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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Nocte by Courtney Cole

NOCTE_Cole

Let me tell you about a PHENOMENAL book that I recently finished reading, this incredible, unexpected, gripping story that owned me cover to cover. It is so different from everything I have read so far, so utterly mesmerising and unique that I have no doubt whatsoever that it will rock everyone’s world once it is unleashed onto our eReaders. Nocte is the story of Calla Price, an eighteeen-year-old girl who suffers a great loss in her young life, and is forced to cope with that trauma, as well as having to deal with the reality that her twin brother, her other half, her best friend, is mentally unstable and constantly on edge. Calla falls in love with Dare, a handsome but mysterious young man, and it is that very love that pulls her away from the tentacles of her own grief. But… that is just the skeleton of the story. The real story is SOOOOO much more complex, and you won’t know what hit you once all the pieces fall into place. An absolute must-read, a top recommendation from me, and while it comes out on 3 November, you can pre-order it already!!! Nocte is the first book in a trilogy, but it leaves you in a happy-for-now place, hungry for more, but content with what you know so far. It is also a story that couldn’t have been told in one book because of its many stunning layers, and I for one am dying for more, but very happy to wait a little while I put my poor heart back together…

Today, I get to share with you one of the scenes from this book that stayed with me the most, a moment in the story that stole my breath away, and then left me heartbroken once it all came together in the end. It is a passage that showcases the intensity of this amazing story, the depth of emotion, and the mystery of it all. So, sit back and enjoy, and prepare yourselves for a ride like no other once the book is released! ♥

SAVE ME AND I’LL SAVE YOU….

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

excerpt

“What the hell?” Finn mutters, staring ahead of us, past the trail, past the treescape, and into the clearing behind the Carriage House.  I follow his gaze and almost audibly gasp when I see Dare.

He’s back from town now, and dressed in workout clothes, shorts and a cut off ratty t-shirt.  He’s repeatedly punching the side of the woodshed.

Over and over and over.

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

Like a machete or a thresher or a piston.   

Sweat drips down his face, and blood drops from his hand, as he pummels the wood, punching at it like a machine.

“What the hell,” I echo Finn’s sentiment, before I shove the crab bucket into his hands and take off up the trail to get to Dare.  Finn protests from behind me, but I don’t stop and I don’t slow down.

I skid to a stop next to Dare, pulling at his elbow. He smells like sweat, so I can’t imagine how long he’s been out here, hurting himself.

“Dare, stop,” I tell him.  “You’re bleeding.”

He shakes my hand off, not looking at me, and punches again.

Blood splatters the ground and onto my bare foot.

“Dare.”

Thud. 

“Dare.”  My voice is stiffer now, like ice, and finally he stops, his arm dangling at his side.  He doesn’t look at me, but his breaths are coming in pants.  I wait, and eventually the pants slow down to shallow, even breaths.

“What’s wrong?” I ask him. “Why are you…. what’s wrong?”

I wait.

He’s silent.  Finally, he rocks back on his heels, and sinks to the ground, to his knees.

“Nothing’s wrong,” he finally tells me, his voice like wood.

“Nothing?” I find that hard to believe.  “Then why are you breaking your hands?”

I kneel down in front of him, lifting his hands to examine them.  The knuckles are beyond scraped, beyond cut. They’re mashed.  A bloody pulp, actually.  “I think you might’ve actually broken them.”

He yanks them away.  “I didn’t.”

“Ok.”

I eye him warily.  If there’s one thing I’ve gotten good at, it’s sorting through crazy situations.  “Can I help you clean them up?”

I hold my breath until he climbs to his feet.

“I’ve got it.”  His voice is curt and dismissive, and he turns to walk away. What the hell?  Where is the guy who has been so engaging?  So charming?   He’s apparently been replaced by this cold stranger who has an affinity for hurting himself.

I grab his elbow.  Out of my periphery, I notice Finn standing in the distance, watching.  Waiting.

“It’s ok,” I call to my brother.  “You don’t have to wait.”

Finn shakes his head, but so do I. “Go on,” I call out.  “I’ll be up shortly.”

Reluctantly, he walks away with the crabs and Dare looks at me.

“You don’t need to stay.  I don’t need help.”

“Yes, you do,” I argue.  “You just don’t realize it.”

“And you do?”

“Yes.”

Dare stares down at me, his eyes chilly.  “No, you don’t.  Because as you so clearly pointed out, you don’t know me.  You can let go of my elbow now.”

My fingers slip away, confused by his iciness, by his words, but he still follows me into the Carriage House and into his little kitchen.

As we go, I can’t help but notice how neat he keeps the little home.  The bed is made, the counters are wiped off, there are no dirty clothes piled on the floor.  Impressive for a young single guy.

I turn the water on and let it run, waiting until it gets warm before I hold his hands beneath it. He sucks in his breath but doesn’t say anything.  I grab a clean dish-towel and wrap his hands in it, and he leans against the counter.  As he does, the shirt at his waistband lifts a bit, exposing a flat ribbon of his belly.

The skin looks soft as velvet, although the muscle looks hard as steel.  I itch to run my finger along it, to touch it and find out.

But of course, I don’t because it’s not exactly socially acceptable.

“Why are you upset?” I ask instead, as I open his freezer.  I pull out some ice, and dump it into two baggies, one for each hand.

Dare doesn’t open his eyes.

“I’m not.”

“You lie.”

It’s a statement, not a question.

He sighs.

“Maybe.”

I push him into a kitchen chair, and hold the ice onto his hands.

“Definitely.”

He opens his eyes finally. “Do you know what it’s like to not be able to change something?”

✦ Want more? How about a steamy excerpt? Click HERE to read it… ✦

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Nocte releases on 3 Nov 2014, but you can pre-order it now!!
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Connect with Courtney: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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COVER REVEAL: Fragments by M.R. Field

“I could think of any moment and see him weaved throughout it. It was as though his soul was interwoven with mine”

A debut novel by a young Australian author, the first book in a four-book series, I am so excited to be able to share with you today the stunning cover and blurb of Fragments… ♥

Expected release date: 8 December 2014

Fragments KINDLE

Trice

Under the lights, amongst the jazz shoes, blistered feet and caked faces of the dance troupe, you pretend you’re someone else. The melody begins and your body responds. You allow it to weave into your skin until it’s made itself home in your soul. It is that dance that drives you. It is that dance that will continue to save you. It is that dance that will release you.

Until him.

Until your heart can no longer shut him out, even after he’s pushed you away.

You can’t let him in again, can you? There’s only so much of your heart left to give.

Alex

She is the reason I can’t stay. The reason that the covered bruises, the lies and the hurt are too much. I am no good for her. But when I see her again, I can’t stay away. Like Dante said, “The path to paradise begins in hell.”

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Connect with author: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren

DRT_Christina Lauren

I am rarely surprised by a book, but Sweet Filthy Boy blew. me. away. From impeccable character development, to a truly stimulating storyline, from sizzling sex scenes that had my skin-tingling and my pulse racing, to an engaging writing style that left me craving for more from this talented writing duo—this was a book I could not put down and even before I finished it, I knew it would forever remain one of my favourite reading escapes. And now we are getting Harlow and Finn’s book!!!!! Releasing on 4 Nov, I simply cannot wait for Dirty Rowdy Thing, and today I am so excited to share with you a delicious little except… ♥

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other…which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs.

excerpt

He looks down the hall and then back at me, gaze moving from my face down to my feet. “You go get a big glass of water, a piece of toast, and a couple of ibuprofen or something. I’m not going to f*ck you until you’re steady.”

He turns without waiting for my reaction to his bossy tone, walking down the hall and ducking his head into the bathroom before slipping fully inside, closing the door behind him with a quiet click.

Because it’s a good idea and not because Finn told me to—a fact I have to restrain myself from shouting over my shoulder—I go to the kitchen for water, food, and two ibuprofen.

I hear the faucet turn on, the bathroom door open, and then he calls from the hallway, “Where do you keep your sports and surfing shit?”

“My what?” I ask around a mouthful of toast.

“I don’t mean your board.” I hear him open the hall closet and mumble an “Ah. Got it.”

I chug my water and watch him emerge from the hallway. My heart trips. His shoulders fill the doorway and I feel oddly intimidated. It’s only odd because I like it. I like the idea of him being a little scary, a little out of control. I like the idea  of him crashing into my life and pushing everything else out of frame.

He’s got a spool of bungee cord in his hand.

“How did I know you were looking for something like that?” I ask.

“It could be the subtle way I asked you about the rope, earlier.” He wraps his hand around my upper arm and leads me to the living room.

I weave a little on my feet and he studies me, pushing his hat off his head and mussing his hair with one hand. “You gonna remember this?”

It’s troubling how his voice affects me. It’s raspy, and reminds me of a good rich whiskey, the scratch of it in my throat, its warmth in my blood. I don’t think I can pretend anymore that I’m not completely obsessed with Finn Roberts.

“Probably,” I whisper, stretching to kiss his jawline

“I can’t wait for you to beg me to come.” He lifts his chin the tiniest bit, running his tongue over his bottom lip. “And I can’t wait for you to beg me to let you stop.”

I have the sense of sobering up just so I can get high off the feeling of him inside.

Nodding at my clothes, he murmurs, “Take them off.”

I pull my T-shirt off, slip out of my shoes and jeans. He watches every move, absently unwrapping the new roll of bungee cord. I bought it a few weeks ago to transport my surfboard after my last cord started to fray, but hell. This works, too.

“This won’t be as soft,” he says, motioning to the cord, but I sort of hope he’s also talking about how he’s going to f*ck me.

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Connect with authors: Website | Facebook | Twitter (Christina) | Twitter (Lauren) | Goodreads
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Wild Seasons – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
(standalone stories with interconnected characters)
sweetfiltyboy
dirtyrowdything

Sweet Filthy Boy: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Dirty Rowdy ThingAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback (4 Nov 2014)
Dark Wild Nights: coming Sep 2015…
Wicked Sexy Liar: coming Feb 2016…

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Other books in the series or related posts:

WEEKLY RECAP of NEW & UPCOMING RELEASES – 21 October 2014

pitchimperfect

Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé.

For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her a taste of her own medicine while he’s at it.

But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface?

Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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beholden

Catherine Pope got a second chance at love, only to have it ripped away—again. She should’ve known better.

But she dared to hope.

She refuses to let fate take the reins this time. Catherine decides she’s going to fight.

Jackson Cole risked it all.

He thought this time would be different.

With his loyalties pulling him in two directions—it’s time to make a choice…his past or his future.

Will they be beholden to their fears or will they both fight against their demons and finally find the love they both long for?

This is the conclusion of the story that began in Beloved and it is not a standalone novel.

Series reading order: Beloved ($0.99) | Beholden

beloved beholden
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUPaperback
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bait

He was trouble from the start, but I couldn’t resist.
[She was the best kind of trouble. The kind that was so wrong, it felt right.]

I’ve tried and failed to stay away from him.
[I’ve done everything in my power to make her mine and keep her.]

He’s almost impossible to say no to.
[She never tells me yes.]

We’re always fighting.
[When we’re not fighting, we’re… well… making up.]

He makes me laugh so hard.
[I miss her laugh the most.]

I’m a liar.
[She knows the truth, but won’t admit it.]

Sometimes, I wish I’d never met him.
[I wish we could meet all over again. I'd do better.]

His girlfriend knows.
[The guy she’s with is a fool.]

I’ll never love anyone like I love him.
[She doesn’t love me enough to choose us.]

It was the wrong place.
[It was the wrong time.]

It should have been him.
[It will always be her.]

This is the first book in The Wake trilogy and it is not a standalone novel as the story will continue in subsequent instalments, the second expected in early 2015.

This book is leaving fellow readers in a turmoil of emotions!!! My book junkies are telling me they are gutted and loving every minute of it. Even those who hate love triangles are losing their minds over it…

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUPaperback
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ILHYLM

Dylan Sullivan, a renowned boat builder, has spent his entire life sailing around the world. But while he’s always enjoyed the freedom of the ocean, when Grace Adrian shows up at his Seattle boathouse to interview him for a magazine, it’s love at first sight. Love for both Grace and her ten-month-old son, Mason, with whom Dylan has an immediate bond. And every moment they spend together makes Dylan more and more certain that a love like theirs is worth risking everything for.

A year and a half ago, Grace’s entire world turned upside down. Not only did she learn that she was pregnant, she also found out that she was nothing but a dirty little secret to her boyfriend and his elite Washington D.C. family. Since then, Grace has been rebuilding her life in Seattle, giving one hundred percent of her attention to her son and her freelance writing career. Believing she can never risk her heart—or her son’s—again, especially to a man like Dylan who could sail away at any moment, Grace tries desperately to guard her heart from the charismatic and sexy sailor.

For as sweet and protective as Dylan is during the day, at night when one incredibly hot kiss turns into so much more, Grace simply can’t find a way to keep from tumbling into his arms again and again. But can she ever learn to trust in love again?

This is the thirteenth book in The Sullivans series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: The Look of Love | From This Moment On | Can’t Help Falling In Love I Only Have Eyes For You | If You Were Mine | Let Me Be The One | Come A Little Bit Closer | Always On My Mind | One Perfect Night (novella) | The Way You Look Tonight | Kissing Under The Mistletoe: A Sullivan Christmas | It Must Be Your Love | Just To Be With You | I Love How You Love Me

thelookoflove_322x500 fromthismomenton canthelpfallinginlove ionlyhaveeyesforyou ifyouweremine
letmebetheone comealittlebitcloser alwaysonmymind2 thewayyoulooktonight kissingunderthemistletoe_322
itmustbeyourlove justtobewithyou ILHYLM
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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leftbehind

Two stories so deeply intertwined, you’ll think you know how they intersect…but you’ll be wrong….

Zack Martin

The day I met Emily Bennett my whole world changed. Sure, we were just kids, but I was old enough to know my life would never be the same. She was my best friend. My destiny. My fate. I wasn’t wrong…I just didn’t know how twisted fate could be.

Nikki Fallon

After the death of my mother, moving from my dark and dreary trailer park to sunny California, I was focused on one thing – finding a sister I’d only just learned existed. Falling in love with him wasn’t part of the plan. But he filled a void I never knew was possible to fill. He had to be my fate. My destiny. Until the day I finally found out who my sister was…and how twisted fate could be.

This is a standalone novel.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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mrbeautiful

She was my sin and my temple. I both worshipped and defiled there. Gloried and desecrated. Revered and debased.

I’ve been remade four times in my life.

It is a distinct feeling. Impossible to mistake. The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable.

I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies, and despairingly alone.

It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator. I’d become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.

The third happened swiftly. One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul. Checkmate. I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation, to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.

And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I’d never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.

This is the continuation of the Up in the Air series, told from the male POVs of James, Stephan, Tristan, Frankie, and Akira.

Series reading order: In Flight | Mile High | Grounded | Mr. Beautiful

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grounded
mrbeautiful
Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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wreckme_sorensen

When Avery Hensley met Conner Wellings, she thought she’d found the guy she was going to spend the rest of her life with. She got married young and had the most beautiful son in the world.

Life seemed perfect.

But not everything is what it seems.

Turned out Conner had another side to him, a darker side that Avery didn’t see coming. He wrecked and broke her into a thousand pieces, leaving Avery to put herself back together. From then on, Avery vows never to let a man into her life again.

But then she meets Tristan Morganson. He’s sweet and sexy and wrecks Avery in a different way than Conner did, the kind of way that makes her feel alive again, the kind of way that makes her think maybe not all guys are bad. But can Avery trust him enough to let her walls come crumbling down?

This is a standalone novel in the Nova series and it is priced at $0.99 while on pre-order. The price will go up to $3.99 during release week.

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUPaperback
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wildaddiction

I gave him my body, and he gave me no strings. It was that simple… in the beginning.

I never could have imagined my temptation could become my addiction. If I knew for a second how entirely Tyler Stone would consume me, I never would have handed him my body so freely.

His addiction feeds mine. My cravings ignite his. Together we are dangerous. Destructive. Obsessive. Wild.

But now it’s too late. We’re bound by more than our inexplicable need for the other, and the ties that hold us together are irreversible.

He craves my body. I crave his heart.

This is addiction.

This is the conclusion to Liv and Tyler’s story and it is not a standalone novel.

Series reading order: Wild Attraction (FREE novelette) | Wild Temptation ($0.99) | Wild Addiction

wildattraction2 wildtemptation wildaddiction
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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rowdy

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in a house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

This is the fifth book in the Marked Men series but it can be read as a standalone novel.

Series recommended reading order: Rule ($1.99) | Jet | Rome ($1.99) | Nash | Rowdy | Asa (14 Apr 2015)

rule jet rome nash rowdy
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Paperback
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deadserious

“You ever see one of those old western movies where the sheriff and the outlaw face each other in a dusty street? Revolvers at the ready? Good versus evil and all. Well, this is kind of like that. Only more f*cked.”

Naomi Knox is on her way to becoming the world’s most worshipped Rock Goddess.

I’m so in love with this chick that I could be the King to her Queen, the Devil to her Angel.

But a wise soul once told me that your past is your foundation, and if it’s crumbling, then you’ve got nothing left to build on.

I’ll fight the f*cking world to see her safe, risk my life just to hear her sing one more time.

And then I’m going to marry her, put Turner babies in her belly, and live happily f*cking ever after. Or at least that’s the plan. But you know what they say: the best laid schemes of mice and men …

Turner Campbell is a douche bag.

No, seriously. He’s a f*cking train wreck. But a precious train wreck. And I can’t help myself: I love the sh*t out of him, even though I hate him. Even though I don’t. Don’t ask. It’s complicated.

But he’s also a rock star and now, so am I. The Goddess of Guitar, I guess. All I really want is to make music and see how hard it is to fall in love with a man who’s a devil at heart but sings like an angel.

If I’m going to lay my heart on the line again though, I deserve a real chance. I won’t be a pawn in this f*cking game any longer.

I don’t care how dangerous the stakes are anymore. I’m taking charge of my own destiny, like I should’ve all along. I won’t have the wool pulled over my eyes and I won’t bend over for fate. Get ready, b*tches, because Naomi Knox is coming for you.

This is the sixth book in the Hard Rock Roots series and it is not a standalone novel. 

Series reading order: Real Ugly | Get BentTough Luck | Bad DayBorn Wrong | Dead Serious

realugly getbent toughluck
badday BornWrong deadserious
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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forked

Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:

1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.

2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.

3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.

Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.

You’re totally FORKED.

This is the second book in the Frenched series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. 

Series recommended reading order: Frenched ($0.99) | Yanked (follow-up novella to Frenched) | Forked

frenched yanked forked
Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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after

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same.

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

This is the first book in the After series, and the storyline will continue in subsequent books. 

Series reading order: After | After We Collided (18 Nov 2014) | After We Fell (30 Dec 2014) | After Ever Happy (10 Feb 2015)

after afterwecollided_todd afterwefell_todd
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findingyou_lee

Being the wild child has worked for Mallory Vandaveer for most of her life. She’s the good time girl, up for anything–and everyone in her small town knows it. But when her sister came home after years of being away, long hidden secrets came out. Turns out, Mallory isn’t who she thought she was. And now everything starts to feel like a lie. In order to figure out who she is she’ll have to set out on a journey to find the one man who holds the answers.

Everett Boone is in hiding. Hiding from his past and the press and the demands of a career he put on hold after tragedy struck. When a young woman with secrets of her own blows into town and rents the apartment next to his, he’ll have to face the past he was trying to escape in order to understand his feelings for her.

They’ll both have to dig deep inside themselves to discover whether or not they’re capable of being enough for one another. Finding the person you’re meant to love isn’t the problem. Sometimes the hardest person to find is yourself.

This is the second book in a series of interconnected standalone novels.

Series recommended reading order: Escaping MeFinding You

escapingme findingyou_lee
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alex

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

This is the first book in the Cold Fury Hockey series of standalone novels with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Alex | Garrett (17 Feb 2015)

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sociopath

The name’s Aeron Lore. And you are…? Such a pleasure to meet you, sweetheart. Is that a southern accent? Gorgeous.

You f*cking bitch.

Why so surprised? I control a billion dollar fortune. I control the news. Give me five minutes and I’ll control you, too. If you could read my mind, you’d probably call me perverted. Unnatural. Manipulative. But I’ve learned to blend in, to be funny and charming. A predator in a designer suit.

I have no conscience. No shame in taking the things I want. And what I wanted was for Leontine Reeves to sell me her boutique tech firm so I could exploit the f*ck out of it. Maybe exploit the f*ck out of her, too, because desire haunts me in shades of scarlet, and I desire Leo most of all.

I never meant for this to be a love story. I fought it kicking and screaming, the same way Leo fought me. Now we’re bleeding into each other, making a mess. A chaos. There’s no control here. And what do monsters like me do when control leaves the building?

We attack.

This is a standalone novel.

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nordiclords#3

Hatred. Desire. Broken Dreams.

Jules McAllister has loved and lost.

She experienced the gut wrenching pain of grief after her boyfriend, Scratch, a member of the Nordic Lords MC, died on the same night that she told him they were going to have a child.

Grief stricken and destroyed, she left Jasper Bay, unable to tell anyone the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

When her childhood friend, Olivia needs her, Jules realizes it’s time to return home and give her daughter what she wants most – a family.

But Jules didn’t count on the tumultuous emotions she would feel around Scratch’s brooding and angry brother, Jaden.

Jaden has vowed to never forgive Jules for, what he feels is her role his brother’s death. Being face to face with Jules again, who is now a mother to a young child, he finds that his anger hasn’t waned and swears to have nothing to do with mom or child.

But how can he reconcile the burning fury in his soul with the irrational urge to touch her? To taste her? To own her completely?

Can wounded hearts that still bleed ever be healed? And can two people broken by their pasts find freedom from their pain in each other?

Or will a night of passion destroy them both?

This is the third book in The Nordic Lords MC series of standalone stories with interconnected characters.

Series recommended reading order: Point of Return ($0.99) | Point of Redemption ($0.99) | Point of Freedom

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teaseme

She showed him how to love…

The lead guitarist of Sole Regret had always walked the world alone, until he opened his heart and his world to his sweet, reserved rehab counselor. Adam Taylor normally shirks responsibility and lives in the moment, but the foreign, tender emotions that Madison draws to the surface has him considering his future for the first time in his life. But how can a woman as good as Madison be happy with a train wreck like him?

He showed her how to live…

Since Madison Fairbanks started dating Adam, her entire life has been turned upside down and while his impulsive, reckless side causes her passion to burn bright, it also tends to put her in extraordinary situations—including a night in a very risqué sex club that’s guaranteed to satisfy her most forbidden fantasies. He encourages her to try new things, step out of her usual boundaries, and experience a lifestyle she never considered. But how can a man as wild as Adam ever be tamed enough for a serious relationship?

Adam and Madison seem to have everything working against them. Is their love strong enough to withstand every challenge thrown their way, or is it time to call it quits?

This is the seventh instalment in the One Night with Sole Regret series. This is an ongoing serial, each novella spanning the course of one night and is about a different band member. All the band members’ stories weave together, so characters reappear in all of the stories.

Serial reading order: Share Me (prequel novelette) | Try Me | Tempt Me | Take Me | Touch Me | Tie Me | Tell Me | Tease Me

Bundles: Try Me, Tempt Me, Take MeShare Me, Touch Me, Tie Me

shareme tryme temptme takeme3
touchme tieme tellme teaseme
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unspoken2

Palmer Sinclair was on the edge of happily ever after when she broke off her engagement to Brady Grant. The end of their relationship marked the beginning of a painful solitary journey for her. Though she makes places beautiful with her work as an interior designer, the rest of her life is anything but beautiful – it’s slowly pulling her under.

Brady, a contractor, is swiftly building his business into an empire. Work is a faithful companion that never lets him down like Palmer did. When he sees women now, it’s on his terms. And his terms are simple: just sex. He won’t let a woman break him again.

Palmer is barely holding it together when she and Brady are unexpectedly paired on a project after a year apart.

The pull between them is stronger than ever, but the fallout from their reconnection leaves them both wondering if maybe some things are better left unsaid.

This is a standalone novel. second chance at love story!!!!! A portion of release week sales will benefit the Keith Milano Memorial Fund.

Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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thechalet

Abby and Nathaniel’s story continues with their romantic wedding and a honeymoon too hot to believe…

Submitting her body was only the beginning.

Abby King didn’t know true passion until she gave herself to Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors and desired Dominants. Now, on the eve of her marriage, she realizes all her dreams are coming true. And with a romantic honeymoon getaway planned at a secluded Swiss chalet, she’s sure Nathaniel will find even more fantasies to fulfill…

Nathaniel never thought he’d settle down until Abby broke down his barriers and changed his plans. With their wedding only weeks away, he can barely wait to possess her completely—heart, body, and soul—and show her the true meaning of being both a wife and a submissive.

Only Abby has one more challenge in store before she becomes his: no sex and no collar for one month before the wedding. Nathaniel is willing to give it a shot but he has one scandalous stipulation—once that month is up, anything goes…

This is a novella in the Submissive series and it is not a standalone.

Series reading order: The Submissive | The Dominant | The Training | The Chalet (novella) | The Enticement (7 Apr 2015)

TheSubmissive thedominant2 thetraining2 thechalet theenticement
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forgivinggia

Abel Gunner is a rock-star with legendary skills both in and out of the bedroom. He swore he wouldn’t fall for another woman after being schemed and manipulated by an ex-lover. He kept that vow until he met Gia Mastro.

The Dom inside of him awoke the moment he set eyes upon the submissive beauty.

His dark soul hungered for her submission and affection. The deep connection they share leaves him desperate for something he never expected – her love. Her pain brings him the pleasure he craves. Her smile calms the beast that rages within him.

Gia loves Abel more than life itself, but Abel is disillusioned by love and wrecks Gia in the process.

Her life hangs in the balance. His life depends on forgiving her.

This couple must face many truths. Is love enough to overcome the damage that dwells within?

Gia’s experiences with love have been nil until meeting the infamous bad-boy rocker, Abel Gunner. Swept up in a mind-bending, Dom/submissive love affair, she’s forced to make decisions that both help and hurt their relationship. They both have to face their demons before they can embrace a future together.

In the end, they’re faced with two choices: Fight for their love, or die with their demons.

This is the second book in the series and it continues the storyline that began in Saving Abel.

Series reading order: Saving Abel ($0.99) | Forgiving Gia

savingabel forgivinggia
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outofthedarkness

She ruined me.

The walls I’d built were for a reason; locking myself in my own personal prison was out of necessity. Now, with the rubble at my feet, I could do nothing but watch as she ripped my soul in two, taking the half she owned with her.

The need to settle down, to find that missing piece, for the all-consuming love, was never Drew’s plan. He’d spent the better part of a decade suppressing all memory of love, of life. He told himself he had the essentials: the impressive apartment, the successful club, the simple, uncomplicated life he’d worked so hard to create. It was all he needed. Until Mia.

She entered his life like wildfire, burning through his world and destroying all pretence of simplicity, evoking everything he’d fought to deny.

Longing. Warmth. Love.

She made him want it all, but Amelia lived in the darkness. It had always been her constant yet terrifying companion. A shadow she’d never been able to out run and one fateful night it finally consumed her, shattering both their worlds and burying them deeper in the dark.

Drew will stop at nothing to save her, for their happy ever after, but Mia isn’t the only one with demons … It’s a long way out of the darkness.

This is the conclusion of the story that began in Ahead of the Darkness and it is not a standalone novel.

Series reading order: Ahead of the Darkness | Out of the Darkness

aheadofthedarkness outofthedarkness
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ruin#2

Kayla Monroe had fallen hard and fast for Dr. Ben Foster. He was everything she needed and wanted after being dumped by the man she thought she loved. What started as a one night stand quickly turned into a blossoming relationship. Then the complications of his youth halt everything in its tracks.

The voices around her are telling Kayla that Ben isn’t the man she thinks he is but her heart is telling her something completely different. She’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame and as she listens as he explains his past, she sees the promise of a future with him that she desperately wants.

She’s the thread that will weave a path for Ben back into the family he has lost. She senses it and as she takes on the task of releasing him from his burdens, she discovers that the man she has been sharing her bed with is, more complicated than she ever imagined.

Just as Kayla is about to step into her future with Ben, she ends up in a place where she’s forced to accept a truth that she never knew existed.

This is the second instalment in the Ruin serial. The third and final instalment is expected within the next few weeks.

Serial reading order: Ruin 1 | Ruin 2 | Ruin 3 (TBA)

ruin#1 ruin#2 ruin#3
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heartless

Elizabeth Lyons has one rule for herself: No Distractions.

No distractions basically translates into No Men; which definitely means HELL NO when it comes to Daniel Alexander.

After a chance meeting at a business function Daniel is not interested in letting Elizabeth go. No matter how much she tries to stay away from him, he’s not the kind of guy who lets something he wants walk out of his life. The question is, will she let him catch her, or will she chase him away for good?

This is a serial romance told over three episodes. Episode 2 is expected on 27 Oct and episode 3 on 3 Nov.

Buy book:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
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Upcoming releases available for pre-order (click on cover)…
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24 Oct 2014

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NOCTE2

3 Nov 2014

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4 Nov 2014

MisteltoeAndHollywood

4 Nov 2014

fightingthefall

4 Nov 2014

filthybeautifullust

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aftertherain2

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LoveInSpanish

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LoveInSpanish

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PolesApart

18 Nov 2014

captivatedbyyou

18 Nov 2014

ibelongtoyou2

18 Nov 2014

LoveInSpanish

18 Nov 2014

HardToComeBy

24 Nov 2014

theking_reisz

25 Nov 2014

LoveInSpanish

25 Nov 2014

TheUnimaginable

1 Dec 2014

maitaidup

2 Dec 2014

youweremine

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breakingtherules

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RIPPED

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kirosemily

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fallingaway

6 Jan 2015

heldagainstyou

13 Jan 2015

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TheRaven

3 Feb 2015

Deep

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Deep

31 Mar 2015

Deep

31 Mar 2015

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Love, in Spanish by Karina Halle

Karina Halle_LIS

Love, in English is one of my favourite books ever. The super emotional romance between Vera and Mateo stayed with me for months after I first finished it, and I am so happy that soon I will get to spend time with them again!!! A lengthy follow-up novella is coming on 11 November, told from Mateo Casalles’ point of view, which will touch on some events that happened in Love, in English, while expanding on Vera and Mateo’s happily ever after. And today, I get to share with you a never seen before excerpt from Love, in Spanish… ♥

“She sat beside me on the bus – and she changed my whole life.”

Successful, wealthy and absurdly handsome – Spanish ex-football player Mateo Casalles seemed like he had it all. A high-society wife, an adorable little girl, and flashy apartments in Madrid and Barcelona only sweetened the deal. But there was more to Mateo than met the eye – a life of uncertainty and regret that colored his black and white world.

That was until Vera Miles came into his life like a shooting star. Tattooed, wild and young, Vera seemed like Mateo’s polar opposite at first. But you can’t choose who you fall in love with and the two lost souls did everything they could to be together, all while suffering the grave consequences.

Now with Mateo divorced and living in Madrid with Vera, there is a whole new set of challenges and setbacks facing the couple and rocking the foundation of their star-crossed relationship.

Unfortunately for them, the brighter the star, the faster they burn.

excerpt

How could so much have changed, so fast? I grip her hand even tighter, wishing I could sink down into the sand, let the beach swallow us whole and take her to the bottom with me. I want to shelter her from what’s coming and it rips my soul apart just knowing that I can’t.

“Mateo,” she says softly but I can’t bear to turn my head to look at her. I want to keep feeling her, staring at the stars. I don’t want her to see the pain in my eyes. I don’t want to ruin our night.

“Yes,” I answer, just as softly. I stare up and see a shooting star dart across the sky. I close my eyes and make a wish.

I want Vera with me forever.

“I love you, you know,” she says and it’s enough to make me open my eyes.

I swallow hard, so afraid I’m going to crack. I pull her hand to my lips and kiss her palm. “I love you, too.”

“Do you think,” she says, then trails off. She sighs and it sounds like her heart is heavy. “Do you think that we’ll get a happily ever after, after all of this?”

Her question stuns me so much that I have no choice but to look at her. Her eyes are dark, wet pools, the distant streetlights reflecting in them.

“Of course we will,” I say. “What makes you say that?”

“Because you don’t sound convinced.”

I rub my lips together, trying to think, trying to sound convinced enough to her. “Vera, my Estrella, I want us together forever. I want us to be happy. I want a lot of things that fools only dream of.”

“And you think we are fools?”

“I think we are fools if we don’t dream.”

“But wanting is not the same as knowing, as having. Do you think we’re going to be okay?”

I want to lie to her but I can’t. I let out a low breath and say, “I think we deserve to be okay. But in the short term…”

“You know something,” she says, “don’t you?”

My heart stills. I glance at her, frowning. “Why makes you say that?”

She gathers sand and lets it fall through her fingers, watching the grains absently as she repeats the action over and over. “I’ve been with you for over a year and in that time we’ve been through a lot. I knew you after a month at Las Palabras. I definitely know you now. I know when you’re hurting, when you’re troubled. You think you can hide everything away beneath your beautiful face and your classy gestures, but I know the real you. And I know there is something going on right now, something that’s breaking your heart.” She pauses and swallows loudly. She blinks a few times, her eyes growing wetter and that heart of mine that she’s talking about, I can feel the deep pinch. “I’m afraid to know what it is because I know it’s going to break my heart too. But, please. Mateo. I need to know. I can’t let you go through this alone. Let me in with you.”

I lean over and kiss her lips, taste the tears that have spilled down her cheeks. I feel so much love for her and so much fucking sorrow that I can’t even separate the two. I push my fingers through the silky wildness of her hair and hold her in place, as if I can hold her here forever.

It is a beautiful kiss. It is the one that precedes sadness and change, the last one that feels strong and free. I relish it, relish her. When I pull away from her lips and mouth and tongue and soul, I will have to tell her the truth. I will have to destroy her, destroy this, destroy me.

It is the pain that makes me pull apart. Everything has already changed inside.

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Connect with Karina: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Love in English – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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LoveInSpanish
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Love, in English: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Love, in Spanish (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA (11 Nov 2014)
Where Sea Meets Sky (spin-off): Amazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback (31 Mar 2015)

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Other books in the series or related posts:

COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT: The Librarian Principle by Helena Hunting

An affair between a librarian and the charismatic principal of a small-town private high school… after he discovers the extensive stash of porn on her personal laptop!!!! Umm, where is the darn one-click button when you need it?!? From the author of the incredible Clipped Wings series, comes a new standalone erotic romance to drive us insane with anticipation: The Librarian Principle… ♥

Expected release date: 21 December 2014

The Librarian Principle

Annaliese Harper knows that one tiny mistake can jeopardize a career before it’s even begun. Letting your boss find the extensive collection of porn on your personal laptop is one way. Sleeping with him is another. Liese manages to do both.

As the new librarian at a prestigious small-town private high school, Liese is drawn to her sexy, charismatic principal, Ryder Whitehall—an attraction she refuses to acknowledge given their relationship and her recent liberation from a delusional ex-boyfriend.

Liese is certain Ryder’s flirtation is the product of her sex-deprived imagination—until he discovers her digital porn stash during working hours and demands a private meeting. Behind closed doors, their attraction explodes into a dangerous, passionate affair that not only threatens their jobs and reputations, but most of all, their hearts.

excerpt

Liese was in the middle of adjusting her skirt when her phone chimed. She rummaged around inside her purse and found Marissa had sent her a message. Against her better judgment, she checked it. There was no text, only a photo, and it was too small in the message window to adequately discern the content. She clicked the image, and it expanded on the screen.

A noise that sounded vaguely like a cat dying escaped her. Marissa had done it again. Ryder’s head was superimposed onto the body of yet another well-hung porn star, and this time the image also included a woman—superimposed with Liese’s face—sprawled out over a desk, much like the one she stood in front of now.

“Hi there.”

Liese screamed, caught completely unaware. She turned to find Ryder standing in her office doorway, leaning against the jamb, his coat thrown over his arm, briefcase in hand. His suit jacket was unbuttoned, giving him a more relaxed look than usual. And sexier. If that was possible.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you,” he said. “You seemed rather invested in whatever you were reading just now.”

Liese hit the button on her phone, and the screen went blank. “It was my girlfriend,” she explained.

Ryder stared at her, unblinking.

At his lack of reaction, she elaborated. “My best friend—she’s expecting me later this evening. She was just checking in.”

“Oh.” He sounded relieved for some reason she couldn’t fathom. “Am I keeping you? We can reschedule for next week if you need to go.”

“No, no, it’s fine. I’m happy to meet with you, unless you have another engagement.” Liese slid her phone back into her purse, turning off the volume as she did so.

“I have no prior engagements.”

They stared at each other for a few interminable seconds before Liese realized they were on her territory, and she should invite him in. “Would you like to work in my office or out there?” Liese gestured to the empty library beyond.

He glanced over his shoulder and then surveyed their current surroundings. “I think your office would be more private.”

“Sure. Right.” Liese nodded, clutching the back of her chair.

“Unless you’d be more comfortable working out there,” Ryder supplied, watching her speculatively from his spot in the doorway.

“What? Oh, no. Not at all. I’m perfectly comfortable with you in me.”

His shock formed a counterpoint to her horror.

“In my office! I’m perfectly comfortable working with you in my office.”

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Connect with Helena: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Other books by this author…
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Cupcakes and Ink (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Clipped Wings: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Between the Cracks (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Inked ArmorAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Cracks in the Armor (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT: Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

Remember Josh, Vera’s hot, tatted brother from Love, in English? He is getting his own book in March 2015!!! A love story that “perfectly captures the existential angst of one’s early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling”, this book will be travel-laced, just like Love, in English, only set in New Zealand this time around, and it promises to be an angsty, sexy adventure. So, feast your eyes on the gorgeous cover and enjoy an excerpt from Where Sea Meets Sky… ♥

Expected release date: 31 March 2015

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Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go—even when you know you have to say goodbye.

excerpt

Vancouver

Josh

I get an erection the moment I first lay eyes on her. She looks like no one I’ve ever seen before. Tall, curvy, with thick superhero thighs and a round ass, showcased in black Lycra that hugs every slope. Her big, high breasts and small waist are accentuated by her white tank top. Her body has just enough meat for me to grab a good hold of, and I imagine running my hands over her hills and valleys. I want to imagine more than that, but I’m horny as hell as it is and my erection is already inappropriate, considering I’m in public and all.

She finally looks my way, aware that I’ve been staring like an idiot. She catches my gaze, her eyes twinkling a vibrant yellow, her pupils large and wet. She smirks at me, causing a shower of glitter to rain from her cheeks, and brushes her purple hair over her shoulder before she bends over to slide a gun out from the harness strapped to her boot.

I try not to stare into the blinding sun of her tanned cleavage. I try to think of something clever to say to her. Something along the lines of, “I think I know who you are, but shouldn’t you have one eyeball instead of two?”

But it’s she who comes over to me, gun comfortably in her hand, and stops only a foot away. When she smiles at me, I see fangs.

Now I’m really confused. At least I know what to say now.

“Who are you?” I ask her, happy that my voice is hard and deep. I hope it makes her think of sex.

She raises a perfect brow and up close I’m struck by how bronzed her skin tone is. I don’t think it’s makeup. Not many people in Vancouver manage to keep their tan into the fall.

“You don’t know?” she asks. She has an accent. I immediately want to say she’s from England but that’s not it. It’s not Australia either.

“I thought I did,” I say. “But your eyes and fangs are throwing me all off.”

“I’m vampire Leela, from Futurama.”

I grin at her, happy that I was half-right. “Shouldn’t you just have one eyeball then?”

She reaches into her other boot and effortlessly pulls out an eye mask. It’s painted white, with a black pupil in the middle. She waves it at me. “I put it on for photos but I can barely see out of it. I walked into a wall, twice.” She raises two fingers for emphasis. “I figured I’ll just be a vampire the rest of the time.”

I can seriously listen to her talk all day. “I don’t remember any episode where Leela turned into a vampire.” Maybe it hinted at my secret nerd-boy status, but I watched the cartoonFuturama religiously.

She wets her lips for a moment and I try my hardest not to adjust my boxer briefs underneath my costume. “I like to think she’ll become a vampire in future episodes. Or maybe she was one once and Matt Groening scrapped the idea. I believe characters have more to their lives than the lives we are shown.”

“Kind of like people,” I say, hoping I come across as somewhat profound.

She gives me a slight nod – indicating I’m not as profound as I thought – and looks me up and down. “I just had to come over here to tell you you’re the best-dressed guy here. I mean, that must have taken some effort.”

I grin at her. “Game of Thrones, fan?” I ask.

Another sly nod. “Of course. But who doesn’t love Khal Drogo?”

“Last year I dressed up as the author George R.R. Martin,” I tell her. “People kept mistaking me for Ernest Hemingway, even though I was carrying a bucket of fried chicken around with me and had a pillow stuffed down my shirt.”

“So you went for something sexier…” she says as she lets her eyes trail over my body, which automatically makes me stand up straighter. I haven’t left much to the imagination. Jesus sandals, weird billowy pants that I think some granola dude dropped off at the thrift store, plus a leather corset over my abs and leather cuffs on my forearms. My upper body is bare and covered with bronzer and streaks of blue paint and I found a black wig with a long braid down the back. It kind of works. I guess if you don’t know the show, I look like some sparkling warrior who wears too much eye-makeup.

“Hey, girls can’t be the only ones to slut it up at Halloween.”

She raises her brow.

And once again, my foot goes in my mouth. “I mean, not that you’re dressed slutty or anything, I just mean–”

She laughs. “Don’t worry about it,” she says with a wave of her hand. “Everyone here is dressed slutty. That’s what the holiday is all about, isn’t it? Pretending to be someone else? This is actually my first Halloween, so I’m feeling a little overdressed. Or super nerdy.” She looks around her at the drunk girls—referees and fairies and nurses in wonderfully indecent outfits—and shrugs.

“I wholeheartedly disagree,” I say, trying not to ogle her all over again. I pause. “Wait, your first Halloween?”

“First proper Halloween. The North American kind. We don’t really celebrate it the way you guys do.”

I cross my arms, insanely curious now. “And who is we?”

“New Zealand,” she says. “I’m from Auckland.”

“Nice,” I say, “I was going to ask if you were from New Zealand.”

Her lips twitch and she gives me a shake of her head. “No you weren’t.”

“Well, I definitely wasn’t going to ask if you were from Australia. I know how you feel about that.”

For a moment her features look strained, then it passes. “Kind of like if I asked if you were American.”

“Exactly.”

“So,” she muses and steps closer. She lays her hand on my bicep and I suck in my breath. “Are the tattoos real?” She removes her hand and peers at her palm which is streaked with bronze shimmer shit. “Because your tan sure isn’t.”

Damn, I hope I’m not blushing. I clear my throat. “The tattoos are real, I assure you. I needed a bit of, um, help to get that Dothraki tan going on.”

“And this?” She reaches for my face and I am frozen in place while she gently fingers my goatee and beard. She grabs the end of it, which I had attempted to braid, and gives it a little tug.

“Ouch,” I say, though it doesn’t really hurt. It turns me on instead. Big surprise.

“So it is real,” she says. She sounds impressed.

I shrug. “I had a month to grow it in. I say, it’s all or nothing. But tomorrow everything is getting shaved off.”

She frowns and lets go. “Pity. I love a scruffy guy.”

I can’t help but smile. “Lucky for you, I’m scruffy for at least twelve more hours.”

Her mouth twists into a wry smile. I realize I’m being kind of forward with her, but at the same time, she just felt my bicep and fondled my man hair. Then again, I’ve never been very good at reading women. Half of them seem to love my tats and black hair and piercings; the other half seem to think I’m a delinquent from Skid row.

I’m wondering what she thinks about me when I realize I don’t know her name.

“I’m Josh, by the way,” I say to her, holding out my hand.

She gives me a surprisingly firm shake in return. “Gemma.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” I tell her. Even though I’m sincere, I’m aware that it’s very much a pick-up line.

Gemma snorts and it’s absolutely adorable. “Right. Well, in New Zealand, Gemmas are everywhere.”

“But I bet they don’t look like you.” Okay, so now I’m totally swerving into pick-up line territory. I push it further. “Can I buy you a drink?”

And there the question sits, floating between us, along with the haze of pot smoke that hangs in the air. The rejection might come fast, or if I’m lucky, not at all. But it’s Halloween, I have a three-beer buzz going on, and I’m feeling pretty good.

Still, when she nods and says, “Sure” I feel my whole body lift with relief.

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Love in English – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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LoveInSpanish
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Love, in English: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Love, in Spanish (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA (11 Nov 2014)
Where Sea Meets Sky (spin-off): Amazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback (31 Mar 2015)

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COVER REVEAL: Hero by Samantha Young

There is a new standalone romance coming in February 2015 from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series—Samantha Young—her first book set in the US and described as an “emotional and unforgettable romance about a young woman trying to build a life for herself in the wake of a series of betrayals that destroyed her family.” And I am so excited to be able to share with you today the cover and blurb!!! Feast your eyes on Hero… ♥

Expected release date: 3 February 2015

Hero_young

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

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BOOK REVIEW: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

BuryingWaterLeft for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

review

“The mind, it can be a deceitful thing. But it is no match for the heart.”

It is such a thrill to a zealous reader like me to not only realise that one of my favourite authors never fails to blow my mind with her stories, but that she also remains capable of surprising me, time after time, as I never quite know what kind of ‘journey’ she would take me on, always somehow managing to leave me utterly stunned in the aftermath of her extraordinary tales. This book was like no other that I have ever read, its unique structure and pace designed to make our hearts race, skip beats, melt and crush from one moment to another, never knowing what to expect next. Meticulously assembled to ‘feed’ us only little snippets of the story at a time while our minds are frantically tiling the puzzle pieces to form the picture we are so desperate to complete—this is an impeccably written story, infused with suspense and cloaked in mystery, showing us the hefty price of a second chance at happiness in life.

“You get to be whoever you want to be, without the burden of your past.”

A young woman is found beaten, raped, and left for dead in the middle of a forest, her young body desperately clinging onto its last thread of life. We don’t know much about the man who rescues her except that he is in love with her, and that no one can know that she was found. After a myriad of life saving procedures and a long hospital recovery, the young woman wakes up with no recollection of her past or any of the events that caused her injuries. Confused, scared, ashamed of her scars, her battered body is a constant reminder of everything that has happened to her, and of everything she has no memory of, her mind having locked itself in a desperate act of self-preservation.

“Why can’t I seem to recall a single scrap of my life? Not a face, not a name, not a childhood pet. Nothing.”

And then we suddenly flip into the past, where we meet a young trophy wife to a cruel man several decades her senior, whose life is nothing like she hoped it would be. Physically and mentally abused on a daily basis, Alexandria Petrova is alone in the world but for the man who had promised to hand it to her on a silver platter, trapped in a loveless marriage and in a life that requires her to abide by her husband’s every whim. When a young man’s unexpected act of kindness stirs something inside her, Alexandria begins to question her decisions in life, and wishing for more. The more time they spend together, and the more his every action shows her the way she always dreamed of being loved, the more she blossoms before his eyes, becoming the vivacious but gentle young woman she was born to be. But some mistakes in life are not easy to erase, Alexandria’s newfound happiness making her oblivious to the dangers lurking within her own marital bed.

“I’d never leave you alone in the dark.”

Jesse has loved Alexandria from the moment her lips touched his on a stormy night on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. He felt her unhappiness in her every breath, but her passionate kiss marked his soul, making him unable to forget her even though he never even saw her face. When he recognises her in the young wife of the ostentatious brute who hires him to restore his car, he is unable to look away. Or walk away until she is his.

“In your life. Are you happy? Or do you ever wish you could just start over?”

We are given two timelines to follow simultaneously, constantly flipping from past to present, but in both we see two people falling in love, slowly, cautiously, irreversibly. In the past, a young woman is afraid of her own future, incapable of walking away from the only happiness she has ever experienced in her adult life regardless of what it might cost her to pursue it, while in the present, that same young woman is terrified of her past, her scars an incessant reminder of what her mind won’t let her recall.

“Someone must be missing me. Even just one person, right?”

What I loved the most about this story is the fallible nature of all the characters in it, especially the two leading ones. Jesse and Alexandria are imperfect people, people who make mistakes, act impulsively, fail to consider the consequences of their own actions until it becomes too late, but they are only following the paths their hearts have drawn before them, which is even more evident when they are given a second chance at happiness. Their love story is not about an all-consuming passion burning between them and making them blind to the world around them—it is a story of two souls being drawn to one another, finding more joy in the few fleeting moments spent in each other’s company than in anything else in their lives. It felt to me as if we were intentionally left craving that emotional intensity that was implied in their every word, in their every glance directed towards one another, putting all emphasis on the irresistible pull between them and the unique connection that brought them to each other time after time. This is not a love story born out of carnal pleasure. This is a story about love, first and foremost, a selfless love, a genuine love, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.

“If she doesn’t remember me, if she didn’t feel trapped and utterly alone, would a girl like her fall for me a second time?”

I never wanted this book to end. It was such an enjoyable reading experience beginning to end, with an incredible cast of secondary characters that made the story even more colourful and hard to let go of. Every single aspect of this story is unique, unexpected, riveting, and every moment spent reading it has been outright unforgettable. A must-read.

“If you wait long enough, the truth always finds its way.”

5stars

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COVER REVEAL: Easy Virtue by Mia Asher

A new standalone romance from the author of Arsen, I am so pleased to finally be featuring Mia Asher on my Blog and to be able to share with you the awesome new cover and Chapter One from Easy Virtue… ♥

Expected release date: 3 December 2014

easyvirtue

Love is selfish…

My name is Blaire.
I’m the bad girl.
The other woman.
The one who never gets the guy in the end.

I’m the gold digger.
The bitch.
The one no one roots for.
The one you love to hate.

I hate myself too.

Everyone has a story. Are you ready for mine?

excerpt

Part I

Innocence

Past 

What is love?

I don’t know.

I’ve never had it.

Is it even real?

No, I don’t think so. I mean, how can I believe in love when I’ve never witnessed it? When it seems to only exist in books and films, or in the lives of more fortunate people than me? Trust me, I know.

Love is my personal chimera.

I am gazing at brown eyes, admiring the richness of the color, the beauty of the man to whom they belong to.

“You’re so beautiful, Blaire … so wet,” he murmurs, his hand going between my legs as he begins to rub me. His fingers spread me open to their soft invasion, tuning my body to his wants and needs, preparing me to be taken as the hot friction of his touch lights a wild fire within my body. It’s not the first time he has touched me like this, but each time feels better and better—the sensations all-consuming and heady.

One finger.

Two fingers.

One finger.

Two fingers.

Over and over again.

His invasion is fast and slow, deep and shallow. His touch is soiled heaven.

As I open my legs wider for him, I wonder if it feels this good because of him or because I’m taking something that doesn’t belong to me and making it mine.

“Oh God … I love you, Blaire. I love you … I love you …” he pants in my ear.

“Don’t stop … it feels so good,” I breathe.

Okay, maybe it’s because at this moment in time this man thinks he loves me and no one else but me, however false his proclamation may be.

I close my eyes as his lips land on mine. He kisses me softly as if I’m made out of gold, kissing me with that familiar mouth I’ve seen smile tenderly at me so many times before. The assault of his tongue debilitates me but doesn’t incapacitate me.

* * *

Its four dollars, gorgeous,the cute barista says, smiling at me.

Im about to pay for my cappuccino when I hear a deep, manly voice say, Let me get that for you.

A man wearing a beige suit comes forward, standing next to me as he hands the barista some bills. Ive seen you around youre Paiges friend.

I smile, licking my suddenly dry lips. Thank you, and yes I know Paige.

The smile on his handsome face seems to freeze as his gaze follows the tip of my tongue, the spark of hunger brightening his eyes. Inwardly, I smile because who knew it was so easy to make men desire me, particularly when I went without attention for so long.

My pleasure. Are you,he coughs, here with someone else?

I shake my head and look at him through fluttering eyelashes. No, Im here all by myself.I pause, touching his arm invitingly, and smile. Would you like to join me?

He looks around the coffee shop, probably considering if he should, if its proper to do so, but less than five seconds later, hes staring at me once again. Sure.

Yes, just like that.

* * *

The beige walls are spinning.

The clock is ticking.

The bedsprings creak as the moon cries outside the motel window.

And the man above me kisses me while he fingers me, preparing me for him. Gotta love such a thoughtful man.

I can taste his sweet saliva mixing with mine, and I love it.

“Please,” I beg against his lips, reaching for his hard cock and wrapping my fingers around it. “I’m ready.”

I feel his mouth leave mine as he begins to make his way down my partially dressed body. “Are you sure, Blaire? Are you sure you want to do this with me?”

I open my eyes to witness what I think I want him to do. No, what I’m sure I want him to do. I can’t help the smile I feel playing on my lips as I see him struggling with his conscience. He asks me if I’m sure when he has already f*cked my mouth with his cock countless number of times, when his fingers have filled every orifice of my body. Should I laugh? No … I decide to take pity instead.

“I’m sure, so sure,” I say, letting my arms land like dead weight on the bed, the cheap fabric rough against my skin.

“All right.”

When I feel the bed dip between my legs, I instinctively open them for him and watch as he brings a condom package to his mouth. As he rips it open with his teeth, I admire his perfect full lips that emphasize how masculine he is.

I feel pleased with myself.

So f*cking pleased because he wants me.

Mr. Callahan wants me. Me. Can you believe it? Chubby Blaire. Ugly and awkward Blaire.

Unlovable Blaire.

I guess I’m not that ugly anymore. My body? What was considered fat as a child is now called boobs and ass. Guys want it. They want me. They want to touch me, grope me, feel me … they want to screw me. And it feels good to be wanted … so good. It makes me feel powerful, and like a potent drug spreading inside your bloodstream, I want more.

I need more.

“Hurry up,” I say, not bothering to be shy or coy about it. I mean, he brought me here to have sex, right?

“F*ck, give me a second, Blaire. Trying to get the damn condom on my dick.”
As he rolls the rubber on his stiff dick, his eyes wonder over my bare chest, my face, my spread legs. Shaking his head as if trying to clear his mind, he mutters, “You’re so beautiful. I want you so much.”

That’s not the first time I have heard those words come out of a man’s mouth. Josh tells me all the time how beautiful I am, how perfect I am, how much he wants me, how much he loves me. But he’s my friend with benefits. The words kind of lose their meaning when it’s the same person saying them to you over and over again.

“Show me.”

Those two words are all it takes for him to spread my legs wider with his hands and finally enter me with his throbbing dick. Pain shoots through my body, and a groan escapes my mouth when he covers my body with his. I feel his whole length inside me in one deep thrust.

“Christ, you’re so tight.”

He lifts both my legs, wrapping them around his lean waist and starts to thrust. Hard. It hurts. But I like the pain. It sobers me.

And that’s when reality comes crashing down on me. It hits me with the speed and blinding power of a torpedo, making me realize what I’m doing. What I’m giving away and the man doesn’t even know it.

What the hell am I doing?

Proving that you are your mothers daughter.

Making her proud.

The room is filled with the noises of the man grunting his pleasure and the wet slapping of our skin; it makes me want to gag. I want to throw up. Maybe it’s the alcohol I drank.

Maybe it’s self-disgust.

The initial pain is gone and now I just feel sore. And strange.

His beautiful face lowers, his lips about to connect with mine, and I feel the bile rise inside my throat. I turn my face to the side, his kiss landing on my cheek. My eyes watch the way the lights in the bathroom illuminate all its used and dirty ugliness.

“Oh God, I’m going to come … I’m going to come … I’m going to come,” he continues to pant in my ear, pumping in and out of my body. Before I know what’s happening, he half-screams and half groans, his body going tense on top of mine.

And just like that it’s over. In less than five minutes I’ve managed to kill a part of me.

Our breathing evens and he pulls out, moving to stand up. I push myself up on my elbows to see him inspect his condom. It still glistens. By the time he lifts his eyes, connecting with mine, I’ve already wrapped my body with the duvet cover.

Confusion, shock, and pleasure reflect in those brown eyes. “I-I didn’t know … I …” His hands go to his hair as we stare at each other. “I didn’t know you were a virgin.”

I shrug my shoulder carelessly, causing the duvet to slide down, exposing my bare breasts to him. His eyes immediately flare with lust. “It doesn’t matter … I wanted it to be you.”

And that’s the truth.

“But—”

“But nothing. If it bothers you, then forget it happened. I already did,” I say, ending the conversation.

This is my body. I will have the last word. Not him. Not anyone. This is my life. This is my decision.

Without giving myself a chance to doubt my next words, I turn to look at him in all his naked beauty, the gold wedding ring on his finger catching my attention. “Don’t worry, Mr. Callahan … I won’t tell your daughter that you f*cked her classmate.”

And with that, I seal my destiny.

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