#excerptshare #titillating The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby @Handbagjunkie @InkSlingerPR

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, releasing August 22, 2017! Check out the chapter below and get to know Trevor and Riley!

 

 

About THE BEAUTY OF US:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

 

 

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Chapter 2

~Trevor~

I didn’t sleep worth shit last night. I waited for a response to my e-mail from Riley for a while; I’m not exactly sure why. I just don’t like the thought of her being embarrassed.

Because she has no reason to be. She didn’t know who I was, and it was closing time. She was venting to her friends.

It’s really no big deal.

But I could see the mortification in her big blue eyes when she realized who I was, and that doesn’t sit well with me.

When no response came, and for all I know she hasn’t even read the e-mail yet, I sat down for a game on the PS4. I don’t travel anywhere without it. Some people read to unwind. Some go to the gym, and there are times I do the same. But to truly relax, I enjoy gaming. I have since I was a kid.

So I settled in the apartment the network has rented for me this month and played online with my friends, talking about our days and shooting the enemy.

We played well past midnight, and I usually would have gone right to bed afterward, but my mind was still turning, making falling asleep impossible. The restaurant is better than I imagined through my research on their website and customer reviews. It’s visually stunning, the food is fantastic, and they’ve hit the mark on the sexy factor.

But added to that, the five women who own the place are all beautiful, smart, and will make for great TV. Viewers will eat this show up, pun intended.

I lean over the sink and wash my face, not bothering to shave today, and as I dry off, I reach for my phone.

I have several new e-mails.

The most recent is from Riley Gibson.

Trevor,

Thank you for your kind email. I apologize again for the conversation last night. I would like to promise that we don’t always talk like that at work, but that would be a lie. At least we keep it to closing time over a glass of wine.

Enjoy Portland,

Riley

I grin and sling the towel over my bare shoulders. Riley isn’t what I had pictured in my head before I got here. I knew that she was pretty because their photos are on their website, but she’s much prettier in person.

And animated.

Working with her will be fun.

And a test to my libido. Because Riley is fucking sexy. I’ve never mixed business and sex before, and I don’t plan to start now, but keeping my hands off her will be a test of wills.

And that too should be fun.

After my run this morning, I stopped by a bagel place to eat and read a newspaper, came back to the apartment for a shower, and I think I’ll go to Seduction for lunch. I hadn’t planned to go back there until my meeting with Riley tomorrow, but I also haven’t had lunch there yet.

I dress quickly in jeans and a red T-shirt and walk the six or so blocks to the restaurant.

They’ve just opened, so they’re not busy yet. The atmosphere is calm, the lighting a bit brighter than last night, making it a fun spot to meet with colleagues or friends for lunch.

I’m seated on the far side of the restaurant, where it meets the bar, and I can see Riley and the other women sitting around a high table, talking.

Loud enough for me to hear.

“So, he’ll be here tomorrow. Filming doesn’t start for another week, unless the timetable has been moved up,” Riley says, studying her iPad and checking things off a list. “It would be great if we could watch our language.”

“Right,” Mia says, rolling her eyes. “Because that’s gonna happen.”

“Just watch the F-bombs then,” Riley says with a grin. “And I’ll do my best not to vent to him about my horrible dating experiences. Not that I’ll be having any more of those.”

“I wish I’d been here for that,” Addie says with a smile. “It’s hilarious.”

“No, it’s not,” Riley says, but smiles and covers her lips with her fingers. “Okay, it’s a little funny. I’ll be working from home today.”

“Why?” The blonde speaking, I presume Cami, asks.

“Because I have a roofer coming today,” Riley says. “But if you need me, just call. I can come back after he leaves.”

“Go.” Mia waves her off. “We’ve got this.”

The girls all stand, about to go their own ways to get their day started. They’re clearly good friends, which will come across well on film.

Riley walks out of the bar and glances up, spotting me.

“Hi.” I offer her a smile and motion for her to join me. She sits, sets her iPad aside, and squares her shoulders.

I love a woman with grit.

“Why are you here?” she asks.

“I’m having lunch,” I reply, and gesture to the salad sitting in front of me. “It’s delicious. Adding the brussels sprouts is smart.”

“I’ll pass that along to Mia,” she says, and then laughs. “I guess you heard the part where I asked the girls to not swear.”

“I did,” I reply, and patiently butter a piece of warm bread. “Don’t worry about that stuff. They’re adults.”

“With potty mouths,” she says.

“And we can bleep stuff out, or ask them to rephrase. You’ve already got the gig, Riley. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This isn’t an audition.”

“I know.” She sighs and reaches over to take a piece of my bread, surprising and delighting me. “I just want things to go smoothly.”

“Perhaps you should order lunch too.”

“I don’t have time,” she says, and then her blue eyes widen as she realizes what she just did. “I’m so sorry. I eat when I’m stressed out, and I didn’t—”

“No.” I hold my hand up to stop her. “It’s fine. I like that you’re relaxed with me. I think you need to relax more often.”

“What are you, my life coach now?”

“If you like. Did you cancel those dating sites like I suggested?”

She bites her lip and looks to the side, then nods. “I did.”

“Good.” I take a bite of salad and nod. “Are you sure you don’t want some food?”

“I rarely have time to eat,” Riley says, and checks the time on her phone. “In fact, I should go. I have to meet the roofer at my house.”

“What’s wrong with your roof?”

“It’s old,” she says with a shrug. “That’s what happens when you buy an old house. I’m fixing it up a little at a time.”

I nod, and find that I don’t want her to go quite yet. I want to talk more, to learn more about her.

“Why don’t you come to my apartment tonight and I’ll cook you dinner?”

She pauses and stares at me for a moment. “Why?”

I laugh and set my fork down. “Because I asked you to. We’re going to be working closely over the next few weeks, we might as well get to know each other a little better. Also, we can discuss my new duties as your life coach.”

“Well.” Her lips twitch as she thinks it over for a moment, a myriad of emotions moving across her beautiful face, and finally she says, “Okay. Do you mind texting me the address and the time?”

“Not at all,” I reply, and immediately pass her my phone. “Plug in your number and I’ll text you this afternoon.”

She complies, passes it back, and smiles. “Okay, see you later.”

And with that, she’s off. Her ass swaying enticingly in her tight skirt, calves flexing from the height of her heels, and the food I’m currently chewing immediately tastes like cardboard.

Jesus.

And I just voluntarily offered to spend time with her. Alone.

I’m a fucking glutton for punishment.

[no ornament]

“I’m starving,” Riley immediately says as I open the door. She’s in jeans and a well-loved University of Oregon sweatshirt, her hair is pulled up in a ponytail, and she looks like she could be a co-ed herself. “I forgot to eat today.”

“Does that happen every day?” I ask as I gesture for her to come inside and close the door behind her.

“Most days,” she admits. “Is this one of those bad choices that you’re gonna coach me through?”

“Yes,” I reply, and lead her into the kitchen. “You have to eat.”

“I know, I just get focused on other things, and the next thing I know, the day is gone and I’m starving.” She passes me two bottles of wine. “I didn’t know what we were having, so I brought red and white.”

“Thanks.” I grin and set them both on the counter. “I made salmon and asparagus with baby red potatoes. What goes best with that?”

Her eyes light up. “The white. Holy shit, are you a chef yourself?”

“I went to culinary school,” I reply, and squeeze some lemon on the salmon before plating it. “But I discovered I was better at a desk job.”

“That’s unusual,” she says, her head tilted to the side as she listens. “Most people fight to get out of a desk job.”

“Not me. I have a ton of respect for Mia, because being a chef isn’t easy, and pleasing people sucks.”

“True.” Riley nods. “She doesn’t get many plates sent back to her, but there are a few. Can I pour you a glass?”

“No thanks,” I reply, and reach in the fridge for a bottle of water. “I don’t drink alcohol.”

“Oh.” She frowns. “I’m sorry. I can drink water too.”

“It’s fine,” I reply, and pat her shoulder. “I don’t mind if you drink. I just don’t.”

“But last night, you were drinking Jack and Coke.”

“Nope, just Coke.”

She sits at the table, still frowning. “I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I set our plates down. “I’ve been sober for ten years. I’m not the kind of alcoholic who can’t be around others having a drink. It was never that bad for me. I’m just a better person if I don’t drink.”

“Good for you for knowing that,” she says, holding her glass out to clink against my water. “This looks delicious.”

“You sound surprised.”

“I expected pizza or Chinese takeout,” she says. “Honestly, that’s probably what you would have gotten from me. I’m also surprised that you’re not staying in a hotel.”

“I’m here long enough that the network sprung for the apartment. They usually do when I’m somewhere longer than a week or so.”

“You must travel a lot for this job,” she says, eating her food like a starving child. I don’t know if she even tastes it, she’s eating so fast.

“I travel often,” I reply, and grin when she takes the last bite. “Are you going to lick the plate?”

“Maybe,” she says with a grin. “I’m not even embarrassed that I ate that so fast. It was delicious.”

“I’m glad you liked it. There’s more.”

“No, I’m good,” she says, and reaches in her bag, pulling out a pad of paper and a pen. “You can eat while I interview you.”

“For what?”

“For the position of life coach,” she says with a sassy grin. I want to kiss that grin right off her face, but instead I take a bite of potato and gesture for her to begin.

“Okay, first question: What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for this position?”

“Well, I have a few years on you, so I would say wisdom with age.”

She tilts her head to the side, the way she does when she’s turning something over in her head. “You can’t be that much older than me.”

“I’m thirty-seven.”

“Seven years,” she says, rolling her eyes.

“A lot can happen in seven years,” I reply, and sip my water.

“Okay, I’ll give you that.” She checks something off on her paper.

“Did you really write down questions?”

“Of course. I’m the queen of lists and the roofer was at my house forever.” She bites her lip as she looks at her list. “How many women have you life-coached in the past?”

“Well, I didn’t have an official job title, but I have two younger sisters, and an ex-wife, so I would say three.”

“But the wife is an ex, so maybe that did go well?” Riley asks. “And are your sisters productive members of society?”

“As opposed to being in jail?” I ask, laughing. “You’re hilarious, Riley.”

“You didn’t answer the question.”

“My sisters are great. The older one is married, a stay-at-home mom with two kids, and the younger one is a waitress.”

“But the ex-wife thing didn’t work out.”

“She’s not a mess, we just both decided that she shouldn’t be my wife anymore.”

“Why?”

I sit back in my chair and wipe my mouth on my napkin. “Because she thought it was a good idea to have sex with other men.”

Her eyebrows climb on her forehead and she blinks twice. “That’s a good reason.”

“I thought so.”

“Okay, next question.” She checks something on her paper and looks up at me with a smile. “How do you intend to be compensated for your work?”

“I’m working pro bono,” I reply with a wink.

“Why?”

“Because I’m going to be here anyway, and why not.” I shrug and finish the food on my plate. “What else do you want to know?”

“Is my coming to a virtual stranger’s apartment by myself one of the bad decisions you should have coached me on?”

I smile and set my plate aside so I can lean on the table. “Did the girls tell you that coming here by yourself was a bad idea?”

“I only talked to Cami and she thought I should come. Plus, I have a concealed carry, so I feel pretty confident that I’m safe.”

I raise a brow and cross my arms over my chest. “You carry a gun with you?”

“Hell to the yes,” she replies, and offers me a sweet smile. “I’ve been meeting strange men on the Internet. You bet your ass I’ve been armed.”

“Good idea,” I reply with a nod. “There are a lot of crazies out there.”

“Yes. But I think that if you’re gonna meet a crazy, it could be anywhere. Online, in a bar, at the gas station. They’re everywhere.”

“That’s true too,” I reply, and nod. “Well, I’m glad you’re being cautious.”

“I’m nobody’s victim,” she says, as casually as if she’s telling me her shoe size.

That’s fucking sexy.

“Do you have any other questions?”

“Not really,” she says, and shrugs. “I didn’t really write anything down. But it was fun to interrogate you a bit.”

“Now I have questions,” I reply, and smile when she cocks her head and purses her lips. “Do you really think you need a life coach?”

“No, I have my shit together,” she says with a grin.

“Why were you really on all of those sites?”

She shrugs. “Because it’s not easy meeting people. And sometimes a girl wants to go out on a date.”

“You don’t need me,” I reply, and smile. “But I’ll be around for a while, just in case.”

“Just in case I slip and fall back into the online dating?”

“That, or if you just want to have dinner, or chat. And I think we should watch a marathon of Star Wars. Your lack of knowledge is cause for concern.”

“It’s kind of a guy thing,” she says.

“I know many women who like Star Wars.”

“Well, I would watch one or two.”

“You need to see them all to understand what’s happening.”

“That’s a lot of hours of my life that I’ll never get back,” she says with a frown. “Aren’t there CliffsNotes somewhere? A speedy way to get caught up?”

“No,” I reply, and fist my hands in my lap so I don’t reach out and tuck her hair behind her ear.

Or yank her against me so I can kiss the fuck out of her.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

“Are you always this observant?”

“I’m an overthinker,” she says. “So yeah, I’m an observer.”

“I’ve been labeled an overthinker too,” I say with a grin.

“Would you say it’s an accurate assessment?”

“Oh yeah,” I say with a nod, and stand to clear our plates away. She stands to help. “I’ve got this.”

“No way, you cooked, so I’ll help clean.”

She walks ahead of me, her empty glass in one hand and her plate in the other. “Do you use the dishwasher, or do you wash by hand?”

“There are people who still wash by hand?”

“I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never seen them in the wild,” she says, and smiles up at me when I join her. “So I guess that means we use the dishwasher?”

“Yes.” She rinses and I load, and a few short minutes later, we’re done.

“Well, I suppose I should go,” she says, and checks the time on her phone. “Oh, Cami texted. I guess I should reply so she doesn’t think you killed me after the entrée.”

She smirks and types on her phone, then turns it off and looks up at me.

“Thanks for dinner.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Unfortunately, it won’t be in my bed.

“You will.”

“Okay.” She gathers her bag, notepad and pen, and walks to the door. “Sleep well tonight.”

I grin and congratulate myself for not dragging my fingertips down her cheek.

You sleep well tonight, Riley.”

“Okay. Bye.”

She leaves and I close the door, letting out a slow breath. Jesus, she’s sexy and funny and smart as fuck.

And I’m not going to touch her while I’m here.

How the fuck am I going to do that?

 

Don’t miss the first chapter of THE BEAUTY OF US! You can read it here!

 

 

About Kristen Proby:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

 

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

 

 

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#tantalizing #teaserreveal Skirt Chaser by Stacey Kennedy @inkslingerpr @Stacey_kennedy

Today we have the gorgeous teaser reveal for Skirt Chaser by Stacey Kennedy! Check it out and preorder your copy now!

 

Title: Skirt Chaser

Author: Stacey Kennedy

Release Date: August 8th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About Skirt Chaser:

Love gets filthy in this new erotic romance by USA Today bestselling author, Stacey Kennedy.

Greyson Crawford works hard by day and plays even harder at night. And he understands and obeys the rules of the game. One, don’t mix business and pleasure. Two, employees are off-limits. So, he’s been eagerly counting down the days until interior designer, Evie Richards is no longer under contract with his Seattle architecture firm. But when that day comes, he realizes there are more obstacles in his way. The biggest…Evie herself.

Until Evie gets asked to be the maid-of-honor in her best friend’s destination wedding, and Evie needs a date. The circumstances are perfect for Greyson to set his plan of seduction into motion. He will happily play the boyfriend for the weeklong wedding event, if Evie will surrender to his every command and play in his bed.

For Evie, it’s all fun and games until Greyson’s first touch; then she begins to question what’s real. She knows better than to fall for a guy like Greyson—a skirt chasing ladies’ man—but with every slow caress and kinky adventure, she realizes that Greyson knows what he wants, and it isn’t just her body surrendering to him…it’s her heart.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Intent and careful to take his time not to scare any other employees in the restroom, Grey entered the simple and modern bathroom with the five stalls. Only one door was closed, and there was no one at the sink, so he moved toward the vanity and leaned against it. Hands shoved into his pockets, he stared at the closed door, giving Evie the time she needed. That’s when he heard her soft cries, and with those pained noises, something inside of him tensed.

It was a sensation strong enough to make him question what it was about this woman that drew him in so intently. She’d gotten a grip on his mind and body so tightly that he pondered her situation, and his, and what he could do about both. He’d become so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t realize she’d opened the door until she was leaving the stall and striding out.

Head down, she hadn’t noticed him yet, so he called out to her, “Evie.”

Her head snapped up, a scream ripping from her throat, hands pressing against her chest. “Holy shit!”

He couldn’t help but chuckle. “I’m sorry for scaring you.” His amusement washed away when he took a good look at her face. There was so much pain there. He didn’t like it.

The shock from her face slowly faded. “Why are you in here?” she asked.

“To return your phone to you.” He moved to her, watching her following his every step. The heat in her eyes was instant, and that’d always been the problem. She wanted him. Christ, did she want him, he could tell. But she was smart and clever, never one to cross the professional line either. She was also a good girl, who likely needed love before sex. Maybe that was the real reason she didn’t ever cross the line. Maybe it was less about the job and more about protecting her heart from a guy that screamed danger. He could understand why.

Though he never was a man who took the easy road, and he sure as shit liked a challenge. He stared into her gorgeous eyes, and a plan formed. One that got him what he wanted, and yet would benefit her, too. He’d never been a sly or shady guy, but he was a good businessman. And that meant using a situation to his advantage.

“So, that’s it. You got out the good cry you needed to,” he said to her, and he liked the way her lips parted when he leaned in toward her; it showed him just how much she yearned for his kiss. “Your ex is marrying your best friend,” he added. “He’s an asshole. She’s a bitch. This is happening, but it’s how you deal with it that truly matters.”

“He’s not an asshole,” she said softly, shaking her head. “And she’s not a bitch. I’ve helped plan their wedding for the last year, and I’m happy for them. I think…maybe it hadn’t sunk in or something.” She drew in a deep breath, releasing it out her nose and added with a soft smile, “But I’m better now. I’m sorry I fell apart out there.”

“One, I disagree with you,” he retorted sternly. “I’m not convinced these aren’t terrible people. And two, do not apologize that their selfishness hurt you. In fact, I’d say it’s time to get revenge.”

The side of her mouth arched slightly. He noted her long exhale, and he knew that had nothing to do with emotions. That it was this push and pull thing going on between them. Call it chemistry, intensity, whatever, it was as addictive as it was captivating. “How exactly do I do that?” She grabbed a paper towel, got it a bit wet with cold water, and then began wiping off her makeup, adding, “Murder them?” She gave him her sexy smile that pooled heat in his groin.

Grey chuckled, leaning his hip against the counter. “Perhaps that’s a bit extreme. Murder means jail time, and you going away is definitely not what I want.”

She slowly glanced at him then, cheeks flushing pink, and the dilation of her pupils was obvious. That look had snagged him the very first day after his COO hired her to design the lobby of the interior of their latest multi-million-dollar high-rise.

Now, the look intensified, hardening his cock, centering his mind on all the wicked things he’d like to do to her. He stepped toward her, as she spun around, leaning against the counter, wide eyes on him. There was something about her, maybe her innocence, maybe this unexplainable connection that had only grown since he worked alongside her, but it captured him in an unbreakable spell.

In the seconds that passed, the desire practically wafted off her, scented so sweet his cock went hard just that easily. As it always did, the space between them felt charged with electricity, but he’d never gotten this close to her before. He never let her feel the extent of how he wanted her. Now, he held nothing back.

“I have a better idea than jail time,” he told her, giving her enough distance that if she wanted to move and leave the bathroom, she could. When she stayed put, he added, “Show these bastards up. Take me with you, and make them both ragingly jealous.”

Her eyes searched his, then she broke out in loud laughter. “Yeah, right. Hilarious.”

She might have said one thing, but the only thing he noticed was that she wasn’t moving, eyes locked on him. “I’m not kidding,” he said, erasing the distance between them, placing both hands on either side of her, trapping her between him and the counter.

“You’re not kidding,” she said, more of a statement than a question.

Grey glanced from her bottom lip she nibbled to her flushed cheeks to her smoldering eyes… Christ, what he’d do to this woman. It would be indecent. “I would never joke about something that so clearly upsets you,” he told her seriously. “I can only imagine you want to one-up them. I know I would. Use me to do it.”

“She’s my best friend,” she said softly. “I don’t need to one-up her.”

He let his gaze roam over her pretty face before looking into her smoldering eyes again. “Tell me it’s never crossed your mind what it would feel like to walk in there not like a sad third wheel but like a woman who owns the world.”

“And how would that ever happen?’

“You’ll have me on your arm.”

Her mouth twisted. “You’re pretty sure of yourself.”

“Angel, I am never the third wheel of anything,” he told her, dead serious. “I’m the engine, the accelerator, and the whole damn car.”

She swallowed deeply and studied him, hard. “All right,” she eventually said, “say I’m game and actually agree to this crazy plan, what do you get out of it?”

“I get you.” He brought his mouth close enough to tease her. She wanted his kiss, angling her head backward, parting her lips. He dragged his nose across hers, and added, “I get to have you in all the ways you know I want you. Beneath me, over me, against a wall, on your knees, screaming my name, whatever I want. Completely under my control.” And to ensure there were no misunderstandings, he sternly added, “My game. My rules. Your surrender, until we’re back in Seattle.”

In a breathy voice, she asked, “Tell me why any sane woman would do this?”

He grinned at her—a sly smile that worked its charm on many women but seemed to have an even greater effect on her. He watched the way the heat rippled through her, and her breath grew rough and raspy, and fuck, did he want to make her moan.

“First, and most importantly,” he answered, staying on point, “you will do this because we both know you’ve been looking for a good reason to say yes to a little guilt-free, no-strings-attached with me. So, here it is. I’m giving you the perfect scenario for us to make that happen. The rules are clear. There can be no misunderstandings.”

She hadn’t blinked. “And second?”

“Secondly,” he said, moving his nose to her neck, inhaling her scent of sugar and spice while he slid back up her smooth skin to her ear, feeling her shuddering under his touch. “I’m that guy that every woman, including your bitch of a best friend, will want.” He lifted his head, staring into her lust-filled eyes. “I’m the perfect guy to show your shithead ex-boyfriend you’ve moved up in the world.”

She finally blinked. “When exactly would this arrangement start?”

“Tonight. My house. Eight o’clock. Bring your suitcase.” He paused, considered his next steps. “Send your flight and resort details to my email so I can get that squared away.”

She nodded. “Okay.”

He took her chin, tilting her eyes to lock onto his. “The proper reply is: ‘Yes, Grey, I agree to your terms.’”

Silence fell.

A slowly seductive, delicious darkness slid over her eyes with her grin. “Yes, Grey, I agree to your terms.”

 

 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than 30 romances, including titles in her wildly hot Club Sin, Dirty Little Secrets, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love…in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems. To keep in touch with Stacey, get updates right to your inbox at staceykennedy.com/newsletter/.

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Rapturous #Release #Blitz: Swink by Adriana Locke

 

 

Title: Swink
Series: Landry Family #5
Author: Adriana Locke
Genre: A Standalone Bad Boy/Good Girl Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2017

 

Blurb

 

I’m that guy.

Camilla Landry rustles against me, the silky fabric of her overpriced lingerie slipping along my bruised rib. The porcelain perfection of her skin is even more innocent against the colorful ink dotting my own. It’s demure meets damage, pampered meets punctured.

So, yeah, it’s obvious I’m that guy. Dominic Hughes. Her attempt at rebellion. Her bid to see what the other side of the tracks feel like. I’m okay with being used because, from where I’m sitting, the other side of the tracks have never looked so good.

 

 

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Excerpt
“If I didn’t have to get up so damn early in the morning and head up north for a job, I’d be on my way over,” he promises.
“What would you do when you got here?”
It’s a loaded question, one that will only make it harder that he’s not here tonight. Not that he would be here all night anyway. He doesn’t sleep here. He won’t. He’ll come over, but I always wake up in my bed alone.
“I’d hope you’d be wearing that yellow silk robe that isn’t long enough to cover your ass,” he says, a grit to his voice that’s as smooth as it is rough. It reminds me of his hands—soft enough to caress, yet coarse enough to cause my body to fire on all cylinders. “I’d find you standing in the kitchen, watching porn on your phone.”
“No, you wouldn’t!” I giggle. “I don’t watch porn on my phone.”
“This is my little fantasy,” he teases. “Don’t interrupt.”
“Fine. Continue on,” I say, propping one leg up on a neighboring chair.
“I’d walk in behind you and almost lose it when I see you with your hand between your legs. Your head would fall back just a little as you moan like you do when you’re turned on. I’d wrap your hair, still wet from a shower, around my fist and tug your head back just a little more so I can bury my face in the crook of your neck.”
The whimper that passes my lips isn’t intentional, but I couldn’t deny it if I wanted to. The thought of his hands on my skin, his breath against my cheek, his cock rock hard and long against the small of my back, has me shifting in my seat.
Lifting the hem of my floral-print dress, I move aside the lace of my panties and feel the heat and wetness radiating from between my legs.
“I’d kiss you right behind the ear just so I could feel you shiver against me,” he breathes. “Smelling your vanilla perfume mixed with the scent of you all turned on would make me so fucking hard.”
“And me so wet,” I whisper.
“I lay my hand over yours,” he continues, “my fingers holding yours in place. You breathe in, the top of your robe falling open so I can see those big, round titties swollen for me, wanting my mouth on them.”
“God, Dom,” I groan, spreading my legs a little wider. Flicking at my engorged clit, the sensation makes me gush a breath of pure need.
“What are you doing right now?” he whispers.
“Ah,” is my response as I roll the nub with my thumb, my eyes squeezed closed imagining it is Dominic’s hand on me and not mine.
“Are you touching yourself, Camilla?”
“Yes.”
“Fuck,” he hisses. “Do you wish it were me?”
“Yes.”
“I’d shove your robe up, bend you over the table, and bury myself inside you so deep you almost can’t take it. Would you like that?”
“Yes,” I almost moan. My back is now arched, my breathing heavy and panting, as I replay two days ago when his words tonight were almost a play-for-play.
“I love the way you squeeze around me. Your little pussy almost milks my cock, begs for it. Do you know that?”
My eyelids squeeze together harder, almost painfully hard, as I touch myself in just the right way. The burn begins low in my stomach, the rumble getting louder with each and every movement of my hand.
The lace of my panties causes friction against the back of my palm, just another bit of sensation that sends me on a spiral higher and higher.
“Think of how good it feels when I hit that spot in the back of your pussy,” he coaxes. “The way you let loose. How your legs shake as you flood my cock with so much fucking juice that it almost shoves me out of you.”
“Dom,” I utter through clenched teeth as the tremors of my orgasm start to hit me full-on.
“You coming, baby? You coming thinking of me buried inside you?”
Yessssss.”
My body hums at the imagery he’s painted for me, the thought of him doing all of those things sending me on a high that could only be topped if it were him doing them.
Sucking in a breath, I hear him follow suit, as I whimper at the aftershocks of my climax. My legs relax, the riot in my stomach eases, as I let my head fall back with a contented, satisfied sigh.

 

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Author Bio

 

USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

 

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Blazing #BlogTour: Dream Me by Kathryn Berla

Dream Me
Kathryn Berla
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Romance, Time-Travel, Young Adult

Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.

But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?

Can a dream become a reality?

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10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

  • You don’t have to wait for that perfect story idea to come to you. If you do, you might be waiting forever. Anything can be turned into a story if you allow your imagination to run loose. Every adult on the planet probably has at least ten good stories within them.
  • Don’t think that you’re the master of your story. Your story will take on a life of its own and you might not be able to control it or even fully comprehend it until much later. Much of what you discover about your story will come from reader feedback.
  • You might uncover something about yourself in your story that you weren’t even aware of. Again, reader feedback is often the tool for this self-discovery. Writing is cathartic but its therapeutic qualities are not always immediately apparent.
  • Even though you write for the love of your craft, unless you plan on storing your work in your laptop forever you must also view it as a business. An author needs to wear two hats—creator and manager. If you’re uncomfortable selling yourself, you’re in the wrong business.
  • The best friends you will have as an author are fellow authors with whom you can commiserate. They will prop you up when you need it and, in turn, you will do the same for them. Family and friends are crucial but only a fellow author will understand your highs and lows. I can’t overstate how important my author friends are to me.
  • You will come to think of your stories as your children. You must resist the urge to be overly protective and force yourself to view them with an objective eye.
  • Nothing will serve you quite as well as a thick skin. No matter who you are, not everyone is going to love what you’ve written and you either have to have the ability to internalize that truth or else be able to shut out all external noise.
  • Write what makes you excited. If you try to jump on a trend it will be over by the time your story is ready to be marketed to agents. If you think you know what agents or publishers want—you don’t. Agents are just people. If they sense your enthusiasm for what you’ve written, they’ll be more inclined to share in it.
  • Don’t be afraid to read as much as possible out of fear you might inadvertently use someone else’s idea. No two stories are the same even if they cover the exact same ground. The beauty of storytelling is that every story is imprinted with the author’s own narrative DNA. There are probably only five to ten original stories in the world and every novel is just a retelling of one of those.
  • I heard Ed Sheeran say this in an interview and I agree. If you’re hungry to succeed in your field and you’re willing to work as hard as you can to improve your craft, you will succeed if you don’t have a Plan B. If you have a Plan B you’re more likely to give up prematurely. Obviously, you need to have money to eat and pay the rent, but don’t ever give up on the part of your life that inspires you to reach for the stars.

Author Bio:

Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Blog Tour Schedule:

July 17th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Hot Off the Shelves  >> Excerpt
Full Moon Bites >> Interview

July 18th
Hauntedbybooks13 >> Guest post
Books of a Shy Girl >> Review
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Top 10 List

July 19th
Lisa Loves Literature >> Excerpt
Padme’s Library  >> Interview
The Unrated Bookshelf >> Review

July 20th
Book Randomness >> Excerpt
Dreams ‘N Books >> Review
Loves Great Reads >> Guest post

July 21st
Another Book Hangover >> Excerpt
RiverMoose-Reads >> Top 10 List
Mes Livres  >> Review
Creating Serenity >> Review

July 24th
Only True Magic >> Review
Fabulous and Brunette >> Top 10 List
The Cover Contessa >> Interview

July 25th
Lovely Paranormal Books >> Excerpt
A Very Bookish Girl >> Review
Haddie’s Haven >> Review

July 26th
Brooke Blogs >> Excerpt
Hooked To Books >> Interview
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt

July 27th
Bibliobibuli YA >> Guest post
Adventures in Writing >> Review
Celticlady’s Reviews >> Excerpt

July 28th
The Avid Reader  >> Review
Fanatical Paranormal Romantical >> Review
So Few Books >> Interview

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#coverreveal Hard Wood by Lauren Blakely @inkslingerpr @laurenblakely3

 

 

HARD WOOD is coming October 23, 2017! A standalone romance told from the male Point-of-View, HARD WOOD is the final hot and hilarious book in the Big Rock series. Pre-order your copy today! Kindle users—stay tuned for the preorder right before release! And don’t miss the hot, new cover below!

 

 

Cover Design by Helen Williams with Photography by Wander Aguiar Photography

 

About HARD WOOD:

Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That’s why I’m quite a catch— good, hard, loaded, and wait for it…I’m ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with is precisely the one I need to stay far away from.

After that fantastic night with Mia Summers, I’m ready to give her many more. But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean adventure tour business. One of the iron-clad rules?

Don’t screw your customers.

I can follow my own guidelines. After all, it’s only a week-long trip with Mia and her employees over the trails and down the hills I guide them on. I can obey the rules—even if it’s hard in the woods.

I’m about to give myself a badge of honor when the storm of the century hits, sending everyone else running for cover, but us—my biggest temptation and me, alone for a long weekend. You don’t screw the client, especially when you’re already in love with her . . .

But what’s a guy to do when she’s so hard to resist?

 

 

 

 

PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

 

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About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September, she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

 

 

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Ravenous #Review: No Holding Back by Kate Evanelista

No Holding BackTitle: No Holding Back

Series: Dodge Cove

Series Number: #2

Author: Kate Evangelista

Genre: New Adult MM Romance

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Format: Ebook – NetGalley

Pages: 256

Rating: 5

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work and chose to write a review.

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Blurb From Goodreads:

A romantic European vacation is the perfect excuse to let go in this highly anticipated sequel to No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

Everyone knows that Nathan is in love with his best friend, Preston…Everyone except Preston. Nathan has always accepted that Preston was too focused on his swim training to worry about love. But Preston is heading off to train for the Olympics soon, so if Nathan wants his chance at love, he has to speak up now. But saying “I love you” is surprisingly difficult, even for someone as confident as Nathan. Maybe a whirlwind vacation in Europe could help? But… what if it doesn’t work out and he loses the best friend he’s ever had?

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My Review:

This was such a sweet story! I didn’t’ realize this was part of a series so I haven’t read book one but I don’t feel that I missed anything (and I will read book 1). Nathan and Preston are just too adorable for words. Best friends since they can remember, somewhere along the way it became more. I’m actually kinda bummed it’s over, the characters were so well written that I didn’t want to leave them. It’s like I lost some friends. I will definitely be reading more by this author, it was so good!

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Author Bio:

Kate EvangelistaWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines. 

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#newrelease She Was Here by Marie Skye @authormarieskye

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Synopsis ⇃
Grayson
If I had to use one word to describe my wife, it would be Mine.
Emmalin is my life, my love, and the mother of my child.
She’s given me more than I deserve, and more than I ever wanted.
Nothing ever came easy for us.
Fight hard, Fuck harder.
Now, someone wants to take it all away from me. Someone has a sordid tale to tell, that’s a threat to both me, and my family, and it’s one I can’t defend.
I have to fight back.
But how do I fight for everything and prove my innocence when nothing makes sense and lies start to sound like the truth? How do I hold onto the only woman I’ve ever loved, even if she asks me to let her go? I can’t. She’s the one I refuse to lose….
Emmalin
Life with Grayson has never been more perfect. But life is also a bitch and then you die.

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¸.•
Incapable series by Marie Skye
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Unjustly Destroyed

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Infinitely Mine

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#firstchapter Hope Restored by Carrie Ann Ryan @carrieannryan @inkslingerpr

The last book in Carrie Ann Ryan’s Gallagher Brothers series releases in less than a week – but you can read the first chapter now! Check it out below and preorder your copy today!

 

 About HOPE RESTORED

The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes with the final brother who thought he had everything to look forward to, and the one woman who can handle him.

Life isn’t worth living if you don’t fight to live. That’s what Murphy Gallagher learned at a young age when cancer ravaged his body not once, but twice. Over the course of his survival, he lost his parents and his childhood, but he’s been healthy for years and has become a man he hopes his family is proud of. But when his world tilts on its axis yet again, he’ll have to learn what it means to fight not only the unknown but also his attraction to his best friend.

Tessa Stone works hard and plays harder. She’s spent her life trying to figure out who she is in the present rather than looking back. Yet when she’s forced into close proximity with Murphy, she’ll have to not only be his rock but learn how to relax enough to maybe let him be hers, as well. But seduction doesn’t stop when the world seems to, and close encounters of the naked kind might just be the first step in something much more complicated than either of them bargained for. Life, though, is for living, after all.

Add HOPE RESTORED to your Goodreads list here!

HOPE RESTORED releases July 25th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

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Chapter One of HOPE RESTORED

Sometimes, life was damn good. Other times, it kicked him in the balls until he couldn’t catch his breath. Today, luckily, was one of the good days. Murphy Gallagher grinned from ear to ear as he tried to run from his niece, Rowan. She was eleven now and getting pretty fast, but he was faster. Not that he’d actually run at his full speed around her. It was always more entertaining when she caught him and took him to her lair.

As he was the evil dragon to her warrior princess, it only made sense.

“Behold! My mighty sword that shall slay the dragon!”

Murphy bit his tongue so he wouldn’t start laughing, but seriously, where had Rowan learned to say things like that? Of course, she was almost a teenager now and probably a little too old to play princess and the dragon, but that wasn’t something Murphy would ever bring up. Her mom, Blake, had been married to Murphy’s brother, Graham, for a little while now. Murphy hadn’t known Rowan when she was little, and he had a lot of playing to catch up on being her favorite uncle.

Sure, his brothers Owen and Jake were decent uncles, as well, but he would always be the best. Jake was the artistic one, Owen the type-A, Graham the grumpy one, and Murphy was the fun one.

He had to play his part and make sure Rowan had the time of her life. She’d only had her mom to play with for years, and while Blake was a kickass mother who made sure Rowan had the best childhood, Murphy wanted to make sure Rowan had even more fun now.

Murphy rolled to the ground as Rowan jumped on his back, both of them laughing so hard they shook. He made sure to take the brunt of the impact so he wouldn’t hurt his niece. She giggled as she stabbed him with her imaginary sword, and he put his hand over his heart and gasped, feigning injury before letting his tongue hang out and groaning.

And… the dragon was dead.

“Victory!” Rowan stood up and started dancing near Murphy’s corpse like any dignified warrior princess was wont to do.

“It’s about time,” Graham said with a laugh as he walked out from the porch where the rest of the Gallaghers were sitting. “I thought you’d have gotten him within the first few minutes, Rowan.”

Murphy sat up as Rowan beamed at her stepdad, though she just called him “Dad” now. Murphy smiled as he remembered the first time Rowan had called his brother “Dad” in front of them. Every single Gallagher had choked up and didn’t bother shrugging it off. They might all be inked, bearded, and pierced, but Rowan referring to Graham as her father as if it were no big deal was a big fucking deal.

“I didn’t want my prey to feel like it didn’t put up a fight,” Rowan said solemnly.

Murphy barked a laugh. “Prey? Really? What shows are you watching these days?”

Rowan turned to him and rolled her eyes with the pro of a teenage girl, rather than the eleven-year-old she was. “It was from a book, duh. Uncle Border got me a whole set of books with dragons in them.”

Border was Jake’s husband and the quietest of their group, though Murphy knew Border and Jake’s wife, Maya, was slowly changing that. The triad had been together the longest out of the Gallagher relationships, and yet they still acted like newlyweds with the way they incessantly groped one another.

Come to think of it, Blake and Graham acted the same way. And, hell, Owen and Liz— newly engaged— made out relentlessly, as well. No wonder Liz and Blake were pregnant; their men couldn’t keep their hands off their women.

That, of course, meant that Murphy was the last single Gallagher. He didn’t mind, though. After all, someone had to bear the mantle of bachelorhood. Plus, he really wasn’t ready to start settling down yet. He’d just learned to live life as it was, no need to change everything so dramatically again.

And that was enough of that.

Murphy rolled his shoulders and took Graham’s outstretched hand, helping him to his feet. “It wasn’t Game of Thrones was it?” he asked his niece.

Rowan rolled her eyes again, and Graham narrowed his. “It wasn’t that, Uncle Murphy.”

“What did we say about rolling your eyes so much, Rowan? Use your words, not your attitude.”

Rowan blushed and looked down at her feet. “Sorry, Dad.”

Murphy did his best not to smile at the way Graham’s chest puffed out at that. Seriously, the man was like a damn peacock. And now that Blake was pregnant, his brother was even worse. It was as if he were the first man to get his wife pregnant. And considering Jake and Border already had a kid with Maya, and Owen’s fiancée Liz was also pregnant, it wasn’t as if babies were something totally new to their crew.

Though with the way everyone kept popping them out, Murphy made a mental note to buy more condoms. There was something in the water with all the pregnancy hormones flying around like they were.

Murphy followed father and daughter back to the porch and gingerly took a seat next to Liz’s former roommate and Owen’s neighbor, Tessa— the only other single person at the Gallagher family dinner. He’d hit the ground a bit hard when he rolled to make sure Rowan didn’t get hurt in her exuberance and now his muscles were feeling it. He was in damned good shape— had to be for his job— but, apparently, he needed more protein or something because his body made him feel like an old man.

Murphy looked at the brunette next to him. Tessa wasn’t a Gallagher, but she was the only family Liz had, even though they weren’t related by blood. Plus, it would have been awkward as hell to not have Tessa over since there wasn’t a fence separating the two yards at the moment. Owen had taken it down after a few of the boards rotted. Eventually, they’d put it back up.

Considering that the family owned a construction and restoration company, it wouldn’t take too long, but they actually had to find the time to do it. Murphy figured he’d be enlisted soon to take care of it since he was the only one without a pregnant significant other or kids to keep him busy. And it wasn’t like he minded. He liked being able to do things for his family since they’d spent so much of their lives doing things for him when he couldn’t do them for himself.

And that, once again, was enough of those thoughts.

“You okay, dear dragon?” Tessa asked with a wink before handing over a beer. He took it with a wink of his own. “Thanks, and yeah. That warrior princess is tough.”

She laughed and pulled her long, chestnut hair behind her shoulders. He hadn’t seen her wear it down for a while since she was always working and tended to do severe ponytails. He had to say, he kind of liked it better down. Not that he’d tell her that since she’d have his balls for breakfast if he did. Every single woman in the Gallagher’s circle tended to be a ballbuster, and while Murphy loved it, he didn’t want to lose his nuts. He liked them, what could he say.

“That she is, but I was serious. You hit the ground hard, and you winced when you sat down. Did you hurt yourself? Because you know, Murphy Gallagher, you may still be hot as fuck, but you’re not getting any younger.” She whispered the last part so the kids wouldn’t hear, and Murphy held back a snort.

Considering he’d spent most of his life praying that he’d have a chance to get older, he didn’t mind that he had a few more aches and pains now that he was in his thirties. Hell, he’d relish the day he got wrinkles and grey in his hair. That meant he was alive to witness his body changing. For a man who didn’t know if that would ever happen, it was his own form of bliss.

Of course, he didn’t tell Tessa any of that and wasn’t sure why he’d let his thoughts get that deep so suddenly. Tessa was a fantastic person and sexy as all get out, and he loved flirting with her, but there was no way he’d get into deep feelings or heavy conversation with her. Their dynamic worked because they joked around and kept things light— if a bit inappropriate at times. If he changed that, then things would get fucked up, and he didn’t want to jeopardize what they had. Hell, he didn’t want to jeopardize her position in the group.

Everything was better if they just remained friends that didn’t go too deep.

“Hey, Murphy, did you send over the files on the house?” Owen asked, a frown on his face as he looked at his phone. Liz was perched on his lap, their hands tangled over her baby bump. She was finally starting to show, and Murphy loved the way she glowed. She just finally seemed so at peace with being pregnant, though he knew that wasn’t always the case since the baby hadn’t exactly been planned.

He made another note to himself to buy condoms. He couldn’t be too careful these days.

“I did,” he answered before pulling out his phone to check his outgoing messages. “I thought you replied back.”

Owen let out a sigh. “Shit, I did. Sorry. Didn’t get much sleep last night.”

Murphy looked over at Tessa and winked since she loved joking with him, and she laughed before whistling. “What were you doing, Mr. Organized One, if you weren’t sleeping.”

Owen looked over to where Rowan held her cousin Noah, Jake’s son, and shook his head. “Perv,” his brother whispered. “I was up finishing the final details on Blake’s house.”

Blake looked over and widened her eyes. “It’s almost done? Really?”

Murphy didn’t blame his sister-in-law for the incredulous look. The Gallaghers had been working on Blake’s family home for over a year now and had hit every obstacle known to man, including a kidnapping and an injured worker thanks to Blake’s former in-laws. Murphy fisted his hands as he let the rage wash through him, remembering everything that Graham and Blake had gone through when they were dating.

“It’s almost done,” Graham said as he wrapped his arm around Blake’s middle, his large hand resting over Blake’s tiny baby bump. She wasn’t as far along as Liz, but she was close.

Blake wiped away tears and turned into Graham’s arms for a hug. Murphy blinked in surprise at Blake’s show of emotion since she usually hid what she felt so well. Either she was feeling more comfortable around them, or it was the baby hormones. Knowing Blake, it might be a little of both.

“I can’t believe it’s almost done,” Blake said after a moment. “I mean, I knew you had to be close, but…” She shook her head as if at a loss for words.

Maya came up and hugged Blake, even though Graham refused to let his wife go. “These guys are pretty amazing, aren’t they? And soon, you won’t have to deal with the house at all. It’ll be in the city’s hands and only a distant memory.” She kissed Blake’s temple before going back to take Noah out of Rowan’s arms.

Murphy didn’t know the whole story behind Blake’s childhood, but he knew it wasn’t good. She’d grown up affluent but with the worst kind of family. She’d run off as soon as she could, and had had Rowan when she was pretty young. And when her parents had died, they’d left the huge mansion in disrepair and neglect but had forced Blake through their will to oversee the restoration. The project had brought Graham and Blake together, but other than that, it had been a pain in the ass. And considering that Murphy loved jobs where he got to dive into the history of a place and see how to keep some of the past blended into the present, it was saying something that he truly wanted nothing more to do with the project.

The others began talking about the next steps involved in finishing up the house as well as what they would do next since their last big project hadn’t panned out thanks to shady deals and selfish businessmen. But Murphy just closed his eyes and let the breeze slide over him. He’d slept for shit the night before, and he wished it had been because of a woman. Instead, he hadn’t been feeling well and had tossed and turned all night.

“Hey, I’m going to go get the chips and salsa, want to help?” Tessa asked. She put her hand on his forearm, and he opened his eyes. Her hands were cold to the touch, but it could be that his skin was overheated. Ever since the chemo when he was younger, he had a hard time keeping a consistent body temperature. That’s what happened when you had leukemia when you were in grade school and again when you were a teenager. You dealt with the side effects for the rest of your life.

No wonder he was damn tired.

“Sure,” he said and sat up, taking a sip of his beer once he was on his feet. The others were still shooting the breeze and passing Noah around. The kid was getting pretty big since he was nearing one year old now. Or at least Murphy thought. He should probably check his calendar and make sure he hadn’t missed a birthday since their family kept growing.

He and Tessa made their way to the kitchen and got out the chips and three kinds of salsa and dip that they’d made for the barbeque. Tessa brushed by him on her way to the fridge, and his cock hardened.

He glared down at his crotch, annoyed with himself for once again getting hard around her. She was his friend. Sure, they flirted because it was fun, but they’d never fooled around, and there was no way they would now. They’d firmly put themselves into their roles, and he didn’t want to change that.

Of course, his dick had other ideas, but hell, Tessa was hot. She was tall, mostly leg, and had just enough curves that he knew he’d have plenty to hold onto when he fucked her from behind or held her up against the wall and pounded into her.

Not when.

Never.

He would never be fucking Tessa against anything, thank you very much.

Tessa snuck a chip into the salsa and groaned. He did his best not to think about whether she’d groan like that under him, or over him… anywhere around him.

“This is so good. Here, taste.” She held out a chip with salsa on it, and he bent forward, taking it in one bite as he gently nipped at her fingers.

She swallowed hard before lowering her hand and giving him a sultry smile. “Like it?”

He nodded before swallowing. “Spicy.”

“I like a little heat, what can I say.”

He snorted and took a sip of his beer. He loved flirting with Tessa, even though he had to use his hands more often than not when she wasn’t around because she kept him in a perpetual state of arousal. He couldn’t help it. She was sexy and flirted better than anyone he’d ever met, but still, they were just friends.

Tessa took his beer from him since she hadn’t brought hers with her and took a sip, her eyes on him the whole time. He cleared his throat and looked away, only to glance at her breasts and notice that her nipples were hard pebbles against her very thin bra.

Damn, he could just bend her over the kitchen island and fuck her right there. Just slide her jeans down and fill that tight pussy with his dick. She’d cream for him, coming hard on his cock, and he’d fill her to the brim.

And… that wouldn’t be happening.

He shook off those thoughts, and Tessa gave him a knowing wink before handing back his beer. He took a deep swallow, finishing it off, and then tossed the bottle into the recycling can.

“Why didn’t you bring Brian?” he asked, keeping his mind on what was important. Like the fact that she was sort of dating a guy that wasn’t him.

Tessa laughed and picked up one of the trays of veggies they’d also taken out of the fridge. “His name is Brent, dork. We’re not that serious and still pretty new. There’s no way I’d bring him over to one of these. We’re just casual. And why didn’t you bring one of your many lady friends?”

“There aren’t that many, and I’m not seeing anyone serious right now.” In fact, now that he thought about it, he hadn’t been with a woman in over a month. Hell, no wonder he couldn’t get sex with Tessa off his mind. He just needed to get laid, and everything would work itself out.

Thoughts of Tessa just might kill him, but damn, he loved being her friend. Way better than any fucking amazing sex they might have.

“You’re never seeing anyone serious, Murph. It’s why we get along. Let the others be adults and get settled. We can live it up for the rest of them.”

She turned and sashayed from the room, and he did his best to keep his eyes off her very bitable ass. It wasn’t exactly easy since it was right there and practically speaking in tongues at him.

He followed Tessa out to the back deck and bent over the table to set everything down. He froze at Tessa’s gasp and looked over his shoulder.

“What is it?”

“What the fuck, Murphy?” she asked, pulling up his shirt. “What happened to you?”

He frowned and straightened, trying to see what the hell she was talking about. “Huh?”

“Jesus Christ,” Jake said shakily. “Your back, Murph. You’re black and blue.”

“What’s wrong with Uncle Murphy?” Rowan asked, her voice shaky.

Thunder pounded in Murphy’s ears, and he tried to process what everyone was saying, but they were all talking at once and trying to tug up his shirt. He pulled away from them and ran back into the house and into the nearest guest bathroom so he could check himself out in the mirror.

They had to be wrong or just fucking with him. Everything was fine. He was not black and blue. There was no way this could be happening again. He was healthy, damn it, and had been for a decade.

He wasn’t sick.

He wasn’t bruised.

But when he turned on the light and lifted up his shirt, he couldn’t think. Couldn’t speak. He’d looked at himself that morning after he got out of the shower, and the bruises hadn’t been here. Yet his side and what he could see of his back were covered in newly formed bruises. They weren’t bad yet, but he knew they’d grow.

They always did.

“Murphy,” Tessa whispered from the doorway. “I… Murphy…”

He met her eyes in the mirror and tried to think of something to say to brush this off, but he couldn’t. He knew what the bruises meant. He’d seen them before. Every single little ache and pain, infected scratch from the jobsite, mood swing, and fever over the past few weeks came back to him in a rush.

His cancer was back.

And he had no idea what the fuck he was going to do about it.

 

HOPE RESTORED releases July 25th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2oIyrg4
✦iBooks http://apple.co/2ausw8M
✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2ksZ8Tc
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2fD8s6j 

See the Trailer!

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Rapturous #Release #Blitz: The Caretaker by Dahlia Donovan

NEW BOOK RELEASE
The Caretaker
THE CARETAKER
Dahlia Donovan
Series: The Sin Bin Book 2
Genre: MM
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 8, 2017
Will age matter when love and lust become all consuming?
Nurse Freddie Whittle devotes every fibre of his being to his work with cancer patients. Their pain weighs heavily on his shoulders. Between losing clients, the expectations of his fathers, and bigot neighbours, he’s slowly reaching his breaking point.
Taine Afoa retires from a storied career as an international rugby star. He’s moved away from London for a change of pace, never expecting to meet a man who’s far too young for him. No matter how hard he tries, it’s impossible to get Freddie out of his mind.
Will Taine’s resistance dissolve in time for him to give love the chance to flourish?
A wonderful story on acceptance, love and finding the one you are meant to be with and fighting for them. Of showing patience and kindness. A great second story in this series that has you laugh, smile and cry but most of all feel the love and acceptance from the characters towards one another.
– books are love, Goodreads Reviewer
Dahlia Donovan has written a beautiful story full of conflict, lust and love. If you like M/M or this is your first time, I would recommend this book, I found it a nice ice breaker into a whole new world of books for me.
– sarahe32, Goodreads Reviewer
Dahlia Donovan is quickly changing the way the genre is perceived and it’s a good thing because now more people will want to read this genre and find that it is as beautiful as any romance story out there.
– Emma, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $2.99 only. Grab your copy today.
The Caretaker Teaser

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at The Caretaker. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
“Are you going to continue to stare at my lips whenever you look my direction?” Taine’s voice dropped down to a husky whisper. “If you are, why don’t you bring yours a little closer to mine? You’ll see them far better with your mouth than your eyes.”
Cursing his exuberant and generally impulsive nature, Freddie leaned forward until their lips hovered a breath away from each other. One strong exhale could bring them close enough to qualify as a kiss. Taine didn’t move backwards or forwards; they both waited for the deadlock to be broken.
“Oh, why not,” Freddie muttered impatiently. He surged forward, closing the distance. His lips smacked awkwardly to the left of Taine’s, which caused the man to chuckle. “Oh, coc y gath, sorry.”
“Calm down.” Taine caught Freddie’s chin in his hand and guided him closer. His mouth controlled the connection. They had to tilt to avoid their noses mashing uncomfortably. The former rugby player’s tongue darted across Freddie’s lips and pressed the advantage. He delved expertly into their true first touch. “Now that is a kiss.”
“You should be ashamed.”
Freddie jerked away from Taine and snapped around to find a woman in her sixties glaring at them—or at Taine specifically. “Pardon?”
“You should be ashamed.” She pointed a bony finger at Taine. “Corrupting a young teenager. Is that legal? I’ve half a mind to report you. Are you okay, young man? Did he force you away from your parents?”
“A teenager?” Freddie swallowed down an irrational burble of laughter. “I’m twenty-six years old.”
“Oh. Oh, dear. I’m so sorry.” She covered her mouth in obvious embarrassment. “You look so young. I just assumed. Carry on then, loves. Never you mind me. It’s always good to see someone enjoying the pleasures of life.”
The two men stayed silent after accepting her apology. Freddie only dared to peek at Taine out of the corner of his eye once the woman had gone back to her seat. A clear mistake. It started with a snort, muffled quickly by his hand, but quickly dissolved into laughter anyway; it continued until their sides ached and they were gasping for air.
Freddie regained his composure just as the train pulled into Paddington station, forcing him to shelve any comments about the kiss. “Ready for the next stage of the journey?”

Other Books by Dahlia Donovan

Don’t miss the other books in the The Sin Bin series:
The Wanderer
THE WANDERER
Series: The Sin Bin Book 1
Graham Hodson lives for adventure. His entire life revolves around his wanderlust. The last thing he expects is a diagnosis to ground his travel—permanently. Boyce “BC” Brooks screws up his dream of being a rugby team captain. He’s lost everything. Can they find stability when their world spins?
Buy Links: Amazon
This book will have you laughing so hard at the easy banter between these two then clutching your chest as the emotions threaten to boil over.
– ~lil maso~, Goodreads Reviewer

Giveaway

WIN $10 GC AND MORE!
The Caretaker Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Two eBook Copies of The Wanderer (Sin Bin Book 1)

About Dahlia Donovan

Dahlia Donovan

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Official website: http://dahliadonovan.com/
Connect with Dahlia Donovan on social media:
The Caretaker Tour Graphic
For more information, visit the The Caretaker Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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