Tragic by Devney Perry ~ COVER REVEAL

Kaine Reynolds wants nothing more than solitude. After an unthinkable tragedy destroys his family, he’s cut off all ties to his former life so he can battle his grief the only way he knows how.

Alone.

So when Piper Campbell knocks on his door, rambling on about being his new neighbor, he slams the door in her face.

But Kaine’s gruff demeanor doesn’t scare her. She’s set on living in Montana and starting over after a terrible divorce. And she wouldn’t mind having a fling to chase away the pain of her husband’s betrayal. Her handsome, albeit rude, neighbor is the perfect candidate.

Yet what neither of them suspect is that their no-strings affair will result in the surprise of Piper’s lifetime—and Kaine’s worst fear.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES NOVEMBER 27  ***
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TITLE: Tragic
AUTHOR: Devney Perry

SERIES: Lark Cove, book 3
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2018

Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.

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Willa Doon has always been shy. Her quiet demeanor was something she’s always embraced. That is, until Jackson Page moves to town. The one man she desperately wants to take notice struggles to remember her name.

Year after year, Willa stands by, watching as the bartender slash playboy drowns his demons in beer and sex. Then one night, he shows up at her door, suddenly aware that the girl he’s seen around Lark Cove is now a beautiful woman.

Except what he doesn’t remember is that this visit isn’t his first. They spent a night together once before. A night he’s forgotten, thanks to a bottle of tequila.

A night that crushed a timid girl’s heart, and set a broken man on the path to heal them both.

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Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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Take Me Again by Carly Phillips ~ Book Announcement

Sebastian Knight has a talent for closing the deal-in the boardroom  . . . and in the bedroom.

We have Surprise book news!

Take Me Again, an all-new, sexy contemporary standalone from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is coming January 22, 2019. Get ready to meet her swooniest hero yet.

He’s used to getting what he wants . . . but she’s going to make him work for it.

Sebastian Knight is a closer. Be it a real estate deal or the woman of his choice, everything he wants is his for the taking.
Sexy and irresistible,  a wink, a smile, or a handshake always seals the deal.
Until everything unravels around him.

After Ashley Easton’s social-climbing mother married into the Knight family, Ashley knew better than to get involved with sexy, trouble making Sebastian Knight but their attraction is undeniable, their chemistry intense, and in a moment of weakness, she turns to him, a mistake that cost her her home and her family. After she was sent away, she swore she’d never come back.

Sebastian never expected to see Ashley, the one woman he’s never been able to get over, again.

When she walks back into his life at the worst possible time, more beautiful than ever, he’s ready for a second chance. She’s sassy and sexy everything he’s ever desired. And she’s back for good. Except Ashley wants nothing to do with the playboy who broke her heart. Too bad his sex appeal makes it harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

Sebastian Knight might have a talent for sealing the deal but this is one game he’s going to have to work to win.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES JANUARY 22, 2019  ***
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TITLE: Take Me Again
AUTHOR: Carly Phillips
GENRE: Contemporary Romance standalone
RELEASE DATE: January 22, 2019

COVER DESIGNER: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
PHOTOGRAPHER: Sara Eirew, Sara Eirew Photographer

Carly Phillips is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Guilty as Sin by Meghan March ~ Sarah A’s Review

Guilty until proven innocent.

That’s the way the world works, right?

I’m tired of being convicted without evidence, all because my last name is Gable.

The Riscoffs might own this town, but I’m done following their rules.

If only I could forget just how easily Lincoln Riscoff can drag me under his spell.

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Oh my gosh. I have so many theories and thoughts and, this book did nothing but make me more wrapped up in all the entanglements of Gable. Whitney and Lincoln are working against some horrible odds, but even with the wrath of so many outside forces converging against their relationship they managed to begin understanding they were worth more than what everyone thought.

Guilty as Sin popped us right into Whitney and Lincoln’s story exactly where we’d left off in Richer than Sin, and I was immediately wrapped up in all the energy, secrets, and intrigue that had been built in the previous book. Meghan March did a fabulous job of giving just enough info to refresh my memory concerning the major plot points of the story without making it feel awkward or obvious. I was very thankful for the memory jog since it had been a minute since I’d read Richer than Sin.

I loved Whitney’s growth arc in Guilty as Sin; for a little time as passed in this book, she realized a lot about herself, what she’d been through, and what she was going to demand from the future. Whitney really seemed to grow into her own in this book, and I was beginning to see what a strong, independent woman she was under all the BS other people had heaped upon her for most of her life.

Lincoln redeemed himself a lot in this book; I wasn’t sure how much I liked him in Richer than Sin, so it was nice to see a different side of him in this one. He, too, began to peel back all the layers of façade society had pressed upon him to reveal who he was at the core of his being.

Guilty as Sin is the second book in Meghan March’s Sin Trilogy. These books are all about one couple, a single story told across three volumes and must be read in order for comprehension. Guilty as Sin is written in dual first-person perspective, alternating between the past and present, narrated by Whitney and Lincoln.

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a brand new saga of forbidden love and second chances.

A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.

Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes.

I didn’t know or care what her name was.

Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man.

She hates me, and she should.

I objected on her wedding day.

Now she’s home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there’s no ring on her finger.

They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after . . . but I’m not done with Whitney Gable.

I’ll never be done with her.

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Whitney Gable is the kind of woman you fight to the death to protect.

To keep.

To cherish.

I’ve finally learned my lesson, and it’s time to prove I’m the man who’s worthy of her.

I don’t care what it takes, because failure is not an option.

No matter who or what stands in our way—this time, she’ll be mine forever

Reveling in Sin ~ RELEASE DATE: October 23
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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

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No Tomorrow by Carian Cole ~ RELEASE BOOST

♥︎ An Emotional New STANDALONE by Carian Cole ♥︎
No Tomorrow by Carian Cole is available now!
Get your tissues ready…

The people we love are thieves.
They steal our hearts. They steal our breath.
They steal our sanity.
And we let them.
Over and over and over again.
*********************************************
They say you never forget your first time.
Mine was with a homeless musician who effed my brains out under a bridge.

He was my first love. And fourteen years later, I still can’t get him out of my head.

He broke all my rules.
He also broke my heart.

I watched him climb to stardom, cheering him on from afar.
But I was never a fan; just a girl in love.

Like a tornado, he spiraled, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

But love conquers all, right? It has to. Because here I stand, ravaged and ruined, needing it to be true.

You can’t go back, but I want to. Back to the bridge. Back to when he sang only for me. Before he was famous. Before he shattered my heart.

I thought I knew everything about him.
But I could not have been more wrong.

He promised me every tomorrow. And here I am, waiting.
And hoping.
Again.

***  AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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No Tomorrow was heartbreakingly beautiful.  Ms. Cole drew me in from the beginning of this book and didn’t let me go until it was finished.  In the moments I was forced to put it down to tend to life I couldn’t stop thinking about Piper and Blue (Evan).  Their story was full of pain, angst, and undying love and spoke to my soul in a way few books are able.  I felt like this was an important story to tell for so many reasons and is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year.

At the heart of it No Tomorrow is a sweeping love story, but in reality, it is so much more than that.  It’s a tale of hurt and healing, of loyalty and loss, of freedom and forever; No Tomorrow traversed the deep waters of anguish and joy with equal grace, and I was enamored with the extent of emotion this book drug me through.  My heart both wept with tears of happiness for the kind of love Piper and Evan shared and was shattered by the torture they had to endure because of that love.

Mental illness is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart.  I love it when I read a book that treats it with respect and brings awareness to what living with it is like, rather than using it as a crutch to make a character quirky.  Carian Cole did a phenomenal job of portraying what the life of someone suffering from mental illness is like and how it affects everyone around them.  I am absolutely in awe of how wonderful this book was, and I know I’ll be thinking about No Tomorrow for some time.

No Tomorrow was gritty and angsty; it dealt with some of the hardest subject matter there is, but never once did any of those things feel like they were used gratuitously.  Each time the book delved into mental illness, drug use, or profound depression it was moving the story forward, giving the reader clarity to what loving someone who suffers from those afflictions can be like.  It was often gut-wrenching, but I loved that Piper dealt with Evan and his demons with dignity and never let the bad come between them.

While I own several Carian Cole books, No Tomorrow is the first of her works that I’ve read, and I was completely blown away.  The writing was fabulous, the story astonishing in its beauty and depth, and the characters amongst some of the most well-developed I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in romance.  This story, this author, this writing will be the standard by which similar books are measured, for me, for a very long time.

I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts.

My first novel in the best-selling Ashes & Embers series, Storm, published in September of 2014. I have many books and sequels slated for this series. My new spin-off series, Devils Wolves, launched in 2016 with the best-selling novel, Torn. There are several books planned for this series as well.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.

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Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan ~ Sarah A’s Review

A gripping, exquisitely romantic new standalone by New York Times bestselling author Mia Sheridan!

Dane was her first kiss and the only man she ever loved . . . until their marriage crashed and burned. Now Audra has built a quiet life for herself running a flower shop she’s put her whole heart into. But Audra is left reeling when an unexpected circumstance brings Dane back into her world. He’s still as breathtaking as he ever was, and he still affects her more than any man she’s ever known. Yet learning to trust him again could be a matter of life and death . . .

When Dane offers to fly his ex-wife from California to Colorado to help correct a wrong, he never imagined the harrowing twist of fate awaiting them. When their plane goes down in the snowy mountain wilderness, Dane and Audra are stranded with no one to turn to but each other. Will their second crash end their lives—or save their souls?

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Mia Sheridan’s Signs of Love series are amongst some of the most wonderfully touching and poignant romances I’ve had the pleasure of reading and Dane’s Storm lived up to my lofty expectations of the author and the series. Dane and Audra’s story held the kind of pain and heartbreak that can only be expressed by a person who’s lived through the worst kind of pain and came out the other side stronger. I loved how beautifully Ms. Sheridan dealt with the darkest aspects of this book and left so much room for hope after devastation for her characters.

Amuck. Amuck. Amuck. Amuck. My emotions pulled a total Sarah Sanderson while I was reading this book. My heart was torn in a different direction with each page turn. From anger to joy, fear to hope, despondence to devotion, Ms. Sheridan dragged me – right alongside her characters – through almost every extreme a person can experience. She has an uncanny knack for making her readers feel as if each feeling the characters experience are their own.

I have a fondness for second-chance romances, especially when the reason for the initial break-up between the characters is as horrific as the one Dane and Audra experienced. I also love books where, for the most part, the hero and heroine are the only human characters in the book. The isolation heightens everything and makes each moment feel more intense and poignant. Dane’s Storm delivered so much on both fronts; I was completely swept up in the heartbreak of their past and the intense and consuming situation that forced them to confront the things they had refused to deal with.

Dane’s Storm was a unique storyline, as far as what I have read in romance. The survival aspect of their reconnection made everything feel more necessary as if had their reconciliation was a matter of life and death. I was enamored by how Ms. Sheridan used that acute dynamic to acknowledge all the things they’d try to suppress and deny existed. It was beautiful and touching to watch them reconnect without the interference of the outside world.

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

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NEW RELEASE!! Redemption by Georgia Cates ~ Sarah A’s Review

I was on my way to having everything that I wanted… until I opened that door. That’s when my entire world shattered. In a single second, my happy life was gone.

She broke my heart. There, I admit it. But a Fellowship man doesn’t mourn the loss of a woman. He moves on to the next one. And the next. But what I quickly discover is that it doesn’t matter how many women I’m with. I’ll never find one who can replace Lorna Frazier.

I’ve been an arse, doing everything within my power to hurt her. And I’ve been successful at it. But it doesn’t heal the pain of losing the woman that I love. She is my everything, and I’m nothing without her.

Apart, we’re weak. Together, we’re strong.
Apart, we’re in hell. Together, we’re in heaven.
Apart, we’re broken. Together, we’re whole.

I won’t give up on us.

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I feel like I’ve been waiting for FOR-EV-ER for Lorna and Leith’s happy ending. Their relationship or lack thereof has been peppered throughout the previous novels in this series, and every time we got a glimpse of how much pain they were both in while they were apart my heart bled for them. There was never any doubt in my mind they belonged together, and I am so happy to have finally been witness to their happily ever after.

Lorna and Leith had already experienced more than their share of heartache and devastation in this series, so I was happy we got to see them try to work their issues out right from the beginning. They already had so much to overcome, regarding the ghosts of their pasts, they didn’t need another obstacle to overcome to start their love affair anew.

Of course, this is a book set in the world of the mafia, so it isn’t without a little suspense and violence, but even that helped to bring Lorna and Leith to a place of complete understanding and forgiveness, and it helped to solidify what they always knew about one another. I loved how Georgia Cates highlighted both characters’ strengths through each hardship they encountered and how Leith and Lorna learned to appreciate one another on a deeper level than ever before.

Redemption is the sixth and final book in Georgia Cates’ Sin series. This book can be read as a standalone, but I feel like to truly understand the depth and impact of their relationship over the years it should be read after the other books. (Plus, they’re fantastic, so it’s well worth it.) Redemption is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Leith and Lorna.

A Necessary Sin – The Sin Trilogy #1
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The Next Sin – The Sin Trilogy #2
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One Last Sin – The Sin Trilogy #3
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Endurance – A Sin Series Standalone
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Unintended – A Sin Series Standalone
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Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

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NOW AVAILABLE!! Guilty as Sin by Meghan March

Guilty until proven innocent.

That’s the way the world works, right?

I’m tired of being convicted without evidence, all because my last name is Gable.

The Riscoffs might own this town, but I’m done following their rules.

If only I could forget just how easily Lincoln Riscoff can drag me under his spell.

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From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a brand new saga of forbidden love and second chances.

A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.

Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes.

I didn’t know or care what her name was.

Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man.

She hates me, and she should.

I objected on her wedding day.

Now she’s home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there’s no ring on her finger.

They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after . . . but I’m not done with Whitney Gable.

I’ll never be done with her.

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Whitney Gable is the kind of woman you fight to the death to protect.

To keep.

To cherish.

I’ve finally learned my lesson, and it’s time to prove I’m the man who’s worthy of her.

I don’t care what it takes, because failure is not an option.

No matter who or what stands in our way—this time, she’ll be mine forever

Reveling in Sin ~ RELEASE DATE: October 23
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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

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If We Fly by Nina Lane ~ Sarah A’s Review

The past won’t let her go.

When Josie Mays returned to her hometown of Castille, Maine, she wanted to say goodbye to the past and start a new future. Then the “past” loomed up in the form of Cole Danforth, Josie’s former love who has now turned into a ruthless CEO out for revenge on the town that failed him.

Though Josie is convinced her ocean-loving boy still exists behind Cole’s toughened veneer, Cole is determined to shut her out. But not even this cold tycoon can resist the cherry-sweet, talented artist he once loved with his whole heart.

Just as Josie and Cole are starting to find their way back to each other, the tragedy that tore them apart years ago returns to threaten everything they are. And when Josie discovers the secret Cole has been keeping, his worst nightmare comes true.

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If We Fly was a sweet, intriguing conclusion to Nina Lane’s What if duet. It tied up all the loose ends from the first book and gave us an incredibly satisfying end to Josie and Cole’s story. It was a pretty short read and every moment of it was full of love, answers, healing, and hope for the future.

Nina Lane packed an emotional punch into If We Fly, in many ways. Some moments were so beautiful they made my heart skip a beat, and there were times when the revelations were so heartwrenching the pain Josie and Cole were experiencing was palpable. Ms. Lane did a remarkable job of conveying the range of feelings her characters were going through in this book and took her readers on that roller coaster right along with them.

I loved that Ms. Lane didn’t add a lot of added drama and suspense to If We Fly. There was already so much going on with Josie trying to recover her memory, the town’s perception and treatment of Cole, and the tenuous rekindling of the relationships in Josie’s life, anything else would have felt gratuitous and unnecessary. Focusing only on healing from the mistakes of their shared pasts made this story more poignant than it would have been if any other elements had been brought in.

If We Fly is the third book in Nina Lane’s What If duet. These books are one story written in three installments – If We Leap, the prequel novella telling the story of Josie and Cole’s relationship ten years ago – and must be read in order; If We Leap isn’t strictly necessary to the understanding of the second and third books but does add a level of understanding about the extent of their love and devotion to one another. If We Fly is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Josie and Cole.

What If duet PREQUEL

***  FREE  ***
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We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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Perversion by TM Frazier ~ Excerpt Reveal

USA Today best-selling author of the King series, TM Frazier, brings you an all-new trilogy with an anti-hero you’re going to love to hate and a ballsy heroine with tricks up her sleeve.

PERVERSION, book one in the all-new Perversion trilogy is coming September 25th and we have the first sneak peek for you!

Love is supposed to be magical.

Ours is suicidal.

The first time I met Emma Jean Parish,

she conned me into taking her p*ssy.

Her 𝑐𝑎𝑡

When she was sixteen,

she manipulated me into giving her

her very first kiss.

At eighteen she gave me 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.

She’s a con artist.

I’m a criminal.

I use her.

She manipulates me.

The attraction between us is explosive.

When it detonates

we could both wind up dead.

PERVERSION IS BOOK ONE IN THE PERVERSION TRILOGY
BOOK TWO: POSSESSION

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES SEPTEMBER 25  ***
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Emma Jean

When I was younger, I fell in love with magic. I learned every card trick there was from library books and unmasking magic TV specials. I used to put on shows for Gabby that included escaping from complicated knots and trick handcuffs. But what’s magic besides a sleight of hand?

It’s a lie.

And lying is what I’m damn good at.

My ability to spin a tall tale or two lead to stealing wallets and conning people into taking stray pets for the thrill of it. Now, I’m using it to earn for Marco. The thrill is there, but it’s muted, hindered, lost under his pile of mounting threats.

The inside of the casino smells like stale cigarettes, spilled beer, and burnt coffee. We’re not supposed to be in here. It’s Bedlam territory. But that’s also why it’s perfect.

It isn’t like anyone would recognize us here.

We’ve made friends with a few of the cocktail waitresses by giving them a small cut, and they don’t ask questions or ring any alarms when they see us working. I’ve also been straightening my hair over the last few years since my crazy curls stand out like a reflector on a dark highway. I’ve dyed it a few shades darker than my normal honey blonde to help blend in.  

Tonight is starting off well. Gabby and I are working a con we’ve run a few times before.

Gabby walks away, her long dark hair swooshing behind her. She gives me a nod as she passes me by on the slot machine I’m pretending to play. She’s just faked losing an expensive engagement ring at another slot machine. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she frantically looked around for it, then loudly announced a thousand-dollar reward would be waiting at the casino cage for whoever returned it.

She is flawless. She should be an actress. And in another life, she would be.

But we don’t live in another life.

We live in Lacking and belong to Los Muertos.

Our lives are not our own.

A few people casually look around the area, then return to their machines when they don’t find the ring Gabby was ranting about. They won’t either. Because it’s not there.

Yet.  

It’s go time.

I strut over to the area Gabby just left and put a dollar in the machine. While the wheels spin, I pretend to pick up the dime store ring I already have in my hand. By the time the machine dings to tell me I’ve lost my dollar, I’m turning the ring over, inspecting it like I don’t have half a dozen more just like it in my drawer back at the apartment.

“Would you look at that?” I mutter to myself loud enough so others around me can hear.  

A man in an Adidas jumpsuit with a potbelly taps me on the shoulder. “I’ll take that. I saw the woman who dropped it. I’ll go return it to her.”

Liar. You just want the reward.

“That’s so nice of you,” I say. I hold it out, about to drop it into his hand when I pull it back. “I bet there’s a reward for something this valuable.” I start to walk around the man. “I’ll take it up to management. Maybe, they know…”

“Here,” the man says, holding up a hundred-dollar bill. “Take this. I’ll take it to her. I just…you know, as I said, I want to make sure it gets back to the right person.”

You’re not even a good liar.

Sometimes, it’s just too freaking easy. And this scam wasn’t even an Emma Jean and Gabby original. We saw it a long time ago in a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Doesn’t anyone else watch movies?

I shrug and pass him the ring. Plucking the bill from his hand, I tuck it into my bra. “Thanks,” I say before quickly making my way toward the large glass front doors. It’s Thursday. Marco’s money is due in two days, and we’re short this week.

Really short.

I walk slowly and wave goodbye to the valets with a smile on my face. “Any luck, tonight?” One asks me.

“I think so,” I answer with a smile. Once I’m down the sidewalk and out of view, I scramble to the side of the casino where I kick off my heels and change from the sequined dress I’d stolen from a dry-cleaner into a pair of cut-off shorts and my yellow Keds.

Now, all I have to do is wait for Gabby.  

I don’t have to wait long.

“Run!” Gabby yells, darting from the doors of the casino with two large men wearing tight black security t-shirts close behind. Running from security is terrifying enough, knowing that we’re running from members of the Bedlam Brotherhood kicks it up a notch.

I grab my backpack and sling it across my shoulders. I move as fast as I can until I’m running right alongside her. We race through the gates, cross the street, narrowly avoiding being hit by two cars. We duck into a hole in a fence and run through one backyard after the other.

“One of those cunt waitresses must have tipped them off!” Gabby says, through shallow breaths. She’s barefoot in a black mini-dress hiked up to her ass to give her long legs room to run. Her long thick hair is wrapped around her face, sticking to her mouth.

We hit the sixth backyard. Without another word, we separate behind a clothesline. We’ve mapped out this escape plan a thousand times, but this is the first time we’ve ever had to use it.

When I make it into the central part of town, to the Los Muertos/Bedlam border, I can no longer hear the shouts of the security guards. I lost them.

Hopefully, Gabby did, too.

I use a tower of stacked-up wooden pallets on the sidewalk like a ladder to scale a concrete wall, then drop down into the alley.

I grow more panic-stricken the longer I wait for Gabby. I bite the inside of my lip, pacing back and forth along the high wall. The Bedlam Brotherhood runs the security at the casino. If they catch her and find out who she is? Or worse? Who her brother is? They’ll… I shake the thought from my mind. She’ll be fine.

She HAS to be fine.

Please be okay, Gabby. Please.

I’m trying to catch my breath and pull myself together when I hear a clink echo through the alley as if someone dropped some spare change, followed by the sound of something heavy dropping to the asphalt.

“Gabby?” I ask into the darkness. Thinking it’s her, relief washes over me like rain on a barren desert.  

My only answer is the flickering of a fluorescent light mounted high on the roof’s edge of the adjoining building. And the hiss of what sounds like a cat behind a dumpster.

I walk over and peer around it.  “Gabby? Are you hurt? Say something!” I whisper-shout.

Someone moves from within the shadow.  “Get out here, Gabby. We’ve got to go before Mar…”

The light flickers again, for just a second. That second is all I need to see that the someone slowly stalking toward me is not Gabby.  

It’s a man…twice my size.

“Who are you?” I ask, shuffling backward as the man cloaked in a black leather hood emerges from the shadows. The front of his jacket is open. Underneath, he’s shirtless, covered in a sheen of sweat, and more tattoos than visible skin all the way up the front of his throat. His muscled chest and abs flex with each step he takes. The hood shadows most of his face, but when the lights flicker again, yellow eyes glow from within.

And they’re locked on me.

My ‘save your ass’ mode kicks in.

The man is blocking the only exit. My only other chance of escape is to scale the same wall I used to drop into the alley.

I keep moving backward as he approaches until my back hits the wall. I look left and right for something to use to climb on.

There’s nothing but emptiness.

My stomach sinks, but surrender is not an option.

I swallow hard as the alarm bells scream in my head for me to run. Somewhere. Anywhere.

There’s nowhere to go!

My legs tremble. Fear crawls like a million spiders along the backs of my legs. I push myself further against the wall as if I can squish the feeling away, but it’s useless.

Fear consumes me. Swallows me whole.

He continues toward me. As he gets closer, I realize it’s not just sweat glistening on his skin. There’s something else splattered across the tattoos on his chest and on his stubbled jaw.  

It almost looks like wet paint.

My breathing stops when he’s close enough that I can make out the tattoo on the front of his throat.

A bleeding black rose.

The symbol of the Bedlam Brotherhood.

I’ve heard stories about Grim. The man in the hood. The executioner for Bedlam. They were all terrifying, but not nearly as terrifying as the reality of coming face to face with the man himself.

“We didn’t do anything,” I blurt. “I mean, we did, but it wasn’t a big deal. I’ll…I’ll give the money back. Just tell your men not to hurt my friend. It was all my idea. Let her go, and you can take me.”  

“Who the fuck are you?” he asks. His voice is so thick and deep I feel it more than hear it. Shivers erupt all over my body.

He raises his arm, revealing a long curved blade.

For the first time in my life, I can’t seem to be able to hide my fear with my wit or sarcasm. My throat tightens. I can’t swallow, never mind speak. I’ve lost my words completely, along with my nerve.

The man’s blade drips red onto the pavement from the serrated tip.

Every fear response I didn’t even know I had runs rampant. I’m holding my breath. My muscles tense as if running was still an option. The hairs on my arms and the back of my neck prickle my skin as they stand on end. I raise up to my tip-toes and push back, trying to make myself disappear into the wall.

I glance from the knife back to his chest, then back again. The splatters across his skin?

It’s not fucking paint.

Before I can process what the hell is happening, he switches from slow-stalking mode into hyper-speed, pinning my wrists above my head. His hard, bloodied chest pushes against me, smearing blood across my white tank top, forcing the back of my head to connect roughly with the wall.  

“I’ll only ask you this one more time. Who the fuck are you?” His low guttural growl rattles my bones.

His unblinking, angry, golden eyes lock onto mine. Without the fluorescent light, they’re more golden brown than a glowing yellow. As much as I want to, I can’t look away. He could be the last person I ever see.

The thought is just the spike of adrenaline I need.

“Let me go,” I say, finally finding my words. I try and jerk my wrists from his grip with no luck. I’m trapped. My fear and anger rise to the surface, but I shove it back down. Fear won’t get me out of this situation, so it will have to wait for its damned turn.

He digs his rough fingers into my skin. “Answer me. Who the fuck are you?”

The bite of pain only makes me angrier. I throw his question back at him. “Who the fuck are you?”   

He glances down at my rapidly rising and falling chest before pinning me with his stare. The corner of his mouth tugs up in a half-smirk.

“So much confidence for someone who’s trembling,” he says with an amused glint shining in his demonic eyes.

I shrug. “Maybe, I’m just not a fan of enclosed spaces,” I say through gritted teeth.

“You didn’t answer me,” he says.

“Why do you have blood all over you?” I answer him with yet another question. “You know, if you were committing some kind of crime back there, you should be more careful. I recommend a bleach bath and death by fire for your clothes the first chance you get. If it’s self-harm, I’m sure there’s a helpline you can call.”

He cocks his head to the side. His nostrils flare. His face is only inches away. I can feel the heat from his body against mine. His cool breath flutters against my neck.

I’ve never been this close to a man before. My trembling grows. My inner thighs shake sending a rippling wave of something very unfamiliar coursing through the center my body.  I try and press my legs together to stop it from happening again, but when he uses his knee to wedge my legs apart, caging me in even further, it only grows, uncoiling from within like a slinky being pulled apart at the ends.  

I swallow hard as the stubble of his jaw presses against my neck.

“Name,” he demands, his voice raspier than before.

I shut my eyes tight for a beat, trying to gain composure, control, something that will help me as I try and reason my way out of this. “Listen, I didn’t see anything,” I blurt. “That is if you did anything. I’m not going to call the police if that’s what you’re worried about. I wouldn’t anyway, even if I saw something, which I didn’t.”

His brows knit together in a harsh line. “Why?”

His question confuses me.

“Why what?”

“Why wouldn’t you tell the police?”

Because Marco owns them.

“Let’s just say that I haven’t exactly been a model citizen myself tonight. Let’s face it. If the police around here weren’t being paid not to do their jobs, half this town would be locked up.” I take a deep, shaky breath. “Especially people like us.”  

He stills. There’s no more talking. Only heavy breathing and a battle of wills. He releases one of my hands. I think he’s reaching for his knife. My blood turns cold. I can feel my face pale as my heart starts beating as faster and faster as if it wants to get in as many as possible before the end.

I’m surprised when he doesn’t go for his knife. Instead, his hand travels slowly down my chest into my cleavage.

“No, don’t!” I say, but it’s too late, he’s already yanked on my locket.

“Please just give it back, and let me go,” I plead. Feeling like it’s my real heart he’s torn from my chest. “It’s the only thing in this world that means anything to me. Besides my best friend, it’s all I have.”

I hate the desperation in my voice, but it’s the truth.

He’s silent for a moment. He raises his arms. I flinch, raising my arms over my face defensively. But when nothing happens, I lower them, just in time to see him push back his hood, revealing his face.  

“Why?” I ask, closing my eyes knowing full well that the only time a criminal reveals himself to a witness is right before they take them out.

“Look at me,” he demands, holding my face in his hand.  

“No!” I say, shutting my eyes tighter.

“Look at me!” he bellows. He’s on me again. This time, he holds my head in his large rough hands. “Open your fucking eyes so you can see me.”

With no other choice than to get my head squished like a turtle under a car tire, I do as he demands. Opening my eyes, I blink through the haze, and when it clears, I’m met with tousled, medium-length, light brown hair, slicked back on the top, shorn close to head on the sides. His nose is slightly crooked like it’s been broken a few times before. The stubble on his square, defined jaw is a few days over needing a shave. A jagged scar runs through his chin like an angry white lightning bolt.

He’s the most fucking beautifully terrifying man I’ve ever seen.

He’s searching my eyes for something, but I don’t know what.

“Why?” I ask in a whisper.   

His hands release mine, but he doesn’t step back. He leans in closer, speaking against my cheek in a rumble of a whisper. The strange feeling from earlier comes back as a zap of electricity bouncing around my insides looking for somewhere to ground.

I’m breathing heavy. Our lips are so close, almost touching. He slides one hand off my face, snaking it around my neck, pulling me closer. He starts to answer in a rumble of a whisper, causing goosebumps to rise on my already prickled skin. “Because I want you to see the face of the man who’s just—”    

“Where the fuck are you?” calls Gabby from the other side of the wall. “I lost them!”

The moment, whatever it is, is now broken. The man releases me so suddenly I brace myself against the wall to keep from falling. I turn my head toward her voice.

“Gabby!” I shout back.

My heart is beating out of control. Out of habit, I raise my hand to my chest, seeking familiar comfort.

I look up.  The man in the hood is gone.

And so is my locket.

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier never dreamed that a single person would ever read a word she wrote when she published her first book. Now, she is a five-time USA Today bestselling author and her books have been translated into numerous languages and published all around the world.

T.M. enjoys writing what she calls sexy‘wrongside of the tracks romance’ with morally corrupt anti-heroes and ballsy heroines.

Her books have been described as raw, dark and gritty. Basically, what that means, is while some authors are great at describing a flower as it blooms, T.M. is better at describing it in the final stages of decay.

She loves meeting her readers, but if you see her at an event please don’t pinch her because she’s not ready to wake up from this amazing dream.

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Desolate by Autumn Grey ~ COVER REVEAL

There are angels and demons at war inside my head.

I had it all figured out: finish high school, attend seminary and finally answer my calling of becoming a priest. What I hadn’t counted in the equation was her.

Grace Miller.

The girl who was always out of my reach. The girl who still makes me lose my breath with just a look.

Little did I know she would become my temptation and vice, and quite possibly, my ruin.

Now I’m standing at a crossroads, and my head is a battlefield. How do I choose sides when it means losing a part of who I am?

TITLE: Desolate
SERIES: Grace Trilogy #1
AUTHOR: Autumn Grey
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 24, 2018
COVER DESIGN: Okay Creations

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/11138990262/playlist/4kSZVzW9ZuVHxPU5jr55bh

Autumn Grey is the author of Havoc, Obliterate, Mend (Havoc series) and Fall Back Skyward. And just like her characters, she is quirky, sometimes funny and definitely flawed. She writes sexy contemporary romances full of drama, steamy kisses and happy ever afters.

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