Memento Mori by Lexi Blake ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

Six men with no memories of the past
One leader with no hope for the future

A man without a past

Jax woke up in a lab, his memories erased, and his mind reprogrammed to serve a mad woman’s will. After being liberated from his prison, he pledged himself to the only thing he truly knows—his team. Six men who lost everything they were. They must make certain no one else gets their hands on the drugs that stole their lives, all while hiding from every intelligence organization on the planet. The trail has led him to an unforgiving mountainside and a beautiful wilderness expert who may be his only hope of finding the truth.  

A woman with a bright future

River Lee knows her way around the Colorado wilderness. She’s finally found a home in a place called Bliss after years lost in darkness. The nature guide prefers to show her clients the beauty found in the land, but she also knows the secrets the mountains hold. When she meets Jax, something about the troubled man calls to her. She agrees to lead him to the site of an abandoned government facility hidden deep in the forest. She never dreamed she was stepping into the middle of a battlefield.

A love that could heal a broken soul

Spending time with River, Jax discovers a peace he’s never known. Their passion unlocks a side of himself he didn’t even know he was missing. When an old enemy makes his first move, Jax and River find themselves fighting for their lives. But when his past is revealed, will River be caught in the crosshairs of a global conspiracy?

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“This place is beautiful,” he said when she hesitated.

She nodded but didn’t move from her seat. “I love it here. I went to college in Denver, but I always missed this place. When I was younger, my dad had a house in Creede. He started the business there, but when he could, he moved us out of town. My dad was a loner, I suppose. Creede has a population of four hundred and Dad thought that was way too many people.”

“I know the feeling. I lived in London for a while. That was definitely too many people.” He kept his tone even. It was odd. Now that he was here, that hunger he always felt was tempered by her fear. He’d thought he would take anything offered to him, but he couldn’t having met her. If the blonde had offered herself up, he would have turned her down. Over the two hours they’d sat in the booth, eating fried food and drinking beer, he’d figured something out. Some people were more special than others. River was special. He should be more cynical. He could hear Damon Knight telling him to be cautious, but he couldn’t make himself do it. Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t have a long well of history to draw from and to teach him that this was likely a mistake.

It didn’t feel like a mistake.

“Wow. I’ve never been farther than Kansas City.” She still wasn’t moving and her voice had taken on a tremulous tone.

His heart constricted, and it was surprisingly easy to not listen to his dick. His dick was pleading with him to get aggressive. His dick was trying to convince him that if he could get inside her, she would accept him.

Yeah, he wasn’t going to listen to his dick.

“If you’ve changed your mind, I can call my brother to pick me up. I have a phone and so does he. His number is programmed in. I don’t want to scare you. I had a good time talking to you tonight. It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had in a long time.” Ever. It was the best night ever. It was the first night he felt normal, though he wasn’t exactly sure what that word meant. Comfortable was a better one. That tight feeling in his chest had eased as he’d sat in the booth with River and Tucker and Heather.

Although he’d hated lying to her.

She finally turned, looking at him. Her eyes shone in the moonlight. “You mean that, don’t you?”

He wanted to touch her. He’d had to force his hands not to move toward her all night long. The most he’d allowed himself was to have their hips and shoulders touch as they’d sat next to each other. He’d decided it had been a good thing he’d sat next to her because he was fairly certain he had a case of Big Tag’s crazy eyes, and she would have seen them had he sat across from her.

“I do mean it. Please don’t get me wrong. I want you. I would like nothing more in the world than to take you into that cabin, lay you out, and make a feast of you. I want to kiss you and when I say that I don’t merely mean your lips. I want to put my mouth all over your body. But more than I want that, I want you to like me.” It was important somehow. He wouldn’t see her after tonight, but he couldn’t stand the idea that she was afraid of him.

Everyone was afraid of him. Everyone he knew was waiting for his powder keg to blow, but he’d sworn to himself earlier in the evening that it wouldn’t blow around her. He would protect her even if it was only for one night.

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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Until We Are Gone by Gia Riley ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

Until We Are Gone, an all-new Standalone Emotional Romance by Gia Riley is coming July 30th!!

I wanted a family with Cash.

We had dreams –building a house, kids, a dog, and, yes, even the white picket fence.

Or so I’m told.

I don’t remember anything about my husband. Not the wedding or the vows we shared.

The past ten years were erased and with time, they’re supposed to come back.

But this isn’t your typical case of amnesia

What if I’m not supposed to remember?

What if I was meant to forget?

Maybe I don’t want my old life back.

Because if the accident hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have uncovered the truth.

Losing my memory wasn’t tragic.

Losing my memory was fate.

The man grabs my hand and laces his fingers with mine, careful not to jostle the IV. Nothing about his hand is familiar, and I’m left wondering if it’s okay to be touching at all.

“Who are you?” I ask him, wondering why he still hasn’t told me his name. If he’s someone who saved me, then I want to know. I need to know. “Are you the pilot?”

He sucks in a breath, and the tears flow harder down his cheeks. There’s a long, uncomfortable pause, and he barely blinks.

A few seconds later, he clears his throat and says, “Cash. I’m Cash. Your husband.”

I search his face for anything familiar. A dimple. A wrinkle. Maybe a freckle. But nothing about him triggers a single memory. I should feel more than this. I should have love for the man I married. I’m not sure how long ago, but we exchanged vows. Vows I don’t remember. And I’m sure I wore a white dress, probably my dream dress, and I don’t even know if it was made of lace or satin. My first Holy Communion dress was an expensive chiffon, and I hated that itchy material, so I’m sure it couldn’t have been chiffon.

Cash brushes his finger down the side of my face, chasing away a tear. I didn’t realize I was crying.

“I think I want to be alone,” I whisper.

He pauses and then lets go of me.

I wait for him to say something, but he just tucks closed fists into his pockets and stares at the floor.

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

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

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

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

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Freed by Carly Phillips ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

An all-new emotional and romantic standalone from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carly Phillips is coming July 10th!

Fall for the missing Ward sister…

Juliette Collins is privileged and isolated from the world by her over-protective father. She thinks she knows the truth about her history until a file in her father’s safe reveals she has sisters she never knew about. A family she’s never met. Betrayed, she realizes there’s a life waiting for her outside the walls of her daddy’s New York City penthouse and Juliet is determined to live it. Against her father’s wishes, she heads to a small beach community to meet her siblings… and finds herself way out of her depth instead.

In the personal protection business, Braden Clark thinks nothing of taking on a job to watch over a city girl in town for the summer. If her father wants to know his daughter is safe, it’s no problem and an easy way of earning a paycheck. Except Braden doesn’t count on falling for the sheltered Juliette. Watching her experience her firsts, getting an apartment, finding a job, meeting up with her lost sisters, soon Braden’s brand of protection becomes a little too personal. He’s mixing business with pleasure and lying to a woman he’s coming to care deeply about.

Sexual attraction burns bright between them and Braden is by her side as she finds herself, her family, and what it means to love… but what happens when she discovers his secret? That he’s been paid to watch over her all along?

A Standalone Novel

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“What are you doing?” The first hint of true panic since he’d been found out sliced into her father’s voice.

“I’m leaving.”

He rushed over, placing a hand on her suitcase. “Juliette, no. We can work this out. I want to make this right.”

“You can’t.” The damage was done by withholding information about her family.

“Be reasonable before you storm out. You’ve never been away from home alone. Never held a job. What are your plans?”

“And whose fault is that? You’ve kept me dependent on you, but now it’s time for me to be an adult. To meet my sisters and live my own life.” She closed her suitcase and zipped it around before turning to face him. “I can promise you, I will be perfectly fine.”

“I only ever had your best interest at heart. You have to know that.” He stepped back, a defeated expression on his face. “Would you consider taking a bodyguard?” he asked. “Someone to watch you from afar?”

She snorted at that. “No. I’m an adult and it’s time you started treating me like one. I’m taking the summer for myself. I’ll decide what happens at the end of August. Until then, please respect my privacy.”

He hesitated, then perhaps seeing the determination in her expression, hearing the certainty about her decision in her voice, he lifted a hand and stepped back. “Fine. I’ll expect to hear from you. Often.”

She shook her head. “Sorry, Dad. You’re not telling me what to do anymore.” She hesitated, knowing he had a bad heart and not wanting to upset him more despite how hurt and angry she was. “I know you love me,” she said, voice softening. “And I love you, but it’s way past time for me to be on my own.”

“So be it.”

She narrowed her gaze, surprised at his capitulation. She’d expected him to turn his chilly anger on her, but he was letting her go without too much of an argument.

Relief and excitement filled her soul. She was going to meet her family, experience everything she’d missed out on, and finally, live her own life.

For herself and nobody else.

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Carly Phillips is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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Saving Beck by Courtney Cole ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

Reminiscent of the beloved novels by Mary Kubica and Jodi Picoult comes a chilling portrayal of a son’s addiction and its harrowing effects on both him and his mother from New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole. SAVING BECK releases July 17, 2018. Check out the teaser below, and pre-order your copy of SAVING BECK today!

There comes a time when offering your life for your child’s doesn’t work, when you realize that it’ll never be enough. 

The cold needle in his warm vein was a welcome comfort to my son at first. But then it became the monster that kept us apart. 

Heroin lied, and my son believed. It took him to a world where the last year didn’t happen, to a place where his father was still alive. What Beck didn’t understand was that it couldn’t bring his father back from the dead. It couldn’t take away his pain, not permanently. 

You think it can’t happen to you, that your kids, your family, will never be in this situation. 
I thought that too. But you’re wrong. 

Step into our world, and see for yourself. 
Watch my golden boy become a slave to this raging epidemic. Watch me try and save him. 

Drug addiction comes with a price. 
Trust me, you’re not equipped to pay it. 

Don’t miss this heart wrenching, evocative, yet hopeful novel—it will leave you forever changed.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES JULY 17, 2018  ***
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The hospital is a beacon of light and hope as we pull in. I barely remember to put my car in park before I jump out and I leave it in the middle of the lane, the tires wrenched haphazardly toward the curb.

“Ma’am, you can’t park there,” a guy in a security uniform says with his fake badge, but I don’t answer. I toss him my keys and push my way to the doors, and that’s when I see him.

My son.

They’ve pulled him out of the ambulance, and he’s so still, so white. He’s got the body of a man and the face of a boy, and he’s got vomit in his hair. One hand dangles over the edge of the gurney, orange flecks dripping from his fingers to the floor, but no one notices, no one cares.

“Beck,” I breathe, and he doesn’t open his eyes. “Beck,” I say louder, as loud as I can. His mouth is slack, but he’s not dead, he can’t be dead because someone is pumping his heart with her fist. She’s running next to the gurney, and she’s pounding on his heart, making it beat.

“Coming through,” she yells at the doors, and there is a team of people working on him. They’re frantic, and that’s not good.

I chase after them, through the emergency room, through the people, but someone grabs me at a giant set of double-doors, the gateway to the important rooms.

“You can’t go in there,” a nurse tells me.

“That’s my son,” I try to tell her, but she doesn’t care. “Beck,” I scream, and I try to see through the windows, but I can’t because he’s gone. “I love you, Beck. Stay here. Stay here.”

The nurse grasps my arm, and I can’t stand anymore. My legs are tired and the adrenaline… it numbs me. I collapse beside her and she tries to hold me up, but she can’t… I’m on the ground.

My face is wet, when did I start crying?

“You have to save my son,” I beg her, my fingers curled into her arm. I stare into her eyes. Hers are green, ringed with blue, and she looks away. Something about her seems so familiar, something about those eyes.

“We’ll try, ma’am,” she says uncertainly. It’s the uncertainty that kills me. “We’ll do everything we can. I’m going to take you to a quiet room, and give you a blanket. Is there anyone I can call for you?”

I shake my head. “No. I already called my sister.”

“Okay,” the nurse says quietly and her name tag says Jessica. She takes me to a waiting room, a quiet private one, the ones they use when the outcome might not be good. I know that because I’ve been here before.

I swallow hard and she puts a cup of coffee in my hand.

As she does, she pushes a stray hair out of her face and her bracelet catches my eye. A simple chain with a silver dolphin on it. I’ve seen it before.

“You were here the night my husband was brought in,” I realize slowly. “Weren’t you? Do you remember me?”

It was a year ago. A year, two months… I check my watch… six days and twenty-two hours ago. Of course she doesn’t remember me.

But Jessica nods.

“I’m so sorry about your husband,” she tells me now, her voice quiet and thick. “I swear to you, we did everything we could.”

“I know,” I tell her. Because I do. The accident was so bad, there’s no way anyone could’ve survived. Except for Beck. He lived. But Matt...his injuries were insurmountable. That’s what the doctor told me that night.

I stare at the door, and this is the same room and that is the same door, and this is the same blue-tiled floor. For a minute, I’m back in that moment, and the doctor is coming in. I’d waited for hours and his face was so grave and I knew, I knew, before he could utter a word.

I shook my head because I didn’t want to hear what was coming next, but he spoke anyway.

Matt’s injuries were insurmountable, he’d said. We did everything we could.

But everything wasn’t enough, and my husband died.

“Is it a different doctor tonight?” I ask suddenly. “I need a different doctor. One who can save my son.”

I know it’s illogical. I know it was never the doctor’s fault, but it doesn’t matter because Jessica is nodding. “It’s a different doctor tonight,” she tells me. “Dr. Grant, and he’s very, very good.”

“Okay,” I whisper. “Okay.”

“If you need anything, you tell me,” Jessica says and I can see that she means it. She likes me. Or she feels sorry for me. It doesn’t matter which. I nod and she’s gone, and I’m alone.

Just like I was a year ago, and just like that night all I can do is pace.

I’m a caged mama wolf and there’s nothing I can do, but I know that if I stop moving, Beck might die. My energy is attached to his energy. I have to move. It all depends on me.

So I walk in circles.

I walk six paces, over the six white tiles, then I turn, taking three steps over the blue. I tread back six paces over the white, and then turn again, taking three more over the blue.

I will not stop, Beck. I won’t fail you. I won’t.

It becomes rhythmic, and I match my breaths with my steps. I’m a machine, a time-keeper, a being made of clock-work as I walk in circles, marking time. Every step I take, Beck is still alive. I feel it in my heart. It’s all up to me.

Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.

She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.

Courtney was born and raised in rural Kansas, but has since migrated south. She now lives in Florida and writes beneath palm trees.

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The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Don’t miss THE FRAGILE ORDINARY releasing on June 26, 2018, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

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Hearing and feeling Tobias’s heart beat beneath my cheek was the most wonderful feeling in the world. Despite my worry for him and for Stevie, I couldn’t help but feel happy as the boy I loved slept in my bed with his arm around me.

The morning sun woke him around nine in the morning. He groaned and then grew still, maybe realizing I was curled up against him. For a moment I tensed, fearing he was going to regret everything he’d said last night.

Instead he trailed his fingers down my arm. “You awake?” his voice rumbled above me.

I smiled, liking the tingles that bubbled and fizzed in certain parts of my body at the mere sound of his voice. “Yeah.”

“What time is it?”

I told him.

“Crap.”

“What?” I asked, sitting up as he reached across the bed to where his phone lay on the bedside table.

“Stevie and my mom.” He cursed again as he flicked the screen. “They’ve texted and called a bunch of times. I better call my mom back first before she calls the police or something.” He pressed the screen and held the phone to his ear. “Mom,” he said almost immediately. “I’m fine.” Tobias scowled. “I’m a big boy…no…no, I didn’t…I’m with Comet…” Streaks of color appeared high on his cheeks, surprising me. Tobias rarely got embarrassed. “No, we just fell asleep…yeah…I’m on my way.” He hung up and gave me an apologetic look. “I have to go.”

At his beleaguered tone, I placed a reassuring hand on his arm. “She’s your mum. It would be weird if she wasn’t worried you didn’t come home.”

“Yeah, whatever.” He shook his head and got off the bed, leaving me to frown at him.

Tobias seemed to be in a continually bad mood with his mother. I wish I had the guts to tell him to talk to her about why he was so mad, but I didn’t want to push too hard too soon on such a delicate subject.

“I’ll go appease her,” he said, slipping his trainers on. “Then come back?”

I opened my mouth to agree and then remembered my promise from the night before. “I’m going over to Vicki’s this morning.”

“Right. How about I meet you outside the Espy around three o’ clock?”

Relieved and delighted that he not only didn’t regret saying what he had last night but that he wanted to see me again so soon, I grinned and got off the bed. Tobias gave me that boyish smile of his and I reached for his hand, needing to touch him.

He squeezed mine, a solemnity entering his gaze. “I want to invite Stevie to meet us. I’m hoping that together we can talk him out of this bullshit. When it was just me I wasn’t getting anywhere, but he cares about you. Maybe he’ll listen.”

I nodded, loving him even more for wanting to help his cousin. “Definitely. If we let him know we’re here to help him through everything with his mum but that we can only do that if he walks away from Dean and the drugs…maybe he’ll see sense.”

I hoped.

Tobias hoped, too. I could see the turmoil in his eyes and I wanted desperately to be able to take it away.

It was as I was leading him from my bedroom to the front door that I heard the hallway floor creak behind us. I turned ever so slightly, catching sight of my dad in my peripheral. Ignoring him I hugged Tobias goodbye and waved him off down the garden path. I closed the door and turned to face my father. He stood frowning at me in his pajamas, a cup of coffee in one hand, a piece of toast in the other.

“Did that boy stay over?” he asked, sounding incredulous.

His tone suggested I’d done something wrong. I stiffened. “Yes.”

Dad took a step toward me, glowering now. “Don’t you think that’s something you should run past us first? You’re only sixteen, Comet.”

“Almost seventeen.” I bristled. How dare he suddenly play the parental card! Just when I was happy and didn’t need him, he wanted to stick his nose in where it was not wanted! A fire lit inside me and swept out of me before I could control it. “And let’s not play the concerned parent act, Kyle.” I strode toward my bedroom and shoved open the door. “You don’t get to decide which parts of my life you want to take an interest in. Having a kid? Kind of an all-or-nothing deal.” I stepped inside, gripping the door in my hand as I sneered at him. “You decided long ago it was nothing for you. No changing your mind now.” And with that I slammed the door in his shocked face.

Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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SALT by Mara White ~ Chapter Reveal

Salana Livingston did everything right, from taking her multi-vitamin to kneeling before bed to say her prayers every night. She followed the path her parents had planned before she was born, never questioned the role until the day a bus-load of sweaty kids from the Bronx got dropped at her parent’s horse farm.

Tiago Alcazar knew a life of hard knocks. An incarcerated father, a missing and strung-out mother who left him to rely on his aged grandmother for most of his life.

Tiago runs the mean streets of the neighborhood that raised him, living hand-to-mouth, everyday a gift, if he can just make it.

Burdened by a world that only wants to see her as perfect, Salana finds her greatest confidant in a boy society has labeled as worthless. Their paths cross too many times for their stubborn hearts to deny the connection, but can the delinquent and the debutant defy the odds and overcome the social constructs that condemn them?

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CHAPTER ONE

Tiago

“I’m telling you, homie! As soon as this bitch-ass arm heals we’re going back to Connecticut. You got the code for the garage, we roll out a Lamborghini and we’re set for life mother fucker!” They were sitting in Chico’s living room. The air was hot and sticky circulated by only a lazy ceiling fan that was covered in years of greasy dust and the dangling remnants of some bygone party streamers. They’d ordered a pizza and demolished the whole thing. Chico was only gaining more of gut rendered immobile by his collarbone break. He had pizza sauce on his tank top. A real gem. A catch—this kid. But the horse ranch trip, the fall, and Tiago’s ride home from the princess were still high on their list of the most exciting things to happen that summer. They rehashed it all, spilling the details to their friends.
“I don’t want to steal her car. I liked that chick,” Tiago said in weak protest. He flipped through the channels now that Chico’s mom had gone out to get groceries and relieved them from endless Telemundo. He left the television on a basketball game and did his best slam dunk swoosh leaping up from the couch.
“Mano, we won’t be stealing from her really if you think about it. That’s her parent’s car—not hers. And what the fuck would she care, she’s got so much money anyway? We’d be doing them a favor taking one of those off their hands.”
“That’s pushing it, Chico. Why don’t we just steal a different car from someone else in the same neighborhood?”
“Cause you got the code for her garage fuck face! Jesus Christ!” Chico hit his forehead exaggeratedly. “How many cars can one family even drive?”
“What you don’t have the guts to break in?”
“Neither do you, bitch. Can you help me take my shirt off so I can take a shower?”
“Fucking baby, you are on your own for that shit cause you stink. Check you later. I gotta go home and check on my Ma anyway.”
“I’d help you if it was the other way around!”
“Never will be, cause I ain’t fucking stupid, bro!” Tiago punched Chico hard in the arm that wasn’t in a sling. He got up and threw the remote at Chico’s belly. “I’ll fucking go if you park that shit downtown and the fuck away from my building. I’ll drive it, but I don’t want to sell it.”
“Deal!” Chico said, smiling triumphantly. Tiago wasn’t giving him a bath. He had to draw the line somewhere.

The tickets for the metro north just about cleaned them out. There must have been irony in the deal, spend all your money on transportation to go steal something that could help you get around and then sell it to make money. Tiago was so nervous his sweat stunk, Chico however, was riding on cloud nine, already ticking off the list of things he was going to buy in his head. Tiago would buy a washing machine for his grandmother, so she wouldn’t have to lug laundry down to the corner, or wash it in the tub with her arthritic hands like she sometimes did.
“’Mijo, there was no laundromat when I was growing up. My mother scrubbed the clothes on a board in the yard, hung it to dry on a line between two trees.”
“Look at your hands, Ma. You not even sixty but your hands are eighty. That’s why.” He kissed her on the cheek and grabbed his book bag off the back of the chair. “I’ll be home late, don’t wait up.”
Tiago had spent countless hours in school daydreaming about being able to provide for his grandmother. Visions of washing machines with a red bow on top, a new refrigerator that didn’t drip or smell. He never imagined what he’d get for himself, just fantasize about the amenities that would make her life easier.  
“Shit, this train is huge. The seats look like couches!” Chico couldn’t play it cool to save his life. The kid was green as fuck, not a seasoned car thief. The only thing Chico was good at was remembering stats on baseball cards and eating everyone under the table.
“Bro, we’re trying to not call attention to ourselves, you hear me?” Tiago sat down by the window, the uneasy feeling creeping through his belly. They stuck out like sore thumbs with the evening commuters. Everyone in suits and blazers, reading newspapers, scrolling through stocks on their phones. How could they pull off a car theft with so many witnesses? Every single one of these jerks would remember them. Nobody who looked like them was on their way to Connecticut. Tiago’s gut felt heavier with each mile gained toward their destination. How fucked up was it that they were gonna go after the girl who’d been so kind to them? Rip her off in return? No wonder people branded them as thugs, maybe that’s what they were.
They filed off the train with a million commuters, it was nearing dark when they arrived and everyone rushed to the park and ride lot to get home to their families. Must be nice, Tiago thought. A house and a car, back yard and people acting happy you came home, a jumping dog, kids with spelling tests to show you. Probably a fucking pool to swim in. He’d seen it in the movies and on TV. That wasn’t what happened in his neighborhood. Broken families were the norm, functional ones, the exception. At least half of his friends were being raised by their grandparents. A parent in jail, addicted to drugs, never made it to the States, was plain old down-on-their-luck, were the stories he heard on his block. Domestic violence, child abuse, neglect—those were the cuts that tore families apart.
The park and ride lot emptied just as fast as the train to leave Tiago and Chico standing under the bright sweep of street light looking caught in the headlights. Tiago started walking toward the street and Chico followed him. He had a good sense of direction and he knew Salana’s house, her estate, was walking distance from the train station. Walking distance in a town where nobody walked. Again they stuck out like strobe lights ambling along the side of a residential street with no fucking sidewalk.
“These people probably gonna call the police on us just because of how we look. Probably got cameras set up.”
They walked for twenty minutes, the houses bordering the streets becoming more and more opulent, the gates taller, the security tighter. Tiago recognized Salana’s house as soon as they neared. Not because he’d cased the place to steal, but because he’d wanted to see her again, to return to the spot under different circumstances. He’d imagined himself as her boyfriend countless times in his head.
“It’s this one up here with the all the lights on. How we gonna stay hidden when they got that place lit up like a stadium?”
“We crawl on the border and then stand up and sprint to get to the garage.” Chico flicked his cigarette and the cherry bounced on the street and spewed sparks. The kid had watched too many action flicks.
“Bet the fucking gate is wired,” Tiago said. He was getting cold feet.
“We move fast. That way if we trigger the gate, by the time they get there to check it out, we’re basically already in the garage with our pick of cars.” Tiago thought Chico was being unrealistically optimistic. Grand Theft Auto had inflated his ego to carjacker extraordinaire, when in reality the most he’d ever stolen was a handful of cash out of the collection plate at church. Their luck peaked in the unexpected arrival of a car, it’s lights looming larger out of the darkness. The driver signaled and pulled into Salana’s driveway. A young man stuck his head out and said something into the intercom. He smiled like a million bucks and Tiago already hated him. Fucking Hitler haircut, first car—a Tesla. But what really made him want to smash the guy’s head in was the idea of him touching Salana, her laughing at his jokes. Tiago would fight with bloody fists for her, that douche would throw his money in the air as a distraction and start crying before someone even hit him.  
The boys crouched and ran, slipped through the gates right before they closed. As they approached the house, it became apparent they’d crashed some kind of party. The half-moon driveway was crowded with parked cars, not a Ford or a Toyota in sight. The sickest cars Tiago and Chico had ever seen. They stared openly, the lighted up mansion, the driveway turned car showroom. Drake was sounding from a top of the line stereo reverberating through the walls and bursting forth into the still night and the silence of the suburbs. They were slow to process that this was real life. Sure they’d seen it in music videos and placed themselves in the role of protagonist in plenty of daydreams, why not? Honey’s with string bikinis, pouring out label Champagne into the hot tub, the ice and gold, the cars, the clothes, the sunglasses that cost as much as their family’s annual food budget. But that was fantasy and this was someone’s real life.
“Salt is a fucking pimp, bro. She’s straight up balling that bitch,” Chico said, jaw on the floor.
“Good. They won’t even miss the car,” Tiago said. His voice was full of rancor. He felt jealously swim in his bloodstream—toxic—like the sewage that overflowed into the Hudson during a rainstorm. He strutted across the brightly lit, meticulously manicured lawns like a boss, pimp limp fired, repping the dignity of who he was in the face of this great wealth.
“Yo, Tiago, wait up!” Chico yelled. Chico’s ambling limp was real on account of his one arm still braced in a sling and useless. They were a ramshackle crew. No guns, knives or experience, just hood attitude bolstered by the accomplishment of seeing the task this far through—they’d made it to Connecticut, it was worth something.
Tiago’s hair stood on end and nerves seesawed in his stomach. He wasn’t afraid, but rather on high alert, excited, reckless and ruthless, ready to take someone down just for looking at him the wrong way. A car door slammed and Chico and Tiago both froze. A tall blond guy in a sweater vest looked at them inquisitively.
“Who the fuck are you?” he asked. The guy threw his joint to the ground. Tiago could smell the sweet burn of weed, but to his seasoned nose he could also tell it wasn’t good. Not like the premium he could get these rich kids. Sell it for more, take them all for a ride and then roll around in cash like a dog in mud from the profits.
How the hell would they pull off taking a car now? Tiago didn’t even know what they were there for anymore. What if they missed the last train back to the city? Would they sleep in the station like bums? And what if they got arrested? His grandmother wasn’t capable of making a trip all the way to Connecticut to bail him out for trespassing.
“Salana around?” Tiago asked the guy staring them down. The way the words took a bite out of his heart made him realize stealing cars was pretense all along. He’d only wanted to see her, to stroke her blonde hair, to rub his nose against her little one and have his insides turned out. But if he had to break the law to see her, he would.
“It’s her fucking party. She know you’re coming?”
The guy was wearing loafers. He had to answer to a guy wearing loafers and a sweater vest. A fucking asshole Mr. Rogers was what he was.
“Dude, what are you doing?” Chico screeched at him. Tiago’s pants felt heavy, his kicks impossibly clunky, he couldn’t remember if he’s put on cologne or deodorant for that matter. His shirt was clean, but it was old and suddenly felt so cheap to have Billionaire Boy’s Club emblazoned across the front of his chest, when he was in the presence of the real Billionaire’s Club. It didn’t help that the guy stared at them like unsavory rats that had wandered across his clean pasture.
“Can you get Salana for us? Tell her we’re in the garage when she gets a chance?”
“Why don’t you wait here,” the guy said quickly texting on his phone. Tiago walked toward the garage anyway; he couldn’t stand to be scrutinized by the judgmental mother fucker anymore.
“Ti, bro. I swear to fucking God you lost your mind!” Chico said as Santiago disabled the alarm on the garage. There were cameras, two he could see plainly right over the door. “Let’s bounce. This is crazy,” Chico said. He didn’t want to go to jail he liked his mother’s cooking too much. He loved sitting in the sun and playing basketball in the park for twenty-three hours a day as opposed to one. “I’m out!” Chico said, turned on a dime and ran.
“Ditch me, why don’t you, when the going gets tough?” Tiago wanted to scream, Unleash the hounds! But he wasn’t so mean he’d want his friend to pee his pants.
Tiago decided to go through the motions. He chose the Rover for the resale ease and value. It was unlocked and the door opened smooth like honey. All the keys were in the lockbox by the door, just as they had been when Salana did it all in front of him. Like a temptress, like an invitation to take one.
Here’s the big red juicy apple. I know you’re starving. Bite it!
There was something about the feel and smell of brand new that was extraordinarily pleasing, that gave an air of authority and power without doing a thing. Wealth and pipe dreams of attaining it could be as addictive as a drug and probably just as dangerous. He was about to slide into the driver’s seat when someone grabbed him from behind. He cursed, angry at himself for having let his guard down. One held him back against the car, while the other, the blond, knocked his fist into Tiago’s face, hitting him just below the nose. Not a trained fighter, just beginner’s luck that he made contact. It was a weak punch but it landed and stung like a bitch. Tiago heaved his shoulders forward to throw off the one he couldn’t see. The taste of blood in his mouth made him vicious and he landed a punch right in Vest and Loafer’s gut that promptly knocked the wind out of him. Tiago was used to fighting dirty and street. He’d been in scuffles on the corner since first grade. The boys in Connecticut had never taken a real beating.
“Call the police!” the guy shouted at his friend.
“Don’t fucking call the police!” Tiago responded almost casually. “Why call the cops? Because we hit each other? Come on! Don’t be a pussy.”
“Then get the fuck out of here right now! Leave!” Loafer’s feathers were ruffled, his face was red and his hair disheveled.
“Did you tell Salana like I told you too, bitch?”
“I’m right here,” she said. Salana walked into the garage and put her hand on Loafer’s arm.
“I just wanted to talk to you,” Tiago said. “Alone.”
He wiped his hand across his mouth, it felt warm and burned. There was blood on the back of his hand and he spat blood on the floor gaining a look of fury from the handsome boys.
“Brandt, just go. It’s fine, I know him.”
“If you fucking touch her, you’re a dead man,” Brandt pointed his finger at Santiago like his threat carried weight. Tiago spat again. “Piece of shit, thug,” Brandt muttered as he turned to go.
Once alone, the silence between them rose up and expanded like leavened bread in an oven, filling even the dark corners and the ceiling above them. They stood ten feet away from one another and took the other in. Tiago clenched his fists and Salana watched blood drip from his split lip. She cut across the space first and grabbed his chin so as to better inspect his face.
“You’re bleeding,” she said. “Come inside, we can put something on it.”
“Give me a minute to cool down so I don’t kill your friend, Salt.”
“Why did you come here, Tiago? You should have at least called.”
“To steal a car. You let me see that code. It was an invitation I couldn’t resist.”
She crossed her arms across her chest and looked relatively unaffected by what he said.
“Take one if you want, but I’m sure there will be repercussions.”
“Naw, when I got here, I realized what I really wanted was to steal you instead.”
He saw her pupils dilate. He heard how her breath caught in her chest. He felt tingly all over like he might pass the fuck out at her feet after one bitchass punch.
“Come on, let’s get your face cleaned up.” She took his hand and led him around the side of the huge estate.
“We’ll just go downstairs and that way we can avoid Brandt and the others.” Salana punched in another code and allowed Tiago to see it. He felt like he had to memorize those numbers because they were symbolic of her letting him in. Seeing those numbers meant something. Code for: trust. Cipher for: I accept you just as you are.
He followed her down a sweeping staircase and into what looked like a basement entertainment room. A pool table, leather couches, a full bar and a fireplace. Basically a space he and his friends would sacrifice their left nuts for. Salana flicked on stained-glass low hanging lights in the basement room which was bigger than his entire apartment.
“The bathroom is right there, I’ll grab the first aid kit.”
The lights rose by themselves as he stepped into the bathroom, a room so spotless and sparkling it nearly strained his eyes. Salana’s life looked like a Hollywood set whereas his looked like a public service announcement for the dangers of drug use. He ran his hand underwater to wash off the blood.
“Sit up here,” Salana said, patting the counter sink. She ran a white washcloth under warm water and brought it to his lip. “I’m sorry he punched you,” she whispered as she dapped at the gash.
“Probably deserved it,” he said through the towel. “What’s the occasion for the party?”
Salana squirted some ointment on her finger and brought it to his upper lip.
“Oh, my friend Justine’s birthday. She’s upstairs. My parents are in Europe so everyone decided to come here.” She tried to touch the bleeding gash and Tiago grabbed her wrist. She stopped and made eye contact.
“You’re so fucking fine, Salt. I can’t stop thinking about you. I wouldn’t steal from you. I just wanted to see you.” His grip on her wrist was tight, because his confession felt important. He usually let a girl know he was into her with body language, lingering hands and soft words in her ear, but with Salana he told her as if he were in the confessional. “I like you and I don’t know what the fuck to do about it.”
Who knew honesty could feel like getting run over by a steam roller. Cracking your head open and letting the rabid butterflies escape to fly upwards in a swarm. It was almost too much for him. Butterflies? They were bats and he was a goner.
Her lips were parted and she stared intently at his face. Her blue eyes flared with emotion and his searched her face for even a hint of reciprocation. “I know it ain’t even possible. I just wanted to let you know how I felt, and shit.”
“I—” was all she could get out
“You can go back to your party, back to Branch. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
Salana blinked and her eyes were filling with tears. She closed them and leaned into Tiago. He caught her face in his hands and his lips found hers. The kiss was so soft and ghostly like a whisper—almost nothing—until it wasn’t and then, it was real, it was perfect, it was fucking everything.
She gasped when he took her whole mouth, prying open the seam of her lips with his tongue. Tiago kissed like a carnivore. Wolf-mouth. No rich-pansy orthodontist’s dream. He came from real life. His cut was the ghetto. He kissed projects and food stamps and lives that were cut short. He kissed give.it.all.to.me.now because punk-ass-bitches steal what doesn’t belong to them. His hands went to her hair, soft like silk and cool like the flip side of a pillow. He wanted to eat her, make a meal out of her flesh and touch the raw center of her heart after he’d consumed her.
“Fuck,” he whispered into her mouth. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”
His dick was already hard, pressing against his jeans with an urgency that was painful. He’d blow his load from her tongue alone like a fucking kid looking at a Hustler under the covers with a flashlight.
“God, I want you so bad,” he lamented. Was he kissing for the first time? No, but it fucking felt like it.
His fingers speared through her hair cupping her ears and the back of her skull as he devoured her mouth and pulled her to him, registering nothing, only desperate for more. Tiago hopped down from the counter, scooped Salana up and placed her where he’d been. Jerking her forward by the hips he brought her flush with his erection. Salana opened her eyes wide suddenly, the blue piercing right through him. Her eye contact sent a surge of power to his groin. He leaned into her again and thumbed her nipples through her white cotton shirt. Salana tipped her head back and mewled. The heat coming from her center made him lose control. He couldn’t stand how erotic she looked, head thrown back, nipples tipped to the ceiling and her long hair almost touching the sink behind her. His blood smeared on her full lips made his stomach muscles clench with something forbidden and primal.
“Stop,” she said still kissing him. “Stop!” she pushed at his chest this time and he backed all the way up to the wall.
“Fuck, I’m sorry. Shit, Salana. I’m sorry, I lost control.” His longing was so fierce that kissing her felt like survival. He was the hunter, she was the doe. He didn’t want to kill her, but he wanted to make the damn shot even if it killed him in the process.
She shook her head and wiped at her mouth with her fingers.
His chest heaved like he’d been running, but he was standing there in her bathroom, palms upturned like a fucking idiot. That kiss meant the world to him.
“I’ll show myself out. I shouldn’t have come.”

Mara White is a contemporary romance and erotica writer who laces forbidden love stories with hard issues, such as race, gender and inequality. She holds an Ivy League degree but has also worked in more strip clubs than even she can remember. She is not a former Mexican telenovela star contrary to what the tabloids might say, but she is a former ballerina and will always remain one in her heart. She lives in NYC with her husband and two children and yes, when she’s not writing you can find her on the playground.

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Mister Tonight by Kendall Ryan ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

From New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan comes a standalone romance about a swoony single dad and the new neighbor he falls for.

Last night was the most embarrassing night of my life.

I was THAT girl.

You know, the highly intoxicated chick celebrating her thirtieth with her two best friends—the ones who are happily married. And the more I drank, the more I wanted to do something reckless to celebrate.

By reckless, I meant the sexy and alluring man dressed in a business suit standing near the bar. You know his type—tall, dark, and handsome. I was sure he was out of my league, but I’d had just enough alcohol that things like that no longer seemed to matter. I’m not fat, mind you, but you can tell I like French fries, so there’s that.

He took me home and I enjoyed the hottest birthday sex of my life, well until it came to a screeching, and rather unwelcome halt.

There’s nothing quite like being interrupted mid-ride with a little voice asking:
“What are you doing to my daddy?”

Just kill me now…… or so I thought.

Come to find out the man I rode like a bull at the rodeo is my new landlord.

***  PREORDER ~ RELEASES JUNE 18  ***
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fucking loved it. The idea of a man devoted to his kid had them panting for days. But casual, no-strings hookups? To them, me being a dad screamed one of two things: I was either an irresponsible asshole who couldn’t properly wrap it up, or I was a total commitment addict trying to lure them in with my adorable four-year-old child in need of a new mama. Either way, it usually didn’t go over well. But so far, Kate was handling it fine.

Then she crossed the room toward me, and a single thought pervaded my brain.

Fuck, she’s sexy.

All those curves and her throaty laugh, coupled with her confidence? I was a total sucker for a confident woman who knew what she wanted.

“Happy birthday,” I whispered, placing my hands on her waist and drawing her in close.

Just because this would most likely be a one-time thing didn’t mean I wanted to rush through it. Quite the opposite, actually. I wanted to savor and enjoy every minute of this. Starting with the perfect kiss.

“It’s almost midnight,” she murmured, her lips just inches from mine.

Placing one hand on her cheek, I guided her mouth to mine, sealing my lips over hers in a slow, soft kiss.

She responded perfectly, opening her mouth in a silent invitation for my tongue to slide against hers. My hands found those curves wrapped under that black fuck-me dress I’d been admiring, and God, she felt even better under my palms than I could have imagined. Soft and warm and so inviting.

I pressed one more slow kiss to her lips and pulled back to study her reaction. I rarely did this kind of thing. Having her here was surreal . . . and really fucking turning me on, knowing what was probably about to happen.

“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked, slipping my hand around her waist. If she’d changed her mind or wanted to slow things down, I wanted her to know that was fine too.

“I can think of other things I’d rather be doing with my mouth,” she replied, her voice low and sultry as she ran her fingertips over my chest.

God, I love a woman who knows what she wants.

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

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Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison ~ EXCERPT REVEAL

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.

Perfect Love Story – Available Now
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Broken Love Story ~ Cover Reveal June 29, 2018
***  PREORDER NOW ~ Releases July 10, 2018  ***
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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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Order of Protection by Lexi Blake ~ Except Reveal

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This case could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…

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If Henry gave her a minute, they would be back to polite. He wouldn’t find out if she could want him in an honest way. “Win, I’m an alcoholic. I’m divorced, and it wasn’t some thoughtful conscious uncoupling. It was nasty and ugly. I’m a lawyer who doesn’t give a shit if his clients are guilty or not as long as they have the money to pay me. I have gotten off people who probably went back out into the world to do terrible things, and I’ll probably do it again because I believe in this system. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else. And I’m too old for you.”

She snorted, an oddly amusing sound. “I’m not some shrinking virgin. I’m twenty-nine, and I’ve been around the block a couple of times and with some men I wish I hadn’t ever gotten into the car with. How old are you? Forty?”

He winced. “Thirty-seven.”

Her lips curled up, and it was worth the blow to his ego. “Well, you don’t look a day over forty, and that’s a pretty nice age for a man. You think you don’t deserve such a young, hot chick?”

Thank god she was teasing him again. He’d hated the way her shoulders had slumped when she’d thought he’d rejected her. But still, he had to be honest. If he was going to do this, she would get the new Henry. “I think I could hurt a woman like you if I’m not careful.”

“Then be careful with me, Henry Garrison,” she said, moving closer to him. “And I’m a big girl. I can make my own decisions and live with them. I would like to spend the night with you. It doesn’t have to last beyond tomorrow. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m asking you to help me get through the night, to help me get that nightmare out of my head, so I can feel safe for the first time in months. It’s been a long time since I felt safe.”

That he could do. She moved in close, right between his legs, and he reached up and cupped her face, holding her still as he looked into her eyes. So much fucking innocence. He didn’t care what she’d been through. She was way too young for him, but she’d said yes and he wasn’t a saint. Not even close. “Be sure. I might want more than one night. I’m here for a few weeks. I could use this. I could use some time with you.”

It wouldn’t work long-term. When he finished up and got back to the city, he wouldn’t have time to spend with her, and she deserved that. He would be knee-deep in the sewer again. It wasn’t a place he would take her, but he could be what she needed here.

“I could use some time with you,” she replied. “You’re right about a few things. I haven’t ever been around a man like you. The men I’ve been with have been boys who cared more about their images than they did about pleasing me. I think it might be different with you. I know you’re trying to scare me off with all that ‘I screwed up my life’ stuff, but I get that. You can’t make me run, or I would run away from myself. Tell me if you can make me forget about everything except what you’re doing to my body because tonight that’s all I want.”

Oh, he could do that. He might not be able to feed her soul, but he could work her body all fucking night long.

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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Folsom by Fisher & Aster ~ Excerpt Reveal

The nation as we know it is a thing of the past.

With the male species on the verge of extinction, a society called the End Men is formed to save the world. Folsom Donahue is one of twelve men whose sole purpose is to repopulate the Regions. The endless days spent having sex with strangers leaves Folsom with an emptiness no amount of women, money, or status can fill.

Until Gwen.

Gwen has wanted a child for as long as she can remember, but when she finally gets a chance to have her own, she uncovers a long hidden truth. The injustice she sees moves her to help save the men whom no one else believes need saving.

A forbidden love, grown in a time of despair, ignites a revolution.

Folsom and Gwen, torn between their love for each other and their sense of duty, must make a choice. But some will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Folsom is book one of the End of Men series.

I stop dead in my tracks. There’s someone else in here. At first I see only boots, large boots, too big for a woman. He hears me come in and perches forward on the sink to peer around the corner.

“You can’t read or you don’t care?” he asks.

At first I’m too shocked to know what he’s talking about, then I remember the Out of Order sign on the door.

“I can’t read,” I say. “I’m just another stupid woman trying to have a baby.”

He laughs. It bounces across the bathroom walls and hits me in the chest.

“Well, at least you have a sense of humor, stupid woman.”

I’m witnessing the very serious and stern Folsom Donahue laughing. I stand there staring at him, not knowing what to do.

And then I ask. “Are you hiding, too?”

“In plain sight,” he says. “Who are you hiding from?”

“Everyone.”

“How’s that working out for you?”

I eye his casual stance, the large hands resting behind him on the sink, the crossed ankles. “Not well, since you’re here.”

He laughs again, this time just a slow rumble while he watches my face.

“I have to go,” he says, pushing away from the counter. He walks toward me and my heart races. I’ve never been this close to a man. He’s just trying to get to the door, I tell myself. But, then he stops so he’s towering over me. I have to bend my head back to see his face.

“Have a good night,” he says. And I learn for the first time what a smirk is. Full lips … teasing … I blink at him, my lips parting to answer, but then he’s gone and I’m not even sure it really happened.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1226318453/playlist/0nD2lFQEfKiF1rWkdbNezi

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of nine novels. Born a sun hater, she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington with her children, husband, and psychotic husky. Tarryn writes about villains.

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Willow Aster is the author of True Love Story, In the Fields, Maybe Maby, Fade to Red, and Lilith. Willow loves nothing more than writing the day away—anywhere will do. Her husband and two children graciously put up with her endless daydreaming and make fun of her for reading while cooking.

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