Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry ~ Sarah A’s Review

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, she was the darkest storm.

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It’s no secret I love books deeply emotional, make my soul weep, destroy me, and put me together books; Behind the Bars fit that bill wonderfully.  It included all the things I love most when I’m reading: horrific loss, destructive coping methods, dubious characters using the main characters for their own gain, and ultimately the thing every reader wants, hope, healing, and happiness for the characters we’ve come to know and love.  Add to that a heavy musical theme and this hit almost every bullet-point I could list for a book wishlist.

Behind the Bars is the first book in what looks to be a promising start to a new series from Brittainy C. Cherry.  Based on the series title, Music Street, I can only assume that music will be the string that holds the series together – and that makes me eternally thankful, I don’t get enough books that hit on the musical parts of my soul.  Behind the Bars is written in dual first-person perspective by Jasmine and Elliot.

Music played such an important role in this book I would be remiss to not speak about it.  I know there are music people and non-music people, and Behind the Bars may not speak to non-music people the way it spoke to me.  Music is the language of my soul, I’ve been playing for most of my life, so I deeply connected with the characters and how they related to music and let it speak for them when words were not enough to convey the depth of their emotions.  When a musician doesn’t have that outlet, it causes an essential piece of who they are to become untethered, so it hurt my heart when the music of Elliot and Jasmine’s souls wasn’t available to them.

Jasmine and Elliot both suffered unimaginable heartbreak and loss, though it was served to them in vastly different ways and I’m not sure which was more painful.  The loss of a loved one, no matter what the circumstances, causes a shift in a person, one that can make them stronger or destroy them, occasionally the destruction comes as a prelude to the strength; both Jasmine and Elliot dredged through both outcomes before they found the way back to their happiness.

I could wax on about this book for ages; there were just so many things I absolutely loved about it.  So many things that spoke directly to my heart and soul; this is a book that I’m sure I’ll come back to time and again when I need to read something that moves me in a way few things are able.

Brittainy C. Cherry won me as a loyal reader with The Air He Breathes, and she just keeps showing me new reasons to keep her on my must-read list.  She writes from the depths of her soul, and you can feel each part of her heart she lays bare in her books.  I only hope she continues to give us, her readers, the privilege of looking into her soul and seeing the world in the way she views it.

By the way, what happened to Todd’s nose?” I asked.

“I broke it,” Elliott said matter-of-factly.

“What? How? Why?”

He shrugged before turning to look out the window. “He called you a bad name.”

“What was it?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Eli,” I started.

He turned my way and locked his hazel eyes with my browns. “Jazz…” He shook his head. “It wasn’t true.”

I swallowed hard, a big part of me certain Todd’s words held some form of truth.

Elliott saw it in me—my fear. He kept shaking his head and whispered, “I don’t feel sorry for you. Sometimes you look at me like you think I feel sorry for you, and I want you to know I don’t. I think you’re perfect the way you are.”

I quietly laughed at him repeating the words I’d told him earlier. A few tears rolled down my cheeks. “I’m a little messed up.”

“I know.” He nodded. “That’s why I like you.”

He went back to staring out the window, and I kept staring at him.

And there it was.

So small, so tiny, so real.

Love.

It wasn’t love, but it was the beginning of it.

I knew I was young, and I knew it was stupid, but in that moment, I began to fall in love with the quiet boy who quietly cared for me. The boy who was scared and still strong. The boy who stood up for me when he was surrounded by reasons not to do such a thing. I hadn’t known much about love. I hadn’t known how it looked, felt, or tasted. I hadn’t known how it moved, how it flowed, but I knew my heart was tight and currently skipping a few beats. I understood the goose bumps covering my arms. I knew this stuttering boy who was sometimes so scared was someone worth loving. He was worth being the first one I gave my heart to.

I knew Elliott Adams was love.

And I was falling into him so fast.

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

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NOW AVAILABLE!! Ford by Samantha Chase ~ Sarah A’s Review

There are three things Ford Garrison wants more than anything: to build, to report to no one, and the chance to live his life without the prying eyes of the good folks of Eagle’s Ridge. Having spent ten years in the Navy as part of their construction battalion, he was able to live out most of that dream. Two out three wasn’t bad, right? Now that he’s out of the service, things aren’t falling into place quite as easily as he hoped and he ends up back home with all eyes on him.

It wasn’t as if Callie had gone out of her way to end up in Ford’s path, but somehow that happened all on its own and the town gossips were having a field day! Could she help it that she was living in the house Ford had hoped to claim as his own or that the work on his grandmother’s ranch meant they were living not fifty-feet away from each other?

Ford was determined to come home, do a job to help his grandmother and leave. Callie James is a distraction and she represents everything he has spent years running away from. Now he’s at odds with his friends, his family and himself about where his home and future are going to be.

Could he walk away from Eagle’s Ridge a second time?

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Super bummed that this is how the series ended. I was hoping for something more intense, and this just didn’t deliver the impactful ending I was hoping for. Ford was not a bad book, it was sweet and light, and Callie and Ford were endearing, it was just too light for me. This series has been up and down for me, and I was hoping the final book would be a high, so that expectation certainly influenced my rating.

Ford is the seventh and final book in the Seven Brides for Seven Soldiers series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but there are recurring characters, and the stories build on one another, so I would highly suggest reading the series in its entirety, in order. Ford, like all the books in this series, is told in dual third person POV, by Ford and Callie.

Ford was an interesting, frustrating character. He was so stuck on this idea of what he wanted to achieve, of what moving back to the town he was born in would be like, of how stifled he was by the opportunities afforded him by his family’s legacy, he never appreciated all the things he had going for him. Nor did he ever stop to consider the things he wanted from life had evolved from what they’d been when he was barely an adult. Witnessing his slow realization that e wasn’t the same and his needs and wants weren’t the same, was interesting – he fought was his heart and soul knew at every turn.

Callie fell a little flat for me. She didn’t have much of a growth arc and other than being one of the catalysts for Ford’s awakening (and obviously his love interest) she didn’t add much – regarding her own story line – to the book. I always hope for a strong female lead, and she just didn’t quite stand up to the challenge, she spends little time on page where she isn’t completely focused on Ford, and I hoped for more from her.

I wish that Callie had been a more dynamic character. I felt like the only parts of her we got to know where the pieces that would affect Ford and I’m sure there was so much more to her than that. I also would have loved to have seen a little more conflict in the climax; there was so much foreshadowing as to what did happen I felt like it was lackluster.

Samantha Chase is a new to me author. While I wasn’t deeply impressed with the story of Ford, the writing was good. If the cover copy of another book of hers were to pique my curiosity, I would give her another go to make a more well-informed opinion of her as an author.

“What are you working on out here? More wreaths?”

With a soft laugh, she pulled back and stepped out of his arms. “I am. Doing something like this is normally very soothing for me. When I got home, I came right out here rather than going into the cottage.”

“And did it help?”

Callie shook her head. “Unfortunately, it was so quiet out here, and I’ve already made four of these wreaths so I didn’t even have to think about what I was doing.”

“So your mind immediately went to your mom.”

She nodded. “Exactly.”

Stepping around her, Ford examined the wreath. It looked exactly like the one she had given him for his grandmother’s front door, but now he took the time to look at the details. It seemed so simple at first glance, but when he realized how much time went into weaving the lights and how tedious that could be, he was more than a little impressed. The vine was fragile, and he knew he’d more than likely crush some of it if he tried to do it himself.

Unable to help himself, he reached for one of Callie’s hands and studied it. It was small and delicate. Her fingers were slim and smooth. No wonder she could do work like this. He looked at her face and saw her studying him, her expression serious.

And Callie rarely looked serious or intense. Her features were always relaxed or smiling. This was…different.

He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her palm. “I was just noticing how intricate this work is,” he said gruffly. “I’m a little in awe of what you do.”

“Me? But…what you do is so much more—”

Ford placed a finger over her lips and shook his head. “I’m in awe of you,” he repeated, and slowly pulled her in close again.

Callie’s lips parted on a soft gasp as her eyes met his. And those beautiful eyes seemed to have a million questions in them, and Ford only had one answer.

He kissed her.

Slowly. Sweetly. He savored her as she melted against him. She hummed as her arms wrapped around him and in that instant, Ford knew what he had to do.

He lifted his head and looked down at her. Her lips were wet and her cheeks were flushed and she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. So many nights over the last week they’d been like this, and right now, Ford knew he wanted more.

“Come home with me, Callie,” he murmured against her lips before resting his forehead against hers.

“Yes.”

Never had a single word sounded sweeter.

Ryder (#1) – Barbara Freethy
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Adam (#2) – Roxanne St. Claire
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Zane (#3) – Christie Ridgway
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Wyatt (#4) – Lynn Raye Harris
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Jack (#5) – Julia London
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Noah (#6) – Cristin Harber
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Ford (#7) – Samantha Chase
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Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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**GIVEAWAY** The Outpost by Devney Perry ~ Sarah A’s Review

The Outpost by Devney Perry is out now! Check out our blog tour post and be the first to read this sexy new romance from Devney—grab your copy today!

 Trapped in his tiny mountain cabin, she didn’t expect to fall for his big heart.

Exposing a prominent criminal family with an investigative news report didn’t exactly work out the way Sabrina had hoped. Instead of basking in the glory of her article’s success, she’s on the run from a powerful man who wants her dead. To stay safe, she’s forced to trade one bad situation for another. Stuck in the Montana wilderness, she’s secluded from anything resembling civilization or the modern-day world. The only good thing about her situation is the gorgeous mountain man assigned to protect her. Too bad he isn’t the slightest bit interested in a city girl like her.

Beau likes his life quiet and simple. Give him a peaceful day hiking in the woods with his dog, and he’s a happy man. He has no use for large crowds, noisy cities or dramatic women. So when a hotshot reporter rolls into town, dragging her big-time problems with her, he should have run for the hills. Instead, he volunteered to keep her safe. Bringing her into his world won’t be easy, but if he can convince her that Montana isn’t as terrifying as she believes, they might just be the perfect match.

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If it hadn’t been for the prologue drawing me into this story, I might have quit reading it. The first half of The Outpost seemed long, slow, and at time torturous. I didn’t connect with the characters and had to force myself to keep going because I was sure it would get better (and I wanted to know why she’d left ‘him’ if the months spent with him were so life-altering. I am glad I stuck it out, the last half of the book did redeem the first, although the rough start did affect my rating.

The Outpost is the Fourth in Devney Perry’s Jamison Valley series, although it can be read as a stand-alone. I haven’t read any of the books in the series, and I never felt lost in this book. There are a couple of characters I’d like to know more about, so I will likely pick up the previous books and read the series in its entirety, though. It is told in dual POV, Sabrina and Beau’s, but more of the book is told from Sabrina’s viewpoint than Beau’s

While I did feel empathetic toward Sabrina, I had a hard time connecting with her. It was definitely a ‘me’ thing, as I don’t think she was poorly written. It just seemed to me like a lot of who she was, in the beginning, was so superficial I think I wrote her off from that point forward. There were times she seemed too wrapped up in what her life used to look like to understand where her life was heading in the present. All in all, Sabrina was just a character I found difficult to relate to.

Beau was very much the opposite, and I desperately wish we would have had more scenes in his POV. He was such a quintessential ‘good guy’ and seemed to be a straight shooter; I think it would have been easier for me to connect with the book if I were in his head more often.

The Outpost did keep me on my toes for a good portion of the novel. There was a constant looming threat in the background and other moments of suspense thrown in to keep things interesting. Most of the on page happened in the final half of the book which helped me to enjoy the overall experience. I loved the glimpse of the other couples and tertiary characters; those scenes made me feel like I need to go back and read their stories too.

My wish for this book is just that the beginning of the book be more attention-grabbing. It started with a few big bangs and then fizzled for several chapters, that huge change in pace – while important for the character – was not great for the pacing of the novel. I also would have liked Sabrina to have been a more sympathetic character. While I did feel sympathy for her situation, I didn’t feel it for her as a whole.

Devney Perry is a new to me author. I’ve had several friends suggest her books since The Coppersmith Farmhouse was released, I just hadn’t taken the time to read them. After reading The Outpost, despite the slow beginning, I do see myself checking out her backlist. Her writing was good, and I enjoyed the journey she took me on. The fact she made me feel so much for secondary characters shows how good she is at drawing in her readers.

“Bryce,” the producer called from behind the row of cameras. “We’re all set.”

“Thanks.” She waved over the hair and makeup team. My blond hair got fluffed and placed while her skin was dusted and blushed. With both of our lips recolored, we settled in for the interview. The cameraman gave us his countdown and then Bryce did her introduction before turning to me.

“You’ve had quite the year, Sabrina. Just a little over one year ago, you wrote an article for The Seattle Times that shut down the biggest gun-smuggling operation on the upper West Coast. Then you disappeared for six months, only to reemerge as a best-selling romance novelist. You’ve just won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and I’ve heard that there are talks of making your book into a blockbuster. How does it feel to have reached such success in your career?”

“Thank you. It’s been wonderful, albeit very busy.” I smiled and glanced at my lap to hide the flash of pain that crashed through my heart. Nothing about my successes gave me joy. Talking about my accomplishments just reminded me of how much I had lost.

“You’ve made some major achievements since you came back to Seattle,” Bryce said. “Most journalists, including this one, would kill to be in your position. How does it feel?”

I gave her my rehearsed answer. “It’s been incredible. Surreal, really. I’m still in shock at how much has happened over the last year.”

“I can imagine.” She flipped to a new note card. “Let’s talk more about the article.”

My cheerful face belied my true feelings. I was miserable on this television set. I was exhausted from talking about that damn article. I was done having people fuss over its success.

Everyone thought it was the article that had changed my life.

It wasn’t.

It had been the six months I’d spent in Montana.

It had been the six months I’d spent with him.

 

 

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

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Nightshade by Molly McAdams ~ Sarah A’s Review

My life has never been my own. From the time I could walk, I was trained to be the mob’s hardened assassin. To be a monster. I’ve been told what to do, when to kill, and who to love. The minute I strayed, I lost everything.

Then I met Jessica.

She swept into my life like a storm of heartache, seduction, and intrigue. She’s everything I hate, but with one look, I can’t stay away. With one touch, she ignites a craving unlike anything I’ve ever known.

But her secrets threaten to destroy everything closest to me. Including her…

Together we’re poison. A destructive combination of darkness and chaos. And I want to savor every drop in my veins.

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

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Once again, Molly McAdams proves she is the queen of rip-your-heart-out romances. My body physically aches after reading Nightshade; it kept me so tense while reading. My heart hurts, my lungs burn, my shoulders won’t relax; it was intense and amazing. This is the epitome of what I look for in a romance novel.

Nightshade is the third book in Molly McAdams’ Redemption series. These books are all interconnected stand-alones so you can read them independently, but I would highly recommend reading them all and in order as each book – especially the final two – is built on the world of the what came before. It’s told in dual POV, by Jessica and Kieran. Experiencing both of their fears, desires, demons, and love made this book outstanding.

I loved Kieran in Firefly; he was, and is, terrifying, but just underneath that frightening shell it was obvious he was damaged, destroyed even, by a life that wasn’t his. The delineation between Kieran and Nightshade, how it was demonstrated was fascinating. His growth arc, especially when you take into account who he was in Firefly, made this book. Watching him realize he was wrong about what he was sure he’d wanted and needed his entire life was incredibly healing.

Jessica nearly broke me; her story was beyond heartbreaking. I appreciated how delicately Ms. McAdams handled her character. She was hands-down one of the strongest, fearsome heroine’s I’ve read, while also being one of the most wrecked. Jessica could have easily made a thousand different choices which would have changed every aspect of her life, but she never strayed from her purpose.

Jessica & Kieran were phenomenal together. They each fulfilled a deep need in the other and were able to soothe the aching pieces of the other’s soul. Their chemistry was explosive, but it was the moments where they simply offered each other solace from the world that completely bowled me over. These two were perfect for one another in every way. Witnessing them learn how to be together, how to heal their gaping wounds, how to read every nuance of the other’s persona was beautiful and a little heartbreaking.

This book nearly broke me at several points. The plot was wonderful and suspenseful; it was intense and intricate, it was near perfection. There were so many moving parts, so many forces working against Jessica and Kieran and the people they loved; it was a wonder they were able to unravel the web that had been woven around them and find a way out. The final chapters of Nightshade shredded my heart; I absolutely was taken aback by what happened, by how they happened, by how devastated I was when the dust cleared.

Molly McAdams is a go-to author for me, she’s yet to disappoint me and writes emotionally charged, devastatingly beautiful romance unlike anyone else. Her prose is always perfectly matched to the characters and the world in which she is writing. Ms. McAdams knows how to rip her readers’ hearts out, fillet them and send them on the path to healing in a way that is uniquely hers. I know every time I delve into a new novel she’s written I will be wholly engrossed and deeply impressed, and she did a wonderful job of proving that, yet again, in Nightshade.

The muscles in Kieran’s jaw ticked, and the anger rolling off his body suddenly felt like a living thing. But his stare never wavered from mine as I soundlessly opened the knife at my side.

“Or did I hit a little too close for comfort last night?” I asked, my voice both seductive and mocking as I took another step closer to him and then another. “Could you just not satisfy her?”

“Enough.”

My brows rose at the growl behind his demand. “Is that right?”

His eyes held so much warning as I took the last step to press my body against his.

My body trembled and begged to get closer still, but I forced myself not to move.

I hated him for the way he felt.

I hated him for the way my body craved more and betrayed me.

I hated him for everything he was and for making me want him in a way I’d never wanted a man.

I hated him.

“Who knew the mob’s feared assassin was lacking.”

One second I was in front of him, staring into those wild eyes, the next I was pressed face-first to the wall with Kieran’s hard body caging me against it. His strong hands were pinning mine to the wall. My knife was gone.

His chest moved roughly against my back, his breath made my hair dance along my cheek and lips, and I ached to push against where I could feel his hardened length in his jeans.

Oh God.

What is wrong with me?

I tried to force a wild laugh from my lungs.

I tried to taunt him.

But there was nothing.

“How long?” he demanded, his voice hoarse.

I curled my hands against the wall and shivered beneath him when his body moved closer and he pressed our hands harder to the wall.

“What?” I asked breathlessly.

“How long have you been watching us?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

A huff tumbled from my lips when his mouth met my ear. The sound ended on a whimper when the movement forced my butt against his erection.

I needed the heavy, sickening feeling weighing my body down. I needed the disgust and hatred at having a man so close. I needed the reminder of who I was and why I did what I did.

But all I could smell was the subtle hint of his soap.

All I could see was his tattooed arms twisting over mine.

All I could feel was his lean muscles crowding around me in a way that felt so foreign and good.

And I wanted more . . .

Weak. So weak.

“How long?”

My body tensed.

If he had yelled the question, it might have been easier. But there was something truly terrifying in the soft tenor of his voice. And for the first time, I was afraid to be in the same room as him.

But I wasn’t scared for my life.

I was scared for my soul.

I slowly looked over my shoulder and forced myself to hold his disturbing stare. “Nearly half my life.”


Blackbird
(book 1)
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Firefly (book 2)
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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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The Outliers by TM Frazier ~ Sarah A’s Review

The Outliers, the stunning conclusion to The Outskirts Duet by T.M. Frazier is available NOW!

Sensual. Heartbreaking. Passionate. Overwhelming. Maddening.

That’s the love Finn and I share.
It’s the kind you can never recover from.
The kind you never WANT to recover from. 

That’s why we’ll do everything and anything to protect it.  

When my past chases me all the way to Outskirts, we have to make a choice.
Let the lies destroy our chance at future together or…bury them deep in the swamp where they belong.

Got a shovel?

****AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED****
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The Outliers concludes TM Frazier’s Outskirts duet excellently. She gave her readers everything they needed after the end of The Outskirts plus some. I’m happy to have those answers, but a little sad that we’re done with Sawyer and Finn. I hope that we are able to see more of the Outskirts in the future.

The Outliers jumps in immediately where The Outskirts left off; there is no passage of time off page and for that I am thankful. I think having any of those moments happen as a flashback or a recollection to another character would have taken away from how important and life-changing those seconds were for Sawyer.

One of my favorite things about this duet as a whole is how Sawyer and Finn’s relationship was approached. There was never any doubt about their love for one another, and they didn’t let outside circumstances come between them. I loved how deeply they loved and trusted one another and strived to never keep secrets from each other. There was one instance where it seemed as if Finn may have been less than forthright with Sawyer, but once he explained his thought process, it was clear that was not the case.

My wish for The Outliers is that it be a little heavier, there was so much to work with regarding themes used it seems like a miss to have not delved into those things more. I was expecting a lot more exploration into the cult Sawyer escaped from and the abuses perpetrated against its members. There was a little of it, but I’d hoped for more. I’d also hoped the book would be less predictable, it felt very formulaic, and that was just a little disappointing after such a promising start.

My eyes went to her throat. I saw her pulse quicken beneath her smooth skin. She twisted her pouty pink lips. Her hesitation only lasted a second before she wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me down closer so that the tips of our noses touched. Her lips feathered against mine. “Fuck me, Finn.”

“Yes,” I growled.

I may have been the one who told her to say those words but hearing them out of her mouth caused the raging inferno of lust within me to explode beyond control. I had a feeling I’d be hearing those words on repeat in my head for the rest of my life.

Fuck me, Finn.

I lifted her up onto the nearest table and pushed her onto her back. I tore her panties off in one tug and while I devoured her with my eyes, I somehow managed to concentrate enough to unbuckle my belt and push my jeans down over my ass, freeing my throbbing cock.

Sawyer moaned when I parted her legs, stepping between them. The sound was pure fucking heaven. Our tongues danced while we drank each other in. I savored the way her body felt against mine. Hard against soft. I dug my fingers into the flesh of her perfectly round ass before moving them to her pussy where I parted her warm wet folds and strummed her swollen clit because Sawyer was my instrument of choice and only I knew how to play her to perfection.

The look on Sawyer’s face when I inserted a finger inside of her was as if I’d just given her a drug. She was high on the pleasure. Her lids were heavy. Her pupils large and dark. I was dead set on making sure I wrung every bit of pleasure from her gorgeous body and I gave her exactly what she’d asked me for.

****AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED****
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T.M.Frazier is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and her young daughter.

When she’s not writing she loves talking to her readers, country music, reading and traveling. Her debut novel, The Dark Light of Day was published in September of 2013 and when she started writing it she intended for it to be a light beachy romance.

Well…it has a beach in it!

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**GIVEAWAY** NOW AVAILABLE ~ The Outpost by Devney Perry

The Outpost by Devney Perry is out now! Check out the release day festivities and be the first to read this sexy new romance from Devney—grab your copy today!

 Trapped in his tiny mountain cabin, she didn’t expect to fall for his big heart.

Exposing a prominent criminal family with an investigative news report didn’t exactly work out the way Sabrina had hoped. Instead of basking in the glory of her article’s success, she’s on the run from a powerful man who wants her dead. To stay safe, she’s forced to trade one bad situation for another. Stuck in the Montana wilderness, she’s secluded from anything resembling civilization or the modern-day world. The only good thing about her situation is the gorgeous mountain man assigned to protect her. Too bad he isn’t the slightest bit interested in a city girl like her.

Beau likes his life quiet and simple. Give him a peaceful day hiking in the woods with his dog, and he’s a happy man. He has no use for large crowds, noisy cities or dramatic women. So when a hotshot reporter rolls into town, dragging her big-time problems with her, he should have run for the hills. Instead, he volunteered to keep her safe. Bringing her into his world won’t be easy, but if he can convince her that Montana isn’t as terrifying as she believes, they might just be the perfect match.

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“Bryce,” the producer called from behind the row of cameras. “We’re all set.”

“Thanks.” She waved over the hair and makeup team. My blond hair got fluffed and placed while her skin was dusted and blushed. With both of our lips recolored, we settled in for the interview. The cameraman gave us his countdown and then Bryce did her introduction before turning to me.

“You’ve had quite the year, Sabrina. Just a little over one year ago, you wrote an article for The Seattle Times that shut down the biggest gun-smuggling operation on the upper West Coast. Then you disappeared for six months, only to reemerge as a best-selling romance novelist. You’ve just won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and I’ve heard that there are talks of making your book into a blockbuster. How does it feel to have reached such success in your career?”

“Thank you. It’s been wonderful, albeit very busy.” I smiled and glanced at my lap to hide the flash of pain that crashed through my heart. Nothing about my successes gave me joy. Talking about my accomplishments just reminded me of how much I had lost.

“You’ve made some major achievements since you came back to Seattle,” Bryce said. “Most journalists, including this one, would kill to be in your position. How does it feel?”

I gave her my rehearsed answer. “It’s been incredible. Surreal, really. I’m still in shock at how much has happened over the last year.”

“I can imagine.” She flipped to a new note card. “Let’s talk more about the article.”

My cheerful face belied my true feelings. I was miserable on this television set. I was exhausted from talking about that damn article. I was done having people fuss over its success.

Everyone thought it was the article that had changed my life.

It wasn’t.

It had been the six months I’d spent in Montana.

It had been the six months I’d spent with him.

 

 

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

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The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn ~ Sarah A’s Review

I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me.

There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go?

I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good.

Until I met my neighbor.

It’s been three years since I’d seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?

I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.

Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?

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I nearly put this book down before I was a quarter of the way into it. I wasn’t connecting with the characters, and some of the writing was feeling forced. At the advice of some of my reading buddies, I pushed through, and I’m glad I did. While The Other Brother isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, it was satisfying and interesting. The characters had compelling backstories, and this was an interesting twist on a second-chance romance.

The Other Brother is a stand-alone. However, there are two other couples in the book who have previously been written about: Racer and Georgie in Twisted Twosome and Tucker and Emma in My Best Friend’s Ex. I did not read those books before The Other Brother, but the couples intrigued me enough that I have added them to my TBR and hope to visit them soon.

Second chance romances are a favorite of mine. There is just something about reconnecting with a significant other from the past and rediscovering the passion once shared that warms my heart. Aaron and Amelia had that connection in spades. It was evident from the start what they’d lost had never disappeared, only misplaced. I enjoyed the flashbacks to their initial relationship; it put the foundation on which Aaron was trying to build their new relationship in crystal clear perspective.

The most intriguing part of the book was that of the brothers, Aaron & Tyke. While a little unreal, I loved it; I read to escape reality, so it was terrific to get that little bit of departure. In fact, all the family dynamics Aaron had to deal with were fascinating and heartbreaking.

My wish for The Other Brother is that the first few chapters be more attention-grabbing. As I said, I nearly DNF’d the book because of the first quarter, when I was finding it hard to connect with the characters or writing. The writing did improve as the novel progressed, so I felt that, perhaps, the author had difficulty connecting with the characters in the beginning as well.

Meghan Quinn, while not exactly unknown to me, is an author I’ve never read. I’ve extensively heard about how funny she is – if you follow my reviews, you know I stay away from comedy – so I’d had little reason to pick up her books. I’m unsure if this book is a departure for her, but the humor took a back seat to the emotion and intensity of The Other Brother. Keeping this fact in mind, I have every intention of trying a few titles from her backlist.

Why? Why does he have to magically appear in my life? Moving back to Binghamton, I thought about the possibility of maybe running into him, but I thought it unlikely, something that would never really happen.

Boy, was I wrong.

What a sick joke life is playing on me.

Aaron Walters, the boy who broke me into pieces is my neighbor.

I can’t fathom the impact I feel already.

Seeing him in hip-hugging jeans and a tight, plain shirt did a number on me. It kept me up all night as memories of what we used to have flooded my mind.

His voice.

His stature.

The way he used to kiss my neck.

The way I felt so protected in his arms.

Too bad his arms couldn’t protect me from his devastating, heart-breaking self.

And hell, he looked good. Too good.

He’s always been tall with handsome features and a chiseled jaw, but now he’s bulked up to the point that I could see his abs flexing under his shirt, the same shirt that stretched over his biceps.

But it wasn’t his muscles or handsome features that once again made my heart ache, it was those eyes. So bright, so blue, so kind, but still so sad. It reminded me of the first day I met him, of the day he stole my heart from every other man on the market.

Broken, unsure, yet yearning for love. It was all there, and like experiencing a moment of déjà vu, I was transported back into a time when I felt invisible like I could conquer anything with him at my side.

Once again, I was wrong.

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four-legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh, and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Savage by LA Fiore ~ Cover Reveal

They call him a monster.

Pale blue eyes as cold as ice that see right through you.

He’s hard.

He’s damaged.

He’s dangerous.

He lives in a castle fit for a fairy tale, but he’s no prince.

He’s savage.

He’s brutal.

He’s a killer.

By an act of fate, our worlds collide.

They call him a monster, but he is my salvation.

Title: Savage: The Awakening of Lizzie Danton
Author: L.A. Fiore
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Cover designer:  Melissa Stevens, The Illustrated Author
Photographer: Scott Hoover

Text copyright © 2017, L.A. Fiore
All rights reserved

My hands fisted in the pockets of my trousers as I watched Lizzie Danton walking down the drive. Fuck. Damn that fucking conscience. I didn’t need it, didn’t fucking want it. I wanted to turn my back, but I could hear Brianna and Fenella, even Finnegan, in my head. “Fucking hell.”

     Fenella was just entering the library as I was leaving it. She was giving me her stink eye, that frosty look that condemned without her needing to speak a word. What the hell did she want? I let the woman sleep here, fed her, and clothed her. It was the clothes, or lack of them, that stirred something left well enough alone. “Our guest is walking home.”

     “I saw.”

     “I think she’s coming down with a cold.”

     “Fucking walking in the rain will do that.”

     “Not her fault the car broke down.” She narrowed her eyes at me before she added, “And it’s not her fault she’s kin to Norah Calhoun. Remember, she’s kin to Brianna too.”

     I didn’t pay my staff to lecture me. They weren’t staff; they were family, but I ignored that. I was halfway down the hall when Fenella called after me, “She wants to paint your home.”

     That stopped me, my head swiveling to her. “She said that?”

     “Yes. Said you could Google her to see her portfolio and that she would gift you the painting.”

     I didn’t need to Google her. I was familiar with her work. But after my interrogation last night, why the hell would she offer that? “Why?”

     “Because the sight of the castle from the lane took her breath away, her words.”

     It was the view from the lane that sold me on this place; more specifically the feeling of peace it evoked, a foreign, but not unpleasant feeling. Fucking hell.

     There were a few broken branches blocking the drive. By the time I got the Range Rover out of the garage, it had been about an hour since Miss Danton left. Halfway back to the village, I saw the body on the boulder. My chest grew tight thinking harm had come to her; the unwanted sensation annoyed the hell out of me. Pulling over, I climbed out to hear Lizzie Danton talking to herself. She had a bizarre habit of talking to things, like those cows and Brianna’s ghost. Her words that day had lingered because despite the shit she’d seen, she still had it in her to paint fucking sprites…to try for happy. I couldn’t decide if she was the most well adjusted person of my acquaintance or the craziest. I wondered if she’d spent any time in a mental facility.

     I couldn’t make out what she was saying, didn’t really care. My goal was to get her ass back to the cottage. That would ease the nagging from my fucking conscience. I stepped closer, to peer down at her, her eyes went wide then she screamed. She jumped off the boulder like it was on fire.

     “What the hell! Didn’t you ever learn not to sneak up on someone resting on a rock?”

     I ignored that ridiculous question. She was pale and there were dark circles under her eyes. “You don’t look so good.”

     “Nice. Scare the shit out of me and then insult me. Seriously, charm school was completely lost on you.”

     She had the oddest way of communicating. More surprising was the urge to grin at her nonsense. “I’ll give you a ride to the cottage.”

     “No, thank you. I wouldn’t want you thinking I was after your car, or your house and heaven forbid you. I’ll walk.” She started walking away but stopped and turned back. “And why assume I was like my mother? You knew Aunt Brianna, but you interrogated me like I was after something. Never mind. I don’t care what you think.”

     She did care. I saw how deeply it cut her to be compared to her mother. Another unfamiliar sensation curled in my gut. Guilt. I shook it off. “You can barely stand.”

     Temper burned behind her eyes, but she acquiesced. “Fine.”

     She didn’t wait for me and walked to the car in much the way a child in temper might do. She yanked open the door and dropped into the seat. I climbed in, felt her eyes on me, but when I looked over her focus was out the window.

     “Why are the villagers freaked out by you?” She turned in her seat to face me. “They think you’re a werewolf.”

     I’d heard that rumor. Was actually rather fond of that one. “Maybe I am.”

     I glanced over at her and she was contemplating the real possibility that I was a werewolf. Damn, if I didn’t want to grin.

     “I don’t think so, but I’ll be sure to stay inside on the full moon.”

L.A. Fiore is the author of several books including Beautifully Damaged, Collecting the Pieces and His Light in the Dark. Her favorite movie is Star Wars, a love her son shares. They hope to build their own Millennium Falcon one day. She would like to meet the Winchester Boys to thank them for enlightening her on the versatility of salt as not just a food enhancer, but as protection from supernatural threats. And she thinks it would be interesting to be a zombie, to get an idea of what life is like as a brain-addicted fiend so she can be their voice to tell their side of the story. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and kids, their two spoiled cats and their awesome dog.

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Unintended by Georgia Cates ~ Release Boost

Captor becomes lover…

I’m a marksman. Mobster. Deadly assassin.
My job is to protect my brotherhood, but that isn’t my only responsibility.

I’m Kieran Hendry, the up-and-coming leader of The Order, and a new duty calls. I must take a wife.

A wife I don’t know.
A wife born into a position at the top of The Fellowship hierarchy.
A wife who will forge a strong alliance between her brotherhood and mine.
A wife I don’t want.

I knew next to nothing about Westlyn Breckenridge when I abducted her, but I quickly discover that she’s intelligent, strong, defiant, selfless. And beautiful.

One night with her is all it takes for me to see that she is no typical Mafia princess. I’m hopeful this arranged marriage won’t be the miserable union I imagined it to be. But convincing my intended to give us a chance won’t be easy when she sees me as the enemy. The brute who kidnapped her. The vile fiend who threatened to do as he wished with her body.

It’s true. I am all those things. I had cruel intentions. But everything has changed. My affection for her is unexpected. My love, unintended.

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Kieran Hendry makes me feel like a woman. A desired woman. His words, the way he looks at me, his body language. Everything he does is a huge turn-on. Yet I hate this man. Loathe him. But damn, he has a way of touching me that makes me forget every logical thought in my head. It doesn’t make sense to me how I can despise him and at the same time respond so strongly to his touch.

It’s my body reacting to him, not my head. It must be hormones and sex drive. Those two things combined have the power to make people do things they wouldn’t normally do.

“You’re trembling.” He grazes the back of his fingers down my cheek and my stomach does some kind of flip. “Do I frighten you?”

I look away because I can’t tell him that it isn’t fear giving me the trembles.

He grasps my chin and forces me to look at him. “Do. I. Frighten. You?”

“No.”

He rubs my bottom lip with his thumb. “Then what is it?”

I shake my head.

He leans in for another kiss but stops before his lips touch mine. We’re so close I can feel his breath on my mouth. Just like last night when my body turned to mush.

I’m quivering and my breath has become more rapid. I may even be a little lightheaded.

His bottom lip grazes mine, but he still doesn’t kiss me. “I’ll back off right now if it’s what you want.”

I don’t want him to back off. I also don’t want him to know that I don’t want him to back off. Feels too much like giving in to something I’m not supposed to crave.

“I’m going to kiss you.”

I’m his captive. We made an agreement. I must submit without a fight per our deal to maintain Ellison’s safety.

Yeah. Keep telling yourself that, Wes. Maybe if you say it enough, you’ll start to believe it

His fingers lace through my hair and he holds me prisoner when he lowers his mouth to mine. I open, giving his tongue an invitation to come inside. The two meet, and together they become erotic dance partners with Kieran taking the lead.

I’ve only had one very forgettable kiss in my life. But this kiss… I could live a million years and never forget it or the way I feel right now.

He stops, his lips hovering over mine. His breath warm against my skin. “More or stop? Your decision.”

He’s asking me to venture further with him. My body says yes, but my head tells me that one more step will take me to a place I shouldn’t go with this man. I’m twenty-three and being kissed for the second time in my life. I don’t want this to stop. “More.”


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

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

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Fault Lines by Rebecca Shea ~ Excerpt Reveal

 From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the stunning and captivating excerpt below, and pre-order your copy today!

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

 

FAULT LINES is coming October 30, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!
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PROLOGUE

Frankie
Ten Years Ago

My fingers dig into the brown dirt between the patches of dead grass that used to once be a lush front yard. A jagged stone cuts into the soft flesh of my knee as I try to get control of the involuntary lurching of my stomach, which has me crippled on all fours.

Tears fall in streams, and I gasp for air as I hear the sound of heavy footsteps near me.

“Frances—”

“Get away from me!” I scream at the soft voice.

“It’s not—”

“I said get the hell away from me!” My stomach clenches against another wave of nausea as I hear her footprints begin to move away. “Goooooo!” I shout at her again.

I manage to look over my shoulder and see Whitney Carson’s long blonde hair swaying as she walks quickly back across the cul-de-sac to her piss yellow, beat-to-hell Mustang. I barely make out the swell of her belly as she slides into the driver’s seat and slams the door behind her. The roar of the engine tells me she’s leaving.

One last heave and there is nothing left for my stomach to expel, leaving me with only my tears. My throat burns, my breaths coming in small gasps when I feel soft arms around my shoulders.

I hear the creak of the old screen door and my mama’s worn shoes come into sight just before I feel her arms around me. “Baby girl, what’s wrong? We weren’t expecting you home from school until tomorrow…” Her voice is quiet, yet panicked as she kneels next to me, her white uniform dress getting dirty.

I finished my finals early so that I could come home early and surprise Cole and my mom, but the surprise was all mine. “Mama,” I cry between ragged breaths. “I came home early to surprise you and—”

“Stop,” she cuts me off, looking over my shoulder behind me. “Let’s get you inside. If this has anything to do with that girl that’s been coming around, he’s not worth your tears. You’re going to put your chin up and enjoy your summer.” She tugs at my arm in hopes to get me to budge.

I shake my head back and forth violently. “No. I can’t stay here,” I manage through my tears. I can’t stay and watch this happen. I can’t stay and watch them.

“What do you mean? Where would you go?” Her voice grows with concern.

“I don’t know, but I can’t stay here.” The hot summer air hangs heavy around us, and sweat beads along my forehead at my hairline. The thought of Cole touching Whitney Carson causes my stomach to flip again, and I dry heave as I pinch my eyes closed.

Mom rubs her hand over my arm as I try to gain my composure and move from all fours to sitting on the dirt. “Well, come inside until we figure this out.” Her voice is soft and sad. “I’ve always told you he was—”

“Please, stop—” I cut her off now, not wanting to talk about Cole with her.

I hear her deep sigh. “Come on. I’ll run you a hot bath. We need to get you cleaned up.”

The tears still fall in waves as my heart breaks with each step I take toward our house and away from Cole Ryan. As I think about it, the last few months begin to make sense. I sensed Cole pulling away from me. He’d become distant, not returning my calls or answering text messages. Mama called me and had told me about the rumors she’d heard, but we chose to chalk them up to small town gossip. Crescent Ridge is just that, a small town where no one has anything else to do but talk about other people and spread rumors.

Suddenly, realization hits me that the one person I trusted more than anyone in the world betrayed me. He’s been my best friend since I was eleven, my first crush, my first love, my first everything. No other person will ever etch himself so boldly into my history as Cole Ryan did. No other person held the cards to destroy me like Cole Ryan did. And did he ever.

I bite my tongue, tasting the slightest hint of blood as Mama walks me up the raggedy old front porch of our house. “Keep walking, baby girl.” She guides me through the front door. “Keep your chin held high,” she says quietly, the screen door slamming hard behind us.

She looks at me with sympathetic eyes and her voice cracks as she speaks. “Now you can fall apart, Frances. Don’t ever let him see you crumble; don’t give him that control. He is not worth your tears.”

And crumble is what I do as I sink to the faded wood floors of our living room, Mama rocking me in her lap, her fingers stroking my hair and wiping my tears. I cry and scream for the love I believed in, for the boy who owned my heart, and the loss of the one person I long for—the one person I had planned to spend my last breath with.

Mama holds me for hours as my tears come and go. At the first hints of the morning sunlight, I peel myself from Mama’s lap, my head pounding from the hours of crying. I pull my cell phone from my back pocket and press the name of the only other friend I have.

“Ash.” My voice breaks and I barely make out what she’s saying, but one thing is certain. I’m getting the hell out of Crescent Ridge and never looking back. “I’m coming,” I tell her.

Between my tears and gasping breaths, I disconnect my call and see Mama swipe at the tears on her aging cheeks. She sat here all night comforting me as I lay helpless in her lap. In the end, she’s the one person who believes in me and has loved me unconditionally, and here I am about to leave her behind. Leave everything I know and love behind, without a second thought. For good.

I know that when I drive away from here today, I’ll never be back—I can’t come back. I’m leaving my broken heart behind, along with the only man I’ve ever loved.

I toss my bag and one small box of belongings from my childhood bedroom in the trunk of my car and slide into the driver’s seat of my old Honda. Without a second thought, I put the car in drive and glance just once out my rearview mirror as I pull away. The last thing I see is Cole Ryan, hunched over the paint-chipped railing of his front porch as I drive away from Crescent Ridge, leaving him, my past, and my mama behind.



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

 

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