Back to the Start by Aly Martinez ~ BLOG TOUR & EXCERPT

BACK TO THE START is a collection of previously released novels by USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez. Each of the five full-length novels is a perfect starting point to dive into one of her sexy, emotional, and twisty worlds.
FIGHTING SILENCE: Sports Romance, Friends to lovers.
RETRIEVAL: Romantic Suspense, Second chance.
THE FALL UP: Contemporary Romance, Celebrity opposites attract.
CHANGING COURSE: Contemporary Romance, Broken hero.
SINGE: Romantic Suspense, Alpha bodyguard.
***  BACK TO THE START is available in KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
Amazon US


He didn’t budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till’s hand snaked out and caught my arm. But I didn’t let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.

“You took what you wanted. Then you left me.”

“Doodle,” he whispered.

I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.

I lost it completely.

Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “It’s Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!” I spun to march away, but Till’s arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.

I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn’t keep him for forever.

“Stop it!” he growled into my ear. “I know your goddamned name—probably better than I know my own.”

While I was wrapped in Till’s strong arms, six months’ worth of tears fell from my eyes. He carried me to my apartment and guided me back through the window before following me inside. Then he stripped out of his blood-soaked shirt before dragging the blankets down and climbing into the bed behind me. I cried for a while in his arms, even turning to face him, only to cry against his chest. I had missed him so much.

I knew I’d loved Till years ago, but this was more. I needed him in order to function on a very basic level. Together, the world didn’t feel so big and overwhelming. He was my escape—the dream personified.

Till Page was comfortable.

His hands trailed up and down my back as he lulled me until the words fought their way out.

“I couldn’t stop going back,” I announced in a broken whisper. “I didn’t know where you had gone. And for the first time since I was thirteen, I was alone inside my own head. God. It was a scary place.” I tried to joke, but the tears streaming down my face told the truth.

“I’m sorry,” he responded on a sigh. “I couldn’t stay.”

“Why?” I whined, but I curled in closer against his chest, needing to feel him more than anything else.

“I don’t know, Doodle,” he lied.

God! It was such a fucking lie. He knew as well as I did. He just didn’t want to tell me.

“Where did you go?” I pressed further.

There was no way I ever could have expected his answer, but that wasn’t because it was a novel thought. No. His answer was surprising because it was the source of my anguish too.

“The real world.” He kissed my forehead.

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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Tell Me a Story by Jennifer Rebecca ~ Blog Tour & Excerpt

George Washington Township, New Jersey has seen its fair share of crime and tragedy. Most recently, a young boy is missing from his home and the tenacious Detective Claire Goodnite is eager to find him.

But the case is stirring up old memories best left forgotten. When a blast from her own past, FBI Special Agent Wesley O’Connell, turns up, Claire finds it hard to keep old ghosts at rest. And even harder to keep the sexy SAIC out of her case and her bed.

Claire Goodnite is the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe she’s coming for you.

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“I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.” I fake cry as I wipe away an imaginary tear with my fingers.

“You are such a pain in my ass, beautiful.” He shakes his head. “You’re lucky I know what else you can do with that mouth besides drive me to drink.”

“Ugh,” I groan. “You just ruined it.”

“You want to see it or not?”

“Are we still talking about your murder board or have we switched to your penis?” I ask sweetly. “Because yes to the murder board, maybe but leaning towards probably not for your penis. You’re being annoying and I’m over it.”

“Over it?” He laughs as he tackles me from the side. We land on a tufted leather sofa that I didn’t realize was hiding behind the door.

I let out an embarrassing squeak when Wes grabs me. Some tough chick I am. I land with my back to the sofa and Wes on top of me, his lip crushing down on mine. I can’t help it. I kiss him back. My mouth moving under his.

“Why do you fight it?” Wes asks when he tears his lips from mine. “Why do you fight me?”

“I can’t,” I say as I pull him back down to me. “I can’t fight anymore.” I kiss him again. I press my body to his. “I can’t.”

Wes presses his hips into mine. He groans when I buck against his hardness. His body provides the friction that I need in all the right places. I gasp when his cock rubs against me one more time and Wes uses that to his advantage, moving his mouth down to nip at my earlobe. He then drags his lips and scrapes his teeth down my neck where he bites, then soothes my skin with his lips and his tongue.

I pull at the buttons of his dress shirt. Wes sits back on his heels and undoes the rest of the buttons. I laugh when he pulls his white dress shirt free from his body only to realize that his blue tie is still tied around his neck.

“You think that’s funny, do you?” He asks with a sexy smirk playing on his lips.

“Uh huh.” I nod. “I do. I really do.” I laugh only to moan when he rocks his hips again and his hard length hits me in all the right places.

“Still think it’s funny?” He growls.

“Yes,” I rasp.

Wes reaches forward and pinches my nipple through my t-shirt and my bra. I arch my back pushing my breast into his palm. The movement presses my core against his cock and we both hiss at the contact.

“Still funny?” He asks as undoes the button on my jeans and pulls down the zipper. I hold my breath as he flattens his palm against my belly and slides his hands into my wet panties against my heat. “Well?”

“Yes,” I pant as I rock against him.

Wes slides two fingers deep inside me and I toss my head backwards and arch my spine. He curls his fingers in a come here motion and I am about to come undone. I’m about to come. Wes plays my body like he owns it and I’m beginning to think that he actually does.

“Is it still funny, Claire?” he asks one more time.

“Yes.” I buck against his hand. It’s not actually funny but all I can say is yes to Wes as my body shows me truths it has always known. It was always Wes. It will always be Wes.

“See, I don’t think it’s funny when you play games with me Claire,” he says his voice rough as he continues to fuck me with his hand. My heat pours between his fingers betraying how much I want him and how much control he actually has. “Do you think it’s fun to play games with me, Claire?”

“Yes,” I cry out but the words are wrong. He pulls his fingers out just enough that he’s not hitting the good spots anymore, but his other hand, flat against my belly, holds me still so I can’t use him to find my own completion. “No!” I wail.

“What is it, Claire?” He asks as he swirls his thumb gently against my clit. It’s just firm enough to make me moan, but not enough to get me anywhere.

“I’m not playing games!” I cry out, desperate to have him, his fingers, his mouth, his cock, any which way I can have him again.

“When are you going to learn that you can’t lie to me, Claire?” He asks as he thrusts his fingers back in, curling them as he goes, but he immediately pulls them back out. “Your body knows the truth. Feel how wet you are for me?” He asks as he wipes his fingers against my inner thighs.

“Please,” I beg.

“Please, what?” He commands. “Are you ready to stop fighting me, Claire?” He gives another gentle swirl to my clit.

“Yes!” I scream as he thrusts his fingers back in, this time adding his thumb to my clit.

I grab the tie that still hangs around his neck and pull it. It anchors me and is something I can hold onto while my world spins wildly out of control.

“That’s right, baby. Take it. Take what’s mine to give you.”

“Fuck! Wes—” He pumps his fingers again and again and then I arch my back and squeeze my eyes tight as I come.

Before my world starts to right itself and I can flutter my eyes, Wes grabs me by my hips and stands me at the arm of the sofa. My legs are still Jell-O and I flop around like April the giraffe’s baby. Wes quickly puts a hand to my back between my shoulder blades and arches me over the arm. My hands cushion my fall.

He uses his foot to spread my feet wide and I hear the telltale clink of his belt buckle and the grind of the teeth of his zipper. He still has his hand on my back and it burns my skin. Wes uses his fingers to circle my core. I look back over my shoulder at him and I see the proof of my climax glisten on his fingers. Wes sees me watching and circles my pussy again before holding his fingers up to the light.

“Do you see this?” He asks, his voice rough.

“Y-yes,” I stammer. I have to clear my throat before I can answer him clearly. “Yes.”

“This is mine, Claire,” he says. “This is for me and no one else. Not some asshole from the bar or one of the guys from the station. This is mine and mine alone. Do you understand?” He circles me again. He shoves his finger in deep when I hesitate and I groan.

“Yes,” I buck against his hand but he pulls his fingers free and swats my ass. Hard. “Yes! I understand,” I cry out when he slips his fingers in one last time.

I look over my shoulder again as Wes locks eyes with me. He swirls his fingers one last time before slipping them from my body. I watch with rapt attention as he raises his hand to his mouth and licks his fingers clean. His eyes roll back in his head and he moans. I could come from watching his face alone.

And then he opens his eyes.

“I always knew there was sweetness hidden in you somewhere, baby. I should have known it was in your tight pussy.”

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

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Wrong Side of Heaven by Gia Riley ~ Excerpt Reveal

Broken Wings Duet is an all-new Forbidden and Emotional Romance releasing March 22nd and April 12th from Gia Riley!!

Some touched.

Some watched.

Some just talked to me.

They all had their vices.


I’m trailer trash in the slums of Carillon.

Until I met him, the mysterious neighbor who speaks through handwritten notes. He never shows his face, only comes and goes late at night, and I’m drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

I shouldn’t want him.

I don’t need him.

But when I close my eyes, he’s all I see.

He’s my addiction. The secret I keep close to my heart.

But sometimes things aren’t what they seem, and secrets don’t stay secrets forever.

And together, we’re just two lost souls on the wrong side of heaven.

***  RELEASES MARCH 22  ***

One thunderstorm fades into another, and I keep my eyes on the stars, praying this one isn’t as bad as the last. It’s tornado season in Kansas—the only other force besides Tess that threatens me on a daily basis.

The crack of thunder is sharp, and the flashes of lightning so close together, I know it’s almost time to get in the closet. There’s no basement. No shelter to run to with a secret door to the underground. It’s just creaky floorboards, dust, and a protective layer of cotton pillows I bought at the dollar store.

If the storm were to pull the roof off the trailer, there’s not much else inside my room for the wind to whip around. The only other piece of furniture I own is a dresser. But I learned, whatever I put in there, Tess will take, so I keep my clothes in the trunk in the closet. The little bit of money I have is kept in a secret compartment in the floor. It’s not much, but I save every penny I earn from babysitting jobs around the trailer park.

Over the summer months, I try to pick up as many nights as I can because, without school, I spend too much time in the trailer. Too much time with Tess leads to problems.

Last night, we argued about my chest. She said my boobs were getting too big and that my mother probably had a matching set, just like all the other whores in town. If I knew anything about my mom, I’d disagree, but Tess could be right, so I didn’t bother trying to convince her otherwise.  

As much as I hate Tess, she’s all I have. When my dad died, Tess decided to keep me. She said something about the money from the government helping to pay the bills. I’m not stupid. I know all that money goes up her nose and feeds her habit.

Sometimes, when Tess is exceptionally bitchy, I almost wish I had gone into the foster system. At least then I’d have had a chance at happiness. Because living in Carillon is nothing but hell. A hell I can’t escape until I turn eighteen and graduate high school.

Three hundred sixty-four days separate me and freedom.

I am me. Alone and by myself.

When I said I would kill for her, I meant it. When I said I would die for her, I meant that, too.

But protection comes with a price and so does my life.

I can’t hold her.

I can’t speak to her.

I can’t even see her.

The most important piece of my life is gone.

I had everything.

I had Winnie.

And just like that, my unconditional love vanished.

Picking up the pieces is impossible.

There’s no easy way to fall out of love.

But that’s exactly what I have to do.

The Edge of Heaven is the emotional conclusion to Wrong Side of Heaven.

One jilted love story.

Four converging paths.

A brand new forever.

***  RELEASES APRIL 12 ***

 Author Gia Riley has been in love with writing romance since high school when she took her very first creative writing class. From the small but mighty state of Delaware, she’s a country girl at heart, traveling back to her roots in Pennsylvania as often as she can.

While New Adult and Contemporary romance have been her passion, she’s dabbled with more erotic plotlines lately, enjoying discovering the sexier side of love with each story she pens. After all, she’s a lover of all things romance – a firm believer that everyone deserves their

happily ever after no matter what it takes to get there.

When she’s not writing, you can find her roaming the aisles of Kirkland’s, up to her elbows in Play-doh, or trying to hunt down spoilers for her favorite reality television show.

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Confessions: Robbie by Ella Frank ~ Sarah A’s Review

Confessions: Robbie, an all-new tantalizing contemporary MMM Romance by Ella Frank is NOW AVAILABLE!  

Relationships are complex.
Love ever-changing.
And when it comes to rules of the heart,
they were made to be broken…

That’s what Robert Antonio Bianchi was telling himself, anyway.
Otherwise, he really had no excuse for what—or who—he’d done.

No excuse, except for his lonely heart, a pitcher of margaritas, four Bitter Bitches, and the apparent need to confess all his weaknesses to the two men he knew would bring him nothing but trouble.

But trouble was nothing new.
Just ask his crazy sisters or any of his friends, and they’d be the first to tell you:
If there was a bad decision to be made, Robbie always had a knack for making it.

And thus begins the story of the priest, the princess, and the prick.

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Confessions: Robbie was an interesting concept.  I wasn’t expecting what I got, but I enjoyed the ride it took me on, and I’m looking forward to continuing this crazy journey with Robbie, Julien, and Priest.

Confessions: Robbie is the first book in Ella Frank’s Confessions series.  The series is a spinoff from her Temptation series.  I haven’t read that series and didn’t know this was an offshoot of it until I’d began reading Robbie.  Once I realized this was an established world and I was missing important information about past events I checked to see what was going on and found the info about Confessions being a derivation of the Temptations world.  For the most part, I had no problems understanding exactly what was going on, but there were several references to things I assume had happened in the other series, and I think reading that series first would greatly help with understanding exactly who the men – Robbie, in particular – were.  Confessions: Robbie is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Robbie, Julien, and Priest.

Those moments of ignorance of the past notwithstanding, I really enjoyed the experience of Robbie.  It was a twist on threesomes I haven’t experienced yet, but I could feel how the three of them needed one another clearly.  Julien, specifically, was in need of the strength of Priest and the levity of Robbie.  And Robbie needed to know there was someone who would appreciate all of him and not try to make him into something he wasn’t.  Priest just needed someone to depend on him, fully, with no questions as to him having their best interests in mind.

I’m happy there wasn’t a ton of outside action in this book.  There was just enough to show Robbie the things he needed to know about how Priest and Julien felt about him, without overshadowing the primary purpose of this book: to build a foundation for their threesome.  Taking the time to establish their dynamic was vitally important in this first book of the series and Ella Frank did a lovely job of keeping it the focus of the story.

I wish Confessions: Robbie was more independent from the series it originated from.  Had I known it was part of another series, because it really is, I would have made the time to read those books before this one.  Robbie’s past is discussed throughout this book, without fully expounding on what happened in it and I feel like knowing that past would have helped a lot in knowing exactly the motivations behind his thought processes.

Ella Frank has long been on my TBR list, especially her Temptation series, and after reading this book, I know I need to get around to those books.  Her writing was intense and even writing in third person she was able to convey the different personalities of her characters easily through the tone of their passages.  I can’t wait to see more from Robbie, Julien, and Priest and hope I’m able to visit Robbie’s past in the Temptation series before I get too far into this series.



If there’s a bad decision to make, I will make it.

DRUNK-DIALING IS never a smart move. But drunk-dialing a married man? That is a monumentally stupid move.

That was the thought rolling around Robbie’s muddled brain as he stood with his best friend Elliot at the bar of CRUSH and tossed back his fourth Bitter Bitch. The conversation he was having with himself wasn’t a new one—or a welcome one, he thought as he swayed on his feet and kind of stumbled into the stool beside him. But forgetting his lonely life with alcohol and men who were all wrong for him seemed like an increasingly good way to cope tonight.

The hum and throb of the bass beat was rattling through him, but instead of feeling the pull he usually did to head out to the dance floor and have fun, tonight it seemed to be having the opposite effect. It was making him think really stupid thoughts.

“You’re so wasted, Bianchi,” Elliot said as he grabbed Robbie’s arm and guided him to the barstool. “What’s that? Your third shot? And how many margaritas did you have at dinner?”

Robbie held up two, then three fingers, and shrugged. “Who cares? Everyone had their New Year’s on Sunday. Tonight’s mine, and I want to celebrate.”

“If you celebrate any more, you aren’t gonna remember your first night out of the New Year.”

“Don’t care,” Robbie said, as he waved his hand through the air with flourish and leaned a little too much into the action. Luckily, Elliot was there to prop him up. “I wanna have fun tonight. Do something I shouldn’t.”

Elliot leaned his elbows back on the bar so he was facing the dance floor and said, “Why don’t you get out there and let someone do you instead? You look gorgeous tonight, darling.”

He’s right, I do look cute, Robbie thought.

In his skinny jeans and purple V-neck tee that was practically a second skin, Robbie had gone all out with smoky eyes and a new pink shade of gloss he’d bought a couple of days ago that tasted like—mmm, strawberries. He could totally hit the dance floor, find a willing man, and let him do all kinds of things. But that seemed so boring tonight, so normal, and so not what he wanted.

He wanted wild. He wanted adventure. He wanted danger. And when the two men he knew were both those things entered his mind, Robbie quickly shook his head, trying to shake them free.

Stop thinking about them, he ordered himself, but that was easier said than done. One of them was one of the sexiest men he’d ever seen, and the other the most frustrating—and what was worse was that he couldn’t have either of them even if he wanted to. What was with everyone being fucking married all of a sudden? And to each other?

But oh the dreams he’d been having lately. The three of them, all sweaty and naked; they were enough to make him want to

No, no, no. That is the worst idea you could have, Robbie told himself. Drunk or sober.




Plus, you don’t even like one of them. So stop obsessing over it.

“Earth to Robbie…” Elliot said, waving a hand, and Robbie shrugged.

“I don’t know. I’m just not in the mood.”

You’re not in the mood to grind all over a naked man? Okay, where the hell is my best friend and what did you do with him?” Elliot asked as he swept his black bangs out of his eyes.

“I don’t know.” Robbie slumped forward on the bar, dramatic as ever, and looked up at Elliot from under his lashes. “I think I’m in a state of mourning, El, and I don’t know how to get out of it.”

Elliot frowned. “Is this about Logan? I thought you were happy for him and Tate?”

“I am, but— Ugh. They just got engaged, and now all of a sudden, he’s married. Married.”

“I know, babe. But you knew it was coming.”

“Doesn’t make it any easier. Knowing there are two more beautiful men off the market forever due to a ring and a piece of paper is just depressing.”

“Two more men?” Elliot said, regarding him with a suspicious eye. “Who else do you know who’s hitched?”

Julien, Robbie instantly thought, as an image of the famous chef came to mind.

Julien “the Prick” Thornton. And this time, as Julien’s name ran through Robbie’s head, he made a point to roll the Jul over his tongue the way Julien had when he’d introduced himself that night at the bar. That’s right…Julien “I’m gay, gorgeous, and, oh yeah, married to your worst enemy” Thornton. He was hitched.

“No one,” Robbie said, and pouted. Then he swiveled on the stool to look out at the men gyrating all over one another. “You go and play for the both of us. I’m going to sit here and—”


“Okay that word is too big for my brain right now,” Robbie said, and winced. “Go and feel up the muscles and men for me. Someone should get some enjoyment out of them.”

Elliot pursed his lips. “I don’t know…”

“I’m just gonna sit here. Not going anywhere,” Robbie promised, crossing a finger over his chest.

“Your heart is on the other side, genius.”

Robbie switched sides and did it again. “I’m just gonna drown my sorrows so my body hurts tomorrow and will take my mind off my broken heart.”

“Aww, cheer up, Buttercup. Your Prince Charming will come to you one day soon.”

“Well, until then”—Robbie gestured for the bartender—“I’m going to drink myself into a deep slumber in the hopes that maybe he’ll come on me, or, you know, at least kiss me back to life.”

Elliot placed a hand on Robbie’s arm. “Do not go anywhere. I’ll be back for you.”

“I can’t feel my legs to move, so… I’ll stay. Like a good little boy.”

“Don’t know how good you are, but…” Elliot chuckled, then before he headed out to the dance floor, said, “Where’s your phone?”

Robbie dug into his pants pocket and pulled it free.

Elliot opened the contacts and scrolled down to his name, and then set it on the bar in front of Robbie. “You need me, call. Do not leave this seat.”

Robbie touched his fingertips to his temple in a sloppy salute and then hiccupped. “Yes, sir.”

“Okay. Be back for you soon.” Elliot then turned to the bartender and said, “No more after this for him.”

When the bartender nodded, Robbie’s mouth fell open. “Hello, you’re not my mother.”

“Lucky for you. She’d be spanking your ass right now, not to mention your sisters, and I’m sure you’d much rather have that done by a man who would then pound it afterward. I’ll be back.”

Robbie dismissed Elliot with a wave of his hand, and then took great interest in scrolling up and down his list of contacts, searching for someone to occupy his time. It wasn’t until he saw Julien’s number that he realized how drunk he was, because that was the only excuse he could think of as to why he hit call.

Well that, and: If there’s a bad decision to make, I will make it.

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

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NEW RELEASE! Tell Me a Story by Jennifer Rebecca

George Washington Township, New Jersey has seen its fair share of crime and tragedy. Most recently, a young boy is missing from his home and the tenacious Detective Claire Goodnite is eager to find him.

But the case is stirring up old memories best left forgotten. When a blast from her own past, FBI Special Agent Wesley O’Connell, turns up, Claire finds it hard to keep old ghosts at rest. And even harder to keep the sexy SAIC out of her case and her bed.

Claire Goodnite is the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe she’s coming for you.

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A shrill ring wakes me from a restless sleep—I had the dream again. My phone bounces around on the unfamiliar night stand that I must have left it on last night.

“Goodnite,” I rasp, my voice heavy with sleep.

        “Detective, this is dispatch,” the disembodied voice from my phone informs me. “We were told to notify you that the body of a male child has been recovered at the rocks near the bottom of the falls. Possible match for your missing person.”

          “I’m on my way.”

        That’s all I need to know, and I am throwing back the blankets that are tangled around my body—my naked body. I pull my jeans on—without panties—and then my boots. I quietly search for my bra, hopefully not waking . . . not waking . . . I look over at the bed where a man with warm brown hair and a stubbled jaw sleeps on the bed that I just vacated. Nope, not ringing any bells. At least he’s good looking. I shrug.

        I should be embarrassed about letting some random pick me up at a bar the next town over. But I’m not. This case has been . . . rough . . . and I needed to blow off some steam. Will I call him again? Uhh, no. Will he call me? He’d have to find me first. Did he have a good time? You betcha.

        I see my bra hanging from a lamp shade and grab it, tucking it into my back pocket. I pull my tank top and t-shirt on, having found both rumpled on the floor. I reach into the front pocket of my jeans and find —thank God—a hair tie and toss my long, inky hair on top of my head in a messy bun. I pull on my coat that had been dropped by the front door.

        I palm my phone and pull my keys out of the same pocket the hair tie came out of. I step out into the New Jersey cold without ever looking back at . . . Mike? No, that’s not it. I shrug to myself, fuck it.

        I beep the locks on my car and climb in. I unlock the glove box and feel the weight of my badge and sidearm in my hand as I pull them both out of their hiding spot, placing both on the dash. I fire up my nondescript Tahoe and head towards tragedy.

My name is Claire Goodnite and I’m the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe I’m coming for you.

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

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Crazy, Sexy, Love by KL Grayson ~ COVER REVEAL

Three-time world champion bull rider Rhett Allen has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. Hard work, sweat, and determination have gotten him where he is today—and that’s holed up in a hospital room, wondering how he let that damn bull buck him off. He’s also wondering why he thought it was a good idea to let his twin brother talk him into returning home to heal.

Rhett has a million reasons to come home to Heaven, Texas, and only one reason to stay away. That reason comes in the form of a sweet and feisty girl who stole his heart long before he ever thought to give it away. The only problem…that girl has turned into a stunning woman.

Monroe Gallagher is downright sexy with more curves than he has notches in his bed post. It’s been six years since he’s seen her, six years since he’s felt any form of peace, and six years since she gripped his heart in her delicate little hands and squeezed the life out of it. The longer he’s in Heaven, the more he starts to realize that the heart she took from him—the one she crushed into a million pieces—she also never gave back.

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Title: Crazy Sexy Love
A Dirty Dicks Novel
Author: K.L. Grayson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Kari March Designs
Release Date: March 21, 2018

There are a few moments in my life that have left me breathless—falling off a bull for the first time in competition, getting kicked by a bull, the day Mo broke my heart, and subsequently, the moment she stole every piece of it back.

This moment.

She’s an angel, brought to Earth for the soul purpose of torturing me, and like the devil I am, I enjoy every minute of it.

Pulling her hair over one shoulder, Mo peeks at me. Her cheeks are stained the most delicious color of red as she slowly, deliberately lifts her shirt over her head. The flimsy material falls to the ground as she reaches behind her back to unhook her bra. The straps slip down her arms before joining her shirt on the grassy bank of the pond, and when she shimmies out of her panties and jeans, I nearly lose it.

Her body is breathtaking, a work of art meant to be examined and explored, and I’m the lucky son of a bitch who gets the privilege of doing just that.

I’ve seen Mo naked more times than I can count, but not once has it been like this. Not once has she seduced me with the soft sway of her hips or this hungry look in her eyes.

She’s no longer the girl I knew all those years ago. She’s turned into a beautiful, confident woman who I want to lay before me again. She’s all-consuming: the rise and fall of her chest as she turns to face me, the goosebumps that scatter over her arms when my gaze traces her body, and the vulnerability in her eyes as she comes over to join me on the blanket.

I hold out my hand. Her fingers lace with mine as she straddles my legs and lowers herself to her knees.
Her hand, gentle and steady, cups the side of my face. “There might be six years of pain between us, but nothing has changed. I feel the same way today as I did back then.” She hooks her fingers under the hem of my shirt, dragging it over my head, being extra careful with my shoulder. “And I can’t wait another second to be with you, Rhett.” She smiles. “In fact, I need it more than I need my next breath.”

“Mo.” I push my fingers into her hair, pulling her face to mine, and I kiss her with everything I have. Her tongue pushes between my lips, and we kiss until we’re both panting and breathless.

With her forehead pressed to mine, she searches my eyes. I let her see everything—all the pain and love and happiness she’s brought me. With her hands on my chest, she gently pushes me back onto the blanket. Her hair falls forward, brushing against my chest, creating a curtain. She kisses me once, twice, and then a third time before scooting back. My boots and socks are the first to go, followed by my jeans.


K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.

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SEED by Cassia Leo ~ Chapter Reveal

The explosive continuation of the Evergreen Series from New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo.

The seeds of doubt have been planted.

Two to six weeks. That’s how long it takes, on average, to get a divorce in Oregon.

With Jack convinced I betrayed him, I expect to be served divorce papers within hours of moving out. But weeks pass without word from Jack, and the papers never arrive. Though my heart isn’t ready to give up on him, I can’t shake the feeling that we may be better off apart. And Isaac is more than happy to help me move on.

But just as I begin to build some semblance of a life and career, a new and improved Jack arrives on my doorstep. Divorce papers are the furthest thing from his mind as he delivers news that both shatters me and restores my faith in the love we shared. But is it too late for us?

SEED will be available on all retailers on March 16, 2018 for the release week special price of $2.99. After release week, it will resume regular price of $3.99.

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There is no preorder for Amazon, SEED will be a LIVE AMAZON RELEASE.


May 10, 2015

“Stay with me, baby,” I murmured as I stroked Laurel’s hand to keep her from falling asleep. “You realize our son is going to be born on a very special day.”

Her eyes rolled back in their sockets as another contraction hit. “What?” she groaned.

I had been trying to keep her mind distracted from the pain with idle conversation about the things she most liked to talk about. So far, I’d engaged her in a wide array of topics: Stoic philosophy, ridiculous names for baked goods, inappropriate wedding songs, and her favorite topic, names for baby boys.

“His birthdate is going to be May 10th, 2015. In numbers, that five, ten, fifteen.”

She managed to groan and chuckle at the same time. “You’re so American. The rest of the world would say it’s ten, five, fifteen,” she said. She breathed in and out a few times through pursed lips before she continued. “Drea would make fun of you if she heard you say that.”

“It’s a good thing Drea’s not here then.”

As soon as I said the words, I wanted to take them back. I didn’t want to bring attention to the fact that, besides Drea, Laurel’s mom also was not here.

As if on cue, Laurel asked, “Where’s my mom?”

I squeezed her soft hand, which seemed to be getting colder. “She’s stuck in traffic, baby. There’s an accident. But she’s trying to get here as soon as she can.”

I didn’t have to lie for Beth. I had to lie for Laurel. I didn’t want her to worry that her mother was abandoning her in her time of need. This was probably the most important day of Laurel’s life, and her mother couldn’t be bothered to come when called.

Beth insisted this was a private moment for Laurel and I to share. According to her, most grandmothers weren’t in the labor and delivery room to see their grandchildren born. That was the parents’ “job.” She insisted she would get here as soon as the baby was born.

The fact that Beth referred to what I was doing at this moment as a “job” only made me angrier. I wasn’t here with Laurel because it was my job to be here. I was here because I loved Laurel, and this was where she wanted me to be. If Laurel told me to leave, I’d leave. She was the one making the decisions today, not me or Beth or  the fucking Dalai Lama.

The midwife came into Laurel’s room just as the baby’s heart rate monitor began to beep loudly. The swift, hollow tap of our baby’s heartbeat had slowed to a slow, muffled thump. The midwife’s black eyebrows shot up as she raced to the monitor to get a better look at the flashing red numbers.

“What’s happening?” Laurel asked, but her eyelids were only half-open as her voice trailed off. “Is the baby… Is the baby okay?”

Maisie, Laurel’s Filipino midwife, lifted the sheet covering Laurel’s legs and her dark eyes became as wide as planets.

“What is it?” I demanded as the doctor rushed in.

“Get Florence and tell the others to get the OR ready,” the doctor ordered Maisie, who quickly disappeared into the corridor.

“Dr. Eastman, what’s wrong?” I demanded.

But as my words fell like stones at our feet, Laurel’s hand went slack. Suddenly, four nurses raced into the room and shoved me aside as they locked the side rails on Laurel’s bed and systematically disconnected her from various machines.

My stomach went sour as they rushed her out of the labor and delivery room to the operating room. As I followed closely behind them, I felt as if I were having an out of body experience. I was watching these medical professionals pushing a gurney with someone else’s unconscious wife. Maybe I’d fallen asleep in the chair in Laurel’s hospital room and this was all a nightmare.

But when we arrived at the double doors to the OR, someone grabbed my arm to stop me from entering. That was when I knew this was really happening.

Before the doors swung shut, I caught a glimpse of three more nurses inside the operating room. They appeared to be hanging bags of blood on IV stands and prepping instruments.

“She’s hemorrhaging,” Dr. Eastman finally said, as I watched what was going on through the windows in the double door.

“What do you mean? How? Why?” I replied as I watched two nurses wheel Laurel’s bed into the center of the OR.

“Mr. Stratton, please look at me.”

I turned toward the doctor and the grave look in his eyes sent me into a panic. “What’s going on? Tell me what the fuck is happening to my wife!”

“Do you remember at a previous sonogram when I said we would have to do more sonograms every three days instead of every week, to keep an eye on the placenta?”

I nodded vigorously. “Just cut to the chase and tell me what the hell is happening to my wife.”

Eastman sighed. “The placenta was not over the cervix at the start of labor, but it seems the contractions have moved it down and Laurel’s losing a lot of blood. We’ll have to deliver the baby via C-section.”

I tried to follow a nurse into the OR, but Maisie and Dr. Eastman stopped me again. “I have to be in there!” I shouted.

“We need to scrub before we can enter the surgical suite,” East said. “Follow me.”

In the washroom, Eastman introduced me to the anesthesiologist, Dr. Brunei, who was already washed up as a couple of nurses helped him slip into a fresh pair of scrubs.

“Doctor, I need you to be straight with me,” I said as I set down the disposable nail brush and proceeded to rub the red Hibiclens soap all over my hands and up to my elbows. “Should I be worried?”

“Hemorrhaging in labor is not ideal, but it’s not uncommon. It’s a situation we’re always prepared for, especially with what we saw in the previous sonograms. You’re in good hands today. We’re going to deliver your baby and replace the blood your wife lost. I just need to verify that neither you nor your wife have any religious objections to receiving blood transfusion?”

I shook my head as I held my arms under the running water. I couldn’t speak. This couldn’t be happening.

When Eastman and I were gowned and gloved, we entered the surgical suite in time to see the nurses using a sheet to lift Laurel’s limp body off the hospital bed and onto the operating gurney, her arm flopped over the edge of the mattress.

Her skin was drained of the usual golden-peach glow. Her fingers were blue.

No. I shook my head, unwilling to accept what I was seeing.

“Mr. Stratton?”

I turned my head to the right and found four-foot-eleven Maisie staring up at me.

“You’re very pale, Mr. Stratton. You should sit,” she said, motioning to a chair on the other side of the room, closer to Laurel.

I nodded as I trailed behind her like a lost puppy. “Thank you,” I muttered, but I didn’t take a seat. I couldn’t rest when both my babies needed me.

Due to the hemorrhaging, Laurel would be put under general anesthesia instead of the usual spinal block used for C-sections. Maisie made it clear that this meant I would be the first person to hold our baby, not Laurel. I knew this would make Laurel sad, when she woke and I had to tell her what happened. But I wasn’t prepared for how I would feel about it.

I held Laurel’s hand through the entire surgery, stroking and kissing the back of her hand and murmuring words of encouragement as if she were awake. When our son was pulled from her womb, his blue skin covered in blood, I stopped breathing. Mere seconds passed before he took his first wailing breath of life, but it felt like an eternity.

As the nurses cleaned him up, I kept a firm grasp on Laurel’s hand while I whispered in her ear, narrating what was happening. I hoped that somewhere in her subconscious mind, she was listening, and maybe someday she could piece together this moment.

Maisie smiled as she approached me with the bundle wrapped in a striped baby blanket. As I took my son in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed by a wave of emotion so powerful, it should have knocked me out of my chair.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I looked down at his puffy, pink face. “This is my boy,” I said with a chuckle. His tiny body moved in my arms and it my chest filled with sheer wonder and joy. I shook my head, unable to believe I’d made something so pure and so real. “This is our son.” I put my finger next to his tiny hand and my heart nearly burst when he grabbed on. I kissed his fingers the way I’d kissed Laurel’s hand earlier and his eyelids fluttered. “Laurel, baby, I wish you could see this.” I looked up at Maisie. “Doesn’t he need to be breastfed or something?” I asked.

She smiled. “They will bring her out of anesthesia in a few minutes, once she’s stitched up. For now, he needs to be held by his papa.”

The words echoed in my mind. His papa.

My face screwed up as I was overcome with emotion. The fear and doubt I’d felt about becoming a father seemed like a distant memory. I’d never been so filled with absolute joy in all my life.

I was a father. I was papa.


Present day

I had let my jealousy and rage distract me from what was truly important. I’d driven Laurel away twice, at a time when my pixie needed me most. I knew Laurel didn’t owe me a third chance, which was why I was going to earn my way back into her arms. And there was only two ways to do that.

One way was to catch the bastard who stole our happiness. The other way might prove more difficult. It would involve closing my case files and admitting that my need for justice was tearing my marriage apart. But I couldn’t do that, not until I gave my quest for justice one final effort. If I couldn’t get justice for my boy by the time Laurel turned thirty next month, I would pack away my case files and do whatever I took to get her back.

I handed my suitcase to the guy wearing the fluorescent safety vest, then I climbed the steps of the private charter plane at exactly eleven a.m. Immediately, I slid my cell phone out of the interior pocket of my sport coat and called my assistant, Jade Insley.

“Good morning,” she answered cheerily.

“Jade, I need you to forward all my calls, even the ones to my cell, to your desk phone. I’m out of town and I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

“Absolutely,” she replied. “What should I tell the partners?”

“Tell them I’m visiting family. I’ll check in occasionally for messages.”

I ended the call and immediately removed the SIM card from my phone, tossing the tiny chip over the side of the staircase before I stepped inside the plane. I gave the attendant my drink order — club soda with lime — then I tucked my cell into my coat. Sliding the burner phone out of the front pocket of my slacks, I took a seat in the plush leather seat. I turned the phone on and shot off a text.

Me: Plane taking off. Should land in less than two hours. We still on for three p.m.?

Sean: I’ll be there with bells on.


I pulled my rental car into a space in front of a two-story office building clad in weathered cedar shingles. The dark tinted windows and lack of signage made it look like a place one would go to get illegal plastic surgery. Other than my rented Chevy Tahoe, the only other cars in the lot were a beat-up Cadillac Eldorado and a pristine 80s era cherry-red Porsche.

When I stepped into the lobby, I was not surprised to find a directory missing a third of its letters. But I was still able to determine that “SEA  D GHE TY PI 2 1” meant Sean Dougherty, Private Investigator was in suite 201 or 211. That narrowed my options down significantly.

I opted not to take my chances on the wood-paneled elevator and took the stairs up to the second floor. The smell of body odor and desperation engulfed me as I walked down the hallway. The first door I saw was 201 and I quickly reached for the doorknob, eager to escape the smell in the corridor, but the knob didn’t turn. I rapped on the steel door a few times, certain that no one would hear me. I was surprised when my knocking was met with a loud grunt from within.

I immediately lifted the right side of my sport coat, my hand hovering over the gun holstered on my hip as I waited for the door to open.

“Who is it?” a gruff voice called from the other side.

“Jack Stratton. We have an appointment.”

The door opened slowly and we both smiled when we realized we both have our hands poised over our sidearms.

I slowly moved my hand away from my weapon and held it up in front of me. “All good.”

The man lowered his hand and pushed the door wide open. “Good to meet you, Jack,” he said, holding out his hand. “I’m Sean.”

We shook, and I was not at all surprised to find his calloused hand had a killer grip. “It’s really good to meet you,” I replied as I stepped inside suite 201.

My shoulders relaxed instantly when I realized Sean’s office was actually quite clean and modern and smelled like coffee. Not a hint of despair. Sean was a sturdy man in his early fifties, with thick salt and pepper hair and muscled limbs clothed in a crisp button-up and slacks. Not at all what I expected from a gritty private investigator who worked in the ninth circle of office park hell.

“The exterior throws people off. Only the people who are serious make it past the front door,” he said as if he were reading my thoughts. “Have a seat.” He continued speaking as I took a seat across the glass desk. “Hood River PD approved my request to see the file this morning, and I was able to go through most of it before you got here. We’re both obviously most interested in this memo they received from Boise PD. Have you spoken with Detective Robinson yet?”

I shook my head. “She couldn’t say much over the phone. I have a meeting scheduled with her tomorrow. She didn’t seem very optimistic that this would lead anywhere. She hasn’t had a whole lot of luck with sealed adoption records. But I’m working on a piece of software to cross-reference birth records and the NCIC persons files for individuals in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I should have the code finalized and ready to run in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to get you on the case to see if we can track down that adoption decree. I mean, I don’t even have the guy’s name. I’m flying blind.”

NCIC stood for National Crime Information Center, the database shared between the FBI and federal, state, local, and tribal criminal justice users to cooperate on investigations and policies.

Sean leaned back in his desk chair and cocked an eyebrow. “So what put you onto this lead anyway? This is a pretty serious accusation.”

I shook my head as I stared at the manila folder on his desk. “Just a hunch, I guess. I always felt like there was more to Beth than any of us knew.”

“And Beth is your wife’s mother, right?”

I nodded. “Don’t get me wrong, Beth was a great mom and I couldn’t have asked for a better grandmother for my son. She… She gave her life trying to protect my boy. I hold no ill will toward her. But there was always something about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

“I used to chalk it up to the same mysterious quality Laurel has. A strange, otherworldly kind of beauty and wit. But with Laurel’s mom, there were other signs that I didn’t know the real Beth.”

“Like what?”

“Just general secretiveness when it came to what caused her divorce from Laurel’s father and stuff like that. It wasn’t until someone in our Facebook group passed on the tip to Boise PD about Mike O’Toole that Detective Robinson decided to do a little digging into Beth’s past.”

“So who’s Mike O’Toole?”

I waved off the question. “A dead lead, but it did get Robinson asking questions and that’s why I’m here. The PI I spoke to in Portland told me that it could take years to win a battle to unseal adoption records. She said my best bet, if the suspect is living here in Idaho, would be to try to find someone who could track him down here. So here I am, hoping like hell you can help me find the piece of shit that killed my son, because… I’m on the verge of losing everything.”

Sean is silent for a long while as he stares at the glass desktop, and when he finally looks up, his square face is fixed with a tight smile. “Well, you were honest with me, so I guess it’s my turn for a little show and tell.” He reaches behind him, opens the top drawer of a two-drawer file cabinet, and pulls out a silver picture frame. “This is my Rosie,” he says, placing the picture on top of his desk so I could see the photo of a teenage girl with wavy blonde hair and a beaming smile. “Rose hated when I called her Rosie,” he said, staring at the picture with a wistful look in his steel-gray eyes.

“She’s beautiful,” I said, stopping myself before I could say she reminded me a bit of Laurel.

“Rose was seventeen when she went to an ice skating rink with some friends. Same as she’d done every winter since she was eight years old. But this time, she went outside to have a smoke. A nasty habit. I kept grounding her to try to get her to stop, but she just wouldn’t listen. She was too pigheaded.” He finally looked up and met my gaze. “That was the last we saw of her until her body was discovered two months later, in a creek forty miles away.”

I clenched my jaw as I imagined how I would have felt if I’d had seventeen years with Junior before he was murdered. Or if, God forbid, it had been Laurel who had been taken away from me. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without Laurel.

“That was a knockout punch. I was down for the count. No coming back from that, I thought,” Sean continued. “So I doubled down on how fast I could wreck my life. I was a financial crimes detective at the time, but I began sleeping in my office, poring over the case files day and night. I became obsessed.”

I lowered my gaze as his words shamed me. All the nights I’d spent sleeping on the couch in my home office instead of in the bedroom with Laurel were mirrored in Sean’s story. And somehow, I didn’t think his story had a happy ending.

“Did you find out who did it?”  

Sean smiled as he shook his head. “Nope. I lost my job. Lost my marriage. Lost my house. That bastard took my daughter from me, but I willingly gave him everything else. You understand?”

I nodded in silence. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t think of a single cynical thing to say. I was only in this office because this was my last resort. I couldn’t come back to Laurel emptyhanded. I’d given her every material thing she could ever want. I gave her shelter and security. I gave her my love. But I hadn’t given her my full attention.

Unfortunately, I knew myself too well to know that I would not be able to focus on my marriage and work until I was certain I’d done everything I could for Junior. And, yes, even for Beth. She may have had her secrets, but I meant it when I said Junior could not have asked for a better grandmother. She deserved justice as much as my boy did.

Sean Dougherty and the software program I was working on, which I had dubbed PNW Checkmate, were my last hope. If the software helped us find Junior’s killer, I would expand the software to include all fifty states and territories. For now, I had to focus on this area, and specifically Boise. If Ava Robinson’s suspicions were correct that Beth and Junior’s murders were not random, this was surely the missing piece of the puzzle we needed to help us crack this case. Laurel and I might finally be able to turn the page on this gruesome chapter of our lives.

Sean and I chatted for more than two hours. I filled in any holes in the case file he’d received from the Hood River Police Department. I laid out my suspicions about Beth’s past, information I’d gleaned through conversations with Beth and Laurel over the years. The most interesting tidbit being the time Laurel told me her mother had left her father for a few months when she was about five years old. It wasn’t definitive evidence, but it was one brushstroke in a colorful picture of a woman who lived her life with as much verve as the flowers she so carefully nurtured.

“Whatever you do, do not—I repeat, do not attempt to approach any potential suspects or interviewees on your own. You hear me?” He glared at me with his thick eyebrows raised, awaiting my agreement.

“You have my word,” I replied, probably not as definitively as I should have.

“I’m serious, Jack. Don’t get yourself killed or arrested for this shit. It’s not worth it. Tell me you understand.”

I nodded. “I understand,” I said with a bit more vigor.

He eyed me warily. “I’ll handle all interviews. You’ve got too much at stake. Too many emotions that pose a threat here. And I’m the experienced interrogator. So this is not a request. This is an order. You hear me?”

I looked him dead in the eye. “Loud and clear.”


New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge-watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.

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(Will go live at 6:00 a.m. PST / 9:00 a.m. EST on March 9th)


Then There Was You by Claire Contreras ~ Blog Tour & Excerpt

Then There Was You, an all-new second chance romance from New York Times bestselling author Claire Contreras is LIVE!

Love and the right timing were two things I didn’t believe in.

Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together.
Timing was never on our side.
My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend.
My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her.
My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn’t built to withstand the winds coming in our direction.

Love and timing.

I didn’t believe in either.

Then there was you . . .

*** Available in KINDLE UNLIMITED  ***
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“There’s no one at my parent’s house except for me.” He raised an eyebrow. “My brother is moving from his apartment to a bigger house, so he’s been going by there to pick up the last of his things, but that’s about it. I’ve barely seen him.”

I frowned. “So why are you staying there?” And where were his parents living? I didn’t want to ask this, of course, but I was dying to know.

“I’m waiting for construction on my apartment building to be complete. It should be move-in ready by October.”


All sorts of questions popped into my head, but I pushed them aside. They’d go unasked because I didn’t want to answer any more of his. Thankfully, he clicked for the iron gates that guarded his house to open and drove in, not pushing for an answer. My eyes stayed glued on those gates as we drove past them. They were like something out of a Richie-Rich movie, those gates, black with a gold emblem in the center. I’d seen them countless times, pushed them open in the middle of the night more times than I could count. I tore my eyes away and looked up at the house. I hadn’t expected to feel such gripping emotion over a damn gate, but I guess some things never stop piercing your heart, no matter how much time passed.

“I’ll be right out.”

I nodded once and leaned against the seat before he jogged inside. I closed my eyes, trying to figure out how my trip had gone from closing a chapter in my life to being stuck in the middle of my epilogue. When Grandma Joan called me with a guilt trip, telling me to come spend a couple of weeks with her, I’d taken her up on the offer for two reasons: I was the only one left who hadn’t packed her room and taken the boxes to the storage unit, and I missed her and this place. I missed the days I used to come here and feel like I was home. I missed the slow pace that came with a life here in Ithaca, nestled inside the city, but surrounded by nature and the water.

Thinking about those days also brought memories of Rowan. Kissing Rowan, holding hands with him, laughing with him in our canoes, but with the positive came the negative. He and I were never meant to be more than friends, and even friends was questionable. Friends didn’t lie or omit important things. My eyes popped open when I heard the front door shut. I watched him take the steps two at a time and stride toward me.

He slid into the driver’s seat, dropped one of the two bottles of water he’d been carrying into my lap, and shot me a wink. I scowled, clutching the water and facing forward. Just because I’d taken him up on the ride didn’t mean we were suddenly going to be chums again. Far from it. I wouldn’t fall for those mischievous eyes. I wouldn’t fall for the panty-dropping grin either. I wouldn’t fall. Not again.

My Way Back to You (Second Chances #2)
Publication Date: March 15th, 2018

Synopsis coming soon!!


PREORDER My Way Back to You on Barnes & Noble or iBooks for release on March 13th!
This title will not be available for purchase on iBooks or Nook after March 13th.

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Releases on March 15th on AMAZON and AVAILABLE in KINDLE UNLIMITED
Preorder on AMAZON on March 1st!

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Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages.

She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she’s not writing, she’s usually lost in a book.

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One Last Time by Corinne Michaels ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times bestselling author, Corinne Michaels, comes a new heartwarming standalone romance.

I’m getting really good at cutting my losses.

First, the husband. Divorcing him was the best decision I ever made. But between single-parenting and job-hunting, I can’t catch my breath. When a celebrity blogging position falls into my lap, I’m determined to succeed.

That is, until I get my first assignment and actually see Noah Frazier for the first time . . . practically naked and dripping wet. My heart races and I forget how to form complete sentences. His chiseled abs, irresistible smirk, and crystal blue eyes are too perfect to be real. So, what do I do? Get drunk and humiliate myself, of course.

I’m ready to forget the awkward night, yet Noah has no intention of allowing me to move on. Instead, he arranges for me to write a feature on him, ensuring a lot more time together. One embarrassing moment after another, one kiss after another, and before I can stop myself, I realize—I’m falling in love with him.

But when the unthinkable happens, can I even blame him for cutting his losses?

What I wouldn’t give for just one last time . . .

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review here

Before I can make a move either way, the glass door slides open and Noah walks through the threshold.

My legs start to quiver as his eyes meet mine. All I can think about is how I’d like to climb him like a tree and shake his coconuts. I thought he was hot in the photo, then he was better through the window, but up close, he’s otherworldly.

“Hi.” Noah’s throaty voice floats around me. “You must be Kristin.”

Instead of speaking, I stand here with my mouth hanging open. Some small sounds that could be words escape, but they aren’t coherent.

Kill me now.

“Noah, this is my best friend, Kristin. Who we told you about.” Heather elbows me.

“Yes. Me. Hi. Kristin. I. You. Hi.”

Smooth. Someone should video this because I’m sure it’s highly entertaining.

“Right.” Noah flashes a blinding smile. “I hear you’re a reporter?”

Okay, Kristin, you have to speak in more than one-word increments or grunting noises.

I grab Heather’s glass she just poured and hope it’ll act as a talisman. “Yes, for a small blog, but I’m that. A reporter. For a blog. I write.”

And a bumbling idiot.

Noah’s green eyes are filled with humor. He moves a little closer and places his hand on top of mine. “Eli filled me in a little. I’m happy I came.”

I’m pretty sure I just came. At least we’re all coming.

“Me, too.”

His lips turn up as his eyes rake my body. “See you out there.” He winks and walks back out.

My ovaries have officially disintegrated.

I turn back to Heather, who bursts out into a fit of laughter. “Oh, that was epic. You all said I was starstruck when I met Eli? You should’ve seen that!” Heather continues to laugh at my expense. “Yes. Me. Um. Blog. Er—” She mocks.

“Shut up.” I laugh—because, really, what else can I do—and bump her hip before moving around the bar and grabbing a glass. “Now, pour me a shot before I drink straight from the bottle.”

There’s only one way to get through tonight.


Lots of Alcohol.

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

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NEW RELEASE!! At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec ~ Sarah A’s Review

Meet the Naughty Princess Club: a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that introduces readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that ensues when three women start a new business to make it rain.
Once upon a time, Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.
Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippityboppity-boo.
But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.
 Truth? I was unsure about reading this book; I don’t gravitate toward comedy in anything.  In fact, I will actively avoid anything billed as humorous, unless it’s been well vetted by people I know and trust.  Another truth?  I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN AFTER I STARTED IT.  Yes, those are shouty capitals.  Cynthia – Cindy, Cin- totally won me over.  Well, maybe that’s overstating things.  Ariel impressed me with her brash honesty, and from there I fell for Cindy, too.

At the Stroke of Midnight is the first book in Tara Sivec’s new Naughty Princess Club series.  These books are all going to focus on different women – I say couples, but let’s be honest, the ladies rule this kingdom – and could technically be read as stand-alones, but after reading this book, I can’t see how you wouldn’t want to read them all in order, since you get to know the other two princesses so well in it.  At the Stroke of Midnight is written in first person perspective, from our fabulous heroine’s point of view.

My absolutely favorite part of this book wasn’t the romance between the heroine and her Prince Charming; it was the love story between the heroine and herself.  She grew so much from the woman in the first chapter to the take-charge, brazen broad who she proved herself to be in the final chapter.  Watching her shed her Stepford wife persona was fantastic; watching the effect her transformation had on the people who cared for her was everything.  So, yes, the romance was great, but not the reason I loved this book so much.

While Cin was the shining star of this show – as well she should be – I’d be remiss to completely neglect her prince.  I loved how he was with her.  Knowing when to push her, and just how hard to do it.  Supporting her completely in all her choices.  He very much lived up to anything I could hope for a woman who’d been dealt the cards our Cindy had been playing.

While I’d always heard about how amazing Tara Sivec’s romcoms were, I’d never picked one up; I’d assumed I wouldn’t care for them because it’s not a genre I generally care for.  Wow.  If this book is in keeping with her other comedies I was sorely mistaken.  At the Stroke of Midnight was smart, empowering, and a lot deeper than I would have ever guessed.  I’d always loved her heavy, heart-wrenching books, but I think I’ll be adding her romcoms to my reading repertoire.

Closing my eyes, I take a few deep, calming breaths as I stand behind a black velvet curtain in the dimly lit backstage area. An erotic song that I don’t recognize plays through the club on the other side of the curtain, the heavy, thumping bass from the music vibrating through my body.

“You can do this. It’s just like you’ve been practicing. Close your eyes and pretend you’re just dancing in your bedroom,” I whisper to myself.

“Do you normally have over a hundred complete strangers in your bedroom watching you take your clothes off while dancing to a horrible ’80s song?”

My pep talk is interrupted and my eyes fly open to find my friend, Ariel standing next to me backstage. It still feels weird to call her my friend, considering a few months ago I had no desire to ever speak to her, let alone get to know her. But, she’s one of the reasons I’m standing here right now, getting ready to do something I never thought I’d do. Sure, it’s an unusual way to make your dreams come true, but everyone has to start somewhere.

“I took your advice and chose another song. But just so you know, ‘Eternal Flame’ by the Bangles is not a horrible eighties song. ‘Is this burning, an eternal flame’ is a beautiful and passionate lyric,” I argue with her, my voice rising to be heard over the catcalls, whistling, and clapping happening on the other side of the curtain, as the woman who went on before me finishes up her performance.

“If it’s burning eternally, it’s probably chlamydia,” Ariel deadpans.

“Is this your idea of pep talk?”

“Do you need a pep talk?” Ariel questions, with a confused look on her face.

“Have we met?!” I shout hysterically. “Do you think this is something I’m a hundred percent confident about right now? I feel sick. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea. I don’t think I’ve had enough practice.”

I start to back away from the curtain when she reaches out and grabs my arm to stop me from running as fast as I can off this stage and out of this club.

“You’ve had enough practice. You finally let your hair down, literally and figuratively,” she reminds me as I tentatively run my fingers through my long blond hair, which she recently convinced me to put caramel highlights in and which has been curled and teased and hangs around my shoulders and halfway down my back. “This is where your future begins, babe. Right here. On this stage. This is where you take back your life and give a giant fuck you to that dipshit of an ex-husband. And that hot piece of man meat out there in the audience who has no idea what’s about to hit him.”

My eyes start to burn as they fill with tears, and I quickly blink them back before they ruin the perfect cat-eye eyeliner and false lashes she applied for me in the dressing room an hour ago.

“That was the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me,” I tell her with a sniffle.

“Just think: Instead of having that giant pole up your ass, you’ll have it in the palm of your hands and be swinging on it in about forty-five seconds,” she says with a smirk.

“And then you go and completely ruin it,” I mutter with a shake of my head, taking another deep breath and turning away from her to face the curtains again.

“You’ll be fine. It’s two minutes and thirty-five seconds of your life. It will be over before you know it,” she reassures me with a pat on the back.

“I need my Clorox wipes,” I mumble nervously, bringing one hand up to my mouth and chewing nervously on my thumbnail.

She smacks my hand away and rolls her eyes.

“You do not need your Clorox wipes. That pole is clean. Ish. You know what? Don’t think about the pole and all the vaginas that have spun on it before you tonight. Think about how freeing this will be. Think about your business. Our business. Think about being independent and paying your own bills and banging the hot-as-balls man out in the audience who will most likely lose his shit when he sees you walk out on that stage,” she says with a wag of her eyebrows.

“I’m not going to . . . do that with him,” I reply indignantly, even though just the thought of being naked in a bed with that man makes me feel all warm and tingly.

“For fuck’s sake, you can say the word bang. God will not kill a kitten if you say the word bang. And you’re totally going to bang that man like a screen door in a hurricane. Especially when he sees you in this outfit,” she states, looking me up and down. “Well, the outfit you have on underneath that thing.”

I take a second to look down at myself and smile. He told me to never, ever wear this costume again, and I did it just to irritate him. And to see the look on his face when I take it off. I’m not the prude he thinks I am. I can change. I can be sexy and outgoing and do something completely outrageous and not in my comfort zone.

“I can do this,” I state with a nod of my head.

“Hell yeah you can!” Ariel cheers, bumping her shoulder against mine. “Just don’t trip and fall on your face in those ridiculously high heels. Biting it and smacking your face onto the stage is not hot.”

I glare at her, and she holds her hands up and begins backing away.

“You’ve got this. Shake your ass and make momma some money!” she shouts before disappearing around a corner to go out into the audience and cheer me on.

“Let’s give a great big round of applause to Tiffany! We’ve got an extra-special treat for you next. Get your dollar bills ready, folks. Straight from the castle, looking for her very own Prince Charming, is the hottest princess you’ll ever meet! Put your hands together for Cinderella!”

Letting out a long, slow breath, I grab onto the velvet curtain and yank it open, pasting a smile on my face and ignoring the butterflies flapping around in my stomach as I make my way on stage.

I can do this.

I’m going to go out there and show everyone that it’s possible for a housewife to make something of herself. Even if she has to make it by being a stripper.

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, babysitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She writes in a wide range of genres including Romantic Comedy, Romantic Comedy/Mystery, Romantic Suspense, New Adult Drama, Contemporary Romance and Psychological Thriller. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2014.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.

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