BIRTHDAY TEASERS & GIVEAWAY: Tied With Me by Kristen Proby

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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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With Me In Seattle – Reading Order and Purchase Links (standalone novels)
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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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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: The Will by Kristen Ashley

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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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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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BIRTHDAY TEASERS: Just To Be With You by Bella Andre

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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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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks
Connect with Bella: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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The Sullivans Series – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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The Look of Love: Amazon US | Amazon UK
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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Other books in the series or related posts:

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.

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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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Closer To You – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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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.

Enter giveaway here…

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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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Forever Family – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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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.

Enter giveaway here…

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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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Pre-order book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
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Ten Tiny Breaths – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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Ten Tiny Breaths: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
One Tiny Lie: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Four Seconds to Lose: My review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks
Five Ways to Fall: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks (24 Jun 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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