Jul 15

The Brazen by Willa Nash Release Blitz

THE BRAZEN, a sexy new standalone contemporary romance from USA Today Bestselling Author, Devney Perry writing as Willa Nash, is available now!

Is he out to pilfer her dreams . . . or to steal her heart?

 

Kerrigan Hale’s personal life is about as exciting as a bucket of tar. With hard work and hustle as her steadfast companions, who needs romance or adventure? Her empire in Calamity, Montana, isn’t going to build itself.

For years, her mentor—and investor—helped make her dreams come true. Until his unexpected death put her fate in his grandson’s hands. A brazen billionaire, he seems intent on ruining Kerrigan’s life.

But if Pierce Sullivan thinks she’ll go down without a fight, he’s sorely mistaken. Pushed to the extreme, she drives to his ritzy mountain lodge to force the arrogant You Can Call Me Mr. Sullivan to hear her out.

No sooner does she arrive than a snowstorm traps her with Pierce. Stranded together for days, she’s in for the battle of her life. Pierce is nearly irresistible by candlelight. Without his suits and fancy cars, he’s almost human.

Except only a fool would let down her guard. And Kerrigan can’t risk her future. Not when she doesn’t know if he’s out to pilfer her dreams . . . or to steal her heart.

 

  

 

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

Amazon US  |  Amazon Worldwide  |  Paperback  |  Audio

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

“…a heart-flutteringly sexy love story…low on the angst but high on emotion and substance.”  ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

 

 

 


About Willa Nash:

Willa Nash is USA Today Bestselling Author Devney Perry’s alter ego, writing contemporary romance stories for Kindle Unlimited. Lover of Swedish Fish, hater of laundry, she lives in Washington State with her husband and two sons. She was born and raised in Montana and has a passion for writing books in the state she calls home.

Connect with Willa: 

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

Sign up for Willa’s newsletter!

 

 

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Connect with Valentine PR & Literary Management:
Website  |  Facebook |  Instagram

 

Jul 15

The Brazen by Willa Nash Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

Kerrigan Hale’s personal life is about as exciting as a bucket of tar. With hard work and hustle as her steadfast companions, who needs romance or adventure? Her empire in Calamity, Montana, isn’t going to build itself.

For years, her mentor—and investor—helped make her dreams come true. Until his unexpected death put her fate in his grandson’s hands. A brazen billionaire, he seems intent on ruining Kerrigan’s life.

But if Pierce Sullivan thinks she’ll go down without a fight, he’s sorely mistaken. Pushed to the extreme, she drives to his ritzy mountain lodge to force the arrogant You Can Call Me Mr. Sullivan to hear her out.

No sooner does she arrive than a snowstorm traps her with Pierce. Stranded together for days, she’s in for the battle of her life. Pierce is nearly irresistible by candlelight. Without his suits and fancy cars, he’s almost human.

Except only a fool would let down her guard. And Kerrigan can’t risk her future. Not when she doesn’t know if he’s out to pilfer her dreams . . . or to steal her heart.

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

Willa Nash is the alter ego of USA Today Bestseller, Devney Perry, and her writing style as Nash encompasses all the familiar feels that I’ve come to adore about her storytelling. From the small town backdrop and the endearing, down-to-earth characters, her books are as much a love letter to Montana as they are a love story, and through her words and descriptions, I’ve developed a bit of a crush on this state—one that I’ve never set foot in.

The Brazen is the third book in the Calamity, Montana series, and it features an ambitious, hardworking, determined hometown heroine and the billionaire grandson of her mentor. Pierce and Kerrigan’s first meeting was the stuff that small town gossips mills run on. Kerrigan is busy building her empire, and Pierce is in the midst of realigning his following a tragedy.

Pierce and Kerrigan’s chemistry burns brazenly, incinerating every interaction they have. Despite their mutual distrust and dislike of each other, they just cannot seem to help being drawn to the other. Greek God gorgeous, Pierce has made some incorrect assumptions about his grandfather, Gabriel, and Kerrigan’s relationship. Acting on those assumptions, he behaves like a tool. The snappy banter between the two of them was hilarious, and once Pierce puts the pieces together, he redeems himself in some seriously swoon-worthy ways. Kerrigan was feisty and fiery and full of fury over what Pierce was doing to her dreams and the assumptions he’s made about her. But once she gets his backstory, she softens to this wounded man. Unfortunately they were in a bit of a right person, wrong time situation, and it’s months later before Pierce gets his head on straight.

Devney Perry writing as Willa Nash penned a heart-flutteringly sexy love story in The Brazen that was low on the angst but high on emotion and substance. Pierce and Kerrigan’s romance was thoroughly addictive and an absolute pleasure to read. I devoured it in a single sitting, and I’m so excited that she’s added another story to this series. Five smooches from me for The Brazen by Willa Nash!

~Danielle Palumbo

 


BUY IT NOW OR READ FOR FREE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED!

Amazon US  |  Amazon Worldwide  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Jul 14

After the Climb, The Special Edition, by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour

The Special Edition of AFTER THE CLIMB, a beautifully written second chance romance with all new material from New York Times Bestselling Author, Kristen Ashley, is available now and FREE to read digitally!

NEW, EXTENDED VERSION!

With many new chapters, and introducing a new series character, this re-released Special Edition version of After the Climb is the book you have, but it’s also so much more!

 

With many new chapters, and introducing a new series character, this re-released Special Edition version of After the Climb is the book you have, but it’s also so much more!

They were the Three Amigos: Duncan Holloway, Imogen Swan and Corey Szabo. Two young boys with difficult lives at home banding together with a cool girl who didn’t mind mucking through the mud on their hikes.

They grew up to be Duncan Holloway, activist, CEO and face of the popular River Rain outdoor stores, Imogen Swan, award-winning actress and America’s sweetheart, and Corey Szabo, ruthless tech billionaire.

Rich and very famous, they would learn the devastating knowledge of how the selfish acts of one would affect all their lives.

And the lives of those they loved.

Start the River Rain series with After the Climb, the story of Duncan and Imogen navigating their way back to each other, decades after a fierce betrayal.

And introduce yourself to their families, who will have their stories told when River Rain continues.

 

——————————————————————————————————–

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE DIGITAL COPY TODAY!

Amazon US  |  Amazon Worldwide  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

Purchase your paperback copy HERE!

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

“Romantic and sexy, Duncan and Imogen’s love story definitely drew me in and ramped up my anticipation for the next book in the series.” ~Danielle, Red Cheeks Reads

 

Check out Danielle’s 5 SMOOCHES review!

 

 

 


About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock ChickColorado MountainDream ManChaosUnfinished HeroThe ’BurgMagdaleneFantasylandThe ThreeGhost and ReincarnationMoonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen’s novel, Law Man, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Romantic Suspense. Her independently published title Hold On was nominated for RT Book Reviews best Independent Contemporary Romance and her traditionally published title Breathe was nominated for best Contemporary Romance. Kristen’s titles Motorcycle ManThe WillRide Steady (which won the Reader’s Choice award from Romance Reviews) and The Hookup all made the final rounds for Goodreads Choice Awards in the Romance category.

Connect with Kristen:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Amazon  |  Bookbub  |  Goodreads 

Sign up for Kristen’s newsletter!

 

Jul 14

After the Climb, The Special Edition, by Kristen Ashley Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

They were the Three Amigos: Duncan Holloway, Imogen Swan and Corey Szabo. Two young boys with difficult lives at home banding together with a cool girl who didn’t mind mucking through the mud on their hikes.

They grew up to be Duncan Holloway, activist, CEO and face of the popular River Rain outdoor stores, Imogen Swan, award-winning actress and America’s sweetheart, and Corey Szabo, ruthless tech billionaire.

Rich and very famous, they would learn the devastating knowledge of how the selfish acts of one would affect all their lives.

And the lives of those they loved.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

During the height of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, Kristen Ashley banded together with her readers, whom she lovingly refers to as her Chicklets, to create the story that would launch her new River Rain series. Using her social media, she called upon her readers to weigh in on various elements throughout her creative process—everything from cover design to character development. After the Climb was the result of those labors, and one year later, Ashley has re-released it, in this special edition, with more material including more chapters and the introduction of a new character to the series.

A prequel novella, After the Climb introduces readers to the characters in the series and their backstories. This is a second-chance romance, with a very long separation, featuring an older couple. It had a lot of those nostalgic KA vibes, but with a fresh story about all new characters. Aside from a bit of this couple’s history, there wasn’t too much drama. Romantic and sexy, Duncan and Imogen’s love story definitely drew me in and ramped up my anticipation for the next book in the series. The groundwork has been lain, and KA readers have a lot to look forward to in the River Rain series. I’m very excited about the next book, and I’m literally on the edge of my seat waiting for it. Five smooches for me for After the Climb by Kristen Ashley!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

Amazon US  |  Amazon Worldwide  |  Apple Books  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google Play

 

Jul 12

The Spark by Vi Keeland Release Blitz

THE SPARK, a new standalone contemporary romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Vi Keeland, is available now!

My life was too complicated for such a great guy…

 

Before I even met Donovan Decker, I knew his shoe size.

You see, I’d gone away for a few days, and in my haste to get out of the airport, I’d grabbed the wrong suitcase.

After checking out the expensive footwear and tailored clothes, I dialed the number on the luggage tag hoping maybe Mister Big Spender might have my bag.

A deep, velvety voice answered, and as luck would have it, he had my suitcase, too.

Donovan and I met at a coffee shop to do the exchange. 

Turned out, it wasn’t just his voice that was sexy.  The man holding my luggage was absolutely gorgeous, and we had an immediate spark.

He got me to admit that I’d snooped in his bag and then convinced me to make it up to him by letting him buy me coffee.

Coffee led to dinner, dinner led to dessert, and dessert led to spending an entire weekend together.

Donovan wasn’t just handsome with a panty-dropping voice.  He was also funny, smart, and surprisingly down to earth for a man who wore seven-hundred-dollar shoes.

Did I mention he also did my laundry while I slept?

Definitely too good to be true.

So what did I do to repay him for his kindness?

I waited until he was in the shower, then ghosted him.

My life was too complicated for such a great guy.

In the months that passed, I thought about Donovan often. But New York City had eight-million people, so what were the chances I’d run into him?

Then again, what were the chances I’d run into him a year later…when I’d just started dating his boss?

 

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

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon US  |  Amazon AU  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Apple Books  |  B&N  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Paperback  |  Audio

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 


About Vi Keeland:

91FFBs19XQL._UX250_

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

Connect with Vi:

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

Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first to be updated on news and new releases!

 

Jul 11

Scoring With Him by Lauren Blakely Blog Tour

SCORING WITH HIM, an impossibly sexy, forbidden MM sports romance and the first book in the Men of Summer Duet from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Lauren Blakely, is available now!

Falling for the rookie wasn’t part of the plan…

 

Falling for the rookie wasn’t part of the plan.

As a pro athlete, I have one unbreakable rule when it comes to men — Don’t date another baseball player.

Good thing I haven’t been tempted once in four years in the majors.

Until the day a rising star walks into my locker room. Outgoing, affable, and sexy-as-sin, Grant has confidence and talent for miles. He seems to get me too, maybe because we each have our fair share of secrets and scars — ones we’ll both fight to protect.

But, I’ve got far too much trouble in my past to want to bring any into my present.

All the more reason to resist the kind of dirty deeds his lips and eyes promise.

Even after I plant a scorching, hot kiss on the rookie one night after a game.

Even after he sends me the world’s sexiest selfie.

But when Grant reveals his biggest secret, I’m so damn ready to rip up the rulebook.

Turns out he’s a virgin and he wants me to help him get around all the bases.

The only rule? Don’t fall in love with him as we go.

Scoring with Him is book one in a two-book duet. This romance between two professional athletes spans five epic years and continues in Winning With Him.

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! 

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

Narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Jacob Morgan

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Grant and Declan’s romance drew me in and made my heart race.  I felt the longing, the hope and the devastation of their circumstances, and I cannot wait for Blakely to bring them full circle to happily ever after.” ~Danielle, Red Cheek 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, sexy romance and USA Today bestselling LGBTQ romance.

With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, with more than 50 titles on the USA Today Bestsellers list alone. She’s sold more than 4 million books. She likes dogs, cake and show tunes.

Connect with Lauren:

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

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

 

Jul 11

Scoring With Him by Lauren Blakely Review

5 SMOOCHES!

* * * * * * * * * *

SYNOPSIS:

Falling for the rookie wasn’t part of the plan.

As a pro athlete, I have one unbreakable rule when it comes to men — Don’t date another baseball player.

Good thing I haven’t been tempted once in four years in the majors.

Until the day a rising star walks into my locker room. Outgoing, affable, and sexy-as-sin, Grant has confidence and talent for miles. He seems to get me too, maybe because we each have our fair share of secrets and scars — ones we’ll both fight to protect.

But, I’ve got far too much trouble in my past to want to bring any into my present.

All the more reason to resist the kind of dirty deeds his lips and eyes promise.

Even after I plant a scorching, hot kiss on the rookie one night after a game.

Even after he sends me the world’s sexiest selfie.

But when Grant reveals his biggest secret, I’m so damn ready to rip up the rulebook.

Turns out he’s a virgin and he wants me to help him get around all the bases.

The only rule? Don’t fall in love with him as we go.

Scoring with Him is book one in a two-book duet. This romance between two professional athletes spans five epic years and continues in Winning With Him.

* * * * * * * * * *

REVIEW:

If you’ve followed my reviews for any amount of time, the fact that I’m a Lauren Blakely fangirl is not new information. This author’s romcoms and contemporary romances are my safe space, where I got to hunker down, unwind and slough off the stress of my life. Over the last few years, she’s spread her wings and tried out different things, like those decadently dirty After Dark romances, and I’ve been here for every glorious word of it. She’s spreading those writing wings once again, venturing into M/M romance, and it’s clear to me as one of her long-time readers and someone who’s read and reviewed all of her work since the Big Rock series, she was meant to write these stories. They’re obviously projects she’s passionate about, and having read all of her MM works, I can feel the love she’s poured into them. I’m a big believer in love is love and that love should be celebrated wherever it’s found, clearly Blakely feels the same given the fact that she gives the same kind of care and consideration when crafting these stories as she does to her MF stories. She fills the pages with all the romance, relationship development, emotion and heat that she does any other story she writes.

Scoring With Him kicks off a duet. While I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I’m going to state what I think is obvious. A duet is a two-part story, and that means that yes, there is a cliffhanger in this story. But there is no need to fret, the second book in Declan and Grant’s story is coming in just a few short weeks! My personal viewpoint on cliffhangers has changed over the years. When I first started actively reading romance, I did not care for them and avoided cliffies at all costs, preferring to wait to all the books were released to read a story that had one. A few years ago, I unknowingly started reading one that, like this story, had a short wait between releases. Much to my surprise, I found that I actually enjoyed the cliffhanger experience. The anticipation and build-up created by the short wait for satisfaction was a different reading experience for me, and I actually kind of enjoyed having the second part of this story to look forward to. Since then, my perspective on cliffhangers has changed, and as long as the wait between releases is a short one, I’m actually alright with a cliffhanger now. I don’t seek them out or anything, but I also no longer actively avoid them.

Scoring With Him is the beginning of a forbidden romance, and from the very first page, I was hooked. Sweet, tender and a touch tragic, Grant and Declan’s romance drew me in and made my heart race. Two professional baseball players – teammates – meet at spring training. Declan is a seasoned, well-known player, and Grant is a rookie—in every sense of the word. Blakely stoked the fires between them using heat, humor and some heartfelt emotion. The attraction between these two men sizzled, and their flirty, dirty banter definitely ramped up all that delicious chemistry. In a perfect world, Declan and Grant would have slid straight into a relationship, they were that perfect together. But this isn’t a perfect situation, they’ve got a pretty big obstacle in their path, namely the fact that Declan has cemented his spot on this team’s roster, but Grant is trying to earn his. As teammates, this is a line they should not be crossing, yet this pull is something they both are having trouble fighting.

Scoring With Him had all the elements that make up the best contemporary romances. Those delicious “should they or shouldn’t they” moments, the heart-racing early stages of a relationship and the thrill of a new lover. Declan and Grant’s story was more emotional than Blakely’s love stories typically are, though, and the realization that this couple is in a right person, wrong time situation was delivered with a swift gut punch. I felt the longing, the hope and the devastation of their circumstances, and I cannot wait for Blakely to bring them full circle to happily ever after. This duet is one of my most anticipated reads of the summer, and it has lived up to my every expectation so far. I’m literally on the edge of my seat, anxious with anticipation for the next part of Declan and Grant’s journey. Five smooches from me for Scoring With Him by Lauren Blakely!

~Danielle Palumbo

 

 

 


BUY IT NOW!

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

 

 

 

 

Jul 09

Scoring With Him by Lauren Blakely Release Blitz

SCORING WITH HIM, an impossibly sexy, forbidden MM sports romance and the first book in the Men of Summer Duet from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Lauren Blakely, is available now!

Falling for the rookie wasn’t part of the plan…

 

Falling for the rookie wasn’t part of the plan.

As a pro athlete, I have one unbreakable rule when it comes to men — Don’t date another baseball player.

Good thing I haven’t been tempted once in four years in the majors.

Until the day a rising star walks into my locker room. Outgoing, affable, and sexy-as-sin, Grant has confidence and talent for miles. He seems to get me too, maybe because we each have our fair share of secrets and scars — ones we’ll both fight to protect.

But, I’ve got far too much trouble in my past to want to bring any into my present.

All the more reason to resist the kind of dirty deeds his lips and eyes promise.

Even after I plant a scorching, hot kiss on the rookie one night after a game.

Even after he sends me the world’s sexiest selfie.

But when Grant reveals his biggest secret, I’m so damn ready to rip up the rulebook.

Turns out he’s a virgin and he wants me to help him get around all the bases.

The only rule? Don’t fall in love with him as we go.

Scoring with Him is book one in a two-book duet. This romance between two professional athletes spans five epic years and continues in Winning With Him.

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! 

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

Narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Jacob Morgan

 

Add to Goodreads 

 

 

 

 


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, sexy romance and USA Today bestselling LGBTQ romance.

With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, with more than 50 titles on the USA Today Bestsellers list alone. She’s sold more than 4 million books. She likes dogs, cake and show tunes.

Connect with Lauren:

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

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

 

Jul 09

The Bet by Max Monroe Cover Reveal

THE BET, a hilarious new opposites attract rom com from New York Times Bestselling Author, Max Monroe, is coming July 17th, and I have the delicious cover!

When it comes to life’s fun and games, always know:

The rules.

What’s at stake.

When to quit.

 

When it comes to life’s fun and games, always know:

The rules.

What’s at stake.

When to quit.

Wise words from…well…my fortune cookie. But wise words, nonetheless.

I just wish the Fortune Cookie People had considered how hard the whole “knowing when to quit” would be to carry out when a woman like me is gambling with her feelings.

Heart-palpitating, vageen-tingling, butterflies-in-my-belly feelings for a noncommittal, hot-as-sin player by the name of Jude Winslow.

After a crazy night where we were both pretending to be someone else, I’ve found myself immersed in the fun of the fling.

The thrill.

The irresistible charm.

The pleasure of being with a man like him.

Problem is, I’m positive he’s the exact opposite of husband material, and that is a serious issue for someone who is fixated on finding her happily ever after.

I know the rules and I know the stakes, oh wise Fortune Cookie.

Now I’d just like to know how close to self-destruction I have to get before I find the will to quit Jude Winslow.

Goodness knows, when your heart is on the line, you can’t ante up your bet with an IOU.

 

————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon US  |  Amazon Worldwide

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Photographer: Wander Aguair Photography     |     Model: Philippe Bélanger

 

 

 


About Max Monroe:

A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by signing up for their mailing list today!

 

 

Jul 08

The Spark by Vi Keeland Excerpt Reveal

THE SPARK, a new standalone contemporary romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Vi Keeland, releases on July 12th, and I’ve got an excerpt to share with you today!

My life was too complicated for such a great guy…

 

Before I even met Donovan Decker, I knew his shoe size.

You see, I’d gone away for a few days, and in my haste to get out of the airport, I’d grabbed the wrong suitcase.

After checking out the expensive footwear and tailored clothes, I dialed the number on the luggage tag hoping maybe Mister Big Spender might have my bag.

A deep, velvety voice answered, and as luck would have it, he had my suitcase, too.

Donovan and I met at a coffee shop to do the exchange. 

Turned out, it wasn’t just his voice that was sexy.  The man holding my luggage was absolutely gorgeous, and we had an immediate spark.

He got me to admit that I’d snooped in his bag and then convinced me to make it up to him by letting him buy me coffee.

Coffee led to dinner, dinner led to dessert, and dessert led to spending an entire weekend together.

Donovan wasn’t just handsome with a panty-dropping voice.  He was also funny, smart, and surprisingly down to earth for a man who wore seven-hundred-dollar shoes.

Did I mention he also did my laundry while I slept?

Definitely too good to be true.

So what did I do to repay him for his kindness?

I waited until he was in the shower, then ghosted him.

My life was too complicated for such a great guy.

In the months that passed, I thought about Donovan often. But New York City had eight-million people, so what were the chances I’d run into him?

Then again, what were the chances I’d run into him a year later…when I’d just started dating his boss?

 

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

 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Apple Books  |  B&N  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Sign up for Vi’s mailing list or text the word BOOKS to 77948 to be the first one notified when THE SPARK goes live!  

 

Add to Goodreads

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER 1
Autumn

I’m definitely getting too old for this.

I tossed a pile of mail on the couch and plopped down beside it. It was barely six o’clock, and I wouldn’t have minded climbing into bed and calling it a day. I needed a vacation from my four-day mini vacation. Thank goodness I’d scheduled myself a weekend to recover. My girls’ trip/early bachelorette party in Vegas for my friend Anna—the one where we were all going to relax by the pool and get spa treatments—had turned into all-night clubbing and almost missing my flight home earlier today because I’d overslept. It had definitely been a while since I drank more than two glasses of wine in the span of a week, and I was feeling my ripe old age of twenty-eight before the sun had even set this Friday night. Thank God I didn’t have to work tomorrow.

I briefly considered going the hair-of-the-dog route and sucking back a vodka cran while zoning out on Netflix, but then my phone rang, crashing me back to reality.

Ugh…

Dad flashed on the screen. I should’ve just gotten it over with and spoken to him, but I didn’t have the energy. Nonetheless, allowing myself to avoid the stress speaking to my father would inevitably cause reminded me of the other thing I needed to do that I’d been avoiding all afternoon. Laundry. One of my least-favorite tasks—mostly because it required me to sit downstairs in my building’s dingy basement laundry room. Up until a few months ago, I would start my laundry and come back forty-five minutes later to make the switch to the dryer. But that practice had come to a halt after one of my loads went missing—an entire load of wet bras and underwear. Who the hell stole wet clothes? At least nab dry ones. Nevertheless, it was an expensive lesson, and now I didn’t leave the basement until my clothes were washed and dried.

Sighing, I begrudgingly went to the bedroom, where my suitcase still sat on the bed, and unzipped it. I’d packed a linen skirt on top that I hadn’t wound up wearing, and I figured I’d hang it in the bathroom and hope the wrinkles worked themselves out over the course of a couple of steamy showers. I hated ironing almost as much as I hated doing laundry downstairs.
But when I flipped open the top of the suitcase, my linen skirt wasn’t on top. At first I thought my bag must’ve been selected for search, and things hadn’t been put back in order… Though the wingtip shoe I lifted was most definitely not mine.

Shit.

I rummaged through the suitcase in a panic.

Slacks, running clothes, a men’s dress shirt… A sickening feeling washed over me, and I scrambled to look at the luggage tag. I’d never filled out the identification card inside, but the leather had my initials embossed on the outside.

And this one…had no initials.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

I’d grabbed the wrong bag off the luggage carousel. I started to sweat. All of my makeup was in that bag! Not to mention a week’s worth of my best outfits and shoes. I needed to get it back. Rushing to the kitchen, I grabbed my cell from the charger on the counter and Googled the number for the airline. After wading through a half-dozen prompts, I reached a recording.

“Thank you for calling American Airlines. Due to unprecedented call volume, your estimated wait time is approximately forty-one minutes.”

Forty-one minutes! I blew out a rush of air. Great. Just great.

In the meantime, while I waited on hold on speakerphone, listening to staticky music, it hit me that whoever’s luggage I had might very well have mine. I hadn’t even checked the luggage tag to see if, unlike mine, the identification information was filled in.

I zipped back down the hall to my bedroom.

Bingo!

Donovan Decker—kind of a cool name. And he lived here in the city! Thankfully, Donovan even had his phone number listed. It couldn’t be that easy, could it? I doubted it, but considering I still had forty minutes before I could speak to someone at the airline, I wasn’t losing much for trying. So I swiped to end my call. I started to punch in the numbers on the tag, and then decided to hit *67 first to make my number private. With my luck, the guy wouldn’t have my luggage, but he’d be a total creeper.

I was caught off guard when a man’s deep voice answered on the first ring. I hadn’t yet figured out what I was going to say.

“Uhhh. Hi. My name is Autumn, and I think I might have your luggage.”

“That was quick. I just hung up with you guys two minutes ago.”

He must’ve thought I was calling from the airline. “Oh, no. I don’t work for American. I traveled home this morning and must’ve grabbed the wrong bag at JFK.”

“What are your initials?”

“My initials?”

“Yeah, you know, the first letter of your first name and the first letter of your last name.”

I rolled my eyes. “I know what initials are. I just don’t understand why you would ask—Oh! Does that mean you have my luggage? I have my initials embossed on the luggage tag.”

“That depends on what your initials are, Autumn. The first letter matches.”

“My initials are AW.”

“Well, then it seems you are indeed the thief who clipped my luggage.”

Sure, I hadn’t checked my luggage tag, but it offended me that he was calling me a thief. “Wouldn’t we both be thieves? Since you’re in possession of my luggage?”

“I only took yours because it was the last one left rotating around the carousel. You see, unlike you, checked the luggage tag the first time it passed, and when I saw it wasn’t mine, I left it for the rightful owner to claim. But the line at baggage customer service was twenty deep, and I had a meeting I was already late for. So I took the one I have hostage until the airline could sort it out.”

My shoulders slumped. “Oh. Sorry.”

“It’s fine. Are you here in the City?”

“I am. Could we possibly meet to swap bags?”

“Sure. When and where? I’m out now, but I’ll be back in an hour or two.”

The tag had an address on the Upper East Side, but I lived on the West Side, farther downtown. “Could we meet at the Starbucks on 80th and Lex?” That was closer to him, but at least I’d only have to drag the suitcase onto one subway.

“I can’t think of any excuse not to. What time?”

That was sort of a weird way to phrase a yes, and the way he emphasized the word excuse seemed odd. But hey, I was getting my bag back. So what if he turned out to be a little strange? At least I’d hidden my phone number, and we were meeting in a public place.

“How about eight?”

“I’ll see you then.”

It sounded like he was about to hang up. “Wait…” I said. “How will I know it’s you?”

“I’ll be the one holding your luggage, Autumn W.”

I chuckled. “Oh, yeah. Sorry…long week in Vegas.”

I bent and lifted the shoe from the top of the bag. Ferragamo. Expensive. And big, too. A quick peek revealed it was a size thirteen. The inner teenager in me couldn’t help but think big feet, big…. Plus, the guy had a deep, sexy voice. I would definitely be exploring more of the dude’s luggage after we hung up.

“I’ll meet you at eight,” he said.

“See you then.” I was just about to swipe my phone off when something hit me. Oh God! “Hello? Wait…are you still there?”

It took a heartbeat or two, but the sexy voice came back on the line. “What’s up?”

“Ummm… Did you…open my bag?”

“I unzipped it at the airport to make sure it wasn’t mine when I noticed the luggage tag initials.”

“Did you…see anything?”

“There was a pink thong on top, so that pretty much sealed the deal that it didn’t belong to me. But I didn’t rummage through, if that’s what you’re asking.”

I forgot I’d shoved that thong in at the last minute. It had been at the back of a drawer when I’d checked the hotel room one last time on my way out. But I’d take him seeing my underwear over the other stuff inside my bag. I blew out a sigh of relief.

“Okay, that’s great. Thank you. I’ll see you at eight at Starbucks.”

“Whoa. Hang on a second—not so fast. You sounded pretty nervous that I might’ve gone through your bag. Are you hiding something sinister in there? I’m not going to be walking around with a suitcase full of drugs or something, am I?”

I cracked a smile. “No, definitely not. I just…I’d prefer if you didn’t go through it.”

“Did you rummage through mine?”

I glanced at the shoe in my hand. Taking out one measly piece of footwear wouldn’t be considered rummaging, right? Nah. “No, I didn’t.”

“Are you planning on it?” he asked.

I had no idea what the man looked like, yet I could tell by his voice that he was smiling now.

“Nope,” I lied.

“Alright. Then we have a deal. I won’t go through your bag, and you won’t go through mine.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

“Do I have your word on that, Autumn W? I might have some things I’d prefer you didn’t see in there.”

“Like what?”

He chuckled. “See you at eight.”

After we hung up, I tossed the shoe back into the suitcase and bent to close it. But as I reached for the zipper, my curiosity got the best of me. Was he just screwing with me, or did he really have something in here he didn’t want me to see? Of course, I knew what I had in mine, which made me extra curious.

I shook my head and started to pull the zipper closed. About halfway, I laughed out loud. Who was I kidding? Now that I didn’t have laundry to do, I had almost a full two hours to kill before I met Mr. Bigfoot. This suitcase would taunt me all that time. I’d most certainly give in eventually, so why not put myself out of that misery and just take a little look-see inside now?Then I’d be able to relax. He’d never know I hadn’t lived up to my end of the bargain. Not to mention, for all I knew, he was elbow deep in my suitcase right now. In that case, it would only be fair that I got to go through his, right?

I nibbled my lip for a few seconds as a wave of guilt washed over me. But I quickly forced that out of my mind. Of course I’m right.

Feeling justified now, I unzipped the suitcase and took a minute to mentally note how everything was packed: a white dress shirt was folded on top, and two shoes were set on either side, heels facing up. I carefully unpacked those and placed them on the bed next to the suitcase in the same order. The next layer had more folded clothes: two expensive dress shirts, a pair of sweats, boxer briefs, and a few T-shirts, one of which had something emblazoned on the front—familiar lettering that began HA—so I unfolded it to see what it said. Harvard Law.

Ugh. One of those. No wonder he could afford Ferragamo shoes.

Underneath the pile of clothes was a white laundry bag—the kind a hotel gives you to put your dry cleaning in, but most people used it to separate their dirty clothes. With no desire to sort through smelly socks, I started to fold the clothes back into the suitcase, feeling a twinge of disappointment. But when I smoothed out the layers of the pile, I felt something lumpy and hard underneath in the plastic laundry bag. So I took the clothes back out and looked inside, hoping to find…I’m not sure what. Though what I found was definitely not what I expected.

The bag was filled with at least twenty or thirty of those little shampoo bottles hotels give out. Actually, a closer inspection revealed some were conditioner and a few were moisturizer. Buried on the very bottom were also three little sewing kits and half-a-dozen toothbrushes wrapped in plastic—the kind you could get at the front desk of a hotel when you forgot yours.

What the heck had Mr. Bigfoot done? Rob a housekeeping cart? This kind of stuff, though a lesser quantity, is what you’d usually find in my suitcase since I was broke all the time. But it wasn’t the type of thing you’d expect in the suitcase of a man who had gone to Harvard and wore seven-hundred-dollar dress shoes.
Now I was even more curious to meet Donovan Decker.

***

I arrived at Starbucks almost twenty minutes early, so I went online to treat myself to a flat white with honey almond milk. Even ordering it had me salivating, thinking about the sweet, creamy drink. Expensive coffee was my indulgence, but it didn’t happen too often with the five-dollar price tag and my skimpy budget.

I stood at the end of the counter, waiting for my drink and mindlessly scrolling on my phone, when a man walking through the front door caught my attention.

Oh, wow.

Now that was one good-looking man. Describing him as merely tall, dark, and handsome didn’t cut it, not by a mile. Jet-black hair framed a magnificent face with a chiseled, masculine bone structure, full lips, and a Romanesque nose. I wasn’t the only one to notice, either. I watched as the Adonis took a step back outside to hold the door open for a woman exiting the store, and the poor lady caught one glimpse of him and literally tripped over her own feet.

Seemingly oblivious that he’d caused the incident, he extended a hand to help her up, flashed a killer smile, and strolled inside. His bright blue eyes scanned the room, stopping right on my ogling ones. Embarrassed at being caught, I quickly diverted my attention back to my phone. A few seconds later, I was still pretending to be enraptured by my screen when footsteps came to a halt in front of me. I glanced up and blinked a few times. The guy from the door flashed a crooked smile.

“Were you able to control yourself?”

My forehead wrinkled. “Excuse me?”

His eyes danced with mirth, and his voice lowered. “I bet you couldn’t.”

I stared at him for an awkward moment before finally shaking my head. “What on Earth are you talking about?”

The man’s brows furrowed. “We made a deal, remember? I wouldn’t go through yours, if you didn’t touch mine?”

I’d watched the man walk in, stood right in front of him staring for at least a solid minute, and it took until now for me to notice he had something in his hand.

“Oh my God. You have my suitcase!”

He laughed but still looked perplexed. “What did you think I was talking about?”

“I…I don’t know. I was thoroughly confused.”

“I thought you saw me walk in.”

I did. But I hadn’t made it past your face. “No, I hadn’t noticed. Sorry. I guess I was just zoning out.”

The barista behind the counter yelled my name. I was glad for an excuse to put some distance between this guy and me. I needed a moment to gather my wits. Though when I returned, I still felt a little off-kilter.

“Thank you for meeting me to swap suitcases,” I said. “I’m really sorry I took the wrong one.”

“No problem.”

I rolled his case forward and released the handle. But the Adonis didn’t do the same. In fact, he pulled my bag closer to his side.

“Before we switch…” He tilted his head and studied my face. “I’m curious to know if you kept your word.”

I mimicked his pose and tilted my head. “What if I say I didn’t?”

“Well, then you’d have to pay a penalty for violating the terms of our deal.”

I raised a brow, intrigued. “A penalty?”

He nodded. “That’s right. There’s a penalty.”

I laughed as I lifted my coffee for a sip. “I just got back from a girls’ weekend in Vegas. Pretty sure this overpriced drink just used up the last five dollars in my bank account.”

“I wasn’t referring to a monetary penalty.”

“What kind of a penalty, then?”

He stroked the stubble on his chin for a moment. “You’d have to have coffee with me.”

Did this guy really think that would be a hardship? I debated how to answer. If I told the truth, it would be embarrassing. I mean, I went through the man’s personal belongings. But the flipside was I’d get to check him out some more over coffee.

Then again, I’d be agreeing to spend time with a complete stranger. Though…whenever I met a guy online, I usually met him at a coffeehouse, and I probably knew more about this guy after going through his suitcase than I would from an online chat.

Not to mention, none of my online dates had looked like Donovan Decker lately. In fact, none had made it further than coffee in a while.

Adonis had been watching my face as I debated my answer. His smirk made me think he already knew I’d checked out his bag. So, what the hell?

I stood tall and met his stare. “Was the lady from housekeeping harmed in the robbery?”

His eyes narrowed for a heartbeat, but then a giant smile spread across his face. He held his hand out toward the seating area. “After you, Autumn W.”

 

 

 

 


About Vi Keeland:

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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

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