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Covert Vengeance By Kayla Cross – Review

Covert Vengeance By Kayla Cross – Review

Covert Vengeance Book Cover Covert Vengeance
Vengeance Series
Kayla Cross

The last book in the Vengeance Series, and what a stonker it is. Amber is trying to make up previous sins and Jesse is a hired gun after her, but he is really after her, or after her to help her...

 

Today we are celebrating the release of an exciting, romantic suspense title from Kaylea Cross. COVERT VENGEANCE is available now, and you will not want to miss this series! Be sure to follow Kaylea for exclusive updates about the book and the brand new Vengeance series.

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Covert Vengeance by Kaylea Cross

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Book Blurb:

Revenge came at a heavy price.

Valkyrie hacker Amber Brown is deadly in her own right, but her preferred weapon is a keyboard. So after her teammates left her for dead, she took her revenge the way she was trained to—swiftly and brutally. Except one of her targets might be innocent. To right that wrong, Amber vows to rescue the at-risk Valkyrie no matter the cost, and this time she’s working alone. So when a sexy stranger shows up in the middle of a firefight and announces he’s been sent by her sister, it’s going to take a whole lot more than his word to make her trust him.

Chasing redemption may prove deadly.

Elite gun for hire Jesse Cordova lives on the edge of the law. When a new job offer sets off warning bells, he digs deeper and finds the startling truth. The woman he’s been tasked with capturing is a secret government assassin, and Amber Brown is unlike any target he’s gone after before. But bringing her in opens them up to a whole new level of danger, pitting them against one of the most ruthless assassins in the world. Now that the sexy Valkyrie has stolen his heart, Jesse will risk everything to see their mission through—knowing that the only way this ends is with one of them dying.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

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Phoenix Rising By Giulia Lagomarsino

Phoenix Rising By Giulia Lagomarsino

Phoenix Rising
Giulia Lagomarsino
(Reed Security Series, #16)
Publication date: August 26th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Phoenix Rising is book 16 in the Reed Security Series and it is suggested they be read in order.

The men and women of Reed Security are back, but after all the turmoil of the past year, how do they adapt and move forward? For some, it’s easy, but others, the past year is only the beginning of what they will have to deal with. Some of them were shot and almost died. Morgan and Chance were taken and tortured in their own respects and now must deal with the after effects. Payton was torn from her mother and spent a year and a half without her. The wives lost their jobs, and many had to run from their families and friends to keep them safe. But one thing remained the same through all of this, they are each others’ family and will do anything to help each other through. They are Reed Security, and they will rise from the ashes.

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Author Bio:

I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.

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Shoes on the Stairs By Jan Steele

Shoes on the Stairs By Jan Steele

Shoes on the Stairs
Jan Steele
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: July 27th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Inspired by the many frustrations of parenthood and the ever-present fear of failure, SHOES ON THE STAIRS centers around a mother’s struggle to accept what she has left behind after her death. She takes the reader on a journey of both laughter and tears while learning even the smallest of gestures can make a significant and lasting impact.

Claire Blackwell can’t find that damn white light. Thanks to a mishap at an intersection, she’s dead and stuck somewhere between Heaven and what seems like Hell as she is forced to watch her husband and children unravel without her. While she struggles to find answers for her limbo state, her family begins to see her, offering what she believes, is a gift of second chances.

As she navigates through this new, untouchable world and the challenges it creates, she is forced to face some sad and potentially dangerous truths. Determined, she works to mend her relationship with her family, but her stubborn teenage son refuses to acknowledge her, and when tensions escalate with his long-time bully, her inability to control the physical world around her leaves her fearing for her family’s safety. With her time running out, she must find a way to save them before the progress she has made is lost and she fades from this world forever.

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EXCERPT:

Back in the kitchen, Brad stood at the counter, amused by something on his phone while he sipped his coffee.

“Did you see this on Facebook?” He turned his phone screen in my direction.

“I haven’t been on Facebook in ages. Too busy for that time-suck.”

But truthfully, it wasn’t the time that kept me away as much as it was the lives of my “friends”, which always sounded monumentally better than my own, that stopped me from scrolling through the pages. The job promotions; the endless pictures of exotic vacations; the perfect children doing perfect things; the perfect, perfect lives everyone seemed to live. Everything and everyone were perfect on Facebook, and although deep down I knew no one lived the utopian life they portrayed on social media, the braggery still ate at me and left holes of inadequacy and unhappiness.

“Bridget Radcliff just published a novel. Isn’t she a friend of yours?”

“What?” I glanced at Brad’s phone. Bridget’s post made its way to his page from a friend of a friend of a friend in the small, claustrophobic world of fake-believe.

“Looks like it made it onto Amazon’s bestseller list.”

“Wow, fantabulous,” I said without an ounce of energy in my voice. “Another smut novel makes it onto the bestseller list. And if you must know, she’s an acquaintance, not a friend.”

I didn’t know if it was really a smut novel, but I assumed it was only because I couldn’t imagine Bridget writing anything else. But this, I admit, was one of my flaws. I assumed a lot about everything. I assumed I’d marry a prince and become a princess. I assumed I knew everything there was to know at fifteen. I assumed I’d want sex every day for the rest of my life and my marriage to Brad would be like living inside a rainbow every day. I assumed I wouldn’t miss my career when I stayed home to raise the kids. I assumed my children would be the best at everything because I assumed I would be the best mother there ever was. But now, even with all I knew about assumptions, about how they are idealistic dreams I refused to prove wrong, I still gave them weight in my life. Why would assuming Bridget wrote something scandalous be any different?

A little jealousy bounced within me. Even with Bridget being a divorced mother of two, she somehow found the time to write a best-selling novel. And that picture of her on Brad’s phone, all trim and sunshiny-beautiful holding her book, lit a fuse in me, or maybe it was already lit but had met the nitroglycerine.

In any case, I was ready to explode. I moved to the sink and gazed out the window, counting slowly to ten, fully aware of the emptiness growing within me. Each person’s success reminded me of my own career as a teacher I’d willingly given up for this.

Author Bio:

Jan Steele grew up in the burbs of Chicago and after thirty-two years of shoveling snow, moved to San Diego with her husband and children. She has taught everything from Kindergarten through high school but found her passion for writing years later while living as an expat in Asia for four years. She is a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miracles and More (2018), an MFA student at UC Riverside, and shares a blog with her sister-in-law. In addition to writing, she loves to travel, volunteer, watch college basketball and sunsets.

Inspired by the many frustrations of parenthood and the ever-present fear of failure, SHOES ON THE STAIRS centers around a mother’s struggle to accept what she has left behind after her death. She takes the reader on a journey of both laughter and tears while learning even the smallest of gestures can make a significant and lasting impact.

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Sir By N.R. Walker

Sir By N.R. Walker

Sir
N.R. Walker
Publication date: July 25th 2019
Genres: Erotica, LGBTQ+, Romance

Founded over four hundred years ago, Sanctus Infinitus Redemptio is a private and very elite society where dominance and submission are revered. Steeped in tradition and excellence, every Dominant and every submissive, and their pairing, is selected with great care.

When Hunter Vargo is brought into the Sanctus, his need for strict dominance sees him paired with the wrong Master. But only a short time later, mistreated and his trust broken, he’s recalled, his collar removed. The Grand Master knows it will take a special kind of Dominant to restore the sub’s faith and trust.

Sig Bruckner’s world is perfect. He has a great job, he has high standing within the Sanctus, and he has Levin, the very best submissive. When he’s asked to take on a second sub, a submissive with issues and a rule not to touch him, Sig’s world is turned upside down.

When his Dominance, his patience, and self-control are tested, and when Sig’s relationship with both subs is pushed past his limits, everything begins to unravel. Yet Sig knows every good Dom learns from their subs, and he’s no exception. He might not be able to fix everything on his own, but perhaps the three of them together can.

Sig Bruckner is about to learn who’s really in control.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The Mercedes slowed around the grand driveway, stopping in front of the huge manor. The Casa di Salvezza was a remarkable nod to history and grand architecture, and a buzz thrilled through me every time I came here. One of Colton’s boys, Phillip, opened my door. He offered a polite smile before bowing his head. “Good evening, Sir.”

I nodded my acknowledgement and stepped out of the car. I straightened my jacket and ran my hand through my hair. A touch of grey flecked at my temples, but the brown mostly matched my eyes. It was otherwise short and tidy; impeccably neat, like everything in my life. Structured, organised, understated but distinguished. I glanced up at the huge stone building, the windows glowing warm and inviting, and I walked to the door, knowing Levin would follow. Without prompting, without even a look, he read my cues.

The perfect submissive.

My perfect submissive.

Levin had been in my care for two years. He had dark hair, blue eyes, and fair skin that flushed beautifully when he laughed and when he orgasmed. Other Doms would probably say I was too lenient on the boy or I spoiled him, but Levin was different. He was smart, sometimes a little cheeky, warm and kind, and completely insatiable. He has been chosen for me by Colton. Colton, my old Master, my Master still, had an uncanny ability to choose the perfect partner.

Dominant to submissive, Master Colton had a gift for forging bonds between pairings. As far as I knew, he’d never failed.

I hadn’t been Colton’s sub for nearly a decade. He taught me everything I know. I had no obligation to fall to my knees in front of him, but I would. No matter how long it had been since he called me his sub, he would always be my Master.

Even though I’d been a Master in my own right for ten years, we would still meet regularly and talk over coffee. At least every six weeks, not including play sessions. He was my mentor, my adviser, but I’d like to think he was also my friend. We’d discuss the trials and tribulations of being a Master, of having the responsibility of subs, the latest goings on in this dominion, and in the other dominions in other countries.

This dominion I was part of, like all dominions in the Sanctus, had three Grand Masters: Jürg, Valente, and Colton. Each had a specialty, an area of expertise. All three were exceptional men. With traditions spanning centuries and unimaginable wealth, the Sanctus was an exclusive, elite community, and one I was honoured to be part of.

Each member was chosen with a specific purpose—mine being medicine—ensuring the dominion remained self-sufficient. We didn’t have to look outside of our own dominion for expertise. Real estate, stock markets, even our mechanics and house cleaners were all part of the dominion.

There were rules. Many rules, but none more important than the first.

Silence.

Keep the secret.

As I approached the huge wooden front doors to Master Colton’s manor, I knew Levin was following. I could hear his quiet footfalls two steps behind me. I didn’t have to turn around to know he’d be walking with his head slightly bowed, his shoulders squared, and his hands clasped behind his back.

Master Colton was right.

Levin was perfect for me. He read me, as I did him. He was dedicated and willing, his submission to me a true gift.

Colton had matched other Doms perfectly with their subs, which was why I was surprised he called me, requesting to see me urgently.

He’d gotten one wrong, he’d said.

He needed me to come, it was a matter of importance, he’d said.

Bring Levin, he’d told me.

Which was why we were here.

The doors opened before me, and we stepped inside. The marble foyer was impressive, as was the entire estate. Stefan, Colton’s first sub, a pretty, dark-haired boy, greeted us with a nod. “Master will be pleased,” he said quietly, and ignoring the immense staircase in front of us, we turned to the left and walked through to the sitting room, where I was asked to wait. The doors closed silently behind him.

The room was delicately dressed in fine antiques; ironic, considering the furniture in the several playrooms downstairs. There were two French provincial chairs, and I deduced I was to sit on one of them.

Levin silently knelt beside me. Dressed in my standard required attire of faded jeans, he also wore a black T-shirt, a coat, and boots for the weather. He rested on his heels.

A sight to behold, my sub.

He hid his anxiety well. Kneeling beside me now, no one would guess he was nervous about coming here. He’d wondered why Colton had insisted on his presence. He thought for one horrible, fleeting second that he was being recalled.

“I don’t want you to leave me,” he’d whispered. “I could never belong to anyone else. Not as I belong to you.”

I’d dismissed that, reassuring him Master Colton had not implied any such thing. I’d reassured him ultimately it was my decision if I kept him as my own or even his decision if he wished to remove his collar. “Never,” he’d whispered, so then I’d reassured him with my cock.

Just how he liked it.

When the doors reopened and Colton walked in, he held a piece of paper, and I could tell he was uneasy. Colton sat in the chair across from me, worry lines marring his brow. His third sub, Mikhail, knelt quickly beside him, assuming the same position as my Levin.

“Thank you for coming on such short notice,” Colton said.

“Of course.”

“Sig,” he started. “You know me well.”

I nodded. “And I can tell you are troubled.”

He frowned again and sighed. “I am.”

“What is it?”

“I failed a submissive,” he said quietly.

Instinctively, I was quick to leave the chair and kneel in front of him, in a pose that mirrored Levin’s. “I don’t believe it.”

“It’s true,” he admitted. “I paired a Dom and sub, and they were . . . not compatible.”

Compatible. I didn’t like how the word sounded. Not all bonds are for life; some last years, some don’t. But this sounded . . . different. I couldn’t quite marry what he was saying with the man I knew. “Please explain so I understand.”

“A boy was brought into the Sanctus a few weeks ago. I oversaw him. He’s a dear boy; a boy who needs strict boundaries. I paired him with Lazzaro.”

I winced at the mention of his name. I knew many Doms who practised S&M and they were good people. But Lazzaro had a coldness about him. He had the hollow stare of a manipulator, a sociopath.

Colton didn’t miss my reaction to the mention of Lazzaro’s name and he let out a sad sigh. “Yes. Last night, Lazzaro brought him here to do a scene and I noticed marks on him that contravened his hard limit. Valente and I recalled him. Lazzaro has been relegated to a sub in training with Valente.”

Quite a demotion indeed. Stripped of his rank, stripped of his sub, and sent back to training. Valente would not tolerate such blatant abuse of power and disrespect of a sub in his care. His retraining would be harsh and thorough. Though Lazzaro was not my concern.

“Does the boy need medical attention?” I asked, my first priority.

Colton gave a slight shake of his head. “Please, sit as equal with me,” he said, nodding to the seat I’d been sitting in.

Equal? Never . . .

Though I did as he asked, choosing silence over disagreeing with him. “The boy is physically fine. He’d used a whip on him, and that breached his hard limits. The welts weren’t that bad; he’d provided good aftercare.”

Sig frowned. “If he broke his trust and hurt him, then provided aftercare . . . That’s an abusive powerplay. Did he hurt him then soothe him and tell him it was his fault, that he wouldn’t have been whipped if he’d behaved better? Master Colton, that’s—”

He raised his hand. “I know. And Lazzaro will learn this lesson, believe me.” He sighed heavily. “But now the boy has been recalled. He’s had his trust breached, he had his submission thrown back in his face, and now, he’s struggling mentally.”

My field is medical; I’m a doctor, not a psychologist. “Why have you called me? If the boy needs a psychologist, surely Ephraim is better equipped.”

Colton smiled, almost sadly. “I need you to take him. I need you to take him as a second submissive.”

I blinked, turning his request over in my head before glancing toward Levin, who had not moved a muscle.

“I know Levin is your first concern,” Colton admitted. “I know you to be a strict but fair Dominant. But I also know you’re compassionate; one who punishes and uses as required but who also cares deeply for his subs.”

“Tell me about him.”

Colton handed me the piece of paper he was holding. “His name is Hunter Vargo. He’s twenty-three. He’d been with a Dom outside of our dominion who feared he lacked the skills required for such a boy. He needs twenty-four seven submission. I took him in; he’s very dedicated. I found him to thrive under strict domination, but . . .”

“But?”

“Look at his form,” Colton said, nodding to the piece of paper. It was a sexual soft and hard limit form. Each and every person who entered into the Sanctus was required to fill it out, and any Dom worth his salt would insist a sub’s forms were redone often, discussed and negotiated at length.

This form was decidedly empty, except for one hard limit. “He has a hard limit of whipping,” Colton said.

“That’s not uncommon,” I conceded.

“Whipping of any kind,” Colton added quietly. “When you see him, you’ll understand.”

I nodded. If Colton said as much, then I took it as truth and would wait until I saw the boy for myself. But this form . . . I turned the paper over in my hand. It was blank. “There’s nothing else marked or noted.”

“Yes. An oversight. The system we have in place has never failed anyone before . . .”

I frowned. “But his one and only hard limit was breached? The failure was with Lazzaro.”

“All responsibility and failures stop with me. I allowed Lazzaro a position of Dom, and clearly he’s not worthy. When Hunter was ready to go with a Dom, after his initial training with me, he said he understood everything, he was ready . . .” Master Colton shook his head. “I think he told me what I wanted to hear. He wanted to please me, so he agreed. I should have seen that. I should have known better. For me now, the incident with Lazzaro is a separate issue. The first issue is mine. I failed this boy. Not just the Sanctus and our traditions. Me.”

We were both quiet for a moment. While Master Colton was responsible for all members in this dominion and would bear the weight of blame, I had a hard time agreeing that he was entirely at fault.

Colton sighed. “I want you to take Hunter. I wouldn’t ask anyone else. He’s a special case. And he needs a Dominant I can trust, Sig. And there is no one I would trust more.”

“I’m honoured.”

But a second submissive?

“I already have three subs. I am unable to take on another,” Master Colton continued. “Otherwise I would. I let this boy down, and now I feel obligated to ensure his care. Someone who I know will do right by him.”

As alarming as this was, I could never have denied Colton. He asked me to take this boy on. And so, I would. Again, I left my chair and knelt before my old Master. “It would be an honour to do as you have asked of me.”

A smile graced his voice when he spoke again. “One of my greatest subs,” he whispered. Colton threaded his fingers through my hair, pulling my head up so I looked at him. “It’s why I ask you to do this. Because I know you will teach him as I taught you. Care for him as I care for you.”

A rush of pride warmed my chest. I smiled at the compliment, at the gentle touch of his hand. “Of course.”

“I have told Hunter that in light of his recent mistreatment and the betrayal of his Dom, I would impose a one-week trial with you.”

I looked up at that, shocked. The Sanctus rarely applied such trials. “Oh?”

“Yes. And I know you like to pet your boy and reward him with a hand in his hair. And I will allow that. You can reassure him and reward him with gentle touch, though I would impose a rule of no sexual contact in that time. I want him to trust you and be sure it’s right. I want him to feel safe before he is used again in that way. Let him see how you operate before he decides if you’re a match.”

I gave him a nod. “A cautious and fair decision.”

Colton’s fingers found my hair again. “Though you can let him watch, if he wishes. I’m sure Levin would like that.”

I smiled and kissed Colton’s palm.

“Come,” Colton said as he stood. “I want you to meet your new sub.”

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Defying Gravity By K.K. Allen

Defying Gravity By K.K. Allen

Defying Gravity
K.K. Allen
Publication date: July 25th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Our greatest risk was the one we never took …

It was an accidental spring fling three years ago—one week spent in the mountains of Big Sur and no one was the wiser. Ignore the fact that Tobias James was my neighbor and my best friend’s older brother. Or that upon our return his hoop dreams were waiting for him, robbing us of any potential future we could have shared.

Now, I’m fulfilling my own dreams in L.A. and my biggest dream of all is about to come true. The last thing I expected was for my past and my present to collide.

Not now. Not here. Not him.

But he struts back into my life like he never even left. Unfortunately, I’ll never forget what happened after he did.
The ball is in my court, but Tobias isn’t below stealing—my power, my resolve, my heart… When he wants a second chance to reignite our connection, my answer is simple. We can’t.

Not unless we defy the rules our dreams were built on and risk everything.

*Defying Gravity is a STANDALONE sports romance in an interconnected series. You can check out Center of Gravity here ➞ smarturl.it/centerofgravity

Goodreads / Amazon

You can also grab the prequel
Falling From Gravity
for FREE!

EXCERPT:

We pulled off the Pacific Coast Highway and drove into the small parking lot of a private entrance near Topanga Beach. It was a smaller surfing spot than our peers would normally venture to, with a slim chance of being seen by anyone we knew. Still, I couldn’t help the anxiety that flitted around my insides as I hopped out of the truck.

Tobias grabbed our boards, and I stripped down to my light-blue two-piece, leaving my white board shorts on. He’d already pulled his shirt off and stood there in his black-and-white-striped suit, grinning at me. “Why do you always wear those things?”

I looked at my short-shorts and shrugged. Heat rose in my neck and up my cheeks as I ran a hand down my sides. Would it be awful to admit that while I love my stomach and all my curves, I hate my thighs?

He eyed me for a second then leaned our boards against the side of his truck. After stepping forward, he placed his hands on my waist and pulled me close, so my chest was flush under his. “You don’t have to hide your body from me, Amelia.” He tipped my chin, his gaze burning into mine. “I’ve seen you naked.” My face caught fire at his words. Then the hand at my waist slid over my navel and down to where my shorts were tied. They unknotted with one pull. “And I love every sexy inch.”

My eyes held his as I swallowed and took a step back. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d gone swimming without the comfort of cloth wrapping my thighs, but I knew I had nothing to worry about with Tobias. He’d only ever appreciated my body—with his hands, with his mouth, with his words.

Like ripping off a bandage, I pushed down my shorts and tossed them in the bed of the truck.

“That’s my girl.” He held my board out to me with a grin. When I grabbed it, he dipped his head low, touching his lips to mine.

Despite the warmth of the sun, chills broke out over my skin. He pulled back, winking and taking my hand in his. “Let’s go catch some waves.”

By the time we reached the shoreline, my nerves had dissolved completely. I was thankful that he’d taken me to a spot private enough that we were the only two in the area. We swam out to the break, lifted ourselves onto our boards, and sat side by side in opposite directions, in no hurry to rush for a swell. The sun had started to dip in the horizon, painting the sky with a yellow to orange to blue gradient. And while there was a flurry of action around us, I focused on Tobias’s silence that spoke volumes.

“You were quiet on the way here.” My voice was so soft against the beating waves, I worried he didn’t hear me. But after a moment, he nodded, then his eyes flickered to me.

“I called social services.”

My chest squeezed at the frustration in his tone. I hated that he was getting doors slammed from everyone he approached for help. No wonder he felt like his life had been a lie. Without knowing where he came from, he would always feel there was a piece of himself missing. To Tobias, that piece was massive. “Did they tell you anything new?”

He shook his head. “Of course not. Except that another letter went out requesting consent from my biological parents. I just want to find them, you know. I have so many questions, and my parents refuse to tell me anything more than what they already have.”

“They refuse? Seriously?”

He shrugged. “They say they don’t know anything more. That it was a closed, private adoption through an agency in LA and there’s nothing they can do.”

Frustration brewed inside me as I thought about his parents. I’d lived next door to them most of my life, but I hadn’t realized how selfish they were until Tobias told me about their reaction to him finding the adoption papers. That they cared more about carrying on with the lie than they did about the son they swore they were only trying to protect. Tobias was certain the lie was more to protect their appearance of being the perfect family, and that killed me inside. “I’m sorry.”

“It is what it is.” He reached a hand out to play with a strand of wet hair that had fallen over my shoulders. “I don’t want to think about any of that when I’m with you, though.”

I tilted my head and smiled softly. Something about having the attention of Malibu’s once-golden boy all to myself lit my insides. I’d always been so focused on dance that I rarely dated in high school. And when I did, no one could hold my attention the same way that Tobias did. I loved being with him. I loved the way he made me feel. I hated that it wouldn’t last.

“C’mere,” he said with a tilt of his lips.

We leaned into each other, but the reach was too far, causing our boards to sway. I giggled as he growled and slapped the water. “Fuck it.”

Before I knew it, Tobias was slipping off his board and onto mine. He shook his head, sending water droplets all around us. Then he leaned forward again, this time with a glint of mischief in his gorgeous blue eyes. “Much better.”

He kissed me with saltwater lips, drinking me in like a starved man lost at sea. I wanted to be his life raft, to save him from his suffering and bring him safely ashore. But the tide was coming. The winds were unpredictable. And the eye of the storm was quickly approaching.

Author Bio:

K.K. Allen is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author who writes heartfelt and inspirational Contemporary Romance stories focused on “capturing the edge of innocence.” K.K. graduated from the University of Washington with an Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences degree. She currently resides in central Florida, works full time as a Digital Producer for a leading online educational institution, and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

K.K.’s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.’s love for inspirational and coming of age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming projects by connecting with K.K. in all the social media spaces. Or find out first, here –> smarturl.it/KK_MailList

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Meant to Be By Nan Reinhardt

Meant to Be By Nan Reinhardt

Meant to Be
Nan Reinhardt
(Four Irish Brothers Winery, #2)
Published by: Tule Publishing
Publication date: July 18th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Can a near-tragedy help two best friends realize they’re meant to be so much more?

Best friends since grade school, high-powered Chicago attorney, Sean Flaherty, and small-town mayor Megan Mackenzie have always shared a special bond. When Sean is shot by a client’s angry ex, Megan rushes to his side, terrified she’s about to lose her long-time confidant.

Upon his return to River’s Edge to recuperate, Sean discovers that his feelings for his pal have taken an undeniable turn for the romantic. While Megan struggles with an unfamiliar longing for Sean, she worries that he may be mistaking a safe place to land for love.

Can Sean help her realize that they are truly meant to be so much more than friends?

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EXCERPT:

Meg was afraid to ask, but she did anyway. “What happened?”

“Sean’s been shot.” Sam crumpled back into the booth, sobbing.

Megan gasped as bile rose in her throat. She couldn’t even comprehend Sam’s words. Sean was shot? The invincible Sean Flaherty? Her buddy? Her best friend? His handsome face flashed into her mind—the lock of dark hair that invariably fell across his brow, the blue, blue eyes that sparkled sapphire with wit or turned dark navy with emotion, that killer smile, those amazing Flaherty dimples… impossible!

“What?” She sat down across from Sam. “Shot?” She could hardly catch her breath. “When? Where?”

Sam grabbed a napkin from the dispenser on the table and swiped at her eyes. “I–I don’t know much. Charlie Smith at the firm said it happened right outside the courthouse in Evanston early this afternoon. Some crazy woman. The wife of his current client. They took him to Northwestern; he’s in surgery right now.” She took a shaky breath. “Conor’s driving up to meet Aidan and Brendan at the airport, then they’re heading to the hospital.” She covered her mouth with both hands as if that could stop her lips from trembling, then shuddered. “Dear God, Meg.”

Megan closed her eyes, trying desperately to banish the dreadful pictures in her head—Sean on a gurney, pale and bleeding—and replace them with ones from the last time she’d seen him—grinning and pouring sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve.

They’d hugged each other at midnight because neither of them had had a date, and Sean had pressed his warm lips to her forehead. “You’re the best, Megs,” he’d murmured and held her close to his brawny chest for a long moment. She felt the even beat of his heart under the navy sweater he wore—the one she’d knitted for him for Christmas that made his eyes look deep blue.

“I’m going up there.” Megan stood and gazed at Sam. “I have to, Sam. He’s my oldest and dearest friend. Maybe there’s nothing I can do, but I can spell the guys at visitation and maybe, I dunno, give blood or something. I just know I can’t stay here. I’ll go crazy. I have to see him.”

Sam stared at her silently, then sighed. “Come on. Let’s trade cars. I don’t trust your old beater to make it to Indianapolis, and you sure as heck can’t ride Big Red all the way to Chicago.”

Author Bio:

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest novel, Meant to Be, Book 2 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing releases on July 18, 2019. A Small Town Christmas, which is the first book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing, is available now, and she is currently hard at work on Book 3.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

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Nine Cocktails By J.V. Speyer

Nine Cocktails By J.V. Speyer

Nine Cocktails
J.V. Speyer
Publication date: July 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance, Suspense

Boston detective and Army vet Abby Morgan got into police work because she wanted to help people, but it seems she only gets to show up after they’re past helping. When a man is murdered outside popular cocktail bar The Gin Barrel, she finds a case that isn’t quite so cut and dry as it seems – and a bartender who arouses more than just her protective instincts.

Paige Lim knows, as soon as she finds out about the body outside her bar, who the killer is. She also knows the police won’t do anything about it. They never took it seriously before, why would they start now? The pretty detective seems sincere, but Paige knows there is a whole system set up to make sure she’ll never be safe – and neither will anyone in her orbit.

Abby is determined not to let the system fail Paige again, but getting the proof they need to arrest the killer is going to take ingenuity and risk. Can they catch a murderer before he kills again?

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EXCERPT:

“‘I’ve served my country with my body, now I want to serve my country with my art.’” Abby turned away. “Have you ever heard such pseudo-patriotic nonsense in your life? At these prices the dude isn’t looking to serve his country. He’s looking to serve himself.” She rubbed her temples. “Ugh. I get they have to eat and pay rent and all that. I do. And I’m not a hundred percent sure why that mission statement rubs me so much the wrong way. But it does, so here we are.”

Mark laughed and lifted his head from his computer. “I think it’s probably got something to do with his prior relationship to pretty miss Paige.” He wagged his eyebrows. “I dug into Manda’s stalker. She did not involve the police. She has four brothers, all of whom play hockey. They figured out what was going on and put the guy in the hospital. He had the gall to try to press charges while admitting he was trying to claim his ‘property.’ The DA, needless to say, was not amused.”

Abby tried not to laugh. She was a cop. Vigilantism wasn’t supposed to be funny, not to her. And a case like this only came up because Abby and the system she supported didn’t do their jobs. At the same time, she had to laugh at the stupidity of a stalker who thought he could get away with it when the victim had an active, involved family armed with big clubs. “I can’t imagine she would have been.”

“So it looks like we’re circling back to Paige.” Mark laced his fingers in front of him. “Not that she’s likely to have been able to do it. You’re right. I took a look through the autopsy report while you were digging into her ex. I don’t know a lot of people, of any gender, who would have the upper body strength to strike that kind of blow from that angle without some kind of struggle.”

Abby nodded. “But our boy here, he was in the army. Who knows what kind of training he got, and whether or not he keeps up with it?”

“True. Some of these guys like the physique they came back with and work hard to keep it up.” He rubbed his belly. “Me, I’m not a fan of the six pack abs myself. I wanted to forget the army as soon as I got my discharge paperwork. But hey, more power to them. The thing is, going into the service should have helped him move on from Paige. That’s a huge hole in our theory right there.”

“Not necessarily.” Abby tapped her jaw. “The guy’s obsessed. Stalkers are. It’s a sickness. Going off and getting a bad haircut isn’t going to help.”

“Hey!”

“Oh, don’t you forget, I was there too, buddy.” Abby laughed. “I know just how bad those haircuts are. At any rate, that’s up to the DA. We should dig into Jack a little farther. The murder was related to one of the women at The Gin Barrel, and right now he’s our best bet.”

“Agreed. I’ll look into Private First Class Stalky McStalkerson. Why don’t you go pay Paige a visit and see what else she might have to say?”

Abby’s cheeks burned. She cursed the pale skin that made her embarrassment so visible. “Are you just trying to give me a chance to go see her again?”

“Maybe.” Mark raised his eyebrows. “I’d never suggest you go flirt with a witness or anything. But I do think you’ll have an easier time getting answers out of her than a man will.”

Abby couldn’t be so sure about that one. She’d barely avoided shooting herself in the foot with questions about stalkers. She didn’t point that out, though. She didn’t want to make herself look any more incompetent than she was.

And she couldn’t deny she wanted to see Paige again.

Author Bio:

J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before settling in the greater Boston area. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem. (No, really. John Adams complained about it. A lot.)

When not writing, J. V. enjoys watching baseball and seeking out all of New England’s creepiest spots. Her Spawn has turned her into a hockey enthusiast. She can be bribed with gin, tequila, and cats.

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The Night We Met By Beth Rinyu

The Night We Met By Beth Rinyu

The Night We Met
Beth Rinyu
Publication date: July 18th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I’ve always been three things: Loving daughter, devoted sister, and cynical romantic. Okay, maybe not always the last one, that didn’t happen until my ex-boyfriend cheated on me, and not with just anyone…my best friend.

One year later, and I’m over relationships, only interested in the occasional one-night stand. I don’t fall in love with them, and I don’t expect them to fall in love with me. I won’t be waiting around for their call or stalking their social media—until I discover that one of my little trysts indirectly holds my family’s fate in his hands. So, with a little convincing from my older and much wiser sister, I break my own rules for the sake of my family.

He’s the exact opposite of me: Serious, detached and arrogant. Did I mention that he looks like he should be on a billboard for a cologne ad in the middle of Times Square, or the sexy way he botches up my name in his German accent? Well, he does…but I refuse to relent, remaining committed to my plan. Strictly business, no emotions involved, and nobody will get hurt…until nobody turns into somebody I find myself needing more than I ever thought possible.

What do you do when a one-night stand turns into so much more than you bargained for? And how do you stop one lie that’s getting bigger each time you’re with him from caving everything in around you? I know in the end someone is going to get hurt, but I’m powerless to stop it. And for him…I think I may be willing to have my heart broken all over again.

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EXCERPT:

“We don’t have that here. All of our German beers are listed—”

“How do you know it’s German?” He toyed with me.

“Well, I just assumed since you were German that the beer you asked for was German as well.”

“How do you know I’m German?”

“Your accent.”

“You assume a lot of things, Emmeline. Don’t you? Perhaps you shouldn’t be so quick in your assumptions.”

What the hell was his problem? There was no way in hell I could pretend to even like this guy, and judging by his self-important attitude, it wasn’t like I would even be afforded the opportunity to. Bridgette was going to have to go at it alone on this.

“You’re correct on one point, Emmeline.”

“My name is Emme!” I snapped.

He picked up my license still sitting on the bar and studied it keenly. “That is not what your identification says.”

“Emmeline is my proper name. My friends call me Emme.”

Even that stomach flipping smile that had spread across his face wasn’t making up for his arrogance. Look away from the dimples, Em. This guy is an ass!

“Well, since I’m always proper, and I’m not your friend…I call you Emmeline.”

My impatience and anger were escalating at an equal pace. “Okay, fine, since this will be the last time we ever speak, then you can call me whatever you want. Thank you for returning my license, and if there isn’t anything I can get you to drink, then have a nice night.”

His hand covered mine as I went to snatch my license from the bar. “There you go making those assumption again.” There was a spark to his eyes, hinting at amusement over my flustered state.

“Okay…and do tell, what are those assumptions I seem to be making?”

“The beer I requested is Belgian, not German.”

“Well, forgive me. I’ll make a mental note of that, in case another pompous German or whatever it is you are comes in and requests it.” I wanted to walk away and be done with the entire conversation, but his hand was still covering mine with a tightening grip.

Author Bio:

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen – or in today’s world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

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In Case You Didn’t Know By Samantha Chase – Review

In Case You Didn’t Know By Samantha Chase – Review

In Case You Didn't Know Book Cover In Case You Didn't Know
Magnolia Sound
Samantha Chase

Scarlett and Mason may have been born on the opposite sides of the tracks, but that can't stop true love .... or can it?

A wonderful book by Samantha Chase, another in a long line them. Although I have read a couple of the earlier books I definitely need to go back and read them all!

It’s time to go back to Magnolia Sound! IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW by Samantha Chase is out now – lovers of small town romance won’t want to miss this one!

About IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Golden child Mason Bishop has finally had enough. Tired of bearing the weight of his parents’ expectations, he’s determined to break free and forge his own path. It’s time for him to go after the things he really wants—including the girl he never forgot.

Scarlett Jones is done being ruled by her insecurities. She’s ready to be see as something other than one of the guys, and she’s done thinking she’s not good enough for the social elite—especially the Bishops.

When he runs into Scarlett at a concert, Mason believes it’s fate bringing them together. But fate only gets you so far. If he wants a real chance with Scarlett, it’s going to take a whole lot of charm to convince her he’s worth it.

Add IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW to your TBR!

Get your copy of IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW today!
Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Don’t miss the rest of the Magnolia Sound series!

Sunkissed Days | Remind Me | A Girl Like You | In Case You Didn’t Know

About Samantha Chase

Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter | BookBub

In Case You Didn’t Know By Samantha Chase

In Case You Didn’t Know By Samantha Chase

It’s time to go back to Magnolia Sound! IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW by Samantha Chase is out now – lovers of small town romance won’t want to miss this one!

About IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Golden child Mason Bishop has finally had enough. Tired of bearing the weight of his parents’ expectations, he’s determined to break free and forge his own path. It’s time for him to go after the things he really wants—including the girl he never forgot.

Scarlett Jones is done being ruled by her insecurities. She’s ready to be see as something other than one of the guys, and she’s done thinking she’s not good enough for the social elite—especially the Bishops.

When he runs into Scarlett at a concert, Mason believes it’s fate bringing them together. But fate only gets you so far. If he wants a real chance with Scarlett, it’s going to take a whole lot of charm to convince her he’s worth it.

Add IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW to your TBR!

Get your copy of IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW today!
Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Don’t miss the rest of the Magnolia Sound series!

Sunkissed Days | Remind Me | A Girl Like You | In Case You Didn’t Know

About Samantha Chase

Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter | BookBub