DEVOTED TO PLEASURE by Shayla Black is now available!

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There’s a fine line between his business and her pleasure…

Devoted to Pleasure, an all-new sexy romantic suspense standalone from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black is LIVE!

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BOUND BY DUTY…
Bodyguard and former military man Cutter Bryant has always done his duty–no matter the cost. Now he’s taking one last high-octane assignment before settling down in a new role that means sacrificing his chance at love. But he never expects to share an irresistible chemistry with his beautiful new client.

…TEMPTED BY PLEASURE
As the star of a steamy television drama, Shealyn West knows fame well, but it has come at the expense of her heart. With a blackmailer watching her every move and the threat of career-ending exposure looming, Shealyn hires Cutter to shore up her security and keep her safe, never imagining their attraction will be too powerful to contain.

As Shealyn and Cutter navigate the scintillating line between business and pleasure, they unravel a web of secrets that threaten their relationship and their lives. When danger strikes, Cutter must decide whether to follow his heart for the first time, or risk losing Shealyn forever.

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4.5 Stars ~ Reviewed by Emma-Louise on behalf of KFF

The trope in this book was one that has been used time and again; however, it was done within an entirely new scenario. Cutter Bryant a former military man turned personal bodyguard is completely selfless. Pledging to help his oldest friend in whatever way matters, knowing how small towns can be and that Brea isn’t as strong as she could be.

Cutter is called away to L.A. to protect an up and coming actress by the name of Shealyn West, only things are not at all what they were originally described as. The romantic electricity zings back and forth right from the first page that these two meet. Both grew up in small towns in the American South, and both believe in living honest and decent lives.

‘Yep, he was going to fall hard for Shealyn West and there wasn’t a thing he could do to stop it anymore. At the moment, he didn’t want to. He’d deal with the fallout later.’ 

Between scenes highlighting the hard slog of working on a night time soap in Hollywood, and the sexual tension between our stars; there is tension and mystery. Someone(s) is blackmailing the small town Hollywood star, threatening to release one of biggest regrets and ruin her life and her career. The mystery and action was hard and intense, bringing Cutter and Shealyn into near enough distance that they kept circling each other like a hunter looking for the death shot on their wounded prey.

As a lover of mysteries and thrillers, it takes a lot to pull the wool over my eyes. I’m more often than not correct when it comes to pinning the tail on the correct donkey. Only here I never saw half the pieces of the puzzle until Ms Black was ready for me to.

‘Cherished it. Enjoyed the heck out of feeling her ecstasy.
And he climaxed to it, the heady. Dizzying, sizzling sensations burning him, disintegrating him, transforming him.
Yeah, no doubt. He’d fallen in love with the one woman h3e couldn’t have beyond this assignment and didn’t deserve forever.’
 

I’ve had several books this author has penned sitting in my TBR pile for such a long time. However, Devoted to Pleasure was too tempting to pass up. I just wished the beginning of this book wouldn’t have been so hard to get into at first. I relished the character interaction and the realism to the story. I wistfully wished the evil paparazzi would just get sucked up into a vortex and leave these poor celebrities along, and I truly hoped for a happy ending. Thank you Ms. Black for such an incredible read.

About Shayla:

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

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THE BACHELOR AUCTION by J.C. Reed is LIVE!

J.C. Reed’s all-new NA/Contemporary Romance Novella, THE BACHELOR AUCTION is now AVAILABLE!

The Bachelor Auction 

“Out of all the stupid things I could have said and done, insulting the rich and influential guy who could make or break our business has probably topped the charts. Calling someone a creep isn’t so bad, is it?”

All is fair in love and business…
My friend’s plan is pretty simple: win the bachelor auction in a charity event and get the most influential man to sign a business deal with us. It’s a do or die situation. But plans rarely go as you would expect.
When the bids begin to take ginormous proportions, my friend can’t stop in her rush of excitement. We don’t have the money. We can’t afford him, and yet, before I can even comprehend what’s happening, we’re the highest bid.

“The bachelor” aka Tyler Becks isn’t old and ugly. He isn’t very business-like, either. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that someone with his brain and bank account can be this sexy.He understands our cash-strapped situation and is kind enough to cancel the bid. Let us out of the contract. No hard feelings. Or so he claims.

He’s even kind enough to want to work with us. With me, in particular. I can’t refuse, even though working for him means I have to see him every day. My future depends on it.
I won’t let my guard down. I won’t fall for him, and particularly not now that I know he’s hiding something from me.

Everything comes at a price. Even Tyler’s generosity.

But how much am I willing to pay? I’m about to find out.

Author’s note: Standalone coffee read. No cliffhanger. HEA.

AVAILABLE NOW

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J.C. Reed is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author and a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist. She writes steamy contemporary romance with a touch of mystery and suspense. When she’s not typing away on her keyboard, forgetting the world around her, she dreams of returning to the beautiful mountains of Wyoming. You can also find her chatting on Facebook with her readers or spending time with her children.

To receive an email when Jessica releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter HERE or follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest Goodreads | Amazon | BookBubWebsite

 

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EXCERPT REVEAL ~ A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH by Alexa Padgett

Today we have the excerpt reveal for Alexa Padgett’s A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH! We’re so excited to share this upcoming thriller with you! Check it out and be sure to preorder today!

Title: A Pilgrimage to Death

Author: Alexa Padgett

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: August 14th

About A Pilgrimage to Death:

They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. Their day of reckoning is at hand.

Cici Gurule is a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock. When she finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.

Together with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees, she vows to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral. Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation… and her death was no random act of violence.

Now that the criminals are out for Cici’s blood, the pastor must catch the wolf by the tail before it goes in for the kill.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane mystery thriller. If you like motorcycling sleuths, fast-paced action, and a dash of humor, then you’ll love Alexa Padgett’s edge-of-your-seat novel.

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Exclusive Excerpt

 
Cecilia Gurule was a reverend for God’s sake. She dealt in souls—the broken, empty, seeking, and, yes, the dead.Bodies? Not her wheelhouse.At least they weren’t until that Tuesday afternoon when Domine Deusdecided to test both her faith and her life.

She came within a bullet of losing both.

***

Cecilia, who much preferred Cici, met Sam in the parking lot of the Aspen Vista Trail. She was late. Not really her fault, but typical, thanks to her parishioners’ unwillingness to accept Tuesdays as her one day per week away from the church.

Wide and rocky, the trail snaked over eleven miles up the side of the mountain following an old forest service road. While the incline was never scramble steep, it rose at a consistent pace, switching back with views toward the city or up to the ski basin. A few narrow runnels of water—not big enough to be considered creeks—dribbled from the remaining snowpack.

Cici suggested it last week because both she and Sam had the weekday off, meaning fewer hikers on the bottom part of the trail, and they could spend the three-plus hours needed to reach the summit.

Unfortunately, Cici suggested the trail before she made plans to breakfast with the widowed Mrs. Sanchez, whose son worked out at the state penitentiary on NM-14.

“I don’t understand these kids.” Mrs. Sanchez wiped her mouth with her napkin, leaving a smear of bright red on the paper. Her lips were the same light bronze as her craggy skin, hints of the crimson lipstick settled into the faint lines bisecting her lower lip.

“Juanito has one more year at that fancy private school. He has a pretty girlfriend. Yet he cannot be happy? He causes his father such heartache, Reverend.” She picked up her coffee mug and shoved it toward Cici. “You talk to the boy for his father. Set him straight.”

“I’ll do what I can, Mrs. Sanchez.”

“Humph.” The woman set her mug down with a crack, her dark, deep-set eyes glaring from between folds of skin. Without the bright lipstick, her mouth seemed hidden under the wrinkles.

“I’m old, Reverend. I cannot control the boy. His father, Miguel, spent most of the last year picking up extra shifts for the tuition at St. Michaels. Juanito needs to respect the rules we set for him.”

“Which are?” Cici asked.

Mrs. Sanchez tossed her napkin onto her plate with the half-finished breakfast burrito. Cici picked up her own warm tortilla and bit into the wrap, enjoying the spicy flavors of green chile and sausage. One thing about Mrs. Sanchez: she was a fine cook.

“No seeing that girl past ten p.m. Good grades—all A’s so that he’s ready to go to Tech in a year. That’s what he needs—a good education, more choices. Not this . . . this mess with girls.”

“He did receive all A’s last year, and it’s summer break now. Shouldn’t Juan have the chance to focus on his job or maybe even spend time with Jaycee?”

“No more time with the girlfriend,” Mrs. Sanchez said with a sharp motion of her hand. “That’s how I’ll end up a great-grandmother. The boy needs more school. He is not yet eighteen.” Her face crumpled. “He is the age we lost his brother, Marco, Reverend. You know this. Juan is all the family has left.”

***

“Who was it this time?” Sam Chastain, Cici’s friend and hiking partner, asked. He pulled on a tattered ball cap—probably the one Cici’s twin sister, Anna Carmen, gave him years ago—and pulled on his backpack, settling it comfortably over his gray Red River T-shirt.

His short, dark ponytail stuck through the hole in the back like a bristle-brush. He slid on a pair of Ray-Bans to protect his gunmetal-blue eyes.

“Mrs. Sanchez. I got a great breakfast out of the deal.”

“She want you to have the talk with Juan?” Sam asked.

Sam was a detective with the Santa Fe Police department and fellow search-and-rescue teammate. The two had known each other for decades. Cici grabbed her water bottle and checked her sneakers.

“Got a hat?” Sam asked. “You know you’re going to burn if you don’t wear one.”

Sam studied her features, his gaze resting on her high cheekbones that always burned thanks to the pale skin Cici and her sister inherited from their mother, along with the oval shape of her face and the long-lashed hazel eyes.

“Yep,” Cici said, settling the cap on her head and pulling her long, jet-black pony tail through the hole in the back.

Sam offered her a radio, which she took, clipping it to her thick, brown leather belt.

“Why are we carrying these?”

Sam shrugged. “Boss man wants everyone on the trails wearing ’em. Maybe because of the helicopter extraction earlier this year?”

They started up the trail, moving in tandem as if they’d been hiking together for years.

“She’s recovered,” Cici said. “I called the woman who fell off Big Tesuque and talked to her. Her ankle’s out of the cast.”

“Lot of ruckus for a broken ankle and some bruises,” Sam replied.

“She slid four hundred feet into that ravine, Sam. Cut the woman some slack.”

“Stupid to hike alone, and you know it. We wouldn’t have had to waste so many resources on her if she’d been smarter.”

Cici did, but her job was to see others’ points of view, to help them grow, both in their humanity and spirituality. Refusing to get pulled further into an argument with Sam, she continued to hike.

They matched pace for a while in companionable silence. Cici began to feel . . . not sad. She hadn’t been happy since Anna Carmen’s death. But in this moment, with the sun shining and the aspens whispering overhead, Cici’s lips lifted at the corners.

The call came over the radio clipped to her belt. The same message squawked from Sam’s radio. He stopped, his chest expanding with each hard breath. They’d hiked the steepest part of the Aspen Trail. Sam wiped the sweat off his brow and pulled in a deep breath. He unlatched his walkie-talkie and pressed the button on the side.

“Repeat that, please.”

“Missing hiker. Wife called it in when she got off the mountain.”

“She left him out here by himself?” Cici asked, already wrinkling her nose in disgust. People continued to disappoint her.

Sam shook his head. “Not now, Cici. What’s the trail?”

“Aspen Vista,” the voice said over the bits of static.

“We’re on it. Name, age, any other stats?”

“I know.” The voice crackled but the exasperation was clear even through the bad connection. “Donald . . . fifty . . . complain . . . heart.”

“Uh oh,” Cici murmured.

“Last known whereabouts?” Sam asked.

“The summit.”

“Why’d the wife leave him there?” Cici muttered. “If he was in distress when she left him, he might not have survived while she strolled down the mountain.”

“Later,” Sam replied. He pressed the “Talk” button. “We’re a quarter mile from that location. Cici and I will start the sweep.”

“Roger . . . full crew coming in.”

“Great. From what you said, we’ll probably need it. Over and out.” Sam clipped the thick black radio to his belt again. He turned back to look at Cici, who’d crossed her arms and scowled down into the valley below.

“None of that, Cee. Not all people are your parents.”

“No, shit, detective,” she grunted.

“Hey,” Sam said, bumping her shoulder with his in a gentle gesture she’d come to expect from him over the last few years.

While they’d spent time together before her twin’s death, Cici made a point to seek him out more often after Anna Carmen’s funeral—especially once she’d made the decision to quit as the associate reverend from the large, wealthy church outside Boston—and move back home. He’d reciprocated by always being available, even during the difficult transition when he left the promising position on a joint task force in Denver. He’d been so excited to participate in that work because only the best people from the region were chosen, and Sam was one of the youngest. But, after explaining the situation to his boss, Agent Klein helped Sam move back in the detective bureau in Santa Fe.

“Priests aren’t supposed to use that kind of language,” he said.

Cici bumped him back, harder. Five male cousins within three years of her own age taught her a few important details—like how to fight dirty. “I’m not a priest. And not just because of my reproductive organs. I’m a reverend.”

“With a predilection for curse words and a willingness to abuse your fellow man,” Sam said over his shoulder as he moved back into point position on the trail. He made a tsking sound. “C’mon, Rev. Let’s go rescue our guy. Maybe you’ll make the front page of the paper. Again.” He turned to wink, his lips lifting when Cici rolled his eyes.

“Ugh. One time, Sam.”

“That’s all it took for me to be able to tease you about it for the rest of your life.” He started to chuckle. “Whatever happened to the chicken?”

Cici glared while Sam struggled to keep a straight face.

“I don’t know.” She huffed. “Hopefully, it’s living a long, chicken-y life.”

She rolled her eyes again and began to climb; Sam fell into step to the left and a half-foot in front of her.

Sam’s foot shifted as loose slag slid out from under his thick-soled hiking boot. He slowed his pace, taking more care with where he stepped. No point in getting hurt on the way up—that would just make more work for the SAR crew already on its way.

“I can’t believe that little girl asked you to bless a chicken at the Pet Parade.”

“This is Santa Fe. Home of animal lovers and weirdness.”

And murder.

Even though the sun beat down in thick, hot rays, Cici shivered. Something about this entire situation felt . . . well, off. She picked up the thread of their conversation to give herself something to do besides watch where she placed her feet and worry about what they’d find.

“Anyway, Yale wasn’t big on the cussing. Manhattan and Boston are where I picked up some choice words.”

“You were supposed to show those sinners how to rise above coarse language, sin, and all that shit.”

Cici shrugged. Not new ground here. She and Sam had bickered for years. That wasn’t saying much, really. She’d known most of the people in Santa Fe for years.

The aspen leaves rippled in the wind—a soft, fluttering roll of vegetation that sounded like a gentle, low tide—a strange phenomenon common here, high up in the Santa Fe National Forest where blue sky and slender white tree trunks seemed to merge. Typically, the sound soothed her.

Not now that she’d thought about her sister. The ache left by Anna Carmen’s death seemed to grow and weep, just as it always did when thoughts of her twin blindsided her.

Cici lifted her leg high to take her up to the next rock as sweat trickled down the middle of her back and her thighs began to ache with the deliciousness of hard use.

Cici cleared her head and organized her thoughts on these weekly hikes. Spending time outdoors with Sam became a weekly ritual more than six months ago. She looked forward to these hours-long jaunts because they helped her prepare a better sermon.

They turned the last sharp curve and Sam’s feet planted firmly into the path, blocking her view. He cursed—worse than her words. Cici’s heart hammered and the dread in her stomach shifted, heaving, as Cici edged around him.

“Wait, Cee. You don’t want to see this.”

Too late—and not as if she would have listened. Her throat tightened as she stared into the sightless eyes of Donald Johnson, one of the founding members of the church she’d taken over earlier this year.

A gust of wind slammed against her overheated skin and the soft rustling of the aspens built into the crash of waves. Or maybe it was her ears, thrumming with the rush of blood to her head.

She barely heard Sam call in their location.

Rigor mortis had already come and left his body before she and Sam found him, toppled off the large boulder, his stainless-steel canteen overturned and empty at his feet. The water stained the ground and his right hiking boot, making the leather darker, near black. Near as black as the blood on the rock and stuck to his Lobos T-shirt, trailing down onto his designer jeans.

Sam’s hand came down on her shoulder and she flinched, hard, but she didn’t look away from Donald. Two narrow gashes showed pink and a trickle of blood. His hands—large and hairy—nicked from the blade. A longer, deeper gash split open the meaty part of his hand almost as if he’d grappled with the blade.

But Cici focused on the large wolf logo. The UNM mascot seemed to have opened its mouth right above a wound in his back, ready to devour him.

Or maybe Cici, with memories of another murder. That wound . . .

 

 

About Alexa Padgett:

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

Connect with Alexa:

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SALE! THE COMPLETE SUBMISSION SERIES by CD Reiss for ONLY 99¢!

Jonathan Drazen is back!

The Complete Submission Series Boxed Set from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss is available now for ONLY 99¢ and features an all new bonus epilogue BEAT!

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Jonathan Drazen. Gorgeous. Charming. Smart. Rich.

All the ingredients for a few nights of mind-blowing pleasure are right there. He’s made it perfectly clear he can’t love me, and I’m not out to fall in love either.

But I can’t stay away from him. He’s got this bossy way about him in bed. The word “Sir,” falls from my lips, and when he tells me to get on my knees…well, my knees have a mind of their own.

I got this. I can be his slave for a few nights and walk away unscathed.

We get in. Get it on. Get the hell out. Done.

He knows the line between love and lust. It’s right between my legs.

Now, let’s see if that line blurs for me.

——

This bundle includes

Submission / Domination / Connection

And a SUPER HOT special bonus featuring Jonathan and Monica. This seven-thousand word epilogue takes place one year after the last scene of CODA.

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Download your copy today for only 99¢!

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About the Author

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

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

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

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

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COVER REVEAL ~ MODEL BOYFRIEND by Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick

 

MODEL BOYFRIEND by Stuart Reardon & Jane Harvey-Berrick releases 10th July!

 

SYNOPSIS

A powerful contemporary romance set in the fast-moving world of international modelling.

What’s it like dating one of the most beautiful men in the world? A man whose face is on every magazine and ad campaign?

Not as much fun as it sounds, as Anna Scott is about to find out.

Retired from rugby at the age of 33, injured and bored, Nick is given the chance to enter the high stakes world of fashion photography as a model.

But behind the glittering façade lies an ugly reality: drugs, alcohol, all the deadly sins, and people willing to sleep their way to the top.

It’s a tough life and tougher on relationships.

Nick needs to learn to navigate the treacherous path quickly or risk losing it all—including the woman who has become his reason for living.

In this glamorous world, there is no room for error. Being a MODEL BOYFRIEND has never been harder.

Can nice guy Nick find his way through, or will he be tempted to risk it all? Because the one thing he despises is failure.

He’s a lot more than a pretty face.

This story continues where UNDEFEATED left off, although it can also be read as a stand-alone story in its own right.

Pre-order MODEL BOYFRIEND
$2.99

Amazon Universal

Available in KU

UNDEFEATED reduced to 99¢ from $3.99

for the first time ever

Amazon Universal 

Available in KU

Stuart Reardon

 

Stuart is a retired England International Rugby League player who’s career spanned 16 years as a professional playing for several top League clubs. He has had several major injuries that nearly ended his career just as in Undefeated, the amazing collaboration with Jane.
Currently he is a Personal trainer living in Cheshire, and has an online fitness program: Fear Nothing Fitness.

 

 

Jane Harvey-Berrick

 

I enjoy watching surfers at my local beach, and weaving stories of romance in the modern world, with all its trials and tribulations.
It’s been the best fun working with Stu on this story. And yes, he did think about joining the Marines once.

 

DISGRACE by Brittainy C. Cherry is LIVE!

DISGRACE_RELEASE BLITZ

Disgrace, an all-new romantic and emotional standalone from Brittainy C. Cherry is LIVE!

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Synopsis:

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again.

After fifteen years together, he walked away from me, and into the arms of another.

I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know how to exist without him by my side.

All I wanted was for him to come back to me.

Then, Jackson Emery appeared.

He was supposed to be a distraction for my mind. A summer fling. A confidence boost to my bruised heart.

We were perfect for one another, because we both knew we wouldn’t last. Jackson didn’t believe in commitment, and I no longer believed in love. He was too closed-off for me, and I was too damaged for him.

Everything was fine, until one night my heart skipped a beat.

I didn’t expect him to make me laugh. To make me think. To make my sadness somewhat disappear.

When our time was up, my heart didn’t know how to walk away.

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again, yet slowly my prayers began to shift toward the man who wasn’t right for me.

I prayed for one more smile, one more kiss, one more laugh, one more touch…

I prayed for him to be mine.

Even though I knew his heart wasn’t destined to love.

 

DISGRACE_AVAIL NOW KU

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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★ ★ ★ ★

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse

I know when I pick up a book by Cherry, I’m going to need a man-size hanky at hand. Her words dance off the pages; her characters’ sorrows and triumphs become yours, and although it sounds cliche, their story comes alive. Disgrace is no less emotional than her other publications; however, this standalone novel has a totally different feel about it.

I always imaged betrayal by someone you trust with all your heart would one way or another have its reprisals. This isn’t Grace’s case though. Her love for her husband has no boundaries and she’s prepared to go all out to make him hers again. Now then, I wasn’t at all sure she was taking the right path as it was clear a breakdown in communication knocked the marriage off track; apart from of course, other issues which I’d rather you find out for yourselves. But as I read on, discovering that another person she knew well was involved changed Grace’s opinion and I could have given her a high five. Yet one family member’s influence is not only overbearing, but what they wanted her to do I found downright ridiculous. Question is, will she take their advice to appease? Fearing the town’s gossip mongers and keeping up appearances play a huge part in this story and it’s not until Grace meets Jackson that everything goes really haywire.

Even though Jackson is disliked for reasons to be revealed, I adored him. A young man of few words, he couldn’t give a damn what people thought of him and just wants to be left alone. But when he does have something to say, he’s blunt to the point of being rude and takes his frustration out in his place of work. Strangely, I was more emotionally invested in Jackson than I was in Grace. Don’t get me wrong, I liked and felt sorry for her; however, Jackson’s story moved me to tears. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, a past event which in Cherry’s style was held back, came to light at a crucial moment leaving this reader and Jackson floored.

If there were ever two more divergent characters, it has to be Grace and Jackson. From completely different backgrounds, one has the patience of a saint and is generous of soul, so unselfish that at times I got annoyed with them. The other is broodingly dark, misunderstood but under all those layers, a beautiful heart resonates. Their struggles to find their own identities grow at a steady pace, keeping me involved throughout the story. A relationship I never expected to work, I was delighted to see how their mutual respect and the space they gave each other flourished. Finding their way is by no means a bed of roses but as they say, when there’s a will…

The character development is sublime. I had a lot of mixed feeling regarding some of the folk; nonetheless, this just made the story feel more lifelike. Now then, besides a strong religious tone, indirect cheating is rife! Yeah, it kind of clashes, doesn’t it? So be warned if it’s not your cuppa! Dare I say this detail didn’t bother me in the least? It happens! Narrated in past from a dual perspective allows the reader to delve into the protagonists’ thoughts, many of them extremely heart-wrenching ones. The author has delivered a story I truly wasn’t expecting and since I went in blind, the surprise was tenfold. And as always, Cherry brings home a message of hope. Bravo!
 

About the Author:

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

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EXCERPT REVEAL ~ SAVING BECK by Courtney Cole

 

Reminiscent of the beloved novels by Mary Kubica and Jodi Picoult comes a chilling portrayal of a son’s addiction and its harrowing effects on both him and his mother from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole.

SAVING BECK releases July 17, 2018. Check out the sneak peek below, and pre-order your copy of SAVING BECK today!

 

SAVING BECK Synopsis:

There comes a time when offering your life for your child’s doesn’t work, when you realize that it’ll never be enough.

The cold needle in his warm vein was a welcome comfort to my son at first. But then it became the monster that kept us apart.

Heroin lied, and my son believed. It took him to a world where the last year didn’t happen, to a place where his father was still alive. What Beck didn’t understand was that it couldn’t bring his father back from the dead. It couldn’t take away his pain, not permanently.

You think it can’t happen to you, that your kids, your family, will never be in this situation.
I thought that too. But you’re wrong.

Step into our world, and see for yourself.
Watch my golden boy become a slave to this raging epidemic. Watch me try and save him.

Drug addiction comes with a price.
Trust me, you’re not equipped to pay it.

Don’t miss this heart wrenching, evocative, yet hopeful novel—it will leave you forever changed.

 

Pre-order SAVING BECK here!

Amazon Hardcover | Kindle | Nook

 Barnes & Noble Hardcover

iBooks | B-A-M | Kobo 
IndieBound | Audible

 

EXCERPT:

The hospital is a beacon of light and hope as we pull in. I barely remember to put my car in park before I jump out and I leave it in the middle of the lane, the tires wrenched haphazardly toward the curb.“Ma’am, you can’t park there,” a guy in a security uniform says with his fake badge, but I don’t answer. I toss him my keys and push my way to the doors, and that’s when I see him.My son.

They’ve pulled him out of the ambulance, and he’s so still, so white. He’s got the body of a man and the face of a boy, and he’s got vomit in his hair. One hand dangles over the edge of the gurney, orange flecks dripping from his fingers to the floor, but no one notices, no one cares.

“Beck,” I breathe, and he doesn’t open his eyes. “Beck,” I say louder, as loud as I can. His mouth is slack, but he’s not dead, he can’t be dead because someone is pumping his heart with her fist. She’s running next to the gurney, and she’s pounding on his heart, making it beat.

“Coming through,” she yells at the doors, and there is a team of people working on him. They’re frantic, and that’s not good.

I chase after them, through the emergency room, through the people, but someone grabs me at a giant set of double-doors, the gateway to the important rooms.

“You can’t go in there,” a nurse tells me.

“That’s my son,” I try to tell her, but she doesn’t care. “Beck,” I scream, and I try to see through the windows, but I can’t because he’s gone. “I love you, Beck. Stay here. Stay here.”

The nurse grasps my arm, and I can’t stand anymore. My legs are tired and the adrenaline… it numbs me. I collapse beside her and she tries to hold me up, but she can’t… I’m on the ground.

My face is wet, when did I start crying?

“You have to save my son,” I beg her, my fingers curled into her arm. I stare into her eyes. Hers are green, ringed with blue, and she looks away. Something about her seems so familiar, something about those eyes.

“We’ll try, ma’am,” she says uncertainly. It’s the uncertainty that kills me. “We’ll do everything we can. I’m going to take you to a quiet room, and give you a blanket. Is there anyone I can call for you?”

I shake my head. “No. I already called my sister.”

“Okay,” the nurse says quietly and her name tag says Jessica. She takes me to a waiting room, a quiet private one, the ones they use when the outcome might not be good. I know that because I’ve been here before.

I swallow hard and she puts a cup of coffee in my hand.

As she does, she pushes a stray hair out of her face and her bracelet catches my eye. A simple chain with a silver dolphin on it. I’ve seen it before.

“You were here the night my husband was brought in,” I realize slowly. “Weren’t you? Do you remember me?”

It was a year ago. A year, two months… I check my watch… six days and twenty-two hours ago. Of course she doesn’t remember me.

But Jessica nods.

“I’m so sorry about your husband,” she tells me now, her voice quiet and thick. “I swear to you, we did everything we could.”

“I know,” I tell her. Because I do. The accident was so bad, there’s no way anyone could’ve survived. Except for Beck. He lived. But Matt...his injuries were insurmountable. That’s what the doctor told me that night.

I stare at the door, and this is the same room and that is the same door, and this is the same blue-tiled floor. For a minute, I’m back in that moment, and the doctor is coming in. I’d waited for hours and his face was so grave and I knew, I knew, before he could utter a word.

I shook my head because I didn’t want to hear what was coming next, but he spoke anyway.

Matt’s injuries were insurmountable, he’d said. We did everything we could.

But everything wasn’t enough, and my husband died.

“Is it a different doctor tonight?” I ask suddenly. “I need a different doctor. One who can save my son.”

I know it’s illogical. I know it was never the doctor’s fault, but it doesn’t matter because Jessica is nodding. “It’s a different doctor tonight,” she tells me. “Dr. Grant, and he’s very, very good.”

“Okay,” I whisper. “Okay.”

“If you need anything, you tell me,” Jessica says and I can see that she means it. She likes me. Or she feels sorry for me. It doesn’t matter which. I nod and she’s gone, and I’m alone.

Just like I was a year ago, and just like that night all I can do is pace.

I’m a caged mama wolf and there’s nothing I can do, but I know that if I stop moving, Beck might die. My energy is attached to his energy. I have to move. It all depends on me.

So I walk in circles.

I walk six paces, over the six white tiles, then I turn, taking three steps over the blue. I tread back six paces over the white, and then turn again, taking three more over the blue.

I will not stop, Beck. I won’t fail you. I won’t.

It becomes rhythmic, and I match my breaths with my steps. I’m a machine, a time-keeper, a being made of clock-work as I walk in circles, marking time. Every step I take, Beck is still alive. I feel it in my heart. It’s all up to me.

 

 

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About Courtney Cole:

Courtney Cole grew up in rural Kansas and now lives with her husband and kids in Florida, where she writes beneath palm trees and is still in love with the idea of magic and happily-ever-after. She is the author of Saving Beck.

 

 

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