Exclusive Excerpt Reveal: Liar by Stephanie St. Klaire

 

Liar

An Imperfect Love Novella

By Stephanie St. Klaire

Release Date: October 16, 2017

 

Fake it until you make it. That was the mantra Cori Dash chanted as she chased a big city dream. The more you tell people you’re on top of the world, the more they believe it – just like they believed the embellished image she sold them with her knock off designer facade. It wasn’t lying if the truth stood somewhere in the middle – and she didn’t get caught.

Dominic Blackthorne owned half of that big city…and a reputation. Rather than dispel rumors or show the world the real Nick, he let his own fake image run free. Until Cori Dash – the only person who told him exactly how it was, even if it stung.

When Cori is faced with her ex-fiance, now engaged to her ex-best friend, it’s game on. In her boldest move yet, she concocts her biggest lie to date by introducing the first handsome stranger that walks by as her new fiancé. Happy to play the part, Nick is already planning the fake wedding of her dreams.

You know what they say about lying – the truth always comes out – and it hurts. Especially when Cori finds out she isn’t the biggest Liar in this game, and she’s been out played.

 

Excerpt

The whispers caught her attention before the man, almost to her office, did. She scanned the group, following the he’s coming this way, I’ve never seen him before, and is that really him to the doorway, and her heart sunk. The man who stepped off the elevator was the man from the park. It was Nick.

So, her original instinct had been right. He was a stalker, the creepy kind, and now he was standing in her office with her and her team. How on earth he found her, she didn’t know. He only had her first name, though she did mention she worked for the event sponsor. Still, getting past security? This guy was good and probably dangerous.

“What in the hell are you doing here?” she asked with her hands on her hips and a threatening glare.

Leaning against the doorway with his hands in his pockets and a cocky grin, he nodded at the watchful crowd before saying, “I’m here to see you.”

“Uh, I can see that. You need to leave. I was very clear yesterday, not interested. Are you stalking me?” she asked, quick to scan the group of eyes fixed on her with shocked expressions to match.

The whispers were louder, and the team so invested in the back and forth, the only thing missing was popcorn. Something was off, and she didn’t know what, especially when she heard didn’t think he was real and it’s definitely him. Who, she wondered? How did some of her employees know who he was, but she didn’t? Then a terrifying thought crossed her mind; what if they had seen his picture somewhere, like on TV…could he be a wanted man? A true stalker?

Her fury escalated, and she felt the sudden urge to protect herself and those around her. “I asked you what you’re doing here?”

“I answered.” He winked at a couple of ladies sitting closest to him. “I’m here to see you – my fiancé.”

Loud gasps filled the room, putting Cori on even higher alert. She tossed her hands in the air. “You know that wasn’t real, right? Do you know the difference between reality and fiction? I don’t know what kind of game you are playing, but you need to leave, now. Or I’ll…call security.”

He shrugged, maintaining his megawatt smile, which might charm the pants off of some but not her. The chatter didn’t die down, and some of the women seemed to be entranced by his rugged good looks and that flashy smile. This was getting out of hand, and she needed to bring it to a close, and fast. For all she knew, he had a gun or knife under that expensive Armani.

“Figures, I had to pick a crazy one,” she said while picking up her phone and calling the security desk. She couldn’t help but wonder why members of her team continued to gasp in shock, every time she addressed him. “Tony, we have a trespasser…in my office.”

“Your nose wrinkles when you’re mad. It’s…cute.” His compliment clearly offended her, but he found that just as cute as the wrinkled nose.

“Cute?! Bring back-up, Tony. He appears to be unstable.” She hung up her phone, knowing Tony would be there in no time, given the concern she heard in his voice.

She looked to her staff, “I need to you all to leave quickly; this is not a drill. Please follow safety protocol, and exit the floor. Justin, you are the safety manager for this floor; you know what to do.”

As the people quickly filed out of the office and went straight for the stairwell, she couldn’t help but notice the snickers and more whispers. Even a few heads turned and laughed before rounding the last corner. What on earth?

“Protecting your people – that’s honorable,” he said.

“What do you want?”

“A date,” he said, as if it was the most normal thing in the world, given the circumstance.

“You really are crazy!” She reached into her nearby purse and pulled out her mace; you can never be too careful, she thought. “You come near me and I’ll unload this entire canister on you. Then, I’ll kick your ass…or…something.”

“Wow. New York has really rubbed off on you.” He chuckled.

“What does that mean?”

“Nothing.” He shook his head, never losing that smile that would most likely work on her if he wasn’t crazy. “About that date.”

“I’m not dating you. I have a strict policy not to date psychopaths.” After dropping the insult, she thought better of it. If he truly was unstable, it wouldn’t be wise to provoke any particular violent tendencies he may possess.

“We should get to know each other – so we don’t blow our cover.” That nonchalant shrug of his was getting on her nerves, and he knew it.

“Our cover? What the hell are you talking about?” Her hand darted out in front of her, aiming her mace when he started to move toward her.

He held his hands up in surrender, indicating that he wasn’t a threat, “The Hamptons – Winnie and Phillip? Have you already forgotten?”

“Are you mad? That’s not happening. Do you really think I’d leave town with a stranger…or date one for that matter? I really can’t believe this is happening. My lie, lies really, are catching up to me! This…this is karma, isn’t it?”

“Don’t all dating couples start as strangers?” he asked, matter-of-factly.

“Well…yes, but we aren’t a couple, we aren’t dating, and I’m filing a restraining order the minute security tossed you on your…ass.” It wasn’t in her nature to swear or be mean, but she thought perhaps a few choice words would intimidate him a bit and let him know she meant business.

She looked around him, through the glass wall, feeling a sense of relief when Tony finally exited the elevator with his sidekick, Carmine, and headed right for her office, his hand resting on the stun gun he wore on the right side of his utility belt. Tony’s angsty expression froze, and his eyes went wide when he entered the office and the stranger, Nick, turned to look at him. Surely Tony wasn’t intimidated. He must be surprised by the man’s tall stature and clean cut tailored suit that didn’t scream sociopath, just like she had been.

“Wh-what seems to be the problem?” Tony asked, looking between Nick and Cori.

Confused by his question, she thought it was rather obvious what the issue was but clarified by pointing at Nick. “Problem? Him – he’s the problem!”

“But, Cori. I mean…Miss. Dash…” Tony stammered.

“But nothing – I want him removed, trespassed from the property and a police report filed so my restraining order will stand. There is no telling what this…” she waved her hand up and down, indicating that she was talking about Nick, “…loon is capable of.”

Tony’s voice turned to one of reason. He clearly saw she was upset, flustered even, but he wasn’t sure she knew what she was really asking. “Uh, but, Miss Dash.”

“Tony,” she interrupted before he could say another word. “I want him gone. Remember I told you about a…gentleman I met this weekend? Well, this is him. He found me, he’s delusional, and needs to go – now. Don’t be fooled by the knock off designer suit – he’s a threat. Now remove him.”

“Oh? OH! Well, Miss…” Tony tried, once again, without any luck.

“Tony…” she tried to interrupt him once more, frustrated with his unwillingness to his job. Why was Tony, head of security Tony, so reluctant to do his job?

“I…I can’t, Cori. He’s…”

“Crazy! I know! Remove him,” she shouted, tired of the charade Nick clearly orchestrated.

“It’s okay, Tony. I got this,” Nick said, patting Tony on the shoulder.

“Uh, yes, Mr. Blackthorne,” Tony offered, with emphasis on Blackthorne in an attempt to toss Cori a bone before she dug herself any deeper.

Too late…she was already filling the hole she was laying in when Blackthorne registered loud and clear. “Blackthorne? You’re Nick…Dominic Blackthorne…Owner of Thorne Industries…my…boss.”

The charming smile returned. “Pleasure to meet you, Miss Dash.”

 

Add LIAR to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36355731-liar

Excerpt Reveal: Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan – The Coming Home Series – Book 3

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn’t counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she’s finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

 

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AN EXCERPT FROM COWBOY UP

 

I push my hands from his shoulders and palm his jaw as his stubble prickles against my fingers while my hands wander up to his hair. His hat falls to the ground with a thud and I know he’s just as lost in me as I am in him, because he doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. He lets out a deep grunt when I mold myself against his body, seeking some sort of friction. The next thing I know, my back is against the door and he’s gripping my bottom. His mouth hits my jaw with a bite of his teeth, making a squeak of pleasure shoot up my throat, and his deep rumble of laughter reaches my ears as he presses me harder into the door with his hips. The heavy bulge of his erection against that spot makes me so desperate for him that I whimper in relief when his mouth finally closes over mine in a wet tangle of tongues.

I’ve never been kissed so thoroughly.

This is the kind of kiss that sets the bar for any that might follow.

The kind that shows you everything you’ve been missing and everything you never knew you wanted. I’m going to be comparing every kiss I ever have to my dark cowboy’s, even though I know there’s a good chance no one will ever compare. The sounds coming from my mouth, the ones being swallowed by his, are nothing short of needy. My hips move in tandem with the thrusts of his, and even though we’re both fully clothed, I know it won’t take much more of this for me to go off like the town’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.

“Fuck, you taste just like apple pie,” he whispers against my lips, breaking away with a gasp.

“Huh?”

“Goddamn, I love apple pie,” he says before his mouth is back on mine, this time with a whole new kind of hunger deepening his kisses.

I’m held captive, enraptured. Then his hands move from my bottom to glide up my torso. He lifts his hard chest off mine and suddenly those delicious fingers are at my breasts. Even if I had big boobs his hands would dwarf them, I’m sure, but as it is he covers both with a firm grasp before adjusting his hold with a deft twist of the wrists. His mouth continues to feast on mine while his huge hands learn my body with slow movements. I tear my mouth from his with a breathy moan when he pushes my shirt up and slips his fingers into the cups of my bra to tweak my nipples.

“Oh, God,” I moan when he does it again.

“I can’t get enough of you,” he rumbles.

“Please,” I beg, not with the slightest clue as to what I’m begging for.

His hips dig even harder into mine as he leans back, supporting me against the door with that connection alone as he pulls my shirt off. The darkness makes me feel more confident than I normally would be, almost half naked with a man—no, a stranger.

“Yours too,” I tell him as his fingers move to unclasp my bra. “I want to feel your skin on mine,” I breathe, taking over the task so he’ll hopefully give me what I want.

I fumble in my haste to feel more of this dangerous arousal he’s creating in my body, but the second my bra is free and dangling toward the floor, his naked chest collides against mine, pushing me into the door with a force that sends the air rushing out of my lungs.

His mouth hits my collarbone at the same time his hands grasp my bottom, sliding me up the door until I feel the wet heat of his breath against my breast.

Then he stops.

 

 

 

 

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

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Excerpt Reveal: Sick Fux by Tillie Cole

Sick Fux

By Tillie Cole

Coming Soon…

Synopsis

When Ellis Earnshaw and Heathan James met as children, they couldn’t have been more different. Ellis was loud and beautiful – all blond hair, bright laughs and smiles. Heathan was dark and brooding, and obsessed with watching things die.
The pair forged an unlikely friendship, unique and strange. Until they were ripped apart by the sick cruelty of others, separated for years, both locked in a perpetual hell.
Eleven years later, Heathan is back for his girl. Back from a place from which he thought there was no return. Back to seek revenge on those who wronged them.
Time has made Heathan’s soul darker, polluted with hatred and the thirst for blood.
Time has made Ellis a shell of her former self, a little girl lost in the vastness of her pain.
As Heathan pulls Ellis out of her mental prison, reviving the essence of who she once was, down the rabbit hole they will go.
With malice in their hearts and vengeance in their veins, they will seek out the ones who hurt and destroyed them.
One at a time.
Each one more deadly than the last.
Tick Tock.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for ages 18 and over.

Please note : this is excerpt is unedited and subject to change.

 

 

 

I placed the foot of my cane on the floor and looked to the left. The sound of light breathing came from around the corner. I made to move, but my heart slammed into a fast beat, stopping my feet in their tracks. My nostrils flared as I closed my eyes and tried to suck in deep breaths. I never did this, never had this kind of reaction to anything. Not in eleven years. Not when I was trapped in darkness. Not even when the guards came to “meet the young kid.” Not when we got out—bloodily, savagely, darkly. Especially not when my knife plunged into the guards’ hearts and I watched the life fade from their eyes, the pure fascination of losing one’s life essence occupying my mind.
But this was Dolly. The only person I’d ever given a shit about.
A slick tar pumped through my black heart as I thought of her. She was the blood that gave me life.
I had no idea what state I would find her in. Whether or not her fragile mind had been destroyed. Whether or not her glass heart had been shattered. No hope of salvation.
I had no idea if my only reason for living could be saved. I shook with venomous anger when I let my mind imagine the hell those sadistic cunts would have put her through in my absence. But Chapel’s words rang in my ears . . . Unleash the anger only on those who deserve it. Let it build within your heart like a well swelling with water . . . then unleash hell on those who took your freedom.
Opening my eyes, I breathed through my rage and silently rounded the corner . . . I stopped. There she was, sitting in a chair. I sucked in a breath and heard it rattle in my ears. Her hair. Her hair was pulled back into a long braid, the woven strands falling to her lower back. And she was dressed in black. Long, baggy sleeves covered her arms.
Motherfucking black. Dolly didn’t belong in black. Only color. Blue and white and gold and motherfucking pink.
I edged around the perimeter of the room until I faced her. My heart tore down the center and I had to hold back a loud snarl when I saw her curled up on the seat, a thick blanket over her thin legs and waist as she stared lifelessly out of the window. The window that overlooked the once-manicured lawns, now nothing but high-reaching weeds and too-bushy trees. I looked across at what she was watching, in the direction of what held her so captivated.
My heart was severed completely, the two parts of its flesh repelling the other, trying to escape the rage and pain and fucking consuming darkness.
She was staring at the spot where we used to play as kids. Where she had found me all those years ago, ripping the colorful butterfly apart in my hands. I moved into her line of sight, but her blue eyes didn’t lift to meet mine, just stared through me as though I wasn’t even there. I crouched down and studied her face. Porcelain skin. Full lips. Fucking perfection.
But there was no life left in her.
I had never felt fear before, but I imagined the sinking hole I felt dropping in my stomach was something like it. A sinking feeling that Dolly had gone to a place from which there was no escape, a prisoner in her own mind.
Fragility consumed.
“Dolly darlin,’” I rasped, my voice fucking breaking.
Twenty-one. She was twenty-one and more beautiful than I could ever have imagined.
Perfection.
My living doll.
A strand of hair lay over her face. My fingers clenched and unclenched as I tried to force myself to touch her. But I couldn’t. I hadn’t touched or been touched in years. I didn’t know how to anymore. Allergic to human affection. Repulsed by the degrading feeling of touch.
I . . . I . . . I couldn’t.
As I opened my mouth to speak to Dolly again, a loud gasp sailed through the air behind her. I straightened, gripping my cane, to see a familiar old face appear. I watched, the sinking hole quickly replaced by dark satisfaction as the blood drained from her face. “Good Lord,” she whispered as I smoothed down my black cravat and vest.
I glared at the bitch. Leaning casually on my cane, I said, “More like Lucifer, I would think.” I nodded in her direction “To you, anyhow.”
Mrs. Jenkins swallowed and tried to back out of the room. “Ah-ah,” I tutted and shook my head. She immediately stilled, eyes fixed on mine.
“He . . . Heathan James . . . it’s . . . it’s not possible . . .” she stammered and ran her eyes over me. Every inch of me.
“Rabbit.” The bitch flinched at my correction. “I am Rabbit. The motherfucking White Rabbit. So never fucking utter that peasant name to me again.”
Her skin paled, and her eyes fell to Dolly sitting on the chair. Dolly still hadn’t moved. I shifted my grip on the box I had brought inside, about to hold it out to Mrs. Jenkins when she asked, “How are you here?”
I threw the box across the room. It landed right at her feet. “Dress her.”
“Wh-what?” Mrs. Jenkins asked.
I pointed to the box at her feet. “Dress her. It wasn’t a request.” Mrs. Jenkins shook as she picked up the box and moved to where Dolly sat. Dolly didn’t look at her either. Mrs. Jenkins opened the lid of the box and gasped again.
Her old, wrinkled eyes snapped up to mine. “No—”
Before she had even finished the sentence, I had reached into my pocket and pulled out my knife. I ran the flat side of the blade down my cheek. Slowly. Controlled. Watching her terrified gaze track my every move. “You’d best do as I ask, Mrs. Jenkins. My patience and tolerance for you appear to be at an all-time low.”

______________________________________________

 

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

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Chapter Reveal: Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

 

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Gun-Shy-iBooks.jpg
Gun Shy
By Lili St. Germain
Release Date: October 6, 2017

 

 

A stand alone psychological thriller.

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.



 

CASSIE

 

The center of town is teeming with reporters when we arrive. The mood is somber, self-conscious, even. Can an entire town be collectively self-conscious? They’re shy, that’s for sure. We don’t get a whole lot of visitors in Gun Creek. Certainly not ones who stick microphones in your face and blast you with questions while you’re still half-asleep.

Damon parks the patrol car right across the front doors of the police station, his face drawn and tense. It must be a fucking nightmare, being in charge of an entire town like this. Especially when something like this happens.

I can only imagine how bad things are going to get at home if they don’t find this girl soon.

“These people are fucking vultures,” he mutters, and I make a noise signaling my agreement. He gets out, opening my door for me.

I muster up a plastic smile as Damon holds out my purse, the strap dangling on his outstretched finger.

“Thanks,” I say, taking the bag and slinging it over my shoulder. I put my oversized dollar-store sunglasses on my face, the day already too bright for me to bear.

“You okay?” Damon asks.

“Always,” I reply, walking away from him before he can say anything else. I should ask him if he’s okay, but that would mean pretending that I care.

I have something important that I need, something immediate.

I’m an asshole because I know I should care about the fact that a girl I’ve grown up with is missing, but I have more pressing personal matters.

I need to take care of myself, first. I head for the diner, fifty feet away, already late for my shift. I push past reporters, hanging eagerly at the doors they’re forbidden to cross. They have to hover outside in the snow for their pound of flesh, their soundbites, their newsworthy quotes from Jennifer’s distraught friends and family. I see Casey Mulligan, a girl I went to school with, twirling a strand of long blonde hair around her finger as she musters up a couple of fat tears for a news camera, and it strikes me, just like last time, that the people who get the most attention in this world are the ones who least deserve it.

Still, I’m glad it’s not me. Last thing I want is a camera in my face. I slip by, unassisted, unseen, an invisible girl with a hollow spot inside me. I notice the crates of milk that get delivered to Dana’s every morning are still stacked out front and I grab one as I approach, throwing my purse on top and bracing my stomach muscles to carry the thirty-odd pounds worth of liquid weight. One of our regulars holds the door open for me and I smile in thanks, lugging the milk crate through the diner and toward the cold storage out back.

I’m making my way down the main entrance, past rows of tables and customers talking feverishly about Jennifer, my arms full of milk bottles when it happens.

I see him. Him.

I stop.

My arms stop functioning. I drop everything; the milk crate, my purse, my practiced neutral expression. The purse wafts to the floor, the milk bottles hurtle down with an unceremonious crash, and blue plastic lids burst off and go skittering in every direction.

I sink to my knees, in shock. People are looking at me, but I don’t pay attention to them. I’m too busy fixated on the green-eyed ghost standing in front of me. The splinters in my knees sting like fire-ant bites, and I curl my legs to the side, coming to a sitting position.

“Shit!” Leo says, dropping his backpack to the ground and crouching in front of me. “Cass. Cassie. Are you okay?”

My entire body is alight, little pinpricks along my skin that make me dizzy. The feeling spreads like wildfire, across my chest and through my limbs until I’m overwhelmed and frozen on the spot, sitting on my ass in the middle of the diner, voices and whispers all around.

I watch in fascination as milk spreads in a puddle in front of me, like spilled blood. It rushes at me like a miniature tsunami as a painful buzz begins in my head.

“You’re gonna pass out,” Leo says, his words sounding far away as he reaches out a hand to help me up. “Jesus, Cassie, you’re white as a sheet.”

I hold my hand out, the conviction in my reach laughable, and it’s like that moment of electricity that people talk about. I can feel it build in my fingertips, that arc of some invisible thing that wants to join with his invisible thing, but then a hand wraps around my wrist and yanks my arm away before I can make contact with the boy — no, with the man — I thought was still in prison.

“Did he hurt you?” Damon’s voice in my ear breaks my dream-like state. I open my mouth to say something and decide against it, swallowing air instead. I shake my head.

“How’d you get on the ground?” Damon asks, shaking me a little.

“She fell down,” Leo says, his arm no longer outstretched. He takes a step away from me, and Jesus, it hurts. He looks anguished. “She dropped the milk and she fell down.” I can’t stop looking at him. I can’t bear to look at him.

The milk has reached me. It seeps across my right knee, curled underneath me; the backs of my thighs, my palms. It’s ice cold, and I can feel myself shaking.

Damon is crouched next to me, his hand on my cheek, diverting my attention to him. “Are you all right, Cassie?” he asks, helping me to my feet, his tone gathering more urgency with each question I don’t answer. Amanda is picking up the milk bottles beside us, piling them high in her arms as I continue to stare at Leo. He’s… different. He has tattoos now. He looks exactly the same but entirely reconstructed. He’s eight years older, I realize. A third of his life, gone. A third of mine. It feels like it’s been forever. It feels like it’s been no time at all.

Deputy Chris appears, looking between me and Leo with uncertainty. Why didn’t anyone tell me? How the hell did Leo just materialize from thin air in the Grill?

“Cassie,” Damon snaps, and I know he means business.

I nod. “I’m fine. I’m okay.” I think of where I was going before I saw fucking Leo. Pills. Purge. “I need a minute.”

“I’ll take you home,” Damon says, his hand on the small of my back as he starts to guide me toward the front doors. I panic, pushing him away.

“You have a missing girl to find,” I say quickly. “I’m fine, really. I just need some aspirin.” And a fucking gun, so I can put myself out of my misery.

“I’ll walk you there,” Damon says, ever the hero. If they only knew, I think to myself, as Amanda opens the staff room door and ushers us inside.

“Give us a minute,” Damon says, giving Amanda a concerned look. She nods, closing the door and waiting out in the hallway as Damon closes the blinds and twists the lock on the door.

“Didn’t think he’d have the balls to show his face in public,” Damon says, and that’s when I understand.

I feel the blood drain from my cheeks as I realize. He knew. He knew Leo would be here today. I ask him with my eyes, searching, imploring. His expression tells me everything.

“You could have warned me,” I whisper.

His eyes narrow. “I considered it. Figured it was better you didn’t know in advance.” He pauses. “Didn’t expect you to fall to your knees in front of him.”

“Fuck you,” I seethe.

Damon’s jaw twitches. “I’m sorry,” he offers, almost as if he’s suggesting an apology rather than delivering one.

I reach for the lock, twisting it and cracking the door open. The temporary quiet we’ve had is pierced by the excited noise of a diner who’s just witnessed the tragic reunion of two star-crossed lovers, or maybe they’re all just gossiping about the missing girl.

“Jennifer,” I hiss at Damon. One word. It works. He shakes his head, his blue eyes fucking burning with anger, but he leaves.

Holy shit. As soon as he’s gone, I close the door again. I don’t bother locking it — who’s going to find me in here? Leo’s long gone if he’s got any sense, and as much as I don’t care about anything, the thought of Amanda having to mop up the milk I spilled makes me so fucking guilty I can barely breathe.

Pills. Purge. Yes.

I go into the staff bathroom, a small tiled square off the main staff room, and start to throw up as soon as the door is closed. I don’t even need to stick my finger down my throat — I’m so full of adrenaline from seeing Leo, I just open my mouth and everything comes out. It’s the kind of vomit that gets in your nose and burns behind your eyes and makes you cry with the way it chokes you.

When I’ve emptied my stomach and I stop gagging, I clean myself up, my head feeling like it might split in two. I’m so hot I think I might burst into flames. I take off my cardigan, my fingers clumsy and damp, and use it to wipe my face.

Pills. Yes. I go back out to the staff room, seeking whatever pharmaceutical bliss I can rummage up from my staff locker. I didn’t switch the overhead lights on when I first came in, and the windowless cave is dim, the only illumination coming from the slightly ajar bathroom door and the fluorescent strips that line its ceiling.

The staff room is empty. Except… it’s not.

Leo. He’s here. Somehow, the only person here with me is the one person I shouldn’t be anywhere near.

He looks at me with eyes that have seen violence since I last gazed into them. I know because I recognize the hardness inside his soul; it matches mine.

My face is a blank canvas, but inside I’m screaming.

Not with fear. With longing. And shame. I want the boy who destroyed everything to pick me up and take me into the bathroom and put his hands all over me. I want him to erase every trace of the last decade. Under my shirt, my nipples stiffen, and shame pools in my belly.

I shouldn’t want to be anywhere near this boy after what he did, but I do.

“I’m sorry,” Leo says. His voice. Oh, God. I don’t remember his voice being that fucking beautiful. It’s deep and full and if it were a food, it’d be honey. He’s not a boy anymore. He’s a man now. A stranger.

His face falls as he gestures to my stomach, concerned. “You have blood on your shirt,” he says, pointing from a safe distance. “Did you cut yourself when you fell?” He looks remorseful. Like he thinks the blood on my shirt is his fault.

My heart sinks. I shake my head tightly, tears springing to my eyes.

“Not my blood,” I say, my voice coming out like a squeak. Leo looks confused.

“The dog,” I stammer. “Rox. She — she—”

“I saw her yesterday,” Leo says, his eyes wide as he looks from my eyes to the blood on my shirt. I didn’t even realize it was there. I’d been wearing my sweater until I took it off just now.

“She’s dead,” I say. “I’m sorry.”

Leo takes a step back. Something passes over his face, a darkness, a fleeting suspicion. “How?” he asks.

I don’t know how to answer that. So I don’t. I push past him and start walking to the kitchen, as fast as I can, because I don’t have an answer for him. My shoulder burns from where I grazed his arm on the way out of the staff room. He might have ruined my life, destroyed my family, taken my future in one careless night — but Leo Bentley still makes me burn like hellfire.

 

 

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Author Links

 

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Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Show Me the Way

The first stand-alone novel in A.L. Jackson’s brand-new Fight for Me series…

Coming October 2nd

“This book is absolutely perfect.” – Corinne Michaels, New York Times Bestselling Author

 
The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
 
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
 
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
 
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
 
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
 
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
 
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
 
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
 
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
 
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
 
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .
 
 
 

© 2017 A.L. Jackson Books
 
Tension roiled between us. That tether pulled taut. Drawing us closer. I swallowed around it and reached for the latch. He was quick to open his door, jumping out and rounding to my side before I had time to step out of his massive truck. He helped me down, and his hand scorched where he aided me by holding on to my elbow.
 
“Let me walk you to the door. Last thing I need to be worried about is you here by yourself and some asshole taking advantage of you.”
 
He quirked this belly-flopping grin that pierced me like an arrow. “Unless of course that asshole is me.”
 
He barely angled his head to the side. There was something so endearing and self-deprecating about it. Everything about him right then was at odds with the surly, bear of a man I’d met weeks ago, the man exposing himself, layer by layer.
 
I lifted my chin, both in strength and vulnerability, tossing all the uncertainties and questions out into the open. “Should I be afraid?”
 
“Yeah, you should be.” His response was hard, but there was no missing the fact his irritation was aimed at himself. He set his palm on the small of my back, helping me through the gravel drive in my heels, an inch behind as we ascended the porch steps.
We crossed the planks. That tension wound higher with each step until we were nothing but needy pants at my door. Slowly, I turned around to face him.
 
His presence sent a ripple of energy vibrating across the floorboards, the overwhelming sight of him the owner of my breath.
 
He stood beneath the faint glow of the hurricane lamp that hung outside the door. A sculpture of sinewy muscle and raw strength, forged through years of obvious physical labor. Every inch of him was rugged, from those roughened, callused hands to the crinkles set deep at the edges of his eyes.
 
The man was a carving of pure, daunting beauty.
 
“What exactly am I supposed to be afraid of, Rex?” My brow twisted, and my voice quieted with the admission. “Because when I’m around you, the last thing I feel is afraid.”
 
“I fuck everything up, Rynna, and the only thing I’ve got to offer you is my mess. I can’t do this.”
 
Restraint rumbled in his chest, the sound so deep I felt it shake the ground beneath my feet.
I gently cupped one side of his rugged face. “I’m not afraid.”
 
It was a promise.
 
An appeal.
 
“You should be,” he grated. “Warned you, my shit doesn’t ever end well.”
 
“Maybe that’s a chance I’m willing to take.”
 
He groaned and he planted his hands high above my head. The man panted above me, torn, desperate, his nose just brushing mine. “God damn it, Rynna. God damn it.”
 
I felt the moment he broke. When the thread pulled too tight and this mesmerizing man snapped. His mouth descended on mine.
 
Overpowering.
 
Overwhelming.
 
Dizzying.
 
Lips and tongue and nips of teeth.
 
And those hands. They were on my face. My neck. My waist. Somehow, I managed to hold on to him and spin away as I fumbled with the lock. He pressed against my backside, his cock against my bottom, and his mouth leaving a trail of fire at the side of my neck. We stumbled into the darkness of my house, breaking apart as I turned to face him.
The only light trickled down from the lamp I’d left on upstairs.
 
Slowly, he clicked the door shut behind him. We stood there, two feet away from each other, staring.
 
Chests heaving.
 
Before we collided.
 
A tangle of tongues and bodies.
 
The man frantic, trying to touch me everywhere.
 
“What am I doing? Fuck, what am I doing?” he muttered incoherently, kissing me deeper. Madder. Wilder.
 
I pushed up on my toes and tore my mouth from his so I could kiss down the strong column of his throat. His head thudded back against the door, his entire body pressing against it as if he needed it to keep him standing.
 
He grated my name, and I kept kissing at his throat while I worked free the button on his jeans, hands shaking.
 
Every reservation spun out of control.
 
Out of reach.
 
It was only spurred further when the defined muscles of his abdomen jumped and twitched beneath my touch, when he mumbled, “You’re killing me, Rynna. Fucking killing me.”
Desire rippled from him in heady waves.
 
And I felt so brave and bold, my kisses brazen as I nipped at the hollow of his throat.
Before I could consider it—the ramifications and the repercussions and the distinct threat to my heart—I dropped to my knees.
 
I refused to think of anything but setting him free.
 
Hoping he’d find a little of that freedom in me.
 
 
 

Giveaway


 

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A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
 
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, SHOW ME THE WAY, the first stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
 
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
 
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
 

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

 

Excerpt Reveal: Hot Stuff by Kim Karr

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Title: Hot Stuff

Author: Kim Karr

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 27, 2017

Cover Designer: Michele Catalano-Creative

Cover Model: Andrew Biernat

Photographer: Wander Pedro Aguiar

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Hot Stuff - about book

 

Synopsis

Get ready to fall in love with this new standalone sports romance from New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr.

 

He’s the newly drafted quarterback.

Hot. Arrogant. Too sexy for words.

Ready to score.

I’m an athletic intern, and the coach’s daughter.

Driven. Determined. Prepared to conquer the world.

Completely off-limits.

The NFL is full of rules. Rules I’ve never broken. Never challenged. Never even scratched—until the day Lucas Carrington crashes into my life with his hard body and I-don’t-give-a-f*ck attitude.

After I almost injure my father’s star player, I volunteer to make sure he’s in top shape. At first, it’s hell. I don’t like his attitude, his cockiness, his easy smile. Don’t like the way he oozes sex. Or how his penetrating eyes follow me everywhere.

That doesn’t stop me from wanting him.

He’s meant to be a distraction—something to occupy my mind for these precious few remaining hot summer nights before I’m forced to leave football behind forever.

I know what we’re doing will lead nowhere good. I know we’re crossing the line. And I know my father will never understand.

None of that matters.

But maybe it should.

Rules aren’t meant to be broken.

Or are they?​

Hot Stuff - PreOrder

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Excerpt

Gillian Whitney

I wasn’t in a hurry.

Yet I walked as fast as I could across the grounds.

When I found myself inside the large brick building and heading down the hall to the training room, my palms began to sweat. After I wiped them on my gym shorts, I unlocked the door and scolded myself for being nervous.

I could do this.

I could absolutely be in the same room as a hot guy with ripped abs, sinewy muscles, and broad shoulders.

I’d been around men like him my entire life.

So what made him different?

I had no idea. All I knew was my pulse raced when I thought of his strong arms. His firm pecks. His hard body. His rugged good looks.

It was dark inside the room, no one was here yet, and I took a moment to breathe deep before flicking on the lights and then emptying my bag.

This room was about half the size of the Bear’s Training Room in Chicago, but it was still state-of-the-art. Remodeled a few years ago, it had been designed with the Bears’ needs in mind.

“Hey,” a deep voice said. “I’m reporting for duty as ordered.”

I jumped, turning to see Lucas in the doorway.

His blue gaze practically drank me in and instantly I felt my nipples harden. I was wearing a tank top and feared their protrusion was more than evident. It was just so hard not to notice how gorgeous he was. Even in his grungy state, there was so much raw power emanating from him. Unshaved, and his hair a sexy mess, he wore sweatpants and a Bears T-shirt. A duffle hung from his shoulder in a lopsided way, and it was the first thing I noticed about his condition.

Something about it wasn’t right, and I snapped right back into work mode.

“Good morning,” I said. “How do you feel today?”

He dropped his duffle to the ground. “Terrific.”

“No headaches, nausea, or dizziness?”

“Nope,” he said. “How long is this going to take?”

Grabbing a water bottle from the refrigerator and a heart rate monitor from the drawer, I slowly started toward him. “Less than thirty minutes, as long as everything checks out.”

His expression grew pensive. “Great. Then let’s get this over with so I can get back to what’s important.”

There was something in his tone that was off. Sure, he was being a smart-ass, but I was used to dealing with that from disgruntled players. It was their coping mechanism. There was something else going on. “This is important, Lucas.”

“Yeah, right, of course it is.” His voice was cool.

I strode past him and went directly across the hall to the weight room, where I flicked on the lights.

Lucas was obviously in a hurry because he was on my heels.

I tossed him the monitor and then pointed to the treadmill. “Strap that around your chest and then hop on.”

Okay, it sounded a little dirty.

At that, he shot me a glance, and I tossed one right back. But then I was momentarily stunned when he stripped his T-shirt off to affix the monitor to his chest. Lucas had the body of a god, and by the smug look he wore, he not only knew it, but he also knew I knew it.

Climbing onto the treadmill, he tossed his shirt over the rail. Then he pushed the speed button, and the machine roared to life.

I placed the water bottle in the cup holder in front of him. “Get to a pace you’re comfortable with, one you can sustain, and if you start to experience any dizziness or headaches, tell me right away and we’ll stop.”

“And if I have none?”

With the monitoring device in my hand, I watched his heart rate increase and his blood pressure remain steady. “Then we go for the full twenty minutes.”

“And then what, I get a prize?”

I ignored his comment. “No, then, although I can’t diagnosis you, I would say you are non-symptomatic.”

Giving me a nod, he drank some water from the bottle and after he’d put it back in its place, he programmed the timer. From beside him, I noticed he still appeared to have some lingering neck spasms. Not that unusual after what happened.

About ten minutes later he looked over at me. He didn’t speak around his huffing and puffing. That was fine by me because every time his abs and pecs rippled, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how his sweat would taste if I ran my tongue along the ridge of his ribs or around the concave cup of his belly button.

It was wrong on so many levels.

By the time eighteen minutes passed, his mouth had set into a tight, hard line of determination. Sweat had also coated his entire upper body, but it was far from disgusting.

Ridiculous as it was, I couldn’t stop flicking my gaze from the monitor to his muscled thighs and occasionally to the incredibly mesmerizing set of dimples on his back.

God was he sexy.

“Everything cool?” he asked.

No, everything was not cool.

It was hot.

He was hot.

And I was in so much trouble.

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Hot Stuff - about author

Kim Karr is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author.

She grew up in Rochester, NY and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and recently decided to embrace one of her biggest passions–writing.

 

Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read. One of her favorite family outings was taking her kids when they were little to the bookstore or the library. Today, Kim’s oldest child is seventeen and no longer goes with her on these, now rare and infrequent, outings. She finds that she doesn’t need to go on them anymore because she has the greatest device ever invented–a Kindle.

 

Kim likes to believe in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

 

Hot Stuff - connect

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Hot Stuff Coming Soon-2

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Excerpt Reveal: Dear Bridget, I Want You by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland

Dear Bridget

By Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Release Date: September 18, 2017

 

Dear Bridget,

I’m writing this letter because it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.

So, here goes.

We’re totally wrong for each other. You’re the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I’m just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.

But here’s the thing… for some bloody reason, I can’t stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.

I want you.

The only reason I’m even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don’t believe it’s one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we’re joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.

So, what’s the purpose of this note? I guess it’s a reminder that we’re adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it’s to let you know that I’m leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you’d like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.

No questions asked.

Think about it.

Or don’t.

Whatever you choose.

It’s doubtful I’ll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.

–Simon

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 

Dear Bridget, I Want You will be available on all platforms on September 18th!

 

Pre-orders are available at the following:

iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon paperback

There is no Amazon eBook preorder. Will go live on Amazon on release day.
Sign up for mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live

******

 

Every time I considered leaving my room, I would grab the framed picture of Ben and stare at it. The urge to go to Simon was so strong; I basically hadn’t put down the framed photo of my deceased husband in an hour. I was lying in my bed, holding a picture of a dead man while fantasizing about one who was very much alive and in the other room. With the door cracked open waiting for me. There was one part of Simon’s note that I just kept reading over and over.

I want to make you come. Hard. I want you to get lost in me and I want to hear you say my name over and over while we fuck.

While we fuck.

While we fuck.

I was pretty sure that Ben had never used the word fuck like that before. Did we even fuck? We made love, sure. Our sex life was normal—at least, I think it was normal. Don’t get me wrong, the passion wasn’t the same as when we first got together. But after ten years, both of us working full time and raising a child, it was normal to have some of the desire dwindle, wasn’t it?

While we fuck.

I looked at the picture of my husband and sighed. We didn’t fuck. Not even in the beginning. And I felt guilty for that now. Maybe we should have been fucking. I certainly didn’t do anything to entice him to want me the last few years. Was it my fault our sex life had gotten boring? I rested the picture of Ben over my heart and laid my hand over it. I could feel my heart beating out of control beneath my fingers.

Shutting my eyes, I tried to force thoughts of Simon from my mind. But it was no use. Visions of his hard, sculpted body hovering over me had infiltrated my brain. So, here I was, a thirty-three-year-old, single mother lying in my bed all alone with a picture of my dead husband held to my heart while I visualized fucking another man.

Fucking.

Not making love.

I needed my head examined.

After two hours and no sleep in sight, I decided the only way I was going to be able to get any rest was if I got everything I was feeling off of my chest. Flicking on the light, I carefully set the framed photo of my beloved Ben on my nightstand and then opened the drawer and dug out a pen and piece of pretty stationery. I would write down my thoughts to clear my mind. I had no intention of actually giving the letter to Simon, so there was no reason to filter anything I said.

Dear Simon…

 

★★★★

We hope you enjoyed this preview!

 

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Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

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Cocky Bastard

Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

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Stuck-Up Suit

Buy : Amazon / Amazon UK B & N /ITunes 

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The Playboy Pilot

Buy : AmazonITunes / B & N / Google Play / Kobo

 

 

 

Mister Moneybags

AmazonBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Audio | Amazon paperback

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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

 

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Additional Books by Vi Keeland

Ego Maniac

  AmazonB & NIBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Boss Man

 Amazon / Amazon UKB & N /  ITunes / Kobo / Google Play

Baller

 Amazon /  B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Life On Stage Series

Throb  Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes / Kobo

BeatAmazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

MMA Fighter Series

Worth The FightAmazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

Worth The ChanceAmazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

Worth ForgivingAmazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

Cole Series

Belong To YouAmazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

Made For You – Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

Stand Alone Novels

First Thing I SeeAmazon / Barnes and Noble 

Left Behind – Amazon / Barnes and Noble

 

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Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

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Additional Books by Penelope Ward

Mack Daddy

AmazoniBooks | Nook | Kobo

Neighbor Dearest

 Amazon / Amazon UKB & N / IBooks / Kobo

Roomhate

 Amazon B & N ITunes / Kobo

Sevin

 Amazon / Amazon UKITunes / B & N / Kobo/

Stepbrother Dearest

 Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

My Skylar

 Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Gemini

Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Jake Undone

Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

Jake Understood

Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

 

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