REVIEW BLITZ ~ TRAGIC by Devney Perry is now available!

Today we are thrilled to be sharing Devney Perry’s all-new contemporary stand-alone in the
Lark Cove Series, TRAGIC

Kaine Reynolds wants nothing more than solitude. After an unthinkable tragedy destroys his family, he’s cut off all ties to his former life so he can battle his grief the only way he knows how.W

Alone.

So when Piper Campbell knocks on his door, rambling on about being his new neighbor, he slams the door in her face.

But Kaine’s gruff demeanor doesn’t scare her. She’s set on living in Montana and starting over after a terrible divorce. And she wouldn’t mind having a fling to chase away the pain of her husband’s betrayal. Her handsome, albeit rude, neighbor is the perfect candidate.

Yet what neither of them suspect is that their no-strings affair will result in the surprise of Piper’s lifetime—and Kaine’s worst fear.

AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon: U.S | U.K | CAN | AUS
iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

READ THE PROLOGUE FOR TRAGIC HERE

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

Perry has fast become one of my fave contemporary romance authors. Even though many of us readers haven’t got time to read all that we’d like to, the Lark Cove series is one that can’t be missed or at the very least, do add it to your to-be-read list. There’s no amorous clichés, each stand-alone novel having its own uniqueness. If there was one detail I was able to differentiate between the previous two books and Tragic is the brewing steaminess and angst. Don’t get me wrong, I love slow burn love stories, and the romantic uncertainty woven into this must-read was beautifully written.

I’d had the pleasure of meeting Piper in Tattered, Logan and Thea’s story and couldn’t have been more delighted to see that it was her turn. Metaphorically speaking, of course, the breathtaking setting seemed to come alive before my very eyes. Piper and her neighbour have their mountain boundaries which couldn’t have been better described. Whether they would cross them is for you to find out. And for just one minute, take a look at the stunning cover! It is Kaine to a tee and has an interesting anecdote behind it.

Unspeakably broken after a tragedy, Kaine chose to live a life of solitude. His thoughts of hopelessness and despair consume his very being and to be quite honest, I found his gruff exterior a tad unappealing until subtle changes in his character showed me otherwise. But Piper has a curious soul. Treading with as much care as she possibly can, does she even want to try breaking through his walls when she’s not been made welcome? Her past experience is distressing, but nothing in comparison to the hardship Kaine had to endure. Ah, wait and see because neither Piper or myself were expecting a hidden truth to come out, knocking us both for six. And the same goes for Kaine, so get ready to pull out all the tissues of a man-sized box; you’re going to need them!

Under that thick beard and scruffy dress of his, Kaine is a strapping hunk. His love for carving wood and him creating beauty gave his character a sensitive quality and didn’t just bring out the best in him, it was also a joy to read about how he saw the end product. Piper’s appreciation of his talent made me wonder if she’d to get through to him via his art. That being said, she isn’t exactly forthcoming with her feelings, either. There’s no doubt they’re attracted to each other and together, sparks fly!

Can they bury their pasts, heal open wounds and forgive those who have hurt them? They certainly deserve a happy ending. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the author giving her readers fairly mature protagonists as it’s much easier for me to relate to the age group used. The secondary character development is fabulous. The author made me want to strangle one of them and give another a hug. All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this emotional story to my book buddies. Bravo Perry!

Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Newsletter

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HATE NOTES by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward is LIVE!


A standalone romance novel published by Montlake Romance

Today we are delighted to share New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward’s all-new stand-alone contemporary romance, HATE NOTES

 

Hate Notes final ebook coverIt all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .
 
 
Hate Notes final paperback cover


Photo/Cover Details

Photo Credit: Tijana Vukovic
Model: Dusan Susnjar

Add to Goodreads

 


PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: U.S | U.K | CAN | AUS

Amazon print (Currently on sale for $9.99 in US and £4.99 in UK!)

Amazon: Audio

Please Note: Because Hate Notes is published by Montlake Romance, a division of Amazon, the eBook and paperback will only be available on Amazon. If you are an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited member, you should NOT pre-order the eBook. The Hate Notes ebook will be free for both Prime and KU members on release day!

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when their new books go live! ➜ HERE

 

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

My head was a whirlwind of thoughts when I finished Hate Notes and I had to think carefully about how I was going to start reviewing this book because ladies, this is nothing like Keeland and Ward have ever written before. So, I’m not going to talk about what caught my attention to begin with; I’ll get back to those details later. Times are changing, romance novels aren’t just about jumping into the sack with a storyline written around steaminess. If like me you want more, it’s all here. Hate Notes is a tremendous read, the plot dynamics are outstandingly solid, laugh out loud moments abound, but more important and what knocked me for six is the way sensitivity used when called for. The authors kept me guessing throughout and never did I expect such a heartbreaking twist. This twist I’d like to add, was well-researched and in my opinion, couldn’t have been better explained in a language I could understand.

Everyone needs a friend like Charlotte Darling in their lives. She’s a tad crazy, has a generous heart and her oh so quirky ways of communicating are simply adorable. She’s a stunner too, but what I liked more than anything was her neither here nor there attitude. When sentiments begin to take over, her honesty wasn’t always upfront since she didn’t want to put her foot in it. Her good intentions paved the way for something which took my breath away and would make any reader think I was crushing on her. Don’t doubt it for a second. I am! Nonetheless, she’ll use her attractiveness for a means to an end when options run out with, of course, sound advice coming from a character who meant more to me than you can imagine. Even though she has difficulty controlling her spontaneity and a tad disillusioned with the opposite sex, Charlotte has faith in humanity. In a nutshell, she’s my kind of gal.

This guy! Reed Eastwood is the bee’s knees, the epitome of manliness, everything imaginable rolled into one hunk of gorgeousness! Blinkin’ heck, I damn well-lost sleep over him. He’s seriously complicated stance is nothing less than reasonable when you start peeling back the layers of such a torn character. Ooh my, can insta-love exist between reader and a new book boyfriend? Methinks the answer is yes. Cold and distant, Charlotte isn’t going to find it easy to gain his confidence. He’d sussed her out by a fluke of coincidence, she’d tried to pull the wool over his eyes and folks, that’s when the show begins! Get ready for the unimaginable. Reed’s hidden heart of gold will melt yours.

As much as I would like to, I’m not going to tell you the whys and wherefores of this stand-alone novel overflowing with fate or perhaps whimsical fantasies that might or might not come true. What I can say is the key is in the perfectly perfect title. And the cover which I haven’t mentioned is spot on! Reed to a tee. Also, reasons for worrying whether Charlotte would give up on him there are as not everything is what it seems. Believe you me, you’ll want to know why Reed’s making it difficult for her.

Narrated in past tense from a dual point of view is without a doubt my fave storytelling technique. Throw in non-stop banter which brings out all the feels, secondary characters who are easily related to and notes written from the soul, written to please, to aggravate and push one’s buttons, makes for excellent reading. I could easily go on and on since I have so much to say, but the last thing I want to do is spoil this superb book for you, which to my mind of thinking, is the best these two gifted authors have written together. BRAVO!

EXCERPT

© 2018 Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
All rights reserved.

 

 
Grabbing my laptop, I searched my history and called up the last website I’d visited.
Eastwood Properties is one of the largest independent brokerage firms in the world. We connect the most prestigious and exclusive properties with qualified buyers, assuring the utmost privacy for both parties. Whether you’re in the market for a luxury New York City penthouse with a view of the park, a waterfront Hampton estate, or an enchanting chateau escape in the mountains, or you’re ready for your own private island, Eastwood is where your dreams begin.
There was a link to search properties, so I typed in the name of the place the woman had mentioned in the voice mail: Millennium Tower. Sure enough, the penthouse popped up for sale. For only twelve million dollars, I could own an apartment on Columbus Avenue with sweeping views of Central Park. Let me write you a check.
After drooling through a video and two dozen photos, I clicked on the button to make an appointment to view the property. An application popped up, the top of which read: For the privacy and safety of our sellers, all prospective buyers are required to complete an application to view properties. Only buyers that meet our stringent prequalification criteria will be contacted.
I snorted. Great prequalification criteria you have there, Eastwood. I wasn’t sure I had enough money to take the train uptown to get to that swanky place, much less buy it. God knows what I’d written that had qualified me.
I closed the website and was just about to shut my laptop and go back to bed again when I decided to take one more peek at Mr. Romantic on Facebook.
God, he was gorgeous.
What if . . .
I shouldn’t.
No good ever came out of ideas formulated while drunk.
I couldn’t.
But . . .
That face . . .
And that note.
So romantic. So beautiful.
Plus . . . I’d never seen the inside of a twelve-million-dollar penthouse.
I really shouldn’t.
Then again . . . I’d spent the last two years doing everything I should do. And where had that gotten me?
Right here. It’d gotten me right damn here—hungover and unemployed, sitting in this crappy apartment. Maybe it was time I did the things I shouldn’t be doing for a change. I picked up my phone and let my finger hover over the “Call Back” button for a while.
Screw it.
No one would ever know. It could be fun—getting all dressed up and playing the part of a rich Upper West Sider while satisfying my curiosity about the man. What harm was there?
None that I could think of. Still, you know what they say about curiosity . . .
I pressed “Call Back.”
“Hi. This is Charlotte Darling calling to confirm an appointment with Reed Eastwood . . .”
 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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

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

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

Find Vi here

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook

Twitter  @vikeeland | Instagram  @Vi_Keeland

Goodreads | BookBub

Penelope Ward photo

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

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over 1.5 million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

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

Find Penelope here

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website

Twitter @penelopewardauthor | Instagram

 Goodreads | BookBub | Gmail

 

Other books for Vi & Penelope

The Rush Series (2 Book Series)

Rebel Heir
Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Rebel Heart
Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

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Dear Bridget, I Want You

Amazon: US | UK | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook

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Mister Moneybags

Amazon: US | UK | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook | Kobo 

KFF’S  4 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Playboy Pilot

Amazon: US | UK | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Paperback

KFF’S  3 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Stuck-Up Suit

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Also available on Audible and Paperback

KFF’S  4 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Cocky Bastard

Amazon | iTunes  | Kobo | B&N

KFF’S  5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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The Naked Truth

Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Amazon print | Audio

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Sex, Not Love

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

KFF’s  5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Beautiful Mistake

Amazon: U.K | U.S | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

KFF’s 5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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EGOmaniac

Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

Audio

KFF’s 5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Bossman

Amazon: US UK 

iBooks | B&N | Kobo 

KFF’s 5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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The Baller

Amazon: US | UK 

iBooks | B&N | Kobo 

KFF’s 5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat

Amazon: US | UK

iBooks | Kobo | B&N

KFF’s 5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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Throb

Amazon: US | UK

B&N | iBooks | Kobo

KFF’S  5 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter Series, Book One)

Amazon | B&N | Kobo Smashwords | iBooks

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Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter Series, Book Two)

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

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Worth Forgiving (MMA Fighter Series, Book Three)

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You (Cole Series, Book One)

Amazon: US  | UK | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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Made for You (Cole Series, Book Two)

Amazon: US | UK | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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Standalone novels

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel) by Vi Keeland & Dylan Scott

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First Thing I See

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LOVE ONLINE

Amazon eBook: U.K | U.S | CANADA | AUSTRALIA 

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Amazon Audio | Audible

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GENTLEMAN NINE

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iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

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DRUNK DIAL

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iBooks | Nook | Kobo

KFF’S  4 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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MACK DADDY

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ROOM HATE

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KFF’S  4 ★ Review ➜ HERE

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STEPBROTHER DEAREST

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NEIGHBOR DEAREST

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SINS OF SEVIN

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Stepbrother Dearest

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JAKE UNDONE (Jake #1)

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JAKE UNDERSTOOD (Jake #2)

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GEMINI

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MY SKYLAR

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THE RUSH SERIES (2 BOOK SERIES)

REBEL HEIR

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REBEL HEART

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DEAR BRIDGET, I WANT YOU

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COCKY BASTARD

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STUCK-UP SUIT

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Also available on Audible and Paperback

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PLAYBOY PILOT

Amazon: US | UK | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play

Paperback

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MISTER MONEYBAGS

Amazon: US | UK | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

iBooks | Nook | Kobo 

TICK TOCK by Jane Harvey-Berrick is LIVE!

Today we are thrilled to share bestselling author
Jane Harvey-Berrick’s all-new highly anticipated military romantic suspense novel, TICK TOCK

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

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

ONE-CLICK YOUR COPY TODAY!

amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

amazon: universal

AVAILABLE IN KINDLEUNLIMITED

 

reviewed by sharon thérèse at kff

Tick Tock is like no other military romance I’ve read. Not only did it exceed my expectations, but its power storyline unbalanced me to the point where I had to sit back and seriously think about what I’d read. However, there were moments the story begged me to turn the pages at lightning-fast speed and when I did, I found myself re-reading passages, chapters, highlighting and making notes. It’s extremely believable, sheds light on the dangers a bomb disposal expert faces day in, day out and the attitude he has towards a profession he’s dedicated his life to and loves. Also, I take my hat off to the author for tackling an issue such as is religion with so much delicacy and consideration for her readers’ feelings. Add love and war to the mix and it’s an angst-ridden novel.

James has a mission and it’s the most complicated one he has ever had to take on. His thoughts regarding it are loud and clear; he’s not happy when he finds out exactly what’s been asked of him. It seems like an impossible task, the clock is ticking and only his expertise can stop a disaster. It’s difficult to imagine what it would be like training two people who have no idea from one end of a bomb to another. But James never loses his cool; he has a job to do and will give it his all. Showing Alan Clayton and Amira the intricacies of explosives not only conveyed to me how high-risk it was for his students but James’ sensitivity and patience towards them I found nothing less than splendid. And I have to say I had no trouble investing in this beautiful man whose soul is so generous, and whose only concern is the safety for those he teaches.

Born to Muslim parents, Amira is an enigma. Used to the ways of the western world, I didn’t question her religion per se, but how she measured her true faith. At times, her inner conflicts confused me. I wondered why she’d agreed to being recruited by an intelligence agency and although a past happening was an influencing factor, I couldn’t quite come to terms with her reasoning regardless of her misery. Emotions run high, giving the story that added bite and throwing my feelings into a real turmoil–especially in one scene where I felt she’d been unfair to James. Hers and James’ relationship is such a complicated one and I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I wanted to jump into my Kindle to give them both a good talking to; separately, of course! There’s no time or place for lovey-dovey scenes here, nonetheless, these two opposites have chemistry, the action flows at a fast pace and intrigue abounds from all corners of the globe.

It cannot be denied that Harvey-Berrick’s a courageous storyteller. Tick Tock is a very character driven story and you can easily see that she’s done her homework. Facts have been used from her research without prettying results up, the detail essentially setting the story in a stressful environment under harsh conditions. But I’d like to make something clear if you’re having doubts, something I give a lot of importance to. This story is neither racist nor hate-oriented. It is about two brave people striving for their goals. It’ll make you hold your breath and just wait for the ending, it knocked me for six! The secondary character development is spot on. Clay; what a marvellous man so full of life, so lovable. I’d really like you lovers of military romances to give book one in the EOD series a chance. You won’t regret it! Bravo Harvey-Berrick and thank you for the exceptional narration from Amira and James’ viewpoint.

PROLOGUE & chapter one

© 2018 JANE HARVEY-BERRICK
All rights reserved.

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

We’re born alone and we die alone.

I’ve never been afraid of dying. It’s living that scares the hell out of me.

But in the bomb suit, I am utterly alone.

There is no today, no yesterday, no tomorrow.

Just here, right now.

There is no God, no Devil, no good, no evil.

Just me. And the sound of my breathing, loud and rhythmic.

Just me. And this bomb.

A bomb is a device that is designed to kill, maim or harass.

I’m not afraid. I don’t have time to be afraid.

The sun burns down, the light is a white haze, sweat runs into my eyes. The longer I’m out here, kneeling in the dust, the more vulnerable the team watching my back.

I can’t be quick. I have to be certain.

Because if I’m wrong, I die.

I am an EOD operator.

Explosives

Ordnance

Disposal.

Bomb disposal.

I am the Tick Tock man.

__________________________________________

CHAPTER 1

James

I raised my SA80 rifle and aimed at the man’s chest. Got him!

From 20 yards, I couldn’t miss. But then again, neither could he.

He was driving an old Jeep, so battered that it looked as though string and chewing gum held it together. He revved the engine threateningly and I ducked behind a lamppost so he wouldn’t be able to run me over. I couldn’t see the driver’s hands. What was he doing with his hands? He could be reaching for a weapon, or he could be arming a device that would blow a hole through the world.

Shit just got serious.

I gestured with the rifle, my voice harsh and gritty—a command.

“Raise your hands and place them on the steering wheel.”

He didn’t move, he just stared at me, his eyes narrowed with hatred.

“Raise your hands now!”

Still nothing.

The soldier next to me started to twitch.

“Staff! He’s not doing anything! Does he even speak fucking English?”

He’d got a strong Geordie accent, so it sounded like, Stav! Ees not dooin’ ennyfink! Doos ee even spook fookin Eenglish?

“I don’t know. Do you?”

He gave me a quick, nervous grin. But my joke had helped him to relax. Or maybe he’d just stepped back from the edge of a big mistake.

I took a pace forward, pointing my SA80 at the insurgent.

“Hands where I can see them!”

Even if he didn’t speak English, my meaning was clear.

But I was distracted by the soldier next to me who was jigging from foot to foot like he wanted to piss his pants.

I glanced toward him.

“Calm down, it’s alright…”

Suddenly, there was a loud bang, a flash of light from the Jeep, and a cloud of dust and blue smoke flared upward.

I lowered my rifle and swore.

“Staff Sergeant Spears!” bellowed Captain Elderman, shaking his head. “If that had been a real device, you and your men would be very fucking dead right now. You should have made sure his hands were in sight. It’s a good thing this is a training exercise in Wiltshire and not a real life situation in Ifuckingdontcareistan. I expected better of you, Spears. See me in my office later.”

Then he strode away.

The Jeep driver grinned, tossed a V-sign with his fingers, racing off in a cloud of dust, the exhaust rattling asthmatically.

“Sorry, Staff,” said my Lance Corporal, his expression crestfallen. “I fooked it oop.”

“You, me, both,” I sighed.

We joined the rest of the Troop and trudged back to the bus that would take us from the training ground to the barracks.

The pack on my back weighed 110 pounds: 50lb of basic Army shit; 60lb of EOD kit. It was 31oC and I was sweating my ‘nads off. English summers weren’t supposed to be this hot.

It was sheer relief to climb onto the bus and crawl to a seat at the back where I could dump my pack and drink some tepid water from my flask.

I looked around at my team that I’d been attached to, all from REME—the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. They were good lads, but young and inexperienced. At 29, I was the oldest. Next stop thirty. When did I get so old?

I leaned back against the seat and closed my eyes, letting the weariness take me. Within minutes, I was falling asleep. That was something you learned in this job: catch some ZZZs while you can. Hours in your sleeping bag can be few and far between on a deployment in a hostile environment. Over the years, I’d trained myself to sleep anywhere: in a hammock, up a tree, in a tank, or lying on a slab of concrete. Time and opportunity was all I needed.

Although a nice soft bed with a nice soft woman in it wouldn be even better, but I took what I could get.

When the bus arrived back at base, I was jolted awake.

Military bases are all essentially the same: red brick housing for families, low concrete barracks for unmarried personnel, ugly buildings, boring offices, hangars for planes or transport, tarmac parade grounds—grey, functional, depressing.

The Ministry Of Defence kept promising to tart up the living quarters, but I hadn’t seen any signs of it lately. At least we all had single rooms now, except for recruits who hadn’t passed basic.

Back at the Armoury, we returned our weapons, and the ammunition was carefully counted. No one wanted ammo to find its way into the wrong hands.

“Well done, lads,” I said, grinning despite my tiredness and our joint failure. “Not a bad op today—we were tight … right up until we had a weapons-grade fuck up. Think about how it could have been improved so next time we’ll be on it.”

“Yes, Staff,” came the muttered replies.

The smile slid from my face as I turned and headed toward the building housing the REME officers.

Not all officers are wankers. By the law of averages you occasionally come across one that you don’t want to shoot. Elderman was alright, not that I knew him well. I’d only been attached here for three weeks—barely enough time to find my way around base.

If I’d been overseas on ops, I’d have used the time to unofficially requisition some better kit for my men. There was always something they needed that the bastard of a Quartermaster wanted to keep tidied away in his nice, neat stores. Raiding his supplies could be a useful training exercise for my team. Unofficially, of course. But on a home base, it would be viewed as highly unprofessional and probably career ending—amassing spares on ops was viewed differently.

Totally against regulations. But that was the thing about the men who were in my trade: ATs, Ammunition Technicians—bomb disposal officers—we made lousy soldiers, but we made great ATs.

Our minds worked differently from most soldiers—we were trained specifically for that reason. We had to see three steps beyond everyone else. We were taught to analyze, taught to think. And that made us independent—which most officers hated.

We were the opposite of fighter pilots: they tell everyone who will listen that they’re a pilot and that speed is life. I didn’t tell anyone what I did, and speed is death.

Captain Elderman accepted my salute briskly and waved me into a chair.

“Fuck up today, Staff. Not your finest hour.”

“No, sir.”

He’d seen what happened, I didn’t need to apologise for it.

The Captain leaned back in his chair, tapping a cheap plastic biro against the scarred desk.

“I’ve had an unusual request come across my desk and someone at Division HQ thinks that you’re the man for the job.”

I stared at him warily. In my experience, a volunteer was someone who hadn’t understood the question.

“It seems our friends across the pond need some help—someone with your skill-set, as it turns out. Working with their own EOD teams—some sort of training exercise. You need to report to RAF Croughton tomorrow. Apparently the Yanks are so keen to have you, they’re sending transport to pick you up. Be packed and ready by 0700.”

I wasn’t expecting that—a training exercise with American military?

Could be interesting: Americans trained hard. Fifteen years ago, they said they wanted to be world leaders in EOD within ten years, and maybe in terms of equipment, support, numbers and capability they had it all going for them. In the British Army, we’d been trained for decades by learning how to neutralize everything the IRA could throw at us. There was a different background of knowledge to draw on, which was just as well, because we definitely weren’t funded to the same level.

“Yes, sir. How long am I going for?”

He frowned and looked at the paperwork.

“Doesn’t say. Best expect to be away for a few weeks.”

“Yes, sir.”

I took the orders that he handed to me and flicked through them as I headed back to my room, growing more and more confused.

The orders simply said when and where I’d be picked up: nothing about the training exercise, how long I’d be away, what I’d be doing, which regiment I’d be working with, or who’d requested me. Weirdly, the only contact was an email address that went to an office I’d never heard of at the MOD HQ in London.

It didn’t seem as though Elderman had been told anything more than was in my orders.

It wasn’t completely unusual to do training exercises with our opposite number in the U.S. Army; I’d even trained with Navy SEALs, and EOD teams in the U.S. Marine Corps—but this was definitely different.

For one thing, it looked as though I’d be travelling by myself rather than with the Unit I was attached to; and for another thing, there was nothing to say where I was heading. Besides, the logistics of these sorts of joint exercises always took months to plan. I should have heard something about it before now.

I pulled out my phone and Googled RAF Croughton:

“Royal Air Force Croughton houses the 422nd Air Base Group whose function is to provide installation support, services, force protection, and worldwide communications across the entire spectrum of operations. The group is located in the UK and supports NATO, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, U.S. Department of State operations and Ministry of Defence operations. The group sustains more than 450 C2 circuits and supports 25% of all European Theater to continental United States (CONUS) communications.”

In other words, spook work.

There was a story behind this deployment, I just didn’t know what it was. Because it sounded like the sort of thing that would usually be undertaken by the Special Forces ATOs. But since I’d been dumped in a dead end unit after the incident in Afghanistan, it gave me a chance to escape to something more exciting—and possibly save my career.

So there was nothing for me to do but pack my bags. Since I’d only been in Wiltshire for three weeks, I hadn’t exactly made myself at home and I’d travelled light in the first place. Packing wasn’t an issue: where to store my Ducati Sport 1000 was. I didn’t trust those clumsy bastards in transport, the Royal Logistics Corps, not to damage it.

But as I was leaving in 12 hours, I didn’t have a lot of choice either.

I decided to shoot a text to my mate Noddy, reminding him that he owed me, and asking him to look after my wheels until I got back.

He agreed, but also wound me up by threatening to ride it while I was away. Noddy had been in my platoon but left the Army five years ago, and now he weighed 300 pounds and had as much balance as a lame hippo: if he tried to ride my bike, they’d be taking him to A&E and my bike to the knackers’ yard.

For a moment, I thought about texting Vanessa, but then remembered that we’d broken up a month ago because she didn’t like being in a long distance relationship. She hated me being sent away all the time, bitching and moaning about cancelled dates and missed birthdays; complaining when she found ants in her kitchen and I wasn’t there to sort it out. What the hell did she think the Army was? A holiday camp where you could come and go as you liked?

The Army was my home—the only one I had, so I did what I was told—mostly—and went where they sent me.

I tried not to think about what I was going to do when I’d served my 22 years. Returning to civilian life at 40 didn’t hold any appeal for me. A few people stayed on after they’d done their full stint, but not many.

I shook my head: I still had 11 years before I had to face that horror story.

I settled down on my hard bunk with my hands behind my head and wondered what the Army had in store for me this time.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

© 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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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
 

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | AMAZON CA

 

 

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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TACKLE by Jacob Chance is LIVE!

Title: TACKLE

Series: Boston Terriers #4

Author: Jacob Chance

Genre: Sports Romance

Release Date: October 12, 2018


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TACKLE by Jacob Chance is LIVE! One-click TODAY for #99pennies limited time ONLY!

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU

#Free with #KindleUnlimited

 

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?

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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BLOG TOUR ~ ALL MY LIFE by Prescott Lane

 

KFF’s delighted to share Prescott Lane’s all-new contemporary romance stand-alone, All My Life

ADD TO GOODREADS

The beginning of any love story starts with the meet.

I’ve known Garrett Hollis since before I can remember, and I’ve loved him just as long. I loved him while he loved someone else. I loved him when he had a baby with her. I loved him when she left him.

The greatestof love stories is that between a dad and his daughter. I should know. I’ve had a front row seat. First steps, first words, all the big moments.

Garrett was just a teenager when Mia was born. I’ve watched him braid his daughter’s hair, hold her hand crossing the street, seen her asleep on his chest. I’m the best friend, the one they can count on for everything from dance lessons to motherly advice, anything they need. I’m their go-to girl.

The bestpart of any love story is the happily ever after.

But what if the happily ever after doesn’t include you?

All my life, that’s how long I’ve loved him.

Of course, he’s clueless.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

Download your copy today!

Amazon Universal | U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA 

iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Paperback

4.5 STARS ~ REVIEWED BY SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF

For one reason or another, we can’t always get around to reading all the books we’d like to. Yep, that damn TBR list never seems to shorten, does it? So when I was given the opportunity to read and review All My Life, not only did I drop everything, but an added plus for me was discovering a new author. I can’t tell you how much Lane’s writing impressed me. I was instantly sucked into her love story; in fact, so much that after reading a couple of chapters I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down. Starting a book in the evening is at the best of times perilous and once again I fell into that trap, ending up doing an all-nighter. And there’s nothing easier than judging how a good read is by the book hangover’s intensity. Mine lingered much longer than I’d expected it to. The lovely cover has to be mentioned. It certainly encouraged me to find out who that guy with a child on his shoulders was; the title…a tad misleading because these few words weren’t from whom I thought they would be.

“Guess you missed me,”
“I’ve been missing you all my life.”
 

Lane’s plot and character development left me wide-eyed and open-mouthed. It’s true that the single dad trope has been done before, but I can’t honestly remember relishing a book on these lines so much. Garrett is totally devoted to the wellbeing of his daughter, puts her life before his and without any qualms or regrets, goes out of his way to give her everything she needs. Swoon ladies ‘cause here is one drop-dead gorgeous guy that can’t cook for the life of him but braids hair like an expert! When someone steps in, the small town folk of Eden Valley who revel in the tiniest bit of gossip realize what a loving father he is and back him up one hundred percent. Mia Hollis becomes theirs. I have to say that on occasion, she puts her father in a tight spot with not such an outrageous wish, his happiness being her main concern. Now then, how she goes about it is laugh-out-loud and totally unexpected. She’s nifty at bartering, gets her own way and he goes along with it up to a certain point.

“Garrett, I know you. You love hard. There was only room for one woman in your life. Mia.”
“My life, Mia, we wouldn’t be where we are without you. My life doesn’t happen without you. I know that,”
 

It has been said that love is a trick of the heart, a fool to the mind. There’s no rules or regulations to guide us so when it’s unrequited, being stuck in a love-limbo becomes a toil like no other. We as women can see the difference between a close friendship and an intimate one, we know how the opposite sex’s mind works. But how much patience does one need for that person to see you? Months…years? I understood Devlyn’s stance. With no desire to rock the boat or lose the little bit she had of Garrett, she keeps her feelings close in the hope that one day he’d open his eyes. She became my sorrow, my joy, and I fell hard. Despite the story revolving around him and Mia, in more ways than one, it’s hers. Through her narration, I learnt how this sassy woman with a weird sense of humor and even weirder dress sense suffered in silence, but she never ever felt sorry for herself. Reading her innermost thoughts literally did me in, and her boundless generosity towards Mia and her father is such an emotional wringer that I wept into my pillow.

‘As much as we try not to hurt the ones we love, they always end up being the ones we hurt the most. Loving hard means hurting harder.’ 

Mia’s a real sweety, worships the ground her father walks on and doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. However, like a lot of young people, she says things without having all the facts, or perhaps it would be better to describe her as spontaneous. This spontaneity would unknowingly cause problems, making me think that decisions made by others because of it, would be the end of a beginning.

“My heart broke so many times for you,” she says. “It’s what my heart expects to happen. Garrett Hollis equals a broken heart.” 

Garrett. Crikey…I could have jumped into my Kindle, whipped his blinkers off and given him a good talking to! But when he does put two and two together, it wasn’t just his fatherly skills which aroused my hmm…interest. Get ready for the high-speed-hot-as-hell bedroom scenes ‘cause this guy’s more than just a dirty talker! That being said, the handling of a certain situation annoyed me to the point where I wanted to knock both his and Devlyn’s heads together. I thought Garrett’s fears for them not coming out in the open sooner a tad unwarranted and Devlyn didn’t help matters by being so unselfish. When the story took a surprising turn, I can’t tell you how pleased I was. The narrative pace is steady-to-fastish, the romance slow-burn. How the past was presented I found original regardless of my dislike for one of the characters who had her say, and the dual point of view angle in present is one of my faves. All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this friends-to-lovers stand-alone novel. Bravo Lane!

 

EXCERPT

As far as dates go, this one has been good.  I like her. She’s attractive, funny, smart, seems to have her head on straight.  All the boxes are checked. This should be the point where I kiss her, ask her out again.  I should be devising ways to get in this woman’s panties, but instead I’m thinking more about yanking down the tutu of one very sexy Biscuit Girl.  I should be thinking about how to get this woman to fall for me, but it’s me that’s fallen. I should have one thing on my mind, and I do — Devlyn.

There’s just one big ass problem.  She’s my friend. I can’t go there.  There are so many reasons why I can’t go there.  The town would have a field day. We’d have no privacy.  Everyone would have an opinion. If we broke up, where would I get a decent cup of coffee?  How would Mia react to this? Then there’s Scott, who’s actually the least of my concerns. Devlyn seemed pretty sure it was over, and if it’s not, I plan on convincing her.

I don’t want to lose Devlyn.

Staying friends guarantees her in my life.  Dating her doesn’t.

Love doesn’t come with a guarantee.

Love is a risk.  I used to be a risk taker, but teenage fatherhood buried that part of me.  Stability became the name of the game. It had to. I look towards her diner, wondering if she’s back.

 

MEET PRESCOTT

Prescott Lane is the Amazon best-selling author of Stripped Raw. She’s got seven other books under her belt including: First Position, Perfectly Broken, Quiet Angel, Wrapped in Lace, Layers of Her, The Reason for Me, and The Sex Bucket List. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

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ALL MY LIFE by Prescott Lane is now available!

 

KFF’s delighted to share Prescott Lane’s all-new contemporary romance stand-alone, All My Life

ADD TO GOODREADS

The beginning of any love story starts with the meet.

I’ve known Garrett Hollis since before I can remember, and I’ve loved him just as long. I loved him while he loved someone else. I loved him when he had a baby with her. I loved him when she left him.

The greatestof love stories is that between a dad and his daughter. I should know. I’ve had a front row seat. First steps, first words, all the big moments.

Garrett was just a teenager when Mia was born. I’ve watched him braid his daughter’s hair, hold her hand crossing the street, seen her asleep on his chest. I’m the best friend, the one they can count on for everything from dance lessons to motherly advice, anything they need. I’m their go-to girl.

The bestpart of any love story is the happily ever after.

But what if the happily ever after doesn’t include you?

All my life, that’s how long I’ve loved him.

Of course, he’s clueless.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

Download your copy today!

Amazon Universal | U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA 

iBooks | Nook | Kobo

Paperback

4.5 STARS ~ REVIEWED BY SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF

For one reason or another, we can’t always get around to reading all the books we’d like to. Yep, that damn TBR list never seems to shorten, does it? So when I was given the opportunity to read and review All My Life, not only did I drop everything, but an added plus for me was discovering a new author. I can’t tell you how much Lane’s writing impressed me. I was instantly sucked into her love story; in fact, so much that after reading a couple of chapters I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down. Starting a book in the evening is at the best of times perilous and once again I fell into that trap, ending up doing an all-nighter. And there’s nothing easier than judging how a good read is by the book hangover’s intensity. Mine lingered much longer than I’d expected it to. The lovely cover has to be mentioned. It certainly encouraged me to find out who that guy with a child on his shoulders was; the title…a tad misleading because these few words weren’t from whom I thought they would be.

“Guess you missed me,”
“I’ve been missing you all my life.”
 

Lane’s plot and character development left me wide-eyed and open-mouthed. It’s true that the single dad trope has been done before, but I can’t honestly remember relishing a book on these lines so much. Garrett is totally devoted to the wellbeing of his daughter, puts her life before his and without any qualms or regrets, goes out of his way to give her everything she needs. Swoon ladies ‘cause here is one drop-dead gorgeous guy that can’t cook for the life of him but braids hair like an expert! When someone steps in, the small town folk of Eden Valley who revel in the tiniest bit of gossip realize what a loving father he is and back him up one hundred percent. Mia Hollis becomes theirs. I have to say that on occasion, she puts her father in a tight spot with not such an outrageous wish, his happiness being her main concern. Now then, how she goes about it is laugh-out-loud and totally unexpected. She’s nifty at bartering, gets her own way and he goes along with it up to a certain point.

“Garrett, I know you. You love hard. There was only room for one woman in your life. Mia.”
“My life, Mia, we wouldn’t be where we are without you. My life doesn’t happen without you. I know that,”
 

It has been said that love is a trick of the heart, a fool to the mind. There’s no rules or regulations to guide us so when it’s unrequited, being stuck in a love-limbo becomes a toil like no other. We as women can see the difference between a close friendship and an intimate one, we know how the opposite sex’s mind works. But how much patience does one need for that person to see you? Months…years? I understood Devlyn’s stance. With no desire to rock the boat or lose the little bit she had of Garrett, she keeps her feelings close in the hope that one day he’d open his eyes. She became my sorrow, my joy, and I fell hard. Despite the story revolving around him and Mia, in more ways than one, it’s hers. Through her narration, I learnt how this sassy woman with a weird sense of humor and even weirder dress sense suffered in silence, but she never ever felt sorry for herself. Reading her innermost thoughts literally did me in, and her boundless generosity towards Mia and her father is such an emotional wringer that I wept into my pillow.

‘As much as we try not to hurt the ones we love, they always end up being the ones we hurt the most. Loving hard means hurting harder.’ 

Mia’s a real sweety, worships the ground her father walks on and doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. However, like a lot of young people, she says things without having all the facts, or perhaps it would be better to describe her as spontaneous. This spontaneity would unknowingly cause problems, making me think that decisions made by others because of it, would be the end of a beginning.

“My heart broke so many times for you,” she says. “It’s what my heart expects to happen. Garrett Hollis equals a broken heart.” 

Garrett. Crikey…I could have jumped into my Kindle, whipped his blinkers off and given him a good talking to! But when he does put two and two together, it wasn’t just his fatherly skills which aroused my hmm…interest. Get ready for the high-speed-hot-as-hell bedroom scenes ‘cause this guy’s more than just a dirty talker! That being said, the handling of a certain situation annoyed me to the point where I wanted to knock both his and Devlyn’s heads together. I thought Garrett’s fears for them not coming out in the open sooner a tad unwarranted and Devlyn didn’t help matters by being so unselfish. When the story took a surprising turn, I can’t tell you how pleased I was. The narrative pace is steady-to-fastish, the romance slow-burn. How the past was presented I found original regardless of my dislike for one of the characters who had her say, and the dual point of view angle in present is one of my faves. All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this friends-to-lovers stand-alone novel. Bravo Lane!

 

MEET PRESCOTT

Prescott Lane is the Amazon best-selling author of Stripped Raw. She’s got seven other books under her belt including: First Position, Perfectly Broken, Quiet Angel, Wrapped in Lace, Layers of Her, The Reason for Me, and The Sex Bucket List. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and holds a degree in sociology and a MSW from Tulane University. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren’t enough happily ever afters in real life.

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