Sarah A’s Review ~ Unfinished Night Duet by Violet Duke

BEFORE THAT NIGHT:

Before that night, Addison Milan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund–the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them nearly two years ago.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met just months prior when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee…which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for–her only friend in her new shadow of a life–would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

 

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU:

Seven years.

Seven damn years of wondering whether the woman was still alive…whether she’d spent the last two thousand five hundred fifty-five days wondering if he was still alive.

Wondering whether that night was as burned into her memory as it was his.

Seven years having his heart tethered to Addison―and now she’s back. With even more reasons to run than she’d had then.

Only this time, Caine isn’t letting the gorgeous little flight risk out of his sight.

Regardless of how noble her reasons may be.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google |Kobo

Before that Night

After reading the synopsis of Before that Night I knew Addison’s story was going to be heartbreaking.  I did, however, underestimate just how awful her life before her mother had abandoned her and her siblings.  That Addison didn’t let the pain of her past damage her brightness was lovely, the way she protected her siblings from feeling that same type of hurt to the best of her abilities, was miraculous.

Caine was such a great contrast to Addison.  While he’d had an idyllic childhood, he’d let the things he’d experienced in his adulthood start to harden him.  The juxtaposition of the two was a fabulous illustration of how your attitude can profoundly affect the way things out of your own control shapes you.  Even in the darkest moments of her life, Addison found the light so she could provide a better life for her brother and sister, while Caine brought the darkness he’d encountered with him and let it temper every thought he had.

Before that Night dealt with incredibly heavy issues but never felt weighty in the way other books that cover the same topics often do.  The inherent brightness that Addison colored her world with allowed the book a levity that was refreshing when encountering such awful situations.  Her love and hope gave such an innocent feeling to the book it was hard to imagine that she’d lived the life she had, until the moments her fear crept in and gave us a glimpse of the horrors she’d survived.

Violet Duke was a new to me author when I started Before this Night and I found myself greatly enjoying every moment I spent with the characters she created.

Every Night without You

I wanted to love this book as much as I did Before that Night but, for me, it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  While I did find myself clamoring to find out what was going to happen to Addison, Caine, and the kids, I didn’t feel the same type of commitment to their happiness in this book.

The chemistry that I felt between Caine and Addison in Before this Night seemed to be tempered in Every Night, like the years that had passed had cooled their connection.  While I didn’t doubt they loved each other deeply, I wasn’t as consumed by the moments they were together.  There was also some unnecessary tension caused by decisions that made little sense to me, I honestly couldn’t understand why they’d done some of the things they had in relation to not being together.  I did very much enjoy watching them begin to rebuild their family, especially when Caine was unwaveringly supportive of the kids he had no familial ties to.

I loved the push and pull of the new relationships that were developed in this book, particularly the ones involving Alec.  He was one of the brightest parts of this book, he was equal parts humor and intensity and I found myself wondering more about him than just about anyone else in the book.  I hope to see more of him in future works in this series, I can only begin to imagine his history and the type of person who would be his match.

Much like the bizarre decisions Addison and Caine made in the beginning of this book concerning the relationship, I felt the climax of this book held some of the same strange decisions.  By the time I’d finished the epilogue I was very confused as to why the book had ended like it had.  I feel like I missed chunks of the story and was not completely satisfied with the end of Caine and Addison’s story.

While Every Night without You was not the best book I’ve read recently, I will continue with this series.  I have too many questions, too much interest in the other characters – particularly Alec – to leave them now.  And perhaps that is why Every Night ended like it did, to give me something to wonder about, some reason to come back and read the other books so I can satiate my curiosity about why Caine and Addison’s story ended the way it did.

Caine stopped with his hand on the doorknob and studied her for a bit, with those deep, stormy eyes of his that always saw too much, read her too well. Then, he quietly pushed open the door to the darkened room and walked in.

But he made no move to flick on the light switch.

Instead, he simply stood there, just inside the doorway, holding the door open for her silently, waiting for her to decide if she wanted to go into the pitch-blackness with him.

Addison knew the choice to step over that threshold, into the unknown, was symbolic of so much more than what he was asking in that moment…a fact she was certain hadn’t escaped him.

He didn’t back down. But he didn’t push, either.

“Alec thinks there’s no way you and I can be friends,” she whispered, in a feeble attempt to keep them away from a ledge they’d be tempted to jump off of, where there would be no coming back from. “This is sort of an experiment he’s conducting to prove his hypothesis.”

“Did I mention I hated that ‘just friends’ idea from the start?”

Yeah. Her too.

“You want to know what I was thinking about when you suggested it?” he continued, reaching up to put his forearm against the door jamb, crowding the opening with his broad, six-foot frame.

She shouldn’t. No good could possibly come from being allowed inside Caine Spencer’s head. “Yes.”

The gravelly rumble of his voice turned hypnotic. “I was remembering how those soft, sexy sounds you’d make when I’d kiss you on your neck—right where that new tattoo is—would test me, nearly break me of my control every time.”

When his eyes began tracing intently over the lines of her tattoo, the air in her lungs thinned, and slipped past her lips before she could stop it.

His jaw tightened, and his forearms flexed. Once. Twice. Before his voice dropped a full octave lower. “A test. Every. Single. Time.”

Oh God, she wasn’t going to make it.

He took a step back.

She followed him in.

Download BEFORE THAT NIGHT now!

http://bookhip.com/LAWLHF

 

NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education ecstatic to be on the other side of the page now writing emotion-rich stories with fun, everyday characters, and sweet, sexy match-ups. Since her debut series in 2013, over a million readers have put all four of Violet’s laugh & cry contemporary romance series on bestseller lists and Top 10 charts across the major e-retailers, both in the U.S. and internationally.

When she isn’t feeding her book-a-day addiction, Violet enjoys doing far too many things without checking the directions first (often with outrageous power tools she has no business operating), and cooking impossible-to-replicate ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her kids (Violet & Duke) and Mr. Violet Duke (their ringleader), with a PJs-and-rubber-slippers work dress code she takes very seriously.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Book Blast ~ Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Revelry, an all-new standalone from Kandi Steiner is available now!!!

Revelry Cover_FINAL.png

From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

Available Now Square-01

Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2pFA91C

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/pxaEbQ

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/nWojG3

Revelry Teaser 4-01

About the Author:

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

KandiSteinerAuthorPic

Connect with the Author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KandiSteiner/

Twitter: @KandiSteiner

Stay up to date with Kandi by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/TLsut8

http://kandisteiner.com

Cover Reveal ~ Found Underneath by KL Kreig

17620268_1381331968554920_4270651020884984930_o

The SEXY cover for Found Underneath by KL Kreig is here!

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017

BK2 Found Underneath E-Book Cover.jpg

BLURB

It began as a ruse.

Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.

Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.

I found her.

My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.

I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.

Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.

In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.

I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.

*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.

18056268_1403821106306006_464058358060721542_o

ADD TO YOUR TBR: http://bit.ly/2oBq0lM

FOUNDUNDERNEATH_TEASER2_V2

Check out the TRAILER:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnCTiRb1A4Y&feature=youtu.be

BK1 Lost In Between Promo E-Book and Print.jpg

ALSO AVAILABLE
FREE on #KindleUnlimited!
Lost in Between
US: http://amzn.to/2oBoFv6
UK: http://amzn.to/2loz3sy
CA: http://amzn.to/2kEGOq3
AU: http://amzn.to/2kEHTOC

AUTHOR BIO

As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KL-Kreig/808927362462053
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/646655825434751/
Website: http://klkreig.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9845429.K_L_Kreig
Twitter: https://twitter.com/klkreig
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/klkreig/

Release Day Blitz ~ Betrayed by Lies by Rebecca Shea ~ Sarah A’s Review

Betrayed RDL Banner

 

Fall into the deliciously dark world where the line between good and evil becomes blurred.

 

USA TODAY bestselling author Rebecca Shea brings you the third title in her thrilling and sexy romantic suspense Bound & Broken Series, BETRAYED BY LIES.Grab your copy of BETRAYED BY LIES today, and don’t miss the first two books in the series, BROKEN BY LIES and BOUND BY LIES

 

 

BETRAYED BY LIES - cover

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Unbreakable series, comes a sexy, heart-wrenching novel…Betrayed by Lies.

As an ATF agent, bringing down the Estrada cartel has been my sole mission. I’m a skilled agent, determined and fearless, but a relentless pursuit and a willingness to risk everything almost killed me.

A year later, when an opportunity in Los Angeles presents itself, I jump at the chance to start over and rebuild the career and life I almost lost.

Kate Stevens was not part of my new plan. I never expected she would be the one to save me from my past. She was exactly what I needed—smart, beautiful and independent. I finally have a future I look forward to.

Only nothing in my life ever goes according to plan. Losing Kate is not an option, but fate seems poised to ruin me, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

Get BETRAYED BY LIES Today!

Amazon ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo ** Google Play

I’m going to be really honest for a minute and tell you I wasn’t the hugest fan of Sam when he tried to steal his brother’s girl.  No matter what had transpired between them, it was not okay.  I did love every other aspect of Sam though, he was truly one of the good ones, and he deserved so much more than what life had given him.  I was so happy when I found out Rebecca Shea was giving him his own story and hopefully happiness all his own.

At the end of Bound by Lies we knew there was a mysterious Kate in Sam’s life, but we had no insight into who she was or what she meant to him and I was DYING to meet this woman he cared for enough to introduce to his brother and the woman he’d been in love with.  I was not disappointed in her at all; she was perfect for Sam.  Strong, independent, and smart Kate was everything Sam deserved and more.

Betrayed by Lies wasn’t as high action as the two previous books and for that, my heart was very thankful.  I’m not sure how much more I could watch Sam go through, he’d already had more than his share of trouble throughout his life.  The high action intensity of Broken and Bound was replaced by deeply emotional moments and a scare that would be harrowing for anyone.  I found Betrayed by Lies to be a far more emotionally driven book and I love Rebecca for continuing the intensity of this series without sending my blood pressure through the roof at every page turn.

Rebecca Shea always makes me connect emotionally with her characters.  The way she writes them makes them feel real and flawed and like people I’d like to be friends with.  That’s what makes her books so wonderful to read, the care and concern for the characters that she fosters in her readers.  Each of her books leaves me feeling like I’ve spent time with a great friend, helping them find their Happy Ever After.

 

EXCERPT:

SAM

She shakes her head and laughs. “I don’t judge. It sounds to me like your therapy has helped you see what it is you need versus what you thought you wanted, and I’m so happy you’ve recovered from your injury and you’re able to return to work. So many agents aren’t as lucky as you.” There’s a spark of sadness in her eyes. A look that only the friends and family of those in law enforcement get when they think of those who aren’t as fortunate as I am.

I nod in agreement. “Which is why I was excited to take this opportunity here in L.A. with your brother. He’s giving me another chance to prove myself. California is a fresh start for me.” I smile at her and she smiles in return, and it’s soft, caring, and does things to me that I’m not sure I’m ready for.

“So what do you do?” I ask, turning the questions on her. I’m done spilling my garbage. I want to hear about her.

She drops her eyes from mine and takes another drink of wine before resting it on her thigh. “I’m an attorney. I do corporate law, mostly negotiating and reviewing contracts. It’s extremely boring to someone who’s not interested in legalese, but it keeps me busy and it pays well.” She shrugs.

“Do you ever end up in court?”

“No. Ironically, if there is ever litigation, we typically hire outside counsel. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?” She scrunches her nose up and smiles.

“Not really.” I shake my head. “I get why. You’re an expert at what you do. The attorneys you hire are experts in litigation. Everyone does what they do best.”

“Exactly.”

Our conversation slows, but it’s not uncomfortable in the silence. We both relax in the quiet and jut ‘be’. There’s something to be said for that level of comfort when you’re in the presence of someone else.

“So, when do you think you’ll be moving in?” she asks.

“I’m having some stuff delivered this weekend, so I hope Saturday is okay?” I raise my eyebrow at her, hoping it’s not an inconvenience.

She smiles. “Saturday is perfect.”

“I’m still waiting on a truck from Phoenix, so that’ll be sometime next week, but I’m ready to get out of that hotel. Speaking of that hotel, I really should get going. It’s getting late, and I didn’t mean to keep you up.” I stand up and she follows suit. We both carry our empty glass and beer bottle to the kitchen, and Kate swipes something off the center island.

“This is the key for the house.” She dangles the ring on her pointer finger. “You can have your alarm system installed anytime. If you need anything secured before then, I have a safe and an alarm on this house. You’re welcome to keep anything in here.”

“I appreciate that.” The soft tips of her fingers brush against my palm as she places the key in my hand.

“See you Saturday,” she says, her voice barely above a whisper.

“See you Saturday,” I return. For the first time in a long time, I have something to look forward to.

 

 

And don’t miss the first two books in the Bound & Broken Series!

BROKEN BY LIES is just $.99 for a limited time only!

 

BROKEN BY LIES - cover

BROKEN BY LIES

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

BOUND BY LIES - cover

BOUND BY LIES

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

BrokenbyLiesCoverSALE099-1

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

BETRAYED BY LIES - Teaser 1

 

 

Author Photo - Rebecca SheaABOUT REBECCA SHEA:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Instagram | Goodreads

 

InkSlinger PR blogger banner

Release Blitz ~ Unfinished Night Duet by Violet Duke

Today we have the release day of Unfinished Nights – Complete Duet by Violet Duke! Check it out and grab your copy of this great series today!

About the Unfinished Nights – Complete Duet:

BEFORE THAT NIGHT:

Before that night, Addison Milan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund–the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them nearly two years ago.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met just months prior when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee…which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for–her only friend in her new shadow of a life–would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

 

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU

Seven years.

Seven damn years of wondering whether the woman was still alive…whether she’d spent the last two thousand five hundred fifty-five days wondering if he was still alive.

Wondering whether that night was as burned into her memory as it was his.

Seven years having his heart tethered to Addison―and now she’s back. With even more reasons to run than she’d had then.

Only this time, Caine isn’t letting the gorgeous little flight risk out of his sight.

Regardless of how noble her reasons may be.

Get your copy today!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google |Kobo

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

Caine stopped with his hand on the doorknob and studied her for a bit, with those deep, stormy eyes of his that always saw too much, read her too well. Then, he quietly pushed open the door to the darkened room and walked in.

But he made no move to flick on the light switch.

Instead, he simply stood there, just inside the doorway, holding the door open for her silently, waiting for her to decide if she wanted to go into the pitch-blackness with him.

Addison knew the choice to step over that threshold, into the unknown, was symbolic of so much more than what he was asking in that moment…a fact she was certain hadn’t escaped him.

He didn’t back down. But he didn’t push, either.

“Alec thinks there’s no way you and I can be friends,” she whispered, in a feeble attempt to keep them away from a ledge they’d be tempted to jump off of, where there would be no coming back from. “This is sort of an experiment he’s conducting to prove his hypothesis.”

“Did I mention I hated that ‘just friends’ idea from the start?”

Yeah. Her too.

“You want to know what I was thinking about when you suggested it?” he continued, reaching up to put his forearm against the door jamb, crowding the opening with his broad, six-foot frame.

She shouldn’t. No good could possibly come from being allowed inside Caine Spencer’s head. “Yes.”

The gravelly rumble of his voice turned hypnotic. “I was remembering how those soft, sexy sounds you’d make when I’d kiss you on your neck—right where that new tattoo is—would test me, nearly break me of my control every time.”

When his eyes began tracing intently over the lines of her tattoo, the air in her lungs thinned, and slipped past her lips before she could stop it.

His jaw tightened, and his forearms flexed. Once. Twice. Before his voice dropped a full octave lower. “A test. Every. Single. Time.”

Oh God, she wasn’t going to make it.

He took a step back.

She followed him in.

Download BEFORE THAT NIGHT now!

http://bookhip.com/LAWLHF

About Violet Duke:

NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education ecstatic to be on the other side of the page now writing emotion-rich stories with fun, everyday characters and sweet, sexy match-ups. Since her debut series in 2013, over a million readers have put all four of Violet’s laugh & cry contemporary romance series on bestseller lists and Top 10 charts across the major eretailers, both in the U.S. and internationally.

When she isn’t feeding her book-a-day addiction, Violet enjoys doing far too many things without checking the directions first (often with outrageous power tools she has no business operating), and cooking impossible-to-replicate ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her kids (Violet & Duke) and Mr. Violet Duke (their ringleader), with a PJs-and-rubber-slippers work dress code she takes very seriously.

Connect with Violet:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Enter Violet’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Cover Reveal ~ Unsteady by Melissa Collins

 

Happy Cover Reveal Day!
We are so excited to share this amazingly HOT cover with you!

Unsteady by Melissa Collins
Release date: 4/28/2017
A stand alone, M/M romance

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers

Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY

Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick

BLURB:

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid
and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But
when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to
handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving
them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond
exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one
person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the
only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure
depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Pre-order Unsteady today for a special price of $2.99!
Grab it here –> Amazon

As an extra special treat On Solid Ground is FREE!
Grab it here –> Amazon

And! You can catch up with Dax and Beck in On Higher Ground for only 99 cents!
Grab it here –> Amazon

Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

Amazon / Nook / iBooks / Kobo

WHEN DARKNESS AND LIGHT COMBINE, DESTINED SOULS WILL IGNITE . . .

Connected since childhood.
Two souls: one dark and one pure.
Bracing to take the greatest step of all.

River ‘Styx’ Nash loves his woman. Ever since he met Mae at the fence of the cult that had kept her captive as a child, he has never loved anyone else. He loves her black hair, her pale skin and of course, her ice-blue ‘wolf eyes’.

Since Mae came crashing back into his life, his only wish has been to marry her; finally to make her his wife. But now the wedding is booked, and only weeks from forever having Mae by his side, a lifelong problem is plaguing him.
He wants to marry her; he has never wanted anything more . . .
. . . if only he could speak the words and declare it to the world.

Salome ‘Mae’ Nash’s life had been filled with heartache and pain . . . until, at age eight, she met a strange dark-haired boy from the outside world. Years later, and reunited with her great love, Mae is ready to solder her heart to his. Finally, Mae is getting ready to marry her man. But her fiancé has become withdrawn. Something is deeply troubling him.
But Mae has no idea what.
Or what to do to help.

Can Styx open up and conquer his deepest pain? Or will the infamous Hangmen Mute allow his fears to overcome his love for Mae and watch their much-anticipated wedding crumble to dust?

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.

***I Do, Babe: A Novella (Hades Hangmen #5.5) is to be read AFTER Damnable Grace (Hades Hangmen #5)***

 


“Mae,” Bella whispered as I walked from the changing room and stood on the elevated plinth opposite my friends and sisters. The mirror was behind me, but I did not yet dare look at my reflection. I glanced at Bella sat beside Ruth, her mother-in-law and Rider’s mama. Her eyes were filling with tears as she stared at me. Her hands were in front of her mouth.
“Do you like it?” I ran my hand over my pronounced stomach.
Bella nodded. “You are perfect,” she whispered. Ruth nodded in agreement.
I looked at Maddie. “Madds?”
She smiled warmly. “You are beautiful, Mae, this dress only enhances that. But this gown could not suit you more if you tried.”
“Styx will love it,” Lilah said and held Grace tighter on her lap.
“You look like a Disney princess,” Grace said.
A hand came down on my arm. I turned to see Beauty behind me. “You ever gonna look in the mirror, darlin’?” She smiled. This boutique belonged to a friend of Beauty’s, and Beauty had practically organized my wedding for me. I was clueless where to even begin.
“You look good, Mae.” I smiled at Letti as she sat uncomfortably on the couch. She had told me she was here to support me, but she had no opinion in such matters as wedding dress shopping. Or anything girly, she’d said affectionately.
“Turn, honey,” Lilah said and I nodded my head. I had no idea why I was so nervous. I knew that Styx loved me and I loved him. I felt as though I had been waiting for this day my whole life. That I had been waiting for the day I finally cemented him as mine. Forever mine, and me forever his.
Closing my eyes, I turned, allowing Beauty to guide me. “You ready?” she whispered. I pulled up the image of Styx in my mind. Me in his arms as we lay in bed. His large tattooed arms holding me close as we spoke. His voice gruff and deep. Then I pictured us laughing. The infamous Hangmen Mute of the Hades Hangmen, so different with me than with anybody else. To others he was aloof, silent, and menacing. But to me, he was loving, caring, and the most beautiful soul in the world.
The other half of my heart.

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

BLOG TOUR, REVIEW AND EXCERPT – Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole

 

Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iBooks

Synopsis

EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE…

Secrets never stay hidden.

The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart.

Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined… with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope.

Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries.

As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace.

Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.

 Excerpt

“Well?” Ky asked.
Tanner ran his hand over his head. The brother hadn’t attended one of our cookouts or slutfests in weeks. Not that he ever entertained himself with sluts—still too hard for his piece of pussy down in Mexico. He’d been busy trying to track down Meister. Unlike most of the white-power shit Tanner and Tank grew up with, this Meister was untraceable and off the grid. As much of a computer whizz kid as Tanner was, Meister was proving to be one slippery fucking snake to pin down.
“Gotta be honest, I didn’t think I was anywhere close to finding anything on this prick.” Tanner nodded toward Tank. “We knew of him, of course. I knew he had dealings with my father and uncle, just never met him myself. He’s Aryan Brotherhood, but works closely with the Klan. And there’s nothing on him. No email traces, no invoices, no texts. Nothing.”
I gritted my teeth and glanced at Styx, who was listening closely. Ky wasn’t originally gonna tell the prez about the plan to get Phebe, because of his fucking wedding, but that didn’t last long. Styx knew something was up with his VP. He read him like I read Flame and Vike. So Ky fessed up, and Styx was all for the plan. He’d had to push his wedding back by a month anyhow to get the pastor Mae wanted to conduct the ceremony, so he had time to kill.
“But you found something?” Ky translated as Styx signed.
Tanner sighed, the black circles around his eyes showing how hard the brother had been working. “I got something.” He shook his head, and my blood ran cold. I knew whatever he had found wasn’t good.
Tanner opened the file in front of him and threw a photograph toward the prez. Styx looked at it, then gave it to Ky. “Some middle-of-nowhere ghost town?”
Ky passed the picture around. Vike handed it to me, and I studied it. It was an aerial shot, and the picture was grainy, but from what I could make out, it was just a huge piece of land scattered with decrepit old buildings.
I passed the picture along. “Fucker owns this?”
Tanner faced me. “Yeah, or at least his father did. He’s dead now, but the deeds are still in his father’s name. Been in the family for decades. Took me a while to trace it.” He shook his head. “Meister is notorious among the Klan. Right, Tank?”
“Yeah,” Tank agreed. “Never met him either, but we’d all heard of him. Prick has been mobilizing for years for the race war they think is coming. Real serious, Oklahoma-City-bomb shit. From what we’ve heard, the guy has a one-track mind when it comes to advancing the white race. You think Hitler was fucked up? Well, imagine if he had a kid who was one built motherfucker, with a fucking carbon copy of his psycho mind; and you’ve got Meister. Fucker ain’t even German. Just wishes he was, spouting German phrases around like he’s born and bred Berlin. Delusional asshole.”
“This ain’t gonna be easy,” Tanner finished, looking at me, Vike, Flame, Hush and Cowboy. It was the five of us who had agreed to go looking for Phebe. Hush and Cowboy nodded at me to let me know they were still in.
“So he’s in this ghost town?” Ky asked, translating Styx’s sign language again. “If so, we’ll all just go in and get him, make the fucker talk and tell us where he’s got Phebe.”
Tanner sat forward. “He ain’t just living in the ghost town or hiding out. That’s where he has his enterprise.”
“Enterprise?” Ky echoed. It was his own question this time.
Tanner nodded. “From what I can tell, it’s a fucking brothel. Members of the Aryan Brotherhood, Klan, or Klan sympathizers, can go there for a night or a few days at a time.” Tank shifted uncomfortably next to him. “Ain’t sure, but I’m thinking it ain’t just getting your dick sucked and fucked. It’ll be real fucked-up shit. If Meister’s reputation is anything to go by, we would be walking into an organized, armed hellhole.” Tanner’s eyes darkened. “I get the Klan has a reputation for being full of backward rednecks. I ain’t gonna lie—growing up, most of my father’s cronies were that way. Thick as fuck and couldn’t do shit without screwing it up. Skinheads, lower-ranked soldiers, you know?”
“But there were some members that weren’t,” Tank continued. He cast an embarrassed glance at Tanner. “We weren’t, for starters.”
Tanner nodded. “It’s not the norm, but some of us were good. Smart, strong fighters, or just outright fucking psychos. The skinheads and rednecks are the foot soldiers. The likes of us, the likes of Meister, are the fucking SS. The planners, leaders, the generals—the ones who believe in the cause so much that they’re fucking lethal with what they’ll do, what they’re capable of. Meister is true Aryan Brotherhood; he’s preparing for war. He’s the real fucking deal.”
“And now he’s in our neck of the woods to stir up shit?” I asked.
Tanner nodded. “Comes from northern Texas. Never moved our way before. But the Klan are building day by day, joining forces with other white supremacist gangs—like the Brotherhood—and with the shit that’s on the news twenty-four-seven, blacks and whites at each others throats, he’s moved to the headquarters.” The brother’s jaw clenched. “To my father and uncle, who’ll be protecting him from being found out by the feds.” He sighed and ran his hand down his face. “From what I can figure out, this ghost-town brothel of his has only existed in the last year or so. He’s looking to fund something.”
“They ain’t dealing guns?” Cowboy drawled. “I thought that’s what Rider said the contract with the cult was for?”
“Rider was sure it was guns. At least it was when he was dealing with the Klan—it was all about arms. The Klan was selling them on and taking a cut.”
“His fucking twin,” Hush spat. “He changed the arrangement, didn’t he? When Rider was locked up in cult prison?”
“Think so,” Tanner said after a few seconds of silence.
“Then what the fuck are they dealing? What was Judah giving them if not Israeli guns?”
“Women.”

 

 Whitney’s 4.5 Star Review

I never liked MC romance until I read Tillie Cole. I just couldn’t deal with the lifestyle and the way it was portrayed (whether or not it was authentic) and had no desire to read them. Then a guy name Styx and his group of rough, at times violent, but loveable guys showed up.

Five books in, I still get drawn into each book in this series more than the last. While I do have my favorite (#FlameWhore), I’ve had a special place in my heart for all of the Psycho Trio since book one. With AK’s story, we get to dive into the ex-military sniper’s past and just what turned him into the man he is now.

He and his love interest Phebe’s story is a wild ride of violence, suspense, heartbreak, love and self-forgiveness. Like Tillie’s other books in the series, it’s not easy to read. Themes of drug abuse, rape, torture and violence are woven into the story. I don’t often care for books with such detail but the author’s ability to create a sense of hope and redemption for her characters keeps it from being overwhelmingly dark for me.

I adore series like the Hangmen because each book builds on the last (yes, you must read in order) and while each book wraps up a story, it also gives clues into the next. Even though AK and Phebe are the main characters, honestly, my favorite parts of the book were still Flame and Maddie and their role with Ash. I cried, of course but they were tears of relief and happiness for these characters.  Phebe’s reunion with her sister and Grace was particularly moving.

Any fans of this series will find this a welcome addition to their Hangmen collection and I can’t wait for the next book! Not quite sure whose story it will be but I have some theories!

About the Author

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Author Links

 

 

Review Tour ~ The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry ~ Sarah A’s Review

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
Amazon US | Amazon UK

I am DEVASTATED this series (of completely independent stand-alones) is over.  Devastated.  Each book is so unique, each couple so wonderful, I fell deeply in love with each word and each story affected me deeply.  I am sure that these books are ones I will revisit when I need something that speaks to me on a soul level.

Graham and Lucy’s story was devastating and perfect in a way I didn’t even see coming.  They had both lost so much and continued to lose more than they deserved, but they let those losses mold them in completely different ways.  Their differences were the most beautiful part of their story.  Lucy was perhaps one of the most beautiful souls to have ever existed and she used the spirit that was inherently her to show Graham there was so much more to life than anyone had ever shown him.   Being on the journey with him as he learned how to trust, to open himself up, to truly love was a wonderful thing.

Just as important as Graham learning how to live and love was both Graham and Lucy learning that your family is so much more than the people with whom you share DNA.  I had no idea that the idea of family and the importance of that support system would play such an important role in this book, I am glad it did though.  The healing, the hope, the love Lucy and Graham needed to know could only be complete from people important to them in other roles of their lives.

After reading romance for years I found The Gravity of us to be wildly refreshing.  It didn’t rely on any of the tropes we’re so used to seeing, none of the devices to push a couple together that are used so often.  Yes, there was a little friction as Lucy and Graham figured out how to operate in the other’s comfort zone, but that is true for any couple that’s ever existed.  I appreciate how Brittainy C. Cherry slowly wove their souls and hearts together without ever taking the road that would have been arguably easier and more expected.

I’m in love with Brittainy C. Cherry’s writing.  I have read several of her books and each of them has imprinted itself on me in wonderful ways.  Her storytelling has a way of making me see things in a different light, of making me understand things in a way I would have never considered, it makes me feel like a more empathetic person.  With each word I read in her books I can feel the love she has for her craft and how she strives to make that art her own.  I can’t say enough about how deeply her writing makes me feel, but I will say that not taking the time to experience her work is doing a disservice to yourself.

 

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
(Now ONLY 99¢!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Lucy

We didn’t know how to act with one another after our first kiss. Our situation wasn’t the norm when it came to building a relationship. We did everything backward. I fell in love with a boy before our first kiss, and he fell for a girl who he wasn’t allowed to have. Our connection, our heartbeats, matched one another in our fairytale world, but in reality, society deemed us as an awful accident.

Maybe we were an accident—a mistake.

Maybe we were never supposed to cross each other’s paths.

Maybe he was only meant to be a lesson in life and not a permanent mark.

But still, the way he kissed me…

Our kiss was as if heaven and hell collided together, and each choice was right and wrong at the same exact time. We kissed as if we were making a mistake and the best decision all at once. His lips made me float higher, yet somehow descend. His breaths somehow made my heart beat faster as it came to a complete halt.

Our love was everything good and bad wrapped in one kiss.

A part of me knew I should’ve regretted it, but the way his lips warmed up the cold shadows of my soul…the way he left his mark on me…

I’d never regret finding him, holding him, even if we only had those few seconds as one.

He’d always be worth those tiny seconds we shared.

He’d always be worth that soul-connecting feeling we created when our lips touched.

He’d always be the one I spent my nights dreaming of being near.

He’d always be worth it to me.

Sometimes when your heart wanted a full-length novel, the world only gave you a novella, and sometimes when you wanted forever you only had those few seconds of now.

And all I could do, all anyone could ever do, was make each moment count.

After we went home that night, we didn’t talk about it at all. Not the following week, either. I focused on Talon. Graham worked on his novel. I believed both of us were waiting for the right time to come up for us to speak about it, but that was the tricky thing about timing: it was never right.

Sometimes you just had to leap and hope you didn’t fall.

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Newsletter

Release Blitz ~ Revelry by Kandi Steiner ~ Sarah A’s Review

Revelry, an all-new standalone from Kandi Steiner is now LIVE!!!

From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey:

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
Amazon US | Amazon UK

Sometimes after I’ve read a book I’ll go back and read other’s reviews, partially to see what they thought and partially as a way to process my own feelings in relation to those thoughts.  Usually, I feel similar to how other readers did, but occasionally I feel like I was reading something different than they did.  That is how this book felt for me.  I really liked Revelry, it was fun and sweet and, in my opinion, fairly light.  When I’d read the synopsis, I had been expecting something much heavier, so that may be why it felt so light.

Both Wren and Anderson were carrying that baggage of their pasts around with them, but only Wren was looking for a place to stow it away.  Anderson carried his like a penance, he was certain he was mean to do nothing but flounder under the weight of the guilt he thrust upon himself.  Witnessing the ways they dealt with their own pasts, both alone and together was what made this book for me.  It was interesting to see them both, slowly come to the realization that they needed the support of the other to sift through the weight of their pasts.

While I had hoped for more darkness and heavy themes, I think that Wren and Anderson’s story was exactly what it needed to be.  I loved that we got little parts of other people’s stories interwoven in Revelry and how Wren and Anderson used those love stories to help them work through their own.  Some of the most emotional parts of the book really had nothing to do with Wren and Anderson, and that was really wonderful, to me.

If I had one wish for this book, it would be to have more about Anderson’s past.  I felt like I knew Wren’s story so well, but I wasn’t nearly as in touch with Anderson’s.  Sure, the broad strokes were there, but I felt it was sugar-coated.  As I look back, I see that only knowing the surface of his story was very much in keeping with his personality, but a girl can always wish.

My favorite part of the book was the end, not because of an HEA, not because of who does or does not get together, but because it felt real.  There were no promises of forever, no guarantees that anyone would always be happy, but everyone had exactly what they needed, what made them happiest, in that moment.  And I loved that, no one is ever promised more than the happiness of a single moment and the fact that Kandi Steiner wrote her book in that way felt special and unique.

I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.

“Change your mind?” I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.

Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. “About?”

“Tubing?” I asked. That was why he was here, right?

“Oh.” He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. “No, I have somewhere to be…” His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I’d strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.

He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. “I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC.”

My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.

“No frills, Wren.”

I threw my hands up in surrender. “I promise.”

He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.

“I can’t,” he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.

I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.

Tucker was in the driver’s seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.

All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.

“Hey, you ready, Wren?” Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.

“Yeah, one sec!” I called back.

I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I ‘d tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.

Possession.

And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn’t let it go.

“Be careful, okay?” His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.

He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn’t acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he’d disappeared from view.

And then everyone looked at me.

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of the press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Newsletter