COVER REVEAL: Untamed by S.C. Stephens

“Yeah, I’m having a girl. There’s just no way I’d put another Griffin on this earth.” – Effortless by S.C. Stephens

We are finally getting Griffin’s book!! The fifth book in the Thoughtless series, feast your eyes on this bad boy—Untamed… ♥

Expected release date: 3 November 2015

Griffin Hancock is tired of being stuck behind Kellan Kyle’s spotlight. He’s the best, the main event, and everyone should know it. He has Anna, and his beautiful daughter Gibson, and to hell with the rest of them.

A new venture presents itself, and Griffin decides this is his chance. When he tells the band about his new side gig, they are less than supportive. Undaunted by their criticism, Griffin decides to take matters into his own hands. Packing up his family, he leaves Seattle behind and returns to L.A. to break out on his own.

But success isn’t as easy as Griffin thought it would be, and he soon finds that the phrase ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’, is all too true.

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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Thoughtless – Reading Order and Purchase Links
THOUGHTLESS3
thoughtful2
Effortless3
Reckless3

ThoughtlessMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
ThoughtfulAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
EffortlessMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
RecklessAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
UntamedAmazon US | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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COVER REVEAL: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From a truly extraordinary author known for stories that perfectly capture the real-life complexities of relationships, comes another book that will undoubtedly captivate us from the very first page. Feast your eyes on the cover of Maybe in Another Life… ♥

Expected release date: 7 July 2015

maybeinanotherlife

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college, but on the heels of a disastrous breakup, she has finally returned to her hometown of Los Angeles. To celebrate her first night back, her best friend, Gabby, takes Hannah out to a bar—where she meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

It’s just past midnight when Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. Ethan quickly offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay.

Hannah hesitates.

What happens if she leaves with Gabby?

What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into surprisingly different stories with far-reaching consequences for Hannah and the people around her, raising questions like: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

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Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | iBooks | Paperback

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Other books by this author…
foreverinterrupted
afterido

Forever, Interrupted: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
After I DoAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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COVER REVEAL: Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons

Described by the author as, “the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives; a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.” We have a cover and blurb for Under the Influence… ♥

Expected release date: May 2015

UndertheInfluence

Dalton,

I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I’m letting you go.

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Other books by this author
THERESURRECTIONOFAUBREYMILLER 322
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TRoAM: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Running on EmptyMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Recovery (novella): My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Running in PlaceMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: NewsletterWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: Heart and Soul by Nicole Williams

It’s my birthday and I have a little surprise for you!!! Tomorrow, when Losers Weepers comes out, you’ll find out on the very last page that Jesse and Rowen’s story is not over yet and that we will be getting a final chapter in their heart-warming romance, coming in June 2015. And today, I have the honour of sharing with you the cover and blurb of Heart and Soul… ♥

Expected release date: 16 June 2015

heartandsoul

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

If this is true, Rowan just became the proverbial wrecking ball to Jesse’s life.

Upon discovering Rowan is pregnant after taking every precaution to ensure otherwise due to a life-threatening heart condition, Jesse is forced to face too many harsh realities and they send him into a desperate, dark place. To consider the possibility that he might lose his wife and unborn child is too much for Jesse to bear.

The situation is out of his control, so he gloms on to the few things he can control. Like noting Rowan’s every move, or dialing the doctor whenever her face goes a shade pale, or even acknowledging the fact he’d be willing to make a deal with the devil in exchange for his wife’s and child’s lives. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do or give or sacrifice to keep them from harm.

But what happens when the devil takes that deal Jesse struck, and the tables turn? A life for a life. A soul for a soul. A heart for a heart. His life for theirs.

Love is what makes us. It’s also what breaks us.

Love’s made Jesse and Rowan. Love’s about to break them too.

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Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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NearandFar_322x500
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LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and Found: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and SouliBooks (16 Jun 2015)

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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COVER REVEAL: Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans

The unexpected love story that began in Manwhore continues heating up the pages in Manwhore + 1

The very sexy story of Chicago’s hottest player and the woman assigned to investigate him and reveal his elusive personality continues in Manwhore + 1, and today I am sharing with you the cover and blurb!! ♥

Expected release date: 7 July 2015

Billionaire playboy? Check. 

Ruthless businessman? Check. 

Absolutely sinful? Check.

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal himhis secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I’ve become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me–something unexpected–and I want this wicked playboy’s heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Manwhore – Series reading order
manwhore
manwhore#2

ManwhoreAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Manwhore + 1Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT: One to Save by Tia Louise

A standalone novel in the One to Hold series, I am so pleased to be able to share with you the cover and an excerpt from One to Save… ♥

Expected release date: 26 March 2015

OneToSave

Some threats come at you as friendly fire.

Some threats take away everything.

Family won’t let you go down without a fight.

The Secret isn’t as secure as Derek’s team originally thought it was, and a person on the inside of Alexander-Knight is set on exposing him, breaking him, and taking away all he holds dear.

Refusing to let anyone suffer for his crimes, Derek takes matters into his own hands.  He’s exposed, he’s defenseless, but his friends are determined to save him.

excerpt

Chapter 1: Secrets

Melissa

In the cool darkness of the semi-crowded bar, I study the glass in front of me and consider my journey, how many steps I’ve taken in the last two years, how far I’ve come. Memories of my old life fade like smoke in a glass. The shame that held me so tightly now dances at the edges of my mind like the whisper of a bad dream, a flicker of shadows that no longer make sense in my world.

Young women in shiny slip dresses twist and laugh on the dance floor, but instead of resentment, my lips curl into a smile. My old self—cynical, bitter, defeated—is a memory I have to work hard to recall. These days I could dance all night with them, but I’d rather spend my energy engaged in other activities.

The slim glass holds a pale amber liquid, and I can’t resist taking a sip. An involuntary wince pinches my eyes as I put it down. Seven and seven. Refreshing citrus dragged down by the heavy undertone of whiskey. So gross.

Sliding my palms over my thighs, I realize my outfit isn’t much different from those of the girls on the dance floor. The deep red silk is fitted at my waist, and drapes loosely over my torso. My long dark hair is swept over one shoulder revealing a thin spaghetti strap. I lightly touch the delicate gold chain around my neck leading to the floating heart pendant that sits between my collarbones, and light glances off the thick gold cuff on my wrist.

Unlike that night, I’m alone. My best friend Elaine is miles away with her new husband, most likely indulging in that blissful honeymoon period of early marriage. Make that, most certainly indulging. I know those two well.

No, I came by myself to the bar in Princeton after finishing my business with a client in town. My infant son is in Wilmington, spending the weekend with his grandmother. Studying my hands, I admire the deep blue sapphire ring on my finger, but I have no wedding band.

At thirty-two, I’m an unmarried mother of a beautiful little boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing… Yet. The tiny silver scar at my hairline reminds me of what a bad marriage looks like, and with my successful marketing business and the gorgeous cottage at the beach I own, I’m satisfied with my life. Calm, not desperate. I’ll take my next steps deliberately, with confidence.

All these thoughts preoccupy my mind when I blink up and catch him watching me from across the square-shaped bar. Blue eyes, strikingly blue because of the way they stand out beneath his dark brow, coupled with collar-length thick dark hair.

He’s massive, at least six-two, and elegantly dressed with a thick stainless watch on his wrist. I can spot his type a mile away—rich, powerful, accustomed to getting what he wants. I can’t deny the hum his gaze sets off under my skin. I know what he wants.

Catching my lip in my teeth to stop my grin, I also know what I want, and it’s no coincidence I happened to look up at that exact moment to meet his stare. Still, I’ll make him work for it.

He starts to move, his eyes never leaving mine. I don’t look away either. Thick cords of muscle ripple beneath the thin black sweater he wears as he glides past the oblivious patrons talking and laughing. Some are more animated than others, waving their arms and putting their drinks in peril.

Yellow lights hidden in the recesses above the bar illuminate rows of liquor bottles in all colors and shapes. Glasses hanging upside down above also catch the flickering light. It’s a raucous atmosphere, but this man and I are in our own secret place of longing and desire.

As he rounds the final corner, and I see him in full, my breath quickens. My eyes drift from his broad shoulders to his narrow waist, grey slacks and black shoes, then back up just as he reaches me. A close beard shadows his face, and the muscles low in my pelvis tighten at the thought of how it feels brushing the soft skin of my inner thighs…

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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One to Hold – Recommended Reading Order
(standalone stories)
onetohold
OnetoKeep
onetoprotect
OneToLove
OneToLeave
OneToSave

One to HoldAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
One to Keep: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
One to ProtectAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
One to LoveAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
One to LeaveAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
One to SaveAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Connect with the author: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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COVER REVEAL: Tryst by S.L. Jennings

From the author of Taint, comes a steamy new novel of a happily married couple who decides to take a walk on the wild side in order to add spice to their sex life—but end up in a situation that neither could have ever bargained for. Feast your eyes on the cover of Tryst… ♥

Expected release date: 21 July 2015

tryst

Heidi DuCane is a tough-as-nails publicist with a passion for success and her husband Tucker. While they’re polar opposites, what they do have in common is a fierce love and commitment to each other. But their relationship-in and out of the bedroom-will be put to the ultimate test.

Rock superstar Ransom Reed is every woman’s fantasy, including Heidi’s. When she meets Ransom, she shares a wild night with him where Heidi gets to play-and Tucker watches, and enjoys, the pleasure Ransom gives Heidi. Though Tucker was a willing participant, Heidi still can’t help reeling with guilt. There’s no doubt that she loves her husband. While Tucker is the perfect lover-generous, attentive and gentle-she needs much more. She needs the mind-blowing ecstasy Ransom offers.

Tucker isn’t blind to the fact that Heidi has unconventional needs which he can’t satisfy. He loves his wife and will do anything to please her The night he watched her and Ransom was so scorching hot amnd Tucker can’t stop thinking about it. He decides he wants to join Ransom in pleasing Heidi. But as Tucker and Heidi soon realize, it’s not just the sex that is enticing. Heidi felt something within her awaken, and she felt so deliciously sated and loved by both men. Tucker felt it too, and he finds it impossible not to want that feeling again.

Ransom and Tucker satisfy a need within Heidi. And now that she’s had them, she can never go back to the way things were before.

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Sexual Education – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
taint_new tryst

Taint:  Amazon US | Amazon CA | Paperback
TrystAmazon US | Amazon CA | Paperback

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COVER REVEAL: The Other Man by R.K. Lilley

Remember Heath, Iris’ mysterious brother from The Wild Side series? Well, he is getting his own book!! A standalone novel that takes place in The Wild Side ‘universe’, this will be the only book devoted to Lourdes and Heath. And today, I get to share with you the cover and blurb of The Other Man… ♥

Expected release date: March 2015

TheOtherMan

Lourdes

He was brazen as hell from the moment I laid eyes on him.  He was aggressive, and dominant, with Mack truck arms, and a bar brawler voice.

He was too good looking for his own good, with a hard jaw, and harder eyes.

I’d always led a fairly peaceful life, but even I could tell at a glance that this man was dangerous.  For so many reasons.

Not the least of which being that rough, dirty, sheet-clawing sex fairly radiated off him.

I’d thought I’d known how to handle every kind of man, but this one left me baffled.

To say he wasn’t my type was putting it lightly.

But you couldn’t tell that to my libido.

Not even when I found out the truth.

My lover had lied to me from the very start.

Nothing about our meeting was a coincidence.

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Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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The Wild Side – Reading Order and Purchase Links
thewildside iris dair

The Wild Side:  My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
IrisMy ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
Dair: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

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EXCLUSIVE COVER REVEAL: Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams

Garth Black, that dark, troubled cowboy who stole our hearts in Finders Keepers is getting another book!!! We saw him battle his past, allow himself to succumb to his feelings for the only girl who broke through his snarky facade…but his story is not over. I am so honoured to be able to share with you the title, cover, blurb and release date of the fourth book in the Lost and Found series!! Feast your eyes on Losers Weepers… ♥

Expected release date: 24 February 2015

LosersWeepers

If we didn’t know darkness, we couldn’t fully appreciate the light.

Garth Black’s more familiar with this concept than most people are. He hadn’t just lived in the dark for the majority of his life—he thrived in it. With a mom who’d bailed on him and a dad whose understanding of coddling started and ended with a bottle of whiskey, Garth had never been expected to rise to any sort of occasion other than following down the same dead-end paths.

That changed when he fell in love with Josie Gibson. After years of pulling each other closer before shoving the other way, they finally stopped shoving. Josie’s love is like nothing Garth’s ever experienced. He holds it close. He holds it sacred. He would do anything to preserve it and keep it from pollution, even if that means removing himself from the picture.

Garth might have been allowed a temporary furlough to bask in the light, but that pass has been revoked, and he’s been swallowed again by the dark. Will he revert to his old ways of hurting those he cares for most? Will he go back to the same destructive patterns . . . or will it be worse this time?

We can’t know light without first knowing dark . . . and Garth Black’s about to get acquainted with the dark in a whole new way.

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

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Lost and Found – Reading Order and Purchase Links
lostandfound_322x500
NearandFar_322x500
finderskeepers_322x500
LosersWeepers
heartandsoul

Lost and FoundMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Near and FarMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Finders KeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Losers WeepersMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heart and Soul: coming 16 Jun 2015…

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT: Deep Blue Eternity by Natasha Boyd

A novel of redemption, a powerful, epic love story from the author of the phenomenal Eversea and Forever, Jack, I am so excited to share with you the cover, blurb and an awesome never-seen-before excerpt from Deep Blue Eternity. This is a standalone novel and, for now, it is only available for pre-order for UK and AU readers. ♥

Expected release date: 26 March 2015

DEEP_BLUE_ETERNITY_FINAL_FRONT

Livvy is on the run. And she’s escaped to the one place nobody will ever find her.

But the isolated cottage isn’t empty. Her refuge is home to a troubled stranger, Tom, there for reasons of his own.

In the intimacy of the abandoned cottage, and the remote wilderness of the island, the electrifying connection between them is impossible to ignore. Both running from their histories and shielding dark secrets, their pasts catch up with them and collide in an unimaginable way.

Deep emotions and powerful chemistry face a painful battle with the tangle of lies, and scars of the past. If the truth emerges, hearts will be shattered.

excerpt

“Don’t tell me what I’m feeling, and if I’m allowed to love you.” I ran my hand down his arm, and he shuddered under my touch.

“You can’t,” he said again. His voice sounded strangely hollow, like a man on the track, staring down a train he knew he couldn’t avoid. “You can’t, Livvy … because you’ve been actively hating me since you were twelve years old.”

His words hung, his tone, like a deep dark abyss, a terrible gaping horror, dragging me forward.

“What?” I shook my head. “What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean, Liv. You know who I am. You’ve met me before. You’ve blocked it out, that’s all. I kept waiting for you to remember. But then it went on, and you thought I was the caretaker or some stupid shit.”

I swallowed.

“And then it became harder and harder to tell you because I felt like if you knew, really knew, you would run.”

I shook my head faster, my skin getting tight and cold. This was not real.

“And you would’ve run. But I, I needed you to stay. I needed to right the wrong. To make sure you were okay. To …” his throat bobbed heavily. “To make up for not saving you.”

What?

“Saving me? From what?” But the knowledge crept in around the dark recesses of my mind. Crowding me. Pressing in on me from all sides.

“From—”

“No,” I whispered.

The world stilled. Everything around me slowed and quieted and disappeared except the light brown eyes in front of me.

Air expelled forcefully out of my chest like I’d been punched. “No,” I gasped.

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And here is the UK/AU cover too!!!

DeepBlueEternity_UK copy

Pre-order book: Amazon UKAmazon AU | iBooks
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Other books by this author
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foreverjack

Eversea: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Forever, Jack: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Connect with Natasha: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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COVER REVEAL: To the Max by Elle Aycart

We are finally getting Max’s book!!! A professional daredevil and a forensic accountant, stuck under the same roof, with an unplanned pregnancy thrown into the mix…umm, yes, please!! I give you the very sexy cover of the third book in the Bowen series, a series of standalone stories with interconnected characters, To the Max… ♥

Expected release date: 10 February 2015

Forensic accountant Annie Griffin has always suspected she’s a bit jinxed, so when she finds herself 35, single, temporarily homeless, and pregnant on a technicality by a gigolo, her fears are confirmed.

Adrenaline junkie and professional stuntman Max Bowen needs a house-sitter to watch after his pets while he’s out of town. Annie needs a place to stay. Standard quid pro quo. No biggie. She can handle that, whatever hellhounds he owns. Until Max, the most sought-after bachelor in the county, comes back ahead of schedule and suddenly she’s roommates with a 27-year old sex God who turns out to be so much more than what she expected.

Max might have had the attention span of a humming bird on crack when it comes to women, but that was before Annie. Her quirkiness and sweet contradictions soon captivate him, not that she’s inclined to give him the time of the day. With his reputation preceding him, he knows the odds are badly stacked against him, but he will do his best to prove her that he’s what she needs, stuck-up socialite grandmothers, doomsday preppers, groupies, pregnancy hormones, and repentant biological dads be damned.

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Bowen – Reading Order and Purchase Links
(standalone stories with interconnected characters)
morethanmeetstheink2
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inkedeverafter2

More than Meets the InkAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Heavy Issues: My Mini-ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Inked Ever After (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
To the Max: coming 10 Feb 2015…

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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COVER REVEAL: Remind Me by Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers

Gosh, the blurb of this book gave me tingles!! A secret childhood romance between a media empire heiress and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks that years later becomes a second chance at love romance…but the little boy is now a self-made billionaire and he is determined to make the heroine regret breaking his heart… The first book in a steamy new trilogy, feast your eyes on the very FSoG-esque cover of Remind Me… ♥

Expected release date: 21 April 2015

remindme [Read more…]

COVER REVEAL: There You Stand by Christina Lee

From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes the love story between the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece… Feast your eyes on the cover of There You Stand, an m/m romance in the Between Breaths series of standalone novels… ♥

Expected release date: 21 April 2015

ThereYouStand

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Other books in the series or related posts:

COVER REVEAL & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo

Oh, how I love a Cassia Leo novel!!! I am so excited to be able to share with you not only the gorgeous new cover, but also an excerpt from The Way We Fall, the first book in the brand new The Story of Us trilogy, which follows the tumultuous love story of Rory and Houston. The sequel, The Way We Break, is expected in Spring 2015, and the third and final book in Summer 2015.

Expected release date: 20 February 2015

From New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo comes a twisted and passionate love story that pushes the boundaries of loyalty.

Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.

excerpt

Chapter 10 – Houston

Five years ago, April 5th

Rory was born with an affliction I like to call spontaneous hugging syndrome. Whenever someone does something really nice for her, she can’t help but throw her arms around them in a wild embrace. This affliction is one of my favorite things about her. Often times I find myself conspiring to do something nice just so I can trigger her hug-reflex.

Today I’m using the excuse of our four-month anniversary. I ordered her a custom nightgown bearing an image of her head on Britney Spears’ body and Justin Timberlake kissing her cheek. Rory is mildly obsessed with Justin Timberlake and I like to pretend it makes me jealous, but I actually find it pretty f*cking adorable. I guess I’m also hoping this surprise will detract from the fact that it’s the four-month-one-day anniversary of the day Hallie died.

I open the front door of the apartment and call out, “Honey, I’m home!” But there’s no answer.

I head past the kitchen toward the bedroom, my mind immediately concocting the worst-case scenario in my mind. Reaching the bedroom door, I open it slowly and find Rory curled up on the bed with her laptop open next to her. The blanket clutched in her fist, her auburn hair tumbling over her face. I would let her continue sleeping, but I know she’ll feel even more awful if she doesn’t finish whatever homework she was working on before she fell asleep.

I set the package containing the nightgown on the foot of the bed, then I take a seat on the edge of the mattress next to Rory. “Baby, wake up.” I give her shoulder a light squeeze and she lets out a soft groan. “Rory, are you okay?”

I reach forward to push the hair out of her face and she shoves my hand away. “Don’t touch me.”

“What’s wrong?” I should probably be asking her, What did I do this time?

She sits up and her eyes find the package wrapped in silver paper, but she doesn’t look pleased. “Celebrating something?”

I don’t bother responding. I know this is a jab at my attempt to distract her from yesterday’s anniversary. Most of the time, Rory is too smart for her own good. She can spot my hidden motives before I act on them. Most of the time, but not always.

“I just wanted to give you something that might cheer you up. It’s a cheesy gift. You can toss it out if you don’t want it.”

“Cheer me up?” She glares at me and I know today is going to be a bad day. “You want me to cheer up, Houston, then how about you let me have a night out with my friends! Oh, no, you can’t do that because the only friend I ever had is dead.” She slams her laptop shut and kicks the gift onto the floor as she slides off the bed. “With no f*cking explanation.”

I follow behind her as she heads for the bathroom. “It’s okay to be angry.”

“I’m not angry. I’m furious.”

She opens the medicine cabinet and immediately reaches for a bottle of allergy medicine; the ones she uses when she can’t sleep.

“It’s okay to be furious, too. Everyone deals with death differently.”

She dumps eight pills out of the bottle into the palm of her hand, then she turns to me with a wicked smile. “Everyone deals with death differently? Like the way some people choose to not deal with it at all?”

I resist the urge to lash out at her. “You can’t take that many, Rory.”

She glances at the tiny pink pills in her hand. “Well, the six I took earlier didn’t keep you from waking me up.”

“Rory, this is not the way to handle this.”

“F*ck you! Who are you to tell me how to handle it when all you do is ignore it? She killed herself, Houston. She killed herself and she didn’t have the decency to tell anyone why.” Her hands begin to tremble as the tears stream down her cheeks and the pills fall into the sink. “Sometimes I hate her.”

“Don’t say that.”

She grips the edge of the sink tightly, her shoulders leaping with each chest-wracking sob. “I do. I hate her.”

“Don’t you f*cking say that.”

“Why?” she mewls. “I just want to know why.”

The words in Hallie’s suicide note scroll through my mind like closing credits in a movie. I could end Rory’s misery right now if I wanted to, and I do. I hate seeing her suffer like this. But my baby sister confided her darkest secret to me in that suicide note and I will never betray her.

“You don’t hate her,” I say, stepping forward to place my hand on the small of her back.

She smacks my arm. “Why can’t you just let me feel the way I want to feel?”

“How would she feel if she heard you say that?”

She turns her head to face me, her mouth gaping wide with shock. “Are you serious? Hallie can’t hear because she’s dead, Houston. She’s f*cking dead.”

“Stop that.”

“What are you gonna do? Are you gonna hit me?”

I clench my jaw to keep myself from calling her all the foul names racing through my mind. “Stop it, Rory.” She places her hands on my chest, probably to push me, but I grab her wrists to stop her. “I said stop it. Stop acting like a f*cking child.”

She laughs as she tries to free her wrists from my grip. “Is that what I am to you? A f*cking child? Is that why you love getting my underage ass drunk so you can f*ck me?”

I glare at her for a moment, a million insults about her sexual inexperience teasing the tip of my tongue. Instead, I let go of her wrists and leave the bathroom.

“Where are you going?” she shouts as she follows me. “Going to get drunk and f*ck another underage piece of ass.”

“F*ck you.” I’m almost at the front door when she lands a hard shove in the center of my back. I round on her, grabbing both her elbows. “I told you to f*cking stop it! That’s enough!”

Her hazel eyes are wide with fright, but she’s not ready to back down. “What are you gonna do?”

Our chests are heaving as we stare into each other’s eyes and that’s when I know there’s no one in this world who will ever understand me like Rory. She knows I’d never hurt her. She knows she can rail against my sister and I’ll still want nothing and no one but her. Because no one but me knows how brightly the pain burns inside of her.

I let go of her elbows and tangle my fingers in her hair as I crush my lips against hers. I grab a fistful of hair at the crown of her head and tug. She whimpers as she reaches for the button of my jeans. Our mouths nip at each other clumsily as we frantically undress one another.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers.

I shush her as I lift her naked body onto the kitchen table. Her legs coil around my hips and I hook my arm tightly around her waist as I slide into her. She moans and the sound sends a chill through me.

“God, I f*ckin’ love you.”

She whimpers as I thrust my cock deeper inside of her.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispers a few more times, until I kiss her to silence her apologies.

She moans into my mouth and the sound is so damn beautiful it sends a shiver through me. I pull my head back and grasp her jaw in one hand so I can look her in the eye as I slide my other hand between her legs.

She gasps. “Oh, God. Houston.”

I stroke her firmly as I move in and out of her until I feel her muscles spasming around my cock. I pull out of her and get down on one knee so my head is between her legs. Then I slide two fingers inside her as my mouth devours her swollen clit.

Her legs squirm and she screams my name with ecstasy. When I slide into her again, I feel as if I might collapse from the pure euphoria of being inside her. She grabs my face and kisses me hard, but I can hear her cries have changed. I tilt my head back to look at her face and she’s on the verge of sobbing. I sweep her hair away from her eyes and I move slowly in and out of her as I kiss each of her eyelids.

“It’s okay,” I assure her and her legs coil tighter around me, her arms squeezing me closer. “It’s okay, baby.”

“I love you,” she whispers in my ear as I come inside her. “So much it scares me.”

I kiss the tip of her nose then lean my forehead against hers. “You don’t have to be afraid… I’ll never leave you.”

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COVER REVEAL: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

A new A.L. Jackson series is coming!!! Well, if you only knew how much I adore this author’s writing, you’d know that I am literally screaming right now! Ruthlessly emotional, flawlessly written, A.L. Jackson’s books have the ability to make your heart clench repeatedly and make you feel so many emotions all at once. And today, I get the great pleasure of sharing with you the stunning new cover of the first book in her upcoming Bleeding Hearts series, A Stone in the Sea. The second book, Drowning to Breathe, is expected in June 2015, and the third book, Through the Storm, in October 2015. I cannot wait for Sebastian and Shea’s story!!! ♥

Expected release date: 23 February 2015

AStoneintheSea [Read more…]

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