Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green – Blog Tour

Today we have the blog tour for Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green! Follow along the tour and grab your copy today!

 

Title: Ultimate Sacrifice

Author: S.E. Green

Genre: YA Horror

 

About Ultimate Sacrifice:

Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.

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Check out the Trailer:

 

About S.E. Green:

Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; the teen romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award; and the romance, Shadow of a Girl. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Ultimate Sacrifice is her debut horror and is due out October 2017.

Shannon has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more.

Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.

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In Tune Out Of Sync by Kate Forest – Release Day Blitz

 

Todaywe have the release day blitz of In Tune Out of Sync by Kate Forest! Check it out and grab your copy today!

 

 

Title: In Tune Out of Sync

Author: Kate Forest

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About In Tune Out of Sync:

No one wants to play second fiddle in love.

 

Veronica “Ronnie” Lukas has one dream: playing violin with the New York Philharmonic. She’ll do whatever she can to hide her dyslexia and inability to read music, because nothing, not even sexy and talented Scott Grossman, will stand in her way.

 

Since he first tucked a violin under his chin, Scott’s tics caused by Tourette’s Syndrome quieted. His talent has thrust him into the harsh spotlight, becoming a reluctant poster child for living with Tourette’s.

 

When Scott wins first chair of a small regional orchestra, Ronnie begrudgingly accepts second. She wants to hate the humble man who is disarmingly open about his disability. Instead, she falls for his heavenly music—and toe-curling kisses. Scott is smitten with the brilliant woman who doesn’t treat him with kid gloves, although he wishes she didn’t hide her dyslexia from the world.

 

There’s only one spot open in the New York Philharmonic, but Scott and Ronnie find it’s not the competition but their differing views that come to a crescendo—secrets versus truth, spotlight versus shadows. Finding their rhythm is tough when they’re each marching to their own beat.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

The haunting and beautiful music wafts to my ear, sending my daydreams to a wildflower meadow, warmed by a spring sun. And then my mind drifts to ways to murder the violinist playing. Because whoever is performing Bach’s Sonata Number 3 in C Major from behind the closed door plays the complicated piece better than I can.

And my audition is next.

I pull out the repertoire list sent by the Delaware Symphony Orchestra three weeks ago. The first round gave no options, and yesterday I played the Scherzo from Schumann’s Second perfectly, and wasn’t too surprised when they asked me to come back for round two today.

I scan the list as quickly as I can, running my finger from side to side to make sure I’m tracking the correct lines. Scrambling to choose a new piece from the options they provide is not how I wanted to prepare for this moment. No way am I going to follow that version with the same piece. Because even though I rule that sonata, the harmonics emanating from the room came straight from heaven.

Crap, it’s good.

I decide page one of Strauss’s Don Juan will do. I know it by heart. I have to know all the music by heart so the notes on the page don’t swim before my eyes and muddle my brain circuitry. Plus, it will showcase my ability to play first violin.

They’re looking for two musicians, and I’m aiming high. Like always.

“Your turn should be in just a few moments.” The personnel manager smiles in what is probably meant as a warm, friendly gesture. Except her lips are stretched across her teeth like she’s shooting down a roller coaster instead of sitting at a folding table. She holds out a check. “Here’s your deposit back, Veronica.”

“Thanks. Call me Ronnie.” I turn to take the money I sent in to reserve my spot in the audition. They keep all the money of the no-shows, the merely curious, and the too-chicken-to-try.

I open my bag to put the Bach and my best chance away. Pages of music spill out to the floor as the auditioning musician finishes the last few measures of the happy and deceptively simple-sounding music. I crouch and gather them together. The last thing I need anyone to see is my color-coded sheet music that keeps my dyslexic brain from skipping a line, or more often, repeating a line a dozen times before it occurs to me that that I might have played that bit before.

I’ve practiced Don Juan often enough and it will be a good bold contrast to the piece just played. It doesn’t matter if Marcia wasted my time. I’ve got this.

I need this spot. The Delaware Symphony Orchestra might not be the New York Philharmonic, but it will be a huge step toward that goal. I need more performance experience, and venues bigger than college campuses and community events. If I’m ever going to earn a living playing the violin, this is one of my best chances. One of my best chances to prove my parents wrong. Getting this spot would be a great accomplishment, but watching my parents’ faces as I prove that I didn’t need to finish my certificate in computer science to earn a living would be almost as good.

And the jerk who played Bach better than I could isn’t going to swipe this chance away. I’ll salvage this. Pressure only makes me perform better.

 

 

About Kate Forest:

Author Kate Forest has worked in a psychiatric hospital, as a dating coach, and spent a disastrous summer selling above-ground swimming pools. But it was her over twenty-year career as a social worker that compelled her to write love stories with characters you don’t typically get to read about. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two kids, and a fierce corgi.

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Breaking Grace by Rose Devereux – Cover Reveal

 Today we have the cover reveal of Breaking Grace by Rose Devereux! Check out the gorgeous cover and teasers, and grab your copy October 24th!

Title: Breaking Grace

Author: Rose Devereux

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: October 24th

 

About Breaking Grace:

Two years ago, I murdered the love of Grace Garrett’s life.

I had it all – a thriving company, money, women at my beck and call. Then I shot and killed James Winthrop. And got away with it.

His beautiful fiancé is ruined, so damaged she’s destroying herself.  And I’m the reason why.

Nothing and nobody can save her. Except me. Only I know how to help her start again. By wiping the slate clean. Breaking her down until she’s brand new. And rewarding her obedience with the one thing she truly needs. Vengeance against me.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

She walks into the courtroom and everyone stops breathing.

Except for me.  I breathe harder.

Blood surges through my body like a dam just broke, flooding every distant vein.  I flex my fists.  The instinct to fuck on sight is so strong I can barely stay in my chair.

It isn’t because she’s beautiful, though she is.  Or dressed to kill, ditto.  She’s wearing a cream silk blouse tucked into a skinny, ass-skimming skirt and high-heeled sandals that tie like a little suede rope around her ankles.  If they’re supposed to make me think of all the things I could do to her, mission accomplished.

Chin high, she strides past the first row of seats.  Heads swivel.  The chatter stops.

Here she comes, the lovely grieving widow.  Not exactly widow.  Fiancé.  And she’s practically a child, only twenty-three.

When Dolly Parton wrote Jolene, she was imagining a girl like Grace Garrett.  With flaming locks of auburn hair, with ivory skin, and eyes of emerald green.  The lyrics are like Grace’s own personal Missing poster.  Along with a list of the things I jerk off to every night.    

There are a few descriptives Dolly didn’t think of, like a click-bait body and a stern, craggy-faced minister for a father.  This chick was born for social media.  The press loves her.  She’s got a good-girl pedigree, and she looks amazing no matter what she’s doing.  Sitting, walking, crying, or wishing me stone-cold dead.

That’s the part everyone is here to see.  The silent explosion when our eyes meet.  The epic, David and Goliath battle between her and me.  Evil on one side, good on the other.

That’s what makes me hard.  What can I say?  I’ve always liked contrast.

Grace doesn’t care if I’m taller, richer, stronger, smarter, and better-looking than anyone she’s ever met.  She knows the world loves an underdog, and she’s going to take me down.  She’s here to show everyone what a bastard I am.

As if they don’t already know.

My proclivities have been the stuff of gossip for years.  I run with a crowd so wealthy and twisted, there are no limits.

When the jury looks at me, they think they know me.  They put rumor and wishful thinking together, and create the perfect monster.  And they love it.  Something makes a brutal sort of sense in their world, and that something is me.

If only they knew what Grace knows, and I know.  They’d discover that they’ve got the story backwards.

I’m not the villain in this tragic drama.

She is.

 

About Rose Devereux:

Rose Devereux writes shamelessly dark romance. In her other life, she is a traditionally published author whose books have been translated into five languages. Reviews of her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Boston Globe, New York Magazine, and the Associated Press. She loves animals, sleeping late, and alpha males, and would drink Prosecco every day at lunch if she could. She lives in Boston and New Hampshire.

 

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Black by Donya Lynne – Release Day Blitz

 

 

Today we have the release day blitz of Black  by Donya Lynne! Check out the release festivities and grab your copy today!

 

 

 

Title: Black

Author: Donya Lynne

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

About BLACK:

Micah Black thought he was the last of his bloodline. He was wrong. Dead wrong.

Micah just found out he has a brother. Ronan, the cat burglar who broke into his apartment and stole the ankh he’d been entrusted to protect, has turned out to be none other than his own flesh and blood. But that’s not the only revelation he uncovers about his family. After centuries of thinking his father was killed during the war, he learns that his father is alive. Still suffering the loss of Micah’s mother, his beloved mate, but alive.

The discoveries continue to pile up as more tightly held secrets and shocking surprises come to light, upending Micah’s world, sending him into a whirlwind of emotions and memories of war, love, and death. But it’s what King Bain reveals that throws Micah for the biggest loop. One that will chart a new path for Micah’s future and change the course of the coming war between the vampires and the drecks forever.

In the much-anticipated eighth book of the emotionally-wrenching, heart-stopping All the King’s Men Series, you see Micah as you’ve never seen him before. You will meet new characters pivotal to the survival—and hearts—of the characters you’ve come to love. Aliases will be revealed, alliances will be formed, and new enemies exposed as paranormal forces converge in a battle to decide who will ultimately rule humanity.

 

Recommended for fans of J.R. Ward, Lara Adrian, Kresley Cole.

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Books in the All the Kings Men Series:

Rise of the Fallen

Heart of the Warrior

Micah’s Calling

Rebel Obsession

Return of the Assassin

All the King’s Men – The Beginning

Bound Guardian Angel

BLACK

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Approximately 950 years ago

 

A steel-tipped arrow whizzed past Micah’s head as he and Malek battled their way through the rush of drecks pouring through the village from all directions. Metal on metal rang out as the village’s males took up their swords and engaged the enemy. It was their duty to defend the females and humans against this unprovoked, peacetime raid.

Who was Micah kidding? They weren’t in peacetime, anymore. This attack was enough proof that the drecks had risen up against them once more like some kind of fungus rot on their cultivated fields. No matter how many diseased plants you pulled, the shit just kept coming back.

Would the godforsaken war ever end? It had raged off and on for centuries before Micah’s birth, and, at this rate, would continue for centuries to come, even under the guise of peace.

Micah whistled to get Malek’s attention. When his friend and fellow warrior turned, Micah pointed to the top of a nearby ridge.

“High ground!” He had to shout over the roar of infernos consuming nearly half the cottages in the village, casting blazing heat that scorched his skin and singed his long, braided hair, coating him with soot and ash.

Malek nodded, pulled the strength from only God knew where, and hoofed it up the steep incline behind Micah.

Micah’s lungs pumped hard as his legs churned, propelling him higher as the burn and fatigue in his muscles grew so great that his thighs almost locked up in protest. But somehow, he pushed through the pain. The safety of his family depended on him. Katarina had fled to the forest at the first sign of attack, and thank God for that, but he refused to leave even one dreck standing who could pursue her and the other vampires and humans who had escaped.

But he didn’t know where his parents were. Surely, his father was engaged with the enemy, but he had yet to sense that his mother had found safety. On the contrary, what he felt vibrating in his soul was impending doom.

Another arrow flew past him, this one close enough to catch the side of his arm, nicking his flesh. Blood already spilled from multiple wounds all over his body, so this one merely added to the collection. None of his injuries were life threatening, but eventually, the loss of blood would weaken him. There was no time to spare.

He and Malek reached the top of the ridge and Micah turned, pulling an arrow from his fully stocked quiver as he brought his bow up in front of him. Malek did the same.

From here, the damage to their village robbed him of breath. It was a total loss. More than half the structures were consumed by flames or already falling into piles of smoldering rubble.

Beyond the steel tip of his arrow, Micah saw a dreck toss a torch on one of the remaining cottages. Calming his breath, he lined up the blue-tinted creature in his sights, held for a moment, and then released the arrow.

It impaled the dreck square between the eyes.

Malek took out another.

One by one, he and Malek sniped the enemy from their advantageous location, killing the drecks gradually but steadily as they worked their way along the ridge that surrounded the village, moving toward his parents’ cottage on the far end.

Behind him, he could feel the first sign of sunrise spreading light across the horizon. They needed to hurry so the vampires had enough time to seek shelter in the forest beyond the fields or in any of the remaining dwellings not taken by fire.

As Micah’s quiver neared empty, he caught sight of his uncle Rory, engaged with three drecks. Rory was a deadly male, fighting like a banshee unleashed by the devil himself. His skin and clothing were red with spilled blood, streaked with fresh, blue blood of the drecks, which quickly faded to red. No doubt Rory had killed half the invaders himself.

“I’m empty,” Malek said beside him.

Micah handed him one of his last two arrows. “Me, too.”

The good news was that the number of the fallen enemy was greater than that of the villagers. Drecks were no match for vampires, and their dead and dying bodies littered the cobbled paths and open spaces of their village, their blue blood running in rivers into the grass, where it pooled and gradually turned from blue to purple to red.

Just as he nocked his last arrow, Micah turned in the direction of his parents’ cottage. With the faint light of the pending sunrise granting him greater breadth of vision, he found his childhood home. His father was nowhere to be seen, but his mother stood in front of the open door, a sword in her hand, facing off against a pair of drecks.

Micah’s heart raced as a premonition of dread shocked his mind’s eye.

His mother was not a fighter. Not at the level needed for this kind of combat. Not against a trained enemy, and especially not against two of them.

As one attacked, she lifted the sword, blocking the dreck’s blade. But she wasn’t fast enough to counter the second dreck as he lunged forward, holding a pair of short swords, and sliced into her abdomen.

“NOOOOOO!” Ignoring the fatigue in his muscles, Micah took off at a sprint, traveling the top of the ridge like a streak of lightning.

“Micah!” Malek called as he gave chase.

His mother staggered backward, toward the open doorway as if she were trying to block the way inside, blindly swinging the sword at her attackers, unwilling to surrender even as her knees wobbled.

“No! Mother!”

Like a true warrior, she refused to give an inch, despite her rapidly weakening state. Mustering what must have been the last of her strength, she surged with determination, parrying her foe and driving her sword into his belly.

The next seconds flashed by in an instant, even though Micah saw the events unfold as if through a thick, slow-moving fog. The dreck she impaled fell, his body spasming in the throes of death. The second dreck moved in, blades flashing. His mother was left unprotected, alone, and without a weapon. Micah stopped and raised his bow, determined to save her.

Just as he released his arrow, the glint of cold steel dripping with vampire blood rose over her. Would the arrow find home before the dreck’s blade did? The firelight reflected off the sword’s edge as it fell in a swift descent.

Micah held his breath, his heart and soul flying alongside the arrow blazing a trail in the distance between them.

The sword sliced into his mother a split second sooner than his arrow lodged into the center of the dreck’s back.

“NO!” Micah burst into a run, barreling down the steep decline of the ridge, falling, tumbling, then regaining his footing as he reached the base.

With Malek hot on his heels, he vaulted the simple wooden fence and charged into the small square of land surrounding his parents’ cottage, leaped onto the dreck, who was still alive, and drove his dagger into the beast’s heart, releasing a savage war cry.

And he kept stabbing, long after the dreck was dead, turning the foul creature into nothing but tenderized meat.

“Micah, stop!” Malek remained a safe distance from his swinging dagger, but Micah could feel his desperation.

He couldn’t stop. He had to keep stabbing. Had to keep destroying that which had taken what he loved. His anger—his fury—required vengeance.

Malek pushed dangerously close, dodging Micah’s dagger as it plunged through the air and into the dreck’s chest, and grabbed him by the collar as he raised the blade again. “Micah! Your mother! She needs you!”

They were the only words that could have gotten through to him.

The bloody dagger in his hand halted in midair then dropped to his side as he swung his rage-hazed gaze around to where his mother lay in the flattened grass.

“Is she alive?” He abandoned the gore he’d created and lurched toward her.

“Barely.” Malek’s dismal tone said all Micah needed to know about his mother’s fate, and he froze, meeting his best friend’s eyes with a sense of foreboding. “She doesn’t have much longer, Micah.” Malek bobbed his head in her direction. “She asked for you.”

The breath caught in Micah’s raw throat, scorched by hot smoke and strained from shouting. Then he sprung to life and scurried to his mother’s side, falling to his knees. He took her hand. It already felt too cold. Too small. Too . . . lifeless.

“Mother . . .?”

Her eyes blinked open as if just that simple act took too much effort. “Mi . . . cah.”

Tears blurred his vision, but he forced down the sob that threatened to break through his throat. “I’m here. You’re going to be okay.” He squeezed her hand and brushed the bloody hair off her face.

She weakly shook her head as the corners of her lips turned up knowingly. She knew she was dying. This was her end, and nothing could stop it. Then she shifted her gaze to the open door of the cottage. “Your father . . . needs you . . .” Her breath rattled in her lungs like shackles being tugged by the Grim Reaper. “In . . . side.” She tried to lift her arm but couldn’t, instead pointing in the general direction of the doorway.

Micah glanced toward the cottage.

And that’s when he saw it.

His father’s booted foot lay on the floor, in the shadows, unmoving, just beyond the door.

“Go . . . to . . . him . . .” His mother’s voice was quickly fading, no louder than a whisper now. “Needs to . . . give . . . you . . .” Her hold on his hand weakened. Her body relaxed. Everything in her went slack.

“Mother . . .?” Micah turned back toward her, only to find the light that had been in her eyes moments ago was now gone. She was gone. Her soul claimed and taken to the other side. “Mom?” He shook her. But it was useless. She was dead.

Tears trailed down his cheeks as he bowed his head. “I will kill every last one of them, Mother,” he vowed on a whisper. “I promise not a single dreck will remain when I am finished avenging you.” He bent forward, placed his palm over her silent, unbeating heart, and kissed her dirty, abraded forehead. “I promise.”

There was no time for more. The remaining drecks were quickly closing in, and he had to save his father.

Pulling the strength from deep within, he leaped to his feet and rushed into the cottage. His father lay on his stomach in a pool of blood, his hand outstretched toward the large wooden chest against the wall. Its lid was open, the contents scattered as if his father had been searching through them before he fell.

There was so much blood. Too much.

“Father?” Micah crouched and rolled over the heroic male he had always admired and looked up to. No less than a dozen wounds seeped his life-giving blood.

“Son . . .” His father’s voice rasped from him as if from a ghost.

“Father . . . I’m getting you out of here.” He began to lift him, but his father protested.

“No . . . no time . . . I’m not . . . going to make it.” His skin was already so pale it was a wonder he had any blood left to sustain him. “Save yourself. Save your mother.”

Micah didn’t have the heart to tell him she was already gone. Hot tears stung his eyes once more. “I will.”

“Take . . . the chest”—his father let out an ugly cough that speckled his lips with blood—“with you.” He turned his head toward the large wooden structure only a few feet away.

There was no way he could take that with him.

“It’s too heavy.”

His father shook his head. “No. Inside. The chest . . . smaller one. The box . . .” He coughed again, and it sounded like his lungs were filling with what little blood he had left. “Take it. Protect it. The ankh . . . inside . . . keep it safe.”

Micah looked inside the large chest, and, there, to the side, was a smaller one. No wider than the length of his hand and as deep as three of the leather-bound books Kat enjoyed reading. It was ornately carved and secured by a disproportionately heavy lock. He lifted the chest and secured it under his arm as he returned to his father.

“I have it.”

“Take it . . . go . . .” His father held out a key fastened to a knotted length of leather. “Hurry . . .” His father’s midnight blue eyes glanced through the open door toward the east. “The sun . . . almost . . . here . . .” He winced and groaned then fell silent as his body went lax.

“Father?” Micah knelt closer. “Father?

“Micah!” Malek’s frantic voice shot through the doorway. “Hurry!”

There was no time. The drecks were coming, and the sun was close behind. He had to leave.

He plucked the key from his father’s loose grip and tucked it into the pocket of his cloak, stashed the small chest in his father’s pack, which he slung over his shoulder, and then crossed his forearm over his chest as he faced his father’s lifeless form. “I will avenge you, Father.” He glanced out the door at his mother. “I will avenge you both.”

With one last sorrowful glance toward his father, he breathed in the last inhale of air he would ever take inside the home he grew up in. Never again would he set eyes on the male who had taught him how to hunt, how to track prey, how to kill, how to be a good mate, and how to lead an army. A male more powerful than a tidal wave, stronger than a gale-force wind, and more respected even than the king. A male who had been, was, and would always be his hero.

His father was dead.

Or so he thought.

 

 

About Donya Lynne:

Donya Lynne is the bestselling author of the award winning All the King’s Men and Strong Karma Series and a member of Romance Writers of America. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, she’d been dubbed Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she fulfilled her dream by publishing her first two novels and a novella. Her work has earned her two IPPYs, five eLit Awards, a USA Today Recommended Read, and numerous accolades, including two Smashwords bestsellers. When she’s not writing, she can be found cheering on the Indianapolis Colts or doing her cats’ bidding.

 

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Stripping Her Defenses by Amanda Adams – Release Day Blitz


Today we have the release day blitz for Stripping Her Defenses by Amanda Adams! Check it out and grab your copy today!

 

 

 Title: Stripping Her Defenses

Author: Amanda Adams

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

About Stripping Her Defenses:

Regret is a strange thing…sometimes it drops a man to his knees. But sometimes it’s more like a slow drip poison. I’ve only ever regretted two things in my life. Walking away from her was one of them…

Duty? Honor? Love? After ten years in the military, they all mean nothing to Daniel, nothing but pain. He’s home now, but war—and the secrets that followed him—hold him in an unrelenting grip. It’s dangerous to fall in love, dangerous to believe the past will stay buried where it can’t hurt the people around him, where it can’t hurt her.

But one look at Chloe and he remembers a time when all he worried about was getting his hands on her. Does he deserve a second chance? Hell no. But he’s got a new mission now: Strip every single one of Chloe’s defenses and win back her heart. He’ll use any means necessary to seduce her. And when the past comes calling, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her. Because when he’s on a mission, he always gets his mark.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Chloe, you’re showing him a house. This is all business. Stop acting like this is some kind of date,” I mutter to myself, attempting to dial down the intensity and back away from the ledge. Maybe if I say it out loud enough times, I’ll believe it. Maybe, if I can forget the heat of that kiss, I’ll stop wanting what I can’t have. And Daniel definitely ranks high on my list of things I can’t have. I feel dangerously close to falling and giving in to childhood impulses.

I’m an adult now. I’d been a stupid nineteen-year-old kid when I made that pass at Daniel. I’d been a stupid kid who thought true love conquered all. And I knew I loved him and that he would love me. I’d watched all the right movies and read all the right books. The beautiful young princess always won the prince in the end, and then they lived happily-ever-after.

That was the big lie. In real life, the prince turned her down flat and disappeared on the other side of the world, her mom got sick, died of cancer, and left the princess with a pile of bills and a life insurance policy that didn’t even come close to covering the costs of settling the estate. In real life, the princess had to work three minimum-wage jobs to pay for a realtor’s license and had hustled like the devil every day since.

No, I’m not that naïve little girl anymore. I’d seen too much of life to go back to that kind of thinking. Which meant I had to get over the nervous anticipation of seeing Daniel again. Today would be pure business and I am a confident, independent woman now. That kiss meant nothing to me, and neither did his rejection.

Nope. Not a thing. I can act like it never happened. I’d kissed plenty of men since then. Loads. At least…I had to think hard for a minute…at least three. That was more than enough to know that Daniel isn’t the only guy on the planet. There are plenty of other… massive shoulders supporting muscular necks that smell of wonderful cologne… in the sea; I just haven’t reeled in the right one. But I will. I’m not afraid to love again and I don’t regret a moment of time spent with my mother before she passed. I cherish my memories, grateful that I had love in my life at all. And when I do meet someone new, I will forget all about my childhood crush on Daniel.

I purse my lips, calm my breathing and focus on a circle of fog forming on the glass window. I am so over my best friend’s older brother. Over. Done. Not even a little nervous to see him again. He has to be old and fat and ugly now. Yep. Losing his hair, scarred up from the war like in one of those sci-fi movies. Grotesque and completely unattractive. Has. To. Be.

I turn to make one last circle around the house, making sure everything is in place for the showing before Mr. Ugly arrives. Most of the owners’ furniture is in storage. A couple of nice magazines decorate the coffee table. I brought in flowers after the painters finished changing the pale blue and green walls to neutral beige that I knew would help the place sell. All the family photos are hidden in a drawer upstairs and a table setting straight out of “Realtors R Us” highlights the dining room. Martha Stewart herself would be proud of the crystal and the silver and the perfectly folded napkins in elegant rings next to the impossibly white china.

I have no doubt he will notice none of it or tell it to go find some candleholder its own age.

When Sara told me that Daniel was back in town, and he wanted to buy a house, it felt like fate. It would be an opportunity to prove that I had grown up and moved on, that he meant nothing more to me than what I would feel for any childhood friend, that I could be completely immune to his charm. With Daniel, this is an opportunity to feel like I am the one in charge for the first time in our lives. I am ready for that. More than I’d like to admit. I served my time being the tag-along, annoying younger sibling’s best friend. No more.

I start to straighten the floral arrangement on the dining room table for the hundredth time but stop my obsessive craziness and smack a daisy in frustration. “I doubt he cares about you stupid flowers,” I tell them, sighing at my ridiculous behavior. And the poor daisy lilts over. I think I broke its poor neck—or its heart—because I yelled at it. As I attempt to reconcile with the wronged and innocent flower I hear the deep rumble of an engine approaching outside.

Marching to the front door, I open it to greet him–as I do all of my clients—and watch with my heart in my throat as Daniel rides up on his motorcycle. After parking it, he takes off his helmet, his dark hair gleams in the bright, Texas sunshine. A leather jacket hugs his muscular arms and shoulders while tight denim shows that nothing about him has diminished since I’d last seen him.

In fact, I realize just how much of a boy he’d been at twenty-two. Now he is all man, from the slight lines at the corners of his mouth to the way he moves. Everything about him screams confident, virile male in his prime.

Damn it. So much Mr. Ugly.

This indifference thing might be harder than I thought.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Amanda Adams writes super-sexy, new adult and contemporary romance. A full time author, Amanda spends her days trying to walk more and type less. If she eats a salad for lunch, she makes sure to reward herself with chocolate after (as any reasonable woman would do.) Amanda believes in true love, love at first sight, and every other cliché because lightning struck her in high school and she’s been happily married to her sweetheart ever since. However, she also knows, from personal experience, that life can big one great big, painful mess as well. Amanda believes in keeping things real. Her books are free of cheating–with a guaranteed HEA–but hold on tight…it’s going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.

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Macon by Marie James – Release Day Launch

Today we have the release day for Macon by Marie James! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Title: Macon

Author: Marie James

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Macon:

Tossing a middle finger to Macon, Georgia as I made my way to Nashville was always the dream. Sing country music, go on tour, top the charts—with my popularity growing every day, I was on my way.

But then a gust of wind blew up your skirt, and those white cotton panties had me hooked. I didn’t know your name, and you turned down every attempt I tried to throw your way. But I knew you were different, even though you told me I was the same.

“Friends” is what you offered, and I played by your rules, but, Adelaide Hatfield, you have to know, from that day, it was only you.

I just hope I can make you see how much you mean to me before we both drown in the sorrow of what heartbreak can truly be.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“I watched this last night, and I just want you to see it too.” Renee clicks on a video.

His voice, belting out the words of a well-known song, pushes from the small speakers. They don’t give him the justice he deserves. His voice, his presence, demands the acoustics of an arena and countless eyes of a sold out crowd.

“Do you see what I mean?” Renee asks, pointing to the screen.

The video was recorded just to the left of where he was looking, and I know where his eyes were—locked with mine. I felt each and every one of them last night as if his choice of songs were hand-picked for me. It warmed me then, and I can’t deny the heat filling my blood as I watch now.

“He’s enraptured by you,” Mandy whispers, as if speaking too loud will break the spell he has over me.

“He’s a performer,” I counter.

“If it were only about performing, he would be looking around, trying to make each person there feel like he’s singing to them.” I sense Renee’s gaze on the side of my face, but can’t pull my eyes from the dark-haired man on the computer screen. “He only saw you last night.”

I could never believe that. Trusting it would be harmful. To my heart. To my mental health.

I run my finger over the track pad of the mouse and close the video.

“And he only saw someone else three days before.”

I click on another video—one I’ve watched a dozen times, and let myself fantasize in more detail than I ever should’ve allowed.

Axton’s voice channels through the speakers as he looks into the camera with raw emotion. His words vow his devotion, promise his love, his future, and every thought to that person.

“I’m not special to him. He sings like this all the time.”

Both of my sisters remain quiet, and why shouldn’t they? There’s no questioning the way he’s making the person with the cellphone camera feel. I was her last night. It’s awesome in the moment, but confronted with the truth of his philandering, I have no interest in anything involving Axton Lane.

 

 

About the Author:

Marie James is a full-time, working mother of two boys and wife of 13 years. She’s spent almost her entire lifetime living in central Texas, with only short stays in South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida. She’s always wanted to write novels and currently has 16 titles under her belt. Her passions include reading everything under the sun and plotting out new books to write in the future.

 

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Superhero Syndrome by Caryn Larrinaga – Release Day Blitz

Today we have the release day blitz for Superhero Syndrome by Caryn Larrinaga! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Superhero Syndrome

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Genre: Paranormal Romance

About Superhero Syndrome:

Tess McBray was dying. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’s hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, or steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic-book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.

Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

I felt someone’s eyes on me but ignored them. I knew what I looked like. I knew how my hazel eyes had started to look too big for their sockets and how my swollen joints looked wildly out of proportion with my thin limbs. I snuggled into the blankets and pulled out my sketch pad, drawing the people around me to keep my fingers warm. In front of me, a short woman with poofy red curls was digging around in a picnic basket, handing sandwiches to the two small children who sat beside her. To my right, a middle-aged guy with glasses was cringing as he tried to pop the cork on a champagne bottle. I flinched when he finally succeeded. The cork shot off into the trees, and the people around him laughed nervously, probably as happy as I was that they hadn’t lost an eye.

A lump formed in my throat, and I gripped my pencil tighter as I sketched. Everyone here had a future. They had something to look forward to tomorrow… and the day after that. Once the meteor shower was over, they’d go home to warm kitchens and cups of hot cocoa and talk about how perfect and beautiful the night had been.

And I… well, I’d be here until someone found me, I supposed.

The sky above us was rapidly darkening. Millions of stars shone, and everyone in the clearing stared upward, waiting for the show to begin.

The universe did not disappoint.

Sometime around midnight, a streak of light appeared above me. I gasped as it bolted partway across my field of vision before vanishing. A few minutes later, another appeared. Then another. It was unlike any meteor shower I’d ever seen, and from the gasps and oohs around me, I could tell I wasn’t alone in my awe.

I tasted salt. When did I start crying?

The cold seeped through my jacket and Davies’ blanket, stinging my skin, but it didn’t bother me. My tears could freeze right on my face for all I cared. I could melt into the ground beneath me and not even feel it. There was no looking away; I was riveted by the magic above me.

Three lights appeared in the sky at once. They were much brighter than the streaks that had preceded them, and they tore through the stars like soldiers rushing into battle. My eyes went wide. I knew it had to be an optical illusion, but they appeared to be coming right at me.

As the meteors sped toward the clearing, a rushing sound filled my ears, growing louder with each breath. A wave of nausea hit me, and I realized I was about to pass out. It’d been happening a lot lately. The edges of my vision fuzzed into blackness, but the cluster of meteors shone in the center, still appearing to speed directly at me.

This is it, I thought.

This was no ordinary fainting spell. It was different; I could feel it. The skin from the top of my head down to the soles of my feet began to tingle and burn, and my heart pounded in my ears.

These were my last moments.

A face, so much like my own, swam in front of my eyes. My sister smiled at me, but her eyes were filled with sadness.

“Goodbye, Bethany,” I whispered.

And the world went dark.

 

About Caryn Larrinaga:

Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery, horror, and urban fantasy writer living in Utah with her husband and cats. Her debut novel Donn’s Hill (March 2017, Immortal Works Press) garnered rave reviews from fans of the cozy mystery and paranormal genres, and her new urban fantasy Superhero Syndrome (September 2017, Twisted Tree Press) will be out this fall. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives in a 90-year-old house with a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs from her basement. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.

When her fingers aren’t glued to her laptop keyboard, Caryn also enjoys binge-watching Netflix with her husband, reading, playing video games, and filling up her phone’s flash memory with pictures of her cats. She loves music and plays the bass guitar. Caryn is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.

 

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Chasing a Legend by Sarah Robinson – Release Day Blitz

Today we have the release day blitz of Chasing a Legend by Sarah Robinson! Check out the release day festivities and grab your copy today!!

Title: Chasing a Legend

Author: Sarah Robinson

Genre: August 22nd

About Chasing a Legend:

The most soulful Kavanagh brother tackles the challenge of a lifetime—with a little help from the girl of his dreams.

“Fans of Lori Foster’s SBC Fighters series will love the MMA atmosphere of [Sarah] Robinson’s Legends.”—Library Journal

A topnotch manager and agent, Quinn Kavanagh pictures a life outside of his family’s renowned MMA gym. Beneath his sleek exterior, Quinn has a secret passion for sculpting. But after a nearly fatal motorcycle accident, he’s struggling just to walk again, let alone get back to the studio—and it doesn’t help that the doctor in charge of his physical therapy is his childhood crush. Quinn’s always ready for a fight, but the bittersweet sting of unrequited love has him begging for mercy.

Dr. Kiera Finley is determined to make her medical residency a success. Six years ago, she gave in and shared a single passionate night with Quinn. Now she’s just hoping the cocky lover from her past doesn’t derail her plans for the future. Little by little, though, Kiera gets to know another side of Quinn. She knew he was a family man, devoted to his parents and brothers, but he’s also a free spirit trapped in a cage—and only she has the key. To heal both Quinn’s body and soul, Kiera’s tempted to give him a special kind of medicine.

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Read the Free Short Story Set Between Becoming a Legend and Chasing a Legend!

 

Catch up on the Series Today:

BREAKING A LEGEND:

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SAVING A LEGEND:

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BECOMING A LEGEND:

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Advance Praise:

“Robinson concludes her Kavanagh Legends contemporary quartet (after Becoming a Legend) with a perfect blend of smoldering heat and gentle tenderness. After an accident, mixed martial arts fighter Quinn Kavanagh is placed under the care of physical therapist Keira Finley, his first and only love. She has no idea that she broke his heart when she left for college six years earlier. They’d been best friends since they were kids and never experienced life without each other’s unwavering support, but when Quinn didn’t ask her to stay, Keira needed to prove to herself that she could make it on her own. Quinn’s emotional scars run a lot deeper than the physical ones. He’s afraid to open himself up to Keira again, but with the encouragement of his boisterous, fun-loving family, he learns to give to himself as freely as he’s always given to others. This endearing story showcases Keira and Quinn’s easy banter, familiar warmth, and unquenchable heat. Quinn is the last Kavanagh brother to meet his mate, but subtle mentions of potential future love matches among their friends will leave readers eager for spin-offs.” – Publisher’s Weekly

Exclusive Excerpt:

“I’m leaving Legends now. My bags are packed, so be ready to go as soon as I get there,” Quinn said into the phone, his thick arm flexing as he twisted it to look at his watch.
“UK, here we come!” his older brother Kane shouted through the line. Quinn could practically see him fist-pumping the air. “You’re the best manager ever, Q!”
“Better believe it, Killer.” Quinn laughed before disconnecting the call and pushing his phone into a small interior pocket of the leather jacket that fit snugly over his chiseled back and broad shoulders.
Straddling his prized possession, a classic Ducati he’d kept in pristine condition for years, Quinn pulled on his helmet and gloves. His shaggy black hair peeked out from under the edges of the helmet, framing his face. Though covered in leather, glimpses of his love of ink showed on his neck and hands. What could not be seen was how the tattoos continued onto his chest and back as well. He loved the images, and each one had a special meaning to him—a falcon across his chest in midflight to symbolize his yearning for freedom, a dragon wrapping his arm to mark the fire in his blood, the Kavanagh family crest and motto in Gaelic on his back to represent family pride, along with phrases and names of people and moments that had made him who he was.
But the small metal bar through his eyebrow, or the piercings in his ear? Those were just for fun.
The motorcycle roared to life beneath him, easily heard from blocks away, as he pulled out onto the main street and headed for his parents’ house to meet his brother. He might not live there any longer, but he’d grown up in that house, and it would always feel like home. The whole neighborhood was his home; he knew everyone there, and everyone knew the Kavanaghs—for better or worse.
Quinn rode past the quaint houses in the Woodlawn area of the Bronx, going through a mental checklist of everything he needed to do before Kane competed next week. The International MMA Championship, held in London this year, was the biggest mixed martial arts competition in the world. Kane had won that championship the last two years, giving him the title of World’s Greatest MMA Fighter. Kane planned to win a third time next week and Quinn was eager to stand by his side when he did.
It’d been three short years since his brother had been thrust into the public spotlight after winning his first U.S. National Championship in Vegas. Quinn beamed proudly at the memory. Even though he wasn’t the one in the cage, he still felt a part of his brother’s success, having managed his entire career from the beginning. Kane’s win was Quinn’s win. It was a win for all the Kavanaghs—something they each really needed after everything the family had been through.
As he approached his parents’ street, he signaled with both his right hand and turn signal that he was switching lanes. A large truck whistled past, completely ignoring his signal. Quinn yanked the bike to the left, narrowly escaping a collision as his heart leapt into his throat.
Asshole.
Taking a deep breath to calm the adrenaline shooting through his body at the close call, Quinn carefully looked around, and once he’d confirmed that the right lane was clear, he again signaled his intentions. Sliding the bike into the right lane, he accelerated, eager to get to his childhood home.
That was his last thought before it happened.
His family.
How happy he was.
How much he loved his life.
A silver sedan parallel-parked against the curb nosed out into the right lane, directly in front of Quinn’s bike. His eyes widened as the air left his lungs, and he attempted to swerve around the sudden obstacle.
But there was no time. There was no space.
The front wheel of his bike slammed into the front wheel well of the sedan, and Quinn was weightless. He barely had a moment to blink before he was twisting through the air—over the handlebars, over his bike, over the sedan.
He heard the impact before he felt it.
His body skidding over the unforgiving pavement as wind rushed past him—a crunching, tumbling screech. Car horns firing, people screaming—or was he screaming? The echoes inside his helmet both muted and deafened.
But then he felt it, and it was fucking hell.
The crack of bones, a searing pain shooting through him. Every nerve ending in his body set on fire at the force of impact, consuming him till he was certain he couldn’t stand another second of it. Sliding across the pavement, his skin burned against the grating asphalt, his leather gear no match for the unforgiving surface.
And then it was quiet.
So fucking quiet as he stared up at the sun and waited . . . for what, he didn’t know.
He wasn’t connected to his body, but somehow trapped inside it. Quinn tried to call for help, tried to get up, but his lungs and limbs ignored his commands.
Just as his eyes began to flutter closed, the pain overtaking him, pushing him beyond what he could ever handle . . . he saw her. Her strawberry-blond hair falling down past her soft pink cheeks, the sun creating a halo behind her. Her fingertips grazed his face, and she whispered to him so softly he barely made out what she said. Light blue eyes, nearly translucent in their brightness, told him to just hold on . . . don’t let go . . . don’t give up.
And then she was gone.
And so was he.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter Visit the author’s website for more information about Sarah and her books: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/

 

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Stripping Her Defenses by Amanda Adams – Pre-Order Blitz

Today we have the teaser reveal for Stripping Her Defenses by Amanda Adams! Check it out and preorder your copy today!

Title: Stripping Her Defenses

Author: Amanda Adams

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 15th

 

 

About Stripping Her Defenses:

 Regret is a strange thing…sometimes it drops a man to his knees. But sometimes it’s more like a slow drip poison. I’ve only ever regretted two things in my life. Walking away from her was one of them…

Duty? Honor? Love? After ten years in the military, they all mean nothing to Daniel, nothing but pain. He’s home now, but war—and the secrets that followed him—hold him in an unrelenting grip. It’s dangerous to fall in love, dangerous to believe the past will stay buried where it can’t hurt the people around him, where it can’t hurt her.

But one look at Chloe and he remembers a time when all he worried about was getting his hands on her. Does he deserve a second chance? Hell no. But he’s got a new mission now: Strip every single one of Chloe’s defenses and win back her heart. He’ll use any means necessary to seduce her. And when the past comes calling, he’ll stop at nothing to protect her. Because when he’s on a mission, he always gets his mark.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Regret is a strange thing. It can be powerful, so crippling it will knock a man to his knees, or so soft and insidious it’s like a slow-drip poison in the mind.
On any given day, I feel both sensations. Not for the decision I made, but for what it cost every single one of the men on the team that day. The truth changed each of us. Not one of us, had we known, would choose to bear this burden. But now that we’ve seen behind the magic curtain, it’s too late to go back. Troy is gone.
And since time travel isn’t an option…
My six years of war have ended, and I don’t feel like I belong in a suburban home, any more than I belong in this strange echo of a previous life I am destined to live. But now I’m home, back in Texas, with my sister making a fuss upstairs and everything I own in a handful of boxes on her basement floor. The house, the town, the sights and the sounds; none of it has changed, but I have. I could never be the same man I’d been when I left. Standing here, with sunlight streaming in through the windows and the smell of the neighbor’s barbecue filling the air of my sister’s immaculate, 100 year old craftsman style home with a porch that seems to stretch for miles, Americana reigns. I half expect a little girl named Betty June to ride up on her Schwinn bicycle, sporting pigtails and bobbysocks, to sell me a ticket to an ice cream social. I am so far removed from what happened in that cave in the mountains of Afghanistan that I should be relieved. Happy. Content.
Not haunted by the ghost of a man the entire world believes to be dead. It’s not his fault, but I resent him, just a little, for the weight of the secret we all now carry. Then again, I can walk down the street, eat at a restaurant and drive a car without constantly looking over my shoulder. It’s hard to hate a guy, a good man who can never go home again, when he has a target on his back.
“Daniel, are all of the boxes out of the truck?” My sister Sara’s voice echoes down the stairway, to the harsh surfaces of the finished basement as I bend over the last box, squinting to read the handwriting on the lid. The words looked something like “Iesh,” which probably meant they were Josh’s things. No one can read his handwriting without a magic de-coder ring.
“Yeah, I got the last of them,” I call out. Everything I own is in this room, and some things I wish I didn’t. The package that arrived yesterday from Italy with no return address? I haven’t opened it yet. I know who it’s from and I know what it will bring to my life. Chaos. Risk. Secrets. More secrets.
Shoving it into the bottom of my duffel bag, I head back up the ancient wood stairs. Painted lime green and scuffed from years of footfalls, they creak with every step.
Standing at the top of the stairs, Sara brushes her hands on her jeans then crosses her arms while she awaits my ascent. “I guess the nice thing about you military guys is that you don’t have a ton of stuff lying around.”
“That’s one way to look at it.” I left everything behind. Most of the stuff on the floor downstairs had been in storage the last few years, since the day I shipped out. I’m not even sure I’ll open the boxes. Everything I need to survive is in my oversized duffel bag next to the bed.
Everything I need to survive, and the one secret that might cost me everything, including the one woman I’ve never been able to forget.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Amanda Adams writes super-sexy, new adult and contemporary romance. A full time author, Amanda spends her days trying to walk more and type less. If she eats a salad for lunch, she makes sure to reward herself with chocolate after (as any reasonable woman would do.) Amanda believes in true love, love at first sight, and every other cliche because lightning struck her in high school and she’s been happily married to her sweetheart ever since. However, she also knows, from personal experience, that life can big one great big, painful mess as well. Amanda believes in keeping things real. Her books are free of cheating–with a guaranteed HEA–but hold on tight: it’s going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.

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Today we are so excited to be sharing an exclusive excerpt from New York Times Bestselling Author Lara Adrian’s FOR 100 REASONS, the conclusion to the sexy, suspenseful 100 series.

Love takes no prisoners…

Billionaire Dominic Baine stepped into Avery Ross’s life when it was at its lowest. Obsessed with the beautiful, struggling artist, Nick was determined to have her. What began as a scorching seduction soon burned out of control, exploding into a white-hot passion neither of them could deny.

Yet Nick and Avery are two damaged people, both haunted by dark secrets with the power to destroy them. And for Nick, the ugly past that shaped him cannot compare to the unforgivable deception that drives Avery from his arms, from his life. Now the man accustomed to having everything he desires must find a way to redeem himself to the only woman he has ever loved.

Avery Ross has known heartbreak. She has known betrayal and loss, but nothing like the pain that loving Dominic Baine has brought into her life. Reeling from the aftermath of his devastating revelation, instead of allowing despair to break her, she builds herself into something stronger—the fearless woman and artist Nick’s passion has taught her to be. Yet her heart is in pieces, and despite everything she has, the one thing she needs is the man whose possessive desires and consuming love holds the power to either save them both or shatter her forever…

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

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Excerpt

I close the door and lean against it with a heavy sigh after Nick returns to his car.

What does it say about me that I can spend two hours looking after my terminally ill friend yet come home feeling sorry for myself when Nick practically ditches me at my front door? I feel adrift in my own house, left alone with just my thoughts and my worry for the friend I already feel slipping away from me.

It’s too late at night to call Tasha or my mom, and when I phoned Lita from Kathryn’s to update her on the situation, she informed me that she’d caught a cab home from the auction and was headed to bed.

That’s where I should be heading too. That is, if I had any hope of going to bed and not lying there for the next several hours thinking about Nick.

Wanting him.

Needing the kind of contentment and comfort I’ve only ever felt in his arms.

I pick up my phone, my fingers itching with the urge to dial his number. I could ask him to come back. I know he would. I also know that if I’d invited him into my home tonight, into my bed, we’d be crossing a threshold with no turning back.

If we try to return to each other again and fail, it will be for the last time. For my own sake, for my sanity, it would have to be.

As much as I wish I had Nick’s strength to lean on, I’m not sure I’m ready to face that much finality in one night.

Instead I head upstairs to take a shower and try to relax. A few minutes under the hot water soothes my tired muscles. It washes away the tears I refused to let fall in front of Kathryn.

What it doesn’t soothe or wash away are my thoughts of Nick.

My longing to be with him.

Those feelings cling to me as I wrap myself in a short silk kimono and pad across my bedroom rug to draw the blinds. It’s still pouring outside, rain pelting wetly against the windows and sweeping in waves over the street below.

The street where Nick’s black BMW still sits parked at my curb.

“What the hell?”

He’s here? When did he come back? Or did he ever go at all?

It doesn’t matter. He’s here. I step back from the window in surprise, swamped by a selfish elation I can’t deny.

Then I’m racing down the stairs and out the front door, barefoot. Breathless.

Puddles on the pavement slosh against my feet as I round the front of the car to the driver’s side. I pound the flat of my hand against the window, a single knock that brings Nick’s head up sharply.

Our eyes meet through the water-streaked glass. He’s sitting in the darkened car, the engine turned off. He scowls, his lips parting on a silent curse as currents of rain sluice off my nose and chin.

The door pops open. I step aside as he climbs out of the car, an apology in his gaze. “I couldn’t leave. Damn it, I tried to, but–”

I don’t give him the chance to finish. With my hands holding his face, I drag him down to meet my kiss. His answering groan is animal, filled with the same yearning that’s coursing wildly through me.

We’re drenched in seconds. His white dress shirt plasters against his broad shoulders and chest. My thin kimono practically melts around me. Neither of us seems notice or care. Nothing can cool the urgency of our kiss.

Nick’s mouth moves hungrily over mine, our faces wet from the rain, our lips fused and fevered. His large hands hold me close to him, one palm splayed at my back, the other cradling my nape beneath the sodden tangle of my hair. His muscles flex, then in an instant he’s pivoted, turning me around so that I’m pinned between the closed door of the BMW and the firm heat of his body. He crowds in closer, still kissing me madly, our bodies crushed together everywhere they can, melding my soft curves to his hard planes.

I moan with the need for deeper contact. There’s no use trying to deny what he does to me. Just one kiss and I’m his for the taking already.

Again.

Always.

 

See where it all started with FOR 100 DAYS and FOR 100 NIGHTS

 

FOR 100 DAYS

Pleasure has a price…

Struggling artist Avery Ross is barely scraping by. Bartending at a trendy New York City restaurant for an overbearing boss and two weeks away from losing her apartment to a condo developer, she’s desperate for a break. So when she’s offered a temporary housesitting job, she takes it.

Living at one of the poshest addresses in Manhattan is like entering a new world—one that catapults her into the orbit of billionaire Dominic Baine, the darkly handsome, arrogantly alpha resident of the building’s penthouse. What begins as a powerful attraction soon explodes into a white-hot passion neither can deny.

Yet as scorching as they need for each other is, Avery doesn’t expect Nick’s interest in her to last. Nor does she dare to dream that the desire she feels for this scarred, emotionally remote man could deepen into something real. For Avery has secrets of her own—and a past that could destroy her…and shatter everything she and Nick share.

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FOR 100 NIGHTS

Passion knows no bounds…

Avery Ross is living a dream. After struggling all of her life to make ends meet, a change encounter with a powerful, darkly handsome man has catapulted her into a dazzling new world of penthouse luxury, elegant parties, and a wild, consuming passion with her billionaire love, Dominic Baine. Nothing is out of his reach in business or in pleasure, yet the only woman he wants is her. Nick sweeps her to sensual heights she has never dared explore, commanding her body the same way he commands her heat. Yet Avery knows the fantasy she’s living cannot last.

With dark secrets and a dangerous enemy haunting her past, Avery must find a way to trust Nick with the truth before it destroys everything they share. But Nick is harboring secrets of his own as well. And when they come to light, Avery will be forced to decide if the love she feels for Nick is strong enough to endure a betrayal she may never be able to forgive.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

LARA ADRIAN is a New York Times and #1 international bestselling author with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed in more than 20 countries. Her upcoming release is FOR 100 REASONS, the third book in a contemporary romance series that reviewers are calling “phenomenal” and “one of the hottest series of the year.” Learn more about the author and her books at LaraAdrian.com.

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