A Jolly Book Junkie’s Christmas Giveaway

‘Tis the season to be jolly…

As another amazing blogging year comes to an end, I have so many things to be grateful for, the most important of them being the amazing community of book junkies that I have had the great privilege of finding. Christmas happens to be my favourite time of the year, because nothing makes me happier than playing Santa! Over the last twelve months, I have collected a large number of signed books, either by attending book signings or through the generosity of some very kind authors, and the time has come for me to GIVE THEM ALL AWAY!!! Fifteen signed book packs by fifteen extraordinary authors, fifteen winners, all in the one giveaway!! The prize packs are…

RK LILLEY_GWY_RC AMY HARMON_GWY_RC JEM_GWY_RC
BELLE AURORA_GWY_RC CASSIA LEO_GWY_RC VI KEELAND_GWY_RC
RAINE MILLER_GWY_RC ABBI GLINES_GWY1_RC KRISTEN ASHLEY_GWY_RC
TJ HAMILTON_GWY_RC CHERISE SINCLAIR_GWY_RC KA TUCKER_GWY_RC
KM GOLLAND_GWY_RC BELLA JEWEL_GWY_RC KARINA HALLE_GWY_RC

 All prize packs are as they are shown on the respective graphics. No substitution of titles is available.

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You have 7 DAYS to play! ♥

XMAS 2014 - MAIN GRAPHIC

* Signed set of 8 titles by R.K. Lilley *
* Signed copy of THE LAW OF MOSES by Amy Harmon *
* Signed set of 2 Jodi Ellen Malpas paperbacks *
* Signed set of 3 Belle Aurora paperbacks *
* Signed copy of BLACK BOX by Cassia Leo (UK/AU Ed.) *
* Signed set of 3 Vi Keeland paperbacks *
* Signed set of 4 Raine Miller paperbacks *
* Signed set of 3 Abbi Glines paperbacks (UK/AU Ed.) *
* Signed copy of THE GAMBLE by Kristen Ashley *
* Signed set of 5 T.J. Hamilton paperbacks *
* Signed copy of MASTER OF THE MOUNTAIN by Cherise Sinclair *
* Signed set of 3 K.A. Tucker paperbacks *
* Signed set of 4 K.M. Golland paperbacks *
* Signed set of 2 Bella Jewel paperbacks *
* Signed set of 2 Karina Halle paperbacks *

* 15 WINNERS *

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By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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BLOGOVERSARY GIVEAWAY: Signed set of THREE Karina Halle Books

The Second Blogoversary festivities continue today with another signed giveaway!! I am giving away THREE signed books by an author whose writing blows me away every single time, the very talented Karina Halle!!! Love, In English was an absolute six-star read for me, one of the most well-rounded stories I have ever read and also one of the most beautiful. I loved the imperfect characters, the raw emotions it evoked, the beautiful Spanish setting, and the passionate love story. The second book I am giving away is Dirty Angels – a love story, a ‘horror’ story, a superb depiction of the gritty reality of Mexican drug cartels, and… Javier Bernal. And last but not least, I have a copy of Darkhouse for you, the first instalment in the ever-popular Experiment in Terror series!!!

THANK YOU again for all your support and don’t forget to come back in a few days for the next signed giveaway!!! ♥

You have 7 DAYS to play…
KH-giveaway
* Signed paperback of Love, in English *
* Signed paperback of Dirty Angels *
* Signed paperback of Darkhouse *
* 1 WINNER *
* Open internationally *
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By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally to legal residents of their respective countries where not prohibited by law, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. No substitution or cash equivalent of prize is permitted. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win.

Enter giveaway here…

Good Luck!

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BLOGOVERSARY GIVEAWAY: Signed set of THREE Kristen Ashley Books

Aaaaand the Second Blogoversary festivities go on!!! Today, I am giving away THREE signed books by another one of my all-time favourite authors ever, the magnificent Kristen Ashley!!! I have gone gaga over every single book of hers, but I will never forget the one that started my KA obsession—The Gamble. If an eBook could ever become worn out from being re-read so many times, my copy would be in smithereens by now! I am also giving away a copy of Fire Inside, a motorcycle romance, because no one writes bikers like KA!!! You can quote me on that! And last but not least, I am giving away a copy of one of the best books I have ever read—The Will!!! A six-star read for me, this book encapsulated everything that I love in a Kristen Ashley novel: the emotions, the three-dimensional characters, the ALPHA male to put all alpha males to shame, and a heroine with whom I identified on so many levels. This book completely took my breath away and it will always represent ‘vintage KA style’ in my eyes.

THANK YOU again for all your support and don’t forget to come back in a few days for the next signed giveaway!!! ♥

You have 7 DAYS to play…
KA-giveaway
* Signed paperback of The Will *
* Signed paperback of The Gamble *
* Signed paperback of Fire Inside *
* Kristen Ashley Swag *
* 1 WINNER *
* Open internationally *
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By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally to legal residents of their respective countries where not prohibited by law, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. No substitution or cash equivalent of prize is permitted. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win.

Enter giveaway here…

Good Luck!

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BLOGOVERSARY GIVEAWAY: Signed set of all EIGHT of Colleen Hoover’s Books

Two. Years… No no, let me say that once more… TWO YEARS!!!! This Blog has grown into the most wonderful little community of book lovers, and to thank you all for your unwavering love and support, I am doing MULTIPLE SIGNED GIVEAWAYS!!! Starting today, there will be an awesome new giveaway starting every two days, each seven days in duration. So, make sure you check this Blog every few days and enter each giveaway!!!! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, book junkies! Without you, I’d just be a gal who cannot stop talking about books. And I promise you, the best is yet to come…

Today, we start the festivities with EIGHT signed books by one of my favourite authors everrr, the super-talented Colleen Hoover!!! I have adored every single book I have read by this wunder-author, and her latest masterpiece, Ugly Love, was a 6-star read for me!! Simply phenomenal. Check my review of this beautiful book, make sure you pre-order, and brace yourself for a ride of a lifetime!! ♥

You have 7 DAYS to play…
CoHo-giveaway
* Signed paperback of Slammed *
* Signed paperback of Point of Retreat *
* Signed paperback of This Girl *
* Signed paperback of Hopeless *
* Signed paperback of Losing Hope *
* Signed paperback of Finding Cinderella *
* Signed paperback of Maybe Someday *
* Signed paperback of Ugly Love *
* 1 WINNER *
* Open internationally *
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By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally to legal residents of their respective countries where not prohibited by law, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry. No substitution or cash equivalent of prize is permitted. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win.

Enter giveaway here…

Good Luck!

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BIRTHDAY TEASERS & GIVEAWAY: Tied With Me by Kristen Proby

Kristen Proby_BT 2014 Banner

As we conclude this year’s Birthday Teasers event, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have! I am so grateful to all the authors who have so generously agreed to be part of my big celebration and to all of YOU for not just following me, but also showing me your love and support every day on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, by email, and for allowing me to do what I love doing most in the world – talk about books! So, what better way to end the celebration than by featuring an author who has been a true inspiration ever since I started this journey. And a HUGE GIVEAWAY!!!!

From the moment I read the first book in the With Me In Seattle series, I knew I was in trouble. So far, we’ve met a hot Hollywood movie star, a bossy businessman with tattoos and piercings in all the right places, a rock star with a dirty mouth, a professional football player, an ex-Navy SEAL, and now we finally get a hero with a penchant for bondage!!!! There is nothing like a Kristen Proby book when it comes to finding a steamy but oh-so romantic read, and I have a feeling she might just kill me with this upcoming book! Tied With Me is going to be in our greedy little hands on 18 March 2014, but today, Kristen is giving us a real treat by sharing with us an excerpt that will undoubtedly leave you hot and bothered… What can I say? Enjoy! ;) … Oh, and don’t forget to enter the “Grand Giveaway” at the bottom of this post!!!! ♥

A man whose lifestyle is so different from her own…

Nic Dalton’s cupcake bakery is thriving. She serves both rock stars and locals alike, content with her growing business. But one adventurous night out with her best friend, Bailey, turns her life upside down. She meets a handsome stranger who makes her skin sizzle and her heart race. Their one night together is explosive and unexpected, but when he has to suddenly leave without taking her phone number, Nic resigns herself to never seeing him again.

…What will it take to trust and submit to his every desire?

Matt Montgomery is one of Seattle’s finest. He works hard, loves and protects his family fiercely, and is loyal almost to a fault.

And he has a penchant for bondage.

Matt enjoys the way a woman looks wrapped up in his ropes, and makes no apologies for his preferences. When he meets Nic at a fetish festival, the small, beautiful woman catches his eye, drawing him to her. His one night with her was everything he’s ever looked for in a partner, but is cut short because of a family emergency. Even before he sees her again weeks later, he knows he’ll never get her out of his system.

And he’ll do whatever it takes to make her his.

“Give in to this, Nic. Let me prove to you that I will be one of the best decisions you ever make.” –Matt Montgomery

excerpt

“I wasn’t expecting to see you today.” I lock the door and then launch myself into his arms.

He catches me easily, wraps my legs around his waist and kisses me long and hard as he carries me back into the kitchen. His body is tight. Energy is coming off him in waves. He’s edgy. Rough.

“Are you almost done here?” he asks.

“Yeah, I just have to get stuff ready for tomorrow. Shouldn’t take long.”

He sets me on my feet and kisses me once more, his hands fisted in my hair, before reluctantly letting me go and leaning his hips on the countertop.

I quickly clean the counters, stack my trays and take a quick inventory to make a mental list of what will be on tomorrow’s menu.

“Don’t take your apron off,” he commands quietly. His voice has that edge to it, the one he uses in the bedroom, and a chill moves through me as I look at him over my shoulder.

“Ever?”

“Four days without you, Nic. It’s been a motherf*cker of a week, and I’m a bit on edge today.”

It’s a warning. He’s in full bossy dominant mode, and it’s such a damn turn-on I don’t know what to do with myself. I bite my lip and nod then turn back to the task at hand, if a bit off-kilter and shaky. Finally, when I’m finished, I face him, standing across the room, my hands at my sides, waiting for him to tell me what comes next.

It’s as natural as breathing, which is something I might want to ponder later, but all I can think about right now is that I’m happy to see him, and he needs me for this.

Whatever it is he’s about to do to me, do with me, I’ll give him freely.

“Come here,” he commands.

I obey, walking to stand just a few feet in front of him, my eyes trained on his.

“Undress but leave that apron on.”

“Can I lower it off my neck long enough to take my shirt off?” I ask, no sarcasm in my voice.

His eyes soften, but he doesn’t smile. “You may.”

I pull the loop of the apron over my neck, letting it hang at my waist so I can pull my shirt and bra off, then pull my pants and panties over my hips and down my legs. Just as I move to replace the apron around my neck, he interrupts me with, “You can leave it down.”

It falls out of my hands, and I’m standing before him, naked except for the apron wrapped around my waist.

His sea-blue eyes travel over me, hot and full of lust. His hands are clenching in and out of fists, itching to touch me, but he waits.

How he ever learned to be this patient, I have no idea. I’ve never been patient.

So this is slow torture.

Finally, he steps to me and drags his knuckles down my cheek before bending to kiss my lips. “This isn’t going to be soft or gentle, Nic. I don’t have that in me right now.”

“Okay.” Oh God, yes, please.

He takes both of my wrists in his hands, yanks me against him and kisses me again, the way he wants to. The way he needs to. With fire and control and need.

Suddenly, he turns me away from him and bends me over the stainless steel counter top. It’s cold against my breasts and torso, and I gasp when my flesh meets it. There’s no time to brace myself with my hands because Matt pulls them behind my back and ties them with my apron strings, making me immobile.

“I’ve wanted to play with this apron since I first saw you wearing it.” His voice is hard and excited, and he turns me back to him and lifts me onto the countertop, keeping my hips at the edge, and off balance. He steps between my legs, his arms wrapped around my back, keeping me from falling back. “I won’t let you fall.”

“I know,” I whisper, watching him, waiting to see where this goes, the excitement coursing through me. “Although, this is really unsanitary. If the health department walked in, they’d shut me down.”

He grins. “This may not be the answer you want to hear, but right now I don’t give a f*ck.”

With one arm bracing me, he unleashes his hard cock and pulls a condom out of his pocket, rips it open with his teeth and guides it down his length. He pushes a finger through my folds, testing me.

“So wet.” His eyes meet mine, and he pushes inside me in one quick thrust, filling me completely.

My head falls back, but he grips my hair in his fist and holds me there, hands tied behind me, in his firm grip, as he begins to pound in and out of me, f*cking me harder than I’ve ever been f*cked before. My legs clamp around his hips as he rides me, his molten blue eyes pinned to mine, mouth open as he pants and murmurs incoherently.

F*ck, he’s so damn sexy I can hardly stand it.

He pushes all the way in and pauses, grinding his pubis against my clit, and the friction, the fullness of his cock inside me, pushes me into an orgasm that makes my toes curl.

“Eyes!” he barks when my eyes close with the force of the energy moving through me.

I open them and watch him as he continues to push and grind against me, joining me as he comes inside me, jerking and yelling my name.

As he settles, he wraps his arms around my shoulders and pulls me against him, kissing my forehead, rocking back and forth, soothing us both while he’s still inside me.

Finally, he pulls out and unties my hands while kissing me, as though he just can’t get enough of me. When I’m free, I push my hands into his hair and hold on to him, enjoying the soft strands between my fingers, then caress down to his neck and over his shoulders.

“Are you okay?” I whisper against his lips.

He sighs and nuzzles my nose with his before leaning back. “I’m much better now.”

He tugs the condom off and wraps it in a paper towel before shoving it in his pocket. “I’ll throw it away somewhere that food isn’t made.”

I giggle as I put my clothes back on. “Who knew that a simple apron could be used in kinky sex?” I examine the apron before tossing it in the hamper.

“You’d be surprised what we’ll end up using as restraints,” Matt replies with a grin. “I can tie you up with just about anything.”

“Good.”

“Good?” he asks.

I nod and then shrug. “I seem to have a newfound affection for being tied up.”

He growls and yanks me to him again. “Say shit like that and we’ll go upstairs now where I can tie you up for the night, little one.” He nuzzles my temple. “I love that you’ve come to trust me this much so soon.”

“Let’s go upstairs.” Did I just say that?

He chuckles and shakes his head. “I promised I’d have dinner with Will and Meg tonight, and I want you to go with me. That’s what I came over here for.”

“Oh,” I reply with a frown. “Are you sure you want me to go? It’s okay if you want to go and I’ll see you another time…”

“Stop.”

My eyes find his in surprise.

“Why wouldn’t I want you to come have dinner with me and my brother?”

I frown and fidget. “Well, I guess I’m confused.”

“About?”

I swallow and look down, but he tips my chin back with his finger. “What are you confused about?”

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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With Me In Seattle – Reading Order and Purchase Links (standalone novels)
comeawaywithme underthemistletoewithme fightwithme play with me_322x500
rockwithme_322x500 safewithme TiedWithMe

Come Away With Me: My reviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
Under the Mistletoe With Me (novella): My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Fight With MeMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Play With Me: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Rock With Me: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Safe With Me: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Tied With Me: Amazon US | Amazon UK (18 Mar 2014)

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The Author

Kristen Proby_pic croppedKristen is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

Connect with Kristen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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The Grand Giveaway

GRAND giveaway

Since today just happens to be my actual birthday, I wanted to celebrate it by doing a huge giveaway to thank my book junkies for all their love and support. To win a Kindle Fire HD and 52 eBooks of some of my favourite books ever, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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Other books in the series or related posts:

BIRTHDAY TEASERS: The Will by Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley_BT 2014 Banner

As we near the end of the Birthday Teasers event, I am so honoured to be able to share with you an excerpt from one of my favourite authors in the whole wide world, the one and only Kristen Ashley, and her upcoming book The Will, the first in a three-part series of standalones, coming to us on KA’s actual birthday, 8 April 2014. All I can tell you is that this is possibly one of KA’s best books to date – so deeply emotional, so unexpected, so moving… Josie is my new favourite KA heroine and Jake… I cannot wait for you to meet JAKE!!!! The moment I finished reading it, I went right back to the beginning and started again… THAT good!!! This excerpt is very close to my heart, and I am so grateful to Ms Ashley for allowing me to share it with you today! Enjoy, book junkies! ♥

Read my 6-star review

Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

excerpt

Dearest Gran,

We just got off the phone and I’m concerned about you. I know that sounds strange since our phone call was about how you were concerned about me.

Please don’t be. Please?

I’m happy, Gran. I truly am. Honestly.

When we were talking earlier, I wanted to say this but I didn’t know how to say it. Perhaps I couldn’t get my mouth to say the words because I didn’t want to admit it out loud or say it to you and upset you more.

But you should know—I’m fine with being alone. I want it to be that way. Honestly, I do.

You know I’m not alone most of the time regardless. But I do think you know what I mean.

My first memory is him and her in the kitchen, she was on the floor, you know how it was. I told you. And there were more memories after that that were even less pleasant. You know of those too.

And yes, the truth is, this affected me. Yes, it made me shy away from connections. And I know you don’t think this is healthy, but truly, it’s fine.

There are people who need people, sometimes a great many people. And I understand that what happened made me not that kind of person. But it means the connections I make are actually meaningful, not a collection of souls in order not to feel lonely. I don’t need that for I never feel lonely.

If I were to have a man, he would need to be very gentle and understanding, patient and kind, thoughtful, softhearted, and yes, maybe dashing and refined, definitely intelligent and successful.

All of these things and the last mostly because I would wish him to have his own diversions for I wouldn’t wish him to need to spend too much time with me. This is because I like being alone. I like my own company.

This isn’t to say I didn’t sometimes long for a gentle touch, a man’s eyes falling on me appreciatively, building a shared history where we might one day simply gaze at each other, understand and smile.

But I long ago gave up these yearnings. I meet many men and this man, this man that I would need to share my life with, he doesn’t exist, Gran. I’ve come to understand that and it’s settled in me. I’ve built a life I enjoy, one that keeps me busy, and I’m happy with that.

Truly.

I find it remarkable, after all that you endured, that you’d still believe in love. In romance. In all that heady possibility. And I adore it that you want that for me.

What I wish you to understand in your heart is that, although it feels lovely you wish for me to have all kinds of beauty, I’m perfectly happy without it.

I have your love and that’s all I need.

And you have my love too.

Forever and completely.

Yours,

Josie

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUSmashwords | B&N
The Author

k ashley_picKristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Connect with Kristen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Other books in the series or related posts:

BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Just To Be With You by Bella Andre

Bella Andre_BT 2014 Banner

Bella Andre is my go-to author whenever I am looking for a book that would give me a perfect mix of fairy tale romance and scorching chemistry, a book I would not be able to put down start to finish, and her Sullivans series is my very favourite. These books follow the very irresistible Sullivan siblings, and their cousins more recently, each book being a standalone story, but reading them in order is highly recommended as characters frequently keep returning in subsequent books, this being a family that sticks together and loves each other fiercely. Today, I have the great honour of sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the upcoming instalment in the series, Just To Be With You! This is Ian’s book and it is coming to us on 5 March 2014!!! Sit back and experience the Bella magic… ♥

Ian Sullivan, the powerful and wealthy CEO of Sullivan investments, has never failed at anything in his life…apart from love and marriage. Certain that he’ll never take the plunge again, the last thing he expects is for a beautiful actress to turn his perfectly organized world completely upside down.

Tatiana Landon, one of the hottest talents in Hollywood, has been waiting for true love her whole life. When she meets Ian, she’s certain she’s finally found it…along with a passion that sizzles hotter than anything in her wildest dreams. All she needs to do now is find a way to convince him to take the risk of loving again.

Ian soon realizes that Tatiana is just as determined and focused on winning his heart as he is on locking it away. But when unexpected circumstances thrust them into a world where “real life” rules don’t apply, will Ian finally recognize Tatiana as his one true love?

excerpt

As he looked at the beautiful woman standing before him, Ian finally accepted that she didn’t have a clue just how alluring, how tempting she was. On the day they’d met in the vineyard, he’d been so certain it was all an act on her part, that there must be something she was trying to gain by acting so, well, normal…despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Now he knew it wasn’t an act. Because though Tatiana was a world-class actress, she was one of the few women that he’d never seen put on an act in real life. Instead, amazingly, she let herself be real, be honest, be vulnerable. He could now see why Valentina and Smith were so protective of her.

Ian found that he wanted to do whatever he could to protect her, too.

Especially from a man like himself.

“It must have been difficult for your father when you decided to become an actress.”

“I was pretty young when he passed away. I’d only just started to do a few commercials, so he never had to deal with me falling for bad boys.”

“It wouldn’t matter how young you were, he would still have worried, would still have wanted to protect you.”

“I would have liked that–to know that he was there to take care of me if I needed him.” Her words were soft, filled with the longing for the father she’d lost far too early. “I always think of him, even now, when something really great happens. I want to run to him to tell him everything, want to feel him lift me up one more time and spin me around in circles until we’re both dizzy. Valentina says that she’s always felt him watching over us, but I didn’t get as many years with him as she did, and sometimes he’s so fuzzy in my head…”

Ian didn’t think before moving to close the distance between them. Tatiana’s grief at losing a parent was so much bigger than what he’d gone through with his divorce, and yet, she didn’t try to hold it in or to keep it caged inside.

He didn’t know how she did it, how she managed to be so open without fear of getting hurt. All he knew was that he had to be there for her, needed to lift his hands to frame her face as he told her, “Valentina is right, Tatiana. Your father sees you. And he’s proud of you, so damned proud. Not just because you’re such a success, but also because of the truly extraordinary woman you’ve become.”

Her eyes were shining with tears as she lifted them to meet his. “Thank you. Thank you for saying that, and for watching our read-through…and for worrying about me when I didn’t show up at your office.”

Her skin was soft, so soft. And so warm that he’d never wanted anything more than he wanted to close the rest of the distance between the two of them and kiss her.

Finally kiss her.

Finally learn if her lips tasted as sweet, and were as soft, as he’d imagined them to be.

In that moment, all the reasons he had for keeping his distance, for staying away from her, fell away as he shifted his hands to thread his fingers into her hair so that he could-

Her phone jumped on the kitchen counter, a loud buzz as it clanked against a set of keys that jolted him back into the real world.

He dropped his hands from her and took one step back, and then another and another, away from the greatest temptation he’d ever faced. And when he saw Smith’s face light up her cell phone’s screen, guilt at what he’d almost done swamped him.

Valentina and Smith trusted him with Tatiana. He should be protecting her, not fantasizing about all the ways he wanted to take her, how many times he could make her scream his name in pleasure before the next sunrise.

“You should get that,” he told her.

“Smith can wait. Right now, don’t you think it’s more important that we talk about what happened yesterday?” She touched her hair, the silky strands his fingers had been tangling in just seconds before. “And what almost happened now?”

He’d already gone too deep with her, shared too much of himself, but before he pushed her away again, he had to at least explain to her why he was doing it.

“I like you, Tatiana. A great deal. And I’m glad we’ve become friends. Which is why I can’t stand the thought of hurting you. Not in any way.”

“Why do you think you’ll hurt me, Ian? Why can’t we just jump and trust that we’ll help each other with the landing?”

“I can’t take any chances with you.” He wanted to touch her again so badly-wanted to feel her skin against his fingertips, her body pressed close to his again-that he made himself take another step away from her. “Especially not with you.”

She stared at him with big green eyes, and he decided to let her take a good long look this time, to let her see what he made sure to hide from everyone else. That she couldn’t want him. Shouldn’t want him.

Because he didn’t have nearly enough to give her.

But as he watched her watch him, a part of him–a really big part that he wasn’t proud of–was praying she’d ignore everything he’d just said and kiss him anyway.

Finally, though, she nodded. “There’s just one question I need to ask first before we go ahead as if nothing has changed between us, even though we both know it has.”

He braced for her question. “Go ahead.”

“Do you really think one teeny-tiny little kiss would really be that big a deal?”

“With you,” he said, as serious as he’d ever been in his life, “I’m certain that no kiss could ever be teeny. Or tiny. Or little.”

“A hug, then. Now that we’ve cleared the air from yesterday, I think we should at least be able to give each other a friendly hug.”

Even that was a bad idea, Ian knew, but before he could make that clear, her arms were already coming around his neck.

She was so much smaller than he, but they still fit together perfectly, her soft curves against his muscles, taut with the effort it was taking not to wrap her legs around his waist and lift her up on the kitchen counter so that he could devour her.

He could feel her breath warm against his neck, her long eyelashes brushing his skin as she closed her eyes, then opened them again. He could feel her heart beating against his chest, fast and hard, as they stood in the circle of each other’s arms for what was one of the most precious, extraordinary moments of his life so far.

Ian never wanted to let her go, didn’t know if he’d ever find the strength to do it, but he also knew he needed to shatter the moment before it spun off into another even more heady one. “My driver is waiting outside. That is, if you still want to come back to the office with me.”

When she finally drew back, cool air rushed in where her curves had been warming him. “I do. Of course I do.”

Her words were slightly breathless, and knowing why, knowing that he aroused her that much with only a hug, did crazy things to him. Especially when he couldn’t help but wonder just how aroused she would become if he kissed every inch of her, then followed up his kisses with caresses.

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The Sullivans Series – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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From This Moment On: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Can’t Help Falling in Love: Amazon US | Amazon UK
I Only Have Eyes for You: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
If You Were Mine: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Let Me Be the One: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
Come a Little Bit Closer: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Always on My Mind: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
The Way You Look Tonight: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Kissing Under the Mistletoe: Amazon US | Amazon UK
It Must Be Your Love: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
Just to Be With You: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Out of the Shallows by Samantha Young

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Epic. Unforgettable. Heartbreaking. A must read. That is how I would describe Into the Deep because I loved this book to no end and could not put it down. The story of Charley and Jake is so intoxicatingly addictive, you will find yourself cherishing the heart-breaking moments as much as the heart-warming ones. Samantha Young is an incredible storyteller, her characters stealing your heart from the very first page, and this book was no exception. Today, I am super-excited to be sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the conclusion of Charley and Jake’s love story, Out of the Shallows, coming to us on 15 April 2014… ♥

Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Jake and Charley’s story concludes in Out of the Shallows…

Somehow, after everything they’ve been through, Jake Caplin and Charley Redford made their way back to one another. But finding each other and staying together are two completely different things.

When Charley’s world is flipped upside down, she begins to question the choices and decisions she’s made since her arrival in Edinburgh, and in an effort to grip onto what she holds most dear she believes she must sacrifice her love for Jake.

Returning to the States for her senior year, Charley struggles to find peace and happiness. While everyone else seems to be finding themselves in college, Charley is terrified that, along with almost everything else that’s important to her, she’s lost herself.

While friends and family deal with their own tumultuous lives, there is one person resolved to uncover the reason behind Charley’s sudden defection and unhappiness. Refusing to give up without a fight, Jake believes he is the only one who can truly understand what Charley is going through, and this time he’s determined to prove he’s there for her no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way.

However, as Charley strives through the biggest personal journey of her life thus far, there is no guarantee that the woman she is becoming will still need Jake as much as the girl she once was did…

excerpt

The sight before us brought me to an abrupt halt. Jake stumbled into my back, catching my elbows to steady me.

I grinned at the sight of Claudia and Lowe sitting at the guys’ kitchen table. So. My friend had decided to take my advice after all. “Hey.”

Claudia caught my look and made a face. “I was supposed to be meeting Beck,” she explained. “But I’m guessing he tripped and fell inside another groupie because he isn’t here.”

Lowe laughed, a deep, sexy sound. His eyes glittered in amusement and I felt a rush of anticipation at the thought of something happening between these two. So Claudia was too hung up on Beck to notice Lowe. That could change once they started hanging out more. I’d just have to make sure they had reason to spend time together. Alone.

As if Jake read my mind, he pulled me against him and murmured in my ear, “No.”

Spoilsport.

“You seem in a better mood.” I raised an eyebrow at Claud, ignoring Jake’s warning.

She shook her head, giving me a little smile that said she wasn’t mad at my attempts at matchmaking. “I got that email I was waiting on.”

My heart lurched in my chest. “And?”

Claudia’s eyes lit up. “It’s all good. I’ll tell you about it later.”

Relief moved through me. I couldn’t be happier for Claudia that her real dad had gotten back in touch. I was curious to know what he’d said, but I knew it was something she was keeping private.

And then an idea hit me.

“You should go out for a drink. Relax about it now. Maybe Lowe could take you.”

Jake gently nudged me toward the door with an exasperated sigh. “Charley and I will be in my room. Do not disturb.”

“Too much information,” Lowe muttered into his coffee.

“That’s your definition of too much information?” I heard Claudia say as I followed Jake down the hall. “You have a lot to learn.”

“Was that an invitation?” he purred back.

I shot Jake a triumphant look but he shook his head sternly and pulled me inside, locking the door behind us.

He turned to me, completely serious. “Beck would lose it if anything happened between Claudia and Lowe.”

“But you heard him.”

“That’s just Lowe. He’d flirt with a houseplant. What he would not do is touch Claudia. He knows how Beck feels about her.”

“You know, I’m starting not to care about Beck’s feelings when it comes to Claud. He’s messing with her. He doesn’t want to date her but he gets pissed when some other guy does. No. That does not fly in Charley World, Jake. I’ve advised Claudia to move on.”

Jake sighed as he gently pulled me close. “And you’re probably right. But don’t pit best friend against best friend.”

Feeling bad, I played with a button on his shirt. “I’m sorry. That’s not cool, I know.”

“Anyway, Lowe wouldn’t touch Claud.”

“Why not?” I glowered. “She’s smart and funny and prettier than all his groupies put together.”

I felt him shake with laughter. “Sheath the claws, sweetheart. I know your girl rocks but Lowe and Beck are tight. He wouldn’t do that to Beck, no matter how much of a dick Beck’s being.”

“Uh, he did it to you with me when you were being a dick.”

Jake tensed and I knew it was exactly the wrong thing to say. He released me and wandered toward his desk. Turning on his computer, he spoke without looking at me. “That was different. Lowe isn’t as tight with me as he is with Beck. And it was you.”

I was almost afraid to ask. “What was me?”

He gave me a sharp look. “Come on, you must know Lowe really likes you. You’re not just some girl to him.”

“If you know Lowe likes me, why do you rub us in his face?”

“I’m not.”

“The comment about the teeth marks. The comment just now. ‘Do not disturb.’”

“I’m just being me, I’m being us. I’m not going to stop being us. Plus, this way he’ll get over it quicker.”

“You were definitely far more concerned about protecting Melissa’s feelings.”

“That was different.” His face clouded at the mention of his ex. “Lowe wasn’t in a relationship with you. You didn’t tell each other you loved each other.”

Realizing I was digging myself deeper into unstable territory, I tried to stumble out the way I came in. “I’m just saying, I think there’s animosity between you two I don’t get.”

“He tried to f*ck you,” Jake snapped.

My cheeks flushed. “I think you’ll find that it was a little more complicated than that. He’s a good guy. He was there for me. All I want is the same for Claudia.”

Jake groaned and buried his head in hands. “Baby, I hear what you’re saying but please pick someone else. Not for my sake, not for Lowe’s sake, but for Beck’s sake.” He glanced over his shoulder at me and smiled. “He doesn’t get to hold her captive while he messes around with other girls. I get it. I do. Advise her to move on, cut him out, whatever … just don’t … He’s got his issues but me and The Stolen are his only real family. Lowe is like his brother. Don’t do anything to mess that up for him.”

I softened. “You sure are giving me a lot of credit if you’re truly worried I could make something happen between Claudia and Lowe.”

Suddenly looking very boyish, Jake said, “I believe you can do anything you put your mind to, Charley Redford. You’re a force to be reckoned with.”

His words cast a stillness over me, my eyes drinking in all that he was. “Totally worth it,” I murmured.

“What?”

I grinned. “Get on the bed. You just won bonus sex.”

His low chuckle tickled me in all my good-for-nothing places as my sweater fell to the ground.

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Into the Deep – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Into the DeepAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
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The Author

sam young_picSamantha Young is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel On Dublin Street.

Connect with Samantha: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodread
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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Come to Me Softly by A.L. Jackson

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There are some authors who never fail to deliver stories that are so exquisitely moving, that each story is an unforgettable journey that makes you feel a million different emotions, and A.L. Jackson is a master at making our hearts clench. I can proudly say that I have read every single book by this brilliant author, and yet I am surprised each time by the way her stories manage to captivate and overwhelm me. Ms Jackson’s new Closer to You series and its first book in particular, Come to Me Quietly, is as stellar as her other works and I cannot recommend it enough. Today, I am sharing with you a very sexy excerpt from the next book in the series, Come to Me Softly, due to be released on 1 July 2014… and while I am so in love with this excerpt, the greedy part of me can’t wait to read the previous scene!!! Read on and you’ll know what I mean… And don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of the first book in the series!! ♥

A second chance at life…

A second chance at love…

Jared Holt never thought he deserved either—until he found both in the arms of Aly Moore. Aly has loved Jared for as long as she can remember, and she’s more than ready for the future they’re making together. But Jared can’t help remembering his own family. And he’ll never forgive himself for what happened to them. How can he allow himself the very happiness he once destroyed?

To live a life worthy of Aly, Jared knows he has to stop running and finally put his past to rest. But when he decides to face his demons head on, he encounters more than he bargained for: a dangerous mix of jealousy, lies, and dishonest intentions. When those intentions threaten Aly, Jared loses all control, giving into the rage that earned him his bad boy reputation years before. And he’ll fight to protect her no matter what it costs…even if he destroys himself in the process.

excerpt

Aleena

A couple seconds later, the door swung open. A halo of light silhouetted Jared’s frame, his presence thick, overwhelming.

He stood there, gazing at me from across the room.

Under his stare, I squirmed, fisted the sheets at my sides.

Slowly he came into view as he stepped forward. He towered over me. As he approached, my eyes caressed the sharp angles of his face. My attention jumped along the deformed, warped story played out on his chest and down the deep lines cut into his rugged stomach. His hips jutted out above his tight underwear, something so tempting in the way he moved. Sinewy muscle bunched and flexed beneath the color of his strong arms, bristled in the corded strength of his powerful legs.

A tremor rolled through me.

He was indescribable. Devastating.

So hard, every inch of him, callused from the wounds that had marred his life, this terrifying beauty that held me captive, tying me somewhere to the darkest places of his soul.

But his eyes… they were soft. Bright. Filled my own darkness with light.

“Hey,” he murmured quietly as he drew near.

“Hey,” I whispered back.

He knelt at the side of my bed and leaned in to brush back the matted hair stuck to my dampened forehead. “Are you okay?” Concern tightened his brow as he searched my face. “Was I too rough?”

Softly, I shook my head, unable to look away from this gorgeous man. “No, not at all.” I trailed my trembling fingers down his face. “You don’t need to worry about me so much.”

“How can I not? I just want to take care of you.”

I jumped when he placed the warm, damp cloth between my thighs, then hummed when he gently massaged it over me, deliberate, soft, because taking care of me was exactly what he was doing.

Complete acceptance nodded my head. “I know that.”

He finished cleaning me and tossed the washcloth into the hamper. Slowly, he crawled into bed. Rolling onto his side, he pulled me to him. “Come here.”

I snuggled into the security of his chest, and he drew the covers over us, wrapping me in the safety of his arms.

Warmth spread over me, contenting every fiber in my being. I buried my face in his chest, brushed my lips across the rose, breathed him in.

Jared exhaled as he pulled me closer. And I could feel the shift. Tension clotted the already heavy air. He gathered my hand and wove our fingers together. He held it tight between us. In the dim light, his blue eyes met mine, wholly tender, yet fierce and severe.

“I need you to understand something, Aly. You don’t ever have to worry about me stepping out on you.” He squeezed my hand tighter. “I can promise you that.”

For a flash, he averted his gaze, before he leveled the force of it back on me. Vestiges of shame swam in the depths. “But I think you already know I left a whole mess of that behind me in Jersey.”

Jealousy bit at my consciousness, and I squeezed my eyes shut as if I could block it out. I didn’t want to be that girl, the one who let things that could not be controlled affect her life. The one who allowed bygones rule. The one who let insecurities invade, fester, and destroy. But I had to be honest and admit it hurt. Thinking of him with other girls the way he’d been with me left something inside me uncovered, abraded and raw.

Tonight had only proven that.

It had revealed a weakness in me.

Because I’d only ever belonged to him.

I knew it was foolish. Wrong. But I couldn’t help the way I felt.

He jerked at my hand, demanding my attention. My eyes flashed open. “Four years were spent that way. There were a lot of them, and I can’t promise you something like happened tonight won’t ever happen again.” He blinked like it caused him physical pain. “Seeing your face tonight, how much it hurt you to see me with her…God, that killed me, Aly. I don’t ever want to see you hurting that way. If I could go back and change it, you know I would, but I can’t.  But you need to know none of them ever meant anything.”

He edged back, released my fingers, and pressed my palm to his chest right over my eyes marking his skin. “You did this, Aly. You made me feel…really feel. None of them did that. Not one. I told you once I used girls just as shamelessly as Christopher did. But I’m not using you. You have to know that.”

Discomfort needled through my senses and embarrassment rushed to my face. But I refused to look away from him. I chewed at the inside of my cheek, searching for the courage to speak. “I do know that, but the thought of you with someone else, touching them the way you touch me…” My voice dropped. “I only want you to belong to me.”

Like a testimony, my naked body burned against his, the way I’d given myself to him.

Only him.

Jared pulled back so he could see my face better. Knowing laughter seeped quietly from his mouth, and he softly ran his fingers through my hair. “I’ve only belonged to one person, Aly, and that’s you.” His mouth was suddenly at my ear. “And believe me, I’ve never touched anyone the way I touch you.”

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Come to Me Quietly: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Come to Me Softly: Amazon US | B&N (1 Jul 2014)
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The Author

AL Jackson_pic_croppedA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Connect with Amy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Come To Me Quietly, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Dear Tabitha by Trudy Stiles

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If you love superbly written, heart-wrenching but emotionally fulfilling stories that make your heart grow tenfold, then Dear Emily will be a book you will love just as much as I have. But while that book gave us a wonderful ending for one of the heroines, it left us desperately aching for a happily-ever-after for the other, a sad but kind-hearted young woman called Tabitha. Today, I am so thankful to Trudy Stiles for allowing me to share with you a never seen before excerpt from Dear Tabitha, coming to us on 30 March 2014… ♥

You know me. You know who I am. What I am.

Damaged. Confused. Alone.

You feel sorry for me.

You pity me.You know what I’ve done. What I’ve given up. Who I’ve given up.

You try to understand what I’ve been through and how I can possibly go on with my life. But you can’t possibly understand.

I’ve lost too much. Sacrificed too much. Given up everything so that I can find myself.

Well I’m done.

I’m done walking away from everything that matters.

It’s time for me to heal. It’s MY TURN to earn…

Redemption.

Love.

Family.

excerpt

Chapter 1

Alex

Past – Age 22

I stumble down the stairs and out the door, distancing myself from her as quickly as I can. Intense pain shoots throughout my abdomen and I barely make it outside onto the street before I puke all over the sidewalk. All I see when I close my eyes are images of the two of them, his hands all over her, where mine are supposed to be. I wretch again as the vomit and bile come up, burning the inside of my throat and my mouth. If I weren’t puking, I’m sure I’d be crying like a baby. Why is this happening? Why did she do this? Loving her was the first real thing that I’d ever done in my life. Now I have nothing. I slowly stand up and wipe my mouth with the back of my jacket. I can’t believe that I just broke up with her.

It’s over.

I. Am. Done.

I just ended the only relationship that has ever mattered to me. Tabitha is upstairs in her apartment and here I am, puking in the street, trying to get as far away from her as I possibly can. I’m completely crushed and it’s all her fault. Pain shoots through my stomach again and I lean against the building, trying to settle down.

I’ve been so f*cking patient with her throughout all of her breakdowns. He mental illness. She’s hated herself for so long and I’ve shown her what it’s like to love. I’ve tried to take away the demons that plague her. To make her forget about that monster, Tony. I’ve tried to help her to not be afraid of love. Shit I’ve tried to help myself too. I gave her all of me and more. My love, my heart, my f*cking life.

I can’t believe her. Why did she do this? I warned her about Seth.

She was f*cking kissing him! I could kill him and I almost did. When I felt my fist connecting with his face earlier today, it felt so good. Too good. God! What is happening? What just happened?

Why did she do this to us? She ruined us. I trusted her. Loved her.

F*ck. I loved her with every part of me.

That asshole has been waiting for his moment to pounce and to take her away from me. To f*ck her. Well, he succeeded and now he can have her. She doesn’t deserve me after what she did today. Another wave of nausea passes as I think about how long this may have been going on with Seth? Shit, I don’t even want to know. Has she been lying to me this whole time? Things were so real with her, or at least they seemed real. She made a promise that she only loved me. Only wanted me. And then she was with him.

She’s a f*cking liar. My stomach clenches as I realize that there must have been something going on with them all along. I never thought that she would do something like this to me. To us.

I should have seen this coming. I never should have given myself to her.

I lean against the side of her building and run my hands over my face. These hands wanted to kill today. To shred Seth to pieces. These hands almost grabbed her and shook her. The rage I felt was like nothing I’ve experienced before. I felt fire today and I wanted her to burn. Shit.

I try to take a calming breath and picture my mother’s gray eyes. I shudder and feel nauseous again. No. I would never do that to another person. A woman. I. Could. Never.

Could I?

No. I’m not like him. My Pops.

I. Am. Not.

The knot in my stomach begins to pull at my chest and I feel a crushing pain as I gasp for air. My world has just come crashing down around me and I don’t know what to do.

I’m empty and afraid. Afraid of what I might do. What I’m capable of.

I wrap my arms around my stomach and take deep breaths, trying to settle my revulsion and anger. I have so many scars from Pops. I was beaten more times than I can remember. I couldn’t inflict this kind of pain on someone else. Ever.

Sadness and regret sweep in and begin to overcome me. God, I didn’t even feel like this when he killed himself. What Tabby did to me, to us, feels so much worse.

I swallow hard to stop the bile from rising from my stomach again as I throw my head back, slamming it into the concrete wall. I wince as pain radiates down my spine. I need to get away from here. From her. Far away. I can’t be near her or Seth. I might be tempted to use my hands again and I just can’t allow that to happen. I don’t ever want to become like my Pops.

I push myself away from the wall and walk toward a cab down the block. I’m unsteady on my feet as I wave my hand in the air to signal that I need a lift. He turns his lights off to indicate that he’s not in service. Shit!

As I walk by the cab driver, I flip him off. Yeah, he can suck it. How the f*ck am I going to get out of here? I reach for my phone and send a text to Dax to meet me at the High Note. I need to get the hell out of here. Fast.

I need to leave her behind. Leave us behind. My heart is splattered all over her walls like the pools of blood that I left on my basement floor eight years ago. Pops tried to kill me that day. She succeeded in killing us today.

She ruined us.

I need to forget her.

I just hope that I can.

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Dear Tabitha

Dear Emily: My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK | B&N ⬅ $0.99
Dear Tabitha: coming 30 Mar 2014…

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The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Dear Emily, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

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There are some authors who consistently keep giving us flawless stories that touch our hearts every single time and I truly believe that K.A. Tucker couldn’t write a bad book even if she tried! Today, we continue the Birthday Teasers celebrations with the fourth and final instalment in the Ten Tiny Breaths series, due to be released on 24 June 2014. I am so very excited to share with you an excerpt from Five Ways to Fall… ♥

Sometimes you can’t change—and sometimes you just don’t want to. Discover Ben’s side of the story in this fourth novel by the beloved, top-selling indie author of Ten Tiny BreathsOne Tiny Lie, and Four Seconds to Lose.

Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.

Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.

If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…

excerpt

Chapter 2

Ben

I love the angry ones.

Of course, anyone who knows me would argue that I love any and all women, and I can’t exactly disagree. But I love the angry ones the most. They’re a challenge to be conquered, the reason for their fury usually fitting neatly into three buckets: insecure, scorned, hormonal.

And this purple-haired chick gazing up at me with fire in her caramel eyes?

I’m betting on bucket number two.

“My, what an awfully bright red shirt you have on,” she pushes out between gritted teeth, as if she’s trying to be polite but can’t hide her disdain.

I didn’t know what I was walking into when the punk-rock chick with the crazy-ass muscular body waved us over, but her friend with the purple hair and her back to me had me intrigued. Now that I’m getting a good look at her face, I know who I’m spending my last night with in Cancún. She’s not what some would call traditionally “pretty.” Her eyes are slightly too big and far apart, her nose is slightly too long and slender, and her lips—though nice and wide—are on the thin side. Yet something about all of that put together makes her sexy as hell. Maybe it’s the little nose ring. Or maybe it’s the way her decent-sized tits are pressing up against me, her low V-neck tank top—a casual shirt, telling me she’s not trying to pick anyone up—giving me a fine view of her cleavage. Whatever it is, my dick is certainly pleased. “You like it?” I ask.

An irritated glare flickers to the material. “No.”

I can’t help but chuckle at her candor. “Will you at least give me a head start before you gore me?”

Those thin lip curls into a condescending smirk. “Bulls don’t see color. That’s a myth.”

The only thing I love more than an angry girl is a smart, angry girl.

This is going to be fun.

“Well, how about I solve the problem for you.” I take a step back from her and swiftly yank my shirt off, exposing six days of suntanned skin and an upper body that I know looks damn appealing because I work my ass off to keep it that way. The random catcalls from the tables around confirm it.

And then I simply stand there and grin like the cocky ass that I am as Angry Girl can’t keep her eyes from scanning the muscles I’ve honed since my college football days, her lips parting ever so subtly. I see the shift in her, the moment where she realizes that, though she’d prefer to castrate the entire male species right now, she can’t ignore her attraction to me.

At least, that’s what I want to see.

“Sir. Excuse me, sir.” A glance over my shoulder finds Angelo, the short Mexican waiter who’s been serving us all week, standing there with a tray of beers for my friends and me. We didn’t even have to ask. Hell, I love Cancún. I could live here forever.

“Angelo! Why the f*ck are you calling me ‘sir’?”

“Uh . . .” He licks his lips as his eyes dart to the tile floor. “Please. Management requests that you wear proper attire in the lounge area. Please.”

“No worries, pal.”  Poor Angelo is probably ready to shit his pants, as afraid as he is to offend me, the guy who has lined his pockets with a month’s worth of rent in tips. Snagging a beer off his tray, I take my time sucking back a few mouthfuls, feeling Angry Girl’s eyes riveted to my throat.

Yeah, I’ve got this one in the bag.

With an easy smile, I place the bottle down on the table and pull the shirt back over my head. “Though you may have to deal with Angry Girl in front of me, now. She hates my shirt.”

Angelo casts a polite smile her way as he hands out beers to my friends, and I know exactly what he’s thinking. He’s seen me walk out of here with a few different women this week.

What else can I say but . . . I’m on vacation.

I was planning on just hanging low tonight, going to bed solo. Now, though, getting this purple-haired chick naked sounds like more fun.

“Angry Girl will try to restrain herself, Angelo,” she purrs, draining the last of her drink and placing it on his tray before scooping up a fresh one. She still has a full one sitting on the table, too. “But only if you come back with another one of these in under five minutes. Otherwise, there’s no telling what she’ll do.” Narrowed eyes glimmer with secret amusement.

Sí, señorita.”

I smoothly tuck a twenty into his shirt pocket and pat his shoulder. “For causing you any trouble with management.” Angelo nods and quickly heads off as I stick my hand out. “I’m Ben. And you are . . .”

Angry Girl accepts it, the skin of her hand soft and cool within mine. “Jill.” Thumbing to her left, she adds, “Sabrina. And that’s Kelly over there. She’s Korean.”

What? My brow furrows as I regard the cute girl-next-door blond sitting across from us, trying to make sense of that strange introduction. A skillful distraction, it would seem, because it gives Jill a chance to slither into her seat, her back to me once again. She props her feet up to rest on the only vacant chair at the table, her long, shapely legs all the more visible thanks to the tiny shorts she’s wearing.

“Travis, Kent, Murdock,” I toss out with a lazy gesture toward the guys, three of my roommates from Miami. They can take care of themselves. I’m on a mission. I waste no time seizing an empty lounge chair from the table next to us. Flashing a big smile at the cougar eyeing me, a redhead who is definitely hot enough to f*ck should this thing with Jill go sideways, I swing the chair around and take a seat so close that my knee—the one that cost me a guaranteed NFL career and still throbs in damp weather—rests against Jill’s bare leg. She doesn’t shift away. “First night in Cancún?”

One of her perfectly shaped brows arches. “You’re persistent.”

“A persistent fool,” I correct her with a grin, earning the non-Korean girl’s laughter. “First night in Cancún?” I repeat.

“How can you tell?”

Finally. An open door for a conversation. I jump through it like a circus dog. “Because you’re way too tense, you’re downing those drinks like you’re on a mission to wake up naked on the beach, and you have no tan lines.”

“Huh . . .” She ponders that for a moment while I inhale her perfume. She smells like strawberries and cream. I wonder if she tastes like strawberries and cream. “What are you, a detective?”

“Bouncer at a strip club.”

Her head falls back and she starts laughing, a deep, throaty laugh that I want to record and play back again at a later date. “Of course you are.”

I shrug. “It pays the bills.” I could kill whatever assumptions she’s making about me by telling her why I’m really here in Cancún: to celebrate finishing law school and taking the bar exam.

But I don’t.

I simply watch her tongue curl around the salty rim of her glass. Dirty thoughts flash through my head and I’m forced to discreetly adjust myself. If she notices, she doesn’t comment. Hell, she probably knows exactly what she’s doing to me. There are no innocent vibes coming off this chick.

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Ten Tiny Breaths – Reading Order and Purchase Links
(standalone stories with interconnected characters)
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Ten Tiny BreathsMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
One Tiny LieMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Four Seconds to LoseMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback
Five Ways to FallAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAPaperback (24 Jun 2014)
In Her Wake (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA (1 Sep 2014)

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The Author

KATucker_picBorn in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Connect with Kathleen: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Play by Kylie Scott

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When a book is singlehandedly responsible for making me fall in love with rocker romances, I tend to pay attention, and Kylie Scott and the sizzling first book in the Stage Dive series, Lick, have done just that! Today, I am so very excited and grateful to Ms Scott for allowing me to share with you an excerpt from the next book in the series, Play, to be released on 1 April 2014. I’m afraid this bad boy might have already stolen my heart… ♥

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.

Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

excerpt

“What’s your name?” he asked, joining me at the railing. God, even his voice felt good. The little hairs on the back of my neck stood on end with delight.

“My name?”

He stood close enough that our elbows bumped. His bare elbow, since he wore only jeans, a pair of Chucks, and a fitted “Queens of the Stone Age” T-Shirt. Mal Ericson had touched me. I’d never wash again.

“Yeeeah, your name,” he drawled. “The point of me telling you my name, even when you already knew it, was so you’d give me yours. That’s how these things go.”

“You knew I knew?”

“The crazy eyes kinda gave it away.”

“Oh.”

A moment later, he groaned. “Never mind, this is taking too long. I’ll just make one up for you.”

“Anne.”

“Anne, what?

“Anne Rollins.”

A brilliant grin lit his face. “Anne Rollins. See, that wasn’t so tough?”

I gritted my teeth and tried to smile. Most likely I resembled a lunatic. One that had spent way too much time imagining him naked. Good god, the shame.

Gently, he tapped his bottle of beer against mine. “Cheers, Anne. Nice to meet you.”

I took another sip, hoping it would calm the shaking. The booze wasn’t hitting me hard enough fast enough to deal with this. Maybe I should move on to something stronger. One’s first intimate conversation with a rock star should probably be conducted over something harder. Ev was definitely on to something with her tequila fueled antics in Vegas. And look how well it had worked out for her.

“What brings you here tonight, Anne?”

“I came with Nate and Lauren. They brought me. They’re my neighbors. They live next door.”

He nodded. “You’re friends with Ev?”

“Yeah, I, well…I’ve always been friendly with her. I wouldn’t want to presume…I mean, I don’t know that I’d say we were close friends, exactly, but–”

“Yes or no, Anne?”

“Yes,” I answered, then snapped my mouth shut against another outbreak of verbal diarrhea.

“Yeah, Ev’s good people. Davie was lucky to find her.” He stared off at the city lights in silence. The amusement fell from his face and a frown creased his brow. He seemed sad, a little lost, maybe. For certain, his much vaunted party rocker personality was nowhere in evidence. I should know better. People had painted Ev to be the next Yoko Ono, riding on David’s coattails, sucking him dry of fame and fortune. I didn’t have to be her BFF to know it couldn’t be further from the truth. Chances were, whoever Mal was, had little to do with the nonsense flowing freely on the internet.

But more importantly, how badly had I embarrassed myself?

“I didn’t really get a crazy look in my eyes, did I?” I asked, dreading the answer.

“Yeah, you did.”

Crap.

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Stage Dive – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Lick: My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Play: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Lead: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Deep: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
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The Author

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Lick, to be sent to the winner in May, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Rare and Precious Things by Raine Miller

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The very romantic and yet utterly sensual Blackstone Affair is one of my most cherished series, Raine Miller‘s evocative writing style continuously leaving us breathless and hungry for more, and now we are finally getting the conclusion to the timeless romance between the very irresistible Ethan Blackstone and his beloved American girl, Brynne. Rare and Precious Things is coming to us on 28 February 2014 and Ms Miller has treated us to an excerpt from their wedding night!!! Enjoy and remember to breathe… ♥

The fourth part in the New York Times bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair: A bright beginning for two damaged souls fighting for their hard-won love, and the promise of a new hope to secure their happily ever after.

Fresh from an idyllic honeymoon along the Italian coast, the Blackstones prepare for the birth of their precious baby and the challenges of settling into a new home. But things get complicated when specters from the past reappear to threaten the very foundation of their relationship. Ethan and Brynne will have to fight harder than ever for each other. Rare and Precious Things is the story of two people who both need the other in order to be complete, but learn just how “rare” their brand of love is when they have to risk everything in order to hold onto it.

excerpt

I sighed with need and forced myself to take a step backward, creating some distance between our bodies. My arm stretched out as I slid back, my hand still clasped in his much bigger one. “Okay…how does this room in fifteen minutes sound?” I stepped backward again, moving closer toward the bathroom door, my eyes never leaving his blues as they tracked my movements.

Those same beautiful blue eyes also glittered at me with all the shuttered heat of a man who would be ravishing me very soon. He allowed my hand to be released from his grip, the heat of his skin noticeably absent the second contact was lost.

He gave me the serious Ethan-stare, the one I’d seen many times and was well familiar with by now—the one raw with male prowess…and the overpowering sexual dominance that made me burn. “Like fifteen minutes too fucking long, my beauty.”

I had to suppress the slight moan that escaped my throat at the effect his words had on me. I was just a mortal woman after all. Ethan was the one that looked and acted like a Greek god to me.

He seared me with another look dripping with the promise of the molten sex to come, before turning away, walking through the door, and closing it with a soft click.

Once he was out, the room was instantly quiet and I felt more than a little bereft without him. I just stood there and absorbed the reality of where I was in the moment. I’m getting ready to make love with my husband. That idea jolted me out of my stupor and sprung me into action pretty fast.

I fled for the bathroom and worked myself out of my dress, which gratefully was not difficult at all with its easy access placement of a side zip. I hung it up carefully on the boudoir hanger that had been arranged, for what I assumed, especially that purpose. I would have to remember to do something nice for Hannah. She’d thought of everything.

I set my veil aside while I brushed my teeth and drank a glass of water. I stripped out of my lingerie except for stockings and garter belt in pale lavender silk, and looked at my side profile in the mirror. I had a bump. Not much of one yet, but it was definitely there. I gave our sweet little peach a caress and reached for my veil again. I reattached it and stepped back out into the bedroom. I climbed up onto the raised bed and sank down into the downy softness of the duvet on my knees. I was careful to arrange myself with my back facing the same door Ethan had used when he left the room. He would pass through it again when he returned, and I wanted him to have a first vision of me as I’d planned it out in my head. I was ready even though my heart was racing.

I closed my eyes.

And waited for Ethan to come to me.

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The sounds of the door opening and then closing told me when he was back in the room.

I sensed him staring and the idea gave me a rushing thrill to know what he was seeing of me. I turned my head and found him with my eyes.

“I just want to look at you for a moment,” he said, remaining still, a few feet away. I could tell he was affected by the hooded eyes and the set of his jaw, and that knowledge emboldened me.

“Only if I can do the same.”

My Ethan had prepared for me as well. The beautiful tuxedo with the purple brocade vest had gone the way of my wedding dress probably. In its place just one garment. Silky black pajama bottoms slung low at his waist. The contrast of the black fabric to his skin displayed his golden muscled chest and carved abdomen to perfection. And I got to drink him in. The muscular cuts which tapered into a spectacular V below his waist made my mouth water, forcing me to swallow. One of the most beautiful parts of my man. I needed my mouth there.

So gorgeously made in body, so full of male power and strength…it almost hurt to look at him sometimes.

I lowered my eyes to the side.

“Turn all the way around.”

The deep command of his voice heated me instantly, rendering me completely enslaved to his unrelenting dominance when it came to this part of us. Ethan’s control of our sex. His control over me. It made me hotter than hell.

He stepped closer, his body radiating power and desire as he waited for me to comply with his directive.

I rotated my body until I was facing him full on, my body completely bare except for my stockings and my wedding veil. I set my hands flat on the bed and made my arms straight, in effect thrusting my breasts up and out. They tingled under his intense perusal, my now ultra-sensitive nipples hardening with a lick of awareness suggestive of pain. My gesture of offering myself to my husband as a bride on our wedding night had aroused me to an incredible level of anticipation.

“Just for you,” I said softly, lifting my eyes to his.

I saw the muscles of his neck tense as he moved forward. “Baby…you are so sexy-beautiful right now. Don’t move. Just stay as you are and let me touch you.”

I knew how this game played out. The one where I was blissfully rewarded for following directions. The edge of the mattress dipped as he joined me on the massive bed, kneeling right before me, so close I could feel the radiating heat his body was throwing off.

I remained still, but I tensed in anticipation of what he would do first.

He hung there before me, for a moment, just studying me, claiming my body with his eyes at first. Ethan liked a splash of voyeurism in our encounters. A little kinky at times, and a lot dominant, but I was used to it with him.

Finally, after what felt like eons, he dropped his head to my sternum and inhaled deeply against my skin. Then I felt his tongue draw across the curve of one breast until he reached the tight bud of my nipple. He took the whole thing in his mouth and pulled it inside of him. I gasped in some air and steeled myself to remain still for his onslaught.

“Just feel, baby. Let me suck on your beautiful, perfect tits for a while. I’ve been starved for them.”

He took his time getting his fill as he worked me up with need.

Swirling his tongue in relentless circles over the tender flesh until he felt like giving me a rewarding jolt of sensation by clipping my nipple between his teeth for a gentle bite.

I shuddered against his mouth, desperately aching for more, but knowing I would have to wait until he gave it to me. Those were the rules. And I was always a good girl.

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The Blackstone Affair – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Naked: My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
All In: My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Eyes Wide Open: My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cherry Girl (spin-off novel): My ReviewAmazon US | Amazon UK
Rare and Precious Things: Amazon US | Amazon UK (28 Feb 2014)
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The Author

R Miller_picRaine Miller has been reading romance novels since she picked up that first Barbara Cartland book at the tender age of thirteen. And it’s a safe bet she’ll never stop, because now she writes them too! Granted Raine’s stories are edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave, but to her way of thinking, a hot, sexy hero never goes out of fashion. A part-time teacher and writer of sexy romance stories every other chance she gets pretty much fills her days. She has a handsome prince of a husband, and two brilliant sons to pull her back into the real world if the writing takes her too far away. Her sons know she likes to write stories, but gratefully have never asked to read any, thank God! Raine loves to hear from readers and to chat about the characters in her books.

Connect with Raine: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Black Box by Cassia Leo

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There are some authors whose every word I would read because their stories speak to my heart and make me believe in love never-ending, and Cassia Leo is one of those authors. The Shattered Hearts series has been an emotional roller-coaster ride from beginning to end and I am so glad it is still not over, but today, I am beyond excited to be able to share with you an excerpt from a new standalone novel coming to us on 10 March 2014. An epic love story about rewriting destiny, I give you Black Box… And don’t forget to enter to win one of FOUR signed copies!! ♥

Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki’s life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she’s tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Twenty-one-year-old Crush has always channeled his blackest thoughts into his music, but he’s never had great aspirations. He decides to fly to Los Angeles to record a demo of the only song he’s never performed in public; a song he wrote for a girl he doesn’t even know: Black Box. He has no expectations of fame and he’s never felt like his life had any purpose… until he meets Mikki in Terminal B.

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize that fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

excerpt

Crush

I consider leaving Mikki alone for the rest of the night, but in the end I decide against it. If I leave her alone, she’ll probably stay awake all night obsessing over the fact that I caught her staring at my mouth. I should at least try to ease her embarrassment before I go to bed.

I knock softly and I’m not at all surprised by her immediate response.

“Goodnight!” she shouts from inside the bedroom.

“Don’t you want to know what the airline said?” I shout back.

I imagine she’s probably letting out a deep sigh as she realizes she can’t avoid me. A minute later, the door swings open just a crack as she stares at the floor.

“What did they say?”

I take a step back, hoping this will put her at ease. “The flight was rescheduled to Thursday night at six. Does that work for you?”

She shrugs without looking up. “I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”

“They gave me a number you can call if you want to reschedule to a later flight, but that’s the soonest they could get us out there.”

Her mouth drops open a little. “What about your meeting? Your demo?”

“I’ll call Kane’s assistant tomorrow and see if we can reschedule.”

“And if he can’t?”

She finally looks up and I gaze into her eyes for a moment before I answer. “Then I’ll have to wait for another stroke of luck.”

Her lip trembles and she quickly shuts the door. “Goodnight,” she says, her voice barely audible through the door and the tears.

“Goodnight.”

I stand just outside her door for a moment, wondering if I should leave. My mind flashes to the screaming red marks and the scars I saw all over the tops of her thighs. I know I can’t stop her from feeling like she wants to hurt herself, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight worrying about what she may or may not be doing in that room.

I raise my hand and pause for a second before I knock again. She doesn’t answer right away like she did last time, so I knock again. She still doesn’t answer. I call her name through the door, but still no reply. I try the door handle and it’s not locked. Turning the handle slowly, I expect her to push the door closed on me, but she never does. And, soon, the door is wide open and the sound of running water greets my ears.

A large crack of light shines into the bedroom through the splintered door frame where I kicked the door down earlier. Somehow, she’s managed the close the door all the way. F*ck. Why do I have such a bad feeling about this? It’s not as if she hasn’t lived all these years without me around to stop her from hurting herself. But something, some primal instinct, is shouting at me that I need to keep a close eye on her. Something is telling me she wants to die.

And it’s not just the cuts on her legs. It’s everything I’ve learned about her since we ran into each other at the airport. The fact that she doesn’t want to go home. That she won’t answer a single phone call or text, though I’ve seen her phone buzzing for hours. That she’s moving to L.A. to go to community college. Who moves clear across the country to go to community college?

But I think the biggest tell has to be the fact that she brought Black Box with her. This shows me that she hasn’t let go of what happened that night. How could she? And that she’s still searching for answers.

I should tell her everything. I should tell her why I was there and why I wanted to kill myself. I should tell her exactly what I saw, what I did, and how I covered it all up. But I don’t want her to judge me the way I’ve judged myself. I got away with murder; possibly twice. What does that say about me? How can you not judge someone when you find out something like that about them?

Moving slowly toward the bathroom door, I listen for the slightest sound that would indicate she’s okay in there, but I hear nothing. I draw in a deep breath and knock.

She lets out a sharp yelp. “What the f*ck?”

“Sorry! I was just checking to make sure you’re okay!”

“I’m taking a f*cking bath!” she shrieks and I feel like such an idiot.

“I’ll get out of here now.”

“Wait!” she calls out as I begin to walk away. “Wait. I forgot my toiletries. Can you push my suitcase in here?”

“Why don’t you use the hotel toiletries?”

“I have sensitive skin!”

I smile as I grab the handle on her suitcase, which sits just outside the bathroom, and I wheel it toward the door.

“Close your eyes!” she shouts as I use the luggage to slowly push the door open.

I close my eyes, but the the wheels of the suitcase get caught on something and, instinctively, I open my eyes to see what it is. Catching a glimpse of Mikki’s reflection in the mirror instantly gets my heart racing. She’s lying in the bathtub and she doesn’t know I can see her, but I can still see the anxiety on her face as her eyes are glued to the door.

“What are you waiting for? Just push it in here.” She looks up at that moment and the reflections of our eyes lock.

I let the suitcase handle go and quickly pull the door closed. “The suitcase was stuck,” I explain to the door, but she doesn’t reply.

I incur my walk of shame out of her bedroom and hope I haven’t made her too uncomfortable or broken her trust. I can’t imagine she gives that away easily. And it must have taken a healthy amount of trust or desperation for her to get a hotel room with me today … before she even knew who I was.

She didn’t even know who I was.

Shaking my head as I enter my bedroom, I allow my body to fall backward onto the bed. I have to ignore this crazy voice in my head telling me that this whole thing — the storm, the canceled flight, the chance meeting — was fate’s way of bringing Mikki and I back together. That kind of stuff only happens in cheesy romantic movies. And, let’s face it, if they ever made a movie for Mikki and me, it would probably be categorized under horror flicks. Everything from the moment we met on Twitter to this very moment has been a series of unhappy endings.

I heave a deep sigh before I sit up in bed and begin peeling off all my various layers of clothes. I start with my boots, then I toss my coat, sweater, and T-shirt onto the armchair in the corner before I rise from the bed to remove my pants. Once I’m in nothing but my boxer briefs, I contemplate taking a shower, but I’m afraid something will happen to Mikki while I’m in there. How stupid is that?

Heading for the bathroom, the sound of knocking at the door stops me. “Yeah?” I call out.

“Can I come in?”

F*ck! “Uh, yeah. Give me a minute.”

Thinking quickly, I scurry into the bathroom and grab the terry robe off the hook and slip it on. I open the bedroom door and she looks me up and down for a second before she speaks.

“What are you doing in here? Getting a mani-pedi?” she asks with a tiny grin.

She looks beautiful with no makeup and damp hair.

“Very funny. I was just getting ready to take a shower. What’s up?”

Her hands are clasped behind her back as she looks off to the side. “I came to apologize. I didn’t mean to yell at you. You just kind of startled me. And … thanks for the flight info … and for letting me stay here with you until the flight.”

“How about the muffins?” I say and she looks up so she can glare at me, but her eyes glance over my chest. I smile at her as I attempt to pull the robe more tightly closed, but this thing must be made for women or scrawny, old dudes. “Well, since you’re in a grateful mood, do you think you can thank me by giving me your phone number.”

She scrunches up her eyebrows in confusion. “Why do you need my number? We’re staying in the same room.”

“Yeah, but I was thinking it might be easier to avoid running into each other naked if we can send a text before barging into each other’s rooms.”

“You think of everything, don’t you?”

I shrug as I open the bedroom door wider and head for the nightstand where I set down my phone. “What’s your number? I’ll text you right now so you can save my number.” She shoots off the ten digits quickly, probably trying to see if my fingers can keep up. I fire away a text message then smile at her as I look up from the screen. “You might want to go check your phone. I think you just got a text message from a really hot guy.”

She rolls her eyes as she turns to leave. “Goodnight, Crush.”

“Goodnight, Mikki.”

She closes the door and I take my phone with me into the bathroom. The hot water is running and I’m about to step into the shower when I hear the buzzing noise of my phone vibrating on the counter. I scoop it up and smile at her reply.

Me: Want to stay in tomorrow and watch movies and order room service all day?

Mikki: Only if we watch Pretty in Pink and you change the ending so Andie ends up with F*cky.

I laugh out loud at the typo and she instantly sends another text through.

Mikki: Ducky! Ducky! Not F*cky!

Me: Are you sure you’re not talking about Pretty in Kink? I think that’s the one with F*cky.

Mikki: Stupid phone.

Me: Of course we can watch that and if Ducky doesn’t get the girl this time, I’ll hunt down John Hughes and demand a re-make.

Mikki: John Hughes is dear.

Mikki: Dead! John Hughes is DEAD! Ugh.

Me: Killed by all those F*cky fans, I’m sure.

Mikki: SMH

Me: Getting in the shower now. Feel free to wake me up later if you need anything.

Mikki: Goodnight.

Me: Sweet dreams.

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iTunes
The Author

cassia leo_picNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo grew up in California and has lived in three different countries. She loves to travel and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills. She is the author of the Shattered Hearts series (RelentlessPieces of YouBring Me Home) and the Luke and Chase series.

Connect with Cassia: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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The Giveaway

To win one of FOUR signed copies of Black Box, two US editions and two UK editions, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Take a Chance by Abbi Glines

Abbi Glines_BT 2014 Banner

I have been bursting at the seams for weeks now, desperately trying not to ruin the surprise and tell you what goodies I had in store for you, but the wait is finally over and I can now officially welcome you to the Birthday Teasers 2014 event!!!!! As you may know, I am about to turn one year ‘younger’ and I have decided to mark this occasion by sharing with you never seen before excepts from some of my most coveted upcoming new releases. There were so many of them to choose from, but I have selected those that are not too far away and from authors whose works have consistently made me the book junkie that I am.

Today, I have the great pleasure of featuring an excerpt from a lady who is not just an outstanding author, but a great friend as well – the one and only Abbi Glines. Her Rosemary Beach series is the single most addictive series I have ever read, and while my #RushCrush will never end, we are about to meet Grant Carter and his leading lady, Harlow!!! This is a story like no other so far in the series, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be sobbing like a baby. Sexy, emotional, truly heartbreaking, this is some of Abbi’s best work so far, and I am so very honoured to be able to share with you an excerpt from Take a Chance, coming to us on 25 February 2014… And don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy!!! ♥

When Harlow Manning’s rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan’s room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He’d known about Nan’s reputation, but still he couldn’t resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister—even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow’s eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

excerpt

Rosemary wasn’t a big town. It was a small strip of beach. So how was it that Harlow had managed to completely avoid me for three days? I had done everything I could think of to run into her. I knew she had Mase here but I still wanted to get her alone so I could talk to her. I needed to find my peace with her.

I stood outside the club, waiting on her to pull up. She had tennis in ten minutes.  I had cheated by having Woods call Adam and ask her court time then had him change it for an hour later. He hadn’t been happy about it but he had also wanted me out of his office so he had agreed as long as I left him alone for the rest of the day.

I watched as Harlow pulled her car up to the valet and climbed out in a short white tennis skirt that didn’t help my focus. Tennis skirts weren’t meant to be that damn sexy.

I walked over to open the door for her before one of the staff could. She lifted her eyes and stopped walking when she saw me standing there. I could see the questions in her eyes and I wanted to answer every damn one of them. She just needed to listen.

When she started walking again she kept her head down and attempted to walk inside without acknowledging me. I gently wrapped my hand around her arm. “Your court time was postponed an hour today. I need to talk to you. If you will let me talk. I will leave you alone if that’s what you want. I just need you to listen to me first.”

Harlow’s spine was stiff as I spoke quietly in her ear. She didn’t move or respond right away. Finally, she simply nodded.

“Thank you,” I replied. “We need privacy. Will you come to my truck?”

Harlow let out a defeated sigh. “Yes, I guess I will.”

She wasn’t happy about it but she was doing it. I needed to celebrate the small victories.

We walked in silence to the parking lot and I unlocked my truck and opened her door then walked around and climbed in on my side.

“Talk. I’m listening,” she said without looking at me. Her eyes were fixed straight ahead.

“What we did… what happened meant something to me.”

Harlow didn’t even flinch.

“When I got the call about Jace I rushed back in a state of shock. Then… then I watched as Bethy completely crumbled. At the funeral, she was bent over in so much pain from her loss it terrified me. She had planned forever with Jace. She had loved him with everything she had and he had been taken from her. She couldn’t get him back.”

Harlow was still staring straight ahead, although I could see the worried frown on her face.

“And all I could think was what if I loved someone that much and I lost them? How could I live? I glanced over at Rush and Blaire. He was holding her while she wept and I wondered how he would even be able to wake up every morning if he lost her. Or if he lost Nate.” I paused and took a deep breath. I was more open than I’d been with anyone about this. I hadn’t even explained it this way to Blaire and Rush. I had held myself back some. I was just laying it all out for Harlow.

“I decided I never wanted to be that vulnerable. I never wanted to love someone that much. I never wanted to face losing the one person that owns me. So, I got drunk. Because I also realized I could easily fall in love with you. In just two short weeks I had began to care for you. I had feelings I hadn’t experienced before. Not like that, at least. It scared me. I knew you would be the one to own me if I let you. I ran from it. I drank too much whiskey and when Nan showed up I messed up. I should have stayed away from her. But in my head she’s the one that I thought I was in love with once. I hadn’t been. I realized that after only two weeks with you. I was in lust with Nan. I liked being needed by someone, and Nan needed me.  That was all it ever was for us.”

Harlow had finally dropped her gaze to her lap as she twisted her hands nervously.

“I never meant to hurt you. Hurting you is the last thing I ever wanted to do. What you gave me I didn’t deserve, but believe me when I tell you I’ll cherish it forever. It meant more to me than you know.  But I shouldn’t have taken your innocence that night. I should have been a man and realized I didn’t deserve it and walked away. But you made me weak. It’s one of the things about you that scares me. No one has ever made me weak.”

Finally, Harlow turned her head to look at me. Her hazel eyes no longer looked hard. Instead, I saw understanding there. She simply nodded. “Okay. You’re forgiven.” Then she opened the door and climbed out without another word.

I sat there and tried to let all the emotions that were churning inside me calm down. I didn’t want her to take it so easily and walk away. But I couldn’t give her more. That was it for us. I had explained it and she forgave me. So, we were over now? The ache that came with that reality hurt. I reached up and rubbed my chest and laid my head back on the seat and closed my eyes.

“What did I just do?” I muttered.

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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon AUST/NZAmazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Connect with Abbi: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Rosemary Beach – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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forevertoofar_new simpleperfection_322x500 TAKEACHANCE_NT

Fallen Too Far (Rush & Blaire #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Rush Too Far (Rush & Blaire #1.5): Amazon US | Amazon UK (6 May 2014)
Never Too Far (Rush & Blaire #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Twisted Perfection (Woods & Della #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Forever Too Far (Rush & Blaire #3): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Simple Perfection (Woods & Della #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK
Take A Chance (Grant & Harlow #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK (25 Feb 2014)
One More Chance (Grant & Harlow #2): Amazon US | Amazon UK (2 Sep 2014)

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The Giveaway

To win a signed copy of Take a Chance, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

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