Crazy, Stupid Love by KL Grayson ~ RELEASE BOOST

There’s a special place in hell for a man like me—a man who shamelessly sleeps with his best friend’s little sister, knowing he’ll never be what she needs. A man who takes because the only thing he has to offer in return is a broken past that’s destined to destroy his future.

I was the kid who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks with shit parents and clothes that had been handed down one too many times. I stole to feed my sister, fought to protect her, and I’ll always be the guy your parents don’t want you to bring home.

So yeah, that’s me. Lincoln Bennett. Adley Allen’s walk on the wild side. Her dirty little secret. And I’m okay with that—ninety-nine percent of the time. Unfortunately, today is in that one percent when it doesn’t sit well with me. For some strange reason, I want to be around to celebrate all of Adley’s successes. I want to be here when she gets her first job and take her out to dinner after her first shift. I want to be the one she depends on, the person she calls when she has a bad day. Or a great day. Or any kind of day.

I want more than her body. I want her heart. But men like me don’t get women like her.

At least not to keep.

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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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Claire Daniels is good at a lot of things, but dating isn’t one of them. Although she enjoys men of all different shapes, colors, and sizes, she has one requirement: they must have a job on her approved-occupation list. It has to be safe, so they can come home every night, which means no cops, pilots, doctors, ranchers, and absolutely no firefighters.

She’s kept to her rules thus far—as long as you ignore the tiny crush she has on Trevor Allen, a crush that cannot move toward anything physical because Trevor is a firefighter and a rancher. Not to mention, he’s four years younger than she is and the brother of her two best friends.

Still, it sure would be nice to have him put out her fire.

Trevor Allen also has a few rules when it comes to Claire Daniels: no staring, flirting, smokin’ hot fantasies, or touching of any kind. He’s been lusting after Claire his whole life, but with a steady stream of willing women and two demanding jobs to hold his attention, he’s somehow managed to keep his hands off her.

Until they end up in a bathroom together—a small bathroom with very little room to move, leaving him pressed against Claire’s lush curves. What’s he supposed to do when she looks up at him with those big, green doe eyes and licks her lips? The only thing he can do: kiss the hell out of her, then convince her it can’t happen again.

Too bad he can’t convince himself.

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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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Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison ~ RELEASE BOOST

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss and redemption.

Crystal

I was the strong one, they said, until two words brought me to my knees.
It was a secret I didn’t share with anyone. A secret that made me promise I’d never fall in love.
I no longer wanted that white picket fence of every woman’s dreams.
Until the unthinkable happened.

Gabe

I thought I had it all with the best medical practice in the state and the woman of my dreams.
I wore a smile on my face every single day.
I couldn’t wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start our forever, except she never did.
My runaway bride made me realize love isn’t worth it.

What happens when your dreams unexpectedly come true?

This is the story of unexpected love.

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Crystal

“I’m going to the restroom.” I giggle to Dawn, who nods her head at me. Making my way through the crowd of people around the bar, I bend my head to watch my feet. Walking into the dim hallway, I smash into a man who has just come out of the bathroom. His arm automatically flies to wrap around my waist and bring me against him. His smell intoxicates me further, and I giggle as I try not to fall. I put my head back, looking up at him, and my smile gets even bigger. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” I look up into his blue eyes, and he smiles down at me.

“It’s my fault.” His voice comes out deep. “I should have looked right and left when I walked out of the bathroom.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “I get it. Like crossing the street.”

He loosens his hold on me, and I step back, finally taking him in. His hair is cut short on the side, the top longer. His t-shirt looks like he is bulging out of it, especially his biceps. Ink decorates both arms to his wrists. His jaw looks chiseled, his nose perfect. I don’t know if it’s the booze talking or not, but this man is fucking perfect. “Are you here for the convention?” I ask him, and he nods.

“Are you?” He puts his hands in his back pockets.

“No, I’m a nurse over at the hospital,” I tell him as someone walks by me and nudges me with their shoulder, sending me flying into him again. “Sorry.”

“You’ve fallen into my lap twice now, and I still don’t know your name.” He smiles at me, holding my arms in his hands.

“I’m Jane,” I tell him, hoping he gets the joke. “Jane Doe.” This time, he is the one throwing his head back and laughing.

“Well, Jane Doe, I’m John.” He holds out his hand, and I take it in my hand, shaking it. “John Doe.”

“I think we’re related somehow.” I smile at him, and this time, his eyes go serious.

“I really fucking hope not.” He takes a deep breath.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I say, dropping his hand. “Excuse me.” I look down and then back over my shoulder once I walk away to see him staring at me. “Enjoying the view?”

“More than you fucking know.” He smiles, and I push open the bathroom door, whispering, “Holy shit,” the whole time.

Gabe

I watch Jane Doe walk into the bathroom, thinking this night just got a whole lot better.

When we first arrived an hour ago, even with a large crowd I spotted her. My gaze found her right away, and then she moved her hips, and I just couldn’t look away. It was as if fate handed her to me when she smashed into me.

I look toward the bar and then back at the bathroom door as I list the pros and cons of staying and leaving in my head. Everything tells me this is a bad idea, but I go with my gut, which brings me back to the women’s bathroom door. I lean against the wall, facing the door, one foot on the wall, and both hands in my pockets. I haven’t done this in forever. I was never a one-night stand kind of guy, but something tells me not to walk away.

The door swings open, and there she stands. If I thought she was good looking through the crowds of people in the dim light, then nothing compares to her standing in the fully lit bathroom. Her blond hair falls down her back and her blue eyes shine with mischief. Her neck bare and white gives me the sudden urge to bite her. “You waiting for me?” she asks, walking to me.

“I wanted to know if maybe you wanted to grab a drink.” Her citrus smell hits me in the stomach. Fresh and clean. “I was thinking,” I say, tracing my finger down her cheek, “we could maybe go over our family tree.”

Her hands go straight to my waist as she leans into me. “Let’s go have that drink.” She winks at me, walking away from me as I follow her to the bar. “What are you having?” She turns to ask me.

“Scotch on the rocks,” I yell to the bartender, who then looks at her. “I’ll have the same,” she says.

“So.” She leans in, the noise of the bar drowning out her voice. The bartender returns with the two scotches and places them in front of us.

“Put it on my tab,” I tell him, and he nods his head. I pick up the glass, holding it in front of me. “To long-lost family.”

She picks up her glass. “To living in the moment.”  I clink her glass in a toast, then she drinks a sip and looks at me. “Are you married?”

I shake my head. “Nope. Single. You?” I ask her. Even though I want to do this, I don’t want to cross that line.

“Always single.” She smiles, taking another sip, this time longer. “So, John”—she looks at me, stepping into my space—“there is just one more question that needs answering.”

I down the scotch, not even hissing when it burns my throat to my chest and then straight down to my stomach. I place the glass on the bar. “Do you want to go someplace where it’s quiet?” I ask her. She nods and smiles at me. It’s a smile that I’m not sure I ever want to see go away. It’s a smile that lights up her whole face. I don’t know if it’s the booze or not, but I’m not ready for it to be over just yet.

“I just have to tell my friends I’m leaving.” She points behind her and goes to tell them something while I close up the tab. A couple of women look over her shoulder, waving their hands at me, and one high-fives her. She shakes her head, laughing, while she walks back to me. “So where to?” she asks me. I grab her hand and walk outside to the building next door. “Well, that wasn’t too far.”

I guide her to the elevator and press the button standing next to her. I’m nervous; I haven’t had sex with someone new since Bethany and that feels like forever ago. I start thinking about different moves when the elevator dings, and the doors open. She steps in before me. “What floor?” she asks.

“Twenty-seven,” I say, and she presses the button. She leans on the wall while I lean on the other across from her. “I don’t usually do this.”

The little minx smiles at me. “A one-night stand or sex?”

I smile at her. “Very funny. A one-night stand.”

She stands straight and walks over to me. Her hands go straight to my chest, causing my heart to beat faster. “Well, then”—she inches closer, her hands moving to my neck, and my hands going to her waist, pulling her close to me, “let me start then.”

She goes on her tippy toes, and something in me takes over. I turn her so she is the one against the wall now. My hand runs over her bare neck, coming up to cup her chin. “I’m the one driving this car,” I tell her right before I hear her breath hitch and my mouth crashes into hers. I taste the scotch on her when her hand touches my cheek, and I angle my head to get more of her. To get all of her. The elevator dings, letting us know we are on our floor. Our lips separate from each other as our chests rise and fall rapidly. I hold out my hand, and she places hers in mine. As soon as our fingers intertwine, I pull her out of the elevator before the doors shut us in. She laughs as she follows me, and I make the mistake of looking over at her, seeing her with her hair going everywhere, the smile on her face, and the twinkle in her eyes. I make sure to remember it all.

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When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four-inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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Hidden in a Small Town by Stacy M Wray ~ Sarah A’s Review

She’s being attacked, losing her footing as she falls to the dusty ground littered with pine needles. Scurrying like a crab, she attempts to stand and then… nothing.

A cold sweat trickles down Slater Montgomery’s spine as he struggles to control his breathing. It’s been years since he’s felt them – years since he’s seen them. The visions which nearly destroyed his childhood. Back then, ignorance and getting high were his allies, providing a false sense of security. Now? He can’t get her out of his head. The girl with the wild curls and fear-riddled eyes – the girl of his dreams.

Except, Slater knows this is no dream. It’s too real, too raw. The details, her emotion… before he can convince himself not to, Slater finds himself packing a bag and leaving his picturesque Wyoming home in search of the woman haunting his every waking moment. He just needs to see her once, just to be certain she’s safe. Just to be sure he’s not losing his mind.

What Slater imagined to be impossible – actually finding the mysterious woman – proves to be just the beginning. As secrets are exposed, Slater finds himself trapped in a web darker than he ever could have imagined. One which he’s not quite sure either of them will survive.

It started as a vision. A dream-like scene flashing through his mind. The ending?

A nightmare.

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I read thrillers, and I read romance; I read tons of books that are both, in fact, romantic thrillers are my favorite subgenre.  Hidden in a Small Town definitely qualifies more as a thriller than a romance, though there is a romantic vein running throughout it.  Some parts of the book were absolutely fabulous, while there were some places where it just fell short for me.

I struggled with how Nora was depicted on page and how she seemed to see herself.  While we did only know her in the worst part of her life, I felt like the way she was written was in contrast to the way we were supposed to see her.  She talked about how tough and sassy she was, even Slater mentioned her strength, but she felt shy, mousy, maybe even a little insecure.  I loved her as she was; I thought her actions despite her meekness, made her feel stronger than the words written about her strength.  Her concern for Slater and his involvement, even her desire to care for the vilest of human beings, showed her compassion, which she had in spades.  Her growth from the mysterious woman in Slater’s head to the empowered woman we see in the final chapters was fabulous.

Slater is still somewhat of a question mark for me.  Beyond his need to unravel the mystery of his visions, I had little idea of what drove him as a person.  His need to protect and care for Nora was wonderful, admirable even, but his single-minded pursuit of her safety seemed to curtail any chance he had for a growth arc of his own.  Hidden in a Small Town was Nora’s story, though, so it wasn’t something I noticed I was missing until I was finished reading and realized I had a thousand questions left about him.

The plot of Hidden in a Small Town was compelling.  It moved with enough speed to keep my interest piqued while still leaving enough time to develop each moment fully and make me invested in the resolution of Nora’s story (and root for Nora and Slater to find their happily ever after).  Parts of this story were so completely unexpected, while others were much more formulaic.  The mix of both lent to an interesting feeling of complacency and unsettledness.  I very much enjoyed the ride I was taken on in Hidden in a Small Town.

I do have a few wishes for this book.  First, in the beginning chapters, I felt like there was a lot of extraneous information, stuff that didn’t add to the story and never came into play later.  I prefer my books to be streamlined and devoid of ‘fluff’ so I would love if some of that had been cut.  Second, there were several places in the book where something seemingly impossible, but very convenient, happened with little to no explanation.  I’m well aware this is fiction, and some suspension of belief is par for the course, but I need a little more than ‘oops, we have no idea what happened’ to satiate me.  Finally, there was one chapter written by a third POV; I think it was a disservice to the story.  It ruined the climax of the story for me and didn’t enhance the story in any way.

Hidden in a Small Town is a standalone, suspense novel.  It is written in three parts, from dual first-person perspective, narrated by Nora and Slater.

Stacy M. Wray is a new to me author.  I was fairly impressed with her writing, though there was a green-ness to her work.  I am quite sure with some practice and continued refinement, she will prove herself to be an excellent writer.

Stacy M Wray loves writing and reading anything romance – Judy Blume was one of the first authors she read in middle school. After all, a world without love, heartache, and angst would prove a boring place to live.

Lover of gray and white cats, craver of all things sweet, enthusiast of hiking and camping, wife of an extremely supportive husband, and mom to two amusing adult children, she realizes life is pretty damn good.

She also appreciates that it’s never too late to try something new. Never.

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More Than Words by Mia Sheridan ~ Sarah A’s Review

No one lays open the heart and soul quite like New York Times bestselling author Mia Sheridan.

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed herJessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

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I can’t express how excited I was to get my hands on this book, Mia Sheridan has long been one of very few authors who’ve never disappointed me, and I eagerly anticipate each of her new releases.  Sometimes some things are just too good to continue indefinitely, and that is what happened with More Than Words.  I was a miss for me, I nearly DNF’d it several times, but pushed on because I love Ms. Sheridan’s work so deeply. The last half of the book redeemed the first, somewhat, but I felt like this novel was missing the ‘Mia Magic’ I’ve come to expect from her work.

There were parts of this book that were absolutely perfect.  The beginning of Jessica and Callen’s relationship tore my heart out.  Both for the little boy who was obviously broken beyond repair and for the little girl who was left without a goodbye.  Part Three of their story was also wonderful.  I loved how Ms. Sheridan brought this story together and gave them the ending they both deserved.  Among my favorite aspects of More Than Words was the story Jessica had been hired to translate, it added such a phenomenal dimension to the book and mirror to Jessica and Callen’s story.

Callen called to my heart, between his love for music and how broken he was I found him highly endearing.  He was the reason I kept reading this book.  I needed to know why he was so broken, why he felt so badly of himself, why he refused to believe in himself.  The way he grew, matured, and healed throughout the novel was sublime.  That growth arc wouldn’t have been possible without Jessica, and for that, I loved her, even though I had a harder time connecting with her character.

I have so many wishes for this book, but my biggest would be that several of the scenes with supporting characters be reworked.  I’m not sure what was going on with them, but several interactions Jessica and Callen had with those characters felt forced and awkward, particularly the dialogue.  Secondly, I wish the connection between Jessica and Callen would have been stronger.  There were a few perfectly beautiful scenes between them where I could feel their love for one another, but a lot of it fell flat.  Finally, I wish the beginning of the book had been more quick-paced, it seemed like there was so much scene setting and history telling, I had a hard time connecting with the characters or wanting to know how their lives were going to play out.

More Than Words is a standalone novel and is not connected to any of Mia Sheridan’s other works.  It is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Jessica and Callen.

Mia Sheridan has always been at the top of my list of must-read authors.  Her stories are deeply emotional and profoundly romantic.  Her prose is usually flawless and poetic, lending an added layer of romanticism to her writing.  I don’t feel like More Than Words demonstrated the depth of her talent and I am heartbroken to have not seen her signature style and gift.

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

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I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting ~ Sarah A’s Review

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL. HE’S A FIXER UPPER…

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes I Flipping Love You, a love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready.

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in the Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?

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I flipping loved this book! I was taken aback by how emotional this book made me. I would have never guessed how emotionally involved I would get with Rian and Pierce, their relationship, and the way their lives had played out. Romantic comedies have been something I’ve eschewed for most of my life, but in the last several months I’ve read a few really smart ones that are slowly pulling me over to the lighter side.

Rian was amazing; the girl had chutzpah. She had a million and one things to worry about and often it would have been easier for her to give in, but she fought for herself and what she thought was right for her and her sister. I was in awe of her sass and strength; she was fascinatingly unapologetic when she knew she was right and I identified with her difficulty in admitting when she’d made a mistake.

Pierce, while maybe a tad jerky in the beginning, was such a great guy. I loved his single-minded pursuit of Rian. Pierce was the model of a perfect book boyfriend; he was chivalrous – yet let Rian have her independence, he was considerate, he was smart, he was, uh, talented in and out of the bedroom, and most of all he was unwaveringly devoted to Rian. The man won me over from the beginning and continually proved he was not a man who should be let go.

I Flipping Love You was so much more than a romantic comedy, yes there were plenty of laughable moments, but the intensity of Rian’s past and the effects it had on her trust gave this book an extra layer of intrigue. Add to that everything that was going on with Pierce’s career and family and the pace of this book never slowed. I was intrigued by all the moving pieces and how they were all going to fall in the end, while also being completely emotionally involved in their love story. There were even a few moments when I found myself getting choked up by the intensity of feeling brought out by Ms. Hunting’s writing.

I do have a couple of wishes for this book. There were a few storylines that didn’t seem to be wrapped up; there was one I was sure was going to explode into a huge conflict but seemed to just be forgotten about partway through the story. There were also a few scenes that didn’t seem to be necessary to the story and lent to the feeling of incomplete storylines. I don’t think the story would have lacked anything without them; they detracted from the primary storyline more than they added any real value.

I Flipping Love You is the third book in Helena Hunting’s Shacking Up series, a fact I was unaware of before I went to mark the book as read on my Goodreads account. Obviously, these stories do not need to be read in order, nor does the series need to be read in its entirety. I do wonder if reading the first two books would have relieved some of my feelings of incomplete storylines, as they mostly dealt with secondary characters, though. I Flipping Love You is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Rian and Pierce.

While I’ve been aware of Helena Hunting as an author for years and some of her more serious books – specifically her Clipped Wings series – have been on my TBR for years, I’d written off most of her comedic ventures seemed a little too on the nose for me, judging by the titles. Having read his book, I’m now painfully aware how rash a judgment that was and will definitely be taking a closer look at Ms. Hunting’s backlist and, at the very least, reading the other books in this series. I was quite impressed with the writing in this novel and could easily see myself becoming a rabid fan of Helena Hunting.

CHAPTER 1

ANGRY HOT GUY

RIAN

I flip through my stack of flyers, checking for a sale on the jumbo box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal so I can price match it. I’m a conscientious price matcher. I mark the sale with a big circle before tucking the red Sharpie into the front of my shirt. If I’m going to wheel and deal at the cash register, I want to make it as easy as possible for the cashier and the people in line behind me. Nothing is worse than getting stuck behind an unorganized price matcher.

I shimmy a little to the song playing over the store intercom as I toss boxes of my most favorite, unhealthy cereal in my cart. A prickly feeling climbs the back of my neck, and I shiver, glancing over my shoulder. A mom rushes past me down the aisle, her toddler leaning precariously out of the cart in an attempt to grab a box of Fruit Roll-Ups. I can’t blame him. They are artificially delicious.

But the mom-toddler combo isn’t the reason for the prickly feeling. Halfway down the aisle is a suit. A big suit. Well over six feet of man wrapped in expensive charcoal-gray fabric. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. And he’s staring at me. Weird. I can’t look at him long enough to decide if he’s familiar or not without making it obvious that I’m staring back.

I have the urge to check my appearance, worried I have his attention because my hair is a mess, or there’s a sweat stain down the center of my back. I’m not particularly appealing at the moment. I’ve just come from a boot camp class at this new gym my twin sister forced me to try out.

Marley bought an online two-for-one coupon for forty bucks, so now I have to attend six of these stupid classes with her. I managed to get out of last week’s class, but she wouldn’t let me escape two weeks in a row. My tank is still dewy, post-exertion, I have terrible under-boob sweat, and my thong is all wonky. If I were alone in this aisle, I’d for sure fix the last issue, but suit guy is here so I must leave the thong where it is for now, wedged uncomfortably between my vagina lips.

The suit quickly shifts his attention to the shelves and picks up the jar directly in front of him, which happens to contain prunes. He inspects it, then maybe realizes what it is, because he rushes to return it, exchanging it for another item. I bite back a smile, pleased that even in my disgusting state I’m being checked out.

As suit man gives the shelf in front of him his full attention, I return the checkout favor. His attire and his posture scream money and a twinge of something like longing combined with jealousy makes my throat momentarily tight. At one time, price matching was a practice I would’ve laughed at—like an entitled jerk—now it’s a necessity.

Suit man must be warm, considering it’s late April and we’re experiencing temperatures far above average for this time of year. Based on the tapered fit of his suit, I’m guessing it’s a high-end brand. He’s complemented it with black patent leather shoes. Very impractical for this weather and location. Does he realize he’s in the Hamptons?

He’s wearing a watch, and from his profile, he can’t be much beyond his early thirties. I have to assume the only reason for the watch is because it’s expensive and he wants to show it off. In my head, I’ve already profiled him as a pretentious, rich prick who probably commutes to NYC a few times a week where he bones his secretary and has a penthouse with the barest of furniture. The rest of the time he works from home.

I return to shopping and continue down the aisle, in the opposite direction of the suit—it’s my way of finding out if he’s actually creeping on me or not. I keep tabs on him in my peripheral vision as I scope out more sales and more delicious, unhealthy food items. My job is to balance out all the fruit and vegetables my sister, Marley, is currently picking out in the produce section.

I grab a jar of the no-name peanut butter since we’re out and the good stuff isn’t on sale, dropping it in the cart. My phone keeps buzzing in my purse. It’s distracting, so I give up ignoring it and check my messages.

It’s my sister.

We’re in the same store. It’s not particularly huge, so I don’t know what could be so pressing that she needs to text four thousand times instead of finding me.

ABORT SHOPPING

LEAVE NOW

Meet me in parking lot

RIAN??????

Jeez. What the heck is going on? Maybe the grocery store is being robbed. Holy Hot Pockets. What if there is a grocery store heist going down? I’m about to abandon my cart in a bid to find Marley and escape the mayhem I’ve created in my head. It’s all very dramatic. As I turn, I come face-to-face with the suit.

I suck in a breath and slap my hand over my chest. The tank is still damp, and my skin’s a little gritty with salt-sweat, so I drop it quickly, because ew.

“Hi.” His expression is hard to read. He seems … smug.

“Hi, hey. Uh…” I wave a hand around in the air, a little flustered, and conflicted, because it’s not often I get approached by a guy this hot—and in a grocery store of all places. Maybe he’ll be here again next week. “I’m sorry, I’d like to stare at your pretty face, I mean…” Crap, why are words so hard? “I have to go.”

I try to step around him, but he mirrors the movement, taking a linebacker stance, as if he’s considering tackling me. Which is an odd way to stage an introduction.

“Recognize me?” he asks, one perfect eyebrow arched.

As I take him in, I wrack my brain for a time or place I might’ve run into him before. I don’t think so, though. His light brown hair is neatly styled, and the cut of his suit highlights all of his assets. Well, the visible PG ones, anyway.

He widens his stance and crosses his arms over his chest. His very broad chest. The sleeves of his suit jacket pull tight, biceps bulging and flexing. He’s a bit intimidating based on his size alone, but we’re in a public grocery store, so I feel relatively safe. And he’s just so gorgeous. Which is a silly reason not to be concerned, some of the most notorious serial killers are attractive men. Also, I need to find my sister, in case the grocery store is really under attack—although maybe this suit could save us.

I adopt his crossed arm pose, but I don’t think I look intimidating. All I succeed in doing is awkwardly squeezing my boobs together inside my damp sports bra and jabbing the right one with the Sharpie. “Should I?”

He looks me over, a slight smirk tipping his mouth. His gaze gets stuck on the Sharpie for a few seconds before they come back up to my eyes.

It’s possible I met him in a bar, but I swear I’d remember his face if I did. The bar scene is also more my sister’s speed than it is mine. Oh God. It’s also possible he’s mistaking me for her. It’s happened before.

While we look nearly identical at first to most people, we’re actually fraternal twins. After a few interactions, most people can tell us apart. I have a distinctive Marilyn Monroe mole on the right side above my lip, and my eyes are amber, where Marley’s are closer to green. My mouth is too big for my face, my lips a little too full and my nose too small. At least that’s my perception. Marley’s also the more outgoing of the two of us and an inch taller. And about ten pounds lighter.

Marley is a little less cautious than I am with men, so there have been a few uncomfortable occasions where her previous hookups have approached me, asking why I haven’t returned their calls. It’s too bad if this is the case, because this guy is inordinately attractive and it would be nice if he wasn’t one of my sister’s castoffs.

His face is a masterpiece of masculine perfection; straight nose, high cheekbones, an angular jawline that could cut glass, full lips. Especially the bottom one. The kind of full that makes me think of kissing, with tongue, of course. He’s all-American handsome with a shot of alpha hotness. It’s a lethal combination for the state of my already damp panties.

“I recognize you.” He has a low, rough voice, like the delicious scrape of fine grit sandpaper.

He breaks me out of my ogle daze. He must think I’m Marley. I’m actually rather disappointed. “I think maybe you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

“Oh no, sweetheart.” His gaze rakes over me again. I feel very naked all of a sudden. And hot. It’s really hot in here. “You drive a powder-blue Buick.”

“How the heck—”

“I knew it!” he shouts, eyes alight with some kind of weird, victorious satisfaction as he points a long finger with a blue-black nail at me. Maybe he slammed it in a door or something. Or based on the way he’s rudely pointing, maybe someone slammed it for him. “I fucking knew it! You hit my car.”

I definitely would’ve remembered hitting someone’s car, especially if a guy this good looking was driving it. He should probably come with a warning, like: Panties may combust if you get too close, or something. I take a step back since he’s all up in my grill and clearly he’s not looking to flirt like I originally thought. “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Don’t play dumb with me! You think you can flip your ponytail”—he reaches out and flicks the end, which is rather startling—“flash a smile and some cleavage, and it’s going to get you out of this. Well, think again, sweetheart. I guarantee my paint is still all over your bumper.” He’s leaning over me, face way too close to mine. So close I can see tiny gold flecks in his deep green eyes. They’re an unusual shade. Dark like pine tree needles.

And he’s chewing gum. Juicy Fruit. I can smell it when he breathes in my face. I would’ve expected a man like him to chew something more along the lines of Polar Ice, or Arctic Ice—strong mint.

I put a hand on his chest and take one deliberate step backward as he opens his mouth to resume his tangent. It’s a solid chest. Extremely hard. His gaze darts down, brows furrowed. I use his distracted state to my advantage. “First of all…” I point my finger in his face, like he did to me. “Don’t ‘sweetheart’ me. That’s condescending. Secondly, I’m sure I would’ve noticed if I’d hit another car. Thirdly, there are literally hundreds of powder-blue Buicks in this stupid city. It’s not an uncommon car. And I’d like to point out, that the cleavage comment was completely unnecessary and unwarranted and actually, pretty damn sexist.”

He blinks a couple of times, possibly taken aback. That expression doesn’t last long. His lip curls in a sneer and that pretty all-American handsomeness morphs into downright malevolent hotness. “Nice try, sweetheart. But there’s no way I’d forget you.” His gaze sweeps over me—it’s not in an unappreciative way either.

I poke his hard chest. “Stop leering at me, you pervert. I don’t know what kind of drugs you’ve been snorting, but I assure you, you’ve got the wrong person.”

“Oh shit!” my sister’s voice comes from behind me.

I turn to find Marley doing an about-face, and then she breaks into a little grapevine step as she moves back toward me. Her eyes are wide, mouth contorted into some kind of grimace as she grabs my wrist.

“What the fuck? There are two of you?” hot-crazy guy asks, eyes bouncing between us.

“We gotta go.” Marley latches onto my hand and drags me down the aisle, away from crazy-hot suit.

“Whoa! Wait a damn second!”

Hot suit makes a grab for me, but Marley yanks me out of the way and shoves my shopping cart at him—hard. He’s not quite quick enough to get out of the way, and the corner of the cart slams right into his crotch. He doubles over with a groan and aggressively pushes the cart aside. It ricochets into a display of canned peaches, which spill into the aisle with a deafening crash.

“What the heck, Mar?”

“Come the fuck on!” She sprints down the aisle, dragging me behind her. I’d protest, but I don’t think I have much choice in the matter, considering the death grip she has on my hand, or the fact that she’s assaulted the sexy-crazy suit with my shopping cart.

Marley fast-walks to the exit, glancing over her shoulder. “Act natural.”

“Will you tell me what’s going on? Who is that guy?”

She flips her hair over her shoulder and smiles as we pass the cashiers and the automatic doors open. Marley fast-walks down the sidewalk toward our car. “I may have tapped that guy’s car last Saturday when I was shopping.”

I stop walking, which brings her to a jarring halt. She yanks on my arm. “Seriously, come on. I’ll explain when we’re in the car.”

“Nope. No way. You explain now.”

Her eyes are bouncing all over the place. “It’s not a big deal. I just grazed his bumper.” Marley spin and tries to push me forward from behind. “Now let’s get out of here before he finds us again. We should probably shop somewhere else for a while.”

I stumble forward a step and then spin away from her. “You hit that guy’s car?”

“It was more of a graze. At least I think it was.” She wrings her hands and makes her oh crap face.

Now crazy-hot suit guy seems a lot less crazy and much more justified in his reaction. Except for the cleavage comment. That was still unnecessary. “It sure didn’t seem like nothing with the way he freaked out in there.”

“He’s probably overreacting. Where are your keys?” She’s still wringing her hands.

I pat my hip with the intention of keeping my purse safe and away from my sister. Except all I end up patting is my actual hip. I look down, running my hands over my stomach, searching for the cheap, faux-leather knockoff. “Oh fudge.”

“What?”

“My purse. It’s in the cart. I have to go back and get it.”

Marley grabs the back of my tank. “You can’t! What if he’s still in there?”

“It has my identification in it, Marley. And my bankcards, and my money, and keys to the car and the apartment. I can’t leave it in there!”

Marley flails and paces around in a circle. “What if he’s waiting for us to come back and get it?”

“You can stay here if you want, but I’m going back for it. I’m not leaving my purse behind because you hit some guy’s car in a parking lot. I can’t believe you just drove away!”

“I thought I tapped it, and then I panicked.” Her fingers are at her mouth now. “I didn’t want to drive up our insurance premiums over some guy and his Tesla.”

“You hit a Tesla?” This keeps getting worse.

“Anyone who has the money to buy a Tesla has the money to fix it, right?” Marley says.

“So you drove off! Jeez, Marley. What were you thinking?” I shake my head. I’d like to say I’m surprised by this, but sadly I’m not. Marley doesn’t always use common sense in day-to-day life.

“I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking. That’s the problem, I guess.”

I’m about to go back into the store, but stop short at the sight of the suit leaning against the side of my car, one ankle crossed over the other, all calm like. Dangling from a single finger is my knockoff, hot-pink Coach purse. “Forget something?”

** Copyright © 2018 by Helena Hunting in I Flipping Love You and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. **

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Crazy, Hot Love by KL Grayson ~ RELEASE BOOST

Claire Daniels is good at a lot of things, but dating isn’t one of them. Although she enjoys men of all different shapes, colors, and sizes, she has one requirement: they must have a job on her approved-occupation list. It has to be safe, so they can come home every night, which means no cops, pilots, doctors, ranchers, and absolutely no firefighters.

She’s kept to her rules thus far—as long as you ignore the tiny crush she has on Trevor Allen, a crush that cannot move toward anything physical because Trevor is a firefighter and a rancher. Not to mention, he’s four years younger than she is and the brother of her two best friends.

Still, it sure would be nice to have him put out her fire.

Trevor Allen also has a few rules when it comes to Claire Daniels: no staring, flirting, smokin’ hot fantasies, or touching of any kind. He’s been lusting after Claire his whole life, but with a steady stream of willing women and two demanding jobs to hold his attention, he’s somehow managed to keep his hands off her.

Until they end up in a bathroom together—a small bathroom with very little room to move, leaving him pressed against Claire’s lush curves. What’s he supposed to do when she looks up at him with those big, green doe eyes and licks her lips? The only thing he can do: kiss the hell out of her, then convince her it can’t happen again.

Too bad he can’t convince himself.

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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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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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GIVEAWAY ~ Merciless by Willow Winters ~ RELEASE BOOST

A ruthless man with a past to hide doesn’t let a soul close to him.
A coldhearted man at war doesn’t risk anything for anyone.
A depraved man with a beautiful woman at his mercy … he doesn’t fall for her.

She was only a bargaining chip.  Now she’s my property.
own her.
Nothing has thrilled me more than the thought of taking her how I’ve always wanted to.
To break her and make that soft voice of hers whimper with a strangled moan as I ravage her.

I know better than to give in to temptation and let her distract me from everything that’s at stake.

No matter how badly I crave more of her.
No matter how much the sordid thoughts plague me.
No matter if it’s the one thing that I’ve always wanted more than anything else.

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Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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Possessive by Willow Winters ~ RELEASE BOOST

From USA Today bestselling author Willow Winters, comes a provocative, standalone, contemporary romance.

Some men are born with a black heart and a tainted soul.
I never liked to admit it back then; I thought I could outrun who I am and lie to myself.
But I accept the truth now.

It’s in my blood and in my bones. In every impure thought and desire.
I tried to leave. To do the right thing and walk away from my past.
But then she came back into my life.

Stumbling towards me and looking up at me as if I’m the one she’s been looking for all this time.
As if I could be her savior and take her pain away.
If only she knew.

She turns me into what I hate most about myself.
Selfish, ruthless, possessive.
I tried to be a good man. To be cold and distant and warn her away.

She should have taken the hint and run.
She didn’t…
And now she’s mine.

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Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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GIVEAWAY!! She Asked for It by Willow Winters ~ Release Boost

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.

You’ll tell me you don’t… but you already think you know what my story’s about.

You have no idea.
Just like the people sitting in this courtroom.
She asked for it.  That’s what they keep saying.

And no, it’s not because my skirt was too short or I was drunk at a party.
It’s nothing like that.  It’s because of what I like and how I like it.

They’re judging me as I sit in the front row, my eyes drawn to the man on trial.
If I’d known it was going to end like this, I never would have gone home with him.
But he’s the type of man I just can’t say no to.

I wanted to feel his lips kiss down my neck.
I dreamed of running my fingers along the rough stubble on his jaw.
I craved his hands on me, pinning me down.
I needed to whisper his name in the dark, late at night.

You still think you know what happened? You don’t.
He’s innocent and I enjoyed every second I was with him.

Let me tell you my story … all about how I asked for it.

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Too Easy (a prequel to She Asked For It) – FREE!
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Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Bestselling Romance Author. She likes her action hot and her bad boys hotter. She certainly doesn’t hold back on either one in her writing!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

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Thrive by Aly Martinez ~ Sarah A’s Review

When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.
Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell.

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make.
I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.

Thrive is a Guardian Protection Novel and can be read as a complete STANDALONE.

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The evocative and beautiful story in Thrive is a perfect example of why I return to Aly Martinez’s writing time and again. She is adept at pulling her readers in from the first moment and holding them captive to her words until the end. Mira and Jeremy’s story was full of heartbreak and healing. I enjoyed every second I spent with them in this book.

Thrive is the second book of Aly Martinez’s Guardian Protection series. It also has tie-ins to her Wrecked & Ruined series and Retrieval Duet. However, it can be read as a complete standalone, as each book focuses on different couples. The book is told in dual first-person perspective, by Mira and Jeremy. There are a few flashback scenes that add incredible heartache to their story.

I’m a sucker for second-chance romances and Thrive definitely fit that trope. Their original relationship may have been anything but typical, but it was one of the sweetest, most caring relationships I’ve read in a while. Their chemistry was amazing, but it was the soul-deep connection they shared that won me over in this book. I’m ecstatic we didn’t have to watch them suffer through their self-induced 17-year separation while reading, I don’t think I could have dealt with the pain of them knowing they were each missing the other half of their soul.

While the suspense and terror were the catalysts for Mira and Jeremy’s reconnection, I’m glad it was their love story that took center stage. Aly Martinez used the threat against Mira to push the characters to fully explore the events of the past and focus on what they wanted for their future. I loved how the very person who most wanted to keep Mira and Jeremy apart was so essential to pushing them back into one another’s lives. I was also impressed with how deeply she made me care for another potential couple in only a few words; I’m not sure my heart didn’t ache more for them than it did for Mira and Jeremy; the pain they’d experienced was just that poignant.

My only wish for this book is that the ending been less rushed. There were so many things I would have loved to have seen played out on page, in real time that either were only quickly recapped in the midst of another scene or never even touched on. I don’t think those omissions took away from the story, but I do think they would have added closure and emotion to the beginning of Mira and Jeremy’s forever.

Ms. Martinez wrote a complex story with myriad moving parts and wove each piece together in masterfully. Each of her stories is full of hope and healing. Her characters each have the strength to stand on their own but choose to live a fuller life with the people they love. I’m continually impressed with how unique each story is while still including the same primary themes. Her writing is robust, yet delicate and draws me in from the first page; holding me captive to her words until the final sentence.

Guardian Protection series, book one
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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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