Devil’s Angel Blog Tour & Excerpt By Julie Capulet

April 19, 2022 | Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt | By

Three powerful families. Three arranged marriages. And one beautiful stranger with a secret who changes everything.

Devil’s Angel, an all-new steamy new adult standalone romance from bestselling author Julie Capulet is available now!

Cassidy They say family is something you’re born with. Mine abandoned me long ago. They say true love is a myth. Mine showed up as a gorgeous devil who almost killed me. I fought back. Our bodies and our hearts knew, even if our realities would never allow it.

Knox I’m one of five heirs to the Ramsey fortune and estate, a hundred acres of tropical paradise on the island of Kauai. I’m also the chosen one—a detail that’s about to ruin my life. My marriage will be arranged, to secure the alliance between families.

But when a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger literally slays me, she changes everything.

This is more than obsessive lust. It’s the kind of star-crossed love worth dying for. And it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because settling for a future without her is no longer an option.

DEVIL’S ANGEL is a steamy standalone new adult arranged marriage romance set in paradise. It contains scorching hot love scenes and is intended for readers 18+

Grab your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3tzTHYT Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/DevilsAngel

Add Devil’s Angel to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3wAg6XV

Excerpt

I walk the six blocks to Perfection Catering to start work. They’re already loading up the vans parked out in front, so I show my ID to the driver and get into the van, where Maggie has saved a seat for me. “I can’t believe we’re going to Seven Mile Beach,” she gushes. “What’s Seven Mile Beach?” “Are you kidding me? It’s only the most expensive residence in the United States. We’re working for the Fitzpatricks today. It’s Vivi Fitzpatrick’s twentieth birthday party.” “Vivi Fitzpatrick.” Doesn’t ring a bell. “Should I know who that is?” Maggie rolls her eyes, like she can’t believe anyone could be so obtuse. “What am I going to do with you? The Fitzpatricks are celebrities. They own the most exclusive high-end hotels in Waikiki. Their resorts are where the tourists with serious money stay.” Maggie keeps up with all the latest social media gossip. I, it has to be said, don’t. “Here, I’ll show you their photos.” Maggie knows I don’t really have the time or the data to scroll the internet non-stop. She fills me in on all the gaps in my celebrity education. “This is Malachi.” She zooms in. “Isn’t he absolutely gorgeous?” I guess he is, in an internet-worthy sort of a way. He has black hair and white teeth. He’s surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis smiling vapidly for the camera. “Perri, Tatum and Vivi Fitzpatrick’s follower numbers on Instagram are ranked one, two and three in the world.” Maggie scrolls further. “Here’s a photo of the three of them.” I point to the sister in the middle as she zooms in. “Is that Tatum?” I recognize her face. “Yes. And this one’s Perri. And that’s Vivi on the right.” Vivi isn’t smiling. Perri is wearing a lot of make-up. She has a weird sheen to her, like she could be made of plastic. I don’t get a chance to ask Maggie more questions because we’re driving up to a massive gate. We come to a stop and several security guards climb aboard. The van is searched and we all have to be checked with metal detectors to make sure we’re not armed. Which seems a little over the top but I guess these celebrities can’t be too careful. We finally pass the inspection and our fleet of vans gets waved through. A palm-tree lined entrance winds along a grassy slope overlooking a golden sand beach and the turquoise water. Maggie and I are both wide-eyed as we drive into the compound. The house looks like a five-star plantation-style hotel with modern additions. There’s a gigantic lanai and a glittering infinite pool surrounded by palm trees. The entire place gleams with money. We’re led inside, and put to work alongside the army of staff that are already setting up the outdoor area with the tables, decorations, an outdoor up-market tiki bar and a giant buffet. The day goes quickly, and the limousines start pulling up just after six o’clock. Maggie and I are given trays with flutes of champagne and told to stand near the entrance so we can serve the new arrivals. From here, Maggie fills me in on who’s who. “I love this job,” Maggie gushes. Then her eyes go wide. “Holy shit, that’s Jagger King!” He’s stepping out of a white stretch limousine. He has straw-colored blond hair that catches the early evening sun. The rolled-up sleeves of his shirt show off his gold chains, his suntan and his tattoos. “God, he’s so beautiful.” “Is he a movie star too? He looks like one.” “No, he works for his family,” Maggie explains. “All the Kings do. They own banks, skyscrapers and basically half the real estate and businesses in Honolulu. If the Fitzpatricks are the Hollywood of Hawaii, the Kings could be described as the Wall Street.” “He doesn’t look like a banker.” “That’s because he has so much money, he can look however he wants.” Two other people get out of the limo. “There’s Stone,” Maggie whispers excitedly. Stone is tall and lankier than his brother. He’s wearing sunglasses and black clothes. “And there’s Aurora.” Maggie is totally starstruck. Aurora has dark red hair and a sexy, femme fatale look. She’s wearing a red dress, if it could even be called a dress. It’s more like a shred of ripped fabric that’s covering only the most necessary areas. The Kings are coming up the steps. Maggie and I watch them as they help themselves to champagne. Up close, they’re even more striking. Their clothes and their obvious, glittering wealth give them a power that’s hard to describe. Jagger is the most physically stunning, but all three of them have a magnetic, sparked presence, like if you touched them they might give you an electric shock. As Jagger takes a champagne flute from my tray, his gaze lands briefly on my face. His gold hair catches the light almost theatrically but his irises are a very dark brown. As our eyes meet, something about him seems almost weirdly … familiar. But why would it? I most definitely have never met Jagger King. Maybe I’ve seen a photo of him somewhere before. He winks at me before sauntering off into the growing crowd. Maggie exhales a shaky breath. “Did you see that? He looked right at you!” There’s some commotion as more people make their entrance behind us, from the interior of the house. “It’s Perri and Vivi,” Maggie exclaims with hushed awe. “Vivi is the one in purple.” Both women are dark-haired and exotic-looking. They’re wearing the most to-die-for outfits I’ve ever seen. “Oh, look, here comes Echo Ramsey.” A valet opens the door of the next car and a young woman steps out. “Who’s Echo Ramsey?” I whisper back. Maggie gives me a look. “You seriously must be living under a rock, Cassidy. You’ve never heard of Echo Ramsey?” “Uh … no.” “The Ramseys live on Kauai,” Maggie explains patiently. “All three families are interconnected. There are a lot of marriages between the families and they own businesses together. The Ramseys are more reclusive than the others.” “Why?” “They just prefer to stay out of the limelight. Their house is like a castle. It’s surrounded by acres of land and high, guarded walls. I’ve heard it’s like an absolute fortress, but inside there’s this beautiful haven, with all kinds of orchards and botanical gardens. The Ramseys live like they’re still on the frontier. They ride horses. They grow crops and they live almost entirely off the land.” “Wow.” I imagine what that must be like. To catch your own fish or pick fruit off your very own trees. “My friend’s cousin went to a party there once. She said they all look like supermodels.” “Echo Ramsey sure looks like one.” Echo is willowy thin with dark, glossy long hair that’s beautifully cut. She’s almost ethereal-looking, like she could be half fairy or a nymph who just wandered in from a magical woodland. There’s a quiet gravity to her. It’s the groundedness of someone who belongs and who walks around every day feeling the effortless security of that. You can tell she’s loved. You can tell it holds her up and shapes the way she looks at the world. I have a radar for that kind of thing because it’s so absent in my own life. “Blaise Ramsey is stunning too,” Maggie says. “They all are. I’ve seen the occasional photo of Remington, in the city. He’s the oldest. He’s on the board of some of the businesses the families co-own. He’s huge and built like a fighter. So are Knox and Wolf. They train in MMA, I’ve heard. But they hate publicity. There are a lot of cousins and extended family too, like a clan, but it’s the five siblings that get talked about most.” And now I’m curious. “What about the other two? Knox. And Wolf.” They have unusual names. “Apparently Wolf is crazy and, like, armed. He’s some kind of weapons expert or something. I don’t know much about Knox. My friend’s cousin said he was the most gorgeous of all of them. He’s seriously hot and he spends most of his time swimming and hunting. He’s sort of wild and outdoorsy, like a tropical island version of a hot mountain man. He’s hardly ever seen. I’ve never seen a picture of him. But according to my friend, all the Ramsey men are absolutely lethal—I mean, I don’t know why you’d describe someone you just met as lethal, but that’s what she said.” “Wow,” I say again. It all sounds so wildly romantic. Keeping to yourselves. Swearing loyalty to your clan. Growing up like I have, I’ve always coveted the idea of a haven. What would that be like, to belong to a place that’s guarded and beautiful and filled with people who know you and who care about you enough to keep you safe? I wish I could find out.
About Julie Capulet Julie Capulet writes contemporary romance starring sexy, obsessed alphas and the sweet & sassy women who bring them to their knees. Her stories are inspired by true love and she’s married to her own real life hero. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking on the beach, drinking wine and watching rom-coms.

Connect with Julie Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qzHIIX Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3wxBEoj Facebook: https://bit.ly/380gkxx Instagram: https://bit.ly/3wFKT61 Website: https://www.juliecapulet.com/

Read More...

Excerpt Blitz & *Giveaway* – Say It’s Forever, AL Jackson

March 17, 2022 | Posted in Excerpt | By

Say It’s Forever

A Close Proximity, Single Parent Romance from A.L. Jackson

Coming March 28th

“You matter, Salem. You matter. Look at you, darlin’.”

There was the charm all mixed up with the disorder that was at the heart of this man. 

My chest squeezed and the blood thundered through my veins. 

“Beauty. The meaning of it.” The words fell on a harsh exhale from his lips, and the air that was barely skating up my throat died right there when he slowly toed off the dress shoes he wore. 

Obsidian eyes flashed like a rush of the darkest night, rough as they devoured me from across the space.

Without looking away, he leaned down and peeled the socks from his feet.

I gulped, then I was nearly passing out when he ticked through the buttons on his shirt and peeled that off, too. 

The man was nothing but wide, wide shoulders. Muscle everywhere, bulky on his arms and chest, his abdomen packed, tapering down and narrow at the waist. 

Most all of his skin was covered in ink that seemed to scream the same as the walls, though it remained indistinct in the minimal light cast down from the rafters. 

But I could make out enough to get the intonation.

The pure intimidation. 

Menace and peril and life. 

The mountain of a man stood there for a moment, then he took a step forward. 

Energy rushed across the floor.

He approached like a phantom. Like a painting that had come to life. 

It covered me whole and caressed me in shadows. 

I was right. This man was definitely, definitely dangerous.

There was no question about it then.

And still, I remained there, held in his gaze, feeling the safest I’d ever felt. 

I thought he was coming for me, only he slipped by on his bare feet. 

Desire rippled through on his wake. 

God, that was sexy, too. 

Jud Lawson was an anomaly.

Conflict and peace.

Harmony and dissention. 

A blinding light in the longest night. 

Stealer of heart and sanity and good sense.

Because remaining there on the ground like an offering? 

Posing for him? 

There was no question I’d lost my mind.

His aura rippled through the room as he moved over to the wall that I faced. He pulled an easel closer, and the canvas he set on it looked like it’d been painted over a thousand times. He knelt to open a few jars of paint. 

He picked up a brush and studied me.

I trembled beneath his watch.

“Beauty,” he rumbled. “Second I saw you out in the rain. Thought I had to be imagining things. Hallucinating.” 

“I was terrified,” I admitted, our voices dancing through the condensed air. 

Louder than they should be. 

The thrumming of our hearts was palpable.

Frantic beats that echoed against the other. 

A smirk ticked at the corner of his sexy mouth, then it slipped when he glanced at me then to the canvas. He began to paint. Quick, sweeping strokes, as if the images fell from him without thought. “I felt your fear, Salem. I felt your desperation. Wonder if I felt it then, that we were bound to be more than strangers. Wonder if I knew you were supposed to be on the back of my bike that night. Wonder if I knew you were going to become something that mattered in my life.” 

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box?  PRE-ORDER HERE

Can’t wait for the release? Be sure to vote for SAY IT’S FOREVER as one of your most anticipated March reads on Goodreads!

Vote Here

“If you want a book that will wreck you in the best way possible than grab this UNPUTDOWNABLE, HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL story that will leave you with ALL THE FEELS!” 

— Melissa, Book Addict Fanatic

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box?  PRE-ORDER HERE


The Alternate Cover is Here!

Not only do we have the AMAZING release boxes up, but the alternate cover is now available to pre-order as well. I am IN LOVE with both covers and can’t choose a favorite!

If you can’t choose either – I also have hardbacks that feature both!

Want a Say It’s Forever Release Box? It includes a signed paperback, premium merchandise, and goodies! This box is even better than the last and I CAN’T WAIT for you all to see what’s inside!!!

 

Quantities are limited and boxes sell out fast, so reserve yours now!

SAY IT’S FOREVER PAPERBACK & RELEASE BOX PRE-ORDER


GIVEAWAY

Signed Give Me a Reason & Absolution Gift Set

ENTER HERE

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box? PRE-ORDER HERE


A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, FALLING STARS, and REDEMPTION HILLS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, SAY IT’S FOREVER, releasing March 28th!

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Newsletter: https://geni.us/ALJacksonBookClubB

 

Facebook: https://geni.us/ALJacksonFBB

Reader Group: https://geni.us/AmysAngelsB

Amazon: https://geni.us/ALJacksonAmznB

Bookbub: https://geni.us/ALJacksonBookBubB

Twitter: @aljacksonauthor

Instagram: @aljacksonauthor

TikTok: @aljacksonauthor

Read More...

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review – Thick as Thieves, Lucy Lennox

March 4, 2022 | Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review | By

Thick as Thieves, an all-new must-read mm romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lucy Lennox is available now!

Julian: I’ve been in love with my best friend since forever. Okay, fine. Like, kindergarten. It started out platonic, obviously, but then became… nope. Still platonic. The problem is that Parker Ellis has been straight since forever. And that makes it difficult to convince him the two of us are meant to be together. And now there’s no point. All is lost. He’s gone and gotten engaged to his high-school sweetheart which means I have to grin and bear it while pretending to be the happy, supportive best man while he prepares to commit his life to a woman I can’t even fault. She’s great. We’ve all been friends forever. I know he’ll be happy with Erin, just not… just not as happy as he could be with me.

Parker: I’ll admit. Sometimes I press the easy button. Like when Julian Thick had offered me half his sandwich back in grade school after noticing I didn’t have any food. Or when I’d needed a date to homecoming in tenth grade and Erin told me she was it. Or when I’d used the one thing that came easy to me, skiing, to get my college tuition paid for. Or when Erin had showed back up in my life six months ago and told it was time to marry and start a family… But for the first time in my life I’m facing something that’s not at all easy. It’s my wedding weekend and I’ve just been left at the altar. Not only that, but when my best friend whisks me away to drown my sorrows in a snowy cabin in Aster Valley, I accidentally discover Julian’s been keeping secrets. Big secrets. The kind of secrets that lead to hot experimental kisses in front of a blazing fire, tenative physical exploration in a way I’d never imagined before, and the kind of intimate, true confessions I’d never even dreamed of between me and the one person who’s always been my true home. But after twenty-plus years of thinking of Jules as my friend without benefits, is it truly possible to change who we are to each other? There’s no easy button this time, but I’m willing to do the work. I only wonder if Julian is ready to trust I really mean it.

Fall in love today! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CsFZs5 Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ThickasThiev

Add Thick as Thieves to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3CAv13H

 

Kara's Review

5 out of 5 stars

Thick as Thieves is the fourth book in the Aster Valley series by Lucy Lennox. I can’t even express how much I love this series and every one is my new favorite. They just keep getting better and better. We have known Julian for a while and oh man, I knew his story was going to be good. He’s been in love with his best friend, who is straight, for most of his life. He’s been his person and he’s about to lose him. Parker wasn’t ready for what happened, but it was for the best. Now he can see what he’s been missing for years. Julian is not only his best friend, who he loves, he’s also the love of his life. But he’s been straight (ish) his whole life. Now he just has to convince Julian that he wants to be with him in every way. Julian can’t believe Parker loves him and wants to be with him. He thinks it’s too big a decision to make on the fly, but he knows Parker and he trusts him. Is it possible for Julian to get everything he’s ever wanted? I love these two so much! They are so funny and serious and silly. The best of friends who become lovers. It was emotional and sexy and so much fun! I was literally laughing out loud for most of the book. I loved seeing all my favorites from Aster Valley and meeting new people. Oh, and the surprise character? I yelled when I heard his name! I can’t wait for his story too!

Excerpt

PROLOGUE Julian It wasn’t the first time Parker had snuck into my house in the middle of the night, but it was the worst. He was already crying, and his clothes were covered in dirt. I’d left the bathroom light on by accident, and when the sound of the window woke me up, there was enough light for me to make out the smudges on his sweatshirt and debris in his hair. Parker Ellis was awkward at the age of fourteen—tall and scrawny, all elbows and knees—but he was my awkward. “C’mere,” I croaked, opening the covers so he could get warm. I was still half-asleep. Normally, I would have been annoyed at getting my bed dirty, but I could tell how upset he was. As soon as he dove beneath the covers, I dropped the comforter and pulled him in close. He smelled like the cold night air and the dry leaves he’d probably had to wade through to get to my window. “What happened? What’d they do?” Parker’s parents were assholes. They’d been assholes the entire time I’d known him, but it hadn’t been until the last two years of elementary school that he’d started sneaking over to my house when things got really bad. In the beginning, it had been loud parties lasting late into the night. But then his dad had gotten a job with lots of travel. There was less partying, but there was also more neglect. Parker’s mom had gone out with friends instead of having people over. She’d forget to get groceries or feed him dinner. Once my parents had figured out what was happening, they’d given him an open invitation to come to our house for meals anytime. They also knew he spent the night often, but since they had a “no sleepovers on school nights” policy, they simply looked the other way when he snuck in on a weeknight. This had been going on for years, but lately, it had gotten worse. Now that we were in middle school, his parents felt like Parker was old enough to be left home alone overnight, sometimes for weeks at a time. His mom had gotten jealous of his dad’s travel and had insisted on joining him on his trips, leaving Parker on his own in a big empty house with no food and no one to help him with his homework or take him to and from after-school activities. Watching Parker’s parents treat him like shit was the first time I’d realized even a kid from a family with plenty of money could suffer from hunger and neglect. It wasn’t quite enough for anyone to call Child Protective Services and risk putting him in the system, since he was surrounded by families like ours who would take him in and make sure he had what he needed, but it still sucked. “I hate them,” he growled, snuggling in closer to me for warmth. His skin was cold and prickly with goose bumps. “I hate them so fucking much.” We had an important math test tomorrow, and Parker had been over earlier that afternoon so my sister, Hazel, could help both of us with our review homework. He’d walked home right after dinner the way he usually did when he came home with me after school. “What happened?” I asked again. I rubbed his back through his sweatshirt, trying to help him get warm. Hot tears landed on my neck, and his fingers gripped the thin cotton of my T-shirt. “My key didn’t work. I had to crawl around in the bushes to find that rock thing where we keep a hidden one, but that didn’t work either.” He sniffed and took a breath. “So I waited for Mom to get home, but she never came. And then I walked down to the gas station to use their phone to call her. She said she…” His hand clenched tighter, accidentally catching one of the few hairs on my chest. “She changed the locks because she didn’t trust the house cleaners. But she forgot to tell me, and then… and then she left to go to Chicago with a friend at the last minute. She said not to break a window or I’d have to pay for it. But my English homework is in there, and all my clothes, and…” I was so angry, I wanted to punch something. Parker didn’t have any money. We were fourteen. Every dollar he made trying to mow people’s lawns in summer and shovel snow in winter was spent on buying himself food or other things his parents neglected to provide for him, despite all the money they had. “Did you talk to your dad?” He shook his head. “How can he help? He’s in Florida at a conference. I’m just so embarrassed. I’m sorry for coming over again. I tried to sleep on the chair on the front porch, but it’s too cold without a blanket.” I pulled his face out of my neck and held him by the cheeks. “You listen to me, Parker Ellis,” I hissed. “You never, ever need to sleep outside when I have a warm, safe place for you here. Okay? Don’t you dare think you have to stay there alone when you can stay with me. My parents love you. They wouldn’t want you to stay there by yourself, even if you had a key.” He sniffed again. “Yeah, I know. Okay.” I grumbled about his asshole parents while he nestled back against my shoulder. “I like staying with you,” Parker admitted softly a few minutes later. “Everything’s better when I’m with you.”

Meet Lucy Lennox Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s. She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because she is a sucker for a good story.

Connect with Lucy Facebook: https://bit.ly/3ABkjcV Instagram: https://bit.ly/3s472GI Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2VEtw4W Website: http://www.lucylennox.com Stay up to date with Lucy by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/3fSX6e7

Read More...

Excerpt Reveal – The Assignment, Penelope Ward

February 24, 2022 | Posted in Excerpt | By

 

Title: The Assignment
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2022
BLURB

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

 

Reasons why I should not be drawn to Troy Serrano.
Number one: He’s obnoxious.
Number two: He and I were enemies over a decade ago in high school.
Number three: He’s my friend’s ex-boyfriend.
I could go on and on, really.
When my boss gives me an unwanted assignment and tells me it involves spending time with the grandson of one of our residents—the grandson turns out to be Troy. He’s now as successful as he is undeniably handsome.
Lucky me. Four hours a week of having to deal with his insufferable personality and unsolicited advice.
The only consolation is getting to stare at his annoyingly gorgeous face in between our many arguments.
Eventually, though, we slowly warm to each other and our outings become something I actually look forward to.

 

What’s happening to me?

 

Apparently, I misunderstood the assignment, because it certainly didn’t include thinking about Troy when I close my eyes at night, imagining what it would be like with him—just once. All the while hating myself for fantasizing about a guy who’s all wrong for me. A guy whose car I keyed back in the day. (Long story, but he deserved it.)
That’s all this is—a fantasy.
Well, until that one night at the bar.
The night Troy and I run into each other, and all of our pent-up frustration comes barreling out.
Still, I refuse to accept that it means anything.
There’s no way the guy I’m supposed to hate is also the one I can’t live without.

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS
**No Amazon e-book preorder. 
Will go live on/around release day

 

EXCERPT

 

Copyright © 2021 Penelope Ward

 

I hadn’t gone out with a man in ages, and I needed to get back in the game before I shriveled up. I laughed to myself. If only these dating app boys could see me in this mask and robe.
I sipped my tea and began to alternate scrolling with shoveling unsweetened cacao nibs into my mouth.
After several minutes of swiping through, I suddenly stopped chewing at the sight of a familiar pair of pearly whites.

 

I know those teeth.
I know that man.
Oh God.

 

Staring me in the face was none other than Troy Serrano.

 

Holy crap.

 

Troy, 29

 

I tossed my phone as if it were infected with a contagious virus.
A few seconds later, I picked it back up and stared at his profile picture. I wouldn’t have imagined Troy needed to use a dating app, but being new to town again, maybe he felt like it was the easiest way to meet people. Of course, the app had sent him my way in part because we were geographically close to each other. I wanted to block him, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. I’d never had to block anyone from seeing my profile before. But there was no way I wanted him to notice me on here. If he’d come up as an option for me, surely the app would present me to him at some point. My stomach sank. I’d figure out how to block him right after I thoroughly scrutinized his profile.
The photos he’d chosen were, of course, really good. But could he even take a bad photo with that face and f*ck-me hair? In one, he wore a form-fitting black sweater and leaned up against a brick wall. In another, he held up a fish he’d caught, with his chiseled abs on display.
Then I scrolled down to the section where you were supposed to describe yourself. Whereas most men write a simple paragraph, Troy had written an obituary.

 

God, what the hell is this?

 

 

Financial advisor Troy S.’s love of life will live on through his many friends who will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest.
Born in Meadowbrook, New Jersey, to a single father who broke his ass raising him, Troy learned firsthand what it meant to work hard. On his own, though, he figured out that working hard meant you should play harder.
Troy attended the University of Florida for both his undergraduate degree and Masters in Business Administration. (Go Gators!) After several years of partying it up, Troy decided to take life seriously for once as he embarked on a career as one of the premier financial advisors in the Pacific Northwest. Troy shared his passion for numbers with his many happy clients.
The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Troy. He was equally happy Netflix-and-chilling as he was ziplining in Costa Rica. On weekends, Troy often spent time teaching himself how to play the guitar. He loved to explore local hiking trails and struck up conversations with strangers in many of Seattle’s coffee shops, charming people with his charisma and verve for life.
He had a remarkable ability to see the silver lining in everything. His positive personality was contagious to everyone he met. Troy is survived by his father, grandfather, and one needy cat.
Lucky for you, all of the above is mostly true except that Troy’s not actually dead. He’s very much alive and eager to see if you’re a match.

 

 

Lordy.

 

My phone vibrated, scaring the living hell out of me. It was a text from Jasmine, making sure I’d gotten home okay. But then the screen changed. Wait, what? When my hand jerked, I’d accidentally swiped right on Troy’s profile. I wouldn’t have even realized this were it not for the words: It’s a match!

 

What?
Oh no.

 

No. No. No.

 

If we matched, that meant one thing: Troy had previously swiped right on me. Ugh! How long had he known I was on here?
I threw the phone again, as if it were infected with yet another dangerous virus.
For about a minute, I just sat in a panic, my hands wrapped around my face.
Then I picked up the phone to try to undo the action. But before I could find the information, a notification popped up. Troy had sent me a direct message through the app.
My heart pounded in my chest. I clicked on it.

 

Troy: Well, well, well. What do we have here?

 

I couldn’t type fast enough.

 

Aspyn: We have nothing here. I accidentally swiped right on your profile. This was a mistake.

 

My pulse raced as the little dots moved around.

 

Troy: Um, what now? How exactly does that happen? Accidentally swiping right?

 

I realized how ridiculous that sounded. But it was the damn truth! Figures the stupidest thing ever would happen to me, and I’d never be able to convince him it was true.

 

Aspyn: My phone vibrated and startled me. I happened to be looking at your profile at the time.

 

 

Troy: Oh, that explains it. Phones vibrating can be quite traumatic.

 

I blew a frustrated breath toward my forehead.

 

Aspyn: You don’t have to believe me, but it’s the truth.

 

 

Troy: Why were you looking at my profile?

 

 

Aspyn: Because this stupid app force fed it to me.

 

 

Troy: So, were you looking at my pictures, thinking: “Damn, he’s a handsome sonofabitch. Too bad I hate him.”

 

 

Aspyn: You got the last part right. 😉

 

 

Troy: What did you think of my profile?

 

 

Aspyn: Honestly?

 

 

Troy: Yeah.

 

 

Aspyn: It’s utterly obnoxious.

 

 

Troy: Why do you say that?

 

 

Aspyn: That fake obituary? LOL Do you expect people to take you seriously?

 

 

Troy: It was supposed to be FUNNY and clever. I thought you said you liked funny men, according to your boring-as-f*ck bio.

 

 

Aspyn: If I’m so boring, why the hell did you swipe right on me?

 

 

Troy: Because I couldn’t get myself to swipe left. I felt bad for you. Let’s talk about your bio, though.

 

I looked up and screamed at the ceiling. My voice echoed throughout the house.

 

Aspyn: Let’s not.

 

 

Troy: Boring. As. F*ck. First off, though, a compliment: You look really hot in those photos. I barely recognized you.

 

I refused to acknowledge the chill that ran down my spine at his backhanded compliment. Instead, I typed again.

 

Aspyn: Nothing like immediately following up an insult with a compliment and then another insult.

 

 

Troy: It’s constructive criticism. I know you’re better than that bio. It was as if you copied and pasted it from some other boring-as-f*ck profile.

 

 

Aspyn: There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s simple and to the point. You’re not supposed to write a dissertation—or an obituary.

 

 

Troy: But you’re not selling who you actually are.

 

 

Aspyn: I didn’t realize I was supposed to be “selling” myself. I have enough trouble on the app attracting losers without doing anything at all. Maybe I should intentionally remain boring to keep them away. Yeah, that’s a better idea.

 

 

Troy: Well, your photos are the bomb. So you’re gonna attract a fair share of men. But come on, put a little life into the other stuff.

 

 

Aspyn: I was embarrassed for you reading your profile.

 

 

Troy: Well, at least within my fake obituary lies the essence of who I am.

 

 

Aspyn: A buffoon? You’re correct.

 

 

Troy: Let me help you rewrite your bio.

 

I cackled and typed.

 

Aspyn: No, thank you.

 

 

Troy: Give me a sec.

 

 

 

AUTHOR BIO
Penelope
Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling
author of contemporary romance.
 
She grew up
in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a
television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son,
and beautiful daughter with autism.
 
With over two
million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author
of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen
languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
AUTHOR LINKS
OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY / AUDIOBOOK

 

Read More...

Excerpt Reveal- The Summer Proposal, Vi Keeland

January 6, 2022 | Posted in Excerpt | By

 

 

Title: The Summer Proposal
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 10, 2022
Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, 
The Summer Proposal? 
Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Georgia

 

“What can I get you?” The bartender set a napkin down in front of me.

 

“Ummm… I’m meeting someone, so maybe I should wait.”
He rapped his knuckles against the bar. “Good enough. I’ll keep my eye out and stop back over when I see someone join you.”
But as he started to walk away, I reconsidered. “Actually!” I raised my hand like I was in school.
He turned around with a smile and arched a brow. “Change your mind?”
I nodded. “I’m about to meet a blind date, so I wanted to be polite, but I think I could use something to take the edge off.”
“Probably a good idea. What are you drinking?”
“A pinot grigio would be great. Thank you.”
He came back a few minutes later with a hefty pour and leaned his elbow on the bar. “So, blind date, huh?”
I sipped my wine and let out a sigh as I nodded. “I let my mom’s seventy-four-year-old friend Frannie set me up with her grandnephew to make my mom happy. She described him as ‘a smidge ordinary, but nice’. We’re supposed to meet here at five thirty. I’m a few minutes early.”
“First time letting someone fix you up?”
“Second, actually. The first was seven years ago. It took me this long to recover from it, if that tells you anything.”
The bartender laughed. “That bad?”
“I was told he was a comedian. So I figured, how terrible could it be going out with someone who makes people laugh for a living? The guy showed up with a puppet. Apparently his comedy act was as a ventriloquist. He refused to speak to me directly—wanted me to talk only to his dummy. Who, by the way, was named Dirty Dave, and every other comment out of its mouth was obscene. Oh, and my date’s mouth moved the entire time, so he wasn’t even a very good ventriloquist.”
“Damn.” The bartender chuckled. “Not sure I’d give another blind date a chance after that, even after a few years.”
I sighed. “I’m sort of regretting it already.”
“Well, if anyone comes in with a puppet, I got you covered.” He gestured toward a hallway behind him. “I know where all the emergency exits are, and I can sneak you out.”
I smiled. “Thanks.”
A couple sat down on the other end of the bar, so the bartender went to help them while I continued to stare at the entrance. I’d purposely taken a seat in the back corner so I could watch the front door, hoping to get a look at my date before he saw me. Not that I planned to ditch if he wasn’t handsome, but I didn’t want him to read disappointment on my face if I felt any. I’d always been terrible at masking my feelings.
A few minutes later, the restaurant’s door opened and a drop-dead gorgeous guy walked in. He looked like he belonged on a men’s cologne ad, probably emerging from crystal blue Caribbean water. I got excited, until I realized he couldn’t be my date.
Frannie had described Adam as a computer nerd. And pretty much any question I’d asked her about him, she’d answered, “About average.”

 

How tall is he? About average.
Is he handsome? About average.
Body type? About average.

 

This guy was tall, with broad shoulders, big, blue bedroom eyes, a chiseled jawline, dark hair that was sort of messy, but totally worked for him, and even though he was wearing a simple dress shirt and slacks, I could tell he was buff underneath. Frannie would have to be crazy to think anything about him was average.
Oh.

 

Oh!

 

Well, she was a little…different. Last time I went to Florida to see Mom, we went to lunch with Frannie, and she’d glowed orange from an excessive amount of self-tanner she’d bought on the Home Shopping Network. She also spent all afternoon telling us about her recent road trip to New Mexico to attend a UFO convention in Roswell.
But even with that factored in, this guy didn’t look like a computer nerd. Nevertheless, his eyes scanned the room, and when they met mine, he smiled.

 

Dimples.

 

Deep ones.
Oh, Lord. My heart did a little pitter-patter.

 

Could I be this lucky?

 

Apparently it was possible. Because the guy headed right toward me. I probably should’ve played it cool and looked away, but it was impossible not to stare.
“Adam?”
He shrugged. “Sure.”
I thought that was a bit of an odd response, but his smile widened, and those cavernous dimples seemed to turn my brain to mush.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Frannie. My mom is friends with Georgia.” I shook my head. “Sorry. I mean, I’m Georgia. My mom is friends with Frannie.”
“Nice to meet you, Georgia.”
He extended his hand, and when I placed mine in it, mine felt really…small.
“I have to say, you are definitely not what I was expecting. Frannie didn’t describe you very accurately.”
“Better or worse?”
Was he joking? “She may have described you as a nerd.”
He sat down on the stool next to me. “I usually don’t admit this when I first meet a woman, but I do have a Star Wars action figure collection.” He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. “In fact, I almost always have one on me. I’m a bit superstitious, and they bring me luck.”
Adam unfolded his big hand to reveal a tiny Yoda. He leaned over and set it on the bar in front of me, and a hint of cologne wafted through the air. Smells as good as he looks. There had to be something majorly wrong with him.
“Women tend to not like Star Wars for some reason,” he said. “Or a grown man carrying around an action figure.”
“I actually like Star Wars.”
He put his hand over his heart. “A beautiful woman who likes Star Wars? Should we skip the formalities and just grab a flight to Vegas to get married?”
I laughed. “Maybe, but first promise me you aren’t into ventriloquism.”
He crossed his heart. “Star Wars is as bad as it gets.”
The bartender came over to take Adam’s drink order. I was surprised when he asked for a Diet Coke.
“You’re not going to join me for a cocktail or a glass of wine?”
He shook his head. “Wish I could, but I have to work later.”
“Tonight?”
He nodded. “Yeah. I wish I didn’t. But I actually need to get out of here in a little while.”
I’d thought we were meeting for drinks and dinner, but perhaps Frannie had gotten that wrong.
“Oh, okay.” I forced a smile.
Apparently Adam saw right through it.
“I swear I’m not making that up. I do have to work. But I definitely would love to stay. Since I can’t, is it too early to say I’d love to see you again?”
I sipped my wine. “Hmmm… I’m not sure about that. Normally, I get to know someone on a first date, so I can weed out the serial killers and nutjobs. How am I supposed to know you’re not the next Ted Bundy if you’re running out of here?”
Adam stroked the scruff on his chin and looked at his watch. “I have about fifteen minutes. Why don’t we cut the small talk and you can ask me anything?”
“Anything?”
He shrugged. “I’m an open book. Take your best shot.”
I gulped my wine and turned in my seat to face him. “Alright. But I want to watch your face as I grill you. I’m terrible at hiding lies on mine but great at reading others.”
He smiled and turned, giving me his full attention. “Go for it.”
“Okay. Do you live with your mother?”
“No, ma’am. She doesn’t even live in the same state. But I do call home every Sunday.”
“Have you ever been arrested?”
“Public indecency in college. I was pledging a fraternity, and me and a bunch of other guys had to walk through the center of town naked. A group of girls stopped us and asked if any of us could hula hoop. Everyone else kept walking. I figured they were all too chicken, so I stopped. Apparently, the guys weren’t afraid; I was just the only one who didn’t see the cop coming out of a store a couple of doors down.”
I laughed. “Can you actually hula hoop?”
He winked. “Only naked. You wanna see?”
The smile on my face widened. “I’ll take your word for it.”
“Shame.”
“When was the last time you had sex?”
For the first time, the smile on his face wilted. “Two weeks ago. Are you gonna hold that against me?”
I shook my head. “Not necessarily. I appreciate the honesty. You could have lied and said a while ago.”
“Okay, good. What else you got?”
“Have you ever been in a relationship?”
“Twice. Once in college for a year, and then I dated a woman for eighteen months, and that ended two years ago.”
“Why did they end?”
“College, because I was twenty and…it was a crazy time in my life. And the woman I dated a few years back, because she wanted to get married and start a family, and I wasn’t ready.”
I tapped my pointer to my bottom lip. “Hmm… Yet you just asked me to go to Vegas and marry you.”
He grinned. “She didn’t like Star Wars.”
We were both too busy laughing to notice a guy walk up to us. I figured he must have known Adam, so I politely smiled and looked to him. But the guy spoke to me.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but are you Georgia Delaney?”
“Yes?”
He smiled. “I’m Adam Foster. Frannie showed me a picture of you, but it was from a costume party.” He motioned to the side of his head, twirling his hand around in a circle. “You were dressed as Princess Leia, with your hair all pinned up on the sides, so you looked a little different than you do now.”
I furrowed my brow. “You’re…Adam?”
The guy seemed just as confused as I was. “Yes.”
Now this man looked like what I’d been expecting: worn, brown tweed jacket, cropped hair parted to one side—sort of the average Joe that worked in the IT department at your office. But…
If he was Adam, then who was this?
I looked at the guy sitting next to me for an answer. Though that’s not what I got.
“Did you really dress as Princess Leia for a Halloween party?”
“Yes, but…”
Adam, or whoever the hell the guy sitting next to me was, put his finger over my lips and turned to the man who was apparently my date. “Can you just give us a minute?” he asked.
“Umm…sure.”
As soon as average Adam walked away, I laid into hot Adam. “Who the hell are you?”
“Sorry. My name is Max.”
“Do you make a habit of pretending to be someone else?”
He shook his head. “I just…I saw you sitting at the bar through the window when I was passing by, and you had such a pretty smile. I came over to introduce myself, and it was clear you were here to meet someone else. I guess I sort of panicked that you weren’t going to talk to me since I wasn’t Adam. So I went with it.”
“And what if my date hadn’t showed up? Would you have pretended to be Adam on a second date?”
Max dragged a hand through his hair. “I didn’t think that far ahead.”
Normally catching a date in a lie would make me angry, but finding out Max wasn’t Adam was more disappointing than anything. We’d had great chemistry, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so much meeting someone new.
“Was every answer a lie? Do you even like Star Wars?”
He held up both hands. “I swear. The only thing that wasn’t the truth was my name.”
I sighed. “Well, Max, thanks for the entertainment. But I don’t want to keep my real date waiting.”
He frowned, but nodded and stood. “It was nice meeting you. I guess asking for your number would be stupid right about now?”
I gave him a look. “Yes, it would. Have a good night, Max.”
He looked at me for a few seconds, then slipped a bill out of his wallet and tossed a hundred on the counter. “You, too, Georgia. I really enjoyed meeting you.”
Max took a few steps away, but then stopped and walked back. He again took out his billfold, only this time he peeled off what looked like a ticket of some sort and placed it on the bar in front of me. “I’d really love to see you again. If your real date turns out to be a dud or you change your mind, I promise I will never tell you another lie.” He pointed to the ticket. “I’ll be at the hockey game over at the Garden at seven thirty, if you would consider giving me another shot.”
What he said seemed heartfelt, but I was here to meet another man. Not to mention, I was really disappointed. I shook my head. “I don’t think so.”
With a sullen face, Max nodded one last time before walking away. I didn’t have time to process everything, but I felt a strange sense of loss when I watched him walk out the door. Though as soon as he disappeared from sight, my real date was next to me.
I had to force a smile. “Sorry about that. We, um, just had some business to wrap up.”
“No problem.” He smiled. “I’m just glad that guy wasn’t hitting on you, and I didn’t have to defend your honor. He was a tank.” Real Adam sat down. “Can I order you another wine?”
“That would be great. Thank you.”
“So…I take it you’re a big Star Wars fan?”
“Hmm? Oh, because of the costume.”
Adam pointed to the bar. “And the little Yoda.”
I looked down. Max had left his Yoda figurine behind. I guess he hadn’t been lying about being a Star Wars fan, considering he carried an action figure in his pocket. At least I hoped it wasn’t just a prop he used when he told strangers tall tales at bars and lied about his name.

 

***

 

Real Adam talked about artificial intelligence—a lot.
I tried to get my head back in the game after the Max letdown, but I knew before my actual date and I had finished a drink at the bar that this would be our only date. Adam was a nice-enough guy; there was just no connection, physical or mental. I wasn’t into computers or Bitcoin, which seemed to be a big thing for him, and he wasn’t into any of my hobbies, such as hiking, traveling, and watching old black-and-white movies. He didn’t even enjoy going to the movies. Who doesn’t love bingeing on popcorn and a gallon of soda while watching a big screen? Not to mention, when I told him about my work, he said he was allergic to flowers.
So when the waitress came by with a dessert menu, I politely declined.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a coffee or something?” Adam asked.
I shook my head. “I have to work in the morning. Having caffeine after noon keeps me up all night. But thank you.”
He nodded, though I could tell he was disappointed.
Outside the restaurant, he offered to share a cab, but I only lived eight blocks away. So I extended my hand to set the tone for the end of the evening.
“It was very nice to meet you, Adam.”
“You, too. Maybe we can…do this again sometime?”
It was so much easier to be upfront and tell a guy there wouldn’t be a second date when he was a jerk. But I always struggled with the nice ones. I shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. Take care, Adam.”
It was late April, but the cold weather just wouldn’t relent and allow spring to start this year, and a gust of wind blew while I waited at the intersection at the corner of the restaurant. I shoved my hands into my pockets for some warmth, and inside, something pointy pricked at my fingers. I slipped it out to see what it was.
Yoda.
His plastic ears were tapered to points, and there was a tiny chip on the left one. I’d forgotten I’d stuck him in my pocket when Adam and I had moved from the bar to a table. Looking down at him, I sighed. God, why couldn’t your owner have been my actual date tonight?
It had been a very long time since a man gave me the warm fuzzies in the pit of my belly—not since the day I’d met Gabriel. So maybe finding Yoda in my pocket was a sign? The light changed, and I walked a few more blocks, lost in thought.
Did it really matter that he’d pretended to be Adam? I mean, if he was telling the truth, he only did it so I’d talk to him. Let’s face it, if he had walked over and introduced himself as Max, I wouldn’t have invited him to sit down. I would have been polite and told him I was waiting for my date, no matter how gorgeous the man was. So, I couldn’t really say I blamed him…I guess.
I stopped for another red light at the crosswalk on 29th Street, this time at the corner of 7th as I made my way down to 2nd Avenue where I lived. While I waited, I looked to my right, and the neon lights of a sign hit me. Madison Square Garden. Now that was definitely a sign—quite literally. Between Yoda and walking right past the place Fake Adam had said he’d be…perhaps it was more than that.
I checked the time on my phone. Twenty after eight. He’d said he would be there at seven thirty, but I was sure the game took a few hours. Should I?
I nibbled on my lip as the light in front of me turned green. People on both sides of me started to walk…but I just stood there, staring down at Yoda.

 

Screw it.
Why not?
What do I have to lose?

 

The worst that could happen was that our initial connection fizzled or it turned out lying was one of Fake Adam’s hobbies. Or…the spark we’d had might lead to just the distraction I was looking for. I wouldn’t know unless I tried.
For the most part, I was pretty conservative with my choices in men. And look where that had gotten me. I was a twenty-eight-year-old workaholic, going on blind dates with my mom’s friend’s relatives. So screw it—I was going.
Once I made the decision, I couldn’t wait to get there. I practically jogged to Madison Square Garden, even in my heels from work. Inside, I showed my ticket to an usher standing at the entrance to the section listed, and he showed me to my seat.
As I walked down the stadium stairs, I looked around and noticed I was pretty overdressed. Most of the people had on jerseys and jeans. There were even a few shirtless guys with their bodies painted, and here I was wearing a cream silk blouse, red pencil skirt, and my favorite Valentino pumps. At least Max had been pretty dressed up.
I hadn’t noticed the row number on the ticket before handing it over to the usher, but the seats must’ve been decent because we just kept walking down toward the ice. When we hit the very first row, the usher extended his hand. “Here you go. Seat two is the second one in.”
“Wow, first row, directly in the middle on the fifty-yard line.”
The guy smiled. “In hockey we call it center ice.”
“Oh…okay.” But the seat next to the one he’d shown me to was empty, and Max was nowhere in sight. “Did you happen to see the person sitting in the seat at the end?” I asked.
The usher shrugged. “I’m not positive, but I don’t think they’ve arrived yet. Enjoy the game, miss.”
After he walked away, I stood looking down at the two empty seats. This was one outcome I hadn’t thought about: I might get stood up. Actually, would it even be considered standing someone up if the other person didn’t know you were coming? I wasn’t sure. But I was here, so I might as well take a seat and see if Max showed. He’d said he had to work, so perhaps he was running late. Or maybe he was already here, just in the men’s room or in line for a beer.
A woman sat on the other side of me. She smiled as I settled in. “Hi. Are you here to watch Yearwood? He’s on fire tonight, already slashed two in the net. Too bad they’re probably not going to be able to hold onto him for next season.”
I shook my head. “Oh. No, I’m actually meeting someone. I’ve never been to a live hockey game before.” Just as I said it, two guys slammed into the glass wall directly in front of me. I jumped, and the woman next to me laughed as they skated away.
“That happens a lot. You’ll get used to it.” She reached out her hand. “I’m Jenna, by the way. I’m married to Tomasso.” She pointed to the rink. “Number twelve.”
“Oh, wow. I guess I’m sitting next to the right person for my first game.” I put my hand to my chest. “I’m Georgia.”
“Anything you want explained, Georgia, you just let me know.”
For the next twenty minutes, I tried to watch the game. But I kept looking around to see if Max was coming down the stairs. Unfortunately, he never did. By nine o’clock, it was pretty clear I’d wasted my time. Since I had early meetings tomorrow morning, I decided to call it a night. The game clock showed less than a minute until the end of the second period, so I figured I’d wait until then so I wouldn’t be blocking people’s views as I climbed the stairs back up to the exit. These hockey fans seemed pretty into the game.
When the clock hit nine seconds, one of the guys scored a goal, and the place went crazy again. Everyone jumped up, so I did the same, only I used it as an opportunity to slip on my jacket. I leaned to the woman next to me and yelled. “I don’t think my date’s coming, so I’m going to head out. Have a good night.”
But as I turned to leave, something caught my attention on the Jumbotron. The player who’d scored held his stick up in the air celebrating, and a bunch of the guys on his team were whacking him on the head. His helmet covered most of his face, but those eyes… I know those eyes. The player took out his mouth guard, waved it in the air, and smiled right at the camera.

 

Dimples.

 

Big ones.
My eyes went wide.
No…it couldn’t be.
I continued to stare at the screen with my mouth hanging open until the guy’s face was no longer on it.
The woman next to me finished cheering. “See? I told you he was on fire. If this is your first game, you’ve picked a good one to watch. You don’t see a lot of hat tricks in a single period. Yearwood is having his best season ever. Too bad the rest of his team isn’t.”
“Yearwood? That’s the name of the guy who just scored?”
Jenna laughed at my question. “Yup. Team captain and arguably the best player in the NHL these days. They call him Pretty Boy for obvious reasons.”
“What’s his first name?”
“Max. I figured you knew him, since those are his seats you’re sitting in.”

 

 

★★★ 

 

 

 

Excited? We are too!

 

RELEASING
JANUARY 10th!

 

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

 

Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon on release day.

 

 
 

 

Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

SIGN UP HERE

 

Do you like texts better than email? Receive text notices of Vi’s new releases by texting the word BOOKS to 77948 You will ONLY receive a text when a new book goes live – no other messages at all!

 

 

AUTHOR BIO
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
AUTHOR LINKS

 

Read More...

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt – Scared to Love, Siobhan Davis

December 31, 2021 | Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review | By

It can’t work.

She’s too broken.a

He’s too young.

Scared to Love, an all-new angst-filled dark mafia romance set from USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Siobhan Davis, is available now!

A new dark mafia friends-to-lovers romance from USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Siobhan Davis. Serena has felt trapped her entire life, living a lie because it was demanded of her. Years of torture at the hands of her sadistic husband have left her battered and bruised, but not defeated. She needs to stay strong for her children, and she’s determined to reset her future. The future she has all thanks to Alessandro. He saved her that fateful night when her husband died, and he continues to save her as she struggles to piece her life back together. Yet the closer they get, the more it terrifies her because no man has ever made her feel like this. It can’t work. She’s too broken. He’s too young. And she’ll never trust a made man again. Women never get under Alesso’s skin—until Serena. They share an intense connection that can’t be ignored, no matter how hard she tries to push him away. He knows she’s scared. He is too, but she’s worth the risk. Alesso vows to be patient, until danger resurfaces and now all bets are off. Serena needs to understand how much she means to him and he will do everything to protect her. The situation grows more tense as the DeLucas plot against Bennett Mazzone and the surviving mafia heirs. But Alesso will lay down his life before he lets Serena get hurt again. Now his walls are lowered, the gloves are off, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. Even if it means letting her go. This is a full-length 105k-word novel with NO cliff-hanger and an HEA, set in the Mazzone Mafia world. This is the third and final book in this series. For readers who enjoy friends-to-lovers, second chance, reverse age-gap, dark mafia romance. May contain triggers – please read the note at the start of the book.

Download your copy today! FREE in Kindle Unlimited Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mfzcwv Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/scaredtolove Add Scared to Love to Goodreads→ https://bit.ly/3FDI1bR Start the series with Condemned to Love→ http://mybook.to/condemnedtolove



Sandra's Review
5 out of 5 stars

Scared to Love is the third and final book in the Mazzone Mafia series by Siobhan Davis. Each book can be read as standalone but I HIGHLY recommend reading them in order since they all tie together. I love mafia and I love Siobhan so I am crazy about this series. It’s never boring with this family…

 

Serena’s life has been hell over the last twelve years. The only light in her life is her children. Her bastard of a husband tried to break her down daily and when he is killed she is relieved. It doesn’t mean she is safe, she is mafia after-all but she feels safer with her sister Sierra and her husband Ben. And him. Alessandro. A man who saved her once. A man who she trusts with her life. A man she could fall for if she wasn’t so broken. She believed he deserved a woman who wasn’t damaged and has a houseful of baggage. It really didn’t matter either way, she wasn’t ready and may never be for a man like him. What she doesn’t see is what he sees, a badass woman who could bring him to his knees and he wouldn’t even fight it…

 

But before he can prove it they first need to survive the unexpected. 

 

Holy twists, Batman! I absolutely love the way Siobhan’s mind works. The darkness. The twists. The angst. The chemistry. The connection. And the characters are truly badass in all the ways. I loved watching Serena’s journey and Alesso’s too. They both have scars inside and out. Together, I could feel their deep connection and I loved that Alesso is so swoony and doesn’t care who knows it. It was awesome to catch up with the rest of the family #FamilyGoals. I can’t wait for what Siobhan has planned for us next. 

 

Quotes: 

 

“You are so beautiful, Serena. Your legs are the stuff of dreams. Your body the ammunition for all my fantasies.”

 

“If you’re not my ally, you’re my enemy.”

 

“Fuck, he’s got it bad.” Leo jokes with Ben. 

“Fuck you. You are both every bit as whipped as I am.”

“Truth,” they say at the same time.

 

**I voluntarily reviewed this book after received an advanced copy. 

 

Excerpt  ALESSO  She slams to a halt, turning to face me. “I would never deliberately deceive you. That’s not who I am.” Fire underscores her tone, and I like hearing it.  “I didn’t mean it that way. I know who you are.”  The saddest expression washes over her features. “If that was true, you wouldn’t be standing here with me now. You wouldn’t be spending time with me each day. You would run a mile if you realized exactly who I am.”  I risk stepping a little closer. “I have known you long enough to know the kind of woman you are, Serena. I’d like to think you’ve known me long enough to know you could tell me anything, and it wouldn’t scare me away.” Reaching out slowly, I take her gloved hands in my bare ones. “I spend time with you because I enjoy it. I want to get to know you better. I want to support you as you deal with the things you need to deal with.”  “Why me? I’m too old. Too broken. I have kids. I come with so much baggage I’m completely weighted down with it. I—”  I can’t listen to her beat herself up any longer, so I place two fingers over her mouth, quietly shushing her as I prepare to negate each of her concerns. “One. You’re not too old, and I’m not too young. Age is just a number, and I refuse to allow stupid societal norms to dictate who I spend my time with or categorize the nature of that relationship. Two. Broken is subjective, and we all have our broken parts, but guess what?” I move my fingers from her lips to her cheeks, silently rejoicing when she doesn’t flinch or shy away. “Broken parts can be glued back together. Three, I adore your kids, and they are the cherry on top. And four, every single person in the world has some kind of baggage. It’s called life.”  Tears glisten in her eyes, spilling onto her cheeks. “You’re not real,” she whispers. “You can’t be.”  My heart aches for her because I see the mistrust and disbelief in her eyes. “I’m real, Rena.” Taking her hand, I slip it under my coat and over my shirt-covered chest, where my heart is currently jumping cartwheels in honor of her presence. “I’m as real as it gets.”  Copyright © Siobhan Davis 2021

About Siobhan Siobhan Davis is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon Top 10 bestselling romance author. Siobhan writes emotionally intense stories with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She has sold over 1.5 million books and her titles are translated into several languages. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management. She lives in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons. Connect with Siobhan Subscribe to romance newsletter:http://smarturl.it/KennedyBoysList Amazon Author Page:http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisAmazon Website:http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisWebsite Goodreads:http://smarturl.it/SiobhanGoodreads Facebook page:http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisFacebook Facebook group: https://smarturl.it/SiobhanSquad Instagram: https://smarturl.it/SiobhanInstagram TikTok:https://www.tiktok.com/@siobhandavisauthor BookBub:http://smarturl.it/SiobhanDavisBookbub

Read More...

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt – Change with Me, Kristen Proby

December 3, 2021 | Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review | By

Change with Me, an all new roommates to lovers, Hollywood romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby and 1,001 Dark Nights, is available now!

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes an all new novella set in her beloved With Me In Seattle series…

Zane Cooper. Hollywood royalty. Fourth generation superstar. He knows what it is to be one of the biggest celebrities in the world. And how lonely that title truly is. When scandal hits, his career hangs in the balance, and Zane flees LA for Seattle, laying low with his newly married best friend. Things will eventually blow over, and he’ll have his life back soon enough.

Aubrey Stansfield arrives in Seattle excited to start a new job, and eager to settle into her new home. But when she arrives at her rental, Aubrey’s sure she’s imagining things because the uber sexy Zane Cooper is unpacking in her new bedroom. Thanks to a rental snafu, and unwilling to relocate on such short notice, Aubrey and Zane are thrust into being roommates.

Aubrey is about as average as a woman gets, so what could the megastar possibly see in her? She tells herself she’s not interested, despite their undeniable chemistry. But Zane is very persuasive, and soon Aubrey finds herself playing house with the most recognized man on the planet. Deep down, she knows it’s all a fantasy. He’ll head back to his posh lifestyle soon and leave her behind. No way could she fall in love with him.

But love doesn’t always follow the rules…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Grab your copy today, exclusively on Amazon! Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xoGhO1 Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ChangewMe

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3yozaqj

 

Sandra's Review

5 out of 5 stars

Change with Me is number seventeen point five in the With Me in Seattle series by Kristen Proby! I started reading the series back in 2016 and have read most of the books. I am working on the ones that got by me. It is one of my favorite all-time series. Zane was in Shine with Me as Sabrina’s best friend. He made me laugh and I started to fall even then.
 
Aubrey is new to Seattle and a teacher. Zane is laying low after a scandal hit Hollywood. They both found the perfect condo, the issue you ask, it’s the same condo. After same banter and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors they decide to share. The down to earth first grade teacher and Hollywood royalty. Aubrey wasn’t starstuck by the man but she wasn’t blind either. He was hot but she soon realizes he is also sweet, caring, and doesn’t care about his status. And Zane loves that she sees him. The real him. And he sees her. She might think she is Plain Jane but she is gorgeous to him in every way. He is only in town for six months, can anything truly happen between these two roommates who just met?
 
I absolutely loved these two! They are so much fun and even though the book is short, there is lots of story! I laughed, flushed, swooned, and even cried! God, i hope this series never ends.
 
Quotes:
 
“I’m not in an episode of I Love Lucy,” he replies. “Wait. Maybe I am. This whole situation is ridiculous.”
 
“You’re hot, and you’re a grade-A kisser? I don’t think that’s fair. There should be a rule against that somewhere.”
I grin and kiss her forehead. “It takes two to make a good kiss.”
 
“There are plenty of things about you that make you special, Aubrey.”

 

Excerpt

“Who are you?” My heart jumps, and my stomach jolts as I spin and see a man walk out of the master bath. He’s tall. He’s frowning. And he looks familiar. “The question is, who are you?” Why did I leave my purse—and my mace—in the kitchen? “You’re in my condo,” he retorts. “No, you’re in my condo,” I reply and cross my arms over my chest, trying to look mean. “This is two-oh-three A. Mine. If you’re going to murder-death-kill me, I’m going to ask you to take today off and do it to someone else because I’ve had a long drive, and I need to get ready for my new job. Now, see yourself out.” Is that me, sounding all calm and collected? I’m never this calm. Or collected. Seattle is clearly good for me. “I hate to burst your bubble,” the stranger replies, “but I’m not leaving. I leased this place, and I’m moving in today.” “But.” I frown. “I leased this place. And I’m moving in today.” I stomp out of the bedroom and head straight for the kitchen, opening my bag to retrieve my phone. I also set my mace on the counter, just in case. “I can show you the lease.” “Same,” he replies. “Landlord fucked up.” I blink, open my mouth, then close it again. “What’s in here?” He opens my pink box and surveys the goods. “These cake donuts are my weakness.” Before my eyes, he grabs one and takes a big bite. “So now you’re stealing my house and my food?” “I didn’t steal anything,” he says with a full mouth. “Well, except the donut.” “You’re going to have to move,” I inform him. “I already paid for the first month and the security deposit.” “I paid six months in advance,” he says, swallows, and then smiles. Suddenly, I know exactly where I’ve seen him before. This is Zane Cooper. The actor. The celebrity. He must see the recognition in my eyes because his go ice-cold. “I can’t afford to find a new place,” I inform him. “It took me a month to find this one. And it’s perfect for me. It’s less than six blocks from the school I’ll be teaching at, so I can walk every day. And it’s furnished. Plus, it’s close to the water.” “Definitely perfect,” he agrees. “Oh my God, why are you here?” I demand and prop my hands on my hips. “You’re a gazillionaire. You could literally go anywhere. Why do you want my condo?” “I’m not a gazillionaire,” he says and crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m more of a trazillionaire.” “Pretty sure that’s the same thing. So, go build your own building and live in it.” “Nah.” He picks a piece of donut out of his teeth and shakes his head slowly. “I don’t think I will. I’ll stay here.” I blink at him and start to feel helpless. My savings is in this place. I don’t have enough left to rent anything else. And I don’t have time. I start work in just three days. Part of me wants to cry, but I’ll be damned if I let this hoity-toity movie star see me upset. So, I do the only thing I can think of. I prop my fist on the opposite hand in a challenge of rock, paper, scissors. “What are you doing?” he asks, raising one sexy eyebrow. “The adult thing,” I reply primly. “Best out of three wins?” He blinks twice, looks from my hands to my face and back again, then shrugs one muscular shoulder and assumes the position. “Fine,” he says. “I’m going to win—wait. What’s your name?” “Aubrey,” I say and lick my lips. “Aubrey Stansfield. And you’re Wyatt Earp.” His lips twitch into a half-smile. “I only played him on TV.” I chuckle and say, “Ready?” “Go,” he says, and we thump our fists three times. I land on scissors. He fists for rock. Damn it. “Let’s go again,” Zane says. One. Two. Three. I land on paper. He chooses rock again. I grin, and his blue eyes smile back. There’s a reason Zane Cooper is the hottest sex symbol in the world. Good God, I might combust just from standing next to him. All the more reason to get him out of my house. “Last one,” I say. “Go.” One. Two. Three. I land on paper again, assuming Zane only knows how to use rock. But he forms scissors. I breathe deeply and reach for my last damn donut. “That’s mine,” he says, and I whirl on him. “This is mine,” I reply hotly. “I stood in a bloody line in Portland for it, just this morning. I drove all the way here from Arizona. I’m tired. I’m a little scared. And now I have you in my house, and you won’t leave. Even better than that, you just stole it out from under me.” “I won it,” he reminds me. “Fair and square. The donut, that is.” I stop and frown at him. “Huh?” “I won the donut. In the rock-paper-scissors game.” “I was playing for the condo, Wyatt.” He barks out a laugh. “Not me. I want that donut.”

About Kristen Proby Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years. During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

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

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

Connect with Kristen Amazon: https://amzn.to/30FCBgR Facebook: https://bit.ly/3oQ7iIb Twitter: https://bit.ly/3nzrD4Y Instagram: https://bit.ly/3qWnOJh Pinterest: https://bit.ly/3cwozjE Bookbub: https://bit.ly/3xfm2Ek Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3oFYnJe Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3DDahd8

For More information about 1,001 Dark Nights, visit: Facebook: https://bit.ly/37fl0uT Instagram: https://bit.ly/2Y7uBQp Website: https://bit.ly/2AIIr3A Stay up to date on all 1,001 Dark Nights releases, join their mailing list today! https://bit.ly/2zgxaHu

Read More...

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review – Forever Wilde in Aster Valley, Lucy Lennox

November 18, 2021 | Posted in Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review | By

Can two strangers find love among the quaint chaos of an Aster Valley Christmas? Even if it includes the two most overwhelming and meddling families vying for the title of greatest matchmakers of all time?

Forever Wilde in Aster Valley, an all-new MM romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lucy Lennox is available now!

When Miller Hobbs finds himself on a winter vacation in Colorado with the giant, exceedingly loud, Marian and Wilde families, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. He’s not really a Marian or a Wilde despite having DNA ties to both.

So every morning before the rest of the family wakes up and fills Rockley Lodge with holiday merriment (and noise), he escapes to the quaint downtown of Aster Valley where he spies a man through the bakery window kneading dough and dancing to music only he can hear. Miller is entranced by the dancing baker, and when Darius looks up and catches Miller staring, the interest suddenly goes both ways.

Can two strangers find love among the quaint chaos of an Aster Valley Christmas? Even if it includes the two most overwhelming and meddling families vying for the title of greatest matchmakers of all time?

Grab your copy today! FREE in Kindle Unlimited Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mAKhZU Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/foreverwilde

 

Kara's Review

5 out of 5 stars

Forever Wilde in Aster Valley is the ninth book in the Forever Wilde series by the fabulous Lucy Lennox. But it’s a Wilde, Marian, Aster Valley crossover and it’s hilariously fantastic! I haven’t read all the Wilde or Marian books, but I have read all the Aster Valley ones and you are in for a treat whether you’ve read them or not! If you haven’t, you are going to want to read every one of their stories! Miller is a new addition to the Wilde/Marian family and he’s not used to so many people and all the noise. When he takes a break to help Mikey pick up breakfast at the local bakery he didn’t know his whole life was going to change. Darius sold his chain of bakeries and moved to Aster Valley for a quieter, happier life. He loves baking and just going to work and making people happy. No stress. As soon as he sees Miller he knows he’s going to be someone special to him. Their romance is fun, sexy and sweet. The Marians and Wildes are so freaking funny! This story wasn’t only just fun and games. There were emotions and my heart broke a little for Miller and Tilly. There was a lot going on in Miller’s life with his new family and Darius was the calm in the storm. The sexy, delicious baker who was sweet and patient. I’m already looking forward to getting back to Aster Valley. Overall, I loved Miller and Darius’s love story and catching up with old friends and family!

Excerpt

The lady who’d brought me into the shop groaned. “The baby’s name is Conley, dammit, Hannah,” she said with a laugh. “Don’t listen to his Uncle Declan. And yes, he’s teething, so he’s been up for hours. It was a good excuse to come grab what I wanted before the crowds turn up and take all the good stuff.” I had no problem believing that they’d sell out quickly, considering how tempting the pastries looked and smelled. But I was still focused on something far more tempting than sweets.  While the young lady behind the counter began filling a bakery box, I moved to the side to try and catch a peek through the arched doorway into the back of the bakery.  I could hear the clank of metal sheet pans, and I spotted a glimpse of the baker’s denim sleeve rolled up over his thick forearm. His thick, tattooed forearm.  Oh, man. Tattoos, too? Hngh. My palms went sweaty, and I had to swallow past a lump in my throat. I was a sucker for a man with ink.  I tried to tell myself firmly that this baker was none of my business. That I didn’t know a thing about this man. That I was a tourist, for heaven’s sake, and I was already dealing with a ridiculous number of new people in my life on top of all my work stress at home. But none of it seemed to I found a parking spot on a side street and walked up the shoveled sidewalk to the bakery. A large plate-glass window revealed the baker himself kneading a giant blob of dough on a well-worn wooden table in the back of the shop.  Something about the sight stopped me in my tracks and caused me to watch him a little longer than I should have. A little longer than was probably polite. Maybe it was the rhythm of his movements or the fact he seemed to be talking to himself. Maybe it was the way he fit the landscape—solid as the mountains, warm as sunlight, simple and magnificent at the same time. Maybe it was the way his big hands kneaded the dough with such total competence that shivers danced up my spine. Whatever it was, I couldn’t look away.  After standing still a few moments, I realized he was singing. He had headphones on and nodded his head to a silent beat. The man’s face broke into a wide, white grin as his hips began to sway, and his whole body moved with the music as he went about his work.  The baker had a messy brown bun on top of his head and a short beard with dark brown eyebrows over an expressive face. I wondered idly if he had dimples I couldn’t see from this far away. His smile was breathtaking.  He looked to be around my age, mid-to-late thirties, but it was hard to tell through the window. He wore a denim button-down shirt under a beige apron sprinkled with flour. The rest of him was hidden by the table. I couldn’t stop watching him. I felt like a kid outside of a candy store with sticky hands pressed to the glass and big eyes filled with want.  I liked to think I was a fairly practical sort of person, a person who made the best of what he could have and didn’t spend his time yearning for things he couldn’t, but the baker had me captivated.  This one, a voice in my head whispered as I watched the baker’s biceps bunch and flex under his shirt. Yes, please “You have to try the melomakarona,” a woman said from behind me, startling me out of my weird, lusty fantasy. “I can’t believe this place hasn’t been overrun with people clamoring for it. It’s only a matter of time. Or…it would be if they’d do a little advertising or start a mail-order business for them. The only other place I know of that had Greek treats as good as these was a bakery I went to once in Chicago when I was in college. That place had people lined up around the corner this time of year, just to get the melomakarona.” I turned to face the stranger, finding it harder to look away from my baker—the baker, I silently corrected myself. The baker, who was in no way mine—than I could have imagined. The woman was bundled in a puffy purple jacket with a gray wool hat over blonde hair and had a baby strapped to her chest. She smiled at me way too brightly for this hour of the morning.  “What’s melomakarona?” I asked politely.  “It’s a Greek Christmas cookie made out of honey, walnuts, and orange juice. You have to try it. Come on,” she said, grabbing my elbow. “I’ll get you one.”  I couldn’t help but laugh when I realized I’d left my own meddling family just to find myself being woman-handled and managed by someone else’s, but I was more than willing to go along with any scenario that got me closer to my—the—baker. “Okay, if you insist. I hope they have good coffee, too.” “Definitely. And they also do an incredible kourabiethes cookie that melts in your mouth. The only reason I let myself come here so often is because I’m nursing. Surely that earns me some extra calories to spend at the bakery, right?” She continued her friendly chatter as she led me around the corner to the front door.  When we entered, I immediately felt at home. The warm space was extra cozy with an old brick fireplace in one corner and deep, comfortable-looking sofas and chairs clustered around it. Holiday music played softly from hidden speakers, and it was noticeably different from whatever up-tempo beat the baker himself had been playing in his headphones. The air was fragrant with sweet cinnamon and a dozen other spices I couldn’t name but wished I could.  A young woman smiled from behind the counter. “You’re up early, Tessa. Is Hoss teething again?” The lady who’d brought me into the shop groaned. “The baby’s name is Conley, dammit, Hannah,” she said with a laugh. “Don’t listen to his Uncle Declan. And yes, he’s teething, so he’s been up for hours. It was a good excuse to come grab what I wanted before the crowds turn up and take all the good stuff.” I had no problem believing that they’d sell out quickly, considering how tempting the pastries looked and smelled. But I was still focused on something far more tempting than sweets.  While the young lady behind the counter began filling a bakery box, I moved to the side to try and catch a peek through the arched doorway into the back of the bakery.  I could hear the clank of metal sheet pans, and I spotted a glimpse of the baker’s denim sleeve rolled up over his thick forearm. His thick, tattooed forearm.  Oh, man. Tattoos, too? Hngh. My palms went sweaty, and I had to swallow past a lump in my throat. I was a sucker for a man with ink.  I tried to tell myself firmly that this baker was none of my business. That I didn’t know a thing about this man. That I was a tourist, for heaven’s sake, and I was already dealing with a ridiculous number of new people in my life on top of all my work stress at home. But none of it seemed to matter. Something about this total stranger called to me, and I was dying to get a closer glimpse of him. . Something about this total stranger called to me, and I was dying to get a closer glimpse of him.

Meet Lucy Lennox Lucy Lennox is finally putting good use to that English Lit degree earned way back in the 1900s. She stays up way too late each night reading M/M romance because she is a sucker for a good story.

Connect with Lucy Facebook: https://bit.ly/3ABkjcV Instagram: https://bit.ly/3s472GI Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2VEtw4W Website: http://www.lucylennox.com Stay up to date with Lucy by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/3fSX6e7

Read More...

Cover Reveal & Excerpt – It’s Complicated, Kindle Alexander

November 18, 2021 | Posted in Cover Reveal, Excerpt | By

Title: It’s Complicated
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Cover Design: Reese Dante

 

Nightclub manager Julian Cullen runs Reservations with impeccable precision and a deep sense of pride. But repressed memories from his abduction two years ago surface, leaving him struggling emotionally. Julian vows to reclaim his previous life but doesn’t factor in the biggest distraction of all: the handsome cowboy hanging around the club intent on gaining his attention.
Entrepreneur Beckett St. Clair built an industry-leading survivalist training company through hard work and dedication. The tough as nails outdoorsman can navigate any situation or so he thinks…When a chance encounter with a guarded night club manager leaves him tumbling head over heels into uncharted territory.
One man is lost to his past, the other dreams of a future.
Both men will soon find out love is never easy…it’s complicated.

 

 

“I’m being asked if table thirty-three can incorporate thirty-four into their party.”

Julian looked over to see a crowd of men gathered around the larger high-boy table. “No, give it some time. St. Clair’s a good customer. Get some barstools from the back, and let’s see if he arrives.”

“Hey, Julian. Have we heard from thirty-four? Is he coming in tonight?” Remington, another waiter, asked from about the midway point down the bar where he loaded his tray with cocktail glasses. “One of my guests wants to know.”

“Who wants to know?” Julian looked over to Remington’s section of tables as if a large red arrow would point him out.

“The older guy at table twenty-seven.”

Julian’s gaze locked on that table. All the men looked older, sophisticated, well put together, and handsome. Damn.

“Which one?” Julian asked.

“The older one,” Remington repeated, then turned with his tray full of drinks in his hand. “Is he coming tonight?”

So, the Marlboro Man had built a fan club involving more than just the club’s waiters and bartenders. Julian’s possessive side stood on guard. “We’re holding the table for him, but he’s late.”

Julian dug into the salad with his fork, stuffing a big bite into his mouth, and reached for the untouched glass of water nearby. He chomped out his frustration that the big, tall cowboy hat wearing mystery man was building some possible hookups.

Julian had watched as Beckett sat alone for hours at his table until some of the waiters were cut from their shifts and ended up joining the guy. Beckett had become a welcome patron in the club and his table a safe place for most of the guys who worked for Reservations to gather.

No, Julian hadn’t missed all the long lingering looks Beckett tossed his way. He liked the way Beckett watched him. Those intriguing brown eyes and that appealing gaze. Beckett was all man, every single inch of him. He knew that for a fact because he’d rubbed himself against all that masculinity when they’d danced.

An unexpected sensation had Julian dropping the fork in his hand to the plate, his gaze lowering to his trouser-covered cock. Holy hell, the way it plumped painfully against his zipper had his heart thumping wildly in his chest. The damn thing did, in fact, work. How long had it been since he’d grown hard? He couldn’t remember. Tears of happiness sprung to his eyes, making him fight to swallow the lump forming in his throat. Damn, it felt good.

How much had he had to drink? Regardless of his actions over the last few days, Julian had given up alcohol. Should he have been drinking this whole time?

“Boss, you good?” Ricco tapped the edge of the bar to gain Julian’s attention.

He paid the bartender no heed, not wanting to lose this moment. Julian had only had two cocktails over the last couple of hours. That meant he was practically sober, yet his cock was working again for the first time in a long while.

Under Ricco’s intense scrutiny, Julian’s cock deflated. He closed his eyes, bringing forth images of Beckett sitting alone at his table, rarely speaking to anyone. Every single time Beckett showed up or planned to leave for the night, his gaze sought out Julian. No matter how hard Julian fought the urge to turn Beckett’s way he eventually would turn, helpless to do anything but.

Beckett would smile and touch the brim of his hat. Fuck, what a sexy move. Beckett’s strong jaw and full lips, his dark tanned skin… Julian’s dick swelled at warp speed.

Hell yeah. Julian was helpless to stop the tear that built enough steam to trickle down his cheek. This had to mean he was healing, right?

“Julian. You good?”

He opened his eyes, prepared to share with Ricco exactly why he was great right now. His hand reached to wipe away the tear when the unique scent of outdoors, sunshine, and exotic spices hit his senses. Unmistakably Beckett. He looked over to see an expansive masculine chest and broad shoulders leaning into him as Beckett busted a move to avoid a collision with one of the busboys.

Julian lifted his gaze. Of course, he held all of Beckett’s undivided attention. They locked gazes for one, maybe two long seconds, before Ricco’s hand slapped down hard on the bar top, pulling Julian’s gaze toward Ricco.

“What?” He said the word with maybe three syllables of frustration.

Ricco showed zero cares about Julian’s obvious annoyance “Are. You. Goooda?”

“Mind your business. Concentrate on the job you’re being paid to do.” Julian motioned to the line of waiters standing at the bar, waiting for their drinks. But even that only held his attention for the briefest of moments before he happily lowered his gaze again to his dick. The damn thing was rigidly hard, straining against his form-hugging pants. Holy fuck. The relief was staggering.

Julian dropped his head between his shoulder blades, thanking the universe for this blessing.

“Mr. St. Clair, we were getting worried about you,” Ricco said.

“Call me Beckett.” The rich masculine timbre held hints of a deeply cultured southern accent, drawing Julian’s gaze to Beckett once again.

“A guy at one of Remington’s tables wants to buy your drinks tonight,” Ricco said to Beckett as he started to pour again. “He asked me to see if you’re interested when you came in.”

Julian’s head dropped forward; he couldn’t help his astonished stare. He got caught up in Beckett’s new look. Julian’s gaze narrowed to Beckett, admiring how he wore the hugely popular suit with the athletic cut. Beckett looked fashionable in a style that accented every one of his masculine curves and edges. He was clean-shaven with his hair styled and pushed back off his forehead. No cowboy hat to be found anywhere.

“Which table?” Beckett asked and turned toward the grouping of tables. His body angled to look where Remington pointed to a group of three men. Julian looked down the length of Beckett’s long body. He wasn’t wearing boots tonight or a tie. Instead, his collar was unbuttoned with a small amount of fur peaking from the opening. The look suited him. Julian’s fingers twitched to run over the man’s exposed skin. He’d bet Beckett had the same dark tan all the way down that expansive chest.

Beckett was mouthwateringly gorgeous in this new look. Who would have known the man could be even more handsome than Julian remembered?

Tonight, the man held an air of confidence that he didn’t usually have. Beckett lifted a hand to the men, grinned a sultry smile, and turned back to Ricco. “Buy his next round on me and tell him thank you, I’m flattered, but I’ve got my eye on someone else tonight.”

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.
That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

 

 

HOSTED BY:

Read More...

Excerpt Reveal – Well Played, Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

October 21, 2021 | Posted in Excerpt | By

 

Title: Well Played
Authors: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 25, 2021
Excited about Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward’s upcoming release, Well Played? 
Check out this SNEAK PEEK!

 

Presley

 

Harper picked up the notebook that contained my to-do list from the table and opened to a fresh page. Clicking the pen open, she scribbled across the top.

 

To do with Levi

 

I chuckled. “Are we making a dirty to-do list?”
She wiggled her eyebrows and put the pen to the paper. “We certainly are.” “Tell me one thing you fantasize about doing with him.”
Yep, I was definitely drunk, because sober me wouldn’t have participated in this. Though, even in this state, I felt my cheeks blush. “Well, every day he goes out back and does pull-ups in that big oak tree. Sometimes I imagine he’s naked while doing them, and then I walk out naked, too. I wrap myself around him like a koala and he’s a tree, and he keeps doing the pull-ups. Hoisting us both up and down.”
Harper smirked. “Nice start.” She then jotted down koala pull-ups. “What else you got?”
“Well, I also have this running fantasy that I’m watching him do the pull-ups from my bedroom window with binoculars, and then I lie down on the bed and…you know…go to town on myself. And when I’m just about to orgasm, I look up at the window and see Levi with the binoculars. He’s watching me masturbate from outside.”
“Oooh… I like that one.” Harper wrote down voyeur masturbation.
For the next half hour, we polished off our spiked lemonades, laughed a lot, and added more than a dozen sexual to-do tasks to my list. It was the most fun I’d had in ages. But Harper had to fly home in the morning, and I didn’t want her to have a raging hangover. So rather than make another pitcher of spiked lemonade, I grabbed her a water bottle and some Motrin and told her to drink up before going to bed.
But as I walked around and shut off the lights, another fantasy hit me. “That peach cobbler we had for dessert at the restaurant was orgasmic, wasn’t it?”
“It sure was.”
I pointed to the notepad. “Sit on Levi’s face while eating that pie.”
Harper had been drinking water and spit it out all over the place. “Oh my God. That is most definitely going on the list!” She picked up the pen and spoke while jotting something down. “Double orgasmic peach cobbler.”
We started to crack up, but a knock interrupted our laughter. At least it interrupted mine. I looked up to find Levi standing in the doorway to the living room.
My eyes widened. “Levi… What are you doing here?”
His brows lifted. “I own half the place.”
“No, I meant I didn’t know you were back.”
He looked between Harper and me and seemed to smirk. “Oh, I’m back.”
My palms started to sweat. “I didn’t hear you come in. How long have you been…standing there?”
Levi tilted his head, and his smirk elevated to a cocky smile. “Not too long.”
Oh my God. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. What if he heard? I suddenly felt pretty damn sober. “Umm…well, this is my friend Harper. She’s leaving early tomorrow, so we were just going to bed.”
He nodded. “Nice to meet you, Harper.”
Harper stood and hiccupped. She covered her grinning mouth. “Nice to meet you, too. Your family’s inn is beautiful.”
“Thank you.”
Her eyes shifted to me. “Although there’s a lot to do around here. Presley and I made a list. You might want to take a look at it and get going on some of the new to-do tasks we added.”
My eyes nearly bulged out of my head, and I lunged for the notebook on the table.
Levi squinted at me. “Everything okay, Presley? You seem stressed.”
“I’m fine!”
He nodded slowly. “Right.”
“Alright….” I grabbed Harper’s arm and tugged. “We’re going to bed. Welcome home.”
Levi never moved from the living room doorway as he watched me drag my friend out of the room.
Harper waved over her shoulder. “’Night, Levi. Enjoy your to-do list!”
Somehow I managed to get Harper to her room without her yelling anything too obscene. But for the next half hour, I lay in my bed with my heart pounding. What if he’d heard us? What if he’d been standing there listening the entire time? Oh my God. I covered my face with my hands. The things I said I wanted to do to him. My head began to ache, and tomorrow’s hangover hadn’t even started yet.
After another twenty minutes of lying there freaking out in the dark, my mouth was so parched that I needed a bottle of water. But there was no way I wanted to run into Levi again. So I cracked open my bedroom door and listened for any sounds of someone moving out in the common area. Finding it quiet, I snuck down the hall and peered around the corner to see if any lights were still on. They weren’t, so I breathed a sigh of relief and went to the kitchen for a drink.
I guzzled half a bottle of water before turning to slink back to my bedroom. But I froze at the sight of Levi standing in the kitchen doorway. My hand flew up to cover my racing heart. “Oh my God. You scared me.”
“Sorry. I was just going to head out to grab a bite to eat.”
“Oh…there are leftovers from lunch in the fridge, if you want. I made chicken pot pies this morning.”
Levi held my eyes for a moment. “Thanks, but I think I’m going to go out.” He walked over and leaned down to whisper in my ear. “I have a real hankering for peach cobbler.”

 

Oh.
My.
God.

 

My jaw dropped to the ground. I had no idea what to do or say.
Levi winked as he walked to the door. “Get some sleep. I wouldn’t want you to be too tired to work on that to-do list.”

 

 

★★★ 

 

 

 

Excited? We are too!

 

RELEASING
OCTOBER 25th!

 

 

 

Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon in Kindle Unlimited on release day.

 

 

Sign up for Vi and Penelope’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

 

 

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
PENELOPE WARD

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 

 

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

 

Read More...