Excerpt Tour ~ Figure Eight by Calia Read

figure-eightDear Selah,

Do you remember me?

Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.

I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.

Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.

Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.

Everyone but Jackson.

He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.

But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.

Yours Truly,
Figure 8

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      From that first e-mail Jackson sent you, love attacked. And now you were given two choices: continue the conversation or ignore him and go about your life.

We both know what your decision was on that.

You take your phone with you everywhere. Even when it doesn’t ring you glance at the screen on the off chance that you somehow missed a text or call. Sometimes, and you’d be mortified if anybody found this out, you fall asleep clutching your phone. You’ve even had a few late night talks that ended up with you falling asleep with your phone to your ear like some love-struck high schooler.

Right now you’re a walking cliché. And you know it too. I can tell when you think about Jackson because your cheeks turn pink. You feel ridiculous yet you can’t help yourself.

What did I tell you, hmm? I knew you’d like my gift. I’d like to say that you can’t remember the last time you felt this way but I’d be lying. If you dug deep enough, you’d remember.

But I’m wasting time. Back to you. It’s been just mere days since you first started talking to Jackson. The spectacle between the two of you is so sweet, anyone within a mile radius of you and Jackson are liable to get a fucking cavity. No one would ever guess the two of you have just started talking. That’s how intense it was between the two of you.

I don’t mind it. I find it quite fascinating; gone are the days of you being a Negative Nelly. Jackson is your passport to a whole other world, one where you’re allowed to look at your problems in a whole other light. You’re a glass half-full kind of person. You haven’t found a job, yet you’re handling it well. Your savings account is slowly drying up. Yesterday, when you weren’t looking, I glanced at your bank account. I give it one month. Tops. Before you admit defeat and cancel Internet. After that it’s just a matter of time before creditors start knocking on you door.

Yet you moved some money around and wrote down a reminder to cancel the cable. And I could see you thinking to yourself. Shit. Will the Internet be next? 

But let’s be honest, you’re in bad times. But not that bad.

It sounds strange but I feel a bit conceited because this is going exactly how I planned. Nothing really fazes you.  Look at each new day as a fresh start. Last week I saw you write a few times this past week. It was nothing major but for a while it was getting to a point where a few words within a week felt like progress. You even sent Jackson a few chapters to read.

Simply put, you were starting to have a spark back in your eyes.

Yet you’re being greedy with my gift. A little too zealous if I’m being honest. You enjoy my gifts left, right, front and center and you take every single on. Yet you continue not to see me. But don’t worry, whether you like it or now, we’re going to meet.

Because I love you so much I feel the need to warn you to slow down because you’ve never seen the dark side of love. You’ve never seen how twisted and malignant it can become. How it can eat you alive from the inside out. How it can drive you completely and utterly insane.

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13319891_838523882920080_9005192063279712585_nCalia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW AND $100 GC GIVEAWAY – The Storm by R.J. Prescott

The Storm by R. J. Prescott

(The Hurricane #3)
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports 

Synopsis:

Marie Kelly is a survivor who doesn’t know when to quit. Against all odds, she’s living a life she never dreamed she could have. It was enough… until a stubborn boxer makes her want more.

Irish charmer Kieran Doherty has been a fighter at Driscoll’s Gym for most of his life. He’s been content to let his best friend take the spotlight, now it’s his turn to make a name for himself in the world of heavy weight champions. Falling in love is the one thing he vowed never to do, but meeting Marie changed everything.

It’s easy to imagine a happy-ever-after when the sun is shining. But when the storm comes, and all hope seems lost, they both learn that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to fight for it.

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Whitney’s 4.5 Star Review

4.5 Stars for one my most anticipated books of 2017!

Gah! I’ve been waiting for Kieran’s book since The Hurricane was first published. R.J. Prescott created an entire brood of hot, Irish boxers (and their friends) that you just want to keep reading about. I do recommend reading The Hurricane and The Aftermath (at least book one) if you think you want to read the whole series. You’ll get some good background info on Kieran and his lucky lady, Marie.

Marie is such a sweet heroine. I loved her in previous books and am so happy she is the one to get Kieran and all his sexy. Honestly, with Kieran, what you see is what you get. We’ve gotten to know him pretty well from previous books so it’s no surprise that he’s a total sweetheart, insanely sexy and protective of his friends. He wasn’t looking for a girlfriend but when he falls, he falls hard for Marie.

She’s actually the hold out in the relationship for quite a while and to keep this spoiler free, I’ll keep my mouth shut about the rest of the storyline. I would like to request (i.e. beg) for a potential spin-off for her brothers though (you listening, R.J. ?). They’re hilarious and inappropriate and stole some of the scenes they are in.

There is quite a bit of boxing in this book as it’s Kieran’s time to shine in the spotlight and try to win a title but it isn’t as big a focus as the books before. But you still get all the wonderful characters AND a few answers for some lingering questions about Liam. Honestly, the beginning of the story did throw me a bit because there is quite a lot of time devoted to Liam (who is a side character) and this continues somewhat throughout the book. Once I got more of Kieran and Marie, it didn’t bother me and I felt more connected to everything that was going on and Liam’s storyline ends up being a beautiful addition to this book.

I’m pretty sure the author tried to give me a heart attack though towards the end of the book. I legit had to set my iPad down and take a walk for a bit to nurse my book anxiety. But I suppose when an author can make you that crazy, it’s a good thing!

I adored the end of the book and I’m super excited for the next one in the series!

EXCERPT:

When I finally plucked up a bit of courage, I peeped out of the curtains to see Kieran throwing stones at the window.

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” he mock shouted, when he caught my eye. I opened the window to whisper loudly back at him.

“Are you high?” I asked. “Why didn’t you just ring the doorbell or call me?”

“I thought this would be more romantic,” he said.

“If I ignore the fact that my nipples probably have frostbite, I am feeling romanced,” I replied. He looked pained. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

“You said ‘nipples’ and now I can’t think of anything else,” he replied, making me smile.

“Now I’m down here, what’s the chances of seeing an accidental nip slip?” he asked.

“Depends,” I replied.

“On what?” he asked.

“What’s in the bag?” I said.

“Hot chocolate and warm doughnuts,” he said, holding up the bag as if to barter.

“Well, I would have said slim to none, but fresh doughnuts might have just tipped the odds in your favour,” I replied.

“Yesss!” he said, fist bumping the air in victory.

I closed the window and ran to buzz him in. He bounded up the stairwell, his heavy footsteps echoing loudly in the hallway. When he got to my door, he looked me up and down, taking in my short royal blue, silk pyjamas. Dropping the sack, he speared his hands into my hair and pulled me into a kiss that had me melting. Kier didn’t kiss with just his lips; he did it with his whole body. Without shoes on, I was tiny in comparison, but inside of the cage of his huge arms, I felt protected and safe. Despite his size, his lips were so gentle. He didn’t treat me like I was fragile, but like I was precious, as though every touch was one that he was experiencing for the first time and memorizing for later.

Feeling bold, I traced the seam of his mouth with my tongue, and when he parted his lips and touched his tongue against mine, I groaned. Every sensation was too much, and not enough. Breathless, he pulled away from me to nuzzle his face in the crook of my neck. I reached up and gently stroked the short hair at the back of his neck, making him sigh.

Author Bio:

 

USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons. Her debut novel The Hurricane was an international bestseller and finalist in the Goodreads Awards in the category of debut author.

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW – Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

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Sarina Bowen has a hot m/m romance, Goodbye Forever.  This was previously published under another title but has been rebranded.  Check out all the details below.  –XOXO, Whitney

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Synopsis

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

Whitney’s 4.5 Star Review

Josh and Caleb against the world….

Gah!  All the feels people.  For those who enjoy m/m romance, this book will be right up your alley.  A truly sweet romance with a side of sexy thrown in, I really enjoyed this book.
Growing up in a cult is tough on everyone, but especially for Josh. Without a family to protect him, he’s grown up thinking he is weaker than everyone else and worthless.  But his best friend, Caleb, knows better.  When Joshua is kicked out of ‘Paradise’, Caleb quickly joins him and together they embark on a difficult and at times, dangerous journey to find a better life.
They are both cautious and Josh especially struggles with his feelings towards Caleb, believing them to be sinful.  He is by far the quieter and least adventurous of the two.  Caleb is a bit more carefree and easy going.  They really do compliment each other well and I adored watching them finally acknowledge their feelings for each other.
I don’t want to spoil any of the storyline but their journey is one of love, hope and acceptance.  If you’ve read Sarina’s other books you may notice some cult references that tie in with the True North series but it’s very loose and you don’t have to read those first.  Caleb and Josh are such nice guys and remain so hopeful despite their circumstances and it was wonderful to watch their personalities evolve once they are out from under the rule of their cult.
The only thing keeping this from being a full five stars was that it seemed to move just a tad slow in some places.  But overall, I loved it and highly recommend.

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BLOG TOUR AND REVIEW – Take Me Back by Meghan March

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TakeMeBack_FrontCoverWe fell in love on a beach, got married in paradise, and I carried her off into the sunset. It should have been perfect, but saying “I do” doesn’t guarantee a happily-ever-after.

Two years later, I barely recognize either of us behind the walls we’ve built.

It’s time to bring it full circle. Back to a tropical paradise. Back to find out if we can still make this work.

I’m not willing to give her up, but to save us, I have to risk everything.

Two damaged people.

Countless secrets.

The fight of our lives.

We might be broken, but we’re not done.

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take me back 3 Whitney’s Four Star Review

4 Stars for a fast paced, suspenseful and sexy read!

I went into this story blind. I had read the blurb at some point but didn’t remember the premise of the story and I’m glad I didn’t know much going in. As such, my review will be spoiler free!

Dane and Kat meet while on vacation and despite knowing a long distance relationship won’t be easy, they can’t leave each other alone. And so begins an unconventional relationship which leads to an unconventional marriage. Although it initially works well for them, their pasts and secrets begin unraveling their lives with dire consequences.

Dane doesn’t want to let Kat go but he’ll have to fight for both of their lives to keep her!

The book is told in dual POV with chapter from present day and from the past. I thought that was important since we kind of jump right into their relationship when they’re married. It’s nice to go back and see what attracted them to each other and how they fell in love. Both characters are fun. Dane has a bit of an alpha male thing going on but it’s not over the top. Kat is pretty closed off emotionally for parts of the book and watching these two fall for each other all over again is heartwarming.

The suspense that gets thrown in will keep you on your toes and you fingers will be itching to turn the next page. Overall, this was a pretty quick read. There are some steamy scenes of course but it doesn’t ever overshadow the storyline.

This was a nice break from the traditional contemporary/NA I’ve been reading. A little romantic suspense/thriller was just what I needed when I picked this book up so I definitely recommend! take me back teaser blast 1

 

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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. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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COVER REVEAL – Tortured by Nicole Williams

 

Coming April 9th

Pre-order exclusively via iBooks HERE

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 Synopsis

When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.

When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.

Years go by.

She builds a new life.

She leaves the old one behind.

Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be freed from.

The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.

Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

About the Author

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

 

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Cover Reveal ~ Firefly by Molly McAdams

Title: Firefly
Author: Molly McAdams
Series: A Redemption Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Releasing July 18th, 2017

Cover Design: r.b.a DESIGNS

“I’m wrecked, ruined, destroyed, and in awe.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Van Dyken

The next captivating installment in New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams’s Redemption series.

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. To slowly suffocate me to the point of seeking freedom—a place where I can breathe.

Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favorite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. An unwavering warrior, his love for me has been shrouded by those instincts.

Save Lily. Protect Lily. Hide Lily. Cage Lily.

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare—the man who would set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul, as though he knew I was desperate for freedom, and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello—the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

A fire will die if there is no oxygen for it to consume. Ours is rapidly stealing every last breath we can sacrifice to it.

 

***The Redemption series is a series of romantic suspense standalones***

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A powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

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Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

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Review Tour ~ Figure Eight by Calia Read ~ Sarah A’s Review

figure-eightDear Selah,

Do you remember me?

Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.

I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.

Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.

Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.

Everyone but Jackson.

He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.

But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.

Yours Truly,
Figure 8

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED
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I’m reeling from this book.  Just circling back and back and back trying to figure out when was the first time I had an inkling of what was going on and I find myself feeling a lot like Selah; I think I knew the whole time but I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  There were times I wasn’t sure if the book was full of tiny, almost imperceptible, errors or if I was crazy or if it was intentional and made to make me feel crazy.  Honestly, I’m still not sure; though, I suspect the latter.

This is a book that has so many layers, so many facets and secrets, telling any one of them would destroy the experience that is Figure Eight.  There are so many beautiful things that happen in this book, so many things I desire to dissect and tell you about in great detail, but to do so would ruin the sublime magic that Calia Read wove with this story.  More so than almost any other book I’ve read, Figure Eight must be read with no foresight as to what is going to happen; the experience of being Selah, of living what she lived in these pages is important and intense.

Calia Read constantly amazes me with her words, the way she constructs each sentence to draw you in and then makes you question every second of the words you’ve read is unique and wildly impressive.  I am in love with her writing and the important stories she tells.  Her stories are consistently among the most wonderfully written and compelling books I’ve read.  I always find myself wanting more story, while simultaneously being totally satisfied that the story is complete and left exactly where it should be.  It’s not an easy balance to strike, but Ms. Read is near perfection in finding that balance in all of her books.

I have discovered that from a distance it is incredibly easy to read people. In the shadows, people don’t notice you. They let their guard down. Let you into their life without even knowing it. After a while their movements become predictable and you start to feel more intimate with them. You know when they’re irritable or sad. Happy or anxious. And while they keep desperately seeking a cure- all for their afflictions, you stand there in shadows, knowing what they need. My last gift was what you needed. But you barely noticed. You were too busy with your despair.

Ah, despair, despair, despair. Too many people get caught in that bitch’s web. And the sad truth is that they never find their way out. They never find their figure eight.

They never find me.

Yet the truth of the matter is that you didn’t find me. You got lucky and had the tables turned.

You may not see me yet. But you will.

Something as big as me takes time to acclimate to. Until then I’m going to give you another present. This one you’re going to take notice of. It is truly something.

I’m actually quite proud of myself with this one. It’s so good that I’m going to let you think that fate, kismet or whatever bull shit you call it, was responsible for it. Besides, I have a million more gifts just waiting for you, that I can take credit for.

Each one is bigger and better than the last.

You’ll see.

ALP AuthBio2 Owl

13319891_838523882920080_9005192063279712585_nCalia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.

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NEW RELEASE, EXCERPT AND REVIEW – Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

I’ve been waiting for Bailey and Vaughn’s story and am so please to share my review and all the information on Samantha Young’s newest release! — Whitney

Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

Hart’s Boardwalk #2

Available March 7, 2017

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series returns to Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed….
 
Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime….

Buy It Now:

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2dO8ZQH
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2e64i7J
iBooks US – http://apple.co/2etNWnL
iBooks UK – http://apple.co/2e56Cuy
Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/2dOcJ4B
Kobo – http://bit.ly/2dA4YBN
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2fNFvX2
Amazon DE – http://amzn.to/2eRmenX

Haven’t read book one?  Check it out here:

The One Real Thing to buy links:
iBooks UK – http://apple.co/1M5OTRm
iBooks US – http://apple.co/1JHjI8n
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2bV1N72
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1pmCWMu
Kobo – http://bit.ly/1RkPWc4
Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/2bU4bKN
Google Play – http://bit.ly/2dqt8v0
Amazon DE – http://amzn.to/2eigfX4

Whitney’s 4.5 Star Review

A 4.5 Stars for book two in Samantha Young’s Hart’s Boardwalk series! Please note that even though this book has different main characters, parts of the storyline do cross over from book to book so it’s best to read in order if possible.

I’ll be honest in that I didn’t love the first book in this series. But the chemistry between Vaughn and Bailey carried me through and I just knew I’d enjoy this book. And holy hotness, it did not disappoint. Vaughn is so darn sexy and Bailey is a great blend of sassy and vulnerable.

I actually laughed more than I thought I would thanks to Bailey and her group of girlfriends. The comic relief from their crazy provided a nice balance from a few darker/sadder moments involving the evil Devlin family and Bailey’s dumb boyfriend, Tom.  I seriously think we need to make #TomIsStupid a thing.

Vaughn and Bailey are two of the most stubborn people on the planet so watching them fall for each other and sort out their pasts gave me all the feels. Again, their chemistry is off the charts hot so the steamy scenes were perfect. I certainly wanted to punch Vaughn in the face a time or two but he had some heroic moments as well, securing him a spot in my book boyfriend list.

I love the tidbits about the other characters in this book and unlike the last one, I don’t feel they really got in the way of the main story this time. I’m not sure whose book is next, Em or Delilah (sneaky Samantha Young couldn’t tell me which one when I asked but did confirm it’s one of these two ladies). I’ll be happy either way and plan to continue with the series!

Excerpt:

I was on a mission.
A mission to cross the distance that suddenly stretched between my boyfriend Tom and me. Ten years we’d been dating. It was safe to conclude that we’d hit a rough patch.
But when your guy pushed you off him in bed because he was too tired to have sex then there was a problem.
I aimed to fix that problem.
First I yelled at him a lot and called him an asshole, because, seriously, asshole move.
Then I calmed down and I started to think. To plan. To fix the situation.
With sexy lingerie and a raincoat.
First I needed the sexy lingerie. I had a few pieces of hot underwear in my closet but Tom had seen them. I wanted to dazzle him with something new.
Sherry’s Trousseau just off Main Street was an expensive little boutique but none of the other stores or the mall near Dover sold anything as nice as Sherry’s. The only issue with buying lingerie in a small town, however, was the fact that anyone in the store, including Sherry, knew I was planning on getting lucky sometime soon, and had no qualms bringing up the subject like they had a right to the details of my sex life.
“Tom will have a lot of fun taking those off.” Sherry rang up the red silk bra, panties, matching garters and sheer silk stockings. I had a pair of red stilettos I planned on wearing with them.
“Yeah,” I said, “Here’s hoping he’ll explode all over me with excitement.”
I grinned to myself as I left the store, savoring Sherry’s blushing mortification.
Apparently it was okay for her to discuss my man touching my lingerie but not okay for me to discuss the consequences of such an act. Oh well. She should have been used to my inappropriate responses by now. It’s how I survived small town life. I said what I was thinking, no filter, and I beat nosy busybodies at their own game by divulging too much information.
It was fun.
I glanced back toward the shop to see if she was sharing her shock over what I’d said with Ellen Luther, the only other customer in the shop at that moment, and—
“Oof!” Pain shot up my jaw as I collided with something hard that knocked me off balance. The movement caused the paper bag with my lingerie in it to swing, and the thin handle snapped with the force, sending my new purchases scattering all over the pavement.
I stared down at it in surprise as my jaw throbbed. And then I caught sight of the shoes at the edge of the scene.
Polished to a shine.
Black leather Derby shoes.
I’d bet everything I had they were Prada.
And there was only one man in Hartwell who wore designer like it was made especially for him.
My heart sank as I lifted my gaze.
Sure enough, staring down at my new underwear like he was staring at a lamppost, or something equally mundane, was Vaughn Tremaine.
Now my whole body thrummed along with the throb in my jaw where I’d collided with one of his broad shoulders. As always he wore a tailored three-piece suit that fit him beautifully.
I watched in horror as he unbuttoned his jacket and lowered to his haunches to pick up my underwear. If it had been anyone else reaching for those items I wouldn’t have cared less. But Vaughn Tremaine wasn’t just anyone.
With my new bra dangling in his clutches he looked up and quirked an eyebrow my way.
Not for the first time I found myself squirming under his steel gray gaze.

Silence stretched between us as we stared at one another and I fought the urge to abandon my stuff and run off in the opposite direction away from him. The problem was—well there were a number of problems with Vaughn Tremaine—the fact that a) he was much too attractive for his own good and b) unlike anyone else, he had the ability to make me feel insecure.
Right now, for instance, as much as I didn’t want the thought in my head I couldn’t help but note how unaffected he appeared at holding my sexy underwear in his hand.
I was as attractive as a limp noodle to him.
And it shouldn’t bother me.
The man was a jerk.
“Looks like Tom is in for an interesting evening.” Vaughn held the bra up toward me.
I snatched it from him, my cheeks blazing. Clearly karma was getting back at me for what I’d said to Sherry. As he reached for the panties and garter I snapped, “Leave it.”
“But I’m already down here.” He ignored my demand as he collected the broken bag and carefully placed the underwear back inside. As he stood up Vaughn handed me the bag.
In my angry embarrassment I leaned in to yank it from him, only to stumble as I did so. Vaughn moved to steady me, his strong fingers curling around my bicep. His touch panicked me and I jerked away, scowling at him.
Perhaps a year ago I wouldn’t have scowled so hard at him.
I would have scowled for sure, but maybe not so emphatically.
Up until last summer our interactions had always been antagonistic because from the day we met Vaughn had made me feel I was the uneducated provincial to his superior cosmopolitan self. He did this by mocking me, mocking Tom, and I didn’t like it. He was no better than me.
Admittedly, however, there was a certain amount of fun in teasing and mocking him back. That is until last summer, when during one of our many verbal battles he’d out and out said that he disliked me in front of Jess and everyone else whose opinion I valued. And okay, I might have deserved a harsh retaliation because I’d been particularly bitchy to him that day because of an argument I’d had with Tom . . . but . . . well . . .
The son of a bitch had hurt my feelings, and that was unforgiveable.
“As ever the gentleman, Tremaine.”
“Helping you retrieve your belongings was gentlemanly, I thought.”
“No—the gentlemanly thing to do would have been to assess the situation, realize that touching a lady’s unmentionables is ungentlemanly, ignore said unmentionables, and go merrily on your way while I tried to conspicuously recover the unmentionables.”
The right corner of his mouth tilted up in amusement. “You’ve never crossed me as the shy and retiring type, Miss Hartwell. I wouldn’t have thought my seeing your panties would get them in such a twist.”
“Ha, clever.” I ignored him calling me Miss Hartwell. Or I attempted to. I never wanted him to know how much it bugged me that he never called me by my name. In retaliation I never referred to him out loud as anything but Tremaine.
We really brought out the maturity in one another.
He grinned. “I do find I’m wittier around you.”
“Yes, well, that happens when arming yourself in a battle of wits against a wittier opponent.”

There were moments, like now, when I thought I glimpsed a flash of respect in Vaughn’s eyes. But I knew that couldn’t be true. I was just looking for something I wanted to see. “We’re particularly feisty today.”
“Don’t royal ‘we’ me, Tremaine. I’m not impressed by your pomposity. In fact it pisses me off.”
He stepped closer into me, and I had to steel myself against stepping back. Vaughn Tremaine did not need to know his nearness made my breath catch. His eyes drifted over my face. He always did this, like he was savoring my every feature, and I knew his only purpose in doing so was to make me feel uncomfortable.
Mission accomplished.
Bastard.
“You shouldn’t tell me when something pisses you off,” Vaughn said. “You know it only makes me want to do it more.”
If he’d been anyone else, I would have laughed in grudging respect. Instead, like always with him, I took it personally. Like I said, it didn’t start out that way. Vaughn was smart. I think a large part of me actually enjoyed our battle of wits. But after he said he didn’t like me, everything he said to me became an insult. Worse, at around the same time he admitted his dislike for me, I actually began to see more in him that just an arrogant, selfish businessman who thought himself superior to me.
Deep down I knew Vaughn wasn’t a bad guy. I discovered that when he helped out my friends Cooper and Jessica last year. When Jess was convinced that things between her and Cooper were falling apart, Vaughn gave her a place to stay in town so that Cooper had time to win her back.
And the truth was we all felt safer with Vaughn around: there was the matter of Ian Devlin and his sons.
Devlin owned a lot of property in Hartwell, including the Hartwell Grand Hotel in town, and the amusement park behind the boardwalk. But he didn’t own anything on the commercial north end of the boardwalk. And just as he’d used less than honorable means to gain properties on the popular, touristy Main Street, he’d tried underhand ways to gain property on the expensive coastline. He was desperate to add boardwalk property to his portfolio. In fact, I guessed he was desperate to one day own the entire length of the north boardwalk. He had it in his head to turn it into a five-star resort, which would decimate what made Hart’s Boardwalk so charming.
When the old boardwalk hotel went up for sale we, the close-knit community on the boardwalk, thought we were done for. Ian Devlin was the only man we knew who could afford to buy it.
But then came Vaughn. A hotelier with more money than God and a better pedigree than most Manhattanites. For whatever reason, he bought the old boardwalk hotel, knocked it down and put up his own establishment.
The good thing though—despite the modern appeal of his hotel—was that Vaughn liked the boardwalk as it was. And even I had to admit that he seemed to genuinely like and respect Cooper. So when Devlin threatened Cooper’s boardwalk bar by bribing someone on the city board to deny Cooper his liquor license renewal, Vaughn stepped up alongside us to put a stop to it.
And despite the fact that was the moment he told me he didn’t like me, I saw what I hadn’t wanted to see.
Vaughn Tremaine may have been a pompous, smug, wealthy, arrogant businessman who thought he was better than me, but he could also be kind of honorable when he wanted to be.
Moreover, he was our defense against Ian Devlin.
According to Cooper, Vaughn had said something that made Cooper feel confident that Vaughn would never let Devlin do anything to damage what we’d built on our boardwalk.
And Vaughn had the money and influence to back up that sentiment.
“What? Do I have something on my face?” Vaughn said.
I realized at that moment I’d just been staring into those startling gray eyes of his. No one had a right to eyes like those. He must have known what those eyes did to a woman.
To women. Other women. Not me.
“No.” I stepped away from him, even if doing so did give him the upper hand.
“What? No sharp reply? You sure you’re feeling alright?” He cocked his head to the side, studying me. A crease formed between his brows. “You do look a little tired.”
I huffed, running a hand over my hair. I hated when he scrutinized my personal appearance. “Always so complimentary, Tremaine. It’s a wonder you don’t have a trail of panting ladies following after you. Oh, wait a second. It’s not.”
He just stared at me, which for some reason made me feel worse, because it felt like he could see right into me, and that he could see how unhappy I was and—
“No wonder you’re single.” I gave him a look that would have made a lesser man’s balls jump back up inside him. “You’re cold through and through. You haven’t got anything real to offer a woman. Nothing but money. And sooner or later they’ll realize not even money is worth a lifetime of nothing.”

(c) 2017 Samantha Young

About the Author

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET, Best Romance 2014 for BEFORE JAMAICA LANE, and Best Romance 2015 for HERO. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. Samantha’s YA contemporary lit debut THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US releases from Harlequin Teen June 2017.

Visit http://authorsamanthayoung.com for more information.
Connect with Samantha on Goodreads and Facebook!

BOOK BLITZ – Change Me by Melissa Townsend

 
Change Me

by Melissa Townsend
Series: Protector #2
Release Date: Feb 7, 2017
Add to TBR

Macie Smith was eager to leave her hometown of Puyallup, Washington, after graduating high school. She knew there was no way around being a Protector like her brother, and she was okay with that. Macie knew in her heart that her purpose was to protect others; however, she refused to follow in her brother’s footsteps forever. She moved to Florida in hopes of finding herself. In the process, she found Jasper White.

Jasper was the polar opposite of the Protectors. Rather than feeling the pain of others like Macie and her brother, he was usually the one to cause it: Jasper was a Raider. He’d spent the last three years being a real-life bad boy. When he first laid eyes on Macie, he instantly knew he wanted her…until he found out she was a Protector. He had already had a few run ins with other Protectors, and to say they were enemies would be putting it lightly. He knew he didn’t stand a chance with Macie, but he couldn’t stay away. He would have to change his Raider ways in order to make her his.

 
 
The smile he had been wearing had disappeared and the indifferent look in his eyes had been replaced with… was that desire? I felt my stomach flop when he took a step toward me. I inhaled a deep breath when he took another step. His face was inches from mine and I wanted to be unaffected. Or at least make him think I was unaffected by him. He reached out and ran his fingers down the length of my arm. Chill bumps followed behind his touch and I cursed my body for being such a trader. He slowly started to lean closer to me, his head was lowering and his gaze was fixed on my lips. I licked them involuntarily and slowly raised onto my tip toes. His lips touched mine and my entire body started to tingle.

From a rural community in southern Oklahoma, Melissa Townsend is a married dental assistant with one child; and on the surface, the picture of today’s ordinary working wife and mother from Smalltown, U.S.A.

As a busy mom, she initially found her escape in reading. It is just in the past few years that she’s found her passion and enjoyment of telling her own stories. Having never travelled or experienced much beyond the realm of country-living, Melissa finds herself taking journeys through an array of genres and different writing styles. Don’t let her quiet, small town, ordinary demeanor mislead you. Sit with her for very long and you will quickly discover her wit, dry sense of humor, and unique perception of the world around her. It’s these characteristics spieled out into her stories that define her writing style and will keep you wanting more.

 

BLOG TOUR, GIVEAWAY, AND REVIEW – The Cad and the Co-ed by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

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The Cad and The Co-Ed, a quirky and sexy romantic comedy from Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway is available now!!

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THE CAD

Bryan Leech is a cad.

Or, he *was* a cad.

No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

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(Free In Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US : http://amzn.to/2kpS1KX

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Whitney’s Five Star Review

This book was just everything I needed when I picked it up and when you love a book so much, it’s actually harder to review it.

I was afraid I’d hate Bryan because of his cad ways but I never did. Only a small snippet of this book has him living his old life. For 95% of the book, he has grown up and realized he needs to change his lifestyle. With alcoholic family members, his health was on the line and he’s just coming to the realization that he’s lonely.

Eilish is amazing. I love reading female characters who are single mothers where you literally feel the love for their kids flowing from the pages. Her child is truly what is most important to her even though feelings for Bryan start to surface once she’s face to face with him again.

The writing is fast paced and witty. There are some sexy moments but they’re pretty toned down. It’s all about the tension and the feelings more than physical action. I thought the authors timed Bryan’s finding out about his son perfectly. I wasn’t sure if it would happen quickly or later on and I won’t spoil it, but for me it was great. All of Bryan’s interactions with his son were spot on and made my heart flutter.

I just want everyone to read this series. Although the books stand alone, I do recommend starting with book one if you want to read the whole series. There are snippets of other characters that will make more sense if you read in order.

Penny and L.H. are responsible for my increasing crush on Rugby players! This is a must read folks!

**Now that I’m several weeks post reading my arc, I can say that I STILL have a hangover from this story.

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

http://www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: http://www.lhcoswayauthor.com