COVER REVEAL ~ CRUEL MONEY by K.A. Linde

Today we’re thrilled to share the gorgeous cover for the first book in K.A. Linde’s all-new billionaire romance trilogy, Cruel.

CRUEL MONEY releases 22nd January, 2019

 

 

Lose yourself to the dark and glamorous underbelly of the Upper East Side in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new billionaire romance Cruel Trilogy.

She was supposed to be a one night stand.

A way to sate my sexual appetite.

I let her glimpse the man I am. The face that I hide behind my carefully cultivated life.

But she ripped open that divide–and there’s no going back.

Now, she’s here. In my city.

I don’t care that I’m Manhattan royalty and she’s the help.

Only that she’s living in my summer home. With me.

And I want more.

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K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

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COVER REVEAL ~ WEB OF SIN TRILOGY by Aleatha Romig

 

The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity continues with an all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

What is real?

What are lies?

Have you been Aleatha’d?

 

Lies is book two of the Web of Sin trilogy

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The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity continues with the epic conclusion of the all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

Learn the truth behind the secrets and lies.

Surrounded by secrets and lies, can promises be believed?

Promises is book three—Sterling and Araneae’s epic conclusion—of the acclaimed Web of Sin trilogy.

 

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The twisted and intriguing storytelling that you loved in Consequences and Infidelity is coming back at you with an all-new alpha anti-hero in the dark romance series Web of Sin, by New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

I’m Sterling Sparrow. You’ve no doubt heard my name or read it on the top of tall buildings. There’s more to my business—my realm—than what is seen above ground.

Within the underbelly of one of America’s largest cities lives a world where a man’s word is either his most valuable tool or his most respected weapon. When my father ruled that world and that city, he promised me someone who would one day make my reign complete.

Since that day, long ago, Araneae McCrie has been mine.

She just didn’t know.

My father is now gone.

The city and the underbelly are now mine.

The time has come for me to collect who was promised to me, to shred her life of secrets, and make her who she’s always been—mine.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

Secrets is book one of the Web of Sin trilogy

For series information visit: https://www.aleatharomig.com/web-of-sin

 

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Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to life!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT REVEAL ~ TICK TOCK by Jane Harvey-Berrick

KFF is delighted to share an exclusive excerpt of TICK TOCK, an all-new highly anticipated romantic military suspense by bestselling author Jane Harvey-Berrick, coming 1st November

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Forget SEALS, Marines, Fighter Pilots – I have the most dangerous job in the world. And I love it.

James Spears is part of an elite group who lives and breathes danger. Where others run from it, he walks towards it, calm, focussed ice-cold. James is a top EOD operative.
Explosive…
Ordnance…
Disposal…

You’d call him a bomb disposal expert. Or crazy. A guy with a death wish. He’s heard it all before and he doesn’t give a shit. He’s the best.

They say he doesn’t have blood in his veins, he has ice. They say he has no nerves.

All that’s about to be tested.

Amira is recruited by the CIA to infiltrate a terrorist cell living in rural Pennsylvania. She’s the perfect plant, no one would ever suspect her. Because her brother was killed when a bomb was dropped on the Syrian hospital where he was working as a doctor. And now hate burns deeply inside her. She’s perfect.

That’s what they tell James when he’s told to train her to be the best damn bomb-maker there is. In a secret camp, deep in the woods, James teaches her everything he knows about building bombs. He’s not a praying man, but now he’s really hoping that he’s doing the right thing.

Codename: Hansel and Gretel

Book 1 in the EOD Series

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EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

© 2018 JANE HARVEY-BERRICK
All rights reserved.

 

 
I’d known that she was standing behind me, watching me. I’d heard the creak of her cot as she climbed off the bed, heard the soft rustle of sheets, and listened carefully as she’d opened the door.
I waited for the soft footfalls that meant she was walking towards me or towards the bathroom, but when I didn’t hear anything, I turned around.
She was a mess.
Her left cheek was creased from sleeping face down on her pillow, and her hair was a knotted tangle, stuck to her head on one side, greasy and uncombed. Her t-shirt was thin and her tits pressed against the worn material so I could see the darker tint of her nipples underneath. Her legs were long and smooth, with skin the colour of caramel. And those eyes—the eyes that had seemed older glaring at me through her niqab were soft and liquid with surprise, then narrowed in anger, and finally drooping with shame.
She stumbled backwards away from me, slamming the door and muttering to herself.
I didn’t know if I was amused, insulted, or just as surprised as her. My dick twitched with appreciation of her curvy figure and a nice pair of legs.
I hadn’t expected the woman to be so young, maybe mid-twenties, maybe late-twenties—my age. I definitely hadn’t expected her to be attractive. I’d imagined some sour, bitter bitch, her sharp tongue cutting chunks off men who got in her way.
But this woman was beautiful. It was probably just as well she covered herself from head to toe. Being attracted to a CIA asset was a terrible idea—and we both had a job to do.
Clay appeared from the other cabin.
“It’s a beautiful morning, brother,” he smiled.
My brain took a second to reboot then I shook my head in amusement. This guy was congenitally happy—it wasn’t normal. My smile faded when I took in how he was dressed: sandals on his feet, and a loose white robe, similar to those I’d seen Iraqi men wear.
“What’s with all that?” I asked, nodding at his robe while I sipped my coffee.
“Have some respect, brother,” he said, pointing a finger at me, and nearly dropping a handful of sweets in the process. “Damn! You almost made me drop my Gummi Worms. Damn, you made me cuss and I’ve only just said morning prayers.” He sighed. “You’re a bad influence, James. And put some damn clothes on.”
“What are those sweets you’re eating?”
Clay looked shocked.
“You’ve never had Gummi Worms?”
“Don’t think so. They look too much like, well, worms. What are they made of? Gelatin?”
He closed his eyes for a second then squinted up at the rising sun.
“Damn,” he said softly. “Gelatin—that’s definitely not halal. You want them?”
I pulled a face and he dropped the colourful sweets in the dirt, shaking his head sadly.
“This shit is hard.”
“But you’re not really a Muslim, are you?”
He grimaced, still staring at the dust-covered sweets by his feet.
“I’m a seeker,” he said finally. “There are a lot of fine words in the Qur’an, but I don’t subscribe to any religion in particular.” Then he looked at me seriously. “But I’d better damn well convince the ISIS cell that I’m a convert.”
“That’s why you’re dressing like one of them?”
He nodded and stroked the straggly beard that he was growing.
“The robe is a Didashah: white for the summer, and darker, heavier fabrics in the winter.” He grinned at me. “It’s surprisingly comfortable in this heat. Free-balling is mighty fine.”
I groaned.
“Mate, I don’t want to think about your meat-and-two-veg—that’s just nasty.”

 

Meet JANE

Writing is my passion and my obsession. I write every day and I love it. My head is full of stories and characters. I’ll never keep up with all my ideas!

I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.

Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.

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REVIEW ALERT ~ TACKLE by Jacob Chance is now available!

TACKLE, Jacob Chance’s all-new stand-alone sports romance in the Boston Terriers series is now available!

AMAZON: USUKCAAU

#Free with #KindleUnlimited

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Trevor Lincoln is the legendary tight end for Boston University’s football
team. As the youngest son of a former NFL player, he lives a life of
privilege with an endless stream of girls vying for his attention. He
always gets his way.

Until I come along.

Everything about him irks me. From his crooked smile and sexy, dark hair,
to his obscenely large trust fund. But when we’re forced to spend time
together, the undeniable spark between us blazes and resisting him becomes
one of my greatest challenges.

Can I shut down his game, or will he tackle my heart?

 

Reviewed by Donna on behalf of KFF

Son of a legendary NFL football player, Trevor Lincoln plays football for his school team, Boston Terriers. He’s used to getting what he wants with his high profile and privileged upbringing and can get any girl he wants. That being said, he wants to achieve on his own merits and although he wants to be successful in NFL, he has other aspirations for his future. Trevor has a bit of a front but underneath it all he is a very caring, passionate individual. Grace Duffy is an extremely fiery redhead who happens to play for the Boston Terriers women’s team. Independent with a tough exterior and also a vegan, she’s very focused on her football and education. Grace has no room for anything else but her friends and family, working hard to get what she wants.

When Trevor and Grace first met, there was somewhat of an attraction; however, Grace is reluctant to get too involved with him. She just wants to stay focused, but Trevor has other ideas. He does everything in his power to break down her defences and get her to go out with him. There begins the chase because Grace isn’t giving in but then again, Trevor will never give up. What I loved about him is even though Grace pushed him away at every turn, he continued to pursue her and it was never about the hotshot school footballer wanting to score another notch. He really was quite the deep caring guy that was very much attracted to her. Grace frustrated me at times with her reluctance to give him a chance and there were some moments when my heart broke for him. As I continued to read on and learn more about her, I could see she was afraid of her feelings, wanted to protect her heart and was insecure and unsure of herself. The people who mattered supported them throughout but like any situation in a college setting, bystanders were watching and gossiping.

This sports romance is part of the Boston Terriers series part four and can be read as a standalone although I would suggest reading the whole series as there’s a crossover of characters you’ll become totally addicted to. Grace and Trevor are an interesting couple; I loved their banter, the chemistry and just enough angst kept me entertained throughout. A lot of attention has been given to character development in this full-length novel written in dual narrative. What I loved more about this book is it wasn’t saturated with hot scenes, the characters’ words lulling me into their world. The ending was magnificent and not at all what I expected, either. Give Penalty, Drive, Coach and this baby, Tackle which I can’t recommend enough a chance. Oh and one more thing, if you know musicals you will have Matchmaker Matchmaker playing in your head “Insert laugh.”

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE BOSTON TERRIERS SERIES

PENALTY | DRIVE | COACH

MEET JACOB

Jacob Chance grew up in New England. He’s a martial artist, a football fan, a practical joker and junk food lover.

An author of erotic thrillers and sports romance, he plans to write many more sexy, suspenseful stories.

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LONG LIVE THE BEAUTIFUL HEARTS by Emma Scott is LIVE!

We are thrilled to share LONG LIVE THE BEAUTIFUL HEARTS by Emma Scott, the conclusion to the Beautiful Hearts Duet 

Never again would I allow my heart to become the plaything of someone else.
Never again would I let a man (or men) come between me and my goals.
Never again would I love without feeling the fullness of that love in return.
Not until I knew it was real. And if that took me a lifetime to find, so be it.

Those were my vows, and after all that had happened with Connor and Weston, I was determined to keep them. To protect my heart.
And then he came home, and my vows became his promises.

He held my heart in his hands with reverence and care.
He helped me find my soul’s greatest purpose in life.
He loved me with a love so pure and vibrant, I knew I’d never feel anything like it in a hundred lifetimes.
It was real.

Until it wasn’t.
Until it all came crashing down when I discovered the deep love I thought I’d found was nestled in a web of lies—so soft and silken I hadn’t noticed it was there.
Until it was too late.

**********
Long Live the Beautiful Hearts is the emotional, heart-wrenching conclusion to the Beautiful Hearts Duet by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LOVE TRIANGLE #confusedhearts #notamenage
THIS BOOK IS NOT A STANDALONE. It should not be read without first reading Bring Down the Stars
 

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Reviewed by Sharon Thérése at KFF

Unputdownable! The buzz leading up to the release of Long Live The Beautiful Hearts wasn’t in the least bit exaggerated. Emma has delivered a splendid read yet again. She’ll suck you into her protagonists’ story with ridiculous ease, hit you hard with waves of emotion where you least expect them to, leave you with your mouth agape and your heart racing. But before I go any further, Bring Down The Stars must be read first and if you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing! So ladies, we were left on a huge precipice and if like me, you’d been yearning for the outcome of a love match which seemed to be doomed for reasons which can’t possibly be divulged without spoiling it for future readers, now is the moment to one-click. What I can let on a tad is the direction Wes, Autumn and Connor’s story takes and their heartbreaking accounts of it won’t just gut you…ooh no, it’ll be so much more. Make yourselves comfortable, put your phones on silence and if necessary, tell your folk not to disturb ‘cause this read needs all of your attention.

We don’t think like guys. On another sphere to us, grasping the deep respect they have for each other, the ties that bind and an unwavering loyalty is at times, difficult. Wes and Connor’s friendship suffered because of past circumstances. It all felt like their present had a snowball effect which only got more intense, more self-destructive, more desperate. With Autumn stuck in the middle, it was clear to see that in one way or another, the backlash would affect her, too. But what stood out more in this read than in the first book was her inner strength. She’ll it need tenfold as her love for Connor and Wes is divided and will be tested to the limits.

Two gorgeous guys in the prime of life, a redhead whose beauty is breathtaking, who has a heart of gold and the character mix Wes and Connor offer is nothing short of mind-blowing. But please don’t jump to conclusions, this duet isn’t what you’re probably thinking it is. Guilt weighs heavily on her friends for reasons you will only find out by reading the book. What they’d done wasn’t out of spite, it wasn’t meant to hurt. It was a means to an end that backfired. Confusion abounds; however, it was just a matter of time before the cat’s let out of the box. Feelings of failure and incompetence, their desperate need conquer traumas of one kind or another has more bumpy roads than smooth ones. And then after understanding the whys and wherefores comes the forgiving which believe me, is a path of complexities they all have to find the courage to go down.

Scott’s story is perfect, beautiful, heart-crushing and heart-lifting. I read it from the beginning to end on a Sunday only stopping for a bite to eat and tea…lots of tea. The author’s words at the very start had me in tears and it was to become the norm. Reviewing this book was a real challenge as I wanted to say so much and knew I couldn’t. Please give this duet a chance. You won’t regret it. Emma’s writing is compelling, awe-inspiring and more importantly, throughout this outstanding finale, she gives the reader hope. Bravo!
 
 

 
I fell for Connor Drake. I didn’t want to; I fought against it, but I fell in love with him anyway. With his words. With his poetry. With him. The gentleness and beauty of his soul that speaks directly to mine. He writes as if he can feel my heart, hear its cadence and compose the exact right lyrics to accompany every beat and flow.

I’m in love with Connor…so why do I feel an inexplicable pull to his best friend, Weston? Grouchy, sullen, brooding Weston Turner, who could cut you down with a look. Fiercely intelligent with a razor sharp wit and acid tongue, he’s the exact opposite of Connor in every way, and yet there’s electricity in the air between us. The thorny barbs Weston wraps around himself can’t keep me away.

But the more time I spend with these men, the more tangled and confused my emotions become. When they both sign up for the Army Reserves during a time of increasing strife in the Middle East, I fear I’ll never unravel my own heart that sometimes feels as if it will tear straight down the middle…for both of them.

**********
Bring Down the Stars is an emotional, angst-filled novel of unrequited love by bestselling author, Emma Scott, and is inspired by the classic tale, Cyrano de Bergerac. (Roxanne) It is Book I in the Beautiful Hearts Duet, coming this summer. Book II, Long Live the Beautiful Hearts, to be released a few weeks later. #lovetriangle #confusedhearts #notamenage

AMAZON: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTrALIA

KFF’s review 

 

 
Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy my novels.

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DREAM by Carly Phillips is LIVE!

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“Carly Phillips is a go-to author for steamy, emotional contemporary romance!” –Jennifer Probst, New York Times Bestselling Author

Dream an all-new emotional and romantic standalone from New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips is LIVE!

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She was his best friend, his first love. And she broke his heart. Now she’s back. Will they find a second chance?

As a little girl, Andrea Harmon wanted to marry a prince, and Kyle Davenport hoped it would be him. But he never told her how he felt, and lost her as a result. Because sometimes the bad guy gets the girl. And Kyle left town to get over her.

Andi made the wrong choice years ago, choosing the bad boy over the best friend she trusted and she paid for it every day since.

Coming face to face with his former best friend was bound to happen once he moved back to Rosewood Bay, but for Kyle, becoming her son’s new teacher is a painful reminder of what they never had. But this time around, Kyle is determined to change their ending. Prince Charming is determined to break down her walls.

Except that no happily-ever-after is won without a fight—and her ex-husband doesn’t like to lose.

 

Download your copy today!

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DREAM_AVAILABLE NOW.jpg

Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF

This is my first book by this author and I must say that I really like her style. This second chance romance is the fourth book in the Rosewood Bay series but can be read as a standalone.

Andrea Harmon is a single mum with a ten-year-old son, Nicky. She left an abusive husband and is trying to give her son a better life than the one he grew up with. Andi’s character is stereotypical of a woman who’s been through an abusive relationship and she doesn’t know how to live her life as normal. When her best friend Kyle comes back into town, she just might learn how to be herself again.

Kyle Davenport was Andi’s best friend in high school, secretly in love with her but never got the courage and lost her to a high school jock. He left town when she rejected his friendship and chose the other guy over him. Now that he is back is there any chance at all for him to be with the love of his life again?

This romantic tale written in third person has the usual formulaic second chance storyline but all is not that boring. The author’s narration of Andi’s pain caused by years of put-downs by her ex-husband at the beginning of the book is poignant and throughout the rest of the story when she gradually develops a backbone and exerts her independence is a joy to read, hope for an emotionally and physically abused survivor. The antagonist, Billy, Andi’s ex-husband is your classic douche bag, a waste of space that thrives on his power over women. Kyle is the ideal hero in this book and I am glad that the author didn’t portray him as the hunky alpha male overloaded with testosterone. He is a primary school teacher, the perfect match for Andi’s gentle spirit and a good role model to her son Nicky.

The secondary characters obviously have their own stories in the other books in the series but not reading theirs is not a detriment to the storyline. Although I would think it might help you connect the dots on who is who and not get confused, I can assure you that this book can stand well on its own. There are some elements of suspense that make you sit up and notice, some events that will put you on edge. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and most likely will add the rest of the series on my to-be-read list.

 

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Start the series of Stand-alones FREE with

Fearless today!

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Meet Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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BLOG TOUR ~ CLOSE by Laurelin Paige

 

CLOSE (Ryder Brothers #1) by Laurelin Paige

Release Date: October 10th

Cover Design: Laurelin Paige

Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography

Cover Model: Kaz Vanderwaard

 

 

AVAILABLE NOW!

FREE in KindleUnlimited!!

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Paperback

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BLURB

Everyone wants to get close to a rock star.

The bright lights.

The music.

Those talented fingers strumming… a guitar.

Everyone wants to bang a rock star.

So why do I keep running from the one who wants me?

I’m America’s Sweetheart.

I have a reputation.

He’s a boy-band icon turned rock god.

I’m vanilla.

He’s every flavor of bad.

And he’s much, much too young for me.

If I end up in Nick Ryder’s bed, my career and I will both be screwed.

…but that’s only if I’m caught.

 

REVIEWED BY EMMA LOUISE ON BEHALF OF KFF

Good girl next door Natalia lives her pure and innocent reputation. A reputation is given to her by the media. In the beginning, I felt like she would do anything to keep her wholesome reputation, and of course, when someone makes a huge plan, fate or a wicked author (wink wink Ms. Paige) throws the hottest rock star of all time in her path. Come to the dark side Natalia, we have milk, cookies, and a sinfully hot tattooed man for you.

Nick is not your typical rock star. At twenty-three he’s looking for the one, rather than the one every night. He’s certainly mature for his age and has a ton of life experience from being a celebrity since he was in his teens. From the moment he has Natalia standing in front of him, he’s bowled over, willing to do or say whatever he can to get her alone.

Closer had a reverse dynamic and this was a pleasure to read and enjoy. Not every romance you read has to be set up in a certain way. Nothing is written in stone stating that the man has to be emotionless and hard. The same can be said for the woman who’s an emotional cry fest, women can at times be hard and tough.

‘Coincidence is what happens when fate tries to stay anonymous.’
‘That’s what we are together – the perfect song.’

The relationship and feelings grew slowly. Nick has to work at breaking down Natalia’s barriers. Not to mention prove to her that he is worth her time and attention. They come up with a solution that they both agree to for their own reasons and before you or they know it, they’re embarking on a journey neither expected. Nick is sweet and almost innocent, even if he has loads of sexual experience.

‘His mouth feels amazing. His tongue is my new favorite plaything. He kisses me softly and deeply and teasingly, mixing it up so much that I would almost be content to sit here and do this for the whole ride. for our whole weekend together. Almost.’

Natalia is so worried about public perception she comes across to Nick as cold and unfeeling. She’s very much attracted to the man, I mean who wouldn’t? Hells Bells!!!
I swooned every time he took his top off for Pete’s sake.

This author is superb at writing angst and frustration the reader can feel. These two emotions were very evidently felt by this reader. I could not put this one down. Side note: The next book in this series is called Want and is being written by a different author; Kayti McGee. I’ll be checking it out, I cannot miss it. Paige has done it again, thank you and well done for creating a male character so human and real.

 

EXCERPT

©2018 Laurelin Paige 

All rights reserved. 

 

“Hi,” he says, doing a double-take when he realizes it’s me. He looks fabulous, of course, because why wouldn’t he when I look so scrubby? He’s wearing jeans and a T-shirt and a hoodie, and his face doesn’t look like he’s tired, or like he stayed up late to drink too much and tear up the dance floor.

Or like he spent last night making out with somebody more than a decade older than him.

“It’s crazy seeing you here,” I say. I giggle again at the sheer ridiculousness of this. “Do you come here often?” What am I doing? What am I saying? It’s like I just learned how to talk to people of the opposite sex. How have I ever gotten a date?

Not that I’m trying to date Nick.

“Occasionally. You?” He sticks his hands in his pockets and he’s so relaxed, so sexy, and I just can’t stand all that swagger on such a handsome guy that I am not allowed to touch. It’s unfair for anyone to look so effortlessly edible before nine a.m.

“It’s my favorite shop. Come here all the time.” I take a couple steps backwards, trying to shift toward my car. “I probably should—”

“Don’t you think it’s probably more than a coincidence?” He takes a step towards me, and I take one back, willing myself not to respond to the rumble of his deep voice and the magnetism of his body. “That we’d see each other again so soon. Kind of like fate, almost.”

Oh my god, Oh my god, he’s flirting with me. What do I do? He’s so hot, I can’t even look at him. But then I do, and I have total church-giggles over this, and I have to escape before I make an even bigger fool out of myself. Someone is bound to notice that I am losing my cool, and they’ll draw conclusions that aren’t even true.

It was just kissing!

“It’s really weird, I have to admit.” I dance back some more, then glance behind me to make sure I’m not going to back into the street and get run over and make this even worse. “And really awkward.” I brush some hair back that’s come loose from the messy bun at the base of my neck.

He shrugs, seeming to disagree. And it’s true that I’m the only one who seems to be awkward right now. “I don’t know about that. Doesn’t have to be awkward. Could just be convenient. Since I never got your phone number.”

If I didn’t think he was flirting before, I know he definitely is now. I don’t want to say no to him, but I have to say no to him. He cannot have my number. Can’t have anything more than a memory of a scorching-hot make-out in the back of a club. What we did was not for a sunlit day. It was for a dark corner. And yet, I still can’t seem to actually say the word no. So instead I say, “Why do you need my phone number?”

Oh my god, this is mortifying. It really is like I’m in high school again and I’ve forgotten not only how to talk to boys but how to stand in their presence.

He takes another step toward me, laughing. “Well, for one thing, I thought it might be nice if we had dinner sometime.”

He has the most ridiculous smile, I realize. It lights up his entire face. You can see it in his eyes, and there’s no pretension. It’s all genuine. Pure sunshine. I’m rendered speechless by it for half a second and I have to ask, “What was that?”

“Dinner,” he says, that huge-ass grin in full force, taking another step toward me, and now there’s only three feet between us, and I can feel the body heat from him, can remember what it felt like the last time he walked me backwards into a wall and then his body was pressing into me, and his mouth was on me. When his chest was against me, when his cock was pressing into me and my hips—

I suddenly jump backwards. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” I look around suddenly to see if anyone’s noticed this exchange yet.

It’s fine, it’s still fine.

We’re just two people who work in the same industry who bumped into each other on a Saturday morning and are chatting like people do on Saturday mornings when they bump into each other. While giggling. Totally fine.

“What are you worried about, Natalia?” He doesn’t chase after me, just stands there looking confident and laid-back. Like a man trying to tempt a scared animal out from hiding. “I mean—I do bite, but most women like it.”

I smile at that, because I can’t help it, but I duck so he doesn’t see.

He’s probably so much more experienced than me.

He’s probably so dirty in the bedroom.

God, I shouldn’t be thinking about that. “I shouldn’t even be talking to you,” I say, shaking my head. I turn toward my car.

“No, you shouldn’t be,” he calls from behind me, and I have to actually close my eyes to collect myself because it’s obvious he’s thinking about doing not-talking things. Things like last night. Things like biting.

Things good girls have no business being so turned on by.

I tell myself he probably says stuff like that to all the girls who walk away from him.

But who am I kidding? Who has ever walked away from Nick Ryder? Besides me, I mean. Twice now. I deserve an Oscar for my willpower. That should be a new category.

“Bye, Nick,” I call as I flee with my coffee.

Then I step into my car, put my keys in the ignition and drive away before I lose my senses and change my mind.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With over 1 million books sold, Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

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