EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Other Man by R.K. Lilley

BT15_THE OTHER MAN_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you an excerpt from The Other Man by R.K. Lilley. A standalone novel that takes place in The Wild Side ‘universe’, this will be the only book devoted to Lourdes and Heath, and it is coming in March 2015! One lucky winner gets a signed copy of The Wild Side Trilogy and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! ♥

Lourdes

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

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

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

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

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

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

But you couldn’t tell that to my libido.

Not even when I found out the truth.

My lover had lied to me from the very start.

Nothing about our meeting was a coincidence.

excerpt

LOURDES

I thought he was going to kiss me.  I wanted him to.  I wanted that and more.  But he didn’t, not then.

Instead, he let me go, and stepped back, nodding his head at the coffee pot that had just finished brewing.  “I know better than to come between a woman and her morning caffeine.”

I smiled wryly, but as I prepared us both a cup, my hands were shaking so hard that I wondered if I should even drink it.  I was already wound up too tight to contain.

“How do you take it?” I asked, my back to him, my shaking hand on the creamer.

Before he even touched me, I felt him getting closer.  I shivered as he pressed his chest against my back, his taller form folding over me until his hands braced on either side of mine, gripping the counter’s edge.

“I’d rather show you than tell you,” his gravelly voice rasped into my ear.

I gasped, then silently cursed at myself.  This was not me.  Men did not make me nervous.  “I was referring to the coffee,” I said archly.  “Cream and sugar?”

“Just cream,” he responded.  “No sugar.  I’m sweet enough.”

That forced a hard laugh out of me, because we both knew that he was about as sweet as a pit-bull.

I finished mixing our coffees, him pressed to me all the while, his body dominating mine before he’d ever even kissed me.

He took his cup and moved away.  I was equal parts relieved and disappointed.  I was having a hard time knowing what I was feeling, what I wanted, where he was concerned.  I knew this was moving too fast, was certain of that, but at the same time, I wanted more, wanted it to move faster, to go forward with no brakes.

I took a few breaths, then turned to look at him, leaning back to brace my hip against the counter as we both took our first drink.

“How do you feel about restraints?” he asked casually.

I nearly choked on the hot liquid pouring down my throat.

Of course he’s into kink, I thought to myself, eyes narrowed on him.  Any man that young and good looking would have some quirks.

“Like handcuffs?” I asked when I’d finally recovered from the fit of coughing that he had caused.

His arched brow just arched higher, the corner of his lip lifting up in what I thought was amusement.

I shook my head.  “No.  Sorry, no.  I don’t know you that well.”  I set my coffee down, done with it.  I was already too wired.

He set his down, too, and in spite of everything, all I could concentrate on was how his muscles moved under his tight shirt with every movement.

He moved to me slowly, and I had to consciously make an effort not to hold my breath.

“Fair enough,” he told me.  “We’ll work on getting to know each other better.  But in the meantime,” his hands reached down, grabbing both of my wrists.

I watched those hands.  They were so big.  I never saw myself as particularly delicate or small.  I was slender, and fit, but not tiny.  But as he grabbed my wrists, circling them with his fingers, I became hyperaware of just how delicate I was, compared to him.  How fragile.

A strange thrill moved through me.  Strange because it wasn’t only desire I was feeling.  Mixed in there somewhere was a definite thread of fear.

Why did that only enhance the desire?  I almost didn’t even want to investigate it.  Yes, it was perverse.  But it was also exhilarating.  Exhilarating and so much more.

Exciting.

Compelling.

Intoxicating.

Electrifying.

So many things I hadn’t felt in too long to name, and I didn’t want to pass on any of them.

He squeezed my wrists.  Not to the point of pain, but with just enough pressure to let me know his strength, which was formidable.

“I won’t use restraints,” he said quietly.  “Not until you’re ready.  But I will hold you down.  Can you handle that?”

I found myself nodding jerkily, even as I wondered if I really could.

I didn’t know why I just agreed to that, just like I didn’t know why I was about to have sex with a perfect stranger in the middle of the morning on a Tuesday.

It felt dangerous, yet completely necessary.

It was a while before I could look away from my captive hands and up into his cold stare.

“Any other quirks of yours that you want to tell me about upfront?” I managed to ask him in a somewhat steady voice.

He smiled, and it was colder than ever.  “Not particularly.”

Well hell, that was far from reassuring.

He took a step back, still holding my wrists.  “I don’t even know where to start with you,” he said, voice low, eyes on my body.

That wasn’t reassuring either, but it was becoming clear to me that maybe I didn’t want to be reassured, going by my body’s reaction to every alarming thing that came out of his mouth.

He suddenly moved closer again, took one captive hand and pulled it, palm first, to cup him.  I moaned at the feel of him.  The hardness of him, the foreign largeness.  I rubbed at him over his sweats, my heavy-lidded eyes on his cold ones.

I suddenly found myself grabbing a handful of bare cock.

I glanced down.  He’d shifted his waistband down, exposing himself.

My jaw nearly dropped, eyes going wide.  He was fully aroused, and huge.

Holy shit,” I thought.  Oh no, I hadn’t thought that.  I’d said it aloud.

He seemed to get a kick out of that, which I didn’t think was good.  This guy did not need any more strokes to his ego.

“I take it your ex-husband didn’t measure up,” he said, arrogant bastard.

“I don’t think many men measure up to that,” just sort of slipped out of me.  But fuck it all, it was only the truth.

I ringed my fingers around his girth experimentally, licking my lips.  My fingers couldn’t touch.  I let him go, watching his heavy cock bob down heavily as I did it.

I’ve always considered myself to be a passionate, sensual woman.  I’ve enjoyed sex, not just the physical release but the intimacy of it, but this was something else entirely, like some new person was suddenly sharing space in my body.

Never in my life before that moment had I felt a need like this.  Never had I felt like a bitch in heat, but I did then.  I stared at that cock and I wanted it.  Wanted to drop to my knees and beg him for it, any way I could get it, anywhere.

“Your turn,” he said, his rough voice drawing my eyes back to his face.

I licked my lips, mind gone blank, no concept of what he was asking or why.  “E-excuse me?”

He smiled his cold smile, and pushed my hand back to his cock.  “I took something off.  Now it’s your turn.  You take something off.”

I glanced down at his sweatpants, hand feeling at him, memorizing his length with hungry fingers.  I tugged at my other arm, but he held it fast, still gripping my wrist.

“You didn’t take anything off,” I pointed out.  “You just pulled something out.”

He chuckled, and I glanced up at his face.  I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed, or more fascinated than ever, that even when he laughed it didn’t reach those eyes of his.

He pushed my hand away, dragging it behind my back, along with the other, gripping both of my wrists in one massive hand.  The other went to my braid, twisting again, wrapping it around his fist, tilting my head back.

My lips parted, eyes closing, as I realized that he was finally going to kiss me.

It wasn’t what I expected, that kiss.  After all of his blunt statements, I’d expected him to be rough, to ravage from the start.  He did not.  Instead, his lips were soft, coaxing, easing mine open for the shockingly tender onslaught of his tongue.

His body shifted, crowding mine against the counter, his hardness digging into my leg.

I moved against him, impatient for more contact.

He deepened the kiss until I was moaning as I tasted and sucked at his driving tongue as it plunged repeatedly to mate with mine.

He groaned, shoving his enormous erection hard, hard, harder into my thigh.  So hard I wondered if I’d have an oversized boner shaped bruise there tomorrow.

He ripped his mouth away from mine, gasping .  “Bedroom,” he said curtly, taking his hands off me, and pulling away.

I nodded, then began to move, on unsteady legs, toward my room.  I could feel him at my back, his breath on me neck, every drugging step of the way.

I paused in the doorway to my bedroom, but his hard body nudged me all of the way into the room.  That made me shoot him a glance over my shoulder.

Every line in his face read unapologetic, so I knew it had been deliberate.

“Raise your arms over your head,” he ordered me.

I raised a brow at him, but did it, holding them high, arching my back, my aching breasts thrust forward.

His nostrils flared, and he stepped close behind me, so close I could no longer crane to see his face.

His big hands settled on my hips, gripping into the fleshy part, testing it in a way that made me tremble.

My arms started to lower, but a rough, “No, keep them up,” in my ear stayed them.

His hands started skimming under my shirt, teasing at my belly.

Abruptly he pulled it up and over my head.

A muscle quivered in my stomach as the skin of my abdomen was bared.

My shoulders drew up tight as, with rather impressive speed, he unsnapped my bra and tore it off my arms, tossing it carelessly to the ground.

His hands skimmed from my shoulders to my wrists with a featherlight touch.  I could hear my own breath panting out of me as he folded them behind my head, wrists held together close to my nape.

He used that hold to nudge me, moving me closer to the bed.

“All this needs is a bag over my head, and we’d have a perp walk,” I said, my wry tone spoiled by the fact that I couldn’t seem to breathe properly.

He liked that, I could hear it in his voice as he responded, “If this is a perp walk, I need to do a better job of patting you down.”  As he spoke, he shifted my wrists to one hand.

I sucked in a breath as his free hand moved to my collarbone.  I glanced down to watch as he slid it over my skin until it held my breast, watched it move with the rapid rise and fall of my chest.  He ran a rough thumb over my nipple.

“You’re trembling,” he rasped into my ear, making me tremble all the more.  “Fear or excitement?”

I licked my lips and gave him the truth.  “Both.”

addtogoodreads

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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

The Wild Side:  My Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
IrisMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
DairMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

✦ ✦ ✦

To win a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a signed paperback of the Wild Side Trilogy, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 72-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

BT15_BROKEN JULIET_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you the first three chapters from the mesmerizing final chapter in the Bad Romeo duet—Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven—to be released on 28 April 2015. ♥

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

Some loves never let you go…

Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again—the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
Beautiful Repair

Present Day
New York City, New York
The Apartment of Cassandra Taylor

In Japan, they have something called Kintsugi – the art of repairing precious pottery with gold. The result is a piece that has obviously been broken, but is more beautiful for it.

It’s a concept that’s always fascinated me.

So often, people try to hide their scars. As if the slightest damage proves how weak they are. They equate scars with mistakes, and those mistakes with shame. Perfection forever marred.

Kintsugi does the opposite. It says, “There is beauty borne from tragedy. Look at these precious fault lines of experience.”

As I stand in my hallway, staring at the front door that reverberates with my former lover’s knocks, it occurs to me that even though Kintsugi is a noble concept, it doesn’t change the truth that once something is broken, it can never be anything else. Beautiful repair, no matter how elegant, doesn’t make it whole again. It’s still just a collection of pieces impersonating its former shape.

Judging from his soul-baring email this morning, which included an epic declaration of love, I believe Ethan wants to repair me. Ironic, considering he was the one who broke me in the first place.

Read the entire extended excerpt (Chapters 1, 2 and 3)…

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Bad Romeo – Reading Order and Purchase Links
badromeo_644
brokenjuliet2

Bad RomeoAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Broken JulietAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

BT15_BLACK IRIS_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am so excited to be sharing with you the entire first chapter from a book I believe will blow our minds…and then some—Black Iris by Leah Raeder. A genius wordsmith, this author continually pushes the boundaries of what we envisage as ‘conventional’ romance novels, blurring the lines of our own preconceptions, and maybe even inspiring us to add a few more colours to the brush we paint our worlds with, and her upcoming book will undoubtedly do just that. This standalone novel is coming on 28 April 2015 and I also happen to have a signed galley to give away to one lucky winner! ♥

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

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

excerpt

April, Last Year

April is the cruelest month, T. S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frost-bound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.

———

Flick, flick, flick. The lighter in my hand, the sound of my life grinding into sparks that would never catch, under a salmon-pink dawn in Nowhereville, Illinois. Gravel crunched beneath my shoes, polished like oyster shell from the rain. I stopped at the puddle outside our garage and peered into the oily mirrored water, watching the slow swirl of a gasoline rainbow, the tiny orange tongue of fire licking shadows from my face until they washed back over and over. An unlit cigarette hung from my lip and my mouth had a weird bleach taste I tried not to think about. I tried not to think about anything that had happened last night. I was eighteen and, according to Mom, “completely out of control,” which to anyone else would have meant “a normal teenager.” Mom’s favorite hobby: projecting her own psych issues onto me.

Very soon I’d be free of her.

From the alley I could see the backyard, the grass jeweled with dew. Mom’s garden lined the walk to the porch, hyacinths with their cones of curled blue stars, rosebuds crumpled like flakes of dried blood, everything glazed in clear lacquer and the air musky with the cologne of rain. At six fifteen she’d wake and find my bed empty. But that wasn’t the real problem. The real problem was that in about three minutes, something terrible was going to happen. The thing you’ll hate me for. The thing that will make me an Unsympathetic Protagonist.

Since the fourth wall is down, let’s get one thing straight:

I am not the heroine of this story.

And I’m not trying to be cute. It’s the truth. I’m diagnosed borderline and seriously f*cked-up. I hold grudges. I bottle my hate until it ferments into poison, and then I get high off the fumes. I’m completely dysfunctional and that’s the way I like it, so don’t expect a character arc where I finally find Redemption, Growth, and Change, or learn How to Forgive Myself and Others.

F*ck forgiveness.

Oh, and I’m a writer. Which is worse than all the rest put together.

Open sesame, I texted my brother.

I don’t know how I didn’t hear it. It was quiet, the crickets creaking like a rusty seesaw, but that other sound must have been there, scratching softly at my brain. I crept into the backyard through the maze of Mom’s thorns.

The house was dark, Donnie’s curtains closed. Wake up f*ckface, I texted, punctuating with a smiley. Six twelve a.m. Three minutes until Medusa’s alarm went off. Donnie always slept with his phone under his pillow, which was probably slowly giving him cancer. He should’ve been up by now. Mom’s gonna kill me, I wrote. Do you want to be an only child?

Six thirteen.

Dammit. I had to beat that alarm.

I bolted across the lawn, kicking pearls of dew loose from the grass. A thorn snagged my ankle but I wouldn’t notice the blood till much later, in the hospital. My socks instantly went damp. It wasn’t until I’d reached the porch that I saw the other tracks, paralleling mine.

A chill swept up my back. I touched the kitchen doorknob.

Unlocked.

I didn’t open it. That coldness wove around my spine, thickening, binding. Someone was awake. Someone had come downstairs, crossed the yard before me.

I turned.

She was in the garage, at the window. I knew my mother’s silhouette from long years of it slipping into doorways, catching us horsing around when we should’ve been asleep, catching me when I snuck in alone after midnight, my body weary and ancient with all that had been done to it. I knew the high set of those shoulders, that neck rigid with contempt. The closed mouth carved tight into her elegant Gorgon skull. She’d stand there without saying a word. Her silence was the kind that compelled you to fill it with all your wrongs. I could never see her eyes but I knew they burned ice-wraith blue, and now I felt them through the dusty window pane, felt the stare that could turn me to stone.

I removed the lighter slowly from my pocket. Flicked it once with exaggerated languor. Lit up. Took a long, luxuriously filthy drag, meeting her stare. The inside of my body felt carbon-coated, black and grimy. Not the soft pink vulnerable thing I really was.

Okay, bitch. Your move.

She just stood there.

Those moments counted. Those moments when I faced her, eating fire and breathing smoke, telling myself I was hard, that I could crush her and this whole world in my hands. Telling myself she couldn’t hurt me. No one could hurt me anymore.

Those moments could have saved us.

By the time I reached the end of the cigarette the sun had torn a red gash at the horizon, and I saw that Mom was unsteady on her feet, swaying. And finally I realized what that rhythmic sound was beneath the crickets. I knew it from climbing up into the garage rafters with my brother to smoke a J, the beams creaking with our weight. Wood, under strain.

I dropped my cigarette in the grass.

In some deep part of me, I already knew. I crossed the lawn, noticing the white square taped to the side door only when I touched the knob. A name scrawled across the paper in her bold, slashing handwriting.

Delaney.

How had she known it would be me?

I ignored the note. I was trying to turn the doorknob and failing. Locked.

“Mom,” I said, and rattled the door, then again, louder, “Mom.”

She swayed dreamily.

A light flipped on inside the house, a yellow frame falling over me. I braced both hands on the knob and kicked. Everything stretched away like the reflection in a car mirror. My mind floated above my head, looking down at my body: Laney Keating, her hair matted, a black wash of mascara running down her cheeks, her mouth still bitter from the blowjob, throttling the garage door and screaming her mother’s name. I watched her from a faraway place. She gave up kicking and punched straight through the window in a brilliant starburst of glass. I felt the heat shoot up my arm like a drug, saw the redness streaking over my skin, but didn’t quite connect it to me, to the girl crawling in over those jagged glass teeth, tumbling to the floor, scrambling up and screaming as she grabbed her mother’s legs and uselessly lifted the limp, hanging body. My mind was still outside, staring at my name on the suicide note. All I could think was, How did she know I’d find her? How did she know it would be me?

———

I don’t remember much else because I blacked out thirty seconds later. Dad had seen me from the house and dragged me onto the lawn, then Mom, laying us side by side. I was unconscious but somehow I can picture it. Grass curling over bone-white skin, tracing horsetails of dew, tiny clear beads that reflect an entire world full of stars and flowers and our pale bodies, everything she’d left behind. My blood mixed with the dew and turned pink. The glass would leave scars on my right hand like the ghost of a cobweb, which is what scars are: a haunting of the skin.

At the funeral Dad said he thought she’d killed us both. He’d been a heartbeat from getting his semiautomatic and joining us when he realized I had a pulse.

This might sound f*cked-up, but the part that really upset me wasn’t the suicide. That had been a long time coming. What disturbed me was that she knew I’d find her first.

I am my mother’s daughter.

I know what it feels like to plan something that will destroy you, to be so f*cking sure you want it that you arrange everything perfectly, prune the roses while you debate the merits of hanging yourself with nylon rope versus an appliance cord, serve your children baked ziti while your suicide note lies in a desk drawer like a cruel bird of prey waiting to unfold its wings until, one morning when the world is diamond-strung with rain and your daughter is coming home from another night of ruining herself (because you were never there for her, you were never there), you get up before everyone else and calmly step into the garage, and that noose, and eternity.

She’d planned it for years. Knew it was coming and kept tending that garden. Those roses she would never see bloom, the irises and peonies, the daughter and son, all of us left behind to flower, somehow, without her.

Well, I did. I bloomed into the dark thing she made me. I am a creature with a vast capacity for patience, and for violence. For watching. For waiting. For taking the moment only when it is perfect and sure. I’m a hunter like my mother, patient and watchful and still, my fangs full of black venom. There is a terrible thing tucked inside me raring to lunge forth into the light. And I’m just waiting for that perfect moment. Just waiting. Just waiting.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

To win a signed galley of Black Iris, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 72-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Deep by Kylie Scott

BT15_DEEP_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the fourth book in the Stage Dive series by an author whose every book I’ve truly loved—Kylie ScottDeep is Ben’s story, and we finally get to meet the bearded man-wonder, the bass player of Stage Dive, and his leading lady!!! The release date is 31 March 2015, and while this book could be read as a standalone novel, it is best to read this series in order as characters keep returning in subsequent books, their stories continually moving forward. I cannot recommend this book and series highly enough, each new instalment beating the previous one in depth and character development, making this series one of my all-time favourites and some of my most beloved re-reads. ♥

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

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there.

Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible…but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

excerpt

“Thank you for the lift home,” I said.

“Any time. I mean that.” He rested a hand on the steering wheel, shifting slightly to look my way.

Happy chemicals stirred inside of me. Lustful, crazy things telling me to jump him, to climb all over him and cover his gorgeous face in kisses. To rub my jaw against his beard and see if it felt soft or not. To let him see exactly how he affected me, how adored he could be.

“Kills me when you look at me like that,” he murmured.

I just smiled. My tongue was too tangled for any attempt at wit. Thing was, I couldn’t not look at him like that. It just wasn’t in me to be any other way, not with him.

He exhaled hard, staring out the windshield. “I go to that club a couple of times a week to pick up. Place like that? Easy as hell. Pretty much the only reason people go there is to get drunk and get laid.”

“I see.”

“I’m serious.”

“Okay, Ben. You’re not a virgin. Duly noted. Me neither, by the way.”

Dreamy dark eyes pinned me in place, owning me. He licked his lips. Every time he did that my hormones erupted into the song of joy, a full orchestra plus heavenly choir accompanying. The whole shebang. It was ridiculous.

“F*ck, you’re pretty,” he sighed. “Make me wish for all sorts of shit I shouldn’t.”

“Who says you shouldn’t?” I asked, leaning closer.

“Mal. Your sister.”

“This isn’t about them. It’s about you and me.”

“Sweetheart. Liz. . . .” The deep, dirty way he said my name, holy shit. His voice rumbled through me, lighting fires and causing chaos everywhere it went. I’d never be the same.

“Yeah?” I leaned closer, and then closer still, heart thundering and lips at the ready. Never in my life had kissing someone seemed so important. I needed his mouth on mine. His breath and his body, all of him.

Nothing else mattered.

I turned, propping a knee beneath me to help with the height difference. Hesitant but hopeful smile in place, I put my hand on his shoulder, getting closer. F*ck waiting on him to make the first move. Time to go after what I wanted.

“Liz.”

“Yeah?”

That’s when it registered. Ben’s body language was all wrong. The man wasn’t moving into me, wanting me back. I was alone in this.

“You don’t . . .” Words caught in my dry throat, sticking. I withdrew my hand.

“I can’t.”

“What?”

He stared straight ahead. “You should go in.”

Whatever face I had on, it wasn’t happy. “You want me to go?”

“It’s for the best.”

“It’s for the best,” I parroted, staring perplexed at the dogged shadows on his face.

“I can’t do this, Liz. I can’t do it to the band.”

“And you answer to the band for who you date?”

“We’re not dating.”

I cleared my throat. “No, we’re not dating. But god, we spent hours talking and texting to each other.”

The look he gave me was tortured. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”

“Right.” All of the emotion inside me felt huge, overwhelming. Still my mind worked, turning all of the evidence over, trying to figure out where I’d lost the track. How the f*ck I came to be flailing in the woods. “I think you were a little bored, a little lonely maybe, so you played with me.”

With a grimace he turned away.

“Tell me I’m wrong.”

Nothing.

At least now I knew where I stood. As if that was any real consolation. I pushed open the passenger’s side door, climbing down.

“Liz—”

I slammed the truck door shut, cold metal stinging the palms of my hands. Done with him. I was so damn done with him. The bitter night air slapped me in the face, waking me right the hell up. How f*cking embarrassing. I’d felt so much and been so sure. Went to show you how much I knew.

Nothing.

Not a single f*cking thing.

Time to put my heart and hopes back on ice.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Stage Dive – Reading Order and Purchase Links
LICK_new play Lead Deep

LickMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
PlayMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
LeadMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
DeepAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

✦ ✦ ✦

To win one of TWO signed paperback sets (US editions) of Lick, Play and Lead, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 72-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

BT15_WSMS_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you the first two chapters from a book I am dying to read—Where Sea Meets Sky by the super talented Karina Halle—to be released on 31 March 2015. You do remember Josh, Vera’s hot, tatted brother from Love, in English, right? Well, this is his book and it’s a love story that “perfectly captures the existential angst of one’s early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling”. It’s travel-laced, just like Love, in English, only set in New Zealand this time around, and it promises to be an angsty, sexy adventure. And while reading Love, in English and Love, in Spanish beforehand is highly recommended, this book is a spin-off from Vera and Mateo’s story, and as such, it can be read as a standalone. ♥

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

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

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

excerpt

Chapter One
Vancouver, Canada
Josh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m vampire Leela, from Futurama.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She raises her brow.

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

Read the entire extended excerpt (Chapters 1 and 2)…

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Love in English – Reading Order and Purchase Links
loveinenglish
LoveInSpanish
whereseameetssky_CR

Love, in EnglishMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Love, in Spanish (novella): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Where Sea Meets Sky (spin-off): Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Becoming Rain by K.A.Tucker

BT15_BECOMING RAIN_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from K.A. Tucker‘s upcoming novel, Becoming Rain, expected on 3 March 2015. This is the sequel to Burying Water, a suspenseful and heart-wrenching love story I loved, but it can be read as a standalone novel. And if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post, you can enter to win a signed copy!! ♥

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

Luke Boone doesn’t know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it—the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he’s finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set—one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it’s not exactly legal, Luke’s never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game—at only twenty-six years old, she’s one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington, DC, major crime unit, and she’s just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the West coast’s most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she’ll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year-old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she’ll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she’ll even want to. ​

excerpt

I hang up with Warner and head straight for my window, opening a section of the blinds. Just like I promised Luke I’d do. He wanted to walk me home but I made him stay, on the condition that I’d wave to him from my room so he’d know I was safe.

Sure enough, there he is, waiting. Lights on. Changed into a pair of track pants, I assume for his daily obsessive workout.

Shirtless.

My heart rate jumps. I simply stand there with my arms over my chest, admiring the view. Glad that there’s a street and two flights of stairs between me and that right now.

What? he mouths, corded arms stretched out to either side of him, a smirk curling his lips. Knowing exactly how attractive he is.

I can play this game.

It’s a dangerous game.

The adrenaline junkie in me—it’s in all undercovers—likes dangerous games.

My fingers move quickly as I unbutton my blouse and let it drop to my feet. A quick glance to the condo beside Luke—the only one that might have an awkwardly angled view into my bedroom to see what I’m doing right now—confirms that no one else is watching. Taking a deep breath, I reach one arm behind me to unclasp my bra while my other hand hits the button for the blinds. They revolve shut just as I let the lace fall.

I dare peek around the edge. And giggle. Luke’s head is bowed and pressed up against the glass. Track pants don’t hide much.

I switch off the lights and spend the next hour spying on Luke, as he attempts to get his usual crunches and push-ups in and ends up heading into the shower.

I probably shouldn’t have done that.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Burying Water – Recommended Reading Order and Purchase Links
BuryingWater 322
BecomingRain 644

Burying WaterMy Review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
Becoming RainAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback (3 Mar 2015)
Chasing RiverAmazon US | Amazon UKAmazon CA | Paperback (7 Jul 2015)

✦ ✦ ✦

To win a signed paperback set of Becoming Rain, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 48-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Design by R.S. Grey

BT15_THE DESIGN_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am featuring the sequel to R.S. Grey‘s delightful The Duet. An upbeat, utterly delightful read, The Duet was the perfect balance of light-hearted comedy and sizzling romance, one I thoroughly enjoyed cover to cover, and I have been anxiously awaiting the second book in the series ever since. So, it’s with a huge smile that I share with you a never seen before excerpt from The Design, to be released on 1 March 2015, and an awesome giveaway… ♥

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Five minutes until the interview begins. 

Fresh on the heels of her college graduation, Cameron Heart has landed an interview at a prestigious architecture firm.

Four minutes until the interview. 

She knows she’s only there because the owner, Grayson Cole, is her older sister’s friend.

Three minutes. 

For the last seven years, Grayson has been the most intimidating man Cammie has ever had the pleasure, or displeasure, of being around.

Two Minutes. 

But the job opportunity is too good to pass up. So, Cammie will have to ignore the fact that Grayson is handsome enough to have his own national holiday.

One.

After all, she shouldn’t feel that way about her new boss. And, he will be her new boss.

excerpt

“And Cameron,” he spoke, forcing me to pause as my hand hit the door knob. I turned my head to look back at him, hope brimming through every pore. “It’s not Grayson. It’s Mr. Cole. I’m not your friend while you’re here.”

I bristled at his reprimand. There he was. The formal prick. He wanted to put me in my place, but I knew his secret now. You can’t just turn attraction off like a light switch. I may have had torn tights and smudged make-up, but I was the same girl I’d been for the last twenty-two years. Which meant, deep down, Grayson was still attracted to me. A small smirk unfolded across my lips as I realized the power that knowledge gave me.

“And what about when I’m not here?” I asked, tilting my head to the side and staring into his blue eyes with more confidence than I’d felt all morning.

He studied me for a moment, unmoving, and then he pressed his finger back onto his phone’s intercom button. “Beatrice, please escort Ms. Heart out of my office and then get Mitch back on the line.”

I laughed at his obvious choice to ignore my question and then turned and saw myself out of his office. No need for the escort. Beatrice gave me a knowing glance as I passed by her desk, and I smiled.

As I rode the elevator down to the first floor, I thought of the deal I’d made with myself. I had a very clear outline: concentrate on work, save up, and then fly away to Paris forever. But, maybe, there was room for an amendment to the plan? The end goal would remain the same, but what did it matter if I had a little fun with Grayson before I left?

After all, I’d just landed my dream job, so it looked like I was onto the newest item my to-do list:

Grayson Cole.

addtogoodreads

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Heart series reading order and purchase links
(standalone novels with interconnected characters)
theduet
thedesign

The DuetMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA
The DesignAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

✦ ✦ ✦

To win one of two (2) audiobooks of Behind His Lens or one of two (2) R.S. Grey signed paperbacks of your choice (4 winners in total, 1 prize each), please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 48-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Soaring by Kristen Ashley

BT15_SOARING_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from a book I loved in every possible way—Soaring by the magnificent Kristen Ashley—to be released on 16 March 2015. Mickey and Amelia’s story moved me deeply, just as I expected it would, but the sheer beauty of their romance caught me by surprise. And while this might be in essence a love story, this is also a tale of broken families, of healing families, of new families. And it is a story of redemption, showing that we are not defined by the mistakes we make, but by the steps we take to correct them. The excerpt I picked for you is not random, however, as it matches in a way the one I shared with you last year from The Will, both excerpts describing the kind of men these heroines are looking for in their lives. I hope you love it as much as I do and trust me when I say that Soaring will leave you speechless. I’ll have my review posted for you closer to the book’s release date… ♥

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

American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew.

Her husband cheated on her, and when everything she wanted in life slipped through her fingers, she fell apart. When she did, she took another heart wrenching hit as she lost the respect of her children.

When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene.

Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at Mickey and knows she wants it all from him.

The problem is, she finds out swiftly that he’s friendly, he’s kind, but he doesn’t want everything back.

Amelia struggles to right past wrongs in her life at the same time find out who she wants to be. She also struggles with her attraction to the handsome firefighter who lives across the street.

But Amelia will face a surprise when her friendly neighbor becomes not-so-friendly. As Amelia and Mickey go head to head, Amelia must focus on winning back the hearts of her children.

She soon discovers she also must focus on winning the heart of a handsome firefighter who understands down to his soul the beautiful heiress who lives across the street is used to a life he cannot provide.

excerpt

“From the gentleman down the bar…for you,” the bartender said.

I looked from him down to the fresh cosmopolitan he put in front of me then down the bar at an attractive man with blond hair, a little gray at the temples, his smiling blue eyes on me.

“Holy shit,” Alyssa said, sitting on a stool at a nice restaurant with a respectable bar one town over called Breeze Point.

“Lovely,” Josie, sitting on my other side, murmured.

We were out “trolling” as Alyssa put it, or “having girl time with the possibility of something happening” as Josie put it.

I decided to think of it as the latter as well as an opportunity to wear another of my going out outfits.

But at that moment, when the possibility of something happening happened, I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t had a man buy me a drink in so long that I forgot what I’d done when they did.

Since my current drink was running low, I lifted it to my lips, finished it and put my fingers to the stem of the glass of the new, shifting my eyes back to the man.

I smiled.

He smiled back again.

“Pure cool,” Alyssa approved.

“Well done,” Josie did the same.

I looked to Josie and noted, “He’s only sent this because you both have huge rocks on your fingers.”

They did. Although Josie’s was a fair sight bigger than Alyssa’s, neither ring failed to state the giver’s intention that these two women were t-a-k-e-n, taken.

And they were far more attractive than me, both tall, both blonde and both stunning.

“You say shit like that again, I’m bitch slappin’ some sense into you and don’t you doubt it,” Alyssa muttered.

I looked to her to see her eyes squinty on me, but I did doubt it.

Alyssa would never do that. She’d threaten it repeatedly (if needed), but she’d never do it.

“You’re hot,” she went on to declare.

“I’m not a tall, built blonde,” I pointed out.

“No, you’re a petite, beautiful brunette with big knockers, awesome gams and a great ass even though you pushed out a coupla kids and the rest of you is still too skinny,” she retorted. “Now shut up or I’ll bring a catfight to Breeze Point, I don’t care how ritzy this place is.”

“She’s right, you know,” Josie said and I looked her way. “There are many varieties of…hot.”

Josie using a slang word, something she rarely did, made me giggle.

“Now grab that drink, sister, and get that great ass over to that hot guy,” Alyssa ordered.

I looked to her in surprise.

“Me go to him?” I asked.

“He laid it out,” she said by way of answer. “You got your bitches with you. Don’t make him come over here and lay it out in front of your bitches. It’s already hard enough to put himself out there, buyin’ a drink for a beautiful woman, settin’ himself up for a crash and burn seein’ as he’s cute but you’re all that’s you. Don’t make it harder.”

I saw her point (though I might not have entirely agreed about “all that’s me”) but I didn’t like this.

And it struck me that I didn’t like this because I was me.

I was greedy.

I wanted it all.

I wanted a man who had confidence enough in himself not to lay it out but to lay it out. I wanted a man who looked at me and was so drawn to me he’d put himself out there for me. He took the chance to walk over to me with my friends and show me how much he wanted me. I wanted a man who would demonstrate he wanted me so much, he’d do anything to have a shot with me.

He’d buy me a drink.

He’d walk over and speak to me.

He wouldn’t give one thought to “shitting where he lived” because he was my neighbor. Instead, he’d want me so badly he’d throw caution to the wind just for a chance to be with me.

That’s what I wanted.

And that was what I would get or I’d take nothing.

Shock of shocks, I was okay being alone in my big house with mostly me as my company. I wasn’t going to settle for just anybody so I’d be less lonely because I was no longer lonely.

I was just alone.

And I was fine with that.

“If he wants me,” I mumbled, lifting the drink he bought me to my lips and before taking a sip I finished, “He can come and get me.”

“Well, batten down the hatches, babe, ’cause here he comes,” Alyssa stage-whispered loudly.

My body locked.

“Ladies,” a smooth male voice said.

I took my sip, luckily not choking, and swiveled on my stool.

He was right there, smiling at me then he looked beyond me. “If you’ll get these other ladies a drink and put them on my tab.” He looked from the bartender to me. “I’d like a moment with you to introduce myself privately.”

He lifted his hand to me.

I looked into his blue eyes that were not as beautiful as Mickey’s but they were still handsome.

Then I looked to his hand, which was not as strong as Mickey’s, and not rough at all, but it was a nice hand.

And of its own accord, my hand lifted and my fingers curled around his.

He gripped them and helped me off my stool.

I took my drink with me as he kept hold of my hand and walked me back to where he had been sitting.

As I walked, I glanced over my shoulder to see Josie beaming and Alyssa mouthing, “Go get him, tiger.”

I grinned at them and allowed myself to be led away.

His name was Bradley.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦
Magdalene series reading order and purchase links
(standalone novels with interconnected characters)
thewill
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00034]

The WillMy review | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback
SoaringAmazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams

BT15_LOSERS WEEPERS_Banner

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day, my book junkies!!! ♥

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the upcoming fourth book in the Lost and Found series by the super-talented Nicole Williams, featuring one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends: Garth Black. The sequel to Finders Keepers and the continuation to Garth Black’s story, Losers Weepers is expected on 24 February 2015. And if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post, you can enter to win a signed set of both Finders Keepers and Losers Weepers!! ♥

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Paperback

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

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

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

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

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

excerpt

It was getting close to being my turn to ride, but I liked to wait until the last possible moment to make my way to the chute and the bull. I liked taking my time and running the dirt through my fingers before I got sucked into the adrenaline vortex that resided within a fifty-foot radius of the chutes.

Crouching, I cupped a handful of dirt from the arena and felt the weight of it. This past year, I’d spent more time riding indoors than outdoors, which meant I’d “arrived” in the bull riding world. It seemed kind of backward to me that when a rider made it big, he started spending more of his time indoors than out, but that was the way it worked. The soil in the indoor arenas had taken some getting used to. Don’t get me wrong, it was still dirt, but it had a different feel. It was heavier, grittier almost. Like every grain of dirt was vying to get its own attention. It was darker too.

After spending long summers riding outdoors, where the dirt got dry and hard in August, or spending plenty of time in the red soil of eastern Montana, the dark, thick indoor soil had been as foreign as the bright lights and giant crowds. After a few months, I’d gotten used to it. The bright lights and giant crowds at least. The soil still felt wrong, but I couldn’t let rituals die just because the dirt felt strange.

I was sifting the last of it through my fingers when I heard someone come up behind me. I knew who it was without looking. Before I knew it, I was smiling . . . and I wasn’t supposed to be the goddamned smiling idiot.

“There’s a rumor going around that Garth Black is signing women’s bras at the end of the rider’s hallway.”

The last of the soil slipped through my fingers. “You know what a rumor is, right?”

“A half truth.”

I lifted myself up, fighting every instinct to whirl around and wrestle her into my arms. The other thing I didn’t know about “realizing” my dreams in the arena was that it meant spending plenty of nights in roadside hotels and waking up to a cold bed. Being away from Joze so much was the worst part of it, but a bull rider’s career only lasted a few years. My plan was to win as many competitions and cash as many checks as I could before I was either forced or broken enough to retire. Then I’d spend the rest of my life crawling into bed beside the woman I loved. If I made the same kind of money for the next couple years that I had this past year, we’d be all set to remodel the old farmhouse we’d purchased last summer and purchase the thousand acres around the house to raise cattle on. That was our goal. The guy who’d wanted nothing better than riding bulls and winning buckles wanted to retire as a cattle rancher. Go figure.

“Are you asking me or accusing me?” I tilted my head back just enough to see her silhouette behind me.

Josie’s hand flew to her hip, making my smile stretch. She was about as jealous a girlfriend as she was a prim and proper one, but she was up to something.

“Neither,” she answered, moving closer. “I came to get my own Garth Black autograph . . . right here.”

The coy act was over. Whipping around, I found Josie unbuttoning the top couple buttons of her shirt and pulling it down to reveal the top of her bra.

“Joze,” I warned, looking around and ready to prod any wandering, gaping, or otherwise inappropriate looking eyes.

“Come on. I want an autograph.” She fingered the top ridge of her bra, playing with it. My throat went dry. “With the way he’s been riding this past year, an official Garth Black autographed bra should fetch me at least a few hundred bucks on eBay.”

I feigned a look of insult. “A few hundred? Try a few thousand.”

She smiled, continuing to play with the cup of her bra. “That’s nice . . . but sign my bra already. Before I’m forced to get physical with you.” She wet her lips, slowly and deliberately, as she moved closer.

Shit. I was supposed to be focusing on my ride and doing the whole visualization thing, but the only thing I was visualizing was Josie’s bra and the rest of her clothing winding up in a pile at her feet.

“Now why would I give you your autograph with that threat on the table?” My boots couldn’t stay where they were any longer. I found myself moving toward her without making a conscious decision.

When my arms were about to ring around her waist, she pulled a pen from her pocket and lifted it in front of my face. “My autograph,” she said in a firm voice, tapping the lace of her bra with her finger. “Now.”

I took the pen and pulled the cap off with my teeth. “I can’t say no to my biggest fan, now can I?”

Josie’s eyes held mine as she raised an eyebrow. “Saying no isn’t exactly your strong suit when it comes to me.”

A crooked smile slid into place as I dropped the tip of the pen to her chest. “No, it isn’t.”

Signing a girl’s bra is harder than a guy might like to believe. The unevenness of the lace, matched with the knowledge of what that material is covering or, depending on the style, just barely covering, makes focusing on signing one’s name legibly and correctly next to impossible.

“Oops,” I said as I finished signing my last name on her skin. It may or may not have been done intentionally.

Josie gave me a look, knowing every bit how intentional it had been. “So? How did it compare?”

I capped the pen and handed it back to her, admiring my autograph . . . or admiring the spot where it was. My handwriting was sloppy as hell and looked more like a middle schooler’s graffiti than a grown man’s signature. “How did what compare?”

“Signing your girlfriend’s bra next to signing the rest of those”—Josie cleared her throat to substitute the word, or string of words, she’d been considering—“bras?”

My brows were nearly hidden beneath the brim of my hat, so she couldn’t see them pull together. “There is no comparison.”

She smiled at where I’d signed my name, tracing the letters of my last name with her finger. I realized just how perfect this moment was for pulling out the ring in my back pocket. I had planned on waiting until after the competition, when I’d had a shower and was in fresh clothes, and doing it over a fancy dinner with a fancy bottle of champagne, but this was the moment. I knew it. She was with me for the first time in three weeks, and she was smiling at my last name scribbled on her body—the same last name I was hoping with everything I had left to hope with that she’d want to make her own one day.

I might have had a plan for how I wanted to propose, but life was meant to be spontaneous. The same went for engagements.

“Have you been working on that ‘there is no comparison’ answer for a while, Black?” She finished tracing the K before lifting her eyes to mine. “Because it was a good one. I guess since I’ve hardly seen you for a solid twenty-four hours this past month, you’ve had plenty of time to work on it.”

I patted my back pocket for the hundredth time. It was still there. I didn’t know where I thought it would go—it wasn’t like an inanimate object could just hop out of my pocket and bounce out of the arena. “Joze, when I said there was no comparison, I meant that in both the literal and figurative way.”

She lifted an impressed brow. She liked it when I talked as though I used my brain for more than just a cushion when I landed headfirst after being thrown from the back of a two-thousand-pound animal.

“Your bra-slash-chest”—my eyes lowered to my name and everything around it—“correction, your perfect chest, is the first one I’ve ever autographed, so there is, literally, no comparison.” When her forehead started to crease, I continued. “But even if I had signed all of those bras you’ve heard from the rumors I have—even if I’d signed millions—there would be, figuratively, no comparison whatsoever. None.”

She was fighting to keep that stern expression, but it was close to slipping. Joze was a champ at giving me a hard time and making me walk a fine line, but she could never stay upset at me, for real or pretend, when I was layering on the good lines.

“Let’s get a bit more figurative with this whole thing then.” Her gaze dropped to her chest, her finger hooking under the clasp at the center of her bra.

My gaze followed hers.

“Let’s fast forward thirty years, or copious amounts of tanning without sunscreen and bouncing up and down stairs without a bra . . . can you still say there’d be no comparison?” I was opening my mouth to reply when she added, “And look me in the eye while you answer?”

I tipped my hat back just enough she could get a good look at my eyes. Since we were kids, Josie had been able to call out my lies just by taking one good look into my eyes—that was why I’d avoided letting them drift her way for a good portion of our lives—but I didn’t divert them anymore. Not even when she was asking a hard question, and with a history like mine, there was no shortage of difficult questions to ask and answer.

I had to work to keep my face straight before I let myself say one word. “That’s what lots of money and a skilled surgeon are for, so yeah, I can answer that even thirty years from now, with all of that sun . . . bouncing . . . stuff, there will still be no comparison.” I worked my tongue into my cheek when she crossed her arms. “Post operative, of course.”

Her arms crossed tighter. “You drew VooDoo, right? I’m going to go have a little chat with him and request that he drive one or both of his horns into your ass after you give the eight-second ride of your life.”

Josie started toward where the bulls were being sorted into the chutes before I grabbed her hand. I couldn’t let her go one more step without asking my question. I couldn’t let myself go one more step without knowing her answer.

Sure, we’d purchased the old farmhouse together and talked as though we would live and die together, but the actual topic of marriage hadn’t been discussed. I guessed she wasn’t against the concept, but my palms were still breaking out in a sweat and my heart was thudding so powerfully, I could practically feel it vibrating against my chest armor.

“Joze, wait.” I tugged on her hand to bring her back. “I’ve got to ask you something before you go ask VooDoo to pierce my backside.” I peaked a brow at her as I slipped my hand into my back pocket.

addtogoodreads

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

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

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

To win a signed paperback set of Finders Keepers and Losers Weepers, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 48-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Confess by Colleen Hoover

BT15_CONFESS_Banner

The 2015 Birthday Teasers Event continues, and today, I am sharing with you a never seen before excerpt from the upcoming standalone novel by the extraordinary Colleen Hoover. A story “about risking everything for love, and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies”, Confess is expected on 10 March 2015. ♥

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

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

excerpt

“There’s someone here who belongs to you.”

It takes me a few seconds to adjust to the middle-of-the-night phone call. I sit up in bed and rub my eyes. “Harrison?”

“You’re asleep?” He sounds shocked. “It’s not even one in the morning.”

I swing my legs to the side of the bed and press my palm to my forehead. “Been a rough week. Haven’t slept much.” I stand up and look for my jeans. “Why are you calling?”

There’s a pause and I hear a clatter come from his end of the line. “No! You can’t touch that! Sit down!”

I pull the phone away from my ear to salvage my eardrum. “Owen, you better get your ass over here. I close in fifteen minutes and she doesn’t take last call well.”

“What are you talking about? Who are you talking about?”

And then it hits me.

Auburn.

“Shit. I’ll be right there.”

Harrison hangs up without saying good-bye and and I’m pulling a T-shirt over my head as I make my way downstairs.

Why are you there, Auburn? And why are you there alone?

I make it to the front door and kick a few of the confessions that have piled in front of it out of the way. I average about ten most weekdays, but the downtown traffic triples the number on Saturdays. I usually throw them all in a pile until I’m ready to begin a new painting before I read them, but one of the confessions on the floor catches my eye. I notice it because it has my name on it, so I pick it up.

I met this really great guy three weeks ago. He taught me how to dance, reminded me of what it feels like to flirt, walked me home, made me smile, and then YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE, OWEN!

PS: Your initials are so stupid.

The confessions are supposed to be anonymous, Auburn. This isn’t anonymous. As much as I want to laugh, her confession also reminds me of how much I let her down and how I’m probably the last person she wants to see come rescue her from a bar.

I walk across the street anyway and open the door, immediately searching for her. Harrison notices me approaching and nods his head toward the restroom. “She’s hiding from you.”

I grip the back of my neck and look in the direction of the restrooms. “What’s she doing here?”

Harrison lifts his shoulders in a shrug. “Celebrating her birthday, I guess.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. Could I feel any more like shit? “It’s her birthday?” I begin making my way toward the bathroom. “Why didn’t you call me sooner?”

“She made me swear I wouldn’t.”

I knock on the restroom door but get no response. I slowly push it open and immediately see her feet protruding from the last stall.

Shit, Auburn.

I rush to where she is but stop just as fast when I see she isn’t passed out. In fact, she’s wide awake. She looks a little too comfortable for someone sprawled out in a bar bathroom. She’s resting her head against the wall of the stall, looking up at me.

I’m not surprised by the anger in her eyes. I probably wouldn’t want to speak to me right now, either. In fact, I’m not even going to make her speak to me. I’ll just take a seat right here on the floor with her.

She watches me as I walk into the stall and take a seat directly in front of her. I pull my knees up and wrap my arms around them and then lean my head back against the stall.

She doesn’t look away from me, she doesn’t speak, she doesn’t smile. She just inhales a slow breath and gives her head the slightest disappointed shake.

“You look like shit, Owen.”

I smile, because she doesn’t sound as drunk as I thought she might be. But she’s probably right. I haven’t looked in a mirror in over three days. That happens when I get caught up in my work. I haven’t shaved, so I more than likely have a good case of stubble going on.

She doesn’t look like shit, though, and I should probably say that out loud. She looks sad and a little bit drunk, but for a girl sprawled out on a bathroom floor, she looks pretty damn hot.

I know I should apologize to her for what I did. I know that’s the only thing that should be coming out of my mouth right now, but I’m scared if I apologize, then she’ll start asking questions, and I don’t want to have to tell her the truth. I would rather she be disappointed that I stood her up than know the truth about why I stood her up.

“Are you okay?”

She rolls her eyes and focuses on the ceiling and I can see her attempt to blink back her tears. She brings her hands up to her face and rubs them up and down in an attempt to sober herself up, or maybe because she’s frustrated that I’m here.  Probably a little of both.

“I got stood up tonight.”

She continues to stare up at the ceiling. I’m not sure how to feel about this confession of hers, because my first reaction is jealousy and I know that isn’t fair. I just don’t like the thought of her being so upset over someone who isn’t me, when really it’s none of my business.

“You get stood up by a guy so you spend the rest of the night drinking in a bar? That doesn’t sound like you.”

Her chin immediately drops to her chest and she looks up at me through her lashes. “I didn’t get stood up by a guy, Owen. That’s very presumptuous of you. And for your information, I happen to like drinking. I just didn’t like your drink.”

I shouldn’t be focusing on that one word in her sentence, but…

“You got stood up by a girl?”

I have nothing against lesbians, but please don’t be one. That’s not how I envision this ending between us.

“Not by a girl, either,” she says. “I got stood up by a bitch. A big, mean, selfish bitch.”

Her words make me smile even though I don’t mean for them to. There’s nothing about her situation worth smiling over, but the way her nose crinkled up when she insulted whoever stood her up was really cute.

I straighten my legs out, placing them on the outsides of her legs. She looks as defeated as I feel.

What a pair we make.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

BT15_ASITS_Banner

For the third year in a row, I am celebrating my birthday by sharing with my fellow book junkies the books I am most anxious to get my hands on in the next few months or so, and today, it only seems fitting to start this beloved Blog event with one of my favourite authors in the whole wide world…the one and only A.L. Jackson. With a keen penchant for writing books that never fail to leave me an emotional mess. Ms Jackson has gifted us with gems like The Regret series, When We Collide, the Closer to You series, and now her upcoming Bleeding Hearts series. I am so honoured to be able to share with you a never seen before excerpt from the first book in this new series, A Stone in the Sea, expected on 23 February 2015 (my actual birthday!), and an opportunity to win one of three signed copies of this book!

The second book, Drowning to Breathe, is expected in June 2015, and the third book, Through the Storm, in October 2015. ♥

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAiBooks

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

excerpt

Baz followed me into my shadowy room. The door to the bathroom rested partially ajar and the bright overhead lights bled a dim hue of light in a wedge across the floor. It was messy, clothes strewn across the floor, tossed onto the large chair sitting under the window, the bed unmade.

I stopped in the middle of it, trying to still the thunder pounding through my veins while I listened to the soft click of my bedroom door being closed.

Slowly I turned around. The air just leaving my lungs hitched when I took him in, the captivating force of this man magnified, grey eyes turned to pitch, the most brilliant kind of black.

Savage.

Feral.

I all-out shook beneath the severity of it all, knowing after tonight, I was never going to be the same.

He was going to mark me.

Scar me.

“You see me, Shea?” The gruff question threw me, and he lifted his chin in a challenge I wanted to meet. I knew what he was offering. One last chance to back out. A warning that came with all that fierce beauty because we both knew he had the power to lay me to waste.

But where there’s beauty there’s also pain.

And I wanted to share in his, because I felt it every time he looked at me. I wanted to immerse myself it, in him. To be set adrift in all he kept hidden, to slip under, to see and feel and experience what he shored up tight inside.

Slowly, I lifted my own chin. But not in challenge. In surrender. “Show me.”

He watched me closely as he pulled a strip of six condoms out of his front pocket.

Correction.

Five.

One was missing.

Jealousy curled through me like a sickness, and I attempted to swallow around it, knowing this wasn’t going to end well. My heart was never going to make it.

But in this moment, I didn’t care.

Because I was falling.

Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

He tossed them onto the center of my rumpled bed. “Glove box,” he said as if he felt the need to explain.

Awareness swelled, that perception that belonged only to us, lifting in an arc, barbs of energy prickling at my fevered skin.

Never releasing me from the grip of his gaze, he reached for the collar of his tee at his nape and tugged it over his head. Almost defiantly, he stood up straight and stared back at me.

All that insane, confusing attraction I’d somehow managed to keep under semi-control, hidden inside, burst, a slide that wasn’t so slow pushing heat through my veins. Gathering fast.

My mouth went dry and I shifted on unsteady feet.

He knelt down and unlaced his boots, rose and toed them off, ticked through the buttons on his fly. Shoving his jeans down his legs, he shrugged out of them, kicked the pile of clothing aside.

Oh. God.

He stood there in nothing but a pair of tight, tight short boxer briefs, his thick erection straining against the fabric, pushing at the elastic band in a play to break free.

Just like the first time he lifted his face to me, I was again confronted with more beauty than I could fathom. Again imperfect. And again I was sure that was part of the problem, because my heart lurched in a bid to meet with his, and my stomach clenched with the flood of desire that sailed straight through me.

In the dim light, my eyes soaked him in.

Dragging across wide, wide shoulders. Tracing collarbones and exploring all the coarse, rigid muscle that defined his chest. I sucked in a broken breath when I let them wander, down to take in how those wide shoulders and chest tapered into the flat planes of his abdomen. Hipbones jutted out from his narrow waist, a deep cut of muscles on his lower stomach that disappeared beneath the waistband of his underwear.

The strength of him was overbearing. Foreboding.

And I was sure I’d never seen a more brutally beautiful man.

But just like his face, scars were etched into his skin, lanced across his chest, one slashed in a long gash across his side. Some deep. Others shallow.

All significant.

Both of his arms were completely covered in ink, colors and swirls and more beauty that spoke of pain, bleeding crosses and indecipherable words and hidden innuendo, one arm covered in the depiction of a darkened sky, the night infinite. Eternal.

My attention was drawn to the mermaid on his opposite upper arm. Her face was fierce and evil and somehow angelic, sitting on a rock next to a raging sea swishing her tail. A pocket watch was held gingerly in the scoop of her hands. The watch appeared to be disintegrating, slipping through her fingers, like sands of an hourglass falling through the cracks.

But his torso was bare, all except for one tattoo than ran down his side. It was a monkey. A green monkey that clearly was supposed to be some sort of stuffed animal. The artwork was crafted to appear fluffy, the arms and legs long and lanky. The face was white with plain black dots for the eyes and nose, the smiling mouth a black seam.

But it was turned upside down, bent backward, the arms and legs flailing, as if it were tumbling in a free fall.

It left no illusion of a chance to be saved.

The childlike simplicity of it was gut-wrenching.

And I knew. And I knew. And I knew.

“You see me, Shea?” he asked again, hands in fists at his sides, his voice tight. There was no missing the sharp edge of vulnerability that bled into it.

“Yes,” I whispered, stepping closer, letting my fingertips trail across his collarbones, down the strength of his chest that jumped beneath my touch, the to the monkey falling at his side.

When there’s beauty, there’s also pain.

A big callused hand out came up to cup the side of my neck, to steal my breath, because it was sweet and completely unexpected. He tilted my chin back with his thumb, his fingernail scratching up and down the hollow of my neck as he stared at me, the brush of it stirring me up more.

Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

“Tried to stay away from you,” he murmured, the song of that velvety voice wrapping around me like a full body embrace. “Tried. But there wasn’t one goddamned thing I could do to get you out of my head.”

Remorse flashed through his eyes. “Don’t wanna hurt you.”

We both knew it was already too late.

My face was turned up to his, and he leaned in, slowly, his full, full lips parting just enough to catch my bottom lip between them, tugging soft, letting go.

“Shea,” he whispered.

The skin tingled, and a rash of chills skated down my spine. Keeping hold of my neck, Baz followed them with his opposite hand, his palm running flat as it pressed firm into the small of my back, all the way down to my ass where he gripped me tightly, pulled me up close against his cock where it urged against my belly.

A short gasp escaped me.

Like the sound was fuel, heavy hands found my hips, and he spun me fast and slammed me up against the wall next to my door. I hit it with a grunt, and I clung to his shoulders as my knees went weak.

He captured my mouth with a blinding assault of lips and tongue and teeth. His tongue was wet and warm. Demanding. Just as demanding as his fingers that kneaded into my hips, palms sliding down the back of my thighs, trailing back up. As he did, he dragged one of my legs up and then the other until I was tacked against the wall beneath his weight, my legs begging around his waist.

And God, I begged.

He smiled against my mouth as he threaded his fingers with mine and pinned my hands above my head. Rocking against me, he leveled me with darkened eyes. “Say it again.”

“Please,” I whispered madly, my back arching from the wall, all coherent thoughts slipping away and every kind of irrational, foolish idea rushing in to take their place—all supplied by the euphoric feel of his cock rubbing at the denim between my thighs.

It’d been too too long. Yet somehow just the right amount of time. This moment for him. This moment for me. For us.

Even though it would crush me, I knew it had to be.

A groan rumbled deep in his chest, and he lifted me from the wall, hiking me farther up his chest. He began to carry me across the room. One hand was tangled in the mass of my hair, bunching it up, the other an iron band around my waist.

He laid me in the center of my bed. My chest took a stuttered heave when he stepped back and looked down at me, my knees rocking with unsettled nerves, my booted feet propped flat on the bed.

Staring down over me, he just stood there, an impenetrable expression hardening his face. Unreadable, yet anything but blank. Like he were processing a million thoughts, while I didn’t know much of anything except how I was aching, how each second he wasn’t touching me he was driving me closer to going mad.

How it was only one more second I didn’t get to be with him. One second lost. One second closer to when he would leave.

He kissed the inside crease of my knee and fire rocketed straight to my core.

I exhaled toward the ceiling, hands twisting in my sheets, hips jerking in anticipation. “Please,” I said again, because I wasn’t sure how much more of this I could take.

He placed another midway at the inside of my thigh, letting a hand glide down the opposite leg, all the way down to brush his fingers along the seam of my shorts.

A little show of fireworks. The promise of more.

His movements were slow and sure when he pulled back to tug the boots from my feet, one by one, peeling off the cushy socks I wore with them. I stretched my toes and dug them into the bed, and he smiled all soft as if he liked it, just as he was pressing my knees apart and setting a single knee on the bed. He leaned in far enough to jerk at the button of my shorts, and a trembled breath escaped me when he angled back and dragged them down my legs.

“Goddamn.” Baz wet his lips, and he shot me an unfettered glance before looking back at me lying there in my panties and tee. “Got the best legs, baby.”

Hot hands splayed wide, riding up the outside of my thighs, scraping over my hips and sides, gathering up the material of my shirt as he went. He ripped it over my head and tossed it to the floor.

My hair fell around me and my heart beat so hard I could feel it in my ears.

His yanked me closer to him, close enough to the edge that he could snake his hands under my back and unclasp my bra. He slid it off, leaning back to take me in with all that hunger he’d been watching me with for weeks. Beneath his severe gaze, my breasts got all heavy and tingly. God, I couldn’t breathe. His voice dropped low as he reached up to cup them both. The brush of his thumbs were like flames as he swept them back and forth across my nipples. “Best tits.”

On my hell.

He was unraveling me.

He touched the tip of his index finger to the center of my chest.

A palpitation.

He traced it down my belly where he dipped it into my navel, before he inched it low low low to snag in the front of the band of my lacy boy-cut underwear. He pealed those off too, leaving me a naked, quivering mess atop my bed, waiting for him, wondering just how deep those scars he’d leave me with were going to go.

“Got the best everything.”

Then he seemed to snap and let loose of whatever thread of control he’d been holding onto.

He dragged the tips of his fingers through my wet center.

I jerked. Oh, that felt good.

He hissed a groaned, “F*ck.”

He climbed over me, nudging me farther up into the middle of the bed and twisting out of his underwear all at the same time.

Hit with an overload of sensation, I was suddenly drowning beneath the stunning bulk of this magnificent man.

Because all at once he was everywhere, kissing me on the mouth, the neck, delving down to my chest, soft sucks across the buds of my breasts, harsh lashes at my tongue. Fingers plunged deep inside of me, and I panted a strangled, “Yes,” because I hadn’t been touched in so so long, and never in a way that made me feel quite like this.

Fingers coated with all my wet went sliding back to swirl around the sensitive skin of my ass, and a shocked gasp shot from my mouth and I jumped, before he slipped his fingers back through my sex, dragging up to circle my clit.

Pleasure wound up fast, my head pressed back into the bed and my mouth gaped open, unable to process that he would touch me this way. Everywhere all at once. In places no one else ever had.

Terror nicked at my belly when I realized I was ready to submit every last one of those places to him.

Baz licked a path up under my jaw, before he edged up onto his knees. All his attention was focused on his fingers that were still sliding deep in my pussy while he grabbed the pack of condoms with the other hand. He ripped one free with his teeth.

My entire body was alive with energy. With this energy, with whatever it was that connected me to this man, whatever it was that made me feel tied to him in an essential way, like nothing in heaven or hell could have stopped this moment from coming to pass.

Staring up at him, he stared down at me. Those eyes brimmed dark and bold. Because maybe we’d been purposed this way.

That for tonight I got to touch on heaven before he left me in hell.

addtogoodreads

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

Connect with author: NewsletterWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦

To win one of three signed paperback copies of A Stone in the Sea, please enter below. By entering, you are accepting the following Giveaway Conditions. This 48-hour contest is open internationally.

Enter giveaway here…

✦ ✦ ✦

Have you missed any exclusive excerpts posted so far during my 2015 Birthday Teasers Event? Just click on the book cover to reads that excerpt…

AStoneintheSea CONFESS LosersWeepers soaring
thedesign BecomingRain 644 whereseameetssky_CR Deep322
blackiris brokenjuliet2 TheOtherMan
✦ ✦ ✦

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

Other books in the series or related posts:

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.

✤ ✤ ✤
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 *

arrow

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

Enter giveaway here…

✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

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 *
arrow

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!

✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

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 *
arrow

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!

✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦

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 *
arrow

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!

✤ ✤ ✤

✦ Don’t want to miss any more posts? Subscribe to this Blog by email… ✦