Happy Release + Review + Giveaway: Overtime by Toni Aleo – Assassins Series – Book 7

 

Overtime by Toni Aleo

Series: Assassins Series #7

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Down and out with an injury keeping him away from the game, Assassins’ defenseman Jordie Thomas lives for the blades of his skates on the ice and the feeling of oblivion off it. With no choice but to heal, he’s forced away from the sport that runs through his veins. With everything at stake and darkness setting in, he quickly finds himself spiraling even further out of control. As his life begins to come crashing down around him and his contract with the Nashville Assassins on the line, he’s given an ultimatum. Ready or not, Jordie is forced to face his past, the fears that consume him, and the one woman he let walk away.

Kacey King had her professional dreams come true, yet her heart was battered and broken. With an Olympic gold medal around her neck, she’s ready to look forward to the future but without the one man she wanted in it. She’s missing the key pieces of her heart she left months ago with the only person who was capable of destroying it, causing her to falter in all her plans to move on.

>In the game of life, there are winners and losers, and neither Jordie nor Kacey want to be on the losing bench. If only Jordie could convince Kacey he’s a changed man and that he wants her right by his side as his MVP for the biggest and best parts of a life they build together. With emotions running high and the game on the line, can two proud people find happiness with each other, or will their hearts and souls be left in the cold? Will they see that sometimes having someone by your side who knows the good, bad, and broken is better than going it alone and losing everything through the back of the net? They are out of time on the game clock and fighting for the win of their lives.

But overtime was made for an Assassin like Jordie.

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About the Author

Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking ShotsTrying to ScoreEmpty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.
When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.
She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads 

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4StarSun

Michel’s Review

I am a huge fan of the Assassin Series by Toni Aleo.  This series features a professional hockey team with charismatic players that touch your heart.  Overtime is the seventh book in this series and it is another record breaking goal.

I have to say that Overtime was a hard book for me.  It deals with alcoholism.  Having come from a home affected by this disease I could easily relate to the recovery process and the ongoing battles.

Jordie Thomas has been out of the season due to an injury.  Hockey is his entire life or so he thinks.  Jordie uses his sport as a way of coping with his messed up life.  He came from a pretty horrific abusive background.  He was grossly neglected.  He has a lot of demons that haunt him.  Another way Jordie has learned to cope is with liquor, partying, and sex.  But this time around his drinking and partying has gotten out of control.  His position on the team is at risk unless he gets help.  He is forced to go to rehab.  He is forced to face his demons.  He is forced to face himself.  He is forced to admit that he is an alcoholic. He has to make amends and admit he is in deeply love with a woman that he carelessly hurt.

Jordie has realized what he lost when he carelessly let Kacey King go.  He convinced himself that he should not be messing around with his best friend’s little sister.  He has convinced himself that he isn’t good enough for Kacey.  Deep down he loves her with his entire heart and soul.

Once Jordie goes through rehab and faced his demons he realizes that he needs to get Kacey back in his life.  He wants to be a better man for her.  He wants to love her with his entire being.  He wants her to be his future.  He will have to prove he is worthy of this woman.

The meat of this story is Jordie’s journey.  Admitting to being an alcoholic is the hardest step.  Learning to forgive himself and accept his mistakes is hard.  As we all know there are 12 Steps to becoming sober.  It was heartbreaking and uplifting witnessing Jordie go through this journey.  He had a very solid support system along the way.   His sincerity was commendable.

Kacey on the other hand was a hard pill to swallow.  She came across as a needy, immature, and self centered woman.  She was so wrapped up in how Jordie hurt her that she forgot what made her fall in love with him.  Once she found out Jordie was on the road to recovery she was not as supportive as she should of been.  She was very insecure and insanely jealous.  That is the last thing a recovering alcoholic needs.  I felt like she needed therapy herself.  She definitely needed to be in the Al-anon program in order to support Jordie the way he needed to.

I wish we could of seen more of their previous relationship to understand their deep love for one another.  I had a hard time grasping their love.  This book was very focused on the issues and I felt the couple lost some of their magical chemistry we look for in romance. The deal breaker that kept me from giving this a five star review was Kacey.  She was just too much.

Toni Aleo tackled a very difficult subject and made it real in this book.  I have to commend her with delivery of this story.

 

 

 

 

Cover Re Reveal: The Journey Home by Kelly Elliott

 


TJHREDESIGN.inddFate has a way of stepping in and righting itself when we least expect it.

Maddison Powers has been regretting the biggest mistake of her life when she walked away from the only man who has ever sparked something deep inside her. After comparing every guy she dates to Cale Blackwood, she finally gives up all hope of ever finding him.

One dare by Maddison throws Cale back into her life…and into the arms of her best friend.

Cale Blackwood thought he had found the woman of his dreams, until she walked away from him one night and didn’t look back. Attempting to find love again, Cale finds himself in a relationship built on one lie after another. Forced to take on the biggest challenge of his life, Cale must seek help from the woman who walked away from him and broke his heart.

EXCERPT:

Maddie’s POV

 

“Cale, you need to go home.”

He closed his eyes and shook his head. “You’re doing it again. You’re pushing me away. I’m tired of it, Maddie. I’m so tired of it.”

I swallowed hard and turned to find my phone. I needed Jack to come pick up Cale.

I was about to dial my phone when Cale grabbed me. He turned me around and backed me up until I hit the living room wall.

His eyes were filled with lust. That look had my panties soaked in seconds.

He lifted up my dress and, in one quick movement, he ripped my panties from my body. I wanted to cry out yes. I wanted to let him take me, but I couldn’t.

“Cale,” I said. “Don’t do this.”

He kissed my neck and I started to give in. When his hand touched my inner thigh, I startled. His lips moved to mine and I moaned, desperately, into his mouth as he lifted my leg.

“Oh God,” I whispered. I tried to come to my senses. “Cale, please don’t do this. We can’t do this.”

He moved his lips to my jaw line as he kissed around to my ear. “Are you turned on by me? Or by him?”

The moment he asked, I felt like a whore. I dropped my leg and pushed him back.

I wiped the tears from my eyes.

“Jesus. I didn’t mean that Maddie. I just—”

“Get out,” I said. “Get out of my house and don’t you dare set foot near me again. I hate you, Cale.”

Copyright 2014 The Journey Home Kelly Elliott

 

 


Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has
a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and
dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly
asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone
sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner
overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

 

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her
property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose,
her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush,
move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find
her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.

Brought To You by:

 

Spark by Erin Noelle… On Sale… Limited Time….

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I’m failing.
My younger brother is getting worse, and my job – my duty – is to help him at all costs. We’ve tried everything modern medicine has to offer and nothing works.
Nothing.
Deciding to turn to unconventional treatments, we end up at Fire-on-the-Mountain, a holistic resort deep in the Rockies.
In our search for medical marijuana, I find beautiful, free-spirited Hudson Shavell – a girl who may not only hold the key to heal my brother, but to fix me as well. Even though I can’t afford distractions right now, she’s all I can think about. All that I want.

It’s funny how everything can change with one little SPARK.

***Though Spark is the first book in the Fire on the Mountain Series, it is a stand alone novel***

***Intended for mature audiences only***

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Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child.
A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Translucent, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, MILF: Wrong Kind of Love and Spark.
Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

Release Blitz: Scrupulous by Kristina Canady – Affliction of Falling Series- Book 1

Scrupulous AAFN Book 1 - KC

 

Scrupulous

Affliction of Falling Series – Book 1

By Kristina Canady

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Synopsis

***This novel is intended for adults(18+) for mature and explicit sexual content. It is a standalone and the series does not have to be read in order.***

Sorcha
Some men just can’t accept that a woman can be perfectly content without them. I mean, come on—a girl can get laid whenever she wants. It’s not like it’s hard. And Lord knows, I have no interest in a relationship. There is no room for that drama-filled nonsense in my life. Pursuing my passion is all I have time for. Selfish and shortsighted? Perhaps. However, I know what I want and I have no problem going after it. Life is a string of decisions, constructed and manifested by each person. I own mine, and I don’t apologize for it either.
Gavin
My past always seems to define me. I hadn’t ever considered love as an option for someone with the background and proclivities that I have. Not until I spot a sexy little brunette across the crowded room. It’s magnetic, and as much as she tries to resist, I am going to have her. Even though she won’t submit, her sass does something to me—changes me. Come hell or high water, she will be mine.

Buy: Amazon

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4StarSun

Tracey’s Review

To say that there is anything submissive about Sorcha is laughable. She’s living her life on her terms, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Gavin is about as alpha as they come. Dominant to the core, he can hardly wait to show Sorcha her inner sub.

SCRUPULOUS is the first book in the Affliction of Falling series by Kristina Canady. I enjoyed the story, and could appreciate the back and forth between Gavin and Sorcha as they peeled away each others’ layers. Neither one has ever been interested in more than a good time, running from the idea of commitment. When the two of them meet, they are shocked to find that their connection goes beyond just the sexual. There is a bit of insta-love, although it is more of an enormous sexual connection that takes a bit to build into something more.

While I can appreciate a super-steamy scene, I wish that there had been more development of the relationship between the two. Kristina did get off to a good start, but, given that the book is solidly lengthy, a bit more depth would have made it a better read for me.

One of the highlights of this book is the humorous and colorful cast of supporting characters. They are a ton of fun, and really bring some levity to the back and forth between Sorcha and Gavin. Kristina nailed it with their personalities, and they really did add to the read. 3.75 stars for this wicked, yet ultimately romantic story. Jade, who made brief appearances in this book, is next up in the series, and I look forward to reading her story, and seeing her take on Sorcha and Gavin.

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Author Bio:

kristina canadyWhat inspired you to write your first Novel? “My girlfriends and I were sitting around discussing our latest reads, all the perfect Cinderella type romance novels that are out there and how we would like to read something that more could relate to. I have been an avid reader since I was a child and love to write, so I decided to write something for us. A not so perfect love story; one that had a little humor, tied in some vampires, a little adult content, morally hard choices and was a satisfying read for all those hard working readers who want some good ole’ junk food for the brain when they come home after a long day at work.”
Raised in California she moved to Colorado to pursue her education and fell in love with the area as well as her now husband.

Though Kristina loved her art and literature classes in college she put that to the side in order to start her career in nursing. After establishing her career she felt something was missing. While she adores being a nurse she felt her artistic side was calling and started to pick up her writing and painting again, setting aside a few hours a day on her day’s off. After a period of time she found that her short story had grown into her first novel. Writing is a passion of hers and she feels the greatest achievement in her art is creating works that bring enjoyment to others.

She continues to reside in Colorado with her husband and children. Kristina is working on her third novel, part III of The Lunar Eclipse Series.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Scrupulous AAFN Book 1 - KC

Excerpt Reveal: Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler – SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team Series

9781492608509Wolf Trouble

SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team

By Paige Tyler

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Synopsis

He’s in trouble with a capital T
There’s never been a female on the Dallas SWAT team and Senior Corporal Xander Riggs prefers it that way. The elite pack of alpha male wolfshifters is no place for a woman. But Khaki Blake is no ordinary woman.

When Khaki walks through the door attractive as hell and smelling like heaven, Xander doesn’t know what the heck to do. Worse, she’s put under his command and Xander’s protective instincts go on high alert. When things start heating up both on and off the clock, it’s almost impossible to keep their heads in the game and their hands off each other…

SWAT (Special Wolf Alpha Team) Series
Hungry Like the Wolf
Wolf Trouble
In the Company of Wolves

Readers are hungry for Paige Tyler’s SWAT and X-Ops series:
“Wow, just wow!”-Fresh Fiction
“Nonstop action and hair-raising storytelling done well.”-RT Book Reviews
“A wild, hot, and sexy ride from beginning to end! I loved it!”-Terry Spear, USA Today bestselling author of A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

WolfTrouble-TourGraphicExcerpt

“Be gentle,” he said as she got a grip on his wrist and shoulder. “It’s my first time.”

“Somehow I have a hard time believing that.”

Laughing, she shoved him off balance with her hip and executed the flip move. Becker was only a couple pounds lighter than Hale, but he didn’t resist quite as much when she started to move. Maybe he was just better at being a practice dummy, or maybe he wasn’t as experienced as Hale, but regardless, Becker went over her hip and landed in the dirt with a thud.

She’d done it! She’d put down a guy that outweighed her by a hundred pounds without using her werewolf strength. She hadn’t done it as smoothly as Hale did, and she fell over Becker in the process, but hey, he was on the ground.

The guys applauded as she climbed to her feet and helped Becker up. She was about to ask him if he wanted to try again when she realized he was looking at her strangely. Then he leaned forward and sniffed her. What the hell?

“Why does your uniform smell like Xander?” he asked.

She froze as Max, Alex, and Hale moved closer, apparently wanting to confirm it.

Crap. She was screwed. She and Xander were so busy showering separately to make sure their scents didn’t linger on one another, they never even thought about it rubbing off on each other’s clothes.

“Becker’s right,” Max said. “It smells like you and Xander have been rolling around on the floor together.”

Actually they had, but neither of them had been wearing clothes at the time.

“It does?” Hale frowned as he leaned in to sniff her uniform top. “I can’t smell anything.”

“That’s because your nose sucks, dude,” Becker said, then looked at Khaki. “What’d you and Xander do your laundry together or something?”

Double crap. That was exactly what they’d done. She’d spent the night at his place and tossed her clothes in the washer with his without thinking about it.

The guys were looking at her expectantly, waiting for her to answer. The problem was, she didn’t have a clue what to say.

She opened her mouth, not even sure what was going to come out, when Cooper spoke.

“You want to tell them, Khaki, or should I?”

Khaki’s heart stopped. Cooper knew. She didn’t know how, but he’d figured it out. And now, he was going to tell everyone.

“Um…”

She knew she should answer, but she wasn’t quite sure what to say. How did you just come out and admit you were sleeping with your squad leader?

She was still trying to decide if it would be best to just rip the bandage off all at once or drop the bombshell in small, bite-size pieces when Cooper decided she was taking too long.

“Khaki was practicing takedown moves with Xander this morning before you guys got here,” he said.

If she’d been at a loss about what to say before, she was absolutely speechless now. She hadn’t done anything that even looked like martial arts training with Xander this morning. Wrestling, maybe.

He met her gaze, his dark eyes unreadable. “You might as well admit it. You were trying to get in some advance practice so you wouldn’t embarrass yourself, right?”

Khaki had no idea why Cooper was covering for her and Xander, but she wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Um, yeah.” She gave them a sheepish look. “I didn’t even know how to take a fall, so I asked Xander for some tips. I didn’t want to look like a complete idiot out here, at least any more of an idiot than I already do.”

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 Author Bio:

Paige_Tyler_-_Purple_Top_Standing-375x564Paige Tyler is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines who fall in love with them. Visit her at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

9781492608509

Chapter Reveal: Getting Hot by Mia Storm

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GettingHot AmazonRules of engagement:

1) You have the right to use force to defend yourself.

2) Fire may be returned to stop a hostile attack.

3) You may not seize the property of others to accomplish your mission.

4) Detention of civilians is authorized in self-defense.

Delilah Morgan and her older sister Destiny have been on their own for two years, since their parents burned down the family home and went to jail for cooking meth. She’s street smart and tough. Nothing about her says sixteen, and she’s not about to tell anyone, especially Bran, the hot ex-marine bartender Destiny has her eye on. He’s stable and successful and everything her sister needs to keep them off the street. The only problem, something about Bran inspires her and suddenly she’s writing the best music she ever has. About him.

Branson Silo knows what it means to be in the line of fire. Home for a year from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, he thinks he’s safe…until he meets Delilah. Despite her sharp tongue that makes him want to take cover, he can’t deny the attraction. But when he hires her to play weekends at his family’s saloon, he finds out she’s more than he can handle…which is saying something considering he used to blow things up for a living.

When the grenade finally explodes and the shrapnel flies, will Bran be left standing? Or has he survived years at war only to be taken down by Jail Bait?

ADD TO GOODREADS

Chapter 1
Bran


I shouldn’t have fucked her last week. That was my mistake, and I feel like a douche—something I’m not used to.
I watch Destiny tuck a long strand of platinum hair behind her ear with her pen as she finishes taking drink orders at the table near the door. She shoots me a secret smile when she turns and makes her way over, and I mentally shoot myself for getting caught looking. This train’s already careening down the track, barely holding onto the rails, and when I pull shit like this, it only picks up momentum.
“We got Hendricks?” she asks, slapping her order on the ancient mahogany bar between us.
I look over the order. “Closest thing I got is Tanqueray.”
The smile falls off her face and she blows out a sigh. “I’ll ask him.”
I follow the curve where her tiny waist blooms into a killer ass as she turns and heads back to the table.
She’s hot. That’s what it boils down to. When I took her home last week, it was after her first training shift with Carol. We’d sat at the bar and knocked back a few after closing and I got caught up in everything she had going on. I totally missed the signs. I didn’t see that she was looking for more than a hookup until after it was too late—until she didn’t leave after we’d done the deed.
The only guy at the table with three women—some total wannabe with a dark suit jacket over a turtleneck and pressed jeans—scowls and gives Destiny some lip. I can’t hear what he says over the piped in Kat Country, but she shrugs and says something back, then offers me an apologetic squint when the guy pushes up from his seat. He starts my direction on polished loafers, but his eyes widen slightly and he pulls up short when he sees me.
The reaction’s not unusual. When I left for boot camp six years ago, I was already in decent shape. I was Oak Crest High’s first ever (and only, as far as I know) four sport athlete all for years—football in the fall, wrestling in the winter, and baseball and track in the spring. Which is probably a big part of the reason my grades weren’t good enough to do anything but enlist. But the Marines made all that training look like fucking Romper Room, and it was only a matter of weeks before my bulk didn’t fit into any of my old clothes anymore. Since Pop owns the local gym and my sister Brenda runs it, when I’m not working behind Mom’s bar at the Sam Hill Saloon, I spend most of my time lifting weights. I’ve managed to stay in pretty decent shape…which means guys like this pansy ass are generally intimidated. Course, the tattooed six-foot-three thing doesn’t hurt the intimidation factor. Since I let my dark flattop grow out, I look more like a biker than an ex-Marine.
After a beat, his shiny shoes start moving again but he stops three feet short of the bar, out of my wingspan. “Tanqueray or Tanqueray number ten?” he demands, putting on a “big man” show for the women he’s here with.
I step aside to show him the rack behind me and he flinches a little at my movement. “For top shelf gin, Tanqueray’s what I got.”
He closes his eyes for a moment and exhales his disappointment, then scans my top shelf again. “Tanqueray isn’t even in the same league as Hendricks.”
I shrug. “You want the citrus, I’d go with the Seagrams. Something drier, I’ve got Beefeaters.”
He rolls his eyes toward the ceiling as if my suggestions are all so far below him he’s afraid of getting a nosebleed if he has to look all the way down at them. “Just give me the Tanqueray. Make it a Tom Collins so I don’t have to taste it.”
He stalks back to his table and drops into his seat as I start on their order.
Destiny comes over and watches me mix. “That guy’s a jerk,” she say with a flick of her eyes back toward the wannabe professor. “Thank God he’s Carol’s to deal with in fifteen.”
“You’re giving Carol the tip?” I say with raised eyebrows.
Her lip curls. “Guys like that don’t tip.”
I lift my eyes to him as I shake his Tom Collins. “He give you a hard time?”
“He thought I should’ve known what kind of Tanqueray we have.” Her face scrunches. “I didn’t even know there were different kinds.”
I glance at the table again. City folk for sure. Probably up here in the foothills for something at the college. “Guess he didn’t realize he’d wandered out of his natural habitat.”
She busts out a laugh as I pour his drink into the highball. “So, I was thinking…” she says when her laugh dies. “I could swing by your place when you get off. If you want.”
“Listen…” I start, setting the drink on her tray. But just as I open my mouth to tell her I don’t do relationships, Mom shoves through the swinging door from the kitchen. Five years in the Marines and two tours in Afghanistan, and I’ve yet to come across another single person who intimidates me…except my mom. She makes some of my Marine COs look like kindergarten teachers.
“Hey Vicky,” Destiny says. “Has Carol punched in yet?” She tosses her eyes at Mr. Hendrick’s. “I’m giving her that table as soon as she does.”
“She just clocked in,” Mom answers, glancing suspiciously at the table. “What’s the issue?”
Destiny shrugs a shoulder and picks up the tray of drinks I slide across the bar to her. “That guy needs to get over himself. Carol’s better at dealing with people like that.”
It’s the “take no crap” chromosome in the Silo family gene pool. My cousin is almost as intimidating as Mom. She has a way of putting pricks like that in their place without them even realizing how it happened.
Just as I’m thinking it, I see her pass by the porthole in the wooden door to the kitchen, pulling her dark curls back into a ponytail. A second later, she pushes through the door.
She looks at the three of us and her eyes narrow as she slings her short, black apron under her bulging belly and ties it. “You guys do know that when everyone clams up and stares at you when you walk into a room, that’s a dead giveaway they were talking about you, right?”
“All good, cuz,” I say, lifting one hand in surrender while picking up my bar rag with the other.
She gives us a glare that could fry bacon. “I’m not fat.”
“No, you’re not,” Destiny says, handing her the tray of drinks. “But I’m punching out and I need you to take that table.”
Carol’s gaze shifts to the table in question. “What’s wrong with them?”
“The guy’s a sanctimonious prick,” I say wiping down the bar. “He needs to be reminded his shit still stinks in the way only you can.”
A slow smile pulls at her mouth and she takes the drink tray.
“He’s the Tom Collins,” Destiny says. “The chardonnay is for the girl on his right and the Cosmos are for the other two.”
She bats her eyelashes and starts toward the table. “Coming right up,” she says, all breathy and sweet.
Mom turns to me once she’s gone, her frown deepening. “I came out here to remind you to put a note in the drawer if you pull petty cash, Bran.”
I give her a dubious smirk. “Really, Ma? I’ve been doing this for almost a year. Think I’ve got the drill down by now.”
“Well, the drawer came up exactly sixty short last night. So how else do you explain that?”
I feel my brows lift. My drawer’s never off by anything more than a few pennies. “You sure you didn’t pull it for the wine order?”
She scowls at me and crow’s feet crease the corners of her eyes. “I might be old, but I’m not senile yet.”
For her age, I have to say Mom looks pretty damn amazing. She met Dad sometime in the stone ages, when she used to dance at a strip club in San Francisco, and even still, I can see why he picked her out of the crowd. She’s got a deep worry line at the inside corner of her right eyebrow, but otherwise her face is deceptively youthful. The only thing that gives her age away is the skunk stripe that starts on the left side of her forehead and winds through the sea of dark hair pinned onto the back of her head like a the first swirl of cream into black coffee.
“I didn’t take any cash, Ma. Seriously.”
She sighs wearily and rubs her eyes. “It’s been a long day. I’ll check the numbers again tomorrow morning when I can think.”
I lean down and give her a peck on the cheek. “’Night, Ma.”
She hooks her elbow around my neck and yanks me in for a hug. “See you tomorrow, baby boy.”
She’s the only one I’d ever let call me baby or honey or any shit like that because, like I said, I’m a little scared of her. I watch her disappear through the kitchen door.
And then it’s just Destiny, waiting for an answer.
I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly as I turn to her. “Listen, Destiny. There’s no question you are fucking amazing, and I had an awesome time the other night…but I feel like you might have gotten the wrong idea about what this is.” I drop the bar rag and splay my hands on the bar between us, holding her gaze. I may be a dick, but I’ve got a moral compass that points in the right general direction most of the time. She deserves to be told straight up. “I’m not the kind of guy that does relationships, and even if I were, you wouldn’t want one with me.”
It’s not like I expect her to whine or beg. I’ve only known her for a week, since Mom hired her for day shifts, but she seems generally more together than that.
What I also don’t expect is a shameless smile to spread over her face as she leans closer. “So, are you saying that pounding me until I scream your name is too much of a commitment?”
I blow out a laugh and give my head a slow shake. “This isn’t how I pictured this conversation going.”
She pushes away from the bar and unties her apron. “I’ll be back before closing. Maybe have a drink or two. And when you leave, if you take me with you, you won’t be sorry. If not…” She shrugs. “…no harm no foul.”
I watch as she disappears through the kitchen door behind Mom to punch out. Carol drops another drink order on the bar on her way to the kitchen and I go back to work.
The Friday evening crowd picks up and it’s not long before all the tables are full and patrons start lining the bar. I dim the lights—the closest we come to ambiance.
The Sam Hill Saloon has been here since the gold rush, when the town of Oak Crest was established as a mining camp. After they got married, Dad brought Mom out here and bought her this bar to keep her “busy,” since he didn’t want her taking off her clothes for horny men anymore. She got it in the divorce and has run it for the last thirty years, but the truth is, almost nothing here has changed for nearly three quarters of a century. There are pictures on the walls of grimy gold miners lined up at this very bar. Even most of the chunky wooden barstools and tables have survived. At some point, some owner lined the front wall under the windows with three booths, and Mom added a big-screen TV, but other than that, it looks exactly like the pictures. And there’s the faint stench of stale beer emanating from the floor planking that no amount of bleach will ever get out.
But it’s a landmark, and the only bar in town, so we’re usually busy.
I’m blending a pair of frozen daiquiris with one hand and shaking a martini with the other when out of the corner of my eye, I see a solo blonde slide onto the barstool at the end, near the beer taps. I finish what I’m doing and prepare the tray for Carol to pick up before glancing over and seeing its Destiny.
A guy in the middle of the bar makes eye contact and nods at his empty beer mug. I grab it and start filling without really looking up at her. “Didn’t think I’d see you again till closer to closing.”
“Sorry?” she says. “Are you talking to me?”
The voice is off—slightly raspy and a pitch lower than her usual. I look up again and squint at her, wondering if she’s already started drinking. She’s taken her straight hair down from the ponytail she always wears it in and it’s not as long as I remember it from the other night—the only other time I’ve seen it down. There’s also a fading blue stripe cutting through the platinum over her right ear that I’ve never noticed before.
“What can I get you?” I ask her instead of pushing it.
I’m already reaching for the vodka and cranberry to start on a Madras, her drink of choice last week, when she answers, “Rum and Coke.”
“That’s different,” I mutter, shooting her another glance.
She gives me a puzzled look. “Look, I really just wanted to find out if you hire entertainment.”
My face mirrors her puzzlement, I’m sure, as I try to process her statement. “Why?”
She hunches to the side and pulls something up from her feet. I see it’s a battered black guitar case when the narrow end peeks over the top of the bar. “Because I need a gig.”
“Didn’t know you played,” I say, pushing her drink across the bar to her.
That baffled look is back as she pulls it toward her and takes a swallow. I can’t help following the curve of her long neck downward toward a pair of large round tits perfectly outlined by her snug, low-cut T-shirt. She is definitely hot, and if we’re on the same page, then I’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. She wants me to fuck her till she screams? I’m perfectly capable of that. She sets her drink down and catches me staring. She cuts me that wicked smile again, causing my cock to stir. I return the smile, sending the innuendo right back at her.
She props her elbows onto the bar and leans forward, giving me a clear look down her shirt. “Considering that we’ve never met before, I don’t find that surprising.”
I’m so absorbed in images of my face buried in those magnificent tits that it takes me a second to process what she said.
My eyes snap to hers. “Wait…what?”
She reaches across the bar, offering me a hand. “Lilah.”
There’s a full second all I can do is stare, wondering if this is one of those split personality things you hear about sometimes. And in that second, through the dim lighting, I take in all the tiny details—a dark mole at the outer corner of her right eye; her eyes, silver instead of blue; the missing white crescent-shaped scar above Destiny’s right eyebrow; and lips, a little fuller than I remember—which are smirking at me now.
“You’re not Destiny,” I say as it all clicks.
It’s not a question, but she shakes her head. “No. I am most definitely not Destiny.”
“Twins?” I ask.
She cocks her head playfully. “What do you think?”
“You’ve got to be. You’re fucking identical except for the eyes.” I tap my forehead. “And you’re missing a scar.”
Her perfect blond eyebrow raises in amusement. “She’s the pretty one and I’m the smart one.”
I bark out a laugh as I reach across and shake her hand. “Bran Silo. Good to meet you.”
She doesn’t let go of my hand for a second after we’re done shaking—just long enough to send a clear message that she’s interested.
A knot forms in my gut, and I realize it’s guilt. Destiny and I have an understanding, but regardless, I’m pretty sure fucking her sister would be way outside the bounds of gentlemanly behavior. Not that anyone would ever mistake me for a gentleman. “Destiny never mentioned she had a sister.”
“Doesn’t surprise me.” She takes another drink, nearly polishing it off in a few big gulps.
I tip my head at it her glass. “Another?”
“My limit is one,” she says, pushing her glass toward me. “Just Coke this time, thanks.”
Carol sweeps by on her way to the kitchen, dropping an order on my bar. “Thought you left,” she says to Lilah without slowing down. “Careful or your favorite customer might ask for you,” she adds, jerking her head at Mr. Hendricks as she disappears through the swinging door.
I bark out a laugh as I scoop ice into Lilah’s glass and fill it with Coke. “Good to know I’m not the only one.”
Lilah shrugs. “Happens all the time.” She slides out of her chair, lifting the guitar case. “So do you want to hear me play or what?”
I look around the crowded room, loud with chatter, drowning out the background music. “We don’t generally have live entertainment,” I say, which is really an understatement. We’ve never had live entertainment. But for some reason, I’m not willing to shut Lilah down so fast.
When my eyes find her again, annoyed impatience shines loud and clear out of her gaze. “So that’s a no?”
I feel my mouth pull into a cocky half-smile. “I didn’t say that.”
She opens her case and pulls out her guitar, unabashedly climbing through the window I left ajar for her. I watch as she sets herself up on the stool and rests the guitar in her lap, gripping it softly but confidently. She starts strumming, and I expect her to be discrete, since this is basically an audition, but there’s not a shred of self-consciousness or embarrassment anywhere in her disposition as she begins to belt out lyrics—an old No Doubt song that I can’t remember the name of.
The way she plays, as if on instinct; the passion in her voice, and the fact that she’s really fucking good, starts to turn heads at the tables closest to us. As they quiet and listen, more tables still, and soon the only thing she’s competing to be heard over is the Kat Country on the speakers. But she doesn’t decrease her volume. If anything, as eyes find her, she becomes louder, feeding off the attention.
I reach under the bar and click off the stereo, then lean onto the back counter and cross my arms, listening as she finishes one song and launches into the next.
A guy at the bar pulls a five from his pocket and flags me down with it. I grab his beer mug, but he shakes his head. “Is there a tip jar?” he asks with a nod toward Lilah.
I pull a fresh mug from under the bar and he slips the five inside, then I set it at the end of the bar near Lilah. She cuts me a smile and her eyes slide down my body as she sings.
And fuck me. I lean my hands on the bar and press against the lower counter when my dick won’t yield to my will. Without a doubt, everything Destiny has going on, Lilah’s got that and more.EACH BOOK CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE
GH teaser 3
About the Mia Storm:

Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens, she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @MiaStormAuthor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor

Chapter Reveal: Screwed by Kendall Ryan

We are very excited for this brand new standalone from Kendall Ryan. Releasing on September 15 we get a peek at a sexy romantic comedy from the NYT Bestselling author.

Screwed Banner

Screwed_amazonI have one rule: Don’t shit where you eat.
Several of the women in the condo complex I own would love some one-on-one playtime, and why wouldn’t they? I’m young, fit, attractive, and loaded. Not to mention I’m packing a sizable bulge below the belt. It’s a combination that drops panties on a regular basis.

Yay, me, right?

But my cock, troublemaker that he is, has been confined to my trousers by my business partner. A concession I agreed to, and one that’s never been hard to enforce until Emery moves in across the hall. She’s smart, young, determined, and sexy as hell. I want a taste. I won’t stop until I’m buried deep inside the succulent new-in-town brunette.

After being warned about my past, she does her best to steer clear, but I’m about to show her that underneath it all, I’m a guy with a heart of gold and a cock of steel.

My name is Hayden Oliver, and this is my story.

SCREWED is standalone romantic comedy by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Kendall Ryan. ADD TO GOODREADS

Chapter One

Hayden
Goddamn. This is going to be harder than I thought.
My eyes swing over to admire the most perfect pear-shaped ass I’ve
ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on while my business partner Hudson
continues lecturing me. I think it’s something important, but there’s nothing
more urgent than my body’s reaction to this shapely brunette. Jesus.
Those tits are definitely real.
“I mean it. Your cock is cut off this time,” Hudson says roughly,
his tone biting.
Tearing my gaze away from the succulent new brunette moving into
unit 4B, I face him. “Not literally cut off. I’m sort of attached to him. You
realize that, right?”
“Well it’s on lock down then. No more of this bullshit. I had
three calls this week alone from hysterical women – our tenants – who you, how
do I put this delicately? You fucked and then left before their pussies were
even dry.”
I smirk at him, but I can’t deny the accusation. We’re like the
real life Melrose Place. Sexy young twenty-somethings all living in close
proximity. There’s bound to be a little drama now and again. Together, Hudson
and I own thirty buildings in the greater Los Angeles area. And some of our
buildings have very fuckable tenants. Up until this point, I’d considered that
a nice bonus, and a perk of the job. Hudson has apparently viewed it
differently.
“Who’s that?” I ask, tipping my head toward the bombshell who’s
responsible for all the blood rushing to my groin. Fuck. I should have a
word with her about that, that’s not cool.
Hudson’s eyes swing to the left to see what, or rather, who has
captured my attention. And who’s given me this semi-chub, which I hope he
hasn’t noticed. We’re close, but we’re not that close.
“No, no, no. Don’t get any ideas. You’re not tagging that.”
She’s not close enough to overhear us, but I shoot him a scowl
anyway. “Show some class, man. Tagging is such a juvenile word. I’d take my
time, get her hot and ready first, until she was begging for me to fill her
tight, little cunt.”
“I’m fucking serious. You’re not to even think about her tight
cunt.”
“So you acknowledge she’s got a tight cunt?” I smile, proud of
myself.
He wipes sweat from his brow, looking worried. “Hayden, I’m
serious this time.” His voice has taken on a somber tone, and for once, I try
to be serious and focus.
Watching the way the vein throbs in his neck, my smile fades.
We’re standing outside of one of our nicest buildings just outside of downtown,
and the mid-afternoon sun is beating down on us. Suddenly I want to get away from
him, and away from this entire conversation and into the cool air conditioning
inside. Shit has gotten a little too real for me.
“You know me,” I grin at him, trying to lighten the mood. “I just
wanted to have some casual fun.” And if that meant sleeping my way through the
LA singles scene, so be it. I’m not looking for something deeper. I have a
luxury condo in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, drive a new model BMW and
possess a nine-inch cock. Translation: Life is good. Or it was, until Hudson
decided to get a bug up his ass and lay down the law today.
“Did you hear a word I just said? One of your latest conquests
threatened to report our company to the Better Business Bureau for unethical
business practices. This isn’t just about you. This affects me too. And I’ll be
damned if I watch everything we’ve built go down in flames because you can’t
keep your dick in your pants.”
“Point taken.” Hudson is pretty much the best friend, and best
business partner you could ask for. He’s smart as hell, dedicated, works like a
dog day and night. And not to mention when we began our real estate investment
company five years ago, he single-handedly fronted all the start-up capital
from his own savings and trust fund. It took me years to pay him back as the
profits rolled in, and he never once made me feel lesser, or like I was in debt
to him. Not to mention, he’s funny, well-off, and good looking. He’s an
excellent wing-man. Plus he knows the best taco joints.
Unable to help myself, my eyes drift over to her again. 4B fills
out a pair of yoga pants in ways that I doubt are even legal in most countries.
I needed to know what was underneath those curve-hugging black athletic pants.
Simple cotton panties, or a naughty g-string? Either way, I wanted to bury my
fingers inside the waistband of those pants, peel them down her hips and find
out. Perhaps it was because Hudson just made her forbidden fruit, but I wanted
a taste. My damn mouth was practically watering.
She looked smart, and put together, despite her casual attire, including
a tank top and tennis shoes. With a clipboard in one hand, and her trusty
number two pencil in the other, she ticked items off of her list, and
instructed the movers who were unloading and carrying boxes up to her new place
– which just so happened to be directly underneath mine.
“You’re not going to last three minutes let alone three days.” Hudson
grimaces, glancing over again at our newest resident.
“What do you know about her?”
He rolls his eyes, but humors me. “Emery Elaine Winters. She’s an attorney.
Excellent references. Even better credit score, and she signed a one year
lease. And she’s to remain in pristine condition, or so help me God …”
When I glance up at her again, I see Roxy, another of our residents
has joined Emery on the sidewalk, and they appear to be making small talk.
Shaking hands, exchanging words, and smiling at each other. There’s something I
strongly dislike about these two women talking. Roxy is an exotic dancer, and
she I have a bit of a rocky past. Which is a huge fucking understatement, but
not something I care to dwell on now. Hudson mentions something about fourth
quarter taxes, and I tune him out, sure I just heard my name on Roxy’s
over-glossed lips.
“Excuse me, I’ve got business to attend to.” I step around him,
heading straight toward my new prize. Roxy spots me, and takes off for the
parking area.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Hudson calls after me.
“Just being neighborly. Someone’s got to properly welcome Miss
Winters.”
“Dammit, Hayden,” I hear him shout.
“I’ve got this, buddy,” I shout back over my shoulder.
I can control myself around her. I have to, according to Hudson. I
don’t like being told what to do, especially where my cock was concerned, and
hell, it’ll probably only make me want her more, but as I close the distance
between Emery and me, I make a plan.
Friends.
I would become friends with the
so-hot-I-wanted-to-bend-her-over-and-fuck-her-in-broad-daylight new girl.
This was either the best plan I’d ever had, or would end with me
sporting a black eye, courtesy of my best friend.
It’s go time.








Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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