New Release + Release Blitz: Pieces of Me by Laura Farr

Title: Pieces of Me
Author: Laura Farr
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 7, 2018

Blurb

For Cooper, being a single dad was never part of the plan…
After the devastating loss of his wife, Cooper Matthews has
to carry on for the one person who is counting on him to come out the other
side—his young daughter. She’s all he needs, or so he thinks, until a chance
encounter brings Lexi Beaumont into his life.
Escaping a toxic relationship, Lexi returns to the town
where she grew up, eager to start over. Meeting Cooper exposes an undeniable
chemistry between the two of them. But his conflicted feelings and the love he
still carries for his wife, forces him to push Lexi away, keeping her at arm’s
length.
Can two fractured hearts come together as one? Or will the
past be too much for either of them to overcome?

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited


Author Bio

Laura Farr lives in Shropshire with her husband and
two children. When she isn’t working, or being a Mummy she is pursuing her
dream of writing. 

She is a romantic at heart and loves nothing more than
writing stories with a happy ever after, even if there is the odd chapter of
angst thrown in! Her desire to write came from her love of reading and when she
isn’t writing you will find her attached to her kindle or spending time with
her family.

Author Links

FACEBOOK PROFILE
FACEBOOK PAGE
INSTAGRAM

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

Today we are celebrating the release of A BRAND NEW ENDING by Jennifer Probst. This book is the second standalone title in her Stay series, and it is a contemporary romance title that is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited.

———-

Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Purchase in Paperback | Audio

A BRAND NEW ENDING (Stay, #2) by Jennifer Probst

Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Purchase in Paperback | Audio

 

Synopsis:

A love story will be rewritten in this heartfelt romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.

Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.

As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.

Add the book to Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

You dont have to clean up,she said. I got it.

No, youve done enough this morning. Let me.

With his tight ass cupped in jeans and a soapy sponge in his hand doing dishes, the scene was total porn. Her knees grew a bit weak. Thanks. Who are you having dinner with tonight?she asked.

No one. Just not her.

Pleasure shot through her. Not interested, huh?

He gave her a stunned look. Are you kidding me? Definitely not my type.

Oh yeah? What is your type?

He gave a low laugh, moving the sponge in perfect circles. Not someone with perfectly manicured fingernails. I like a woman who knows how to get dirty and messy.

Laughter bubbled inside. She glanced at her own hands, which hadnt seen polish in years. Hmm, interesting. What else?

Lets see . . . a woman who doesnt agree with everything I say. That gets old. I prefer a challenge.

Does a woman who calls you a controlling asshole count as a challenge?

Definitely. That just turns me on.

She cocked her hip and pursed her lips. You are definitely an odd man. Anything else?

I do have a fetish not many can satisfy.

Hmm. Fetish, huh? I hope its not feet. Thats just wrong.

Nope. Freckles. I love freckles scattered across pale skin. Theyre like a Picasso painting I cant stop staring at.

Pleasure flushed her cheeks. More like paint-by-number, but I wont judge.

Then theres sex.

She stilled. Her heart beat madly in her chest. Sex?

I have certain needs that many would find difficult to satisfy.

An image floated past her vision. His body pressed over hers, his tongue diving deep into her mouth with a tender fierceness that shook her to the core. Hed always had an insatiable appetite in the bedroom. Their sex life had never been an issueit had, in fact, kept the fragments of their relationship together longer than she imagined possible.

Kinky stuff?she asked.

More like particular. I need a woman whos able to handle me.

Her gaze dropped. Cocky much?

I need the scent of lavender and honey in my nostrils, and the sweet taste of her essence sticky on my lips. I need to look into blistering blue eyes and know I belong to her.

Her vision misted over. She swayed on her feet. He turned off the sink, dried his hands with slow, deliberate motions, and faced her. I need to slide into her sweet body and be welcomed home. Touch her body and make her moan. I need a woman strong enough to let me fall apart in her arms, then put me back together. Do you understand, Ophelia?

She tried to speak, but nothing came out. Her entire body was on fire, nerves on edge, ready to explode. His raw words stroked her earsand between her legs.

Ophelia? Do you understand?

Y-y-yes.

Good. Then you know why Im not interested in Devon.He gave her a naughty wink and spun on his heel. Gotta get to work on that saggy middle of the book. Catch you later.

He left her flushed, off-kilter, and practically throbbing with need.

Bastard.

Damn, she was crazy about him.

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS TITLE IN THE SERIES

PURCHASE THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD (Stay, #1) – available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Purchase it in PRINT | AUDIO

—————

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst – Bio:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.

CONTACT LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt + 5 Star Review: Five Years Gone by Marie Force

Today we are celebrating the release of FIVE YEARS GONE, a romantic standalone title by New York Times Bestselling author Marie Force. Check out some teasers and an excerpt for the book below.

 

FIVE YEARS GONE by Marie Force

Available Now

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The most brazen terrorist attack in history. A country bent on revenge. A love affair cut short. A heart that never truly heals.

I knew on the day of the attack that our lives were changed forever. What I didn’t know then was that I’d never see John again after he deployed. One day he was living with me, sleeping next to me, making plans with me. The next day he was gone.

That was five years ago. The world has moved on from that awful day, but I’m stuck in my own personal hell, waiting for a man who may be dead for all I know. At my sister’s wedding, I meet Eric, the brother of the groom, and my heart comes alive once again.

The world is riveted by the capture of the terrorist mastermind, brought down by U.S. Special Forces in a daring raid. Now I am trapped between hoping I’ll hear from John and fearing what’ll become of my new life with Eric if I do.

From a New York Times bestselling author, Five Years Gone, a standalone contemporary, is an epic story of love, honor, duty, unbearable choices and impossible dilemmas.

PURCHASE IT NOW!

Kindle US | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google

Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT: Marie’s Store | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

IndieBound | Booktopia AU | Books-a-Million

PURCHASE IN AUDIO: Amazon | Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

 

Read this excerpt from Five Years Gone.

 

Prologue

Ava

We met in a bar, of all places, a dingy hole-in-the-wall favored by military members from the nearby Navy base in San Diego. I went with a friend from school who was interested in one of the military guys. Before that night, I’d never been there, and I’ve never been back. John was celebrating the promotion of one of his buddies. He crashed into me as I left the ladies’ room and kept me from falling by grabbing my arms to steady me.

Just like in the movies, our eyes met, and my spine tingled with the kind of instantaneous awareness I’d only read about but never experienced personally.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, gorgeous and fierce in his fatigues.

I noticed gold on his collar, a hint of late-day scruff on his jaw and the name WEST in bold black letters on his chest. Intense electric-blue eyes made it impossible for me to look away, even when I was safely back on my feet.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Realizing I’d been staring at him, I blinked and reluctantly broke the connection. “I… Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for the save.”

And then he smiled, and the tingling began anew.

“I’m John.”

I shook his outstretched hand. “Ava.”

Keeping his hold on my hand, he tipped his head. “You come here often?”

“Never,” I said, laughing. “I’m a first-timer.”

“What do you think so far?”

“I wasn’t impressed until about thirty seconds ago.”

As if he had all the time in the world to give me, he leaned against the wall. “Is that right? What happened thirty seconds ago?”

I thought about taking back my hand but didn’t. “I was saved from certain disaster by a man in uniform.”

“The guy in the uniform is the reason you needed saving in the first place, because he wasn’t watching where he was going. Least he can do is buy you a drink.”

“I wouldn’t say no to that.” I was proud of my witty responses and got the feeling he could more than hold his own in the wittiness department. Across the crowded room, I noticed my friend talking to the guy she’d come to see, and her brows lifted in interest when she saw me with John. He guided me to the bar, placing a proprietary hand on my lower back, and told one of the guys to give me his stool.

“Yes, sir.” The younger man bowed gallantly to me as he took his beer and moved along.

“Do people always do what you say?”

“If they know what’s good for them.” His teasing grin kept the comment from being overly cocky. “What can I get you?”

Deciding to live dangerously for once, I asked for a cosmopolitan.

“Go big or go home,” he said with admiration.

“That’s my motto.” I was so full of shit. I wondered if he could tell I was all talk or what he’d think of me if he knew I usually err much closer to the side of caution than the wild side. I wondered if he could tell I was just barely old enough to drink. I’d turned twenty-one only six months earlier.

When my cosmo and his Budweiser had been delivered, he offered a toast. “To new friends.”

I touched my glass to his bottle. “To new friends.”

“So, where’re you from, Ava?”

“New York.”

“I thought I heard New Yawk in your voice.”

I batted my eyelashes at him. “So four years at the University of California San Diego didn’t scrub the New York out of me?”

Laughing, he said, “Hardly. I know some guys from New York. One of them is from Staten Island, which is about as New York as it gets. I know New York when I hear it.”

“I’m from Purchase, upstate from the city. What about you?”

“I’m from all over. My old man is a retired general. You name it, I’ve lived there.”

“Where’s home?”

“Right here.” He turned that intense gaze on me, and I went stupid in the head. I couldn’t see anything but him. We might as well have been alone in the crowded bar for all I knew. Unlike my friend, who loved men in uniform, I was never turned on by the uniform. Until then. Until John. “You want to get out of here?”

I swallowed hard. It wasn’t like me to leave a bar with a man I’d just met. “And go where?”

“Somewhere we can talk.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

He leaned in so his lips were close to my ear. “Everything. I want to know every single thing there is to know about you.”

 

That’s how we started. We were intense from the first second we met until the last time I saw him five years ago today. I can’t believe it’s been five years since I looked into those incredible blue eyes or woke to him on the pillow next to me or heard his voice in my ear, whispering words that’re permanently carved into my heart as he made love to me.

The worst part is I have no idea where he is. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead, being held captive or if he’s living his life somewhere else with someone else. I don’t know, and the not knowing is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with.

I love him as much today as I ever did. No amount of time could ever change that simple fact of my life. We had two beautiful, magnificent years together, caught up in our own little bubble. He never met my family. I never met his. We didn’t make couple friends. We didn’t talk about the future. We didn’t need to. Our future was decided that first night, and it would take care of itself in due time. I honestly and naïvely believed that.

Now, with hindsight, I realize the bubble was strategic on his part. He gave me everything he had to give, including no promise of tomorrow.

Five years ago today, we watched the horror unfold on live television. A US-based cruise ship blown up by suicide bombers. Four thousand lives extinguished in a heartbeat. Our world permanently changed once again, our country declaring yet another war on terrorists. After 9/11 we thought we’d seen everything. We were wrong.

“I have to go,” he said, grabbing the duffel that stood ready in the front hall closet. He called it his “go bag.” I’d thought nothing of it.

“Where’re you going?”

“I don’t know.”

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know that either.” He held my face in his hands and gazed at me, seemingly trying to memorize my every feature. “I love you. I’ll always love you.” Then he kissed me as passionately as he ever had and was gone, out the door in a flash of camouflage.

I never saw him again.

I’m not his wife or even his fiancée, so no one notified me of his whereabouts. And three months after he left, when I found a way onto the base in a desperate quest for information, no one there could tell me anything either. I tried to locate his parents and other people he mentioned, but it was like they didn’t exist. I could find no record of a retired general named West in the Marine Corps, Army or Air Force.

Furthermore, an exhaustive search for information on the John West I had known led nowhere. No high school, no college, no military service, no nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if I dreamed the two years we spent together, doing mundane things like grocery shopping, cooking, watching TV and sleeping together after long days at work. But then I’d remember the blissful passion, the scorching pleasure, the desire that ruled us from the beginning, and I’d know I didn’t dream him. I didn’t dream us. We were real, and he was everything to me.

Sitting on the floor in our apartment, surrounded by boxes, I take a few minutes before the movers arrive to memorize every detail of the place where we lived together. I’ve packed his things along with mine, and I’m moving home to New York. Today was my deadline. I gave it five years, and I simply can’t do it anymore. I can’t sit in our home among our things, waiting for something that’s never going to happen.

It’s over. It’s time for me to move on. It’s probably long past time, if I’m being honest with myself. And though I know it’s the right move at the right time, that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t shattering all over again as I dismantle the place where we were us.

My sister is getting married next month. I promised her I’d be home in time to hold her hand through the festivities. Other than occasional trips home for holidays and other occasions, I’ve been gone more than ten years. I bear no resemblance whatsoever to the girl who left home at eighteen seeking independence from her overbearing family at a faraway college out West.

I accomplished all my goals, finishing college, landing a decent job and falling in love with the man of my dreams. I found out what happens when dreams come true and how painful it is when they blow up in your face.

It’s time now to set new goals, to start over, to begin a life that doesn’t have John at the center of it the way it did here. It’ll be nice to be back with people who love me and care about me, even if they tend toward smothering at times. That’s looking rather good to me after years of loneliness and grief.

The intercom sounds to let me know the movers are here. I pick myself up off the floor and steel my heart for the day ahead. I can do this. I’ve been through worse, and I’ll survive this the same way I’ve survived everything else. Despite my resolve, my eyes fill with tears as I press the button that opens the door downstairs to the movers.

It doesn’t take them long to pack my belongings into their truck. I keep with me the things that can’t be replaced—precious photos, gifts he gave me, the clothing he left behind. After taking a final look around the apartment, I pack those boxes into my car, turn my apartment keys into the leasing office and head east, feeling as if I’m leaving behind everything that ever mattered to me.

It’s like I’m losing him all over again. I cry all the way through the desert of Southern California and well into Arizona. I relive every minute I can remember, every conversation, every special moment. I think about what it was like to make love with him and wonder how I’ll ever to do that with anyone but him. Maybe I won’t. Maybe that part of my life ended with him, and even though I’m only twenty-eight now, I’m okay with that possibility. Once you’ve experienced perfection, it’s hard to imagine settling for anything less.

The tears finally dry up somewhere in northern Arizona, but the ache inside… I take that with me all the way to New York, where I will try my very best to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and put them back together into some new version of myself.

After all, what choice do I have?

 

5 star

Tracey’s Review

 

I’m going to be honest, even though I love and adore Marie Force, after reading the synopsis for FIVE YEARS GONE, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read it, that I could read it. I mean, I knew going in that it was going to evoke all kinds of memories and feelings, you know, the ones that we all have after any kind of attack on our own sense of national security. Helpless and violated, and completely bereft. But, then, I thought, it’s Marie, so how could I not read it, so in I went.

This book. Oh, my gosh, this book. As an avid reader and a blogger, I have the opportunity to read a lot of books. A lot of them are really good, a few less than memorable, but there are those that you pick up, and you stay up reading late into the night because you just can’t put them down, and that stay with you long after the last page. FIVE YEARS GONE falls firmly into the last category, and I could not have loved it more.

I was completely enthralled with this story of a second chance at love. This is not the second time around trope that I’m used to reading, but, rather a story about people that have been devastated by loss opening their hearts to love again, even when everything in them says otherwise.

I cannot even imagine having gone through the waiting, the wondering, the despair, that Ava has. That she is able to let herself fall again is a testament to the fact that Eric is such a solid guy. I absolutely loved him, and, let me tell you, he’s a total keeper. He stuck around when other men would have run, and his love for Ava is just palpable. I could not have been happier with the way that Marie brought this story full circle, and, while I was crying along with Ava, it just felt absolutely right.

There’s a wonderful cast of supporting characters, and they really make the story that much more enjoyable. There is no question that the second book in this series (yes, there’s more!) is already one of my top anticipated books of 2019, because I think it’s going to be just as fabulous as FIVE YEARS GONE, and I cannot wait. If I could recommend one recent read, FIVE YEARS GONE is it, because it was just that good. If it’s not on your TBR, it should be, because you will love it.

 

ADD FIVE YEARS GONE TO GOODREADS

 

—————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads

Join Marie’s Reader Groups

InkSlinger Blogger Final

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Five Years Gone by Marie Force

Today we are celebrating the release of FIVE YEARS GONE, a romantic standalone title by New York Times Bestselling author Marie Force. Check out some teasers and an excerpt for the book below.

 

FIVE YEARS GONE by Marie Force

Available Now

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The most brazen terrorist attack in history. A country bent on revenge. A love affair cut short. A heart that never truly heals.

I knew on the day of the attack that our lives were changed forever. What I didn’t know then was that I’d never see John again after he deployed. One day he was living with me, sleeping next to me, making plans with me. The next day he was gone.

That was five years ago. The world has moved on from that awful day, but I’m stuck in my own personal hell, waiting for a man who may be dead for all I know. At my sister’s wedding, I meet Eric, the brother of the groom, and my heart comes alive once again.

The world is riveted by the capture of the terrorist mastermind, brought down by U.S. Special Forces in a daring raid. Now I am trapped between hoping I’ll hear from John and fearing what’ll become of my new life with Eric if I do.

From a New York Times bestselling author, Five Years Gone, a standalone contemporary, is an epic story of love, honor, duty, unbearable choices and impossible dilemmas.

PURCHASE IT NOW!

Kindle US | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google

Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

PURCHASE IN PRINT: Marie’s Store | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo

IndieBound | Booktopia AU | Books-a-Million

PURCHASE IN AUDIO: Amazon | Audible US | Audible UK | Audible AU

 

Read this excerpt from Five Years Gone.

Prologue

Ava

We met in a bar, of all places, a dingy hole-in-the-wall favored by military members from the nearby Navy base in San Diego. I went with a friend from school who was interested in one of the military guys. Before that night, I’d never been there, and I’ve never been back. John was celebrating the promotion of one of his buddies. He crashed into me as I left the ladies’ room and kept me from falling by grabbing my arms to steady me.

Just like in the movies, our eyes met, and my spine tingled with the kind of instantaneous awareness I’d only read about but never experienced personally.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, gorgeous and fierce in his fatigues.

I noticed gold on his collar, a hint of late-day scruff on his jaw and the name WEST in bold black letters on his chest. Intense electric-blue eyes made it impossible for me to look away, even when I was safely back on my feet.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Realizing I’d been staring at him, I blinked and reluctantly broke the connection. “I… Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for the save.”

And then he smiled, and the tingling began anew.

“I’m John.”

I shook his outstretched hand. “Ava.”

Keeping his hold on my hand, he tipped his head. “You come here often?”

“Never,” I said, laughing. “I’m a first-timer.”

“What do you think so far?”

“I wasn’t impressed until about thirty seconds ago.”

As if he had all the time in the world to give me, he leaned against the wall. “Is that right? What happened thirty seconds ago?”

I thought about taking back my hand but didn’t. “I was saved from certain disaster by a man in uniform.”

“The guy in the uniform is the reason you needed saving in the first place, because he wasn’t watching where he was going. Least he can do is buy you a drink.”

“I wouldn’t say no to that.” I was proud of my witty responses and got the feeling he could more than hold his own in the wittiness department. Across the crowded room, I noticed my friend talking to the guy she’d come to see, and her brows lifted in interest when she saw me with John. He guided me to the bar, placing a proprietary hand on my lower back, and told one of the guys to give me his stool.

“Yes, sir.” The younger man bowed gallantly to me as he took his beer and moved along.

“Do people always do what you say?”

“If they know what’s good for them.” His teasing grin kept the comment from being overly cocky. “What can I get you?”

Deciding to live dangerously for once, I asked for a cosmopolitan.

“Go big or go home,” he said with admiration.

“That’s my motto.” I was so full of shit. I wondered if he could tell I was all talk or what he’d think of me if he knew I usually err much closer to the side of caution than the wild side. I wondered if he could tell I was just barely old enough to drink. I’d turned twenty-one only six months earlier.

When my cosmo and his Budweiser had been delivered, he offered a toast. “To new friends.”

I touched my glass to his bottle. “To new friends.”

“So, where’re you from, Ava?”

“New York.”

“I thought I heard New Yawk in your voice.”

I batted my eyelashes at him. “So four years at the University of California San Diego didn’t scrub the New York out of me?”

Laughing, he said, “Hardly. I know some guys from New York. One of them is from Staten Island, which is about as New York as it gets. I know New York when I hear it.”

“I’m from Purchase, upstate from the city. What about you?”

“I’m from all over. My old man is a retired general. You name it, I’ve lived there.”

“Where’s home?”

“Right here.” He turned that intense gaze on me, and I went stupid in the head. I couldn’t see anything but him. We might as well have been alone in the crowded bar for all I knew. Unlike my friend, who loved men in uniform, I was never turned on by the uniform. Until then. Until John. “You want to get out of here?”

I swallowed hard. It wasn’t like me to leave a bar with a man I’d just met. “And go where?”

“Somewhere we can talk.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

He leaned in so his lips were close to my ear. “Everything. I want to know every single thing there is to know about you.”

 

That’s how we started. We were intense from the first second we met until the last time I saw him five years ago today. I can’t believe it’s been five years since I looked into those incredible blue eyes or woke to him on the pillow next to me or heard his voice in my ear, whispering words that’re permanently carved into my heart as he made love to me.

The worst part is I have no idea where he is. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead, being held captive or if he’s living his life somewhere else with someone else. I don’t know, and the not knowing is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with.

I love him as much today as I ever did. No amount of time could ever change that simple fact of my life. We had two beautiful, magnificent years together, caught up in our own little bubble. He never met my family. I never met his. We didn’t make couple friends. We didn’t talk about the future. We didn’t need to. Our future was decided that first night, and it would take care of itself in due time. I honestly and naïvely believed that.

Now, with hindsight, I realize the bubble was strategic on his part. He gave me everything he had to give, including no promise of tomorrow.

Five years ago today, we watched the horror unfold on live television. A US-based cruise ship blown up by suicide bombers. Four thousand lives extinguished in a heartbeat. Our world permanently changed once again, our country declaring yet another war on terrorists. After 9/11 we thought we’d seen everything. We were wrong.

“I have to go,” he said, grabbing the duffel that stood ready in the front hall closet. He called it his “go bag.” I’d thought nothing of it.

“Where’re you going?”

“I don’t know.”

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know that either.” He held my face in his hands and gazed at me, seemingly trying to memorize my every feature. “I love you. I’ll always love you.” Then he kissed me as passionately as he ever had and was gone, out the door in a flash of camouflage.

I never saw him again.

I’m not his wife or even his fiancée, so no one notified me of his whereabouts. And three months after he left, when I found a way onto the base in a desperate quest for information, no one there could tell me anything either. I tried to locate his parents and other people he mentioned, but it was like they didn’t exist. I could find no record of a retired general named West in the Marine Corps, Army or Air Force.

Furthermore, an exhaustive search for information on the John West I had known led nowhere. No high school, no college, no military service, no nothing.

Sometimes I wonder if I dreamed the two years we spent together, doing mundane things like grocery shopping, cooking, watching TV and sleeping together after long days at work. But then I’d remember the blissful passion, the scorching pleasure, the desire that ruled us from the beginning, and I’d know I didn’t dream him. I didn’t dream us. We were real, and he was everything to me.

Sitting on the floor in our apartment, surrounded by boxes, I take a few minutes before the movers arrive to memorize every detail of the place where we lived together. I’ve packed his things along with mine, and I’m moving home to New York. Today was my deadline. I gave it five years, and I simply can’t do it anymore. I can’t sit in our home among our things, waiting for something that’s never going to happen.

It’s over. It’s time for me to move on. It’s probably long past time, if I’m being honest with myself. And though I know it’s the right move at the right time, that doesn’t mean my heart isn’t shattering all over again as I dismantle the place where we were us.

My sister is getting married next month. I promised her I’d be home in time to hold her hand through the festivities. Other than occasional trips home for holidays and other occasions, I’ve been gone more than ten years. I bear no resemblance whatsoever to the girl who left home at eighteen seeking independence from her overbearing family at a faraway college out West.

I accomplished all my goals, finishing college, landing a decent job and falling in love with the man of my dreams. I found out what happens when dreams come true and how painful it is when they blow up in your face.

It’s time now to set new goals, to start over, to begin a life that doesn’t have John at the center of it the way it did here. It’ll be nice to be back with people who love me and care about me, even if they tend toward smothering at times. That’s looking rather good to me after years of loneliness and grief.

The intercom sounds to let me know the movers are here. I pick myself up off the floor and steel my heart for the day ahead. I can do this. I’ve been through worse, and I’ll survive this the same way I’ve survived everything else. Despite my resolve, my eyes fill with tears as I press the button that opens the door downstairs to the movers.

It doesn’t take them long to pack my belongings into their truck. I keep with me the things that can’t be replaced—precious photos, gifts he gave me, the clothing he left behind. After taking a final look around the apartment, I pack those boxes into my car, turn my apartment keys into the leasing office and head east, feeling as if I’m leaving behind everything that ever mattered to me.

It’s like I’m losing him all over again. I cry all the way through the desert of Southern California and well into Arizona. I relive every minute I can remember, every conversation, every special moment. I think about what it was like to make love with him and wonder how I’ll ever to do that with anyone but him. Maybe I won’t. Maybe that part of my life ended with him, and even though I’m only twenty-eight now, I’m okay with that possibility. Once you’ve experienced perfection, it’s hard to imagine settling for anything less.

The tears finally dry up somewhere in northern Arizona, but the ache inside… I take that with me all the way to New York, where I will try my very best to pick up the pieces of my shattered life and put them back together into some new version of myself.

After all, what choice do I have?

 

ADD FIVE YEARS GONE TO GOODREADS

 

—————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads

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New Release + Release Blitz: A Mission of Love by Kennedy Layne

Delve back into the world of Kennedy Layne’s sexy and suspenseful CSA Case Files series in this novella, available now!

A MISSION OF LOVE (CSA Case Files Series #8)

Be captivated by this USA Today Bestseller and drawn into a world filled with passion and intrigue!

USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne brings you a novella that was previously published in the Hot SEALs Kindle World. Delve back into the sensual world of the CSA Case Files once again!

Schultz and Julia’s affair is a burning flame of temptation. Their relationship is headed toward a future both of them desire until a mistake from her past returns to haunt them both.

When the fragile bond of trust is broken between them, it will take more than a promise of redemption for the two of them to find their way back to one another.

Get your hands on A MISSION OF LOVE now!

✦Amazon https://amzn.to/2PaTvsb
✦iBooks https://apple.co/2MOJIKP
✦Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2MRWfxi
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2MIjkCt

About the CSA Case Files Series

Crest Security Agency (CSA) is run by Gavin Crest, a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He has personally selected his own former military team members, both men and women, to configure a seamless Special Operations Capable (SOC) unit. Working together on investigations, domestically and abroad, each team member will find their niche in life and love. Follow along as Kennedy Layne conveys each of their stories as they work together on investigations that lead them down perilous paths of passion, intrigue and suspense…

 

About Kennedy Layne

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

 

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Sloe Screw by Nazarea Andrews

Today we are celebrating the release of SLOE SCREW by Nazarea Andrews. Sloe Screw is an adult contemporary romance, standalone novel, and it is the third book in the River Street Bar series. Check out the blurb and some teasers for the book below.

PURCHASE NOW FOR JUST 99 CENTS!

Amazon | iBooks (coming soon) | Kobo | B&N

You can sign up for Nazarea’s newsletter for exclusive details.

SLOE SCREW by Nazarea Andrews

A Standalone Contemporary Romance

(River Street Bar series, #3)

Blurb:

Vivian Fitzpatrick is a big dreams girl stuck in a small town.

She likes her job, and she adores her friends, but there’s a tiny part of her that still wants adventure. Wants all the unfulfilled dreams to come true. She still wants to base jump and skydive and do everything her ex-boyfriend said she was too chicken-shit to do.

Which is probably how she ends up moonlighting for a phone sex line.

Matteo Soto is just trying to figure out how to live again.

A bomb in Iraq left half his unit dead, and Matteo broken. He puts on a good act–the rookie at RCPD, taking care of his dead best friend’s family. But it feels too much like going through the motions, too much like marking time.

He needs a reason to get up in the morning.

She needs to feel alive.

PURCHASE NOW FOR JUST 99 CENTS!

Amazon | iBooks (coming soon) | Kobo | B&N

Add the Book to Goodreads

Excerpt:

Taite is snarling when she stalks in with my lunch a few hours later, and I eye her warily. No one has gotten shot or run into a burning building, so— “Gomez pissing you off?”

She bares her teeth at me, and I smile.

“I know your daddy taught you to play nice with others,” I tease.

“Dad hated getting new partners,” she scoffs.

I laugh, a throaty thing. “It’s only for the day, Tay. You can handle one day away from Miguel.”

She gives me a skeptical look. “Last time he was away for a day, he ended up a hostage in that bank robbery on Fifth, remember?”

I wince. She’s not wrong.

“That was a complete misunderstanding,” Miguel whines, coming over to loop an arm around Taite’s shoulders. She relaxes a little, leaning into him briefly before she elbows him in the gut. “And Crispin was a very nice bank robber.”

“We need to have another talk about befriending perps,” Taite mutters.

I laugh and look up—

And freeze. In the doorway stands a man, tall with dark hair and piercing green eyes. His half smile looks a little confused as he watched Miguel and Taite.

“Oh! Vivi, this is our new officer, Matteo Soto. Matteo, this is Vivian Fitzpatrick, our dispatcher and all around goddess. If there’s anything you need to know, she’s the best person to ask,” Miguel says, beaming at me.

“She’s also brilliant—so don’t play cards with her—and fun as hell, so definitely drink with her,” Taite adds with a smirk.

I point a red fingertip at her and narrow my eyes. “You behave. Don’t scare away fresh meat.”

Matteo laughs, and it’s husky and warm, stroking down my spine and making me want to purr.

“I like calculated risks,” he says, grinning at me.

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

PURCHASE NOW FOR $2.99

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PURCHASE NOW FOR $2.99

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DON’T MISS EXCLUSIVE DETAILS!

Join Nazarea’s READER GROUP.

You can get exclusive news, sneak peeks, giveaways, and more!

————————————

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories.

When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binge watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids.

N is a self-professed geek and enjoys spending her spare time lost in her favorite fandoms and can often be found babbling about them on social media.

She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign Up For Nazarea’s Newsletter

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Street Team

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Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Save Me by Tia Louise

 

SM FB grp bnr

 

SAVE ME

(A military husband and wife romance)

By Tia Louise

 

Cover Design: Shanoff Designs

 

 

PREORDER TODAY!

Get SAVE ME for ONLY 99 CENTS Now!

 

WIDE RELEASE ON JULY 25TH

iBook: http://smarturl.it/SMiB

Nook: http://smarturl.it/SMbn

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/SMkb

Google Play: http://smarturl.it/SMggp

Amazon: coming July 26!*

 

It will release LIVE to Amazon KU on July 26:

*Text TIALOUISE to 64600 for a New Release Alert. (U.S. Only)

*Sign up for Tia’s Newsletter and get an email as soon as it’s live: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews

 

Add it on Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/SMgr

 

READ this exclusive excerpt on Goodreads here: http://bit.ly/2N4HBPl

 

 

 

 

BLURB

Jessa Steele shoots to kill.

She does not fall in love.

She does not get captured.

Mason “Mace” Moscaretti can retrieve the worst of the worst.

No capo or drug lord is too clever to escape him.

When he meets Jessa embedded deep with a Colombian target, he’s determined to capture her heart and walk away from active duty.

And he does.

Six years later, Jessa and Mace are happily married, burning up the bedroom, and ready to start making babies when a job arises Jessa can’t resist. What she doesn’t know is this client won’t stop until they’re both dead.

NO Cheating; NO Cliffhanger! SAVE ME is a white-hot, STAND-ALONE love story, featuring a fearless husband and wife team ready to lay down their weapons and start making babies. It’s short, sizzling, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to the well-earned HEA.

(SAVE ME is a 23,000-word novella.)

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Tia Louise is the USA Today best-selling, award-winning author of When We Touch, the “One to Hold” and “Dirty Players” series, and co-author of the #4 Amazon bestseller The Last Guy.

After being a teacher, a book editor, a journalist, and finally a magazine editor, she started writing love stories and never stopped. She loves the beach, sexy romance, dark chocolate, and sparkling wine.

Louise lives in the Midwest with her trophy husband, two teenage geniuses, and one grumpy cat.

 

Connect with Tia

Website: www.AuthorTiaLouise.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tia-louise

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorTLouise

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authortlouise/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7213961.Tia_Louise

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/AuthorTiaLouise

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TLMAA

Text “TiaLouise” to 64600, and never miss a New Release, Sale, or Giveaway!