BLOG TOUR ~ NO FEELINGS INVOLVED by Siobhan Davis

Can this skeptical player let down his guard long enough to let love into his life, or is this forbidden romance a train wreck in the making?

No Feelings Involved, an all-new brother’s best friend standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis is available now!

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Ryan James doesn’t believe in love.

It’s a truth he learned early in life. A truth he carried with him into adulthood. He broke his golden rule one time, but Myndi trampled all over his heart, cementing his belief that love is a lie and not worth the effort.

Now he’s returned to his cynical views and promiscuous lifestyle, racking up more notches on his bedpost than he can count.

Until Summer Petersen comes crashing into his world, threatening to knock down his walls with her tempting body and sunny, sweet personality.

Summer is determined to lose her V-card before she starts freshman year of college, and the hot, older guy with the cute dimples, dazzling smile, and rippling biceps is just the man for the job. Ryan doesn’t take much persuading, and he rocks her world, giving her a night to remember.

When they walk away, there’s an unspoken agreement it was a one-time thing. Ryan doesn’t do feelings, and Summer doesn’t want to be tied down at eighteen.

But when she moves into her brother Austin’s apartment, she’s shocked to discover her new roomie is the guy who recently popped her cherry.

Ryan can’t believe he slept with Austin’s baby sister, and if he finds out, he’ll literally kill him. Keeping their hook up a secret is nonnegotiable. Keeping his thoughts, and his hands, off Summer, less so. Because the longer he’s around her, the more he finds himself catching feelings for the gorgeous brunette.

Summer doesn’t want to care for her older brother’s best friend, but Ryan makes her feel things she’s never felt before, and she’s slowly falling under his spell.

Embarking on an illicit affair behind Austin’s back has train wreck written all over it, but provided they keep their feelings in check, they can end this before he ever finds out.

It’s not like either of them is in love.

Right?

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Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

I have read this author’s books before and I have always enjoyed her work. This age-gap/best friend’s little sister romance is a sweet and swoony love story.

Summer Petersen is the youngest child with three over-protective brothers. She is a mature eighteen-year-old woman, a product of a family that holds no punches and where honesty and loyalty is part of their DNA. She knows what she wants, is brutally honest and dying to get rid of her V-card before she goes to college.

Ryan James is the best friend and business partner of Summer’s oldest brother, Austin. If you have read When Forever Changes, Ryan is Gabby’s brother who is now married to Slater (also a friend of Ryan’s). Ryan’s life becomes complicated when his one night stand with a girl he met in the club pops up back in the flat that he shares with Austin. Once bitten twice shy, he vowed to never be involved with another woman again until he met Summer that is!

This standalone contemporary romance is told in dual points of view. It starts as a light-hearted and casual hook-up where both parties were meant to forget to each other after that night. Summer is a delightful character bubbly and fun, a typical teenager but also mature in her outlook on life. I love her family dynamics, her camaraderie with her brothers although frustrating at times, it’s what makes her a tough young woman. Ryan, on the other hand, is more closed-in and no longer believes in love. Although there is an eight-year gap between the two main characters, Summer’s free-spirit counteracts Ryan’s closed personality.

The forbidden moments stolen by this pair adds to the thrill of their romance but when reality bites them in the arse this couple has to fess up. Their friends and family that appeared in the other book are still very much involved in their story and it is lovely to see how supportive Summer’s family is, well except maybe for some of her brothers. Summer and Ryan’s epic romance will surely make you fall in love again and might even make you cry. These two are just perfect for each other. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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Excerpt

©Siobhan Davis 2019

 
I’m munching my way through the bowl of popcorn when Summer and the cute little guy return. “I’m Iron Man!” he proclaims in a gruff voice, puffing out his chest behind his costume and bounding into the room, displaying impressive arrogance like a true mini Tony Stark.“And I’m Black Widow,” Summer announces, in an assertive tone, striding into the room behind him in a figure-hugging black jumpsuit, holding two toy swords in her hands. She stands confidently beside my nephew, the two of them projecting superhero status, and I can’t contain my laughter.

“You dare to laugh at me?” She quirks a brow. When Billy flips up his Iron Man mask, exchanging a devilish look with Summer, I’m on instant alert.

“What’s going on?” I question with clear caution in my tone.

“Billy and I made a new rule,” Summer says, winking at my nephew as a wicked smile graces her mouth. “You can only watch the movie if you’re wearing a costume.” She throws something at me. “You’re up, champ. Go get dressed.”

I inspect the flimsy red and blue silky material with trepidation, my mouth curling in disgust. “Oh, hell to the no.”

“That’s a bad word, Uncle Ryan,” Billy says, wagging his finger at me. “Now be Spiderman, or I’ll tell Mom you were cussing again.”

The little blackmailing shit.

Still, I can’t keep the smile off my face. There isn’t much I won’t do for my nephew, it seems, as I saunter out of the room with the offending costume in hand, subtly spanking Summer on the ass as I pass by her.

“What the actual fuck?” I question out loud to myself a few minutes later, all tangled up in the too-tight costume. How the fuck does Slate fit into this thing? I tug on the material, trying to stretch it out so it reaches my wrists and my ankles and isn’t molded to my dick like a tight layer of foreskin. That’s assuming it’s Slater’s because right now I’m questioning if this suit is even adult sized.

Little beads of sweat dot my brow as I finally get the damn thing on. I look in the mirror, laughing at the state of myself squeezed into the minuscule costume, deciding that Summer owes me at least a blow job for this.

The instant I step foot in the living room, shouting “I am Spiderman,” because hey, when in Rome and all that shit, the room erupts in an explosion of laughter, and you’d swear there were twenty people in the room not two. Or one point five if you consider Billy’s still a kid.

Summer drops to her knees, tears pouring out of her eyes, and she can’t stop laughing long enough to speak. Billy is running around the room, giggling and squealing.

“Hey, it was your great idea,” I say, strolling over to the couch and plopping down on it. The material scrunches up at my thighs, almost giving me a wedgie, and I squirm on the couch trying to get comfortable. Summer shrieks, almost convulsing with laughter, before jumping up and dashing out of the room. “Was it something I said?” I joke with Billy, and he giggles, snuggling up on the couch with me and snatching the popcorn.

I’m still cursing the damn costume a couple minutes later when Summer returns wearing a Wonder Woman outfit this time. If I thought the crotch of my Spiderman costume was tight before, it’s nothing on how strained it is now I’m sporting the biggest boner known to man. Discreetly, I pull the throw off the back of the couch, covering my nether regions before Billy notices the giant bulge in my tighter than tight pants.

“Are you trying to kill me, woman?” I ask as Summer flops down on the other side of me. “Death by giant erection,” I whisper in her ear, and she splutters, holding up a hand, trying to compose herself long enough to speak.

“Stop!” She titters, clutching her stomach as if she’s in pain. “I’ve already had to change once because I peed my pants.”

I just stare at her, and she cracks up in laughter again. “You seriously peed your pants?” I inquire, fighting a bout of laughter myself.

She punches me in the arm, but it’s a feeble effort, and I barely feel a twinge. “It’s your fault.” She looks over me, snorting with laughter. “How the hell did you even get that thing on?”

“It wasn’t without challenge, trust me.” I wink at her, and she rests her head on my shoulder, her light laughter warming my insides.

“You look totally fuckable in that costume,” I whisper in her ear. “I want you to wear it later when you’re riding me.”

“Do you think that’s why Gabby and Slater have so many costumes upstairs? Do they play superhero in the bedroom?” she whispers, waggling her brows suggestively as my stomach sours.

My insides shrivel at the thought, and I scowl at her. “Thanks a bunch for that lovely visual of my sister. Now, I have a renewed urge to punch my brother-in-law in the face.” I know Gabby and Slate usually dress up to go trick or treating with Billy at Halloween, and I’m sticking to that story as the most logical explanation.

Because, otherwise, I’m likely to land one on Slate the second he steps foot in the door.
 

 

About Siobhan

USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult and new adult romantic fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the international bestselling Kennedy Boys, Saven, and True Calling series’.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

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BLOG TOUR ~ MORE THAN TEMPT YOU by Shayla Black

Today we’re thrilled to be on tour with the fifth book in Shayla Black’s More Than Words series, MORE THAN TEMPT YOU

I romanced her for revenge…but what if she’s not the enemy after all?

I’m Clint Holmes. I was an ambitious guy with a busy life and a growing business. Sure North Dakota wasn’t a tropical paradise, but I was happy enough—until tragedy struck. Now the only thing that matters is finding the person responsible and making her pay. But Bethany Banks is a Harvard-educated shark used to swallowing her enemies whole while playing dangerous corporate games. How can a blue-collar oil man like me possibly beat her?

The moment I lay eyes on my beautiful nemesis, the answer is obvious. I seduce her.

On Maui, where she’s fled, I get to know the man-eater who caused my family so much pain…only to find she’s not the brazen ballbuster I assumed. She’s skittish, secretive, vulnerable. For some reason, my instinct is to protect her. I can’t abandon my plan…but I can’t stop wanting her. Night after night, I pry her open with my touch until I’m drowning in our passion. Soon, I’m questioning everything, especially the fine line between love and hate. But when the past comes back to wreak vengeance and the truth explodes, can I prove that I’m more than tempted to love her forever?

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“Can one of you keep an eye on Beth? She’s getting hit on a lot, which I told her to expect. But one creepy guy who was here last night is here again today. He seems awfully determined.”
“The one in the loud Hawaiian shirt with the matching personality?” my buddy asks.
“That one. He parked his ass in her station as soon as we opened. He’s been messing with her ever since.”
“I’ll take care of it,” I chime in.
First, when I bartended on the side in the past, I saw a lot of the girls struggle with dirtbags who refused to understand that no means no. Second, coming to her rescue will be a great way to meet Bethany and start gaining her trust. I refuse to think about how excited my libido is to spend time with her.
“Thanks, Clint.”
With that, Andy dismisses us. Ash and I file down the hall.
My buddy laughs. “You in the role of Bethany’s protector. Oh, the irony…”
“Hey, I’m not out to hurt her. I just want justice. I have no doubt she helped to swindle those people, so she deserves to pay as the law provides.”
“Fair enough. But, um…she clearly flips your switch. How are you going to keep your paws off her?”
Bethany Banks turning me on visually is fucking inconvenient. I’m sure that once I start talking to the woman, her personality will quickly turn me off. “I’ll work it out.”
“Ready for the madhouse?”
I follow Ash behind the bar. “Let’s do it.”
It takes me less than ten minutes to learn the ropes. Then Ash introduces me to the other waitress on duty, Montana. She’s a sultry brunette with dark eyes, golden skin, and big tits. Honestly, she’s usually my speed in women.
And yet as we’re chatting and she’s flirting, my gaze keeps straying to Bethany. What is it about her? She’s beautiful, but what else? Is it her aloofness? Maybe. I want to figure her out so I can understand why a brilliant woman, surely capable of making her own fortune, would help her father fleece people. The angry part of me wants to grasp how she managed not to get caught. Mostly, I fear the attraction is chemical and, regardless of what logic tells me, I want to nail her.
When Montana jaunts off with a wink. Ash pulls me aside. “Are you that rusty? Montana would totally do you, and you blew her off.”
I know, and the fact I’m not interested annoys me. “I’m not here for sex. Introduce me to ‘Beth’ and let’s get this farce going.”
As we approach, she sets a beer down in front of a guy who’s fortyish in a Hawaiian shirt—like a lot of the tourists here. He eyes her with excruciating intensity. She meets his gaze with an arched brow raised.
My gut tells me she’s not only not interested, but she’s silently rebuffing him.
Mug delivered, Bethany turns to leave. The man grips her wrist hard, his muscles flexing, veins popping, knuckles white. When she winces and tries to wriggle free, he clamps tighter and stands, jerking her toward him.
Fuck that. Even if Bethany Banks is guilty of a multitude of sins, she doesn’t deserve to be manhandled by this jerk against her will.
I barge my way between them, shoving her behind me. “Do we have a problem here, sir?”
Fury pinches his mouth. He narrows his eyes. “This has nothing to do with you. Butt out.”
“You don’t have permission to maul the staff. I’m going to have to ask you to keep your hands to yourself or leave.”
“Do you have your head so far up her twat that you don’t see she’s a fucking bitch?” The guy scoffs and rolls his eyes. “Yeah, and you deserve everything you get when she chews you up and spits you out.”
With that, the asshole tosses down some money and starts to walk away.
I’m furious. In part because he accused me of wanting her when I do. But mostly I’m pissed on Bethany’s behalf. “That was uncalled for. You’re not welcome back here unless you apologize to her.”
He grits his teeth, upper lip curling up with contempt as he turns to Bethany. “Fine. A thousand apologies.”
The douche doesn’t mean a word of that, and I want to pound his face. No, I’m not looking to become Bethany’s knight in shining armor. But this kind of guy always grates on my nerves because he thinks he can treat all women like trash, and the only thing that matters less than them are their feelings. I hate pricks like him.
Unfortunately, I can’t do anything else right now without ramping up the incident, instigating a fight…and probably getting fired. Instead, once he leaves, I turn to Bethany. I’m pissed all over again when I see she’s gone tense, as if she’s trying to hold herself together, and sporting a big red handprint around her small wrist.
“You okay?”
She nods. It’s shaky at first, then she drags in a steadying breath. “Yeah. He might be the first to think he can demand something more than a drink. But like Andy said, he won’t be the last. I’ll get used to it. Thanks for stepping in. I’m Beth.”
When she holds out her hand, I have to admit I’m impressed by her backbone. I’ve seen new waitresses shrink, cry, and ultimately quit when confronted with a customer that vile. Bethany simply picked herself up and now looks determined to carry on.
“You’re welcome. I’m Clint. It’s my first day.” I shake her hand.
We touch. Heat flares and rolls through me, instant and scorching. If I wanted to fuck her before, it’s nothing compared to the lust burning me now.

 

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 teenage 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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BECAUSE HE’S PERFECT ~ Title Reveal: Part Four

Today we are thrilled to be sharing four titles from four of the BECAUSE HE’S PERFECT authors and a word about their story. 

BECAUSE HE’S PERFECT is a charity anthology, releasing 7th May! 

 

Because He’s Perfect is a charity anthology with all proceeds being donated to the Movember Foundation.

Twenty-two authors ranging from first-time writers to long-term storytellers, seek to dispel all the myths from the romance world about what a perfect hero should be.

Emotional or physical disabilities and illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, they can make a man. With the inclusion of a poignantly emotional foreword by NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan, this anthology will take you on a journey through comedic laughs, sweet contemporary romance, and into the world of darkness and bizarre.

Joining the authors on their quest are one graphic artist, two photographers, and two models donating their time and efforts to this project, which has inspired all involved.

We hope you will enjoy what you read, ‘Because He’s Perfect’.
Pre-order your copy for ONLY $0.99!

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Dani René: Inhibition, comes from a psychological definition as suppressing one’s sexual behavior for fear of punishment. Many times, erectile dysfunction comes from a psychological condition. Adrian struggles with his past that’s brought about his condition. Can the only ‘cure’ be to talk to the beautiful doctor?

K.L. Humphreys: Missing Piece; even though he’s an amputee, he’s lost more than just his limb, he’s lost himself.

Tyler is struggling to find his way, this is his story of how he finds his new normal.

Murphy Wallace:  My title is a play on the acronym OCD – Order. Control. Deceit. What happens when no amount of order or control is enough to keep your entire world from unraveling?

Elle Boon: Mine comes from the fact this is going to be a prequel to a series I’m writing, so all the titles start with Royally ❤

#CoverReveal #BecauseHesPerfect #AuthorsUnited #CarrieAnnRyan #AliceLaRoux #AllyVance #AnnaBlakely #AnnaEdwards #ClaireMarta #DanielleDickson #DaniRené #ElleBoon #JoAnneJoseph #KASands #KLHumphreys #LexiCFoss #LexxieCouper #MariaMacdonald #MorganCampbell #MurphyWallace #ReneeHarless #SamanthaLewis #SiennaGrant #TracieDelaney #VictoriaLJames #SeanBrady #ChristopherJohn #CJCPhotography #DavidWills #CharityHendry #PreOrder #RomanceNovels

MORE THAN TEMPT YOU by Shayla Black is available now!

Today we’re thrilled to be sharing the fifth book in Shayla Black’s More Than Words series, MORE THAN TEMPT YOU

I romanced her for revenge…but what if she’s not the enemy after all?

I’m Clint Holmes. I was an ambitious guy with a busy life and a growing business. Sure North Dakota wasn’t a tropical paradise, but I was happy enough—until tragedy struck. Now the only thing that matters is finding the person responsible and making her pay. But Bethany Banks is a Harvard-educated shark used to swallowing her enemies whole while playing dangerous corporate games. How can a blue-collar oil man like me possibly beat her?

The moment I lay eyes on my beautiful nemesis, the answer is obvious. I seduce her.

On Maui, where she’s fled, I get to know the man-eater who caused my family so much pain…only to find she’s not the brazen ballbuster I assumed. She’s skittish, secretive, vulnerable. For some reason, my instinct is to protect her. I can’t abandon my plan…but I can’t stop wanting her. Night after night, I pry her open with my touch until I’m drowning in our passion. Soon, I’m questioning everything, especially the fine line between love and hate. But when the past comes back to wreak vengeance and the truth explodes, can I prove that I’m more than tempted to love her forever?

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Join Shayla for the More Than Tempt You Beauties Party

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 teenage 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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RELEASE TOUR ~ DAMON by Alex Wolf

To we are thrilled to be bringing you Alex Wolf’s all-new romantic suspense, DAMON

 

I’m a guy with a wicked past and she’s the girl of my future.
…but she doesn’t know it yet.

Rumors run rampant in this small town.
I’m spoken about in whispers, but I hear their words.
I was happy to stay hidden until the new girl arrived.

I’m enchanted by her beauty and drawn to her laugh.
She’s too good for me, but that doesn’t keep me away.
Can I break free of my past or will my demons ruin everything?

Damon is a full length contemporary bad boy romance novel with a HEA!

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DAMON by Alex Wolf is LIVE and available in Kindle Unlimited!

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Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

Romantic suspense is one of my favourite tropes and I thought it was a good idea to jump into this story blind. This author is new to me and I found a lot of good points in this book that makes it a fascinating read.

Elise Morgan is the new girl in Mount Hood, wanting a fresh start. She’s a city girl who is still getting the feel of the small town vibe where everybody knows everyone’s business. When she comes across Damon, a mysterious guy who draws her attention like a magnet, she will do anything to get to know him. For someone who is in her twenties, she is a bit naive and quite trusting.

Damon is the local bad boy but no one really knows his issues except for the unconfirmed rumours floating around him. His instant attraction to the new girl makes him feel vulnerable and there are things in his life that need to be addressed first before thinking of hooking up with Elise.

Elise and Damon’s story is told in dual points of view and has a good plot. My only issue is that Elise’s character who although is in her mid-twenties and coming from Los Angeles is quite naive and jumps easily into dangerous situations. Either she is too trusting or plain reckless I just had trouble connecting to her character. Damon, on the other hand, is the brooding alpha male, mysterious and dangerous. He is the perfect bad boy to Elise’s nice but simple(ton) girl persona, [sorry but when you read the part about the ransom money you will know what I mean].

Kendra and her sidekicks as the antagonists with their “mean girl” antics somehow don’t correlate to their age. The plot thickens when Damon’s father appears to be the main reason of all the action and drama in this book, but I wished that there had been more back story provided by the author to shed more light to the father and son relationship.

The overall plot and suspense was good enough to grab my attention and finish this book even though to my mind of thinking, the author could have given Elise more IQ points to make me like her persona more. I will definitely have a look at this author’s other books as I find his narrative style quite interesting.

Meet Alex

Alex hails from the Midwest and currently resides in New Orleans.

He enjoys writing steamy romance but more importantly, he enjoys the “research” required to produce the steamy scenes. If you like filthy-mouthed, possessive alpha heroes and steamy romance, then he’s the author for you!

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TEASER ~ SLAY: RIVALRY #1 by Laurelin Paige

Check out the new teaser for SLAY: RIVALRY (Slay Quartet #1) by Laurelin Paige, coming 4th June!

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Edward Fasbender is a devil.

He’s my father’s business rival, a powerful, vicious man who takes what he wants and bows to no one. I only took the meeting because I was curious. I thought he was going to offer me a job.

But that’s not what he’s after at all. His proposal is much more intriguing, and I see an opportunity. An opportunity to turn the tables and bring down the devil.

I’ve gotten in trouble playing these games before. I know when the risk is too great, when the stakes are too high. I know how to be cold and strong-willed and destructive. I know how to withstand dominant men with arrogant charm and rugged features.

Yet I can’t resist taking on Edward.

And I can’t resist the pull he has on me.

Soon I’m not so sure which side of the battle I’m standing on–if I’m the warrior meant to slay,

Or the one who will be slain.

MEET LAURELIN

With over 1.5 million books sold worldwide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is 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 or 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. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

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BLOG TOUR ~ PRETTY RECKLESS by L. J. Shen


NOW A BESTSELLER!

We kid you not! Pretty Reckless, the first standalone in the highly anticipated All Saints High series from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is one of the best YA reads this year and available to download now!

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LJSPrettyRecklessBookCover6x9_MEDIUM.jpgWe were supposed to be best friends

But turned out to be worst enemies…

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart is completely iced.

I took her first kiss.

She took the only thing I loved.

I was poor.

She was rich.

The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.

Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.

Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.

Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.

There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.

Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good-old, unapologetic punk.

But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.

The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.

In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.

Four years ago, he asked me to save all of my firsts for him.

Now he lives across the hall, and there’s nothing I want more than to be his last everything.

His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.

Now? Now he is making me pay.

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REVIEWED BY SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF

Shen literally caught me with my pants down in Pretty Reckless. I never, ever expected such an intense read which would make me keep questioning her. ‘Why, why, why’, I reiterated to myself! She forced me to take a hard look at family dynamics and much more besides. She had me swearing, teary-eyed, made me feel elated and desperate all in the same breath. Paragraphs beyond brilliant, hurtful and oh-so damn compelling, had me backtracking what I’d read. Shen’s writing is addictive. And even though I didn’t like what I’d read inasmuch as I couldn’t come to terms with what was evolving in front of my very own eyes, I couldn’t pull myself away. Hooked, I wanted more.

Secrets. If there hadn’t been so many of them, I wouldn’t have had the feeling that the something was going to hit the fan at any moment. But like the brilliant storyteller that Shen is, she not only held back, she also raised my hopes…and quite cannily so, I might add. Then matters complicated even more than I could have imagined and I didn’t know which way to turn, but hope for relief I clung to. My question was what would be divulged first and more importantly, how would it affect an already stressful home environment. The best recipe for disaster was being concocted and I felt like I had the best seat in the theatre. When cat number two was let out of the bag, I groaned why yet again! It was such a cleverly construed work of trickery, or so I thought at the time. Fooled, I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to see what else was in store, what else could go possibly go wrong.

Everything changes for the worst when guest number one is invited to stay for reasons I’d rather not disclose. And I won’t even start on guest number two, but supposed friends become arch-enemies, misunderstandings flourish, causing heartache, guilt and jealousy. The green-eyed monster had reared its ugly head earlier on, now it was like waiting to see if there was going to be any damage control. It got to a point in the story when I wondered if certain individuals involved would ever see sense. It’s a fast-paced read, there’s not let up and room to breathe is scarce.

What happened left me seething and I didn’t just want to throttle two of the characters, but three! My level of patience with each and every one of them was beginning to wear thin by now. Wrapped up in their own problems which seemed to be of their own making, escalated by the minute. There’s a huge lack of communication between Daria and her mother, Melody. Not that surprising for a teenager since many of us have been there at one time or another. And despite dual points of view, a lot of emphasis was given to Melody’s role as a mother. Rewind back to Defy: Sinners of Saint, and you’ll have met her and Jaime. A gorgeous couple who still can’t keep their hands off each other, but this parenting business has got them a tad stumped. Jaime, bless him, is a rock. A father who adores his eldest daughter lays down reasonable house rules for what they’re worth.

Titans at loggerheads; two perfectly imperfect teenagers, two lost souls. One lacking attention, the other trying to steer well clear from it. A wrongdoing done without thought for the consequences is the tip of the iceberg. I really don’t want to let on too much as you just have to read this book; however, it’s been a long while since I have loathed a book character so much. I had absolutely no sympathy for her. You’ll see who she is. She stands out in the before and in the after.

Penn. Ooh my, what a lovely guy he is. Since finishing the book he’s haunted my dreams because for someone so inexperienced in life, his moral compass impressed me. Even though he wants the best for the folk around him and I mean this at home and in sports, it’s not easy to please when your feelings and loyalties are torn in two. Not in the slightest bit ungrateful for an opportunity to better his situation, everything seems to snowball into an even messier state of affairs than it is.

Daria. Hmm…she has one big chip on her shoulder. To begin with, I didn’t care much for her but as I read on and saw what was happening, I warmed up her. Shen’s written a very character driven novel but with Daria’s, she’s gone to town. Haughty, beautiful and dreadfully thoughtless, she treats most of those who care for her with utmost disdain. Will she change and if so, who will be the one to break down her emotional walls without coming out of it unscathed?

I can’t put into words how much I loved the last few chapters. Thank you so much, Shen, for letting two wonderful people have their say. I cried buckets, too. Written faultlessly, the banter was where this reader needed it the most, angst-ridden scenes were where I least expected them to pop up. A love story that’s not just unforgettable, it’s tremendous. I have to say that this is the very best of from an author whose storytelling I have always admired. Bravo no. Bravissimo!

EXCERPT

© 2019 L.J. Shen
 All rights reserved.

“I don’t want you transferring into my school,” I hiss out. Melody would gladly file a transfer request, and Principal Prichard would salivate over the chance to snatch him up for our football team. “That won’t be a problem. You guys suck so much ass, you have shit-breath.” “Still smells better than poverty. You’re poor, right? Your sister was just bullshitting about being rich.”

When someone hits me with a stick, I run over them with a tank. I’m so mean to him I want to throw up. I hate this part of being me. The striking harder at all costs part.

“Just to make things clear.” I put the brush down, batting my lashes. “You’re not my step-sibling, foster brother, or a part of the family. You’re a stray dog. Last of the litter, most unlikely to be adopted, and a charity case.”

Penn takes a step toward me, and my heart is fighting its way out of my ribcage. The closer he gets, the more I realize that my heart might succeed. Penn’s eyes remind me of a snake’s. Mesmerizing, but inhuman altogether. They weren’t like that before.

His scent messes with my head. I want to reach out and caress his face. Kiss his wounds better. Beg for forgiveness. Curse him. Push him away. Cry on his shoulder for what we’ve done. For how it ended. For what we became afterwards, because I’m full of crap and he is totally empty.

We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss.

Penn looks down at me. Time stops. It feels like the world is losing gravity, falling into a bottomless depth in space when he clasps my chin with his thumb and finger, lifting my head up. I can’t breathe. I’m not sure I want to, either. My towel drops to the floor with a thud, even though I secured it over my chest. I realize that he tugged at it intentionally. I’m naked. My body, my soul, my heart. All my walls are down. Somewhere in my head, a red alarm blasts and my inhibitions are getting armed, ready to fight back. I’m trying to decode his expression. He is amused, irritated, and…playful? The mixture of emotions doesn’t make any sense.

“Mess with me, Followhill, and I will ruin you.”

“Not if I ruin you first.”

 

MEET L.J. SHEN

LJShen.jpgL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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