your favorite thing about each character?” – Reader Sarah Vadermillen

A: In The Terms, my favorite thing about my hero, Ellis, is how vulnerable and kind he truly is beneath his hardened exterior. As far as Camilla, she’s strong and protective, especially in regard to her family. I love that in a heroine. Greyson, Ellis’s cousin, is witty, and I look forward to showing more of that in part two of The Terms. I don’t like Christopher, and if my readers don’t either, then I’ve written his character well. We don’t know much about Sasha, but I look forward to showing her grow and strengthen in the next book, and Liam … well, he’s just happy and adorable.

Q: “What is your favorite part of the process of writing books?” – Author Autumn Sand

A: My favorite part of the writing process is character development. I strive for my characters to have a deeper level of emotional intelligence by the end of their journey. I want to evoke from my readers the same feelings I show in my characters. If my readers can connect emotionally with my characters when they’re nothing like them, then I’ve done something right

Ruby Rowe began writing in January of 2013 under the pen name Scarlet Wolfe,

releasing contemporary and young adult. She soon tried her hand at writing erotica

romance and fell in love with the genre.

 

The pen name Ruby Rowe came about in 2017 when she decided it best to keep her

racier books separate from her young adult romances. She’d like to branch out and

release straight erotica, however, she’s a romantic at heart, and believes it will be

difficult not to include romance in every story.

 

When not writing, Ruby reads naughty books about possessive, hot alpha males. She has

an addiction to Pinterest, pinning all the sensual photos she can find. She loves bacon,

coffee, and other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla. 😉 She hopes her writing will allow

her readers a reprieve from the real world, giving them an opportunity to live out their

fantasies.

         

        

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Excerpt Reveal, Get Wilde & Checkmate Inc Books 1 and 2 Sale by Author Shelly Alexander

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Get Wilde (A Checkmate Inc. Novel Book 3) by Shelly Alexander

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Description

She wants to get Wilde. She should be careful what she asks for.” –Ethan Wilde

There are worse things in life than owning a thriving business in the heart of Manhattan and being labeled one of the Big Apple’s most eligible bachelors. Trust me, I know. I’ve had some bad $h!t go down before I got to where I am.

No matter what curve balls life lobs at me, I take a swing. If I strike out, I learn, adjust, and make the best of it. For instance, when an injury ended my dream of playing in the Bigs, I could’ve sunken into self-pity. When my fiancée dumped me about thirty seconds after the major league scout did, I could’ve become a drunk. Instead, I got off my ass, finished my senior year of college, and put the degree my baseball scholarship earned me to work.

Seven years later, I’m living a new dream. I’m single, well off, and about to take my business to the next level. I’ve got plans for A Pound of Flesh Fitness gyms to open nationwide.

Except the one person standing between me and my dream has become a fantasy. A hot, redheaded fantasy. My competition…my business enemy, is five feet nothing and packed full of dynamite, and I can’t get her out of my mind or my fantasies. Her sexy as sin body, her sultry voice, and her bold personality that’s just as fiery as her hair may have gotten under my skin, but there’s no way I’ll let her stay there.

Because no one gets to Ethan Wilde.

There’s just one little detail I can’t stop wondering about. The one thing that has brought men down since the beginning of time. I can’t leave it alone until I know for sure: Is she a true redhead?

Bestselling author Shelly Alexander brings you this brand new series of super sexy, sizzling hot heroes. It’s a fun, flirty, and dirty series written in the male POV.

If you like your romance hot and fun, then grab a comfy spot under a fan and enjoy! If you like them sweeter with a touch of steam, try Shelly Alexander’s Red River Series.

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Author Bio

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A 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, Shelly Alexander grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, she watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing steamy contemporary romances while tending to a miniature schnauzer named Omer, a tiny toy poodle named Mozart, and a pet boa named Zeus.

Keep up to date and follow Shelly here

Website http://shellyalexander.net/

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#Release Blitz# FATHER= Clarissa Wild is now LIVE!!!

Title: Father
Author: Clarissa Wild
Genre: Romance Suspense/Taboo Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Cover Designer: Booming Covers

 

Confess your sin.


People call me Father, but I prefer Frank because I’m the worst preacher you’ll ever meet.
Days spent completely wasted pull a number on you, especially when you’ve got a truckload of baggage that comes with it.
Until this beautiful girl in the back of the church takes my breath away.
…And we end up committing sacrilege in the confessional.
Did I mention I’m filthy?
Bad doesn’t even begin to describe me, and after one taste of what she’s got to offer, I want more.
Too bad having a dirty mind isn’t the only thing we’ve got in common…
Our past is laced with sin.

Author’s Note: This book is not for everyone. It’s raw. It’s vulgar. It’s downright offensive. But it’s oh so damn delicious with a capital D. If you are easily offended or prudish, please don’t read this book. But if you like a bit of humor mixed in with raunchiness and brawling, you’ll love this book.
Contains disturbing situations, strong language, and graphic violence.

“Fuck …” she murmurs, and she bites my lip, drawing more blood. “I fucking hate you so much right now.”
“Hmm … I can tell,” I muse, licking the top of her lips and pulling her closer. “And I fucking hate that too.”
“Fuck you; you’re the cause of all this,” she whispers as I let my tongue roam free across her neck.
“You were the one who seduced me. This is what you get,” I tease, licking her skin.
She leans back and tries to smack me again, but this time I grasp both her wrists and pin them to the wall. “You wanna do this the hard way? You got it,” I growl, and I nudge her legs apart with my knee. “But I’m not going anywhere, and you know it.”
“Damn you,” she hisses, so I cover her mouth with mine to stop the complaining.
She wants this.
She clearly does, or she wouldn’t have kissed me.
She’s just mad that she does, and that’s okay. I’m pissed off too.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t fix this shit.
And what better way to make up than with a bit of hard, rough fucking? Nothing.
So I curl my fingers under her shirt and rip it off, not giving a shit that it’s tearing at the seams. And lucky me … she’s not even wearing a bra.
“Hey!” she calls out, but I smother her with more kisses and lick the seam of her mouth until she parts her lips and lets me in. My tongue always shuts her up.
Her tits are a handful and feel so nice as I rub my thumb across her nipples, hardening them.
“You know you like this,” I murmur against her lips, grinning like a motherfucker as I twist her nipple.
“Shut up,” she growls, and she rakes her fingers through my hair as she kisses me.
“We’ll see about that,” I mutter. “After I take your ass.”
Her comeback is to rip off my shirt and buttons fly everywhere.
I love it when she gets feisty.
I spin her around so she’s facing the wall. “Mine.”
Mine? You wish,” she says, so I push my hard-on against her thighs.
“Oh yes, you’re mine, all right. Feel this? That’s what you do to me. That’s how crazy you make me, even when we hate each other’s guts.”
“Just fuck me. I’m done talking,” she hisses, eyeing me from over her shoulder as my hand slithers down her belly.
I rip down her zipper and pull the button loose, taking down her pants and underwear in one go.
She squeals again, but I cover her mouth with my hand and whisper, “Don’t want the kids to hear you moan …”
She still looks furious as my hand dives between her legs. I grin when I feel her slickness, even when she tries to keep her legs together.
“See?” I muse.
“I so wanna smack that grin off your face,” she growls.
“You can try … but nothing can beat this.” I rub my fingers up and down her slit, slowly easing her into it until her legs part and I can swivel across her clit. “As much as I hate to say it … you’re mine now, and I don’t let go of what’s mine.”
She smiles again and bites her lip, looking at me with those dreamy eyes. Gosh, I wanna kiss her so badly. And then I figure … why not?
So I grab her face and pull her close until our lips touch and our mouths lock. I can’t help but smile as I kiss her because every second I taste her on my lips is another win.
She’s everything I ever wanted, and I think I’m only just beginning to understand what this means for me. For us. For the future.
When our lips unlatch, her face still hovers so close to mine. I can feel her hot breath on my skin, and it makes me wanna do all the dirty stuff I promised the nurses I wouldn’t. The question is: Would anyone notice if we did?
“I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no,” she quips, putting up a finger.
“Aw … c’mon.” I sigh.
“No! This is a hospital, for crying out loud.” She snorts. “But I’m glad your dick still works perfectly fine.”
“You can break my bones and shoot me down, but nothing will ever stop this monster dick from getting stiff as a rod, trust me.”
She snorts, and I kiss her again for good measure, tasting the sweetness that is her mouth so I can remember it while I’m stuck in this stupid hospital bed and she’s gone home.
“Ugh … I wish I could stay,” she murmurs against my lips.
“Can’t you?”
“I’m not a patient, remember?”
“You could be. There’s an empty bed. I’ll kick Carl out.”
She sniggers from my comment. “You’ll be out in no time.”
“And what then?” I ask. “Are you coming to live with me in the church or …?”
“No, thanks. I don’t wanna get killed by Margaret. Or worse … give her a heart attack.”
“Heart attack?” I frown.
“She’d die of one if she caught us having sex one more time.”
I laugh. “Well, she’ll just have to deal with that then. I mean, c’mon, a man’s got his needs, right? She knows that.”
“Does she even like me?” she asks, toying with my hair.
“Of course, she does.” I grab her hand and kiss the back. “You like me … so she likes you too. The two go hand in hand.”
“Really?” She raises a brow. “Because I know what we did last time we were there, and it wasn’t pretty.”
“We’ll be more … secretive from now on,” I muse, biting my lip. “And I can’t wait to defile the church all over again.” I grunt and pull her onto the bed with me, smashing my lips to hers, fiercely taking her.
I can’t help myself. It’s just the way I am. A needy asshole who can’t get enough of her.
“Stop,” she murmurs, grinning. “We have to behave.”
“For now. But wait until I’m outta here. Then we’ll see how bad I can get.”
“Who says I wanna?”
“Don’t lie to yourself,” I tease, poking her in the belly. “You and I both know you want me.”
“Fine.” She rolls her eyes. “I’ll take you back, but …” She pushes me back with a flat hand. “You still have some making up and groveling to do, Mister.”
With a lopsided smile, I say, “Call me Father Frank … and I’ll make you confess all your sins.”

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Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, the Stalker Duology, Twenty-One (21), Ultimate Sin, Viktor, Bad Teacher, RUIN, and the Indecent Games Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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