Cover Reveal : The Learning Hours by Sara Ney

He’s not a douchebag;

but that doesn’t stop his friends from

turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?

Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have pulse. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up—they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.

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Excerpt

He’s seated at a table in the far corner when I spot him from the door. He’s not hard to miss—not with his purple t-shirt in a sea of black and yellow, and wavy mussed hair.

He’s slouching, hunched over his table.

Defeated. Tired.

My stomach rolls with nerves, nerves that have me rooted to the spot in the doorway, watching him.
Just watching.

For the entire four minutes I stand here, he sits immobile, studying his laptop, eyes moving along the screen, completely transfixed by whatever he’s reading.

Learning.

“Just go over there,” I whisper to myself, blowing out a puff of pent-up air.

I put one foot in front of the other and begin toward him, spine ramrod straight, steeling myself, prepared for another argument.

Twenty feet.

Fifteen.

Eight.

Two.

“Hi.”

No reply.

“Do you mind if I sit here?” I lay my hand on the back of the wooden chair across from him, intending to pull it out.

He stiffens but doesn’t lift his head. “Yes I mind.”

“Would you mind if I sat at the table next to you?” I’m pushing his buttons, looking for a reaction, but he only spares me a brief glance.

Shrugs. “Free country.”

I bite my lip to hide a smile, glad he didn’t tell me to take a hike…

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Blog Tour : The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

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THE FORBIDDEN by Jodi Ellen Malpas (August 8, 2017; Forever trade paperback original; $15.99)

A new story of dangerous temptations from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man trilogy. 

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy – the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she’s already in too deep. And Jack isn’t only dangerous. He is forbidden.

“Every kiss, every sexy scene, every word between this pair owned a piece of my soul.  I could read this book a hundred times and still react as if it was the first time.  The Protector is a top 2016 fave for me.” –Audrey Carlan, #1 bestselling author of The Calendar Girl series

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Buy the Book!

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

From the very first word to the last, I was hooked and consumed by this story. Cheating is such a touchy subject in a romance novel, though. Jodi Ellen has managed to write a soul crushing story of true love that is raw, touching and realistic. I love her writing style, the complexity of her characters and the emotions their story evoked in me. This book was honest and you could grasp the characters’ love, their guilt, anguish and reticence. I smiled so much throughout this book. I also held my breath a couple of times and even got a little teary eyed, wondering what up and downs the characters would have to go through before they could get their happy ending. I know there are a lot of people out there who hesitate to read a book if there is a hint of cheating, but I think you should try this book for yourself. I went into it with an open mind and I am so glad I did.

Annie Ryan loves her freedom and her job of architect. She is busy building her career and is convinced she is immune to men, until her life is turned upside-down by a chance meeting with Jack Joseph. Jack oozes charm and a bit of arrogance, no man has ever caught her attention and emotions so completely. Their connection is instant and Annie can’t believe she falls for him so easily. She is never reckless but with Jack, she wants everything, she is consumed by him. Neither one of them has previously experienced the instant chemistry or the intense need they feel for one another.

Annie thought their story was just a one-night-stand, fully expecting to never see Jack again. As it happens, Jack is the contractor of the project she is working on, and he is married. An affair feels so wrong, what she experiences with him is illicit, but their mutual feelings are undeniable. They can’t keep their relationship just business. Needless to say there are trials and tribulations in their relationship. There are fears and even some uncertainties but none of these seem to deter them. Jack feels trapped and miserable in a loveless marriage and, even though his wife refuses to accept it, he intends to ask for a divorce. Annie has given him a purpose and a reason to leave.

Jodi Ellen Malpas has delivered a story with passion, the forbidden and that all-consuming battle of attraction.  I have to admit that it was easier to support Jack’s choices, considering his wife’s attitude. So if you enjoy a story of true love that is written with honesty, emotion and passion, with relatable characters and cheating is not a trigger, then this book is definitely not to be missed and I highly recommend it!

Thanks for visiting and read on for an excerpt from this book!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley

Excerpt

“Thank you for your help,” I say quietly, studying him, definitely detecting that he’s deep in thought. Don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask. I need to get back into my apartment without engaging with him, which could prove tricky when he’s blocking the doorway and looking like he has no intention of shifting to let me in.

“Annie,” he breathes. “I’m struggling so badly.”

“I’m not doing this.” I swallow, pushing my way past him. He grabs me by the top of my arm and holds me in place. “Let me go, Jack.”

“I’ve already told you I can’t do that. Annie, I’m drowning here. I’m going out of my mind, and the more time I spend with you the fucking worse it’s getting. Listening to you, talking to you, sharing a passion with you that goes way beyond the amazing time we had in bed together.”

“You have to forget!” I yell, knowing anger is the only way forward. Be angry with him. Let it dominate me and rule me, because the alternative scares me to fucking death.

He pushes me into the hall and slams the door behind us, forcing me to back up. “No,” he says, straight and even. “No,” he repeats, moving one more step forward, except this time I don’t retreat. Because I can’t. Because he has me locked in place with those grey eyes, and now they’re back to their full glory. Sparkling, even if it’s with anger. He reaches for his shirt and starts unbuttoning it before shrugging it off and throwing it to the floor, revealing the chest that’s haunting me.

I quickly look down at the pile of material, my mind reeling. His chest. His perfect damn chest. “What are you doing?”

“I have no fucking idea.” He reaches for me and slides a hand around my neck, pulling me to him. Our chests meet, and my determination to repel him vanishes under our connection. Wrongs turn into rights. Conflict turns into craving.

“I can’t get you out of my head, Annie.” His forehead meets mine, his palm massaging away the tightness in my neck muscles, softening me up until I relax in his hold. “I want you all over again, and I can’t even find the will to worry about how much more that’ll make me want you.” He breathes down on me. “I’ve played that night on repeat. I’ve dreamed of holding you in my arms again. I’ve craved the sound of your voice, the feel of your touch, the softness of your lips on mine. I know I shouldn’t want you. But I do. Nothing has ever made me feel this insane with need. Nothing has taken up so much space in my head. I can’t fucking help it, Annie.” His grey gaze sinks into me, my heart steadying to an even thrum. His head starts to shake mildly, his splayed hand moving up to the back of my head and fisting my hair. “I don’t want to help it,” he growls. “I want you. I don’t care how wrong it is.” His clenched fist tightens, gripping my hair harshly. “I know I’ve been on your mind since I fucked you every which way in that hotel room. Stop denying it. Don’t insult me and tell me you don’t crave that amazing feeling all over again. I can see it in your eyes every damn time I look into them. You. Want. Me.”

It’s me who moves in first. All me. I lunge forward and smash my lips to his, the magnetic force winning. His words winning. Jack winning. My heart winning. I coax his mouth open with hard, hungry kisses. I’ve lost my mind to a craving too powerful to fight off. And, like Jack, I don’t care how wrong it is.

Lost.

Yet as he walks me backward until my back slams into the wall, I feel found again.

I cry out, and Jack moans. We’re clumsy and desperate. He’s pushing me up the wall with the force of his kiss, then he’s rolling away, taking me with him until it’s his back slamming into the wall. It’s the elevator all over again. The atmosphere is sizzling. I’m on fire. He scoops me up, pinning me to him, and carries me into my bedroom. I focus on him. Only him and the return of feelings that I’ve fantasized about since that unforgettable night. All the guilt is abandoning me, and I let it, unprepared to let anything stop me from taking the forbidden.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 10 copies of The Forbiddenhttp://bit.ly/2qXSfOk

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About the Author

Jodi Ellen Malpas author photosJodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

Social Media Links

www.jodiellenmalpas.com.uk

www.facebook.com/jodiellenmalpas

www.twitter.com/jodiellenmalpas

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Release Day Blitz : Wicked S.O.B. (Dark Desires #2.5) by Zara Cox

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Title: WICKED S.O.B.: A Dark Desires Novella

Author: Zara Cox

Series: Dark Desires, #2.5

On Sale: August 8, 2017

Publisher: Forever

eBook: $1.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

For so long, I lived for revenge. Now I live for her.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Quinn Blackwood is not someone you mess with. I see. I want. I take. And you better not get in my way. That’s how I built my billion-dollar empire. That’s how I made my enemies pay. That’s how I won the one good, pure thing in my life, Elyse “Lucky” Gilbert. But after what I’ve done, my luck may have run out.

There is a fine line between love and obsession.

I’m not a fool. I didn’t think coming back to Quinn would be easy. That we would fall into a happy future and the darkness inside him would just disappear. Still, after everything we’ve been through, I couldn’t leave him to fight his demons alone. I’ve tried to convince myself nothing else matters as long as we’re together. But if I give him what he needs, will there be anything left of me?

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My Review

Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars

Who needs sleep when you start (a bit late in the evening) a book that has you riveted right from the first page? The conclusion to Quinn and Elyse’s story was captivating! This novella is the sequel to “Beautiful Liar” and is heartbreakingly beautiful, with a good dose of angst. The intensity of their feelings is their strength, their chemistry is sizzling and radiates off the pages. But Quinn’s elaborate revenge scheme against those who orchestrated his mother’s suicide has taken a toll on him. For almost half his life, retribution had been his endgame and he thought he wouldn’t make it to his 30th birthday. Loving Elyse has changed everything.

He revels in Elyse’s love, their passion is all-consuming. She is his much-needed rock, but he is afraid she is too good for him and refuses to drag her in his darkness. He’s so messed up but he’s trying his absolute best to be everything his girl needs him to be. I love how on the outside he’s this larger-than-life billionaire tycoon but on the inside, he’s just a man, broken and damaged, who wants to be loved, who wants hope. He is used to getting his own way, but he so afraid he will lose Elyse. He envies her strength, her selflessness and her compassion.

Elyse is a wonderful character, her love is unconditional. Quinn is her reason for living, her everything. But she knows that his self-destructing tendencies have to be dealt with. I really liked her strength of character, her ability to compromise and convince Quinn. The road to happiness may have been a bit bumpy for these two characters, but their happily-ever-after was utterly satisfying!

I’m in awe of Zara Cox, her stories and characters really get under my skin, so to say. I’m fascinated by complex characters and boy, did she deliver with Quinn Blackwood and Elyse Gilbert! And she sure does know how to turn up the heat! I highly recommend this novella  if you enjoy dark, steamy and romantic love stories that leave you breathless!

Thanks for visiting and read on for an excerpt!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpt

It’s 5:45 a.m.

From the living room window, I stare eastward and take in one of the many spectacular views from Quinn’s penthouse ninety-two floors up. I love watching New York City come to life in the mornings. Love watching the light on the Chrysler Building’s spire blend into the rising sun’s rays. Love the warmth of first morning light on my face. And having just come through my first, fierce NYC winter, I crave the sun with almost rabid zeal. It must be the native Californian in me.

New York City is fast becoming the center of my world, though. It’s where the love of my life, the reason for my existence, lives after all. I don’t doubt that Quinn’s presence in the city is what makes it extra special for me.

But it’s also become clear that while he lives in the most dynamic city in the world, this isn’t his home. He doesn’t have a home. I don’t have a home either.

Between Quinn and me, we’ve lost sight of what a true home means. I’ve tried to convince myself nothing else matters as long as we’re together. My heart clenches in fear at the thought of losing what we have. In a world of unlikely possibilities, Quinn and I ending up together was one in a million.

I didn’t fool myself into thinking the path to our future was going to be easy. I returned to him on my own terms, despite knowing from the beginning that taking on a man like Quinn Blackwood would be the challenge of a lifetime. I live that overwhelming reality every day. Even before I saw his face, I knew his power over me was borderline absolute and that he intended to own every last cell in my body the way he owns half of the city we live in.

My mouth twists in a smile. I’m not with Quinn for his money, but if I were, I’d slavishly fulfill his every desire for the chance to live in this stunning Park Avenue apartment every day for the rest of my life.

A few days after we moved in three months ago, we woke up to an overcast city below us and nothing but blue sky above us. The sensation of floating above the clouds was incredible. We spent the day in bed, staring at the view from our California King when we weren’t fucking in the heavens.

I want many more days like that.

I sigh. Turn around. And freeze.

He’s lounging against the wall in the hallway, wearing gray low-riding sweatpants and nothing else, with one knee propped behind him. My mouth goes dry as those penetrating eyes watch me in silence.

Quinn’s deathly stillness is one of the many unnerving things I noticed about him when we first met. Despite his towering six-foot-three height and his sleek but solid frame, he moves with a quiet, devastating elegance that literally stops my breath when he walks into a room. And that is even before the exquisite masculinity of his sharp cheekbones, square jaw, and sensual lips. The contrast between his startling silver blue eyes and dark hair never fails to trap and hold the attention of anyone he comes into contact with. I’ve literally seen grown women, and men, stop and stare when he walks on the street.

That dangerous attraction holds my total focus now.

His eyes search mine, the unnervingly direct gaze examining every corner of me. Probing for flaws I can’t hide and concerns I’m struggling to contain. But then that’s nothing new.

“Tell me what you’re thinking about,” he commands from across the room in a low, sleep-rasped voice that makes my toes curl.

I want to start this day with a cleanish (snort) slate. But I know any attempt to evade him will be spotted a mile off. He sees too much. He always has. “Your money,” I reply, choosing the least volatile truth.

His eyes flare for a moment before he shakes his head. “No, you’re not. You go out of your fucking way to avoid anything to do with my money. Try again.”

I’m not touching that statement with a ten-foot pole, so I shrug inwardly and state another truth. “I love this apartment. I’m not moving.”

His unwavering eyes gleam the way they do when he’s debating the pros and cons of giving me what I want. His leg slowly straightens, and he moves toward me. He stops behind the wide sectional sofa he fucked me on last night. Strong, elegant fingers spread over the back of it as he angles his body toward me. “I see. Have I finally found something of mine that you love enough to claim for yourself, Elyse?”

When he holds out his hand to me, I don’t even think of refusing. He guides me around the sofa, pulls me into his arms, and spears his fingers into my hair. Our lips meet in a hungry, thorough greeting. Then he nibbles at the corner of my mouth, my cheek, my jaw to my ear. “I’ll think about not moving us if you agree to spend the day with me.”

I frown and plead with my melting brain to function. “It’s Monday, Quinn.”

One hand trails down my body to squeeze my ass in silent rebuke. “I know what day it is. I’m taking the day off.”

My jaw drops to the floor, and I jerk back to look into his eyes. “No way.”

“Shut your gorgeous mouth before I put my cock in it. I’m buying you breakfast; then we’re spending the rest of the day being slobs.”

THE DARK DESIRES SERIES

Dark Desires

BEAUTIFUL LIAR, #1

BLACK SHEEP, #2

WICKED S.O.B, #2.5

ARROGANT BASTARD, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zara Cox has been writing for almost twenty-five years but it wasn’t until nine years ago that she decided to share her love of writing sexy, gritty stories with anyone outside her close family (the over 18s anyway!).

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Preorder Blitz : The Secret by Christie Ridgway

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A single dad…a marriage of convenience…and so much love!
The Secret by Christie Ridgway is coming soon on August 15th!

The Secret - Ebook

Amazon → http://amzn.to/2tNV5Fj
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Kobo → http://bit.ly/2uQp3NV

Attractive couple cuddling at the beach


Being butler to a widower and single father is a dream job in more ways than one for Charlotte “Charlie” Emerson. She helps keep businessman Ethan Archer’s household running without a hitch and enjoys every minute she has with his six-year-old son, Wells. But as time passes, the situation feels alarmingly intimate and when her heart starts beating faster each time Ethan steps through the door, Charlie must exert rigid control over her feelings.

With her secret, falling in love would be all kinds of bad…

Ethan Archer values the woman who keeps his life in order and cares so much for his motherless boy. He and Charlie act in harmony with each other and it’s not hard to picture them as a little family…in fact, it’s so easy, one reckless night he proposes a marriage of convenience.
What will he do if Charlie says yes? And worse, what if she tells him no?

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About the Author:

Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty-five contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. She has a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews and twice has received their Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance of the year. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.
Author Links:

Review Tour : For 100 Reasons (100 Series #3) by Lara Adrian

New York Times Bestselling Author Lara Adrian’s FOR 100 REASONS, the conclusion to the sexy, suspenseful 100 series is releasing today and we couldn’t be more excited to share this title with you.

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…

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

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My Review

Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars

Lara Adrian was a new-to-me-author when I started reading the 100 series. I really enjoyed this trilogy that had passion, mystery, darkness and damaged, complex characters. Granted, the premise was nothing new, but the storyline kept me engaged. For 100 Reasons is the conclusion to Nick and Avery’s story.

Avery left Nick and he knows he is to blame for it. He manipulated and deceived her. He wanted to do right by her and set her free, removing himself completely from her life.  He never explained why he chose to deceive Avery instead of going for honesty, though. Honesty meant revealing things about himself, being vulnerable and getting raw. He was obviously not ready to open up to Avery.

For one year, Avery has done her best to forget him, but to no avail. She is now an up-and-coming star in the New York art world. But in private, she is heartbroken, bitter and confused. When they are finally reunited, Avery can’t deny him a second chance, he wants to start over with a clean slate, no secrets and no powerplay. Nick is still a puzzle to her, though, a mysterious shadow mogul and the man she still loves.  In this book, Avery and Nick are working towards total honesty, but establishing trust takes time, despite their intense connection. It takes courage to confront the ghosts of the past.

Lara Adrian did a great job of tying up all loose ends in this final book. She delivered a very satisfying ending to a seductive, steamy and addictive trilogy. This story of growing beyond your past and allowing yourself to be loved was intense and well written, with beautiful and sweet moments between two endearing characters.

ARC generously provided to me by the author and Inkslinger PR

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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Teaser : The Contract Series by Melanie Moreland

Check out some teasers from The Contract Series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Moreland. You can grab The Contract now, and the recent novella in the series, The Baby Clause 2.0. Buy links, and teasers, for each title are below.

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The Contract by Melanie Moreland

Available Now!

Blurb:

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract — fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?

Sparks.

That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

——–

Purchase Now

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PURCHASE THE NOVELLA

Purchase Now

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———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Melanie Moreland – Bio:

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Leave The Night On (Cottonbloom #4) by Laura Trentham

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Summary:

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

Leave the night on

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My Review

Rating : 4.5 Stars out of 5 Stars

I was so happy to be back in Cottonbloom! Leave The Night On is definitely a great addition to the series. New characters are introduced, promising more stories to tell, and there are some cameo appearances of the Fournette family. Laura Trentham’s writing is fantastic. This author really has an impressive way of evolving her characters until you feel you’re reading about people you know. Her characters are vibrant and easy to love (I’ll make an exception for the villain of the Abbott family).

Sutton Mize is the daughter of a prominent family from the posh Mississippi side of Cottonbloom. Wyatt Abbott is a car mechanic from the working-class Louisiana side. When Sutton is betrayed by both her fiancé and her best friend, Wyatt offers his help to get even with them. Sutton and Wyatt are no strangers to each other, but have never been on friendly terms, partly due to Wyatt’s awkward attempts to attract Sutton’s attention when they were teenagers. More separated them than just the river, they never moved in the same circles.

Sutton feels vulnerable and hurt. When she rather thoughtlessly tells her cheating fiancé that she is romantically involved with Wyatt, they start a fake relationship they both consider as a short-lived business arrangement. I enjoyed the slow burn building of their relationship. Sutton is irresistibly drawn to Wyatt by feelings that have nothing to do with logic or reason. She enjoys his luminous personality, his honesty and his kindness. But she doesn’t trust easily and needs time to heal the pain from the betrayal. Wyatt is willing to wait, he isn’t one to back down from a challenge.

This sweet and charming look at love, set in a quirky small town, was a delightful read and a definite keeper on my shelf. I loved everything about this story, the characters, the storytelling, the pace, the perfect balance between emotions and humor. The cast of secondary characters add depth and warmth to the story. Wyatt’s twin aunts are something else and I can’t wait to read more about the Abbott brothers, although I’m not sure if Laura Trentham will manage to redeem the eldest one, Ford Abbott. If you enjoy small town romances, I highly recommend this book! If you haven’t started the series yet, this story works perfectly well as a standalone.

Thanks for visiting and read on for an excerpt from this book!

ARC generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.

Chapter Two

Sutton stared at the lace concoction. From La Perla’s fall collection. Fine Italian lace. Ridiculously expensive for something so small. A special order with the addition of a small embroidered heart to sit at the owner’s hipbone. Oh yes, she was acquainted with the underwear but not intimately acquainted. She’d ordered them through Abigail’s Boutique, but not for herself. She was too practical.

Wyatt Abbott shook them even closer to her face, obviously expecting her to take them. The thought of touching the lace made her shrink against the driver’s door, and she fumbled for the handle, finally finding it and yanking. The door opened and her momentum sent her to the shop floor on her butt.

Her skirt bunched around her thighs, probably high enough for Wyatt Abbott to see her simple cotton pink panties from Victoria’s Secret. The fact they weren’t white was the wildest she got. She’d even waited for them to go on sale. With a bruised ego and bottom, she scrambled up.

Wyatt hadn’t moved. His mouth was parted, still in a slight smile, the panties dangling from his fingers. Instead of the roil of emotions gaining steam inside of her, she concentrated on his hands. They were rough-looking and callused. The nails were short but lined with grease. And they were big. They built things. Fixed things. Put things back together.

A darkness came over his face, clouding his earlier good-humor and giving him an edge of danger she hadn’t sensed through his teasing. Instead of getting out of the car from the door, he stood up on the passenger seat, stepped to the driver’s seat, and hopped next to her, the black lace of her betrayal dangling in his hand.

“What’s the problem?” he asked.

A jackhammering noise from the other bay filled the space so she didn’t have to. The crazy thing was that she had sensed something wrong. Something had been wrong pretty much since she and Andrew had gotten engaged.

She’d tried to put it down to nerves or how busy they both were with work. But the truth was she’d been dragging her feet with the wedding preparations. Between the two of them pulling away, the distance had grown until only an echo of what had drawn them together remained.

The hum of a motor and the flash of sunlight on metal drew her attention to the open bay door. Her best friend, Bree Randall, stepped out of her BMW coupe dressed in heels, grey slacks, and a sleeveless silk shell, the pink contrasting beautifully with her dark brown hair and ivory complexion. She was a lawyer for Cottonbloom, Mississippi’s city government and had been Sutton’s best friend since first grade.

No way could Sutton smile and pretend everything was fine. She grabbed the front of Wyatt’s coveralls and looked up at him. The boy she remembered had been too cool and a borderline jerk, teasing her incessantly, almost to the point of tears. The man was still too cool, yet something new lurked behind his ease. She hoped it was akin to kindness.

Bree drew closer. Stuck between a devil she knew and one she didn’t, Sutton took a chance. Her voice was hoarse and begging and she didn’t care. “Get me out of here. Please.”

Without taking his eyes off her, he called out, “Yo, Jackson. Could you put the lady from the Beemer in the waiting room? Tell her Miss Mize isn’t feeling well and stepped out back for some fresh air.”

If his brother answered, she didn’t hear him. Wyatt put a strong, stabilizing arm around her shoulders and guided her around various pieces of equipment and mechanical parts to a door tucked away at the back of the shop floor. She stepped outside, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. The freshness of the air counteracted the bile rising in her throat.

Her knees wobbled as the stark reality of the situation and the fallout took shape in her mind. She glanced at the man by her side. What was Wyatt Abbott thinking right now? Probably that she was borderline psychotic.

A huge red barn sat behind the shop, and they passed from sun back into shadows. A body-sized punching bag twirled from a high beam as they passed by. That explained why the arm at her back was so solid. Her heels tapped on the wide-planked floor. The smell of weathered wood was overlaid by something sweeter. Honeysuckle, maybe.

No hay was stored in the Abbott’s barn. Two tarp-covered cars, the bottom curves of their tires the only part visible, formed a path to the back where a scratched up leather couch and mini-fridge sat.

“Sorry it’s so dusty in here. We like to keep the doors open if the weather’s nice because of the views and cross breeze.” He took a blue towel from his back pocket and wiped off a section of the couch, leaving yellow streaks of pollen. Getting a little dirty was way down on her list of worries and she plopped down, wrapping her arms around her stomach and leaning over so her forehead nearly touched her knees.

“You want a Coke or tea or something?”

She raised her head enough to see his big hand holding out a bottle. He shifted back and forth in his black work boots, the hem of his coveralls ombrèd black to grey with grease.

“It’s a little early for whiskey, but I’ve got that too if you’d rather.” He sounded so worried and unsure, she straightened, took the Coke and pressed the cool plastic against her cheeks and neck.

“You must think I’ve gone batty.” She rarely drank alcohol and never whiskey, but for a moment she considered it as a viable option, even though it was still technically breakfast. It was five o’clock somewhere, right?

“I think something really bad happened,” he said. “I’m not sure what, but I suspect it has something to do with the restaurant receipts and the underwear.”

“Oh God. The receipts.” Her mind hadn’t even circled back around to those, but everything notched into place like a puzzle whose missing piece turned up stuck on the bottom of a shoe covered with chewed up old gum and bug guts.

His late nights working. Breaking dates at the last minute. His distraction. How long had it been since they’d shared the same bed? Two months? Three? She’d put it down to the natural progression of a committed relationship and the busyness of their lives, assuming things would be better once they were living under the same roof.

“I’m a moron.” Tears crawled up her throat and choked off her feeble attempt of a laugh.

She closed her eyes wishing she could teleport herself back under the covers. The cushion sagged next to her, and she tipped towards him, her shoulder bumping his biceps. A moment passed before his arm came around her shoulders, and they sank back into the couch together.

She turned her face into the space between his neck and shoulder and took a deep breath, desperately trying to get a handle on her out-of-control emotions. Pain was to be expected, but the flashes of fierce fury took her by surprise.

Easygoing and nice and cheerful were bandied about when people passed compliments her way. At least, she’d always taken them as compliments. Now she wasn’t so sure. Maybe all those things were code words for weak and gullible.

Another breath. She concentrated on Wyatt’s warmth and scent. So different from the expensive cologne Andrew wore. Wyatt smelled like pine trees and the garage. His dark, almost black hair, tickled her nose. A tear slipped out and she wiped it away with the heel of her hand.

“You want me to go get your friend?” His chest vibrated against her, deep and rich.

Friend? She didn’t want to examine the other half of the betrayal. Worse than Andrew cheating on her was who he’d been getting down and dirty with. Her best friend. No. A friend wouldn’t sleep with her fiancé behind her back while helping her plan the wedding with an enthusiasm that oftentimes exceed her own.

Sutton ransacked her brain for moments she could point to and say Aha! but none came to mind. Bree had been supportive and helpful over the last few months. Lies. How many lies had Sutton accepted as gospel truth? A few more tears escaped along with a ragged breath.

Wyatt made a humming sound that was distinctly uncomfortable, and he pulled away. “Let me—”

She grabbed his coveralls. “No. Don’t you get it? That was her thong.”

He shifted to face her. “Is identifying underwear in a single glance your superpower?”

Despite her life crashing down, a shard of humor sliced through the shock, and her lips twitched. “Expensive underwear. The heart on the panties matches her tattoo. A special order.”

“You fiancé and your best friend?”

Put like that, she felt even dumber. “My life has turned into a cliché.”

“It’s a cliché because of how often it happens. Nothing for you to be ashamed of. It’s them that should feel like chickenshit.”

“You don’t understand how people like to talk.”

“I understand, alright. I just don’t care what people say.” The defiant edge in his voice spoke of his own pain and sorrows, but right now she only had room for her own. He was quiet for a moment. “You want me to get rid of her?”

Sutton sank back and took a swig of Coke, the burn bringing a different, more welcome, sort of tear to her eyes. “I need to talk to her. Confront her.”

“Yeah, but not hurt and crying. You need to prepare. Get mad then get even.”

His advice made her sit up straighter. She’d been raised to smooth feathers, not ruffle them. Her mother had taught her how a smile and pleasant word could diffuse most situations. The lessons had contributed to her business success but hadn’t done her personal life any favors. Another whip of red-hot fury flayed her heart.

“She’s my ride back over the river.” Her voice sounded even and strong, her anger a mast to cling to amid the wreckage.

“I can be your ride.”

“But you have work to do.”

The look he cast her was full of disbelief. “You’re not going through with the restoration, are you?”

The Camaro, the red harbinger of her ruin, had already slipped her mind. She didn’t even like the stupid car. Her daddy and Tarwater senior had hatched this surprise over a round of golf with Ford Abbott after she’d confessed she couldn’t think of anything to give Andrew as an engagement present. Only when her daddy had anted up half the money had she agreed. Their “go big or go home” mentality had seemed a ridiculous waste to her.

Dear Lord, her family. What would her daddy say? As a long-standing judge, he was sort of a colleague of Andrew’s. She closed her eyes and rocked forward and back on the edge of the couch.

“What if I’m overreacting?” If only this was a bad dream. Yet, did she really want that? An undercurrent that felt vaguely like relief trickled through the anger and humiliation and doubts.

“About which part, your fiancé cheating or who he was cheating with?” Wyatt stuck a hand into his pocket, came out with the thong and tossed it on her lap.

She leapt up and brushed it off as if she were Miss Muffet and it was a venomous, hairy, black spider. She kicked at it with the toe of her shoe. The red heart mocked her from the black lace. Yet the little girl who’d shared her pimento cheese sandwich with Bree every day during kindergarten wanted to be wrong.

She sank back down to the edge of the couch, feeling like she was shoring up the situation with Scotch tape. “There could be a reasonable explanation. Like she and Andrew went to lunch and for some reason she had them in her purse and they fell out. Maybe I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion.”

“Maybe.” He shrugged. She appreciated the fact he wasn’t calling her on her BS excuses even though his face was the definition of skeptical.

“You sure you don’t mind giving me a ride?” she asked.

“I’ll get rid of your friend and take you home. That should buy you some time to figure things out. Confront her on your terms.”

Her initial impressions of Wyatt Abbott were from the viewpoint of a preteen girl. Back then, she’d been self-conscious of her skinny arms and legs and flyaway hair, and whenever she’d come to the garage with her daddy, Wyatt had made it his mission to tease her mercilessly.

What was he now? On the surface, she’d label him a good old boy. Fun, flirty, simple. Except, his gray eyes were anything but. Not flat like shale, but ready to spark a fire like a flint. Raw emotions provided a sharp awareness. Her memories of him urged her to be cautious with her trust, yet his jaw was set and his shoulders were rolled forward as if ready and willing to go into battle.

“Why?” she finally whispered.

“Why what?”

“Why are you being so nice to me? You hated me as a kid.”

Hated you?” He stuffed his hands into his pockets and tipped his head enough to shutter his intensity of his eyes. “I never hated you, in fact . . .” He shook his head.

“In fact what?”

“Not important. Simply put, unlike your fiancé and your friend, I’m not an asshole. If you don’t need me—”

“No, I do need you.” She stood but misjudged how close he was. They weren’t touching, but she could feel his heat and appreciate his strength. “I just . . .”

Wyatt Abbott was handsome, but even more potent than his looks was an intangible confidence and ease with himself. The man probably talked a different woman out of her panties every weekend. Would he cash in on her humiliation for a good story to tell brothers and drinking buddies? Did it even matter? Whether it was him or someone else, rumors would rush through the town like their river after a storm

Insecurities pinged between her head and heart, the message clear. Protect yourself. But surely, she could at least trust him to get her home. “I would really appreciate a lift home.”

He chaffed her arms like a coach might comfort a little kid after a loss. “It’ll be okay. You wait here while I handle your friend, okay?”

She nodded, and he strode back toward the garage. Highlighted in a shaft of sunlight, he hesitated at the metal door they’d ducked through and glanced behind him. A zing of warning—or premonition?—skittered down her spine.

Her life had been spun into chaos, yet in that moment, she felt connected to Wyatt in a way that terrified her. Then he disappeared, and she waited to discover out if her trust had once again been misplaced.

Copyright © 2017 by Laura Trentham and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

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About the Author

Laura Trentahm IIAn award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.

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