Don’t Let Go by Willow Winters ~ RELEASE BOOST

Seductive. Addictive. Captivating.
The irresistible heroes in these stories have those three features in common.
Some stories are second chance; others are fated love. But every single one of them, you’ll crave to the last page.

This is a collection of tales published by Willow Winters but no longer available. These stories touched my heart, but were exclusive at the time so if you didn’t snag them then, they were lost to you forever.

I wanted to make sure you could read all of my work and now you can. Happy reading, xx

The stories available in this collection are:
Infatuation, the first novella in the USA Today best-selling bundle, Drawn to Him.
Desires in the Night and Keeping Secrets, both shorts published in exclusive bundles with best-selling author Adriana Locke.
Bad Boy Next Door, a novella I wrote years ago that I still often think about. The damaged hero and second chance love in this romance is one I wish I could go back to often. It’s the final tale included in this collection for a total of 4 stories not available anywhere else!

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I’ve never reviewed a short story. Let alone a collection of them. I’m going to keep this short and sweet because I don’t want to ruin anything about any of the stories. Don’t Let Go was a delightful little collection of stories, and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t incredibly interested in reading more books in a couple of those worlds.

By far and away, Infatuation was my favorite story. A love story rooted in tradition and superstition always pulls me in. The intrigue of what was going on below the surface, all the secrets and innuendos completely won me over. I am dying to know more about the Kulls and everything going on in Ketchikan.

Desires in the Night was one ridiculously erotic scene. It was titillating and hot; I loved that explored a little bit of the darkness most people deny inside themselves. There was still enough emotion regarding the pasts of Valarie and Alex that I felt an emotional connection to them and I wouldn’t be upset if we got a full-length story about them, because I have SO many questions about Valarie’s disdain for Alex’s hometown.

I said Infatuation was my favorite story, and it was, but that likely had to do with the fact it was one of the longest stories in the book because Keeping Secrets is the kind of story that ALWAYS calls to my heart — broken girl, damaged veteran, second-chance romance. It really ticks all my boxes. I just wanted more of it. The story was complete, and I didn’t feel dissatisfied with the experience, I just would have loved living in their love for a lot longer.

Bad Boy Next door was the only story I didn’t feel myself wanting to live in. It was a good story, and all of the romantic elements I love were there, but I didn’t connect with it as deeply as I did the three other stories. It was a sweet, moving story, but I think I was complete as a short story. Adding more would have taken away from what it was. I loved Catherine and Ryker, and I was pleased with their story.

Don’t Let Go needs a little editing. There weren’t a ton of issues, but the ones that were there were glaring. Typos, incorrect apostrophe usage, and most obvious was the change of spelling of one of the character’s names. At the beginning of Desires in the Night Valarie was spelled with two As, but somewhere in the middle it got switched to an A and an E. Another editing pass could quickly clean up these few problems.

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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Endless by W. Winters ~ Sarah A’s Review

He holds a power over me like no one else ever could.

Maybe it’s because my heart begs to beat in time with his.
Maybe it’s because my body bows to his and his alone.
Maybe it’s because he thought he loved me before he even laid eyes on me.

He thought wrong, it wasn’t me he thought he loved, and nothing has made me suffer like that little secret has.  He thought I belonged to him, but he was wrong. It was never supposed to be me.

Our memories are deceiving, but I know what I want now.
What I need more than anything.
I won’t rest until he’s as much mine as I am his.
It’s always been him.

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There is a part of me that wants to hate Aria and Carter’s story. A big piece that knows their love isn’t healthy. But, the bigger part of me loves them. Loves how toxic they are. Loves that she tames part of his wild and he releases part of hers. Endless was an explosive conclusion to the Merciless saga, and I am eagerly anticipating more books in this world, mostly so I can back in on Aria and Carter.

Aria seemed to finally be coming into her own in the previous book, Breathless, but she really showed the world she was more than the terrified, sheltered girl we’d first met in Merciless. For the most part, she was still very submissive when it came to Carter, but she had a spine of steel when it mattered most and she easily held command in a situation she would have never been able to before her time with Carter. Aria has grown and evolved so much in this series; I sometimes wonder if she would recognize her former self at all if confronted with it.

Carter came to some incredible revelations in this book. There were moments he seemed almost human – kind, even – something beyond the brutal dictator he’d been throughout the rest of this series. His moods were as mercurial as ever, but with the help of a few well-chosen words from trusted confidants he was able to see the truth within his soul and know how to tend to and express the emotions in a meaningful way.

Endless was rife with tension and emotion. There was so much on the line at the end of Breathless and with the new information that came to light in Endless, there was only more. Ms. Winters added so many more threads of intrigue into this world; I’m sure we’ll be unraveling them all for some time. I’m happy that the threads that were introduced helped Carter and Aria to find a place where they could find love and acceptance in one another, but I am eagerly anticipating what those revelations will mean for these characters and the rest of the brothers going forward.

Endless is the fourth and final book in W. Winter’s Merciless saga. These books are no standalones and must be read for cohesion. There are a couple of other books, Possessive and A Kiss to Tell, that are a huge part of this world and I would suggest reading before starting this series. Endless is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Aria and Carter.

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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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Fragments of Ash by Katy Regnery ~ RELEASE BOOST

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!

My name is Ashley Ellis…

I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.

When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.

With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father

…dead or alive.

** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.

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Instead of going inside, I walk around the house, to the backyard, to see if I can help bring in any dirty dishes, but the picnic table is empty. All traces of our dinner party have already been cleaned up by the Ducharmes siblings.
I look up at the midnight sky, at the dozens and dozens of stars, and I wonder if Gus is right. What he says feels right, but I feel very young and very small as I stare up at the universe. It’s not wrong to give yourself over to loving if the chance arises.
“We get amazing night skies up here.”
I look over my shoulder and find Julian, tall, barefoot, and beautiful, walking toward me.
“Yes, you do,” I answer, giving him a shy and tentative smile before I turn my attention back upward.
My skin prickles with awareness. My lips tingle, remembering the insistent pressure of his. And elsewhere in my body, I clench hard, willing those deep-set tremors not to start up again right now. I want to believe what Gus has told me—that liking and wanting a man isn’t wrong—but it’s new to me, and I need a little time to reconcile my desire and conscience together.
“When I lived in DC, it was what I missed the most, besides Noelle. More than the cheese. More than the beer. More than the skiing.” He stops, standing beside me, staring up at the firmament. “I missed Vermont’s night skies. And the millions of stars.”
“I can see why,” I say. “When I lived in LA, I never saw stars.” I giggle. “I mean, I saw the people kind, but not the sky kind.”
“Who’s the most famous person you ever met?”
“Hmm. Maybe . . . Gigi Hadid . . . or Bella? Hmm . . . Or Cara Delevingne? Kate Moss mentored my m—Tig for a while, um, and she knew Gisele, of course. Also—”
“Wait a second! Gisele? Did you ever meet Tom Brady?” he asks, his voice eager.
“Let me guess.” I glance at his face. “Patriots fan?”
“The biggest.”
“Tig went to their wedding, but I never met him. Sorry,” I say, giggling as he lays a hand over his heart and pretends to cry. “Speaking of the rich and famous, Noelle tells me you met the vice president while you worked in Washington.”
“She did?” His teasing expression disappears quickly as he straightens, dropping his hand. “Uh, yeah. Long time ago.”
“Not so long,” I say.
“Yeah, well . . . I guess it just feels like a while ago.” I wait for him to say more, hoping to learn why he left Washington so abruptly, but he stretches his arms over his head and yawns. “I’m tired. You must be exhausted.”
“At school I was on the dining hall rotation, which meant cooking for one hundred souls regularly. Tonight was a breeze.”
“Your soup was amazing.”
“Thank you.”
“The steak too.”
“Thank you again.”
“And the tart.”
“That was your sister. Let her know you thought so.”
“And the kiss.”
“Thank—” I’m grinning at him, but my eyes widen at his unexpected compliment, and I immediately look back up at the sky. It’s dark out so he can’t see my blush.
His chuckle is soft and low beside me, and maybe I’m wicked for not feeling more guilty, but I feel my smile grow as I trace Orion’s belt. I don’t dare look at him, but I feel him step closer to me, the warmth of his chest radiating against my back. If I moved slightly, one step even, his body would be flush against mine, and the shiver down my arms has nothing to do with the night chill. I want him to touch me, but I know he won’t.
As though he can read my mind, he whispers, close to my ear, “Not unless you ask.”
I close my eyes and say a prayer for strength and virtue, which, sadly, works, because the next thing I hear is his footsteps receding.
“Good night, sweet Ashley,” he says to my back, his voice a low rumble.
My eyes open slowly to the glittering heavens.
“Good night, sweet prince,” I whisper to Julian’s stars.

The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – coming October 1, 2018
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon

***  SERIES PURCHASE LINKS  ***
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katy-regnery

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.

Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.

Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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No Tomorrow by Carian Cole ~ RELEASE BOOST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Mistake I’ve Made by JL Berg ~ RELEASE BOOST

From USA Today bestselling author J.L. Berg comes an enemies to lovers stand-alone romance.

I was waiting for my life to start…

After forgoing college to help run the family business, I’d given up on the idea of a different life, and finally made peace with something a bit simpler.

That is, until Leilani Hart showed up.

There is nothing simple about the hotel heiress and the minute our eyes meet, I know my carefree existence is a thing of the past. She has big ideas for our sleepy town and the motel she plans on transforming into a spa destination for the rich and famous.

She’ll have to go through me first.

From our first meeting, we’re like fire and ice and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to pin her down and melt some of those frigid layers right off.

But, my town comes first. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Unfortunately, my heart and head don’t seem to agree and soon, I don’t know where my loyalties lie.  I’ve never believed in love, but for her, I just might be willing to risk it all.

Even if it means falling… for the enemy.

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I’m a California native, who lives in the South – Virginia to be exact. I still prefer sushi to fried chicken, avocados to okra, and I absolutely loathe humidity. I do love watching the seasons change though. My husband and I have been here for over a decade, and I still get giddy like a school girl every time it snows. It’s magical!

I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with two beautiful daughters and two rescue pups I like to call my “coworkers”. I’m obsessed with chocolate, minions, anything Harry Potter and I love to watch re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls!

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Love Online by Penelope Ward ~ Sarah A’s Review

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy STANDALONE novel.

We met in the least likely of places. It started out innocently enough. I was “ScreenGod” and she was “Montana,” but of course, those weren’t our actual names, just the virtual cloaks we hid behind.

Logging in at night and talking to her was my escape—my sanctuary.

Her real name was Eden, I’d soon come to find out.

From the first time we connected online, I found myself transfixed.

She was an addiction.

At first, we knew nothing about each other’s real identities…and she was adamant that we keep things that way. Anonymity had no effect on our unstoppable chemistry, though. If anything, it allowed us to open up even more in ways we may not have otherwise.

Eden was funny, intelligent, gorgeous—everything I’d ever wanted in a woman.

But I couldn’t really have her.

I had accepted things would have to stay the way they were—until the day I found a clue that led me straight to her.

So I took a chance.

And that was when our love story really began.

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What a sweet, heartwarming story.  Love Online hit the spot for a feel-good romance after reading a dud of a book right before it.  I loved Eden and Ryder from the start, and their unconventional meeting made the rest of their story feel so much more special and unique.

First, can I tell you how wonderful Ryder was?  He was an atypical romance hero, and it was incredibly refreshing.  Ryder was kind, vulnerable, and unafraid to put his heart on the line when he needed to.  From the very first scene, I loved him because he was so unlike most other men we read about in romance novels.  His honesty, tenderness, and consistency were exactly what Eden needed in her life.

Eden was equally fascinating; she made hard decisions to fulfill her responsibilities.  She was ridiculously strong and steadfast but hid her insecurities just beneath the surface for anyone who took the time to look for them.  She’d dealt with a ton of different kinds of loss in her life and deserved someone to count on and to support her unconditionally.

The premise of Love Online was completely new to me.  I’d never read anything like it, but I was 100% there for it.  I was wholly engrossed in Eden and Ryder’s story as soon as I opened the book and I felt personally invested in their love story and all the things that would be affected by their relationship.  Love Online had just enough drama to keep it interesting but wasn’t an angst-driven story, and I was thankful for that.

When I first started reading this book, it reminded me of an episode of Catfish I’d recently watched.  The premise was so specific and the terminology spot-on from what I heard on that show.  I was immediately immersed in a world I have no personal experience with, but there was no doubt Love Online had been meticulously researched to accurately reflect a specific lifestyle and career.

Penelope Ward is a fascinating storyteller, she comes up with unique premises and delivers powerful stories full of poignant moments.  I’m impressed with how high she keeps her quality and the variety of stories she tells.  Her books always leave me feeling happy and hopeful, and in a world where that can be scarce, it’s a beautiful quality to share with the world.

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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A Kiss to Tell by W Winters ~ RELEASE BOOST

I didn’t need anyone to tell me, I knew he was forbidden with a single glance.
He was a boy I should be afraid of and definitely a boy I should never want. No matter how much neither of those statements were true.

From the first time I saw him, Sebastian had a hard stare that pinned me in place.  And, years later, it hasn’t softened.

We lived on the same street, went to the same school, though he was a year ahead.  Even so close, he was untouchable.
He was bad news and I was the sad girl who didn’t belong.

One night changed everything.
We both had secrets.  We both saw the pain in each other’s eyes.
That gaze that gave me chills, turned to a lust-filled haze that heated every inch of me.
But that didn’t change who he was.  A man who would take everything from me.

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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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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott ~ Sarah A’s Review

Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings.

Sometimes first loves are the truest. 

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If it hadn’t been for the author, I might have passed up this book as soon as I saw the title.  It didn’t do anything for me, and even after reading I feel like it belies the depth of the story.  Fortunately, I knew what to expect from Kylie Scott, so I read the book and knew this was a story with a ton of potential.  This book was angsty and fun, and I found myself holding my breath and stifling a laugh in turn.

Adele was fascinating.  She was crass and unforgiving, while still being sweet and vulnerable.  For all her bluster, she had been thoroughly destroyed by Pete’s rejection when she was younger, and it showed through that cracked façade of snark she wore like armor.  I loved her brash honesty and ability to keep her head held high when it was painfully obvious she just wanted to let herself crumble.

I’m not sure how I feel about Pete since this book was told in single perspective we never got to see his thoughts.  I could make some assumptions, but I still had so many questions about him, and this is one book where I think having at least a couple of chapters in his POV would have added so much to the overall experience of the novel.  I did, however, sense his struggle, even when she was a teenager.  Their connection was strong from the off, and there was no denying they would be something special if only he’d give in to the pull.

I loved Adele so much, and my heart hurt for her so badly by the way she kept getting so thoroughly crushed by the love of her life.  I’m always a sucker for a friends-to-lovers romance, which is the best way to describe It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.  Adele and Pete had a connection that transcended age (there are no questionable situations in this title) and carried through years of not speaking.  No matter how hard one or both of them tried to refuse it, they kept coming back to each other for the comfort and understanding they couldn’t find elsewhere.

I adored the plot of It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.  It was heartwrenching, angsty, fun, and fraught with unmasked desire.  I was deliriously happy that there wasn’t any extra action in this book beyond navigating the pitfalls of Adele and Pete’s complicated and historied relationship.  The flashbacks lent an interesting view of how deep their relationship was from the off and gave great insight into Pete’s affection for Adele.

As I said earlier, my wish for this book would have been to get even the tiniest glimpse into Pete’s head.  I felt I knew Adele so well; she was so straightforward it wasn’t hard to understand her motivations and compulsions, whereas Pete played everything so close to the vest it was hard to get a great read on him.  I feel like his would have been the more interesting head to get into and I would die to get my hands on an alternate POV from him.

It was meant to be a soft kiss. A chaste one, even.

The minute my lips touched his, however, everything changed. Callused hands grabbed the sides of my face and my mouth opened on a gasp. His tongue swept inside, taking me over. Holy hell. Shoes and purse hit the floor, forgotten. Nothing about this kiss was slow or easy. The man devoured me. Every ounce of emotion poured into that kiss, all of the anger and frustration between us. His tongue was teasing and tasting, driving me wild. Then he drew back to suck and nip at my bottom lip. One hand slid around the back of my neck, the other over my hip to grab at my ass. His hold was firm, a little rough even. He treated my body like it belonged to him and I wasn’t gentle either.

Apparently experience mattered. Because all I could do was try and keep up.

I held on tight to his open shirt, straining against him, trying to get closer. I’d have crawled inside the man if I could. Turned out that under certain circumstances, the taste of scotch worked for me in a big way. Against my hip, his cock hardened, digging into me. And oh my God, I’d done that to him. Me. How amazing! Meanwhile, my body felt liquid, core aching and empty. I needed him inside of me and it seemed like I’d already been waiting forever.

“Pete. Please.”

“Fuck,” he muttered, breath hot against my ear.

I fumbled at the remaining buttons on his shirt. My damn fingers didn’t seem to be working. Easier to just push the whole thing upward. Luckily, the man decided to help, tearing the shirt off over his head. More skin was good. And he was so hot and smooth, a thrill to the touch. The solid flesh of his pecs and the flat plane of his stomach.

He tore at the zipper on the back of my dress, dragging fabric down over my shoulders. A growl came from the back of his throat, a noise of frustration, impatience. I’m reasonably certain I heard the silk rip. I didn’t care. His hands and mouth seemed to cover every bit of skin revealed, touching and tasting me everywhere. The dress got stuck on my hips. Out of the way enough for now.

He didn’t even bother undoing my bra, simply peeling down one of the lace cups to free my flesh. My breast filled his hot palm as it took the weight. Fingers plumped me, his thumb flicking over my hard nipple. The sting of pain followed by the heat of his kiss made my head spin and my body ache. There was no room for thought as he fed me deep, wet kisses. Slowly, he took us to the floor. No time for anything else. Just the urgent need to have him inside me.

The hardness of the polished wood was cool against my back. My legs were spread, his body between them. And with his broad chest above me, his weight taken on one arm, he was all I could see. I swear even the insides of my thighs were wet, I was so ready. It would have been embarrassing with anybody else. But this man, he had to know, he had to understand. It had always been him.

“Pete, I need—”

“I know,” he said, voice harsh and low.

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

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Protected by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Their first chance at love ended in heartbreak

Wade Rycroft fell in love with Geneva Harris when she was the smartest girl in his class. The rodeo star and the shy academic made for an odd pair, but their chemistry was undeniable. They made plans to get married after high school. Those plans changed when Genny broke his heart. Joining the Army gave him a chance to leave that life behind. News that Genny married the town’s golden boy let Wade know that he could never go home again.

A chance encounter rekindles an old flame

Fifteen years later, he’s found his place in the world and tried to forget the woman who left him standing in the rain. After leaving the Army he forged a new life as a bodyguard at McKay-Taggart, but he still feels incomplete. When his brother’s wedding brings him home to Broken Bend, Texas, he walks into a storm of scandal. Genny’s marriage has dissolved, the town has turned against her, and someone is making threats. Seeing her again reawakens feelings he thought were long gone, and he worries that staying close enough to help her could be too much to bear.

Their reunion just might kill them both

After an attempt is made on Genny’s life, Wade can’t refuse to help her. Watching over her day and night, it’s clear that having her back in his life could be the thing to finally make him whole. When the danger follows them back to Dallas, their second chance at love could be over before it even begins.

***  Amazon Exclusive ~ Will release on other retailers on October 29, 2018  ***
Amazon

Protected was a great second-chance romance from Lexi Blake.  She always delivers excellent romantic suspense novels, and it was wonderful to finally get the last story from the bodyguards in her crossover collection, Wade Rycroft.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Blake’s stories is how strong and feisty her female characters are.  Even when they have been through some of the most horrific things a human can experience, there is always a spark of fortitude that peeks through all the broken pieces, and Geneva was no exception to that pattern.  She was fierce, and I loved her so much.  She had sacrificed everything she’d ever known or wanted to protect the people she loved, knowing she may never find any reward for her actions.  Wade, when he finally learned the life Geneva had been living wasn’t of her own choosing, was kindness and atonement.  He was everything I hoped he could be in light of what Geneva had been through, and I was so happy to see him treat her so well.

While I adored how quickly Geneva and Wade first rekindled their relationship, I was so glad to see them all take the steps they needed to in order to find healing and forgiveness for all the stuff they’d gone through in the fifteen years they’d been apart.  That part of their journey was so important and gave them such an important foundation to build their future on.  Becoming independently strong and unencumbered by the lies and manipulations they’d suffered in the past allowed them to construct an impenetrable and healthy partnership.

I only wish this book had been a full-length novel.  The story was complete, but I would have LOVED to have seen more of their relationship when they were kids, and I definitely would have loved to see more of them between the resolution of the issues at hand and the epilogue.  I just wanted more of them together.  Period.

Protected in a novella, billed as book 16.5 in Lexi Blake’s Masters & Mercenaries series.  These books are all interconnected standalone, each focusing on a different couple.  There are references to other stories in the series in this book, but they are used to garner interest in the series and do not detract from the understanding or enjoyment of this story.  Protected is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Geneva and Wade’s thoughts.

Lexi Blake is my guilty pleasure author.  I read everything she releases as soon as I can get my hands on it.  Her stories are always deep and satisfying, with wonderful emotional connections between her characters and lots of action and suspense.  Her books always leave me wanting to go back to the beginning and lose myself in her world for weeks on end.

“Don’t. Don’t tell me how to feel. I know you’ve worked through this, but I don’t know how to.”

“It helps to admit that we were all children back then.”

“My mother wasn’t.” He needed to talk about this with her.

“No, but she wasn’t the same after your dad died. She was lost and I’ve forgiven her,” she replied quietly. “You can’t spend your life being angry.”

“You’re angry with me.”

For a moment he thought she would ignore him. Then she turned to him, her eyes shining in the moonlight. “Maybe. It’s hard to figure out how I feel about you. For a long time, I dreamed about you at night. You were the only man I ever loved. Brock killed that. I think he might have killed the part of me that can love someone other than my son. I didn’t feel a lot when my father passed. But then he was the one who told me to suck it up. I went to him after Brock hit me the first time. He told me to not make my husband mad.”

“Genny, he should have killed him. I would have. God, I should have.” That sorrow that had been building inside him threatened to spill over. Anger was there, but it was overshadowed by the terrible pain he felt at the thought of her being alone and afraid.

“It’s funny,” she said, studying him in the silvery light. “I went over pretty much every possible scenario I could, and this wasn’t the way I thought you would handle it. It’s why it took forever for me to talk to you. I thought you would either not care at all or that you would be so angry you went after everyone. I hesitated because I thought I might unleash a beast.”

He could give her this. Since the moment he’d learned the truth, he’d genuinely forced himself to think about how he reacted. It would be selfish to act out in anger when she needed him to be calm, to think about what was best for her. The drive from Broken Bend to Dallas with Ash had made that clear to him. They needed someone who would thoughtfully protect them, not a raging animal who fed his own needs. “You’ve had enough anger in your life. It’s there. God, it’s there, but I swear I won’t act on it because I won’t do anything that could hurt you. I’ll try to handle him in every legal way I can and if I have to take him out, I’ll do it in a way that can never come back on any of us. You don’t need my rage. You do need me though.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Because you think I’ll let you down again.” It wasn’t a question.

“Because I don’t want to love anyone again,” she admitted.

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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