Apr 27

Could Have Been Us by Corinne Michaels Release Blitz with Excerpt

COULD HAVE BEEN US, a brother’s best friend, secret love, small town romance from New York Times Bestselling Author, Corinne Michaels, is available now! Scroll down for an excerpt!

We belong together and there’s no use denying it any longer…

 

New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels returns to the Willow Creek Valley Series in this stunning small town, brother’s best friend romance.

Fifteen years ago, I fell for Jack O’Donnell.

I was just a girl, but I knew my brother’s best friend was the only man I’d ever love.

On my eighteenth birthday, when I asked him to kiss me, I never imagined it would change my life so completely.

I gave Jack everything that night.

In order to move on, we had to go our separate ways and pretend like nothing happened… as though it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life.

But even that wasn’t as heartbreaking as the secret we were forced to keep.

I’ve tried not to think about how much I still love him. How I long to be back in his strong arms or the way his hazel eyes make my heart race.

Until he kisses me again. And this time there’s no turning back. This time I know what it means.

We belong together and there’s no use denying it any longer.

But our feelings aren’t the only thing that won’t stay buried, our past resurfaces and threatens to destroy our second chance at happiness.

When our love is tested once again, will we be strong enough to stand together?

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  Audible

Audiobook narrated by: Ava Erickson & Jason Clarke

 

Add to Goodreads 

 

 

“An all-consuming second-chance romance … I loved every word…”  ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

EXCERPT:

I walk over to the bar and grab a drink while I do my best to forget the last three minutes of my life. I’ve been handling things with Stella. I’ve learned that love isn’t for me. I don’t get the girl in the end, she’s not for me.

She’s meant for love and happiness and a family.

I toss back the drink the bartender set in front of me. Then, as fate would fucking have it, I feel her beside me.

“I thought weddings were supposed to be happy,” Stella says as she grabs a glass of wine.

“They are.”

She laughs once. “Neither of us looks very happy.”

“We both know the truth about it all.” I turn to her, my elbow resting on the bar.

“And what’s that?”

“That love and happiness don’t go hand in hand.”

Stella shakes her head. “And I thought I was the jaded one.” She brings the glass to her lips and takes a long sip. “That’s where you’re wrong. They are happy because they’re in love.”

“And what about the people who are in love but are miserable?”

She drains her glass and places it down. “Follow me and you can find out.”

There’s no pause before her exit, she just walks out of the tent.

I look around to see if anyone notices, but everyone is drinking, laughing, dancing, and smiling, not paying attention to Stella and me.

So, like a dog with a bone, I follow her. My feet are moving before my mind can think better of it. I trail along the path she took, and when I get to the tree line, she calls my name softly.

I move into the forest, finding her in a small clearing where the sun is coming through the leaves, making her look like an angel.

“What are we doing here?”

She lifts her head, a beam of light catching her dark brown hair and causing it to shimmer. “We’re breathing, Jack.”

“Don’t we pretty much do that each minute?” I ask, moving closer to her.

Like a magnet, she pulls me in.

Her eyes meet mine, and she smiles. “No, I don’t think either of us do. I think we fight it.” She steps toward me. “I think that if we didn’t, if we really inhaled, we’d find that it hurts.”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” I tell her.

“I know.”

“Everything I do is to avoid that.”

Stella takes another step. Slowly, her hand lifts to rest on my cheek. “I know that too, but you avoiding me, Jack, it hurts. I’ve been in love with you for . . . God, fifteen years.”

The restraint I’m using to keep from grabbing her causes my arms to shake. I can’t move or I’ll fuck everything up. I’ll take her in my arms and kiss her until the only breath she knows is mine. I’ll . . . No. I can’t. I won’t.

“This is why love and happiness don’t exist,” I tell her.

“No, it’s because you’re afraid. Tell me you don’t want me right now. Tell me that, when I touch you, you don’t wish it would never end.” She moves closer, her chest brushes against mine, and I swear I’m going to fucking die. “Tell me that you don’t love me the way I love you.”

I have to lie because if I say the truth, then we will just be back where we started. Even if I tell her the truth, it won’t change our circumstances.

I take her wrist, pulling her palm away from my face. “I don’t feel that way.”

Anger flares in those brown eyes. She knows me too well. “So, you’re going to pretend? Like . . . it’s nothing?”

“It’s better this way,” I tell her.

My heart is pounding, and when I try to let her go, she grabs the lapels of my jacket. “We have to deal with this. We can’t . . . we can’t pretend anymore. You still have feelings for me, I know you do!”

Yes, I do. I fucking love her enough to stay away because we will never work.

Instead of telling her that, I dig deeper into the lie. “I don’t.”

She shakes her head, tears starting to fill her gaze. “Lies,” she whispers. “Tell me the truth for once.”

“I do . . . I can’t.”

Why can’t she fucking see it? If I let myself love her, then we won’t be able to go back. We’ll have to tell everyone the truth. The number of lies we’ve told over the years will unravel and it will destroy everything.

“You can’t pretend with me, Jack.” Her hands fall away, and I make a grave mistake.

I reach for her. She comes to me instantly, her hands on my chest as I hold her close, making one last attempt. One chance for her to see what I’m saying before I do everything I said I wouldn’t. “We can’t. God, Stella, we can’t.”

Her eyes flutter, and her lips part. And then, like the bastard I’ve always been, I stop fighting and kiss her.

“Get your fucking hands off my sister,” Grayson says from behind us.

 

 

 


About Corinne Michaels:

Corinne Michaels is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of romance novels. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love, and she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak before finding a way to heal them through their struggles.

Corinne is a former Navy wife and happily married to the man of her dreams. She began her writing career after spending months away from her husband while he was deployed–reading and writing were her escapes from the loneliness. Corinne now lives in Virginia with her husband and is the emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children.

Connect with Corinne:

Website  |  Facebook  |  ReaderGroup  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Book+Main

Stay up to date with Corinne and sign up for her mailing list!

Text CMBOOKS to 77948   (*US only due to carrier restrictions*)

 

 

 

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Apr 27

Could Have Been Us by Corinne Michaels Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels returns to the Willow Creek Valley Series in this stunning small town, brother’s best friend romance.

Fifteen years ago, I fell for Jack O’Donnell.

I was just a girl, but I knew my brother’s best friend was the only man I’d ever love.

On my eighteenth birthday, when I asked him to kiss me, I never imagined it would change my life so completely.

I gave Jack everything that night.

In order to move on, we had to go our separate ways and pretend like nothing happened… as though it wasn’t the greatest moment of my life.

But even that wasn’t as heartbreaking as the secret we were forced to keep.

I’ve tried not to think about how much I still love him. How I long to be back in his strong arms or the way his hazel eyes make my heart race.

Until he kisses me again. And this time there’s no turning back. This time I know what it means.

We belong together and there’s no use denying it any longer.

But our feelings aren’t the only thing that won’t stay buried, our past resurfaces and threatens to destroy our second chance at happiness.

When our love is tested once again, will we be strong enough to stand together?

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

Corinne Michaels is an evil genius. Vicious in the way she toys and torments her readers with the emotions of her characters. She literally warns readers of this in the bio on her website where she states that “she enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak.” And boy does she ever do exactly that. Corinne doles out gut-wrenching stories like a mom passing out juice boxes to toddlers at the park, and I’m right there on the kiddie line for my Capri Sun. Brace for impact, folks, because Ms. Michaels is back, doing her thing and clearly living her best life with her latest novel, Could Have Been Us. A trying and tumultuous tale full of twists and turns, secrets and steam, love and longing. Prepare yourselves because this is one of those can’t-put-it-down but oh-my-gosh-I’m-reading-too-fast kind of stories, and you’re going to love it, I sure did.   

Stella and Jack, the little sister and the older brother’s best friend. A story as old as time, but one Michaels breathes new life into through the trials and tribulations of this couple. Stella and Jack’s story was a second-chance at first love of sorts, but on an epic scale. Having met as children through Jack’s friendship with Stella’s older brother, Grayson, they had their own history and friendship. Those feelings morphed and changed, and their fate was drastically changed one beautiful night. Outside manipulations coupled with poor timing results in an unimaginable sacrifice that left them both broken and scarred in its wake. I felt every single bit of this tragedy and all the resulting pain of it. Neither one of them truly healed or moved on from it, and Michaels left me in tatters as she took me through their heartbreak.

But as Corinne is known to do, she heals her characters, and thus her readers, after she strikes those brutal blows. An unthinkable situation winds its way into salvation for Jack and Stella, forcing them confront their past in surprising ways. I definitely ached for this couple and all that they went through, but I also felt such tremendous hope for them. But what I loved most about them was when they finally made the decision to be together, they were rock solid and all in, regardless of what was thrown at them.

An all-consuming second-chance romance, Could Have Been Us was Corinne Michaels’ signature blend of angsty feels, steam and romance. Michaels storytelling was so incredible in this engrossing love story, and I simply couldn’t tap my Kindle fast enough. I loved every word of this story, and I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. Five smooches from me for Could Have Been Us by Corinne Michaels!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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Apr 26

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout Blog Tour with Excerpt

THE CROWN OF GILDED BONES, the highly anticipated third book in bestselling Blood and Ash series from New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, is out now! Scroll down for an excerpt!

“Armentrout surprises me at every page turn with higher stakes, hotter heat, shocking revelations, and a knows-no-bounds love that hits me deep, and I am here for it.”  ~Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

 

She’s been the victim and the survivor… 

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…  

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

 

 

GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

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Add to Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

A sudden growl of warning came from the largest wolven I’d ever seen. Kieran and Vonetta’s father stood to my right. Jasper had officiated the marriage between Casteel and me in Spessa’s End. He’d been there when Nyktos showed his approval by briefly turning day to night. But now, the steel-hued wolven’s lips peeled back, baring teeth that could tear through flesh and break bone. He was loyal to Casteel, and yet instinct told me that it wasn’t just the guards he warned.

Another snarl came from my left. In the shadows of the blood tree that had sprouted from where my blood had fallen and then grew to a massive height within seconds, a fawn-colored wolven crept into my line of sight, head dipped low, and wintery blue eyes iridescent. Kieran. He stared down Casteel. I didn’t understand why either of them would behave this way toward the Prince, but especially Kieran. He had been bonded to Casteel from birth, meant to obey and protect him at all costs. But he was more than a bonded wolven to Casteel. They were brothers, if not by blood then by friendship, and I knew they loved each other.

Right now, nothing about the way Kieran’s ears were pinned back was loving.

Unease skipped its way through me as Kieran sank down, the sleek muscles of his legs tensing as he prepared to attack…Casteel.

My stomach plummeted. This wasn’t right. None of this was right. “No,” I rasped, my voice hoarse and barely recognizable, even to my ears.

Kieran didn’t appear to hear me or care. If he had been acting normally, I would’ve just assumed he was attempting to ignore me, but this was different. He was different. His eyes were brighter than I ever remembered seeing, and they weren’t right because they…they weren’t just blue now. His pupils glowed silvery-white, an aura that seeped out in wispy tendrils across the blue. My head jerked to Jasper. His eyes had changed, too. I’d seen that strange light before. It had been what my skin had done when I healed Beckett’s broken legs—the same silvery glow that had radiated from me minutes earlier.

Icy bursts of surprise raced through Casteel as he eyed the wolven, and then I felt…relief radiate from him.

“You all knew.” Casteel’s voice filled with awe, something no one standing behind him felt. Even the easy grin was absent from the auburn-haired Atlantian. Emil looked at us with wide eyes, broadcasting a healthy dose of fear, as did Naill, who had always appeared utterly unfazed by everything—even when he’d been outnumbered in battle.

 

 

 


About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

Connect with Jennifer L. Armentrout

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads

Stay up to date with Jennifer by joining her mailing list!

 

 

 

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Apr 23

The Virgin Rule Book by Lauren Blakely Blog Tour

THE VIRGIN RULE BOOK, a friends-to-lovers, brother’s best friend romance launching the brand-new Rules of Love series from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Lauren Blakely, is available now!

The more time I spend with Crosby, the more I keep imagining how much I want him to take my V-card…

 

A sexy, brother’s best friend sports romance from # 1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely!

Let me make a few things clear. I didn’t go to the wedding intending to dance with the best man, to dare him to show me a very sexy pic on his phone, or to accidentally kiss him in the hotel elevator after the reception ended.

But you know how it goes. Things just happen at weddings…

The next day, Crosby and I agree to put all those shenanigans behind us. The fun-loving, stupidly gorgeous, all-star baseball player might be my brother’s best friend, but he’s my friend too and has been for years, so it’s easy to move on, especially because I have a high-profile business to run.

But since he’s newly single and I’m always single, it turns out we both desperately need plus ones. We agree to “publicly date” over the next two weeks of galas, parties and events before his baseball season begins.

The only trouble is the more time I spend with Crosby, the more I keep imagining how much I want him to take my V-card.

And when I broach the possibility with Crosby, his answer surprises the hell out of me.

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon  |  Apple Books  |  B&N  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Audible

Audiobook narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Erin Mallon. 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

“I was so totally swept up in Nadia and Crosby’s love story, I listened to it practically straight through.”  ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

 

 

 


About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible
Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s sweet, sexy and witty. She also writes red-hot, escapist love stories. She’d love to give you a free book today!

Check out her web site to grab your free read: https://laurenblakely.com/one-free-book

 

Connect with Lauren:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

Sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date with Lauren!

 

 

 

 

Apr 23

The Virgin Rule Book by Lauren Blakely Review

5 SMOOCHES!

    

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

A sexy, brother’s best friend sports romance from # 1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely!

Let me make a few things clear. I didn’t go to the wedding intending to dance with the best man, to dare him to show me a very sexy pic on his phone, or to accidentally kiss him in the hotel elevator after the reception ended.

But you know how it goes. Things just happen at weddings…

The next day, Crosby and I agree to put all those shenanigans behind us. The fun-loving, stupidly gorgeous, all-star baseball player might be my brother’s best friend, but he’s my friend too and has been for years, so it’s easy to move on, especially because I have a high-profile business to run.

But since he’s newly single and I’m always single, it turns out we both desperately need plus ones. We agree to “publicly date” over the next two weeks of galas, parties and events before his baseball season begins.

The only trouble is the more time I spend with Crosby, the more I keep imagining how much I want him to take my V-card.

And when I broach the possibility with Crosby, his answer surprises the hell out of me.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

I love a good sports romance as much as the next girl, and Lauren Blakely knocked it out of the park with the first book in the Rules of Love series. I listed to the audio, and Teddy Hamilton and Erin Mallon were perfection. Blakely doubled down with some of my favorite tropes – brother’s best friend and friends-to-lovers – in this sweet and sassy sports romance, and I was here for every word of it.

I loved Nadia. She’s a successful, powerful female NFL team owner holding her own in the male-dominated world of professional sports. But she also had a vulnerable, innocent side, too, that made her quite relatable, despite being a billionaire, and was something that caused problems in her personal life. Crosby, a professional baseball player, is Nadia’s brother’s best friend, and having grown up together, he and Nadia have their own solid friendship rooted in history, respect and a bit of what both assume is some unrequited crushing. With some events coming up that they’ll both be attending, they agree to be each other’s plus one, and this is where the fun begins. Their youthful crushes begin to resurface, and the chemistry begins to sizzle. There was a natural ease between Crosby and Nadia, and it played a big part in the organic transition to lovers. Their romance was positively brimming with all those can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you, crush-turning-to-more kind of feels, and it translated into a feel-good love story was heart-racing and heat-filled.

The thing I love most about Lauren Blakely’s romances is that they aren’t painfully angsty or overly dramatic–they’re the flipside of the coin. She pens love stories that are, cover-to-cover, an absolute pleasure to read. The kinds of books that you’re happy to start and that make you happier the more you read. That’s exactly what kind of book she gives her readers here in The Virgin Rule Book, and I didn’t want to pause this story! I was so totally swept up in Nadia and Crosby’s love story, I listened to it practically straight through. I’m so excited about this series – Lauren introduced several side characters whose stories I can’t wait to get my hands on! Five smooches from me for The Virgin Rule Book by Lauren Blakely!

~ Danielle Palumbo

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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Apr 23

Gen Pop by Lani Lynn Vale Cover Reveal

Title:  GEN POP

Series:  SOULS CHAPEL REVENANTS MC (Book #6)

Author:  LANI LYNN VALE

Genre:  ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Photographer:  FURIOUSFOTOG

Model:  BRANDON SCHLAEGEL

Release Date:  AUGUST 10, 2021

 

Hangry: adjective—feeling irritable or irrationally angry as a result of being hungry.

Sometimes, Crockett felt that in her soul.

And, of course, the one time that she’s being ‘irrationally angry’ would be the time that the hottest guy on the continent walked into her place of business dressed in prison orange.

She should’ve been afraid.

She should’ve taken one look at him and walked the other way.

But, she didn’t.

Crockett Archer, better known as a doormat extraordinaire, didn’t walk away from the people she knew needed her. She’d never been able to do it with a father that didn’t love her, and she wouldn’t be able to do it with a man that didn’t think he deserved a chance at love.

One look is all it takes for Zach Caruso to know that Crockett could be his.

All he would have to do is snap his fingers, and she’d fall right into the palm of his hand.

Which is why Zach turns around and walks far, far away.

He tries not to look back.

He tries to leave her be.

But then he sees how she’s treated by the people that are supposed to love her, and all cognitive thoughts seem to flee his rational brain.

One second, he’s running in the opposite direction. The next, he’s playing her knight in dingy armor.

 

 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

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About Lani Lynn Vale:

Lani Lynn Vale is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.

When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.

Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.

 

Connect with Lani:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub

Sign up for Lani’s newsletter!

 

Apr 23

Lover Unveiled by J.R. Ward Release Blitz with Exclusive Sneak Peak & Giveaway

“Fearless storytelling. Genre redefining. A league all her own.” 

~Kristen Ashley, New York Times Bestselling Author

 

Meet Sahvage: a powerful MMA fighter with a buried secret that could change the world of Caldwell forever…

Sahvage has been living under the radar for centuries-and he has every intention of staying ‘dead and buried.’ But when a civilian female sucks him into her dangerous battle with an evil as ancient as time, his protective side overrides his common sense.

Mae has lost everything, and desperation sets her on a collision course with fate. Determined to reverse a tragedy, she goes where mortals should fear to tread- and comes face to face with the Brotherhood’s new enemy. She also discovers a love she never expected to find with Sahvage, but there can be no future for them.

Knowing they will part, the two band together to fight against what Mae unknowingly unleashed- as the Brotherhood closes in to reclaim one of their damned, and the evil vows to destroy them all…

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Digital & Print:

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Audio:

Audible  |  Google Play Audio  |  Other audiobook links 

 

* Click HERE for an exclusive audio sneak peek! *

 

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ADD TO GOODREADS

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

Trade Street and 30th Avenue

Downtown Caldwell, New York

Forty-eight minutes before Ralphie DeMellio got murdered, he was living the life.

“You got this,” his buddy was saying as he rubbed Ralphie’s bare shoulders. “You fucking got this, you’re a monster, you’re a motherfucking monster!”

Ralphie and his crew were on the sixth level of a parking garage that was all about the oil stains and litter, rather than any Oldsmobiles and Lincolns. The abandoned facility was just a fucking concrete bureau with nothing in its drawers, and in this part of Caldie, any kind of  structure on-its-lonesome didn’t last long. Hello, BKC. Bare Knuckle Conquests was the only legit underground fighting circuit in the south-ern part of New York State, and the bout held tonight was the reason why he, his bros, and five hundred clout-chasing Insta-famers were here.

Any more selfies and it’d be the driver’s license lane at the DMV.

BKC was big-ass business, and Ralphie, as the reigning champ, was making big-ass fucking bank—provided none of these dumbasses with the camera phones gave their location away. And like, what were the chances of that.

“Where’s the coke.”

He put his hand out, and when the brown vial was slapped into his palm like a surgical instrument, he went to town. As he honked two kilos of powder deep into his sinuses, his eyes went jumping bean over the crowd. Down at the other end of the level, they were antsy, drug-ging, and putting their bets in with the organizer’s bookies. Nothing but three rounds of bare-knuckle minutes between them and the killing they expected to make.

Ralphie was a very good bet.

He hadn’t lost a fight yet, even though he had Slim Jim muscles and smoked a lot of weed. But here was the fucking thing. The bouncer- types with the boulder biceps and the jelly bellies were only impressive when they were standing still. Get them moving and they had no bal-ance, no speed, and follow-throughs like they had double vision. Long as Ralphie kept buzzing around like a fly on shit, he was unhittable as his right hook went to work.

“You good, Ralphie. You fucking good!”

“Yeah, that’s right, Ralphie, you the best!”

His crew was five guys from the neighborhood. They’d grown up together and were all related, their families having come over on the boat to Ellis Island a couple generations ago and gotten out of Hell’s Kitchen soon as they could afford it. Little Italy in Caldie was little different than the one in Manhattan, and as his father always said, don’t trust someone you don’t know and don’t know someone if you can’t walk to their house.

And there was one other person on Ralphie’s team.

“Where is she.” Ralphie looked around. “Where is—”

Chelle was back by the G wagon, posed like a Pirelli girl, her elbows on the hood, one heel stabbed into a tire rim. Her head was back, the pur-ple ends of her black hair licking the metallic paint, her pink lips parted as she stared up at nothing. The night was chilly because April was still a bitch in this zip code, but she didn’t give a fuck. Her bustier was all she had on up top, and the bottom half of her wasn’t covered much better.

Fuuuuuuck. Those tattoos on her upper thighs were showing. And the ones on the swells of her breasts. And the sleeve on her left arm.

She’d always refused to get one of his initials.

She was like that.

As if she caught his drift, Chelle slowly turned her head. Then she licked her lips with the tip of her tongue.

Ralphie’s hand went to the front of his jeans. She was not the kind of woman you brought home to mother, and at first, that was the rea-son he’d fucked her. But she was smart and she had her own hair salon. She didn’t check his phone. She didn’t care if he went out with the boys. She had her own money, she never asked him for a goddamn thing, and she had options, lotta options.

Men wanted her.

She was with him, though. And no matter what she looked like, she didn’t come on to his crew. She was not a pass-around, and anybody rubbed up on her? She was one slap away from knocking their fucking teeth out.

So yeah, after a year, Ralphie was way into her.

To the point where he didn’t care about what anyone else thought, including his traditional Italian mother. As far as he was concerned, Chelle was wifey material and that was all that fucking mattered.

“—got this, Ralphie—”

To kill the ass-kissing all up in his face, Ralphie put his hand on the center of his boy’s chest and pushed the guy back. “Gimme a minute.”

His crew knew what was up, and they turned around and faced the crowd, closing shoulder to shoulder.

And Chelle was well damn aware of what he was after.

The G wagon was parked ass in, with a couple of feet of space be-tween the rear bumper and the garage’s nasty concrete wall. Chelle went around and assumed the position, leaning back on the Benz’s boxy rear door and arching her shit. In her heels, she was as tall as Ralphie, and as her lids lowered and her breasts strained against the lace trim of the bustier, she met him right in the eye.

Ralphie’s heart was going fast, but his smile was slow as he put his hands on her little waist. “You want it?”

“Yeah. Gimme it.”

Ralphie unzipped his jeans and stroked himself as he kissed her throat. ’Cuz she wouldn’t want him to mess up her lipstick. That kinda shit would come later, after he beat the ass of whoever was going to try him tonight. But he wasn’t about to drive his truck through mud, and he wasn’t about to mess up his female in public.

Chelle moved her thong aside, and as she put a stiletto against the concrete, he pumped into her while she grabbed onto his bare shoulders.

The sex was hot as fuck. Because it turned out that if he respected the female? It made everything hotter.

As Ralphie lifted her up so she could put both her legs around his hips, he closed his eyes. The pre-fight rush, the coke, Chelle, the new  G wagon from the cake he was earning at BKC, it was all power in his veins. He was the man. He was the monster. He was—

Ralphie started to come, and he would have yelled out, but he didn’t want people catching his girl like this. Instead he gritted his teeth and held on tight, dropping his head into Chelle’s perfumed neck and squeezing out curses through his locked jaw.

And then he had to say it.

“I love you, I fucking love you,” he grunted.

He was so into his girl, so into the coming, so into the feel of her coming with him . . . that he didn’t notice who was watching them from the shadows about twenty feet away.

If he had, he would have packed up his true love and his crew, and left rubber on the road as he got the fuck out of the parking garage.

Most of destiny was on a need-to-know basis, however.

And sometimes, it was best that you didn’t get a heads-up on the inevitable that had your name on it.

Way too fucking horrifying.

 

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About J.R. Ward:

J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

 

Follow J.R. Ward:

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Apr 21

Earn Your Extra Credit by Meghan Quinn Blog Tour with Excerpt

EARN YOUR EXTRA CREDIT, a new fake fiancé, enemies-to-lovers, workplace contemporary romance from USA Today Bestselling Author, Meghan Quinn, is available now! Scroll down for an excerpt!

What I think is going to be a relaxing vacation… has turned into a spectacle…

 

“She went home with someone else that night?”

Hearing the disbelief from my best friend’s mouth makes the events of my failed date sting that much more. 

I would like to make it known, I have a lot more swagger than what it seems. I don’t normally ask a girl out, have her fail to recognize it’s a date, and then give me a high five–as if I’m her wingman–and take off with someone else. 

No. Normally I’m the one taking the girl home but with Stella, it’s been one failed attempt after another and frankly, I’m done trying. 

But thanks to my best friend getting married in Hawaii right before the school year starts, I’m stuck on a tropical island, watching Stella parade around in what she claims is a bathing suit. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it, just the tip of the iceberg. Because what I think is going to be a relaxing vacation, avoiding the one girl I can’t seem to make it work with, has turned into a spectacle of being recruited as Stella’s doting fake fiancé so she can save face with an old “friend” from high school. 

Now I’m navigating through purgatory while trying not to get turned on by the way she holds my hand or kisses my jaw. It’s all fake, that’s what I keep telling myself, even though it feels entirely too real.

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW OR READ FOR FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!

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The audiobook is narrated by Sebastian York and Erin Mallon!

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

“Another masterfully crafted story full of charm, comedy, passion and emotion.”  ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

EXCERPT:

“Do you want to sit next to Stella on the airplane?” Arlo asks.

“What? Fuck, no,” I say while turning up the game so I can hear the announcers over my tedious, wedding-planning best friend.

Arlo snatches the remote from my hand and turns off the TV. The room is silent for a moment before uproarious objections fill the air.

“Gentry is up next,” Gunner, my other best friend and former teammate, complains from next to me. “He’s three for three so far.”

“We need to talk,” Arlo says in that stern, alpha-like voice that won over his fiancée. Little does he know it doesn’t work on me.

I reach for the remote but he swats my hand with a resounding thud, causing me to yank my hand back. “What the actual fuck, man?”

When I decided to have the guys over to my loft, I assumed we’d tear up some wings, drain some brews, and watch the Bobbies game. Never in my wildest fucking dreams would I have pictured Arlo Turner, the grumpy curmudgeon of the Forest Heights English department, to roll in like a beaming bride, holding a wedding planning folder to his chest, and consume the night with questions about what he should wear and if coconut cake is too “Hawaiian-y” for his Maui destination wedding.

But here we are.

“Cut the crap, Romeo.”

“Cut what crap?” I reach over to the coffee table and pick up my almost empty glass of beer.

“I’m not about to have the Bickersons attend my wedding, so what the hell is going on with Stella?”

“Nothing is going on,” I answer, then take a small sip of my beer, making the liquid last so I don’t have to get up for a refill.

Gunner leans in and asks, “If we get to the bottom of the problem, can we turn the TV back on?”

“Yes,” Arlo answers.

“Then it was the baseball game he took her to.”

“Dude,” I say in protest while sitting up on the couch. “What the fuck happened to don’t say anything?”

Gunner unapologetically shrugs. “I really want to watch the Bobbies kill the Rebels in interleague play.”

“What baseball game?” Arlo asks. “Do you mean the game you took her and Cora to?”

“Yup.” Gunner pops a chip in his mouth from the bowl on the coffee table. “Except Cora wasn’t supposed to go. It was supposed to be a daaate,” Gunner drags out.

“You asked Stella out?” Arlo asks, shocked.

“Way to sell me out for a game, you dick.”

Not showing an ounce of remorse, Gunner stands from the couch and takes my glass from me.

“I’ll top you off. You’ll need it.”

Seething, I pass my hand over my head and say, “Yeah, I asked her out. She invited Cora. End of story.”

“That’s not the end of the story,” Gunner says from the kitchen, the open concept of my loft allowing his voice to carry to us easily.

When you think a friend is trustworthy and then they go and shock your fucking nuts right off by divulging everything you told them in secret . . . without even a blink of an eye. Gunner is dead to me.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t say anything to Arlo about what happened, given he’s one of my best friends, right? It’s simple. Gunner got me drunk and I relished in the comfort of far too many cold beers and a listening ear. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have kept my mouth shut, because the entire incident was fucking humiliating.

Between you and me, I’ve liked Stella Garcia, the Spanish teacher at Forest Heights, for a while now. Far too long actually. I can’t quite pinpoint when it happened, but all I know is over the three years I’ve known her, I’ve been pining after the girl for the majority of the time.

Fucking bold, quick-witted with a sharp tongue, loves sports, shy when it counts. Flat-out gorgeous with her long, wavy brown hair and fascinating green eyes that have a ring of brown around the pupil. She’s had my attention for a while and last year, I decided to finally make a move.

Enough was enough. We shared too many dinners together as friends. She’s pressed her lips to my beer glass without a second thought way too many times. The moment presented itself, I grew a pair, and asked her out to a baseball game knowing she loves watching the sport as much as I do.

But fuck did it backfire.

“What’s the end of the story?” Arlo asks, growing agitated. His patience runs thin, which is surprising, given his profession of educating the youth.

He’s not going to drop it.

Arlo’s relentless when he wants to know something.

Dragging my hand down my face, I say, “It was supposed to be a date.” Gunner sits next to me and hands me my refilled glass, which I gladly take. “She invited Cora. Which was fine. We had a good time, I still sat next to Stella, and we shared jokes even if there was a third wheel. But it was what happened afterwards that—”

“That gutted him,” Gunner finishes for me. When I snap a look at him, he smirks. “That’s what you told me. Just thought I’d help tell the story.”

“I wasn’t gutted.”

Maybe I was a little.

Hell . . . I was humiliated.

Gutted isn’t a strong enough word for what happened.

“What the fuck happened after? Christ. Why are you taking so damn long to get to the point?” Arlo practically growls.

“Go easy on our guy.” Gunner grips my shoulder. “He was embarrassed, man.”

“It’s fine, I’m over it now,” I say in a passive-aggressive tone.

“You’re clearly not if you and Stella can’t even be in the same room together. I don’t want anything ruining this trip for Greer, and your constant arguing with Stella is driving everyone fucking crazy.”

“Great, then I just won’t talk to her. Simple.”

“Just tell him,” Gunner says, nudging me.

Christ.

Staring down at my beer, I quietly say, “She went home with someone else that night.”

The room falls silent.

They don’t have to react for me to know what they must be thinking. They know I’ve liked Stella for a while. They know I’ve been trying to figure out a way to ask her out.

And this . . . hell, this was an epic fail on my end.

It wouldn’t be as bad if I weren’t already carrying a chip on my shoulder about the way I was forced to twist my life around.

Five years ago, everything changed.

Five years ago, I was stripped of the one thing that brought me life.

A ruptured Achilles tendon ended everything for me.

I never got the chance to appreciate my last game.

I never had the opportunity to sit on the field and say goodbye.

Instead, playing professional baseball was stripped from me and I was forced to fall back on my teaching degree I earned while playing in college.

To say I’m bitter, resentful, and fucking angry . . . yeah, that’s an understatement.

I live with regret daily and harbor more animosity than anyone should.

So, when I took Stella to the game, on a date, hoping to tell her how I feel, and she went home with someone else, it fucking stung.

Do you know what stung more, though?

The fact that she looked right past me and instead went for a rookie on the Bobbies.

Why go out with a washed-up baseball player turned phys ed teacher with a slight limp in his walk, when you can go out with an unmarred professional baseball player?

Yeah. There’s resentment for a reason. She chose the star. That’s who she wants.

That’s who I’ll never be.

And that’s why I plan on staying as far away from Stella Garcia on this trip as I can.

And when we get back to Chicago and the school year starts, everything will go on as planned.

Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

Too easy, right?

 

 

 


About Meghan Quinn:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

 

Connect with Meghan:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads

Sign up for her mailing list to stay up-to-date with Meghan!

Apr 21

Earn Your Extra Credit by Meghan Quinn Review

5 SMOOCHES!

   

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

“She went home with someone else that night?”

Hearing the disbelief from my best friend’s mouth makes the events of my failed date sting that much more. 

I would like to make it known, I have a lot more swagger than what it seems. I don’t normally ask a girl out, have her fail to recognize it’s a date, and then give me a high five–as if I’m her wingman–and take off with someone else. 

No. Normally I’m the one taking the girl home but with Stella, it’s been one failed attempt after another and frankly, I’m done trying. 

But thanks to my best friend getting married in Hawaii right before the school year starts, I’m stuck on a tropical island, watching Stella parade around in what she claims is a bathing suit. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it, just the tip of the iceberg. Because what I think is going to be a relaxing vacation, avoiding the one girl I can’t seem to make it work with, has turned into a spectacle of being recruited as Stella’s doting fake fiancé so she can save face with an old “friend” from high school. 

Now I’m navigating through purgatory while trying not to get turned on by the way she holds my hand or kisses my jaw. It’s all fake, that’s what I keep telling myself, even though it feels entirely too real.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

A blend of some fun tropes, Earn Your Extra Credit was part frenemies-to-lovers and part workplace romance with a splash of fake fiancé, and it came together fantastically into another one of Quinn’s outrageously hilarious romcoms. Romeo and Stella are teachers, and he’s been harboring an unrequited crush on Stella that she was completely oblivious to. Cue a misunderstanding, and suddenly these friends are enemies, and Stella didn’t understand why. Fast forward to their co-workers’ destination wedding, where Stella finds herself in a bit of situation that snowballed way out of control, and she dragged Romeo along on that ride.

Stella and Romeo had this fiery natural chemistry, and I enjoyed the utter ridiculousness of the situation Stella had gotten herself into. Romeo was amazing for even going along with it, and it wasn’t long before Stella realized that herself. On the surface, Earn Your Extra Credit was a funny romcom, but Meghan is a master at hiding the real emotion and surprising her readers with it. There were layers of emotions that Stella and Romeo had to wade through beneath that humorous surface, and Quinn doesn’t hold back when doling them out as they went through the process of realizing them. The way she blends the humor with genuine emotion is one of the reasons I find her writing so addictive.

Earn Your Extra Credit was a sweet, slow-burning love story chock full of feels. Another masterfully crafted story full of charm, comedy, passion and emotion. I laughed, swooned and blushed my way through this book, and I loved every single second of it. Five smooches from me for Earn Your Extra Credit by Meghan Quinn!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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Apr 20

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout Release Blitz

THE CROWN OF GILDED BONES, the highly anticipated third book in bestselling Blood and Ash series from New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, is out now!

“Jennifer L. Armentrout has absolutely blown me away with this entire series! I’ve turned into a swooning fangirl!”

~ Larissa Ione, New York Times Bestselling Author

 

She’s been the victim and the survivor… 

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…  

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

 

——————————————————————————————————————————

 

GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

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About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Border Jack Apollo. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Tor, HarperCollins Avon and William Morrow, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her Wicked Series has been optioned by PassionFlix. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. Her adult romantic suspense novel TILL DEATH was a Amazon Editor’s Pick and iBook Book of the Month. Her young adult contemporary THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

She is the owner of ApollyCon and The Origin Event, the successful annual events that features over a hundred bestselling authors in Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fiction, panels, parties, and more.

Connect with Jennifer L. Armentrout

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  BookBub  |  Goodreads

Stay up to date with Jennifer by joining her mailing list!

 

 

 

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