A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH by Alexa Padgett is LIVE!

We’re super excited to be able to share Alexa Padgett’s all-new thriller A Pilgrimage to Death with you!

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About A Pilgrimage to Death

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

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

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

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

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

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“Vivid, alluring, and heart-wrenching, Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death is every reason I love mystery. A breathtaking tale.”

–Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author

Anna’s 4 ★ review on behalf of KFF

This is my first book by this author and is one of my favourite genres, a murder mystery thriller; the first book in a series featuring Reverend Cici Gurule but can be read as a standalone.

Cici Gurule is a progressive reverend who went back to her hometown when she felt something was wrong with her identical twin, Anna Carmen. Her plan of joining her boyfriend for an adventure to South America was abandoned. We have all heard how tight a bond is between twins and we see this in Cici and Anna Carmen. So when Cici received a phone call that Anna Carmen was murdered she had to find out who killed her twin. However, when she starts digging up dirt on some people, she receives warning notes and dead birds on her doorstep and some of her parishioners start dying. She needs to get to the bottom of this with the help of Sam, an old friend. He is a detective who previously worked in the big city, but also came back to town to help solve the murders and a much bigger problem which involves a drug ring.

Narrated in third person, this gripping story is fast paced, full of suspense with a touch of the paranormal. I had conflicting feelings regarding the mystical angle to this thriller which is unreservedly sprinkled throughout the book, but somehow it adds credence to the tale. This is not your usual whodunit thriller; nonetheless,  it does make it more interesting and attention-grabbing. Sam’s backstory was implied that he was more into Anna Carmen in the past. As a secondary character, his loyalty and protectiveness towards Cici meld well with her stubborn, determined and feisty persona; they complement each other. Bear in mind that this is not a romance novel so the focus is about solving Anna Carmen’s murder.  Trying to keep up with the plot twists in the story kept me up all night but it was worth it. This is not your usual run of the mill murder mystery yarn and I am glad I got the chance to read this author’s book, it won’t be my last.

 


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

© 2018 Christy Anderson. All Rights Reserved

 

 
The eerie feeling expanded as they turned the last corner back toward her house. Out front was a large, black pickup. It was wedged between Justin’s police car and a compact sedan. Cici’s steps slowed when Justin cursed, low and vicious.
“Do you know who that is?” she asked, trying to keep her voice level. Hard to do with the adrenaline dump that now pumped through her veins. She didn’t need that spot in her head pinging danger! for Cici to realize the black beast of a truck growling mere feet from her doorstep meant trouble.
Justin shook his head as he half-stepped in front of her, causing the hairs on Cici’s arms to rise. He might not know the person in the truck—hard to see through the dark tint—but the vehicle clearly upset him as much as her.
Mona backed up against Cici’s leg while Rodolfo tugged at the end of his leash, his snarl deep and guttural.
The driver’s side window rolled down about three inches. Cici squinted, but all she made out was a dark beanie pulled low over the person’s eyebrows, and large, black plastic sunglasses.
The person threw something out the window. Rodolfo leaped forward, tugging the leash from Cici’s hand as she flinched back. The dog sprinted toward the truck.
“Rodolfo, heel!” Cici called. The dog quivered to a halt, whining, as the truck’s engine roared. Within seconds, it sped down the street.
Cici’s breathing remained labored as she hurried forward, snatching up Rodolfo’s leash. The dogs whined again and nuzzled against her, bumping her hips with their heads.
Justin snatched the paper from the street. He stood there, at the curb, scanning the message.
“Did you get the license plate?” Cici asked.
Justin shook his head, still staring after the truck. “Covered in mud or something.” He swallowed, glanced down at the paper in his hand.
“What does that say?”
“I’m not sure you should read it.”
“Not really your choice.” Cici switched the dog leash to one hand and held out her free one. “The person came to my home. The message is clearly for me.”
Justin handed it over with obvious reluctance.
Your sister didn’t know when to stop snooping.
 

 

About Alexa Padgett:

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

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

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REVIEW & EXCERPT TOUR ~ BLIND KISS by Renée Carlino

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering. And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

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Sharon Thérèse’s 5 review

Sometimes, describing a good read is difficult to put into words and BLIND KISS just happens to be on of them. I actually rewrote this review since I felt that what I’d said didn’t seem to merit this angst-ridden friends without benefits tale by a long shot. So after deleting it, I reread the book! And I have to say while consulting my notes, I discovered I’d highlighted a good part of Gavin and Penny’s story. Not surprisingly, those very passages, quotes, sentences and whole paragraphs not only brought back riotous emotions, but also left me with a meaningful message. Maybe you can’t see what’s right front of your eyes, but it’s there if you look hard enough and unless you acknowledge your true feelings, all is lost.

Now then, the question is whether or not a kiss with someone you have no relationship with however good or bad, is remembered. Even though there’s no romance attached, it can make us go weak at the knees and lead to something worthy of nurturing. The reverse we’d put down to experience, a growing up learning curve, perhaps? In the case of Carlino’s protagonists, one of them wasn’t too keen on the idea of being used as guinea pig in a blind kiss college project; the other didn’t need much cajoling to participate in a valid experiment. All said and done, the prize we can all easily relate to! Say no more…the story begins on a light note; however, don’t be fooled by this author’s creative purposes ‘cause she’ll put you through an emotional wringer like no other.

“We are friends, Penny. Best friends, remember? That’s why I’m telling you my whole life story.” 

Nearly 20% into the read and the story’s nearly present timespan changes and man, was in in for a surprise or what! Then it flips back to the past only to throw me off balance. I was absolutely bowled over by this story’s structure. It’s ridiculously easy to follow regardless of the back and forth, the ins and outs and more important, the main character’s thoughts narrated in a dual perspective which I have to add, extended beyond any of my wishes. Another thing which caught my attention to the point of tears was how chapter one swung round 360 degrees towards the end. Ooh my, what a bloody excellent piece of writing strategy!

“Are you trying to hurt me now?”
“No, you’re trying to hurt me by making me face these truths right now. Penny, you and I are not the same. Our lives are vastly different.”
 

I loved how open Gavin and Penny were with each other in their new friendship. His desires seeped off the pages, she had her reasons for not wanting to be more than his bestie even though her attraction for him was obvious from the start. I can’t even begin to say how much her uptightness frustrated me. Clearly, it wasn’t a cat and mouse game because bad timing and upsetting circumstances dictated their destiny. As time goes by, their brutal honesty with each other hurt me. Then, their unspoken words weighed heavily. Nonetheless, when Penny started living as she did, I was even more gutted. What the heck…she’s too damn considerate, too smart and put together to let the side down. Desperate worlds apart, I wanted them to be in one, to be whole, and the waiting seemed an eternity, an impossibility.

“You’re afraid if something happens, we won’t be friends?” 

My goodness me, the songs Gavin sung to her literally broke me in two! What he couldn’t say up front, he put to music and my soul cried out loud for him. His anchor, his everything, was Penny. She’d slipped under a current too strong to control and my heart shattered for both of them. Right, did I think she deserved to be on the pedestal Gavin had put her while he was living in limbo? Hmm…yes and no. I honestly don’t think she lived the pain he did. His patience and sincerity became his virtue even when I thought the communication between them had broken down in its totality. You’ll see Penny’s adult life after many years of that BLIND KISS is demanding. You’ll see jealousy, frustration, moments that take your breath away, what seems to be insignificance banter becomes so much more.

‘Ooh my, the song. Gavin sung what he couldn’t say and my soul hurt.’ 

Carlino’s character development is sublime, the storyline incredibly engaging. It’s one of those reads you shouldn’t start in the evening since putting it down for me was a no-no, so be warned. The dialogue that breaks boundaries will make you laugh, cry and scream out loud. Most of the book is taken up by it and keeps the story flowing at a pace which is fast in the right places, slower when it needs to be. I adored the secondary players…Lance kept me on my toes, Ling and her sound advice I found becoming regardless of her feminist ways. I’d really like to mention other folk but since I don’t want to spoil this read for you, all I can do is recommend that you read it and find out for yourselves. Ooh, and I haven’t touched on the ending. Should I? Of course not! One-click…you won’t regret it! BRAVO to the author for such an outstanding read!

 
WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.“That’s different for you.”I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what

you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend

I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” “Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com  | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS DUST DANCE by Samantha Young is LIVE!

 

The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES
is now available on all retailers!
Grab your copy today!

 

About AS DUST DANCES:

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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Emma-louise’s 5 ★ review on behalf of kff

This is going to appear like a strange way to write a review, but this is how it feels right to do. I’ve been reviewing for just over sixteen months now and I have never been so compelled to put words to paper the way this one has compelled me to. Usually, I stew over my thoughts for just a little while, but not on this one, oh no. This one demanded I write the review quickly, lest I forget what I was left feeling when I was grabbed by the chin and forced to listen to what these truly exceptional characters had to say. And oh boy, did they give me a lot to think over.

The author of this rare gem is not unknown to me; I have admired her work for quite a while. Just never have I actually gotten around to reading one her books, I admit shamefully. As Dust Dances is a personal journey of two mismatched people who are forced to find a way to repair their shattered pasts.

When Killian and Skylar first meet they aren’t on equal footing. They are in fact, so far apart from equal, one would have to squint towards the sun to see the other. Both are just looking to fix what is broken in their lives and live a full life without regret or pain.

What I obsessed over in this book was the music. The author added numerous song lyrics into the text and not only was it intriguing, each piece added to the feel of the scene to which it was placed. Secondary characters have some of the most interesting personality quirks as far as I’m concerned. Probably because we have so very little time to get to know them and they need to make the right kind of impact.

‘It was hard to take my eyes off Brandon. He was like a bright light that captured my attention and wouldn’t let go. I realized as all three of us sat in my apartment and talked that he held me captivated because I had no bad memories attached to our relationship. When we were on tour and I was tired and lonely, he’d snuggle up with me to watch a movie on the tour bus, or he would take me out for dinner so we could unwind and pretend we were ordinary people grabbing a bite to eat. He was the one who kept Micah at bay when I’d had enough. He was the big brother who protected me.’ 

The bandmates, for example, the usual character traits were there, but underneath all the testosterone and binge drinking was a family. One with a solid foundation and like most families, there is always the occasional spat or battle that breaks out. One particular scene in this book was so torn I almost couldn’t make my thoughts run straight. Real fun when you’re trying to make notes for a review. It was confusing, enigmatic, and fulfilling all at the same time.

And please, do not get me started on the ‘will they won’t they’, argh! That alone drove me into a frustrated mass of questions and agitation. The romance in this book almost took me by surprise when the smexy time happened. I’d almost given up hope that something would finally come of all the sexually charged moments and looks. Killian and Skylar were so realistic, I just wanted them to stop mucking it up and sort it out. Everything they felt, I felt. Wicked, evil, wonderfully talented author, if you ask me.

“You’re mine,” I agreed. “I’m yours.” Killian kissed me hungrily in answer. A kiss that led to us shedding our clothes so he could slide inside me slowly and deeply. We took our time. We touched and stroked and kissed. While he moved inside me, he stared deep into my eyes, and although the words were never said . . . I felt loved.’ 

Often enough people discover/realise that in order to move forward in their lives and to leave the dark shadows they must go backwards. Pain, trauma, any negative event or emotion can lead someone down the wrong/worst path, sometimes for years, or even decades.

Almost all of the characters in this book at some point or another come upon the crossroads. The path they decide to take will change their life for many years to come. Forgiveness oftentimes isn’t deserved; however, for some people, the act of forgiving heals them more so than the person they forgive.

As Dust Dances has something for everyone, and I truly believe that if you were to give this one a chance, even though it’s the second in a series, this doesn’t impact the story one note. You’ll come away from it feeling more emotions than you know what to do with. The last fifteen percent of this book was full of feels. Good and bad, I needed tissues and that does not happen just any all day. Congratulations Ms. Young on penning a book that feels so real I could reach out and actually feel it.

EXCERPT

When I finished, O’Dea was sitting on the chair, his elbows braced on his knees. He was staring at the floor, like he was lost in thought. Then he looked up at me and my breath caught at the million heartbreaking emotions roiling in his gaze.And then they were gone, as if they’d never been there.“That’s all I have so far,” I whispered, so confused by him. “No more songs.”His expression was unreadable. “Your visitor’s visa is about to run out.”Bewildered by the response, I could only nod.

“You’ve no money.”

I tensed.

“You’ve run away from your identity, from your life in the band, in the US. You’ve no family to speak of, and you abandoned your friends.”

The man was the soul of sensitivity. “Your point?”

“My point is that you don’t have many options. I think you were living in some naive fantasy that you could keep running from your problems and live a relatively peaceful life as a homeless person. Somehow, miraculously, you survived unscathed for five months. But last night you were given a giant fucking look at the reality and dangers of homelessness. I wish it hadn’t happened that way, but there was never any other way it was going to end. And it has ended, am I right?”

“So, do you get, like, a bonus at the end of every day if you say a hundred patronizing things in a twenty-four-hour period or something?”

He ignored me. “You can’t go back to sleeping rough.”

“I think I got that, thanks.” I waved my cast at him.

“So … it’s either call your old manager, your band—”

“Not an option,” I snapped.

O’Dea smirked. “Then I’m all you’ve got. And I’m no fucking Mother Teresa. I’m in the business of making money, Miss Finch. You’ve already proven you’re good at making it. And from what I heard today and have heard you playing when you busk, I think the world hasn’t even seen a fraction of what you can do.”

There was really nothing to do but glare and hope that he withered under it.

“I’ll let you stay here in this flat free of charge, give you a weekly stipend for clothes, groceries, a new guitar. You can heal up here. But all of it in exchange for a record contract. A one-album deal, that’s all I ask. When you’re healed up, you’ll be straight into the studio to record.”

The thought made my stomach pitch. “I don’t want to be famous again.”

“Tough shit. There is no being famous again. You are famous. And you’ve got more talent in your pinkie finger than most do in their entire being. And that talent deserves more of a platform than standing on a street busking. It’s a goddamned insult to all those people out there trying to make the big time. I don’t care what it is you’re running from. I care that you sort yourself out and make some music again. Music that matters. Music that will heal you.”

I bristled. “I’ve made music that matters. I’ve got the fan mail to prove it.”

“Your music in Tellurian did its job. It was catchy, appealing, and teenagers related. But your voice is meant for something else. The songs you just sang to me … those are songs that will really make people feel. It’s vulnerable and brutally honest and that’s the stuff that resonates with people. People want songs that make them feel good, but they also just want songs that me them feel, even if it breaks their fucking heart. You’ve been through a lot, Skylar. Even if I couldn’t read a newspaper, I’d know that by listening to those songs you sang.

“Two years ago, you were a leader on social media and the lead singer of a pop-rock band that teens and college freshman loved. I’m not asking you to go back to that. I’m asking you to become an artist in your own right. If you don’t want the social media exposure, we’ll have someone else run that stuff for you. And we’ll do what we can to minimize the tabloid exposure. It will be hard at first considering your disappearance, but once it dies down, we can make it so you’re not hounded. It is possible.”

“It doesn’t matter whether they hound me or not. I hate the fame. I hate the touring. I hate it all.”

“No.” His expression hardened. “You don’t…”

 

 

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About Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

EXCERPT & TEASERS for LACHLAN’S PROTÉGÉ by V.F. Mason releasing 15th August

Lachlan’s Protégé by V.F. Mason is releasing on AUGUST 15th!
She never knew nightmares. Until she became mine.

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She never knew nightmares.
Until she became mine.

She was a ballerina.
He was a serial killer.

She ran away from him.
He caught her.

She begged for mercy.
He gave her none.

She was an angel.
He was a monster.

She wanted to escape.
He wanted to destroy her.

They were at war.
And only one of them would win.

EXCERPT

Torture is an art form I’ve learned through the years, mastered for decades, and explored in different variations with anyone who I found fit.

Most people will say I’m a monster or a psycho.

However, in life, nothing is ever that simple, as evil and goodness are in the eyes of the beholder.

TEASERS

About the Author:

V.F.Mason always loved reading books and had quite a few fights with her momma over the genre she liked (romance, duh!) She studied filmmaking and thought that would feed her desire for stories, but that didn’t happen. Finally, when she was tired of all those voices in her head, she sat down and wrote a book. It was a huge decision to make and she thanks her friends and family for supporting her in it. When she is not writing, she can be found with her friends doing all sorts of crazy things or reading recent romance books that were written by her favorite authors.

Connect with V.F.!

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PRE-ORDER BLITZ ~ FRAGMENTS OF ASH by Katy Regnery is coming 1st October!

KFF are delighted to share the pre-order links, excerpt and outstanding teasers for Katy Regnery’s all-new modern fairytale, FRAGMENTS OF ASH

Scroll down for Katy’s fab #GIVEAWAY

Title: Fragments of Ash
(Inspired by “Cinderella”)
Collection: A Modern Fairytale
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2018

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BLURB

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!

My name is Ashley Ellis…

I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.

When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.

With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father

…dead or alive.

** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

Visit the Fragments of Ash Website

PRE-ORDER LINKS – $2.99 for a limited time
Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA
iBooks | Nook coming soon | Kobo 


Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.

The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – coming October 1, 2018
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon

Buy links for the modern fairytale collection
Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA
iBooks | Nook | Kobo

EXCERPT:

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Katy Regnery and used with permission

My mind skitters to her face—her beautiful fucking face—and the way she stared at me with those wide eyes and her lips lightly parted. Those lips. She has Angelina Jolie lips. Scarlett Johanssen lips. Liv-fucking-Tyler from the “Crazy” video lips. Except this chick doesn’t look like Liv. She’s got blonde hair and a perfect pout like Alicia Silverstone. I remember the beginning of that video when our girl, Alicia, climbs out a bathroom window in her Catholic school uniform, her skirt riding up to show her black lace panties…and ahhh, yes, I feel my cock twitch just picturing it.
Fuck my life.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Because yeah, I was yelling at Jock, but she was standing behind him, and I didn’t miss the tight lines of her teenaged body under a pair of new jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt. Her rounded tits strained just a little against the fabric of her top. Not enough to be dirty. Just enough to hate her. Because no guy alive—least of all me—has a right to want someone like her. Or sure, we can want her, but we’ll never have her. Not in a million years.
She looked to be about Noelle’s age—somewhere between eighteen and twenty, and ridiculously young to suddenly arrive alone in the middle of nowhere, put up in an old farmhouse by a couple of aging queens.
How in the fuck is this her best option?
Who is she?
And what exactly is her deal?
I grimace because the headlines of her story—the easy parts—start materializing as I think about what I know about her. I didn’t do all that training for nothing. Plus, I have good instincts. I could practically smell it on her—the fear, the desperation, the way she wouldn’t meet me eyes except to insist that she was an adult.
God, what a joke. If she’s an adult, I’m a French poodle.
Then something occurs to me: it was Jock’s boyfriend, Gus, who gave away the most important part of her story away.
She has nowhere else to go.
And then something else occurs to me, and I wonder, Is she in hiding?
This girl—what’s her name? Amber? Audrey?—is in trouble. Big trouble. The kind of trouble that gets other people in hot water when they were just trying to live their lives and mind their own business. And she’s been dumped on my doorstep. Literally.

TEASERS

GIVEAWAY:

There is a giveaway for a Cinderella-blue, leather tote bag, a glass slipper necklace (made from Austrian crystals!) and a DVD of the official Disney live-action movie of “Cinderella”! (1 winner, open internationally)

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

MEET KATY

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Todaybestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.

Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Keep in touch with Katy. She’d love to hear from you!

 

 

BLOG TOUR ~ SOMEONE ELSE’S OCEAN by Kate Stewart is now available!

Today KFF’s on tour with Kate Stewart’s all-new contemporary romance stand-alone, SOMEONE ELSE’S OCEAN

Cover designed by Amy Queau – Q Design Cover and Premades

SOMEONE’S ELSES OCEAN by Kate Stewart is NOW AVAILABLE!
Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

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Blurb

The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old and we shared a summer beneath the stars.
The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew. Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn. Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart.

We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor. Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars…until we both got swept away.

Donna’s five star review on behalf of KFF

Koti was six years old when she first set eyes on Ian Kemp at St Thomas a beautiful coastal island. Experiencing a hot summer under the stars. Fast forward to years later and the both of them find themselves on that very island; however, life has taken more than a toll on the both of them and Ian is reluctant to have any kind of friendship with Koti. They both got swept away by the beautiful ocean of St Thomas, finding each other may be a chance at more than a holiday romance.

Koti has a lot of issues and finds solace on the island enjoying the ambience and working for a letting agency. She thinks she is weak, but reading between the lines Koti is much stronger than she gives herself credit for, even if deep down she feels she ran away from her previous life and is hiding out on the island. Koti chips away at Ian for some sort of friendship, but he is hard work and not at all the carefree boy she met all those years ago.

“Ian Kemp was beautiful at fourteen. He was gorgeous when he was twenty-five and stood on his parent’s porch waving at me before he left me with a crush. At thirty-eight, he was devastating…” 

Ian is a complex character that had his world turned upside down in the cruellest way imaginable. He is in the depths of despair and so much like Koti has run away to lick his wounds on St Thomas. He is a hot broody alpha male and he did not expect to collide with the little girl from all those years ago, now clearly a very beautiful woman.

The side characters are a very welcome addition and I loved the friendship between Koti and Jasmine. There is another character that will tug at your heartstrings and make you smile, but I won’t say who so not to give the story away; rest assured, everyone will love this additional person to the story.

Even though there was a bit of a push and pull between these two, watching them develop deeper feelings for each other was quite entertaining even if they couldn’t see it themselves. I wanted to bash their heads together at times. The chemistry and romance of this story were oozing from the pages. Ms Stewart is very descriptive and creative in her writing and it was as if I could hear and smell the waves of the ocean, along with feeling the soft sand between my toes. There is a playlist that accompanies the story and it is worth a listen just to tune in with the story.

I must say my heart never stopped beating fast watching their story unfold and find out the secrets of their pasts and how the story would resolve. I haven’t stopped thinking about Somebody Else’s Ocean. There is plenty of angst thrown in, with steaminess aplenty. I cannot recommend this book enough and it is a well worth five stars. Kudos to Ms Stewart, I can safely say you have given me a total book hangover. I will be definitely purchasing this book in paperback to have signed in the near future.

EXCERPT

Thwack.
Thwack.
Thwack.“Fack!” It was another one of the hundreds of curses that erupted from the Kemp kitchen.With wide eyes, I watched the wood fly across the porch and onto the sand and heard another loud crash as I stalked the house next door with my phone pressed to my ear.“So how is my son?” His mother asked as I saw more of Rowan Kemp’s kitchen fly over the railing, off the porch, and into the sand. “Is he adjusting well?”“Damnit! Oh, fack your motha,” Ian’s voice rang out in frustration. Giggling, I covered the mouthpiece of the phone as another cabinet door hit the sand. He’d been at it for a few hours. It started with an explosive phone call that I managed to avoid mostly due to my taking cover in the shower and ended with a bang.“He… is. It looks like he’s remodeling the kitchen.”In a flash, Ian stood on the porch only in shorts, his chest heaving, a bottle of the red in his hand. He studied the wood in the sand before he glanced at my house. I ducked out of his line of sight and answered her before more banging started. “He’s fine.”“Oh, that’s wonderful news. Maybe you could put him on the phone?”More growling ensued and then a clear, “Damn you! EISH!”

“Well, at the moment, I think it would be impossible, he’s in the midst of demolition.”

I cringed at the ripping sound and poked my head out of my screen door just as he hurled more wood over the railing.

“You know he’s always been so good at things like that. He built his father a beautiful bookshelf for his study.”

“That’s wonderful,” I said, as Ian unloaded an entire can of lighter fluid on the discarded wood. I raced around the bottom floor of my house and collected every fire extinguisher I had before I sat them next to my front door. Seconds later I heard the whoosh of the wood go up in flames. The rising inferno seemed to fuel him as he added more of his mother’s kitchen to it piece by piece.

Rowan went on, speaking of her pride and joy. “From boy scouts all the way through college, my boy excelled at everything he did. Honor student, swimming, tennis. I had to beat the women away with a stick.”

Ian chose that moment to snap another cabinet door in half over his knee and used his empty wine bottle to bat it into the burning pile.

“You don’t say.”

“Oh, yes, he was such a ladies’ man before he met Tara, his ex-wife.”

Only mildly prepared, I walked out onto my porch at the same time Ian returned to it. He had several photo books in his hand. Rowan whispered in my ear as if he could hear her. “I was never really that fond of her, she seemed a little cold compared to his warmth.”

Ian pulled pictures from the books and began to burn them one by one. Something in my chest split as he walked around Rowan Kemp’s burning kitchen cabinets, tossing away what I was sure were irreplaceable pictures.

He had lost his shit. It was, without a doubt, Ian’s doomsday.

“Don’t!” I screamed from where I stood.

Ian ignored me as he tossed an entire book into the fire before shaking another so that the pictures fed the flames.

“Koti? What is it?” Rowan said anxiously on the phone.

“Oh nothing, I was just…”

“Is everything okay?”

“Oh, fine,” I said, as I paced the porch watching her son destroy his mother’s memories. He must have found the pictures in the linen closet. The Kemps had very few of their own things in the house.

“Rowan, I’m going to ask him if he needs any help.”

“Okay,” she said hesitantly. “But please ask him to ring me.”

“Will do.” I was already running toward the small bonfire just as Ian tossed another picture into it.

“What are you doing!?”

“Privacy,” he said through thick lips. “That’s all I asked for.”

“Kind of hard to ignore you, Ian. Since you’ve gone all Tom Hanks Castaway—me man, me make fire!” I reached for the picture in his hand as he tossed it in. I watched it burn. It was a shot of a woman in her wedding dress who I assumed was Tara. She looked beautiful as she smiled at her groom. I was only able to admire Ian in a well-fitted tux for seconds before the fire engulfed the photo.

Jesus, what could have happened?

“Ian, if you want to talk about it…”

He picked up another book and took a few pictures out shoving them into his pocket before he tossed it into the pile.

“Leave.”

“Please stop. You don’t understand what you’re doing.”

Blazing eyes scoured me before he looked back at the fire. “I know exactly what the fuck I’m doing.”

Sweat pooled on his forehead. He was covered in splintered wood. Ian Kemp had cracked, and he wasn’t coming back until he was ready.

Way too far into his headspace, he ignored me standing next to him.

I walked back to my house and watched him dismantle years of memories as he stared at the fire until it went out.

And then the house next to mine went completely quiet.

TEASERS


Meet KatE

A Texas native, Kate Stewart lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. Kate is a lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.

Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

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FOUR DAY FLING by Emma Hart is NOW AVAILABLE!

blogtour.jpg

Four Day Fling, an all-new hilarious and romantic standalone from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Hart is available NOW!

FOURDAYFLING3

Imagine this.

You’re ready to leave after a one-night stand, and you’re figuring out how to—shock horror—leave your number and ask him to be your fake boyfriend for your sister’s wedding this weekend.

When he wakes up.

Well, that happened to me. And over coffee and omelets, I found myself a date.

Which was how I ended up arriving at the wedding with a guy I knew nothing about.

I didn’t know his last name, or how we met, or how long we’d been dating. I didn’t know where he grew up, what he’d majored in in college, or how many siblings he had.

I sure as hell didn’t know he was Adam Winters, hotshot hockey player, and not only my father’s favorite player, but my little nephew’s freakin’ idol.

Which means I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble.

My mother is suspicious, my sister is bridezilla on crack, and my grandpa will tell anyone who’ll listen about his time in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Four days.

I have to keep this up for four days, and then Adam and I can return to our regular lives, where we don’t have sex whenever we’re alone, and my family aren’t interrogating him over his intentions with me.

At least, that’s the plan.

And we all know what happens to those.

FOURDAYFLING-image3live

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FOURDAYFLING-teaser2live.jpg

Excerpt:

“Ready?” Adam strolled out of the bedroom, playing with the button on his shorts.“For lunch with my mother?” I turned and stared at him, expressionless. “I’m thrilled.”He laughed and adjusted the short sleeve of his white shirt. “It’s what—an hour? Then she’ll be back snapping at your sister’s ankles. Surely you can give Rosie a break for sixty whole minutes.”

“Oh no. I’ve done that guilt trip my entire life. I’m not getting it from my fake boyfriend, too.” I waggled my finger at him before turning back to the mirror to finish my make-up. “And yes, I can give her a break, but it doesn’t mean I need to be happy about it.”

“Do you ever get along?”

“Yes. When I’m in Orlando and she’s in Key West.”

“I mean when you’re together.”

“In the same room together, or having a conversation together?”

“Now you’re just being awkward, Red.”

I brushed a final stroke of mascara over each of my eyes, then stopped, wand in hand, and met his eyes in the reflection of the mirror. “Given how you ended up here, I would have thought you knew that awkward was my default mode.”

“That was cute-awkward. This is attitude-awkward.”

“How do you know there’s a difference?”

He pointed at himself. “Four sisters. I grew up with attitude-awkward. I could recognize it blindfolded with hands cuffed behind my back from two hundred miles away.”

“Wow. Someone’s cocky.”

“I thought we established that the night we met.”

My cheeks flushed. Damn it. Why did I have to blush like an idiot? Oh, that’s right. I was a redhead and so pale I was a distant relative of Casper the Friendly Ghost, which meant you could see my blushing a mile off.

“You’re adorable when you blush.” Adam grinned.

“Thank God,” I drawled. “That was my life goal. Be adorable. Now, I can get it in neon lights over my bed.”

 

★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Anna on behalf of KFF

This is my first book by the author and I was pleasantly surprised with her writing style. I really enjoyed this contemporary standalone romantic comedy with eccentric and lovable characters.

Poppy, a waitress at a local diner met Adam at a bar when on a night out with her best friend Avery. Poppy is a fiery-tempered, sassy redhead, as clumsy as one can get with a self-deprecating sense of humour. Her supposedly one night stand with Adam ended her asking him to be her date for her sister’s wedding weekend. It is when Adam gets to meet her family that everything goes very interesting.

One thing that attracted Adam to Poppy was her brutal honesty and her hilarious wit. He wasn’t exactly straightforward with who he was when he agreed to their pretend fling. There is something about Poppy that makes him agree to whatever she asked of him including their deal. Surely nothing can go wrong with the “special friends” with benefits kind of arrangement, can it?

When I read this book, I didn’t look much into the author’s style so I sort of jumped in blind. This light-hearted love story gives you almost everything: a handsome and dashing sports hero in Adam, a funny, clumsy and gorgeous Poppy and her totally unconventional family members, especially Grandpa.

“Why do you keep calling me sir? I’m not a knight.”

“I was just being polite,” Adam said.

Grandpa barked a laugh and pointed at him. “I know! I’m fucking with you!”

This funny story of a one night stand turned into a weekend fling is filled with witty banter between the characters and hilarious situations, an angst-free tale that makes this book one of the best romcoms I’ve read.  The fast-paced storyline is in sync with the strong and memorable comedic protagonists. Poppy and Adam’s off the charts chemistry is combustible enough to melt your knickers. Will they make it as a pretend couple during the weekend without the family finding out? What happens after the weekend is over? If you are in a book funk and you need something to cheer you up, Adam and Poppy’s story is the perfect therapy.

About Emma Hart:

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

EmmaHart

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