Play by Piper Lawson (Review)



A book that shot up my 2016 favorite books list is this month’s recommendation. Read on for all the details, my book review, and how to enter for a chance to win a magic 8 ball and also get to name a secondary character in the follow up of PLAY!

This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

PLAY
Piper Lawson
Publication date: August 15th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

I’m Payton Blake. A successful, balanced twenty-something living the dream.

OK. So it’s a big, shiny-ass lie.I could be all of those things. If I had friends outside of work. And if I didn’t mainline watermelon slushies like they were a food group. It wouldn’t hurt if I’d had sex in the last year, either. (My best friend insists Jorge the Nightstand Boyfriend doesn’t count.)

But when you know where you’re headed, who needs to enjoy the ride? Even if part of me longed for a little between-the-sheets adventure, Max Donovan would be the last guy I’d call.Sure, he made the indie video game that broke the internet. His eyebrow piercing’s sexy, in an ‘are-you-in-a-band?’ kind of way, and fighting with him gets me off faster than Jorge on bezerker mode. But he’s arrogant. Presumptuous. Colder than a cactus and twice as prickly. And I’m not talking about his face, because the guy’s barely old enough to shave.None of it changes the fact that I crave Max Donovan like a watermelon slushy on a hot summer day.

I should ignore him. But I can’t, because he just became my biggest client. And whether he’ll admit it or not, he needs me even more than I need him.

So what happens when the girl who lives to work goes head-to-head with the guy who was born to PLAY?
Game on, Max Donovan.PLAY is a sassy standalone romantic comedy about life, love, and video games. For 18+ due to language and Kindle-incinerating steamy scenes.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

The one thing I love in romance novels is the one thing I rarely find. Relatable characters. And by that I don’t mean characters with a couple of traits that simply make them fall into a category with a neon sign screaming “a-hole bad boy” or “dominant CEO” or even “brooding hermit”. I mean 3-D real people with complex stories that make their reactions hard to predict. Heroes that don’t make you roll your eyes.

That’s where Piper Lawson delivers in spades. Max and Payton became my friends overnight. He’s way more complex than a sexy gaming genius geek. She’s way more interesting than a bank junior associate missing dates over balance sheets. And their relationship is way more plausible than your standard insta-attraction that goes wrong.

There’s scorching sexual tension, enough false-starts to want you to eat your Kindle but when these two do hook-up it’s the fourth of July. And it’s not just the build-up and the hot sex. It’s that by the time it happens, you’ll know both of them so well you won’t want to let go.

That’s the recipe for a book you won’t easily forget.

Author Bio:

Join my Insiders list now for a steamy exclusive excerpt! ➜ http://eepurl.com/bNQmYT

I love reading and writing about sassy, sexy, smart women and the guys who fall hard for them. Schooled is the introduction to my Travesty series about ambitious girls who chase their dreams of a fashion label from California to New York and back again.

My main household expenditures include books, coffee and chocolate, not necessarily in that order. Coffee = life (and I’ll defend it accordingly). I have two business degrees, neither of which I’ve leveraged into a fashion label.

Home is Canada plus occasional sunny winter escapes. Come find me on the tennis court, at the beach, on the web at http://www.piperlawsonbooks.com or on twitter @piperjlawson.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Undercover with the Earl by Robyn DeHart (Review)

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An appetite-whetting first book in a new historical romance series by National Bestselling author Robyn DeHart is on the menu today. Read on for full details of Undercover with the Earl,
my 4-star review, a tantalizing excerpt and to find out how you can win a $25 eGift Card to choice book retailers. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

Undercover with the Earl

Brotherhood of the Sword # 1
By: Robyn DeHart
Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: August 10, 2015
Purchase LinksAmazon
| B&N | Kobo | iTunes

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Official Synopsis

London, 1838

The handsome Earl of Summersby may just be the most eligible bachelor in London, but has no interest in a wife. As a member of the Brotherhood, Bennett Haile is far more vested in his undercover duties for the crown and protecting the Queen from would-be assassins. For now he has the perfect tool with which to lure out the villains—a young woman with an uncanny likeness to the queen.

The spirited Evelyn Marington is about to live out every country girl’s dream—becoming royalty overnight. Under the tutelage of the arrogant Earl of Summersby, she’ll have to fool the entire court that she is, in fact, the queen. But as danger threatens from every side, Bennett realizes that his lovely little protegé isn’t just placing her life in his hands… She’s stealing his heart.

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My Review

She: Evelyn Marrington, 21, an aspiring novelist wants nothing more than solitude to read and write. Her biggest challenge? Her mother of five daughters, bent on marrying her off. Even to an elderly man with eleven children.

He: Bennett Haile, Earl of Summersby, a massively-built man, a secret member of the Brotherhood, sworn to protect the new Queen of England—Evelyn’s look-a-like.

The conflict: Bennett’s objection to Evelyn going undercover in place of the queen, clashing with his forbidden attraction to her.

The setting: England, 1838

The chemistry: Hot and bothered—literally by both parties.

The good stuff: This was a quick and enjoyable read. Both main characters are convincing and likeable, especially Evelyn with the inherent curiosity of a novelist, and an unconventional outlook on life.

The other stuff: I found the portrayal of the era somewhat lacking. A good part of the story takes place inside Buckingham Palace, but there’s nothing “showing” it. I also felt that Bennett’s backstory—his family’s traumas—needed further exploring.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, but felt the lushness of the story would be better served in a full-length novel.

Enter here for a chance to win the following:

Grand Prize: $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Retailer (Amazon, B&N or iTunes)

First Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Forbidden Love Series; A Little Bit Wicked, A Little Bit Sinful and A Little Bit Scandalous

Second Prize: Gifted Ebook Copies of the Masquerading Mistresses Series of novellas; No Ordinary Mistress, For Her Spy Only and Misadventures in Seduction

Excerpt

“Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I must evaluate how you walk.”

She gaped at him. “How I walk?”

“Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.”

“Is there something wrong with how I walk?”

“Your walk is …” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.”

“Are you staying I’m clumsy?” Her gaze sparked with indignation, but perhaps a flash of pain as well. “I am well aware that I lack the grace and cultivation of my older sisters, but I assure you I am not some clumsy oaf who can’t be trusted to walk into a room.”

He drew in a deep breath, praying for patience. This was why he wasn’t yet married. This was why he was absolutely the wrong man for this job.

“Your mannerisms must match hers,” he said tightly.

She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths before standing, then walked across the room. It was not a clumsy or awkward gait, but not regal either.

“No.” He shook his head. “Try it again but slower, yet with more purpose.”

She crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “This is ridiculous.”

He allowed his gaze to linger on her tempting curves before stepping over to her. “Miss Marrington, do you want to do this assignment or not?”

Her mouth opened, then she paused and her brows slanted down in anger. “My Lord, I realize that you are an Earl and of relation to our Queen and our Society deems you more important than I. Perhaps they are even correct; however, it would seem to me that you,” she jabbed a finger into his chest, “need me more than I need you for this assignment. Thus far you have insulted my family, the way I walk and my hair. You are arrogant and rude and sorely lacking in manners.” Her hands fisted on her hips accenting their roundedness.

How was it that this little slip of a woman shoed no fear of him? He’d frightened women merely by walking into their drawing room. And here, he was being a bully—and for good reason—to Evelyn Marrington, but she was quite obviously not afraid of him. He couldn’t help but find that both infuriating and alluring.

“You have obviously decided that I do not possess the intelligence nor grace to succeed in this charade. I will not stand for this sort of treatment. I should like a carriage to bring me home on the morrow. Good day, Lord Somersby.” She turned and marched from the room.

He watched her go in complete disbelief. No one had ever spoken to him in such a way. Arrogant and rude! She was the only lacking in manners. This entire assignment echoed with idiocy. Ellis had claimed his cousin amiable and clever, neither of which Bennett had seen. All he had witnessed was her sharp tongue.

Damned if he didn’t find her sass alluring as hell. All the more reason to send her back home and tell Potterfield she refused to participate. Bennett couldn’t be blamed for this failure if she was the one who walked away. This would work out perfectly. He’d get to continue with the Brotherhood and not be distracted by the ridiculously attractive and fiery-tongued Miss Marrington. It would almost be worth completing the assignment just to see if she was as passionate in other areas. Almost.

About the Author

Robyn_DeHartNational Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart’s novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader’s Crown and a Reviewer’s Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras. Known for her “strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page” (RT Bookclub) and her “sizzling romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.

When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it’s hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.
Connect with the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Seduce by Jennifer Snyder (Giveaway & Excerpt)

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Seduce is Book 1 of the Succubus Kiss series by Jennifer Snyder. A young, reluctant succubus tries to conform to a life among other supernatural beings and a feeding habit she hates. She’s vowed not to date humans (how could she not kiss them) though how can she resist a gorgeous vampire whom she can kiss all she wants? But her world hides more than meets the eye.

Read on for all the book details and a spot on excerpt. Also, find out how you can enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Seduce by Jennifer Snyder

(Succubus Kiss, #1)
Publication date: February 24th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Purchase Link: Amazon  |  B&N

Seduce

Official Synopsis

Life isn’t so bad for succubus, Kenna Blake. True, she seems to be the only succubus with a conscience and a specific strategy for finding her male meals, but she has a cute new apartment, a budding graphic design business, and the most unique friends she’s ever had.

Her personal love life, however, is non-existent.

Until the legendary vampire Randal Vincent sweeps into her life. Even though he isn’t someone she set out to date, at least she can kiss him without killing him. But when you’re dating someone who’s the inspiration for Dracula, there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way…

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Enter here for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Excerpt

Without hesitation I headed in the direction of the restrooms. Running my fingers through my hair, I entered the hall. I tried to wipe every ounce of disgust from what I was about to do off my face.
I hated that this was part of who I was now.
There was no denying it though, no way to ignore it, not if I wanted to live. That was the truth about being a succubus. I could hate it all I wanted, but feeding was still a necessity.
Footsteps behind me caught my attention. I twisted my lips into a provocative smile as I spun to face my nameless conquest for the night. My eyes skimmed his features. Up close he was even more handsome than I first thought, not to mention taller. Hovering over my five-foot-two frame, I guessed he had to be close to six foot one. Sandy hair gelled and spiked to perfection was what my eyes landed on next, before moving to take in his eye color—brown. This was a letdown. Someone as handsome as he was should have an equally striking eye color. Not this guy. He was stuck with shit brown.
There was a joke in there somewhere about how that was probably fitting. It rested on the tip of my tongue as I continued to stare into his dull and ordinary eyes.
“Hey.” He flashed me a crooked smile, one I could tell was completely orchestrated and used often. “How you doin’?”
I fought to keep my lips soft and my smile in place, while cramming down the laugh that desperately wanted to bust free. Did he really think that line would get him somewhere with me? Obviously he’d watched one too many reruns of Friends. For the record, Joey said it way better.
“I’m good.” I leaned against the wall and looked up at him through my lashes. “How are you?”
Gripping his chin, he smoothed his hand over the slight scruff present and deepened his smile. His eyes swept over me in a devouring way. I could barely see the orange-red of his aura due to all the bright red now present in it. My lips twisted into a wicked smirk. He was beyond lustful, which was a good thing.
“Could be better.” His voice was heavy with cockiness. “But I think that’s what you called me back here for. Am I right? Are you going to make my evening a whole lot better, you cute little thing?” One of his brows arched as the same flicker of amusement danced behind his eyes.

Direct. He didn’t beat around the bush. I could handle getting right down to the nitty-gritty without having to keep up the act of being interested in him for longer than I wanted.

About the Author

SnyderJennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing new adult and young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is a tea lover with an obsession for Post-it notes and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.
Connect with the Author

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Make You Burn (The Deacons of Bourbon Street #1) by Megan Crane

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Bikers who are hell on wheels and heaven between the sheets promises the blurb. And in New Orleans. Who’s on for the ride of a lifetime? Read on for full details about Make You Burn by USA Today bestselling author, Megan Crane, find out how to enter a giveaway for Loveswept goodies plus a tantalizing excerpt. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.

Make You Burn
The Deacons of Bourbon Street # 1

By: Megan Crane
Releasing August 4, 2015
Loveswept
Purchase Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes  | Kobo

Make You Burn

Official Synopsis

Meet the Deacons of Bourbon Street, bad boy bikers who are hell on wheels—and heaven between the sheets. Megan Crane revs up an irresistible new series co-written with Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.

Sean “Ajax” Harding’s oaths are inked into his skin. Once second-in-command of the Deacons of Bourbon Street motorcycle club, he left New Orleans to protect the brotherhood, and only the death of his beloved mentor, Priest Lombard, could lure him back. Walking into the old hangout gives him a familiar thrill—especially when he gets an eyeful of the bar’s delectable new owner. A wild ride with her is just the welcome Ajax needs. Then he realizes that she’s Priest’s daughter, all grown up and totally off limits.

Sophie Lombard loved her father, not his lifestyle. She’s done with bikers . . . until Ajax roars into town—arrogant, tough, and sexy as ever. And although he treats her like the Catholic schoolgirl he once knew, Sophie’s daydreams tend to revolve around sin. With the very real possibility of heartbreak looming, Sophie knows better than to get too close to an outlaw. But every touch from Ajax is steamier than the Louisiana bayou—and heat like this may just be worth getting burned.

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Enter here for a chance to win the following:

One Loveswept Mug

One Flirt Mug

Ebook copies of:

  • JUST A LITTLE CRUSH by Renita Pizzitola
  • CRUSHED by Lauren Layne
  • AGAINST THE CAGE by Sidney Halston
  • POSSESS by Laura Marie Altom
  • AFTER MIDNIGHT by Kathy Clark
  • MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane
  • MY HIGHLAND LOVER by Maeve Greyson
  • BREAKING NOAH by Missy Johnson and Ashley Suzanne
  • A FASHIONABLE INDULGENCE by K.J. Charles
  • FORBIDDEN by Jacquelyn Frank

About the Author

Megan_CraneMegan Crane is a New Jersey native who had great plans to star on Broadway, preferably in Evita, just like Patti LuPone. Sadly, her inability to wow audiences with her singing voice required a back-up plan. Accordingly, she graduated from Vassar College and got her MA and PhD in literature from the University of York in England. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on AIDS literature, mostly so she could wallow in her obsession with the remarkable multimedia artist David Wojnarowicz and her idol, the bitter and hilarious David Feinberg. After many years in the rain and subject to the whim of seasons, she followed the sun to Los Angeles, where she lives with too many pets and an artist named Jeff. She is still plotting her Broadway debut.

Author Links:   Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Website:  http://www.megancrane.com/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MeganCraneAndCaitlinCrews
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/megancrane
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/121724.Megan_Crane

Excerpt

She was an accident waiting to happen.

To him, if he had anything to say about it. And he usually did.

Sean Harding—who answered only to his biker road name, Ajax, and he could count the number of times he’d had to correct someone about that on one hand—figured she was his own fucked up Welcome Back card after ten years of exile from the only home he’d ever known.

And as welcomes went, she’d do.

She was a lick of sweet sugar on a sweaty Louisiana afternoon like this one, still hot as hell in early October. She wore tight and sparkling gold hot pants that made her fine ass into a kind of bayou music, sexy and dark. She was in high, high shoes that showed off long legs made to wrap tight around a man’s back while he fucked them both through the nearest wall. She had a giant, golden, feather headdress on her head that moved when she did, a glittery mask across her eyes in case he’d forgotten he was back in the great and gritty pageant of New Orleans and all its masquerades, and most important, she wore nothing but tasseled gold pasties on her perfect, mouthwatering tits.

None of which would have been worthy of notice or comment on Bourbon Street after dark, in all its edgy commotion and the enveloping, inviting sin on all sides, but it was high noon on a goddamned Tuesday and she was moving gracefully in and out of groups of tourists in pastels and fanny packs who were still sober enough to keep their hands to themselves—if not their eyes. Or their cameras.

Home sweet fucking home, Ajax thought in a hard kind of satisfaction, following the twitch of her ass as she sauntered straight down the center of dirty, dangerous, sometimes magical Bourbon Street in the direction of the Priory, the bar that had once been the center of his entire world. Almost like she knew he was heading there now, and was leading him home like the horny, not-too-bright but clearly exhibitionist stripper he sincerely hoped she was.

Well. It had been home until ten years ago when Priest, the only version of a father Ajax had ever acknowledged, much less respected, had issued the order that changed everything. And Ajax might have told his actual, biological father to go fuck himself—a message he’d backed up with his fists, a piece of rebar, and his first arrest for assault when he’d been all of fourteen—but Priest had been the President of the Deacons of Bourbon Street Motorcycle Club and Ajax didn’t defy his MC’s orders. He’d been the VP, a position he’d fucking earned. He’d obeyed and enforced his president’s orders, even the ones he didn’t like, because they’d been good for the club and that was the only thing that had mattered to him.

It still was.

Even if that kind of blood loyalty meant he’d had to leave his beloved club, his brothers, and his city behind in the wake of a bullshit deal gone bad, all a part of Priest’s attempts to bring the once-outlaw MC over to the right side of the law. Less hassle, more money, Priest had said, and Ajax had backed him.

Ajax had always backed Priest. He’d taken an oath to the Deacons when he was sixteen, the youngest full member ever to be patched into the club, and he’d meant every word. He was a man whose oaths were inked into his skin, his promises visible art he wore on his body and had carved into it, proudly. He didn’t break his fucking promises.

He believed in the life he’d chosen. Even if he’d been exiled from that life for the past ten years.

But now Priest was dead. And that changed everything. It had brought Ajax home at last. He’d been on his bike and headed east from Houston within the hour of getting that call from the Deacons’ old lawyer.

He hadn’t particularly enjoyed the life he’d crafted for himself since he’d left New Orleans. Ajax had been an excellent mercenary, mostly because he hadn’t given much of a shit if he survived each operation. And maybe because of that, he and the outfit he’d worked for were damned good at what they did. Sometimes they’d acted as security for shady motherfuckers who wanted the nuclear option at their fingertips should shit fall apart, which it often did. Sometimes they’d operated as their own form of Special Forces for assholes who could afford to buy their own, personal armies. They sold their services to the highest bidder and they didn’t ask any questions. It was nothing Ajax hadn’t done in one form or another for his club, but it wasn’t his club.

It was never his club.

Mercenary work was a collection of dangerous men who happened to band together and might at any moment shoot each other in the back if shit went down that way, never a brotherhood. Never any kind of family.

Never a cause Ajax would consider wearing on his own skin.

Ajax had always intended to return to his home and his club one day. Preferably by riding his shit-kicking Dyna, black as sin and a hundred times louder, straight into the heart of the French Quarter with his cut on his back and his middle finger held high. But ten years of working as a hired gun in some of the world’s least hospitable places—worse, even, than the shithole shack out in the bayou where he’d been born and beaten on by his drunk asshole of a father for his first fourteen years—had taught him the value of reconnaissance and restraint. Or anyway, how to fake it when it suited him.

Thinking about ancient history and all the grief that went along with it pissed him off.

And when Ajax got pissed off, he fought or he fucked until he felt right again, and not always in that order.

So when Miss Gold Hot Pants pushed her way past a pack of drooling engineer-types, all chinos and narrow shoulders, to enter the Priory, Ajax decided it was a sign. He could keep his grief and his fury to himself. And he wouldn’t mind a quick, hot, satisfying bang in the Priory toilets to take the edge off the only version of mourning he’d allow himself, before he got down to business. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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Making a Comeback by Kristina Mathews (Virtual Tour)

A hot but shamed baseball star and a hot but scarred ex-model try to overcome their shortcomings and fears in this heartwarming romance by Kristina Mathews. Read on for all the book’s details, an excerpt and to find out how you can win a $15.00 Amazon or B&N eGift Card. This book tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours

MAKING A COMEBACK
More Than a Game #3
Kristina Mathews
Releasing July 7th, 2015
Lyrical Press: Shine

With a divorce in the works, Annabelle Jones heads out to Southern California, the land of sun and starting over. She wants to prove to herself and her young daughters that she still has what it takes to turn heads as a swimsuit model—that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Until an accident forces her to rely on the hunky, yet mysterious man next door…

Nathan Cooper is trying to revive his own career. Once a top left-handed relief pitcher, he tried to get over a hidden injury with the aid of banned substances. Not only was he caught and suspended, he was traded and missed out on winning the championship. Now he’s a free agent without a contract, and that means life is ready to play ball…

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“Hi.” Annabelle stood on his doorstep with a smile and the bottle of healing lotion. “I tried this stuff on my shoulder and it works. It really works.”

“Good. I’m glad.” He was also relieved she wasn’t here for an emergency. “It’s all-natural. Really, not just as an advertising claim. It’s made by a little old lady from—”

“Pasadena?” She interrupted him with a wide grin and a twinkle in her beautiful blue eyes.

“No. Mendocino.” Why did she have to be so great? Funny and sweet and appreciative. Why couldn’t she be more like her ex? A spoiled, rich asshole.

“And have you met this little old lady personally?” She still had a smile on her face. Or most of her face, the left side didn’t quite go up as much as her right, with the giant gash on her face.

He clenched his fists to keep from reaching for her. “Yes. I have. She was at a farmer’s market and she charmed me into buying a whole case of the stuff.”

“Well, I’m glad you did, because it really does help.” Annabelle moved toward him, as if she wanted to come in. Or tell him a secret. “But I can’t reach my back. Would you mind?”

Oh hell.

He stepped back so she could come in. She smelled of lavender and rosemary and eucalyptus and something even sweeter.

A hard rock song blasted from his weight room speakers.

“Let me go turn that off.” He moved down the hallway and she followed.

Annabelle stopped in the doorway of the dining room he’d converted to a home gym and laughed. “Is that me? I don’t remember them doing a poster of that cover.”

“They didn’t. I had it done.” It had been ten years ago and he still hung the framed picture in every place he lived. “A buddy of mine worked at this place that could turn anything into a poster for twenty bucks.”

“Twenty bucks, huh?” She gave him a look that might have been disapproving, if not for the way her eyes crinkled at the corners and her lips twitched trying to hold back a smile. “That’s some pretty expensive artwork.”

“I paid another thirty for the frame.” He stood there feeling every bit the twenty-one-year-old who’d been so obsessed with Annabelle he’d convinced his friend to risk his job in making the poster when he didn’t have the rights to the photo.

“Fifty bucks, huh. Quite an investment.”

“I was young. I wanted to class up my first apartment.” He wondered briefly if she would have been interested in him back then. Would she have even looked twice at an up-and-coming ballplayer who thought he was the next hot prospect?

“I was even younger.” She approached the poster he had hanging over his weight bench. There was something almost wistful in her tone. “I was so young.”

He watched her study herself and wondered what she must be thinking. Probably that he was some kind of stalker and she would be calling her lawyer when she got home.

“So you really do use me.” She laughed, turning around to show an amused grin on her face. “Does that help you add cardio to your workouts?”

“Huh?” He was surprised at how lightly she was taking this.

“You know, getting your heart rate up?” Her gaze drew over him, settling just below his waist. “Among other things.”

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Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer
was because she was busy writing.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in
some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a
black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.
 
 

Othello Station by Rachael Wade (Excerpt & Giveaway)

“Sometimes, the fire is what saves you.” With a blurb that ends like this, how can you resist reading Rachael Wade’s new romance, Othello Station? Read on for all the book details, a tantalizing excerpt and how to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card. This book tour is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Othello Station by Rachael Wade

Publication date: June 22nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance

Purchase Links: Amazon

Othello

Official Synopsis

Every woman in my life is supposed to be like Othello Station – a last stop. Unless they know how to keep their distance. I’ve managed to maintain a routine, one that works for me and one I have no intention of ever changing. But this dove came along. Soft and delicate, tainting my thoughts. I can think of twenty different ways to get rid of her. I need this dove to take flight.

But she won’t fly away.

She won’t release me from her cage.

Her wings ensnare me.

And now I want to get off this train. I wish I never boarded this ride. Because I’m about to crash and take this dove with me. But sometimes you can’t stop the crash. Sometimes you just have to hang on and let the flames ignite. Let the fire burn.

Sometimes, the fire is what saves you.

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Excerpt

Not even a minute passes when I realize I have no glasses. Not even little plastic cups in the bathroom. Seriously? This is a four star hotel in downtown Seattle. The reviews are great; the place is clean, classy, and well kept. And yet they leave one chick to fend for herself at the front desk and fail to provide even the most basic necessities in the rooms? I’m a hotel snob. My standards might be high. But seriously? This shit is crazy. I throw on my coat, jog out of the room, and head down to the front desk.

Again.

Mira’s on the phone, making a coffee for a displeased customer, and attempting to shuffle through a pile of paperwork. When she spots me, she eyes me cautiously for a moment, then returns her attention to the multitasking at hand.

I wander to the edge of the desk and wait patiently until she serves the coffee and hangs the phone up. Her nose scrunches and she winces. “Is the wine no good? Do you want that cash back? Because—”

“No.” I lift a hand. “I just need some glasses.”

“There are none in your room?”

“Nope.”

She bites her lip, and my gaze follows. It’s far from seductive. She’s nervous as hell. But something about it makes my cock twitch. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. Unless you’re the housekeeping department, too. In which case, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

She jumps toward the bar and begins the search for the glasses. “No,” she laughs awkwardly, “of course not.”

“Well. That’s a relief.”

She returns with one glass.

“I need two. I’m having company.”

She’s dumbstruck. A tinge of red paints her cheeks. “Oh! Yes, of course.” She hands me a second. “Anything else for you?”

“Yeah…” I veer around the desk toward the bar and snatch a menu from the counter. “Can I order some food to go?”

“Absolutely. Give me just a second.” She straightens a pile of paperwork and reaches for a notepad before joining me at the cash till. I watch her glance over her shoulder, then eye the phone. She’s a million miles away. She’s overwhelmed, is what she is.

“Are you the cook, too?”

“Pfftt.” She waves and puffs her lips. “God, no.”

“Actually, nevermind.” I set the menu down and slide the glasses toward her. “I’ll be back to get these. I’m going to grab something to eat around the corner instead, here in Belltown.”

“Wait! You don’t have to do that. I’m really not the cook, I swear!”

“I certainly hope not.” My bland expression must affect her, because she retreats right back into her shell, like a scared turtle.

“Well, I’d be happy to recommend some places to eat.” Her voice softens, and I suddenly feel like an asshole. I’m good at that, apparently.

“I know Belltown pretty well. Thanks, though.”

Her shoulders sag a little, but she smiles kindly and wishes me a good night. I head outside into nightfall and sail around the corner, crossing two blocks until I reach my favorite dive bar. I order wings and a salad to go and wait outside while they put my order in.

Asian lovers stroll by, feeding one another gelato. A valet driver whistles at his colleague from the curb, his face lighting up with laughter. So much life, buzzing all around me, but nothing dwells within. Not since he passed away. Not since I’ve dedicated every ounce of energy to my work. My job as a graphic designer fuels me, brings me joy, but not life. Not the kind that existed before.

Now I rely on biking, hiking, and women to dull the ache. We all have vices. I’d like to think mine are healthy. Biking equals exercise and fresh air. Win. Hiking equals more exercise and more fresh air. Double win. Women equals sex, and we all need that. Triple win.

Still, somewhere, the light faded out. And I don’t even know how to begin getting it back.

About the Author

DSCN0728-Copy-300x2801Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.

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Love Always, Damian by D. Nichole King (Book Blast)

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“Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone.” A heart-wrenching New Adult romance is today’s suggestion. Love Always, Damian by D. Nichole King is the follow-up to Love Always, Kate which is now FREE on Amazon. Read on for the book details, a spot-on excerpt and a chance to win a free ebook. This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Love Always, Damian by D. Nichole King

(Love Always #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Purchase Link: Amazon

Damian

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Synopsis:

They say time heals all wounds.

What a load of bull. It’s been four years, and Kate’s voice still echoes in my mind.

Every. Damn. Day.

I numb her memory when it taunts me. In college, I drown her out with booze and easy lays. I can’t do what she asked

I can’t let her go.

Not even when Lia shows up, freaking ripping what’s left of me to shreds. Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone. I didn’t ask for this. Didn’t ask for her.

And I sure as hell didn’t plan to miss her when she walked out of my front door.

Now, if I want to keep her, I have to straighten myself out and earn her. I can’t screw this up.

Because if I do, I’ll lose more than just Lia.

I’ll lose my life.

A lucky visitor who leaves a comment will win an ebook of Love Always, Damian.

Also, for a chance to win a

  • Signed paperback from each book of the series (Love Always, Kate; Eight Days; Love Always, Damian)

ENTER HERE

Excerpt

Damian

It takes me an hour to get to the cemetery. After Mom and Liam died, I never stepped foot here. Not until Kate convinced me to come. It had been one of her five wishes. One through three I’d done because she was with me. Because I loved her. I promised her number four, so I followed through. Number five, though?

Number five is impossible.

I come here often now—day, night, whenever I need to be close to her. Even in death, Kate draws me in. To this place where she’d only trodden once when she was alive.

I grab the three bouquets of flowers from the passenger seat and swing the door open. When Kate brought me here four years ago, I barely managed to get out of the car. Now it’s easy.

Too fucking easy.

I don’t even think about coming anymore. It’s automatic. Routine, like my nightly shots of whiskey.

It shouldn’t be like this. In three short years I lost the three people I loved most. Death sucks, and I’ve had my fill.

I slam the door closed and tread over the grass. The three identical stones jut up from the ground, and even when I’m here after dark, I don’t have a problem seeing them. They’re etched into my memory.

The idea to have Kate buried here beside my mother and brother was entirely mine and entirely selfish. The Browdys had asked me to help with her funeral arrangements, and other than the time of the graveside service, this had been my only request. This way she’d be close to me.

Shade from the elder tree casts a shadow over them. I stand inside its cover from the sun, facing the cold memorials. These pieces of granite have no real connection with the people they were.

Hell, they didn’t even pick them out. Didn’t see them, yet their names, dates of birth and death are etched into them as if they’d been owned by those they claim to represent.

Cemeteries—these stones—aren’t for the dead.

No, they’re for the living.

My gaze trails over the Celtic symbols engraved at the center of each one. Identical to the tattoos inked into my body. Faith. Brotherhood. Hope.

My eyes linger on Kate’s as they usually do, and the memory of when I’d given her the trinity heart necklace pours over me.

“It’s the Celtic symbol for hope. Now you’ll always know where to find it,” I’d told her.

Damn. I’d given it to her so she’d think of me whenever she needed me, but really, it was I who needed her.

I take a deep breath to hold myself together. I lost everything the day Kate died.

I rake a hand through my hair and shut my eyes. Out here, away from everyone, I don’t have to pretend that I have a fucking clue how to live without her.

Out here, it’s just me.

In front of Kate’s gravestone, I lower myself to the ground, dropping the flowers at my side. My chest is empty, yet somehow, it hurts. It’s the same damn thing year after year—aching to see her smile at me just one more time. One more and I’d be satisfied, I tell myself.

I know it’s a lie because one more smile from her would never be enough. I need to touch her, run my fingers over her warm skin and protect the hell out of her.

But I’m a failure. I had the power within me, in my blood, to save her, and I failed.

I can barely see the inches in front of me as I break down. Four years ago, my father sat here with me and told me the pain would never go away, but it would lessen over time.

What a load of bullshit; the pain has only grown.

“I miss you so damn much, Katie,” I say even though she can’t hear me. And that thought kicks me in the gut as much as anything. No matter what I say to her now, she’ll never know any of it.

I slide my fingertips over her name: Kathryn “Katie” Browdy. Seventeen short years on this earth and I only had her last months. They were the best months of my life.

I sit with her until the sun begins to send streaks of gold over the horizon. Even though Kate would be disappointed, I need to pick up more liquor before I head home. I have to have something to get me through this pain.

A gust of wind rustles the dead flowers I left on their graves last week. I scoop them up and replace them with the fresh ones I brought. Daisies for my mother, some generic flowers he wouldn’t give a shit about for Liam, and red roses for Kate.

Always red roses for my Katie.

“Love you, Mom,” I murmur, fanning out the daisies in the vase beside her headstone.

Then I move onto Liam’s. “Take care of my girl, man,” I tell him, then I remember how I’d taken care of his. “But if you touch her, I’ll fucking kill you.”

I squat down and lay Kate’s roses at the base of her stone. There’s nothing I could say to her that I haven’t already said a million times. So I settle for the words I couldn’t say until just before she died. “I love you, baby. I’ll always love you.”

About the Author

DNicholeBorn and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.

She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now, she can’t stop.When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.

Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. A man who never reads lives only one.” –George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons.

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