The Simple Wild by KA Tucker ~ Sarah A’s Review

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

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The Simple Wild is billed as a romance novel, but I felt like the romance in this novel played second fiddle to the more powerful story of Calla finding herself and figuring out what was truly important to her in life. I’d definitely qualify this book as women’s fiction, rather than romance.

Calla was an insipid child when this book first started; I found her superficial, immature, and irresponsible. Despite living with her mother and step-father, having a good job for four years, and basically having no bills, she was still reliant on her step-father to buy her a plane ticket. She was more obsessed with her shoes and getting an insta-worthy photo than she was other human beings. In short, she was self-absorbed and materialistic. Throughout the novel Calla grew, so much, she learned more about herself, the world, and all different types of love than she could have anticipated when she decided to visit her father. Her growth arc in this book was everything. Calla, much like her Instagram posts, evolved from a thing of shallow frivolity to a person more concerned with substance, interpersonal connections, and true happiness.

As much as I didn’t feel like the romantic element of was the focal point of The Simple Wild, it did play a vital role in helping Calla grow. Jonah was instrumental in making her see the world as more than just the sum of its parts; he forced her to see the humanity behind the masses. He pushed her so far out of her comfort-zone she had no choice but to recalibrate her life and find a new outlook. And while he was doing all that, he was also helping her come to terms with the pending loss of the father she was barely getting to know. Her journey to Alaska was her catalyst to change, but Jonah was one of the major reactants that stimulated her rebirth.

I quite enjoyed the plot of The Simple Wild. It was intriguing and unlike anything I’ve read in recent memory; it was also wholly dependent on the location of the novel. Though I’ve never visited Alaska – it’s a bucket list item for me – I felt like I was there with Calla, Jonah, and the crew. I especially appreciated the juxtaposition of the well-dressed, appearance-obsessed, city girl against the simplicity and grittiness of the Alaskan tundra. In truth, Alaska was just as much a character in this book as the people were and it contributed in so many ways to move this book forward. The Simple Wild gave me a glimpse of a different, slower, simpler way of life and it felt almost like a balm to my soul to know there is still a world independent of the hustle and bustle of the instant gratification of the digital lives to which we are all so accustomed.

I’ve read a handful of KA Tucker books and always find them fascinating in ways I haven’t anticipated. I’m not sure how she’s so capable of taking a concept and turning it on its head, but she consistently makes me think I’m going into a particular type of story then, when I come out the other side, I find I have experienced something unexpected and entirely new. Her prose has a phenomenal way of drawing you in and holding you captive to her words with single-minded obsession; it’s as if nothing exists but the world she’s created. I’m in awe of Ms. Tucker’s story-telling skills and love that she continually writes fresh, captivating books that deliver more to her readers than just a simple story.

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and her upcoming contemporary fiction, The Simple Wild. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.

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NEW RELEASE!! A Kiss to Tell by W Winters ~ Sarah A Review

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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A Kiss to Tell started out incredibly.  The story was fascinating, the characters sympathetic, and it fit into the world she’d already established in her Sinful Obsessions series. However, the end didn’t quite deliver the closure or open-ended cliffhanger I’ve come to expect from her.  I’m honestly not sure if Chloe and Sebastian’s story is meant to be complete or if I should be anticipating more from them in the future.

While I was reading A Kiss to Tell I was completely wrapped up in the story, I felt so bad for Chloe and all the things she’d suffered through in her short life; I was obsessed with Sebastian and his secrecy and his compulsion to protect Chloe.  After I finished the book, I was left a little bereft as to who the characters were outside of the intense situation they’d been living in.  I wish we’d seen them living in normalcy for just a little bit, so I would have had a better impression of who they were as people.

The plot of A Kiss to Tell was intense.  Between the flashbacks to Chloe and Sebastian’s earlier interactions and the events surrounding the night that changed Chloe’s life, Chloe’s mysterious dreams, and the sinister, yet too convenient, things happening in their town, the intrigue was high, and the questions were many.  A Kiss to Tell also gave us a glimpse of the town Carter (Merciless, Heartless) runs, and a younger, more innocent Carter, before he became the ruthless man we’ve come to know.

I wish the book had a more solid ending.  When I got to about 90%, I knew there wasn’t enough book left to wrap up all the loose ends, so I anticipated a cliffhanger. Instead, I got a half-finished book that felt rushed and incomplete.  I’m not sure if it was meant to feel that way or if the author was rushed to finish it but, at any rate, it was unsatisfying and a disservice to the strength of the rest of the story.

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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NEW RELEASE!! Richer than Sin by Meghan March

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a brand new saga of forbidden love and second chances.

A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.

Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes.

I didn’t know or care what her name was.

Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man.

She hates me, and she should.

I objected on her wedding day.

Now she’s home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there’s no ring on her finger.

They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after . . . but I’m not done with Whitney Gable.

I’ll never be done with her.

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Guilty until proven innocent.
That’s the way the world works, right?
I’m tired of being convicted without evidence, all because my last name is Gable.
The Riscoffs might own this town, but I’m done following their rules.
If only I could forget just how easily Lincoln Riscoff can drag me under his spell.

Guilty as Sin ~ RELEASE DATE: September 18
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Whitney Gable is the kind of woman you fight to the death to protect.
To keep.
To cherish.
I’ve finally learned my lesson, and it’s time to prove I’m the man who’s worthy of her.
I don’t care what it takes, because failure is not an option.
No matter who or what stands in our way—this time, she’ll be mine forever

Reveling in Sin ~ RELEASE DATE: October 23
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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

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GIVEAWAY & NOW AVAILABLE!! Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely ~ Sarah A’s Review

✮✮✮UNBREAK MY HEART is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮
Experience all the feels in this unforgettable, second chance, standalone romance from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely!

I didn’t break her heart, and she didn’t break mine — we broke each other’s.

I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway around the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she’s returned . . . but I’m not the guy I was before.

Beautiful, kind, and loving, she’s the same — my hope. The only one who can make a day better, who can make me feel again with one kiss, one touch, one night.

There’s so much I have to put back in place now that I’m alone and on my own. Things I never wanted at the age of twenty-five. When I receive an unexpected letter that might hold the clues to everything I desperately need to understand about my family, I’m sure I have to follow it. But that means leaving her once more.

She says she’ll come with me, and having her by my side will unbreak my heart . . . or destroy it.

That’s the chance I have to take.

***  UNBREAK MY HEART is only $2.99 for release day only  ***
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I read this book under the recommendation of someone I highly respect and I was blown away.  Unbreak My Heart wasn’t a particularly easy read.  There were a ton of difficult things that were tackled over the course of the story, and Lauren Blakely didn’t skirt around them, she faced them head-on and made her readers experience the raw pain and emotion her characters went through.

Unbreak My Heart ran me through the gamut of emotions.  Andrew’s journey was arduous and the depth and breadth of emotions he went through while figuring out how to heal – how to love and live again – was richly portrayed throughout the book.  Each new revelation, good and bad, brought on a new slew of feelings and Ms. Blakely did a fantastic job of representing the intensity of dealing with grief and trying to find answers that seem too big for one person to deal with.

I loved the outlet and support Holland was for Andrew.  He needed her strength and understanding to make it through some of the hardest moments of his life.  She also provided him a place to go when no one else wanted to talk about the things he’d lost, the things he had to deal with, the fact he no longer had the biggest part of his support system.  And Holland did all of that without letting him become too reliant on her; she made him stand on his own two feet while lending a helping hand when he most needed it.

Second-chance romances are one of my favorite tropes to read; Unbreak My Heart was that and more.  I especially loved that there was no hurtful breakup in Holland and Andrew’s past, there was no emotional baggage they had to overcome regarding their relationship.  Their history and connection were obvious and intense.  I also appreciated that their original coupling was a friends-to-lovers romance because it gave them another layer of foundation to build a future on.  Theirs was such a robust and fated connection; I could feel the love they had bleeding through the pages.

I’ve long heard great things about Lauren Blakely, but since rom-coms aren’t my thing I hadn’t read her.  When I found out this book was heavier and more tragic, I knew I had to take my chance, and I was not disappointed.  I loved her writing style, it felt unique yet still comfortable, almost as if the characters were relaying their story to a friend, rather than narrating their lives.  It was refreshing and fun.  I hope Ms. Blakely writes more novels outside of the rom-com genre, as this book shows she has a great talent for it.

~Andrew~

She inches her hand across the counter just a little bit closer, and that hand, I want to grab it and hold on. I glance at our fingers, so close all it would take is one of us giving an inch.

Give. Take. Come. Stay.

I can feel the warmth from her hand. One stretch for us to reconnect, so I wait. Wait for her to put her hands on my face and press her lips against mine and kiss me like it’s been killing her not to.

But I can’t wait.

I break first, saying her name in a lonely, desperate rasp. “Holland.”

“Andrew.” Her voice is a whisper.

“Go with me,” I blurt out.

She blinks. “What?”

I shake my head.

Leaving the kitchen, I stalk to the living room, pacing like I can sort out what to do if I get just a few feet away from her.

She’s right behind me, her hand on my arm. “Say it again.”

I swivel around, and with her blue eyes on mine, her body close, I break to pieces. With her, my heart beats too fast, my blood pumps too quickly. I have no will to tell her to stop being so near to me but not near enough to make everything better.

“Say what again?” I ask, as if I’ve forgotten.

“Ask me,” she presses.

And she wins. She fucking wins. “Go with me. Come with me.”

She squeezes my arm. “Is that what you want?’

I cup her cheeks. She gasps. I’ve shocked her. Let’s shock her some more.

Her lips part, and she whispers my name. “Andrew.”

It’s like the stars are glowing. Like the sky is blazing at night. “You know what I want.”

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she’ll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

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The perfect prize pack for any world traveler! A gorgeous Kate Spade Tote and Kindle Paperwhite ($350 value) make any trip much more stylish and fun.

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Wedding from Hell: The Reception by JR WARD

The Wedding from Hell, Part 2: The Rehearsal Dinner is the exciting second adventure in J.R. Ward’s three-part ebook serialization: The Wedding From Hell. This exclusive prequel to her upcoming standalone suspense, Consumed (available in Fall 2018) takes us back to the night steamy arson investigator Anne Ashburn and ‘bad boy’ firefighter Danny Maguire will never forget.

The Wedding From Hell, Part 2: The Reception: As the wedding from hell continues, Anne and Danny find themselves walking the delicate balance between professional distance and explosive attraction. Will the desire they feel last through the night and change their lives? Or are they doomed to part after one night of passion?

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Saturday, October 31

T minus 2 hours ’til blastoff

St. Mary’s Cathedral, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Anne Ashburn had never had veil envy, as they called it. As a young girl, she had never pictured herself walking down an aisle in a white dress, ready to be rescued by a knight-in-shining-armor groom who was going to take charge and take care of her for the rest of her life.

Nope. Anne had wanted to fight fires like her father and then her brother. Even though she no longer respected the former, and had a strained relationship with the latter, she’d wanted to pull on turnouts and strap an air tank to her back and breathe canned air as she ran into open flames dragging hundreds of pounds of charged line with her. She’d wanted to rescue grandmothers, and children, and people who had succumbed to smoke inhalation. She’d been ready to cut open crumpled cars and drag broken bodies out of wreckage at the sides of highways. She’d been determined that the extremes of cold winter nights, hot summer days, physical exhaustion, and mental fatigue would never keep her from doing her job.

So, yup, the old fashioned Mrs. degree had never held any fascination for her. There was no way in hell she was going to be like her mother, living a derivative, nineteen-fifties version of life, nothing but a pretty blow-up doll that was expected to cook, clean, and cut the yapping.

On that note, as she pulled into St. Mary’s parking lot and looked up at the great cathedral’s stained glass windows and lofty spires, she decided it made sense that not only was she not the bride, she wasn’t even a bridesmaid.

Like the rest of the crew down at the 499 firehouse, she was a groomsmen in the impending nuptials of Robert “Moose” Miller and Deandra—what the hell was her last name anyway? Cox. That was it.

Anne was thinking groomsmen was a role she might as well get used to. Not that Duff, Emilio, Deshaun, or any of the other men she worked with were settling down anytime soon.

Especially not Dannyboy Maguire.

Right on cue, a Ford truck entered the parking lot, the late afternoon sun flashing across its windshield.

As Anne’s heart kicked in her chest, she was tempted to hustle in the side door of the church—but she had never been one to run from a challenge.

Danny was more than just a challenge, though.

And okay, fine. So maybe she had already run out of his way at least once: Last night, at the rehearsal dinner, she’d positively bolted after he’d made that speech of his.

I never believed in love . . . I thought it was just a word, a title folks gave to daydreams and misconceptions about destiny, a lie folks told to themselves to make them feel solid in this imperfect, unreliable, and mean-ass world.

Now I know it can happen between two people. And it doesn’t have to make sense because it’s not about logic. And it doesn’t have to have good timing because forever is like infinity, without beginning or end. And it doesn’t have to be defined because truth is like faith—it just is.

So, let’s toast to love.

He’d looked at her while he’d spoken. He had been talking . . . to her . . . in that slow, deep voice.

Everybody else had toasted Moose and Deandra. But Anne had known it hadn’t been about them. Danny, ever the ladies man, king of the one-night stand, he who shalt never be tied down . . . seemed to be suggesting not just that he’d had a change of heart.

But that he might have given his own to Anne.

Unless she was misreading everything? Then again, they had kissed the night before that. In her living room. While riding an adrenaline high after they’d saved a life in an alleyway.

And lips-to-lips had been better than good, the rare circumstance when reality had improved on a fantasy. After two years of attraction and sizzle and unacknowledged heat, that which had been pushed under the rug was exposed now. And there was no going back.

Especially as she felt the same way.

So hell yeah she had bolted out of that restaurant. The second she had been able to get up from her chair, she had hit the exit and left Danny without a ride home.

He’d called two hours later. He’d been in a bar, probably

Timeout where the crew always went, the noise in the background loud and raucous.

She had not answered. He had left a short message, but not called again.

Anne just wasn’t sure what to do. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There were plenty of things she wanted to do to him, with him, on him—all of which were naked and erotic and not necessarily only horizontal.

Refocusing, she watched Danny’s truck pass by. From behind the wheel, he looked over at her.

She waited for him to find a space and get out, and as he walked across to her, she tried—tried—not to go sixteen-year-old girl at the sight of him in a tuxedo.

#epicfail

He was very tall, over six feet five, and he was built hard and muscular, his shoulders so wide, his chest so broad, his waist the point of the inverted triangle of his torso. His jet-black hair was still damp, and what sunlight there was in the mostly cloudy sky flashed blue in its depths. He was freshly shaven—his cologne reaching her nose even before he stopped in front of her—and his eyes were that brilliant blue that had always arrested her. Irish eyes.

But they were not smiling.

For a man who was rarely serious, he looked positively grim, and she frowned.

“You okay?” Stupid question. “I mean—”

“Yeah, no. I’m fine.”

Standard answer for firefighters when they were in pain. And she wondered if it had to do with that speech of his, and what she could have sworn he had been telling her.

His eyes shifted off to the side and then his mouth got thinner.

“And here’s the blushing bride.”

A stretch limo entered the parking area and made a fat turn toward the back door of the cathedral. When it stopped, its driver got out and went to the rear door.

Seven all-in-pink, spray-tanned, body-glittered, and blond-streaked women got out one by one, a clown car of bridesmaids who were such carbon copies of each other, it was like they had been ordered out of a catalogue.

And then the white dress emerged.

Deandra, Moose’s intended, had her blond-streaked hair—natch—piled up on her head in an organized, sculpted waterfall of curls. Her veil was a gossamer fall over her tiny waist and her big skirt, and the shimmer of crystals across the bodice and down the front and sides of the gown made her look like a princess.

Provided you didn’t catch her expression.

She was sour as an old woman with gout and shingles. In spite of the fact that she was supposedly marrying her true love, she looked downright nasty as she snapped at the driver, glared at her maid of honor, and yanked her skirting up to march into the back of the church.

“Wow,” Anne muttered. “That’s a happy bride.”

“Whatever. They’re on their own with this dumbass idea.”

“Did you happen to talk to Moose last night?” she blurted.

“As in out of this? Or would that be considered tacky given it was less than twenty-four hours before the priest hit the altar with them.”

Danny rolled his eyes. “He’s bound and determined to ball-and-chain himself. Personally, I’d be running in the opposite direction.”

And then there was silence between them. Tension coiled up quick, and as Anne’s temples started to pound, she decided it was going to be a long night, just not for the reasons she’d assumed at the beginning of the weekend.

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J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

What If duet by Nina Lane ~ COVER REVEAL

We fell in love. Then our world fell apart. 

I wished so hard for Cole Danforth. And one day, he came true. He was my first boyfriend, my first lover, my first and only love. He should also have been my last. 

But in a split-second, we were ripped apart, our lives broken, my heart shattered. After ten years, I’ve returned to my hometown, the place of my greatest joy and darkest pain. 

Cole is still here, but the beautiful boy I’d loved is gone. Now he’s a ruthless, unforgiving man determined to feed both my resentment and my lust. 

Then our torturous past encroaches again, trapping us in a violent storm. 

But this time, there is no escape.

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**  If We Fall will be a LIVE RELEASE on AMAZON  **
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NEWSLETTER

The conclusion to the What If Duet

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** If We Fly will be a LIVE RELEASE on AMAZON  **
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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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NOW LIVE!! Respect by Jay Crownover

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jay Crownover, comes the next title in her The Breaking Point romantic suspense series, RESPECT. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below, and order your copy today!

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who called a corrupt kingdom home sweet home.

Protected and sheltered from the worst the world had to offer, she fell in love with the crumbling city that burned and blazed around her. Every dirty corner, every scary shadow, found a place within her heart. So did a man who was violent and dangerous, just like the streets she claimed as her own.

He was all business and brutality, except when it came to her. With her, he was calm, caring, and heartbreakingly patient.

He warned her over and over that he wasn’t the man for her, but she refused to listen. She never expected either the streets or their enforcer to hurt her, since she’d given her heart so completely to both.

She should have known the streets in the Point were always going to be savage, and so was the man committed to keeping control of them in the hands of criminals and bloody kingpins.

Blindsided by a betrayal which cut so deeply she was sure the wounds would never heal, the princess fled the home she loved and the man who broke her heart. Throwing away her rusted, twisted crown was supposed to help her forget. All it did was make her long for everything she left behind.  She told herself she would never go back, but in this tormented kingdom, family is everything. Eventually, she has no choice but to return.

While she was gone, the people who loved her worked hard to make the city safe, and the man who destroyed her sank deeper into the darkness. Going back shouldn’t feel like surrender… but it does. As this pretty princess hovers on the edge of the unknown, the past attacks with a vengeance. It’s a good reminder that puppy love eventually grows up and turns into something with sharp teeth and one hell of a bite.

She never asked for the keys to the kingdom. She’d much rather go out and build her own.

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~Karsen~

I had no plans to leave the Point. It was ugly, mean, hard, and unforgiving, but these streets were home and I couldn’t imagine being happy anywhere else. This place had long since made my hands and the edges of my soul dirty. It was something I would be hard-pressed to hide should I go anywhere else. I’d have to spend my days trying to camouflage the filth I was so familiar with. Here, no one looked twice at the pretty teenager with shadows in her eyes and blood on her hands. I was one of many.

I wasn’t interested in leaving behind my sister or her fiancé, Race. We were an odd, dysfunctional family, but we made it work.

I didn’t want to be too far away from my mother, who was living in a group home as she slowly, painfully tried to recover from her alcoholism and PTSD from an accident she caused that ended up taking the life of a young mother and her child.

But more than anything, I absolutely didn’t want to leave him.

I couldn’t imagine a day going by without catching a glimpse of Noah Booker. I mean, he was impossible to miss. Six-and-a-half-feet tall, body built like a professional athlete, dark and brooding with the prettiest gunmetal-gray eyes, he was the entirety of every one of my teenage fantasies. I barely noticed the jagged scar dividing one side of his face. White and raised, it cut one of his black eyebrows in half, slashed over a high cheekbone, and ended somewhere under the chiseled edge of his hard jaw. He never talked about it, but Race, Booker’s boss, let it slip that Booker got the scar when he was locked up. Or maybe it wasn’t as much of a slip-up as a thinly veiled warning. Race never kept it much of a secret that my infatuation with his massive, dangerous, ex-con enforcer made him extremely uncomfortable. He’d warned me over and over again that Booker wasn’t for me. And he’d made it clear to the man who broke knees and smashed heads for a living that he was to stay as far away from me as possible.

They called it puppy love. It wasn’t.

To me, it was a vicious kind of love, filled with teeth and claws that I could feel digging at my insides every single time someone patted me on the head and told me how young I was, how much life I had yet to live. This love was rabid, and I was tired of having it on a leash. I wanted to let it free, wanted to let it sink its razor-sharp fangs into the man who had awoken the primal need inside of me. It was only fair he felt the same kind of crushing bite and painful pressure around his heart that I did every single day.

I was solely focused on getting to Booker. It barely registered I was done with high school and had new doors opening all around me. I couldn’t care less about getting my hands on my diploma. A piece of paper with Karsen Carter written on it in pretty calligraphy meant exactly nothing to me. The only thing I was focused on was the fact I was finally old enough to make my own choices. And I’d always picked Booker. Over and over again he was my number one priority.

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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

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NEW RELEASE!! As Dust Dances by Samantha Young


The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and PLAY ON returns to the world of the arts in this intense and emotional standalone romance about love, sacrifice, and surviving both. AS DUST DANCES is AVAILABLE NOW!

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.

Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.

Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…

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When I finished, O’Dea was sitting on the chair, his elbows braced on his knees. He was staring at the floor, like he was lost in thought. Then he looked up at me and my breath caught at the million heartbreaking emotions roiling in his gaze.

And then they were gone, as if they’d never been there.

“That’s all I have so far,” I whispered, so confused by him. “No more songs.”

His expression was unreadable. “Your visitor’s visa is about to run out.”

Bewildered by the response, I could only nod.

“You’ve no money.”

I tensed.

“You’ve run away from your identity, from your life in the band, in the US. You’ve no family to speak of, and you abandoned your friends.”

The man was the soul of sensitivity. “Your point?”

“My point is that you don’t have many options. I think you were living in some naive fantasy that you could keep running from your problems and live a relatively peaceful life as a homeless person. Somehow, miraculously, you survived unscathed for five months. But last night you were given a giant fucking look at the reality and dangers of homelessness. I wish it hadn’t happened that way, but there was never any other way it was going to end. And it has ended, am I right?”

“So, do you get, like, a bonus at the end of every day if you say a hundred patronizing things in a twenty-four-hour period or something?”

He ignored me. “You can’t go back to sleeping rough.”

“I think I got that, thanks.” I waved my cast at him.

“So … it’s either call your old manager, your band—”

“Not an option,” I snapped.

O’Dea smirked. “Then I’m all you’ve got. And I’m no fucking Mother Teresa. I’m in the business of making money, Miss Finch. You’ve already proven you’re good at making it. And from what I heard today and have heard you playing when you busk, I think the world hasn’t even seen a fraction of what you can do.”

There was really nothing to do but glare and hope that he withered under it.

“I’ll let you stay here in this flat free of charge, give you a weekly stipend for clothes, groceries, a new guitar. You can heal up here. But all of it in exchange for a record contract. A one-album deal, that’s all I ask. When you’re healed up, you’ll be straight into the studio to record.”

The thought made my stomach pitch. “I don’t want to be famous again.”

“Tough shit. There is no being famous again. You are famous. And you’ve got more talent in your pinkie finger than most do in their entire being. And that talent deserves more of a platform than standing on a street busking. It’s a goddamned insult to all those people out there trying to make the big time. I don’t care what it is you’re running from. I care that you sort yourself out and make some music again. Music that matters. Music that will heal you.”

I bristled. “I’ve made music that matters. I’ve got the fan mail to prove it.”

“Your music in Tellurian did its job. It was catchy, appealing, and teenagers related. But your voice is meant for something else. The songs you just sang to me … those are songs that will really make people feel. It’s vulnerable and brutally honest and that’s the stuff that resonates with people. People want songs that make them feel good, but they also just want songs that me them feel, even if it breaks their fucking heart. You’ve been through a lot, Skylar. Even if I couldn’t read a newspaper, I’d know that by listening to those songs you sang.

“Two years ago, you were a leader on social media and the lead singer of a pop-rock band that teens and college freshman loved. I’m not asking you to go back to that. I’m asking you to become an artist in your own right. If you don’t want the social media exposure, we’ll have someone else run that stuff for you. And we’ll do what we can to minimize the tabloid exposure. It will be hard at first considering your disappearance, but once it dies down, we can make it so you’re not hounded. It is possible.”

“It doesn’t matter whether they hound me or not. I hate the fame. I hate the touring. I hate it all.”

“No.” His expression hardened. “You don’t…”

young passionate couple able to kiss while standing near the wall

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 Hero. On 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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NEW RELEASE!! It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time by Kylie Scott

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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“Did you enjoy the wedding?” he asked.

“W-what?”

The man stood much closer than necessary. “The wedding. It was nice, right?”

“Sure.”

Faint strains of music carried from across the road. It seemed worlds away. He downed a mouthful of scotch, gaze never leaving my face. All I could smell was the single malt, his cologne, and the slight scent of salt on his skin. After all, it’d been a hot night and he’d been dancing in the suit. He wasn’t happy; I knew the signs well enough. The tension in his jawline and the look in his eyes. All heated and intense.

“So you’ve been sitting in the dark, drinking and brooding, huh?” I asked. “That sounds constructive.”

“What did Leona have to say?”

I laughed. “Oh, hell no. I’m not getting caught in the middle of you two again. Why don’t you try settling your issues like normal people and actually talk to one another?”

“You have such a clever mouth, Adele.” He cocked his head. “Always got an answer, don’t you?”

“Enjoy your scotch, Pete.” I turned away. “I’m going to bed.”

“What’s the rush?” Strong fingers wrapped around my arm, not gripping me hard, just enough to hold me in place.

“I’ve spent enough time tonight in the company of a drunken asshole, thank you.” I smiled.

His return smile was lopsided. “You’re angry.”

“I’m tired.”

“You’re angry and tired. Me too,” he said. “Less so on the tired, though. Actually, I’m wide the fuck awake.”

“Good for you.”

He finished off his drink, then reached past me, setting the empty glass on the kitchen counter. “Keep me company.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Why not?” he asked, expression full of false interest. “Thought you’d love the chance to tell me off some more.”

I looked away. “We’re done here.”

“No, we’re not.”

“Yes, we are.” I pulled my arm out of his grasp. “We’re finished, Pete. Our friendship or whatever the hell it is these days . . . It’s over, kaput, the end. Took me seven years, but tonight I finally wised up.”

“That so?”

“Yep,” I said. “I refuse to keep feeling this way about you. It’s such a stupid waste.”

His gaze narrowed.

“You know, I even have a plan.”

“What might that be?”

“In the morning, I’m going to go home and fuck every available man I meet until one of them does it for me.” My smile felt jagged and horrible. It couldn’t have been pretty so see. “And then I won’t think about you anymore.”

His fingers curled into tight fists. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one affected. I put my hand on his chest, getting up in his face. Two could play the invading-personal-space game, for fun and intimidation. As if I would back down.

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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NOW AVAILABLE!! One to Keep by Lexi Blake ~ Sarah A’s Review

Stefan Talbot likes order and control. He approaches his life with the same meticulous precision that he uses to put paint on his canvas. Nothing good comes from chaos, and that is why he has refused to allow himself to get close to Jennifer Waters. They are like fire and ice. Though she is younger, her talent as an artist is unquestionable. But she lives her life like she paints—with wild, passionate abandon. It is intoxicating and terrifying, and he can’t get her out of his head.

Jennifer ran from Bliss to put Stef behind her. She had come to the mountain town seeking a mentor but found much more than she bargained for. Cool and distant, Stef was like a marble statue and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t break through his shell. She moved to Dallas to start over, but nothing is going as planned. When the art gallery where she works is robbed and a precious painting is stolen, Jen is accused of the theft. Jen is thrilled when her bail is met, until she realizes her savior is Stef and he has a few conditions. First and foremost, she has to return to Bliss.

Against the backdrop of the Winter Festival, Stef and Jen’s attraction catches fire. But the dark forces behind the robbery in Dallas have followed Jen home. A criminal syndicate believes she still has the stolen painting and they’ll kill to get their hands on it.

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I keep going back and forth about my feelings on this book. Stefan and Jennifer’s relationship was difficult to understand, more difficult to root for, yet there was something intrinsic about their coupling that left me no choice but to hope they could figure things out.

It’s been a long time since I have found a character as frustrating as I found Stefan Talbot. He’d been aloof and untouchable in the other novels in this series, so I was so interested in finding out what made him tick in this book. He was a broken boy, who’d never really dealt with his parents’ abandonment but seemed utterly unaware of how deeply it had affected every facet of his life. His treatment of Jennifer was maddening, but ultimately it was obvious he was trying to protect himself while making sure she had every opportunity he could provide for her.

Jennifer was the perfect counterpart to Stefan once she realized why he had been pushing her away for the entirety of their acquaintance. Despite her youth, she was exceedingly patient with the man and continually gave him what he needed the moment she knew he needed it. Though her choices were occasionally aggravating, she knew what she wanted and took the steps she needed to ensure she ended up with the man she’d loved for years.

I kind of loved the plot of One to Keep, even if it was a little over the top at times. The Russian mafia element drew me in completely, and I loved Alexei and his backstory. I almost found myself wanting to skip through Jen and Stefan’s story so I could get to Alexei’s. The way Ms. Blake weaved the art and mafia together and brought in all kinds of other little details was interesting and kept me invested in the book.

In keeping with my indecision about this book, I’m not sure if I wish anything was different about this book. If Stefan were different, it would be a disservice to his character. If they didn’t have the struggles, they had with Jennifer’s situation they’d have never given each other another chance. As frustrating as much of this book was, it was faithful to who Stefan and Jennifer were.

One to Keep is the third book in Lexi Blake’s Nights in Bliss, Colorado series. These books were originally written under the pen name Sophie Oak and have been re-released with added content. Ms. Blake’s series are interconnected, and we got to see a few of our favorites from other series. One to Keep can be read as a standalone, though the characters from the first two books in the series make appearances in this book. The novel is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Jennifer, Stefan, and Alexei’s thoughts.

Stef turned back to Jen. “Let’s move, Jennifer. I have a plane ready. We need to be at Love Field in an hour. I have an officer waiting to process you out.”

Jen’s head whirled. “Plane?”

“Yes, plane. We’re going back to Bliss.”

“No way.”

Cool, gray eyes slitted, and she could practically feel the will rolling off him. Stef was tense, and she knew it was a bad idea to push him, but she couldn’t help it.

“I’m serious, Stef. I’m not going anywhere with you.” She couldn’t go back to Bliss. Panic threatened to swamp her. He was here. He was right here in front of her, and her heart didn’t give a damn that he was a bastard. For the first time in months, she felt desire for something besides her art. She couldn’t, wouldn’t, go down that path again.

He got into her space, a move he’d perfected seemingly long before he met her. She held her ground. Even though he didn’t touch her physically, he seemed to surround her. Suddenly her whole world was Stef, his gray eyes, the heat of his body, his masculine, clean scent. He filled her every sense.

“I’m not going home with you.” She forced herself to say the words.

His lips hitched up. “At least you admit Bliss is your home.”

That wasn’t what she’d meant. Bliss, Colorado, had felt like home when she’d been there, but she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bliss wasn’t big enough for the two of them. “It’s your home. Hell, Stef, it’s your little kingdom, and you like to play the king, don’t you?”

“Yes, because everyone does what I say.” Stef’s low growl made her breath speed up. “Everyone in Bliss bows down to me. Have you been gone for so long that you forget Max regularly kicks my ass? And Nell and Henry are currently protesting my gardening practices.”

He was too close for comfort. She gave in and took a step back. She could see plainly that he was satisfied with her discomfort. “Don’t try to play the poor rich boy with me. You’re a puppet master. You like to pull the strings and see how people dance. Well, I’m not in your kingdom anymore, and there’s no way you can get me there again. So you can take your money and go back to Colorado.”

It was stupid. Even as she said the words, she wanted to take them back. She’d spent the last twenty-four hours terrified in a jail cell. She would have to be the stupidest woman in the world to turn him down, but she’d never thought around Stef. Since the moment she’d met him, she’d been a quivering mass of emotion and desire every time he entered a room.

“Stubborn thing. I’ll make it easy on you.” His hands caught hers, and before she could think she felt cold metal surrounding her wrists. He flicked the cuffs on with the cool precision of a man who often cuffed the women in his life.

“What are you doing?” She stared at her hands. At least this time they were in front of her. She preferred it that way. Damn, her life had taken a wrong turn when she could compare and contrast her experiences with men who handcuffed her.

“Taking you home, Jennifer. Whether you like it or not.”

He leaned down and picked her up. She was in his arms, nestled close to his chest. She looked up at the square, inflexible line of his jaw. His arms tightened around her, and she was caged more closely than she’d been in the holding cell. She had the suspicion that this time Stef would be harder to escape from than before. He kicked open the door and started down the hall.

Yep, like it or not, she was going back to Bliss.

Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel’s world reeling. Now she’s running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It’s a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they’re both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other….

When Rachel’s past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It’s time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.

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Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Three lost souls

Growing up in the eclectic, small town of Bliss was wonderful for Callie Sheppard. She loved everything about it, except for the lack of potential romantic partners. She only went wild once in her life, sharing a perfect weekend in Dallas with two incredible men she never thought she would see again. When they parted, she was left with a hole in her heart she feared would never be filled.

One romantic weekend

DEA agents Nathan Wright and Zane Hollister were thrilled when Callie agreed to spend the weekend with them. Just days away from a long, undercover assignment, they considered this passionate affair to be an ideal way to spend their last days of freedom. They never expected to fall in love. Leaving her behind was the hardest decision of their lives.

An unexpected reunion

Six years later, Callie is preparing to break in a new sheriff after Rye Harper walked out on the job. Her heart skips a few beats when the man walking through the door is none other than Nate Wright. Nate and Zane have come to Bliss, but their time undercover has left them broken and scarred. The boys are determined to win back Callie’s heart. But when the criminals they took down come seeking revenge, Nate and Zane may have to save the strange little town of Bliss before they can reclaim the woman they love.

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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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