Excerpt Reveal: The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

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Excerpt

“Bentley!” Brock barked and shook his head.

“What?” Bentley shrugged then smoothly walked over to Jane and pulled out a box of black high-heeled pumps in a size eight and a half. “Your foot, milady?”

Brock rolled his eyes. “Give it a rest, Bentley. She can put on her own damn shoes.”

Bentley completely ignored him. “I love a woman’s foot.” He grabbed Jane’s broken shoe and tossed it to the side while his hands danced along the arch of her foot. His fingertips danced along her skin. Seduction by foot rub? That was new.

“It’s sexy, the arch.” He leaned over her, his lips parting just enough to give her the impression he was thinking about kissing her. “The curve of a woman’s foot reminds me of her body…see? Sexy.” He slid the shoe on a very terrified looking Jane and stood. “Perfect fit.”

Jane’s mouth opened then closed as a rosy flush crept over her face. “Th-thank you.”

“I bought you my favorite brand.”

Her eyebrows arched. How did he know about Manolo Blahnik? “Oh.” And then she nodded and said loudly, “Ohhhh! That makes sense!”

Bentley’s eyes narrowed. “Me buying women’s shoes?”

“You wearing them,” she explained. “That’s great. I mean, good for you. I’m sorry I’m so awkward at things like this, but it’s good you’re…you know…” She bobbed her head and sputtered. “Out and…comfortable with it.”

“Out?” Bentley repeated. “I’m confused.”

“Of the closet,” she said slowly then saw the scowl on Bentley’s face. “Or maybe you just like to dress like a woman?” She straightened her shoulders and tried again. “In either case, congratulations on your choice to wear women’s clothing!”

Brock about died laughing as Bentley’s horrified expression went from stunned to genuine confusion.

“You heard her.” Brock held his laughter in check. “Congratulations, brother. I’ll take care of the press release: Bachelor Playboy Bentley Wellington and his private women’s shoe collection.”

Bentley let out a strangled laugh. “Yes, and while we’re at it why don’t we remind the press that the clock is ticking on that auction of yours? Hmm?”

“Auction?” Jane asked.

“Don’t.” Brock shook his head. “You don’t want to know.”

“But she probably already does.” Bentley pointed out. “Unless she doesn’t read the news…?”

They both stared at her, waiting for an answer.

“I, uh…” She ducked her head, blushing again. “I read books.”

“How pure.” Bentley smiled and sat down next to her. “And just so we’re clear.” He leaned in as though he was going to kiss her. “My bat only swings one way…and I can assure you, every time I get thrown a pitch, I hit it out of the park.”

 

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Are you ready to Meet Brock Wellington?

THE BACHELOR AUCTION by Rachel Van Dyken

is coming October 4!

Pre-Order your copy today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cqtEJo

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2casLH2

iBooks: http://apple.co/2c4SmQS

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SKyEdn

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bgINiM

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2bNZuQE

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Blurb

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

 

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

About the Author

rachel-van-dykenRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Cover Reveal: The Player by Claire Contreras

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Synopsis

I’m naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

I’ve never met a man who doesn’t want to be me or a woman who doesn’t want to tame me. Until I meet Camila.

From the moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm’s length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.

I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

Links

iBooks ➺ http://bit.ly/ThePlayeriBooks

B&N ➺ http://bit.ly/THEPLAYERBN

Kobo ➺ http://bit.ly/THEPLAYERKOBO

Google Play ➺ http://bit.ly/THEPLAYERGOOGLEPLAY

Amazon ➺ Ebook link will be available ON October 10th.

Paperbacks:

Amazon ➺ http://bit.ly/TPPaperback

BooksaMillion ➺ http://bit.ly/THEPLAYERBOOKSAMILLION

BarnesnNoble ➺ http://bit.ly/BNPAPERBACK

Recipe: End of Summer Tomatoes and Whipped Feta

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Yep, this was as delicious as it looks.  I have a healthy obsession with anything that could be deemed bruschetta or crostini.  I call this a delectable form of bruschetta.  You have to try it…you really must.  It is a quick and easy appetizer or side.  But who am I kidding, I ate this for dinner.  A few pieces and even swiped my finger across the plate to get up the leftovers!

Ingredients

For The Whipped Feta:

8 ounces good feta, crumbled and at room temperature
3 ounces whipped cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For The Roasted Tomatoes:

A container or two of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half o
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of sugar

Recipe:

For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.

For the tomatoes, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (helps clean up faster).  Place the halved tomatoes on the sheet.  Sprinkle them with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.  Roast in at 250 degrees for around a hour.

To assemble the bruschetta, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a spoon, place the tomatoes on top (I include the juice). Sprinkle with basil and serve.

If you make this at home, send me a message and a pic!  It is delicious!

 

Cover Reveal: Blush for Me by Kristen Proby

Kristen Proby is known for writing heartfelt characters with deep connections and sizzling passion. In her Fusion Series from William Morrow, she seduces readers’ senses with the sexy, contemporary romance in which five best friends open a hot new restaurant together. Today, we are thrilled to bring you the gorgeous cover for BLUSH FOR ME, the third book in the Fusion Series! BLUSH FOR ME brings readers the next story in this amazing cast of characters. Releasing March 21, 2017, BLUSH FOR ME is the third standalone novel in Kristen’s Fusion Series. Grab your copy of the first two books in the series, LISTEN TO ME and CLOSE TO YOU, and preorder BLUSH FOR ME today!

 

 

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About BLUSH FOR ME:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby continues to delight the senses with the latest novel in her delectable Fusion series.

As the take-charge wine bar manager of Seduction, Portland’s hottest new restaurant, Katrina Meyers is the definition of no-nonsense, and she isn’t afraid of anything. Well, almost anything: she hates to fly. When she’s forced to travel on a death trap with wings, the turbulence from hell has her reaching for any safe haven—including the incredibly handsome guy sitting next to her.

Ryan “Mac” MacKenzie hasn’t been able to get his sexy seatmate out of his head. The way she clung to him stirred something inside him he didn’t think existed: tenderness. As the owner of a successful wine touring company, Mac thinks he’s got a handle on what life can throw at him and he’s not prepared for any surprises, especially in the feelings department. And when he brings a tour into Seduction, he sees the petite spitfire he just can’t forget.

Mac is determined to discover what else they have in common besides fine wine and the inability to keep their hands off each other. But what will it take for two stubborn people to realize that what they have is so much more than a hot chemistry between the sheets and to admit to falling in love…?

Order on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

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CLOSE TO YOU - cover

And Don’t Miss the First Two Novels in the Fusion Series, LISTEN TO ME and CLOSE TO YOU!

 

 

Author Pic - Kristen ProbyAbout Kristen Proby:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

 

 

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Cover Reveal: Burning Bond by Emma Hart

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BurningBond_FINAL-ebooklgBrody Bond. The youngest homicide detective in Holly Woods. My best friend’s younger brother.

Off. Freaking. Limits.

I’ve told myself that for the past five years, and I’m going to keep telling myself that. Besides—I’m kind-of dating Jason. I don’t need Brody. I shouldn’t even want him, but want him, I do.

Not that I have time to think about it. With Noelle and Drake in Mexico for two weeks, I’m holding down the fort at Bond P.I. Or I was… until I stumbled upon a young woman who’d been attacked while walking my dog.

Jason thinks it’s the latest in a long line of gang-rapes happening across three states. Brody thinks I’ve added a target to my back. Getting to the bottom of it is at the top of my to-do list.

Two men, both determined to protect me.

I think I could love one. I’m almost certain I’m in love with the other.

Ride or die just got a whole lot realer.

ADD TO GOODREADS

PRE-ORDER

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | iBooks

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By day, NeDSC_9249w York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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Book Review: Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

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9781501105791From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

AMAZON | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Atria Books

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 Excerpt

During the winter we pretended our way through the classics, read every popular kid’s book and by spring of our sixth grade year, the spring of all the rain, we were ready to be outside and explore again. There was a creek about half a mile back from our houses, past the tree line. Because of all the rain that year, it had become more of a river with the strongest currents right behind where we lived. Every adult warned us to be careful, even my dead-beat dad would say, “You better use that big brain of yours and stay out of the creek. You want to go swimming, you can go to the pool in town.”

Funny he would say that because the community pool was a seven-mile bike ride and it cost three dollars to get in. There was no way I was going unless Leila, Jax’s mom gave us a ride and even then, I would have to borrow the money to get in. Frankly, going to the town pool was a pipe dream. It became a myth to us, a fantasy like Disneyland or Europe. Jax and I would try to imagine what it was like to go there.

“I bet they sell popsicles and popcorn and they probably have clowns too,” I said.

It was a warm day; we had made a picnic in the weeds. I laid out my Toy Story sleeping bag I’d had from when I was a kid. Jax brought a jar of applesauce and I brought Fun Dip that my dad had 53148-swear-life-graphics-4abought me at the 7-11. We mixed the fun dip into the jar and took turns eating spoonfuls.

“Community pools don’t have clowns, genius.”

“How do you know?” I said.

“Because I just do.”

“I bet there’s a high dive, like fifty feet in the air.”

“Do you know how high fifty feet is? You would die hitting the water. The impact would kill you.”

“You’re such a know-it-all, Jackson. Why can’t you let a girl dream? We’re never going to that pool because no one will ever take us, plus, it costs money, and last time I checked you weren’t making any.”

He lay back on the blanket and propped his hands behind his head and closed his eyes. “I’m not a know-it-all, I just have cable. And as soon as I turn sixteen, I’m getting a job. I’ll pay for us to go to the pool. You’ll see, it’s just a big hole with water in it.”

I never really stared at him until that day. His eyes were closed so I took the time to inspect every inch of him. I was so curious about his body. My own body was changing and I was terrified of it. Jax was getting taller. He was going to be tall like his father, but he looked more like his mother in coloring and features. Jax’s mom was French, so they had this creamy skin that looked sun-kissed year around and his brown hair and brown eyes had streams of gold running throughout it. He was letting his hair grow longer because he’d been watching some show on TV that took place in California. He said everyone in California had long hair.

I was trying to grow my own unruly, brown locks out. I don’t know why, I always had it in a braid. Maybe because I thought I would go to California with Jax one day. We both yearned for more than weeds and corn. All the books gave us those silly ideas and filled our heads with things that might never be.

I lay down beside him and stared directly into the sun. He turned on his side and propped his head on his elbow.

“You’ll go blind doing that,” he said in a low voice.

“Leave me alone.”

“Why are you in such a bad mood? You PMSing?”

“What do you know about it?”

“A lot.”

“I doubt that and even if I were, it’s beyond rude to talk to me about it.” I hadn’t started my period yet but I wasn’t going to tell him that.

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My Review

Swear on This LifeSwear on This Life by Renee Carlino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone has those books that just stick with you. No matter how many you read, you can’t forget it. Swear on This Life is one of those for me. I keep recommending it to friends and family. I keep talking about it. The story is poignant, gut wrenching and absolutely captivating. I couldn’t put this book down and I gobbled up the pages wanting to know what would happen.

This book has two parallel storylines running throughout the book which makes it so much more interesting. We jump from present day back to when the main characters were growing up as kids. You are constantly getting my pieces of a complex puzzle/story and it makes you devour the pages in search for all the answers.
Em, our female lead, is struggling in her current life. She wants to be a writer but can’t seem to write anything but a bunch of short stories that are mediocre at best. She is in a long term relationship with Trevor who just seems to be part of the humdrum existence of her life. They have been together for a long time but don’t really seem connected. Em’s roommate Cara drops a book in her lap called “All the Roads Between” and tells her to read it. It is topping the charts and Cara couldn’t put it down. She thinks Em needs the mental break and this book will inspire her.

Em quickly realizes that this story is her childhood story with her long lost first love Jase and her heart breaks into a million pieces. This is a story that she has tried to forget and with each page she reads, she is thrown back into her horrendous childhood. As readers, we get one chapter from the book (her past) and then a chapter from the present. Em finally realizes she needs to see Jase and he will be at an author signing near her. She goes to see him and as I read, I held my breath. I wasn’t sure what would happen. As these two reconnect, we see a second chance love story like none I’ve read. There are so many different layers to these characters and getting to see their past play out on the pages of his book is brilliant. Being swept from past to present makes every moment so much more bittersweet. You could feel all the emotions of both of these characters running off the pages.

Renee Carlino took love and showed me a new definition of it. She showed me that love can know no bounds and it will never stop no matter distance, time, space or unresolved issues. I couldn’t get enough of this book. I read it twice. I never read books twice. If I had one book recommendation for 2016, this is it. Go my friends, pick it up and enjoy.

View all my reviews

 

Renee-121Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

Book Release and Review: Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

image04Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.
He was also to-die-for gorgeous,
and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.
Anti-Stepbrother is NOW AVAILABLE!
Get Your Copy TODAY:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bH3TEZ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bOSoib
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Yg47GW
Nook: http://bit.ly/22Vj7dD
Kobo: http://bit.ly/24CzWcI
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1WGmyFl
(September 12th delivery)
Add Anti-Stepbrother to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/1UCNF0f
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Blurb
He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?
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Excerpt

He wasn’t looking at me any more. I wasn’t even sure he was really in the room.
I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the clues—looking away, his jaw clenching, pain like I’d never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldn’t. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.
I wanted to help him.
Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.
“What happened?”
Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. “Does it matter?”
“No.” My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. “What happened, Caden?”
“Why do you have to know?”
“Because it’s hurting you.”
I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.
The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.
“What are you doing?”
He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. I’d already made the first move.
I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. “What happened?”
“Why are you pushing this?”
I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasn’t pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.
“You haven’t told anyone else about this.” It wasn’t really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. “Please tell me.”
“No.” He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didn’t. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.
I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else he’d say
“But not because I don’t want you to know,” he added. “Because it’s not my secret to tell.”
I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. “That makes sense. I can respect that.”
And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.
“What are we doing here?” he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.
I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. “I didn’t really think it through.”
“And now?”
“Still not thinking it through.”
“You’re okay with that?”
In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted this—but it was more. I needed this.
I didn’t answer.
I closed the distance between us.

My Review

Anti-Stepbrother (a stand-alone) is mostly told from Summer Stoltz’s POV.  She has arrived at college for her freshman year with a mad first love/crush on her stepbrother but finds him in hooking up with someone else’s girlfriend.  She is quickly pulled into fraternity drama and catches the attention of the brother of the cheated, Caden Banks.  Caden Banks is the “it” boy on campus.  Everyone wants a piece of him but he is a bit of an enigma.  Summer just thinks he is an a**hole and wants to forget she met him.

As the story progresses through Summer’s first year, we realize this slightly awkward girl has a cute, quirky side that has captivated the elusive Caden.  They become unlikely friends and the drama only heats up as their friendship possibly morphs into more.

Tijan always gives us the best alpha male leads and Caden didn’t disappoint.  I loved him and I loved Summer’s vulnerability and  honesty.  Tijan doesn’t shy away from the social difficulties for some when they head to college.  The best part is seeing Summer come into her own and realize she is worthy of so much more than she thought.

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Author Information

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I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

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Book Release and Review: Rushing In by Lexi Ryan

 

 

Title: Rushing In
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #2 
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: New Adult
 Release Date: August 30, 2016
Blurb

The favor seemed simple: Keep my new stepsister out of trouble for one summer.

I’ve never met Grace Lee, but Mom tells me she’s a quiet and artsy college student with a troubled past. When I agreed to let her stay with me, I thought it was no big deal. I expected to share my apartment with a sullen girl who’d spend hours locked in her room.

I didn’t expect a walking fantasy determined to make me lose my cool.

I didn’t expect a woman with secrets so dark, so deep, I’d throw away everything if it would save her from the past.

Rushing in to do this favor is turning my life upside down—and not just because Grace needs her ass spanked. Keep her out of trouble? Grace is the trouble. And I want in.

Purchase Links
 
AMAZON US / UK
iBOOKS 
 
Excerpt

 

Rushing In Excerpt © 2016 by Lexi RyanChris arches a brow and skims his gaze over my body—correction, my dress and Chucks. “You’re gonna go hiking in that?”

I shrug. “It’s not like it’s full-length and gonna get tangled around my legs or anything.”

His gaze drifts down my body again, this time landing on the thigh visible beneath the hem of my dress. “It’s certainly not,” he mumbles, and the way he says it has my cheeks burning and me reaching for my water.

So damn thirsty.

We finish packing up our lunch together, and after we put the cooler back in the car, I grab the park pamphlet out of the front seat. “Come on,” I say, nodding in the direction of the outlook. “It’s my turn to be in charge.”

The park is beautiful, but as soon as we enter the woods and I see the overlook, my breath catches. From here, we have a view of the ravine below and the creek rushing through the bottom. Mossy rock faces make up the ravine walls, and trees protrude from them. It’s possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I head past the overlook and take the stairs down into the ravine. It’s shady back here and feels ten degrees cooler than our picnic table in the sun.

At the bottom of the stairs, the trail splits in three directions, and when I follow the sign with the three, Chris puts his hand on my arm. “Hey, this one has ladders.”

I arch a brow and drop my gaze to my shoes. “I can handle it.”

Something passes over his face I don’t understand, and then he sighs and nods. “Okay, but I’m climbing the ladders behind you. If any creep is going to be looking up your dress today, it’s gonna be me.”

My cheeks heat, and my brain instantly diagrams his words and starts analyzing the nuance of each. Just comedy or more? Stupid brain. “Fair enough.”

He mutters something that sounds like “Dreams really do come true,” but I can’t be sure.

The trail leads down into the ravine and along the creek bed. It’s so much cooler down here, and I love the sound of the creek rock crunching under my feet as we walk along.

By the time we come upon the first ladder, there’s no one else around.

“Ladies first,” he says, gesturing toward the ladder.

“Pervert,” I mutter, but I move forward and begin my climb. The rungs are coated in mud, and when I’m halfway up, one foot slips and suddenly Chris’s hands are there, holding me steady, his hands strong and warm against the backs of my legs.

My breath catches, and I force myself to breathe and find my footing. The feel of his hands against my skin causes something to swirl hot and tight low in my belly.

“Are you okay?” he asks, his voice as thick as the forest beyond the trail.

I’m not okay. I’m afraid to move. Afraid not to move. Trapped by a fear that has nothing to do with a slippery ladder and everything to do with falling.

Then, slowly, his thumbs begin to slide over my skin. His hands inch up my thighs until his fingertips skim the bottom edge of my underwear and slip under to trace the bottom curve of my ass.

I cannot breathe.

I force myself to turn my head and look down at him. His jaw is set tight, a picture of self-control, but when his eyes meet mine, his face relaxes and he shoots me a boyish grin. I attempt my best poker face. “Are you copping a feel, Christopher Montgomery?”

His grin goes wide, putting his dimples on full display. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says, his Southern accent drawing out his words. “I’m just trying to perform a necessary rescue mission.”

“Do I look like I need rescuing?” I ask. Under the lace edge of my panties, his thumb strokes again, a long, slow motion that makes me want to close my eyes and moan. I resist and hold his gaze.

“Who said you’re the one I’m rescuing? Maybe I’m trying to save myself.” He drops his hands and grabs a hold of the sides of the ladder, then he climbs up behind me so his body is pressed against mine, my back to his front. His mouth hovers above my ear, his breath hot and uneven. “Because I swear if I have to go much longer without touching you, I’m going to implode.”

His lips skim my earlobe, and my eyes float closed. My brain has no room for sight when it’s overloaded with sensations. His lips on my ear. His hard chest against my back. His breath against my neck. “I need to know, Grace.”

I open my eyes and swallow hard. I don’t want to talk. Not right now. I’m too afraid I’ll ruin this moment with my choppy stutter. “What?”

“I need to know . . .” He leans his forehead against my shoulder, and I watch his knuckles turn white as he tightens his grip on the side of the ladder.

On the ground beneath us, someone clears his throat. “You two heading up or down?”

Chris mutters a curse and takes a step down so I have the freedom to move. I scramble up the ladder with him behind me. When we reach the top, I can’t look at him.

“Sorry about that,” he calls to the people below, then he grabs my wrist and pulls me off to the right toward a rocky alcove just off the trail. A wooden sign tells me this is “The Devil’s Ice Box,” and beyond the sign, a thin waterfall drizzles into a pool of crystal-clear water. Chris leads the way, following the rocky edge around to the backside of this semi-secluded space and stopping by the waterfall. I pass him, feigning interest in the rocks and water so I don’t have to meet his eyes. There’s a cavern behind the waterfall, a haven from the falling water.

“I have to know,” Chris says, his words nearly drowned out by the falling water. “Is it just me? Everything I feel when you’re close to me? Tell me you feel it too.”

My Review

To say that I enjoyed this book is an understatement. I devoured it. I loved the characters. I wanted to be friends with both of these characters for different reasons. Grace and Chris are two of my favorite characters that Lexi Ryan has produced over the years and that is saying a great deal.

Chris is everything I hope my two sons become. He is levelheaded, well adjusted, genuinely nice and above all respectful of his parents, friends and family. Instead of being the in your face alpha males that grace most of the pages of the books I read these days, this guy just seemed real. I would want my daughter to date him and my sons to be friends with him. That doesn’t mean he is perfect. Chris has problems just like the rest of us but the way he handles them is mature and warmed my heart.

I wanted to hug Grace. She is just plain misunderstood and has been living under the umbrella for so long, she just takes it. Her dad thinks she is a troublemaker or at least attracts trouble and she doesn’t try to stop the stigma. This is why she can’t live by herself for the summer and is stuck with her soon to be stepbrother who she knows as “Bash”. The night before she goes to meet Bash, she has the hottest hook up of her life. The next day, there are fireworks when she and Bash meet for the first time.

I won’t say too much else but this New Adult book is everything I love about the category: angsty, romantic, real people with real problems and all of that set in a fishbowl college town. You will absolutely love this book so go pick it up right now!

Also Available

 

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion.
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AMAZON US / UK
#3 Going Under – Sebastian’s story

 

Coming Late 2016

 

 

 

Author Bio

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles, Lexi enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and rare trips to the beach.

Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and neurotic dog. You can find her at her website: lexiryan.com

Author Links

Book Release and Review: Stripped Down by Emma Hart

STRIPPED DOWN BANNERavailablenow

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00035]What do you get when you mix a bottle of tequila, a single mom moonlighting as a stripper, and her sinfully sexy boss with an impulsive side?

Married. You get married.

Rich. Demanding. Hot. Crazy.

That was Beckett Cruz in a nutshell.

Not to mention wild, determined, dangerous, and forbidden.

He was my boss—and, after a drunken moment of insanity, my new husband.

An annulment was impossible… so was keeping him.

I was taking my daughter and leaving, determined to give her a quieter life.

But Beckett Cruz had never taken no for an answer.

And he wasn’t about to take mine.

What happens in Vegas… might just keep you there.

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

STRIPPEDDOWN-teaser6

EXCERPT

“Beck?” I managed to get his name out just before he opened the front door.

“Yeah?” He spun back to face me, his dark eyes unreadable.

I turned my face to the side so I could see him fully. “You don’t have to go,” I said softly. “You can stay. Only if you want to though.”

He rubbed his hand down his face, his eyes never leaving mine, then walked back into the kitchen toward me. I stood up away from the fridge as he stopped right next to me.

Slowly, he touched his hand to my face, his fingertips teasing my hairline. His dark gaze searched mine, and my heart jumped into my throat as the usual tingles his touch sparked danced down my neck. Then, he slid his hand into my hair, allowing the blonde strands to fall away from his fingertips.

“Do I want to go home to my big-ass house with its cold emptiness?” he asked in a low voice. “Or go to the club where half the girls there still see me as a mountain to be conquered? Not particularly, Blondie. I’d rather stay here. Even if there will be a demand for movies and water and foot rubs from a tiny, sick person.”

“You can.” My voice was quiet, like his. Even if my internal screams from self-preservation and vulnerability were deafeningly loud as they told me I was a fool, that he had to go, that this would never be enough for him.

“Do you want me to?” His question was… honest.

Raw.

Hesitant.

Like he didn’t want me to answer.

“Do I want you to stay here in my tiny house so my daughter can fall more in love with you than she already is? Not really. But…” Don’t be a fool, Cassie. Don’t admit you want him to stay. He’s just going to hurt you. “I don’t exactly want you to go either.”

“For her, or for you?”

“I don’t want to answer that question.”

“If I kissed you right now, would you ram your knee into my cock?”

“I’d briefly consider it, but I probably wouldn’t do it.”

His lips twitched to the side. “You just answered the question.”

Then, of course, he cupped the back of my head, and he kissed me. It was slow, sweet, gentle. And I didn’t consider kneeing him in the balls for a single second.

Beck pulled back and trailed his hand down my arm before he finally let me go. “I’m going home to get changed and then come back. Do you need anything while I’m gone? For CiCi? You?”

“I don’t…” I sighed and chewed back my pride. “I meant to go to the store today after work to get some stuff like bread, milk… important stuff. But now I can’t.”

“I can get it. Just tell me what you need.”

I bit the inside of my lip, then nodded. “Okay. Let me write it down.” I walked through into the front room with him hot on my heels and grabbed the notebook and pen from under the coffee table. A few things were already scrawled down, so I added a couple more things, including more medicine. I tore the sheet off the notebook, stood, then gave it to Beck. “Let me get my wallet.”

He grabbed my wrist, stopping me. “I’m not taking your money.”

I lifted my gaze to his. “You can’t pay for my groceries.”

“I can and I will.”

“You can’t and you won’t.”

“I can and I will.”

“You can’t and you won’t.”

“I can do this all day, baby. I’m stubborn as fuck.” His eyes told me he wasn’t lying. “And we all know I’m a brat about the word no. So, I can, I will, and I’m going to. If I can’t help you by buying a measly eight items, I’m an asshole who shouldn’t be allowed around other people.”

“You can’t buy my groceries,” I repeated. It was a lame argument. I was going to lose, but I’d fight until I went down.

Beck’s eyes twinkled as he leaned in. “Don’t worry. If you really want to pay me back, I’ll take a blow job. I imagine your lips around my cock will be a pretty good thank you.”

My jaw dropped as he backed off with a wink.

“Mouth open already, Cassie? Enthusiasm. I like that.”

I snapped my jaw shut and glared at him. “You’re a dirty pig.”

“I know. But I’ve got fifty bucks that says you’ll be sucking my dick by bedtime. If you don’t agree…” He shrugged one shoulder, his lips curved in that dangerous smirk.

“If you’re lucky, I’ll bite it.”

“I’ll take that as I’m in for a good time.”

One more wink, complete with expanding grin, and he was gone.

Motherfucking asshole.

STRIPPEDDOWN-teaser4

 MY REVIEW

To say that I never get enough of Emma Hart’s writing is an understatement.  I just enjoy everything she writes from her more contemporary books to the Stripped series which is a bit more erotic.  I couldn’t wait to get into Beck’s story after meeting him in Stripped Bare.  He had a story to be told and what a story it turns out to be.  Beckett is known as a ladies man and Cassie knows this about her boss but when she has an off night, it leads to a night they will never forget in Vegas.

I adored both of these characters so much and enjoyed reading their dance around each other.  Cassie has a full plate and she is just trying to make her daughter and family’s life a little easier and she is struggling.  Beckett isn’t struggling in the least but when he meets Cassie, he realizes his life is missing something.  He soon makes it his mission to make Cassie see that maybe their mistake wasn’t a mistake after all.

The banter between these two was fantastic and I loved the interaction Beck has with Ciara and Cassie’s family.  Watching Beck realize that maybe his life wasn’t quite as good as he thought warmed my heart and I loved seeing Cassie realize that she wasn’t alone.

This is a quick, fun, and heartwarming read but let’s not forget the heat.  Emma brings it in buckets with Beckett and Cassie.  The strippers are just a side story to a much bigger love story.  Well done, Emma…I’m not remotely surprised…you are always a one click for me!

 

By day, NeDSC_9249w York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett: Release Tour and Review

Title: Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl, Book #2)

Author: Sawyer Bennett Release Date: August 16, 2016

Synopsis: In the steamy and suspenseful sequel to Sugar Daddy (A totally gripping take on romance and revenge!—Lauren Blakely), a heartbreaking rift threatens to unravel a dangerous alliance . . . and a fragile new love. After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing? Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her. Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story concludes in Sugar Free!
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27774345-sugar-rush

 

My Review:

Well, we got a huge cliffhanger in Sugar Bowl and Sawyer did it again in Sugar Rush.  Sugar Rush is the second installment in Bennett’s Sugar Bowl series in which she has created a trilogy straight out of the headlines.  It’s twisted and a tad bit dark but the story has a quick pace and you can’t get enough.  This book continues the story of Sela Halstead and Beckett ‘Beck’ North.  These two fell in love in a web of lies and now the lies are exposed.  It’s hard to not spoil this series if I give too much detail so forgive me.  Beck now knows what Sela is hiding and we see where it takes them and exactly what they are going to do about it.

Sugar Rush had a darker feel to it than Sugar Daddy.  We are deeper into the details of the story and we see humankind at its worst (JT) and best (Sela and Beck).  Sela’s whole purpose is to seek revenge on Jonathan Townsend and now that Beck is in he life, she may not be able to do it.  Beck is caught between doing what he knows needs to be done to help Sela and making sure he doesn’t ruin his business that he worked so hard for.  The cliffhanger to Sugar Rush was intense and I couldn’t wait to flip the page for the next installment.

The absolute best part of Sugar Rush was watching the evolution of Sela and Beck’s relationship.  No matter what is thrown at them, they stick together.  They work it out and isn’t that what we all want.  I thoroughly enjoyed Sugar Rush and look forward to the finale in Sugar Free. (P.S. I finished it and it didn’t disappoint!)  I give Sugar Rush- 4.5 stars!

MurderJT IMR Purchase Sugar Rush: Amazon: https://amzn.com/B017QLSIUO B&N: http://bit.ly/1RkH9vQ iBooks: http://apple.co/1QpjxG2 Google Play: http://bit.ly/1O5wYuy Kobo: http://bit.ly/1P3Ai6s Check out the other Sugar Bowl books now! Sugar Daddy (available now): Amazon: https://amzn.com/B00XST7UBM B&N: http://bit.ly/1SSoRj4 iBooks: http://apple.co/1RevoHk Google Play: http://bit.ly/1M7yRzz
Kobo: http://bit.ly/222C52P
Sugar Free (releasing 10/11/16): Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01AQO16PW B&N: http://bit.ly/1TuReY5 iBooks: http://apple.co/1XD5spa Google Play: http://bit.ly/213kRVe Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Qr1uKn

About the Author: Bennett_photo_2014 Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions. A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone. Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing