Release Day – HAPPILY EVER NEVER by Jennifer Foor

 

I was about to marry the man of my dreams.
We had it all; a life that most could only wish for. I felt like
the luckiest woman in the world.
Then, in the blink of an eye, it was taken from me.
Now I can’t grasp how to move forward.
I don’t even think I want to.
Whether I’m dead or alive, my happily ever after is NEVER going
to happen.

Amazon  **  Kobo  **  Scribd  **  Inktera

 

 

 

jennfoor

 

Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She’s best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.

She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart.

 

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * GOODREADS

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE * TSU * NEWSLETTER

Great Getaway with HADES by Larissa Ione

HADES Review & Excerpt Tour banner

 

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Larissa Ione’s HADES! HADES is a novella in Larissa’s Demonica Series as part of the 1001 Dark Nights Collection and is exclusively available as Amazon Kindle and Paperback. Grab the latest installment in this sexy series!

Hades -cover

Amazon US Kindle ** Amazon Paperback ** Amazon UK Kindle

HADES Review & Excerpt Tour

May 22

BBF Book Boyfriends Forever-Excerpt
Books Can Take You There-Review & Excerpt
Collector of Book Boyfriends-Excerpt
Cosying Up With Books-Excerpt
Indy Book Fairy-Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog-Excerpt
When Books Defy Gravity-Excerpt

May 23

BookHounds-Excerpt
BookLovers for Life-Review & Excerpt
Deluged With Books Café-Review & Excerpt
The Book Blog-Review & Excerpt

May 24

Books That Hook-Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books-Review & Excerpt
RhiReading-Excerpt
Undercover Book Reviews-Excerpt

May 25

Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom-Review & Excerpt
Grownup Fangirl-Excerpt
Literary Misfit-Review & Excerpt
Love Affair with Fiction-Excerpt
New Syndrome Book-Excerpt
Rambling Reads-Review & Excerpt
TSK TSK What to Read-Review & Excerpt

May 26

A Fortress of Books-Review
CJ’s Book Corner-Excerpt
Diane’s Book Blog-Review & Excerpt
Home is Where the Wine Is-Review
Mama Reads Hazel Reads-Review & Excerpt
Reads All the Books-Review & Excerpt
Sultry, Steamy Reading-Review

May 27

Book Lovin Mamas-Review
Little Read Riding Hood-Review & Excerpt
Lostinthegreatperhaps-Review
The Reading Chameleon-Review & Excerpt

May 28

Between the Lines-Review
Kelsey’s Corner Time-Review & Excerpt
Nite Lite Book Reviews-Review & Excerpt
Reading in Pajamas-Excerpt
Revenge of the Feels-Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Reviews-Review & Excerpt

May 29

Girls With Books-Excerpt
Got Nikki?-Excerpt
Reading Between the Wines-Excerpt
Travels N Reads-Review & Excerpt
Us Girls & A Book-Review & Excerpt

May 30

Book Liaison-Review & Excerpt
Jax’s Book Magic-Excerpt
Kayla’s Place-Review & Excerpt
Red Moon-Excerpt
Roxy’s Reviews-Excerpt

May 31

Becky on Books-Review & Excerpt
Evermore Books-Review & Excerpt
I Heart YA Books-Excerpt
Vera is Reading-Excerpt

 

HADES - teaser

 

abouthebook

A fallen angel with a mean streak and a mohawk, Hades has spent thousands of years serving as Jailor of the Underworld. The souls he guards are as evil as they come, but few dare to cross him. All of that changes when a sexy fallen angel infiltrates his prison and unintentionally starts a riot. It’s easy enough to quell an uprising, but for the first time, Hades is torn between delivering justice — or bestowing mercy — on the beautiful female who could be his salvation…or his undoing.

Thanks to her unwitting participation in another angel’s plot to start Armageddon, Cataclysm was kicked out of Heaven and is now a fallen angel in service of Hades’s boss, Azagoth. All she wants is to redeem herself and get back where she belongs. But when she gets trapped in Hades’s prison domain with only the cocky but irresistible Hades to help her, Cat finds that where she belongs might be in the place she least expected…

excerpt

“And what does good and evil feel like?” he rasped. “On your skin, I mean?”

“I’ll show you.” She moved toward him, every step popping out her hips and making her breasts bounce in a smooth, seductive rhythm. His mouth went dry again, but then it began to water as she reached out and placed her palm in the center of his chest.

Very slowly, she dragged her hand along the contours of his pecs, her touch so featherlike that he barely felt it, and yet, he was hyper-aware of every move her hand made, every centimeter of skin her palm passed over.

“Goodness and light,” she said softly, “is like bathing in Champagne. It’s tingly and effervescent. It wakes you up even as it relaxes you.”

“Like sex,” he murmured. “With someone you like.”

“With someone you like?” She blinked. “Why would you have sex with someone you didn’t like?”

A rumbling purr vibrated his chest. “Baby, it’s like fighting, but with orgasms.”

“And less blood, I suppose.”

“Not if you’re doing it right.” He waggled his brows, and she rolled her eyes. “So what does evil feel like to you? If good feels good, then does evil feel bad?”

“That’s the funny thing.” She inched closer, adding another palm to his chest, and he gripped the cup so hard he heard it crack. More. He needed more. And damn her for making him crave it when he’d been perfectly fine being alone for all these years. “It’s as seductive as good, but in a different way.” She shivered delicately. “It’s hot. If good is like bathing in Champagne, evil is like bathing in whiskey. There’s a burn, but it’s almost always a lovely burn.”

Yeah, he felt that lovely burn where she was touching him. As she talked, it spread across his chest and into his abdomen, then lower, to his pelvis and groin. Everything tightened and grew feverish with lust.

“Seems to me,” he said in a humiliatingly rough voice, “that bumping up against evil would be an incredible temptation for angels like you.”

“It is,” she purred. “Which is why we aren’t allowed to leave Heaven except under certain circumstances, and even then, we must have an escort. It’s one of the reasons I know I can’t ever enter Sheoul. To become a True Fallen would be to have my full powers of detection restored, and I’d be skewed toward evil. The few Seraphim who have become fallen angels are like drug addicts, seeking out the most evil beings they can find, to serve them, to just be near them.”

He wondered how having a Seraphim fallen angel as a warden in the Inner Sanctum would play out. Then Cat dragged her palms down his chest to his abs, and he forgot all about everything except what was happening right now, right here in his home.

debbiesreview

Only Larissa Ione could make a trip to hell so much fun!!  I couldn’t wait to revisit Ione’s Demonica series, I’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series.

Hades! I loved getting to know more about Hades.  Before reading the novella, I’m not sure who I would have pictured in a match up.  Cat was fun to read and she was perfect for Hades.

I might have liked Hades and Cat’s story to be longer but the novella works.  Their story makes for a fast paced, fun and suspenseful read.

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Larissa Ioneaboutheauthor

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

 Website** Facebook** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Pinterest 

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An Amazing Journey with FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL by Chanel Cleeton

Flirting with Scandal 

by Chanel Cleeton
May 19, 2015
Capital Confessions #1
Contemporary Romance
Penguin/InterMix
abouthebook
The author of I See London sets her sights on Washington, D. C., with a sexy new series about three sisters, the secrets they keep, and a powerful blog with a knack for exposing scandals…
Jackie Gardner knows all about dirty little secrets. The illegitimate daughter of one of the most influential senators in Washington, D.C., she grew up surrounded by the scandals and shadows of politics. Now that she’s landed an internship with a powerful political consulting firm, she’s determined to launch her career and take this city by storm.
William Andrew Clayton was born for politics. He knows the drill: work hard, play discreetly, and at all costs, avoid scandal. At twenty-six, his campaign for the Virginia State Senate is the first step to cementing his future. It’s time for him to settle down, to find the perfect political spouse. He needs a Jackie Kennedy, not a Marilyn…
When Jackie meets Will in the bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, sparks fly. But the last thing Will needs is to be caught in a compromising position, and an affair with a political candidate could cost Jackie her career. When what began as one steamy night, becomes a passion neither one of them can walk way from, they must decide if what they have is really love, or just another dirty little secret…
Flirting with Scandal by Chanel Cleeton has it all. A sexy hero, strong heroine, delicious romance, sizzling tension, and plenty of breathtaking scandal. 
I loved this book!
– New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy
 
Scorching hot and wicked smart, Flirting with Scandal had me hooked from page one! Sizzling with sexual tension and political intrigue, Cleeton weaves a story that is as complex as it is sexy. Thank God this is a series because I need more!!
– New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris
 
Sexy, intelligent, and intriguing. Chanel Cleeton makes politics scandal-icious. 
– USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King
 
Chanel Cleeton knocked it out of the park with Flirting with Scandal. The banter was refreshing, the political storyline captivating, and the sexual tension was through the roof. Smart, emotional, romantic, and sizzling hot–this book is fantastic!
– Christina Lee, author of the Between Breaths series
 
Chanel Cleeton delivers again! Featuring a strong heroine, a steamy romance, and juicy dose of political scandal, Flirting with Scandal is completely engrossing. Clear your calendars–you won’t be able to put this one down! 
– Brenda St. John Brown, author of Swimming to Tokyo
 
An emotionally satisfying page turner, deliciously steamy and set against a complex political backdrop that yields satisfying plot twists and a hefty dose of scandal.
– Lia Riley, author of Upside Down
iBooks  *  Kobo  *  Penguin
BOOK TRAILER:
debbiesreview
I have a new favorite…Chanel Cleeton.  One of my favorite settings to stumble in my reading is our nation’s capital, Washington DC.  I can’t help it, if I see that a romance is set in DC, I’m picking it up to add to my TBR list.
Flirting with Scandal delivers everything you’d want to see in a romance that touches on politics.  Cleeton weaves a smart tale featuring a rising political candidate and savvy bombshell with steamy sex, longheld secrets and a juicy scandal.
I’m hooked!  I can’t wait for the next Capital Confessions book.  In the meantime, I might be found binging on Chanel Cleeton’s backlist.
 RatingSystem-5
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giveaways
aboutheauthor
Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.
Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband.
Chanel writes contemporary romances. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, and Wild Aces series.
Website  **  Facebook  **  Twitter  **  Goodreads  **  Newsletter

Cover Feature and Scavenger Hunt – DARE TO RUN by Jen McLaughlin

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Today we are celebrating the release of the DARE TO RUN cover! DARE TO RUN is a gritty, super sexy, adult title coming out on February 2, 2016 from Jen McLaughlin and published by Penguin (NAL Signet). To celebrate, we are having a scavenger hunt! There are 8 clues scattered around groups of bloggers hosting this feature. All you have to do is find all 8 clues and figure out the scrambled word.

To make it easy for you, we will tell you where you can find Clue #1.

Just go to this article on DARE TO RUN, found at USA Today HEA!

In order to find the groups of bloggers posting, go to Jen McLaughlin’s blog and she will have the lists so you can check out each group and find the remaining 7 clues.

 

For this site, the clue is listed below, along with the rafflecopter.

DTR_SHunt_Clue8

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

DARE TO RUN Summary:

The New York times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good…

She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

 

ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK NOW

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

JenM

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

FIND HER HERE:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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Great Getaway with LAST CALL by Alannah Lynne

AlannahBook2_FINAL

(Heat Wave Novel #2)

Adult Contemporary Romance

Release: October 1, 2012

Amazon | B&N| iTunes | Kobo | Google Play

In LAST CALL, Gavin McLeod is a man who has it all. His corporate climb has positioned him as the next CEO at Holden Enterprises and he is financially stable, allowing him to provide for the grandfather who raised him. His private life is also on fire, as evidenced by the successful seduction of a sexy bartender who gets under his skin and makes him crave more than just sex. Life is perfect until the alluring woman in his arms turns out to be a serious road-block to his future, one that could bring everything he’s worked for crashing down around him.


Sunny Black has spent her entire life tending to the needs of others: caring for her younger brother since she was ten, and serving bar patrons night after night. For the first time in years, she puts herself first, taking a trip on the wild side with a customer whose raw sexuality is too strong to deny. The next morning, however, she learns that in addition to rocking her world, the stranger might destroy everything and everyone she’s worked so hard to protect.

 

A game of sexual seduction and corporate chess ensues, but when Gavin and Sunny are unable to negotiate a satisfying resolution, Gavin’s boss steps in and puts both their lives at risk.

Each book in the Heat Wave series stands alone and can be read out of order.

debbiesreview

Last Call is the second in the Heat Wave series and is a standalone read.  This is the second book I’ve read by Alannah Lynne and she had quickly become an author I look forward to reading.

Gavin and Sunny’s story makes for some steamy and entertaining reading.  The storyline is dynamic and progresses with a few twists.

Alannah Lynne’s Heat Wave series is one that I’ll be picking up as each new book is available.

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About the Author

Alannah believes there’s nothing more magical than finding the other half of your soul, experiencing fiery passion, and knowing you’ve found happily-ever-after.

She loves going to work each day (in sweats and a T-shirt) and writing about hot heroes and feisty heroines who torment each other in the most delicious ways before finding their happy ending.

She lives in the coastal region of North Carolina with her husband, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest fan. They have two sons, a dog, and two cats.

Website | Blog | Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Release Week Blitz – NOWHERE BUT HERE by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here RDL Banner

 

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry’s NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’sThunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!!

Nowhere But Here - cover

Amazon ** Kobo ** BAM ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** IndieBound

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

About NOWHERE BUT HERE:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

 

 

NOWHERE BUT HERE Excerpt

From Emily’s Point of View. Set up: Emily is riding a motorcycle for the very first time and she’s riding it with Oz.

THE MOTORCYCLE ACCELERATES AND THE FEW inches I had established between me and Oz: gone. My body slides forward, colliding into his, and we click together like two puzzle pieces. Heat rushes up my neck and onto my cheeks. My thighs are too close to his, too tight against his body and this is way more intimate than I have been before with a guy.

Even when the two of us kissed.

Oz veers left, away from Olivia’s, away from the main road, and the entire motorcycle pitches to the side. My heart thun­ders and my fingers clutch not only at Oz’s belt loop, but at the material of his jeans, and his hips.

Oz glances at me over his shoulder as the bike straightens out. “Lean with it, Emily.”

Right. Lean with Oz and the bike. Got it. The narrow road curves ahead and this time when Oz and the bike tilt, I move along with it. Oz releases one of the amazingly high handlebars and massages my knee before returning his hand to the grip. Whether in reassurance or to affirm I mastered the curve I don’t know, but either way, I sit higher.

The wind whips through my hair and onto my face and I shut my eyes for a brief second and pretend that I’m flying. There’s something energizing, something hypnotic, something inside me that begs to burst out of a cage in search of freedom.

The motorcycle kicks forward and our speed increases. Beams of sunlight filter through the towering trees and green foliage blurs together as we fly over the road. From head to toe, my body vibrates with the loud growling of the power­ful machine.

My knee still tingles from where Oz laid his fingers on me and I’ve never been more aware of my hands in my life. I should let go of Oz’s body, but I can’t. Belt loops weren’t enough and my fingers have somehow edged up and onto his sides. Oz is solid. Yes, definitely solid. Every inch of him that I touch is tight muscle.

Oz is a year older than me, but somehow he seems older, wiser and hotter than any other guy I’ve known. Just the way he rides his bike creates this overabundance of confidence.

Warm sensations I’ve never experienced before blossom through me. We enter another curve and I lean with him. I like how in sync I’ve become with Oz and the motorcycle. Like we’ve merged into one.

The purr of the engine deepens and Oz eases the bike to a stop. His feet hit the ground and he turns the machine off. It’s as if all sound in the world ceased, or maybe I’ve gone deaf because there’s no way anything can be this still or silent.

The wind picks up and the silence is frightened away with the roar of the trees bending. Both Oz and I shift with the flow of air and Oz doesn’t move the bike until the breeze gentles.

Oz kicks down the stand and the bike tilts, but not too much. He sets a hand over the fingers that I laced together across his stomach. Oh, hell, I’m plastic wrapped to him. I drop my head onto his shoulder and it places me closer, and closer is not what I need.

I go to unglue myself, but Oz squeezes my fingers, send­ing a jolt of electricity up my arms. “You okay?”

I have to clear my throat to speak and that just sucks. “Yes.”

Oz slides his fingers against mine and a fluttering occurs in my stomach. It’s a light fluttering. Ticklish even, and my survival instincts scream at me to get off this motorcycle.

 

Hand rider on handlebars, close-up

 

NOWHERE BUT HERE Trailer:

 

Katie McGarry Author PhotoAbout Katie McGarry:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

 

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Nowhere But Here - Teaser 1

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Release Day – GETTING PLAYED by Mia Storm

Rules of the game:

1) Never underestimate your opponent

2) Avoid personal fouls

3) Score early and often

4) Play or get played

 

Coach Marcus Leon has always played by the rules…until he meets Addaline Grace, the seventeen-year-old senior transfer on his Oak Crest High water polo team. Addie changes all the rules, mostly because she doesn’t play any games. But as off limits as she is, the more Marcus discovers about Addie, the more he finds himself…and the more he questions whether Addie might just be worth risking everything for.

For Addie, water polo is anger management. She’s driven and focused because it keeps her mind off other things…like the fact she destroyed her family. Her game plan is to keep her head down and graduate so she can leave her father and the crappy town he dragged her to in her wake. But when what starts as friendly completion with Marcus turns into more than a game, Addie has to decide if she’s willing to face down her demons…and possibly ruin the man she may or may not be falling in love with in the process.

What happens when the only thing you need is the one thing you can’t have?

 ADD TO GOODREADS

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Chapter 1
Marcus

I stare Caiden Brenner down over my younger sister Blaire’s shoulder. The beating early September sun in the courtyard of Town Hall is roasting me alive in this monkey suit, but I hardly notice. I’m too busy trying to get into my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s head.

“I do,” Blaire answers when the Justice of the Peace asks if she takes Caiden to be her husband.

I’ve decided Caiden isn’t the devil incarnate—that would be my ex-best friend, Nate—but I’m still struggling with what Caiden did to my sister four years ago, when he was twenty-five and she was barely seventeen.

But Blaire is shining in a way I’ve never seen her shine, and it’s more than the way she looks today—totally gorgeous in her bright blue sundress and black Converse, her long black hair tucked up in a bun on top of her head. It’s that, each time her eyes connect with Caiden’s, I see the visible change in her. All her sharp edges dull and something peaceful softens her face. Not only does she love him, she trusts him. For Blaire, that’s huge.

So maybe I need to trust him too.

I glance at Mom and Dad, seated in the short row of chairs under the small gazebo next to Caiden’s mother. Blaire and Caiden insisted on immediate family only at their civil service. They’re having a barbeque later at Graffiti Park for a few close friends and extended family.

I turn back in time to hear Caiden echo Blaire’s “I do,” then Blaire spins and look expectantly at me.

“What?” I ask.

Her expression turns decidedly more exasperated. “Jesus, Marcus.”

My eyes widen when it hits me what she’s waiting for. I pat my pocket and feel the ring there. I fish it out and hesitate.

Blaire’s glare could melt steel as she holds out her hand for it.

I swallow the acid rising up my throat and slip it into her palm. She’s really going through with this. She’s marrying the man who went to prison for statutory rape.

I’ve been hard on him. I know that. But all Blaire and I have ever had is each other. She’s always had my back, but I let her get hurt twice on my watch—once by Caiden, and then by Nate. It’s just been in the last few months that she’s seemed to find herself again after everything that happened. As much as I wish it were me that brought her back, I know it was Caiden. I need to cut him some slack.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath as they exchanging rings, and when I open them, they’re kissing.

When he finally lets her go, Blaire turns to me. She gives me a wary once over. “Just so you know, you suck as bro of honor.”

I duck my head and rub the sweat off the back of my neck. “You should have picked Zoey.”

Her eyes narrow. “I picked you, Marcus. I wanted you.”

Fuck. I really need to get over myself.

Just as I’m thinking this, Caiden slips to Blaire’s side and holds out his hand to me.

“Thanks for your support, Marcus.”

I split a glance between Caiden’s hand and my sister. Her gaze is unwavering, as usual, but under her hard exterior, I see a deep vulnerability in her eyes.

The moment of truth. Either I accept my new brother-in-law into the family, or break my sister’s heart.

I squeeze Caiden’s hand. Hard. “Welcome to the family. Just know this: You mess with Blaire, I will kill you.”

My compromise.

Blaire gives me her signature smirk, then tugs her groom closer and kisses him. “He messes with me, I’ll kill him.”

Caiden’s face beams as he looks at her. “Of that, I have no doubt.”

“You two are on grill duty at the reception,” she says, poking me in the chest. “And I expect you both to come away un-charred.”

I shake my head. “Can’t make any promises, sis.”

“That was lovely, Blaire,” Mom says, joining our small circle.

I glance around and find Dad already at the door. Social situations are his nightmare. This should be enough to drive him over the edge. But to his credit, he seems sober.

There’s an awkward moment where Blaire and our mother negotiate their way around a brief hug, then Mom backs away. “You said Zoey’s getting everything ready at the park?”

Blaire nods and pulls her phone out of her bra, glancing at the screen. “She says they’re ready anytime we are.”

Mom looks warily toward where Dad is shifting on his feet. “I might need to drop your father off at the house on the way. He’s not feeling well.”

Of course not. He’s already had to say hello to Caiden and his family. The thought of having to interact with more people at the reception is probably making him physically ill.

There’s a glint of disappointment in Blaire’s eyes, but it passes quickly as she thinks about it and comes to the same conclusion I have. “We’ll see you over there,” she says grasping Caiden’s hand and starting toward the parking lot.

 

Despite the “no gifts” decree, a handful of people wait near a pile of wrapped presents on one of the picnic tables under the small shelter when we arrive at Graffiti Park. The shelter has silver and blue streamers twisted around the poles and looped from the eaves, and the five picnic tables underneath are covered in blue paper table clothes with silver balloons tied to the benches. In the center of the middle table is a cake shaped like a penis in between two boobs. Blaire’s best friend Zoey’s contribution, no doubt.

Blaire leaves Caiden and I in the dust, where we’re carrying the gas grill from the back of my pickup truck across the grass to the shelter, and makes a beeline for Zoey. Her face is something between a scowl and a grin as she surveys the cake. “You know I’ll never be able to show my future children pictures of my wedding reception now.”

“But you’ll never forget it,” Zoey answers with a self-satisfied grin, wrapping Blaire in a hug. “Love you, girl.”

Next to me, Caiden’s feet stall and I yank the grill out of his hands when I keep walking. When I look back at him, he’s giving Blaire a stunned stare. But then a grin slowly spreads across his face.

“I guess this works,” I say, straightening out the grill next to the edge of the shelter.

His eyes snap to me as if he’s just remembering I exist. “Oh…sorry.”

I tug off my jacket. “So you guys are doing the whole kid thing?” I ask, tucking my tie inside the royal blue shirt I bought to match my sister’s wedding dress in a show of solidarity.

He glances at Blaire again and bobs a nod. “It appears that way.”

I crouch down to screw the gas line into the grill. “You haven’t talked about it?”

He shrugs as he pulls open a box of frozen Costco burgers. “Not specifically.”

“Kids makes it permanent,” I say in warning.

“Our marriage vows made it permanent,” he counters with more than a little irritation in his tone.

A hand brushes over my back. “Hey, good lookin’.”

I turn at the Texas drawl and find my date, Deanna, standing there in a tiny green dress and killer heels. She’s pretty in the Barbie sense: blond and blue with a heart-shaped face, copper skin, and an amazing body—long and lean with curves in all the right places.

I use the word “date” loosely. She’s the woman who stole my job at Oak Crest High. I know she was teaching in Texas for four years before coming here—the reason the school board cited for hiring her over me. Experience. Which means she’s at least three, maybe four years older than me. But what started as mindless frenemy sex a few weeks back has turned into a regular thing. When she invited herself to my sister’s wedding, it seemed a little heartless to tell her no.

She wraps her arms around my neck and sort of hangs off me. “How was the ceremony?”

I glance at Caiden, where he’s firing up the grill. “It was good.”

Deanna smiles at Caiden and holds out her hand. “I’m sure it was ten yards of romantic. Congratulation.”

He shakes her outstretched hand. “Thank you.”

I watch her walk over to Blaire and introduce herself. Maybe that’s something I should have done, but I feel like this thing is already taking on a life of its own, and her getting all chummy with my sister makes me a little nervous. I busy myself getting everything ready then take up my position next to my new brother-in-law when he starts throwing burgers on the grill.

“Listen, Marcus,” he says, tearing open a package of hot dogs. “I get that I’ve never been your favorite person and I can respect your reasons for that, but I need you to understand that Blaire is my life. I’ve given up everything for her and I’d do it all again if it meant the same result.”

“You can prove it by not fucking this up,” I say with a wave of the barbeque tongs between where Blaire is hugging some Berkeley friends who have just arrived and him.

“I can’t predict the future better than anyone else,” he answers, his eyes raising from the grill to his new bride, “but I can swear to you I’m going to do everything in my power not to.”

We cook and, at Zoey’s direction, people start filing past for burgers and dogs. Once most everyone is served, Caiden grabs a burger off the grill for Blaire and brings it to her. They sit across the picnic table from each other, and even though they’re talking to other people, their eyes keep straying to each other’s.

Deanna and Zoey seem to hit it off and are deep in conversation about shoes when I slip away from the shelter. On autopilot, my legs start up the hill toward the playground where Blaire, Nate, and I used to spend all our time as kids.

As I walk, I loosen my tie and flick open the top button. Near the top of the hill is a bench nestled into the shade of some big oaks. Nate and I carved it up pretty good back in the day. Which makes me wonder about him.

We haven’t spoken since I decked him after he cheated on Blaire. It’s been four years. He came back to town to live with his parents after we graduated college, and since it’s a small place, I saw him here and there, but it’s been a while. With any luck, he’s moved on.

I start toward the bench, but then see it’s occupied. A woman is laying on her back, her knees bent and her head propped on a backpack with a book in her hand.

I shove my hands in my pockets and look farther up the hill, toward the playground. There are a few benches up there, but they’re occupied by parents supervising their kids on the massive wooden play structure. The only free bench is facing into the afternoon sun, about twenty feet across the open, grassy area from the one the woman is occupying. I head over to it and plunk down on the end. I glare through the blinding sun at the woman on my bench before leaning onto my elbows and resting my face in my hands.

If you’d asked me five years ago where I thought I’d be right now, it wouldn’t have been here, coaching girls water polo at my old high school and working at the local gym. This is so not where I saw my life going. After living large for four years of high school and four more at college, I guess I started to feel charmed. But there’s nothing charming about crashing on a friend’s couch for the last six months because it’s all I can afford. I’ve only been out of UCLA for a year and I feel like I’ve already hit a total dead end, but I’ve got no one but myself to blame for that.

As the sun dips behind the tops of the trees surrounding the bench across the way, I sit up straight and look at the woman who stole it. There’s a second I wonder if she’s homeless, because her wardrobe has a definite secondhand vibe—a faded army-green tank with pale pink stripes under a baggy red cardigan, tattered jeans which are probably too short because they’re rolled halfway up her shins, and plaid Vans with no socks.

She rolls her head my direction and catches me staring.

I divert my eyes, but then blow out a disgusted laugh. I never would have done that back in college. She’s hot. I can see that from here. A hot girl makes eye contact, I would have held her gaze. I would have sent the message loud and clear with my eyes that I was interested.

When I glance up, she’s gone back to her book. I shove up off the bench and cram my hands into my pockets as I amble slowly toward her.

She lowers her book and sits up when she sees me, combing a hand through her thick strawberry blond corkscrew curls, and it strikes me that she looks vaguely familiar. Her face is thin and, at the bottom of a smallish nose that curls up slightly at the end are a pair of full, pink lips that tend to curl down. There’s the faintest hint of freckles smattering her cheeks and nose, and it’s kind of a turn-on that she’s comfortable enough in her own skin not to hide them behind layers of makeup. But it’s her charcoal gray eyes that snag all my attention. They’re large and round, but not innocent.

“Nice day,” I say, looking toward the shelter down the hill, wracking my brain trying to place how I know this woman. Maybe from the gym?

She closes her book and nods.

“Mind if I…?” I gesture at the now vacant end of the bench.

She gives me another wary nod.

I lower myself onto the spot her feet just occupied, and now I’ve got nothing else to say. I should have stayed on my own fucking bench. I give her a second to bail me out, and when she doesn’t, I gesture to the book. “Good book?”

She lifts the book and shows me the cover. The Metamorphosis. “It’s okay.”

I pull it from her hand and read the description on the back cover. “Pretty dark.”

She almost shrugs, more with her face than her body. “I found a list of the twenty-five most controversial books of all time. Making my way through the ones that interest me.” In the corner of my eye, I see her wave her hand at the book I’m thumbing through. “That’s number ten.”

I look up at her. “What are numbers one through nine?”

“Lolita is number one. I’d already read that, though, as well as number two, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, number four, The Grapes of Wrath, and number nine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

“So, what new books have you picked up because of the list?” I lift The Metamorphosis. “Other than this?”

She looks at the book in my hand rather than me as she ticks off on her fingers. “I skipped American Psycho, which is number three, but I’ve read the rest: And Tango Makes Three, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Tropic of Cancer, and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie…which I have to say was pretty dry.”

“That’s a pretty impressive reading list.” I set the book down on the bench between us. “So, you’re not a Rushdie fan. What did you think of the others?”

“And Tango Makes Three was cute. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was depressing, and The Tropic of Cancer was…” She trails off and gives me that face shrug again. But this time she’s blushing through her freckles.

It’s been a while since I read it, but my recollection is it’s full of graphic sex. She’s embarrassed to talk to me about it, and for some reason that sends a rush through insides that settles in my groin. My gaze trials over the lines of her face, down her long neck, then trickles over her body. She’s on the tall side and athletic, with breasts that are a perfect handful, a flat stomach, and long, toned legs that I’d suddenly kill to have wrapped around my head.

“And what’s the verdict on this one?” I ask, handing back The Metamorphosis.

A shadow passes over her face as she looks at the cover. “It’s…thought provoking.”

“What thoughts is it provoking?” I ask, laying the innuendo on thick and hoping I’m not the only one feeling the attraction.

The thought passes through the back of my mind that hitting on another woman while my date is just down the hill is a pretty skanky thing to do, but there’s something compelling about this girl. The idea that I might never see her again tugs hard at my gut. I can’t let this chance to find out who she is slip by.

“Have you read it?” she asks.

I lean in and shake my head. “Should I?”

“It’s a little out there,” she says with an unsure squint.

“Why don’t you save me the trouble and give me the SparkNotes,” I say, looping my arm behind her and resting it on the back of the bench.

She gives me a curious look, and I feel her body tense under my arm.

I give her my best cocky smile and arch an eyebrow. I intentionally let my fingers brush her shoulder and am rewarded with a shudder. “Unless you’d prefer I leave?”

A sly smile curves her pink lips as she lowers her lashes, and the rush in my groin intensifies.

“The SparkNotes…” she says, picking up the book between us. I take the opportunity to slide closer. “This guy Gregor wakes up one day to find he’s a giant bug…which I get is a little weird, and there’s no explanation as to why, but the upshot is that everyone is pretty grossed out by him and all his family seems to care about is that he can’t do his job anymore, so he can’t contribute to the finances. He can only speak bug, so because they can’t understand him, they assume he can’t understand them when they say they wish he’d just go away. But he can’t leave because he has nowhere to go, and also because his father threw an apple at him and injured him pretty badly, so he hides in his room and eventually just dies.”

“Seriously?” When I take the book back and turn it over to read the jacket copy again, I notice it came from the county library.

“Seriously,” she answers, earnestly.

I lift my eyes to hers. “So a happy ending, then,” I say, my voice full of sarcasm.

“Yeah, right.” Her eyes lower to the book in my hand. “I don’t really understand why it’s the tenth most controversial book of all time, but it’s a pretty true testament to human nature. Gregor is messed up, so instead of trying to help him, people just wish he’d go away.”

There’s no mistaking the mix of disdain and sadness in her tone. I only realize how intently I’m staring at her when she turns her face away. Does she feel that people wish she’d go away? And, if so, who is making her feel that way and why? Is she “messed up?”

The overpowering need to know sweeps through me in a rush that forces a shuddering breath from my lungs.

“So, what’s next on the list?” I ask, handing the book back.

“Brave New World,” she answers, her eyes lifting to mine again.

I cuff a laugh. “That one I have read. Another uplifting story.”

“So I hear.” She glances down the hill in the direction I came from. “So, what’s going on down there, anyway? Someone’s birthday?”

My gaze follows hers. “My sister’s wedding reception.”

“In a public park?” she asks, her eyebrows raising in surprise.

I nod. “Graffiti Park is special. We spent a lot of time here as kids.”

“Graffiti Park? That’s really the name of this place?” she asks, looking around.

“I have no clue what the real name is. That’s just what we’ve always called it.” My thumb brushes over where Nate carved my name into the back of bench we’re sitting on at least ten years ago.

She squints toward the shelter below and shades her eyes from the last of the afternoon sun. “I don’t see a bride.”

I point to Blaire. “The one in the bright blue dress.”

“That sort of flies in the face of tradition, doesn’t it?” she asks, still watching.

“That’s my sister. She’s never cared much about social conventions. If you search YouTube for her valedictory graduation speech from Oak Crest High four years ago, you’ll see what I mean.”

Her eyes snap to mine, wide and curious, and her gaze knocks the wind out of me. “What did she say?”

“She basically told the whole world off. But that was because her now husband,” I say with a jut of my chin at the gathering below, “had just been arrested for statutory rape.”

Her eyes widen even more. “Oh my God!”

“She’s always insisted they were in love, and the age difference shouldn’t matter. It was her giant ‘fuck you’ to society.”

Her head cocks to the side as she watches the party below. “I like her already.” She turns back to me. “Won’t they miss you?”

I press myself against her shoulder. “I’m disturbing you?”

A sardonic smile ghosts over her features as she lifts the book. “I was in the middle of reading the thoughts of a dying giant bug-person and not thinking that was at all weird, so I’m obviously already very disturbed.”

I can’t stop staring, because she’s suddenly stunningly beautiful. Her eyes flash, looking momentarily more black then gray, and there’s a long, deep dimple in her right cheek, which is the only one I can see because of the angle of her head. I’m dying to know if there’s a matching one on the other side.

The smile fades under my scrutiny and when she drops her gaze to the book between us, a cascade of strawberry corkscrews hide her face. “Sorry. Stupid joke.”

“No!” Damn. A little too eager there, tiger. I work to lower my voice. “I mean, it wasn’t stupid. It was funny.”

I just forgot to laugh because your smile knocked me senseless for a sec.

She lifts a knee to her chest, hooking the heel of her sneaker on the edge of the bench. Her knee pokes through the long crosswise tear in her jeans. “It’s okay, my sense of humor’s pretty dry. Not too many people get me.”

“Your sense of humor is refreshing,” I say. “And as for people getting you, most people don’t pay enough attention to anyone but themselves to ‘get’ much of anything.”

“Marcus!”

I look down the hill at Deanna’s voice. She’s at the shelter waving her hands over her head to get my attention. There’s a sudden cramp in my stomach at the thought of her coming up here.

“Looks like you have to go.” I’d swear a catch a hint of disappointment in her tone.

“Looks like.” I stand and shove my hands into my pockets. “My name is Marcus, by the way.”

She smiles and something roguish flashes in her eyes. “I know.”

Fuck. I do know her. Everything felt so relaxed and comfortable between us. I hate that I might have just fucked that up. Before it gets totally awkward, I blurt, “I’d be up for maybe getting a burger at Sam Hill sometime, if you’re into that.”

She nods, but that wary glint is back in her eyes. “Yeah…sure.”

I fish my phone from my pocket. “Can I get your number?”

She reels it off and I type it in. “Girl who stole my bench,” is say with a cocky grin as I type it in to contacts. I turn my amusement on her. “Or is there something else I should call you?”

He gives me a questioning tip of her head. “Addie.”

I know that name. Someone I went to high school with, maybe? My brain chugs harder trying to put the pieces together as I type it in. “Got it,” I say, holding up my phone. “I’ll give you a call.”

She squints at me. “Okay.”

I start backing down the path. “Enjoy my bench,” I say with a wink.

She lifts the book in a wave. “See you Monday, Coach.”

Suddenly I see her face under a navy blue swim cap with the Oak Crest Cougar on the side. The jolt of electric panic almost knocks my legs out from under me and I stumble, just catching myself before I go down.

Because she’s on my fucking team.

I ran tryouts Wednesday and Thursday. Practices just started yesterday. I’m still trying to get the new girls’ names. She said Addie, but my roster says Addaline, I think. All I can remember for sure is she’s a senior transfer and mostly keeps to herself.

“Fuck me,” I mutter, then hear myself. I hold up a hand. “I mean…” I trail off in a cringe. “Sorry for the language.” Because I’m not supposed to swear in front of a fucking student.

But fuck. My mind reels, replaying everything I said and did and trying to figure out how to backpedal out of this. “So, we’ll talk about a…team dinner…for bonding and whatever…at practice on Monday.”

Just shoot me now.

She tips her head and bites her lips, fighting a smile. “Sounds good, Coach.”

After what feels like a small eternity, I shake myself loose from her gaze and start down the hill without saying anything else. I can only dig myself deeper at this point. But the whole way, all I can think about is that, as shitty as my life is at the moment, it might have just gotten shittier.

 

Dirty

A poem by Blaire Leon

If sex is dirty, why would I do it with someone I love?

If sex is dirty, then didn’t we all come from the dirt?

What if I like the dirt?

What if I want to get dirty?

What if I want to roll in the mud until I’m so fucking filthy that I’ll never be clean again?

When twenty-five-year-old graduate assistant Caiden Brenner asked Blaire Leon how old she was, she said she was a senior. He chose to believe she meant in college. They connect over Lord Byron’s Don Juan and, as their conversations become increasingly thicker with sexual innuendo, Caiden finds himself obsessing over a totally off-limits undergrad who’s bold, beautiful, brilliant, and one of the most passionate poets he’s ever met.

But it turns out Blaire hasn’t been totally honest. She’s the seventeen-year-old valedictorian of her high school class, taking courses at Sierra State while awaiting her acceptance to Stanford.

Will Caiden get too deeply into Blaire to back away before he finds out the truth? Or will their connection be enough to seduce him into risking his entire future on Jail Bait?

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About the Author:

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

Great Getaway with ONLY FOREVER by Cristin Harber

Aonlyforeverbout ONLY FOREVER

The fourth and final installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.

There comes a time when Emma must face the secret she kept from Grayson. But she never thought it would be while she stood on stage at Emerald’s. The seconds she has to convey that her life is in danger are lost in the devastation that she sees rip through him.

She pinches her eyes closed. “Don’t leave me. No matter how mad you are, please, please don’t leave me here alone.”

But there’s more on the line than just Emma’s safety. There’s the danger that brought Titan’s Delta team in to the strip club in the first place. A threat that’s too close to home, too close to the family, the daughter and woman Grayson plans to claim.

I push away the sudden spring of fear. Life’s too unknown, with hidden enemies and unseen terrors. The idea that I could lose her again… it’s unbearable.

A love story like Grayson and Emma needs a forever love, and somehow they’ll find their way to her fairytale.

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If you need to catch up on the Only series, you can start with ONLY FOR HIM here!

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I couldn’t wait to read this final installment in Grayson and Emma’s story.  I was anxiously waiting from the moment I finished reading Only Us.  I needed to know how Emma’s secret was going to play out.

The best of the Only series by Cristin Harber is how real the story feels.  Throughout the 4 installments, Grayson and Emma’s story was full of emotion.  Characters came to life with Harber’s seemingly effortless writing.  I couldn’t help but want the happily ever after for this family.

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ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

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Great Getaway with THE MAGNOLIA AFFAIR by T.A. Foster

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 Title: The Magnolia Affair

Author: TA Foster

Genre: Romantic Thriller

Release Day: May 21st

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 abouthebook

Audrey Kingston has the perfect life she always wanted. An adoring husband, a beautiful house, book club nights with friends. It was idyllic. It was serene. Until Paxton Tanner, candidate for state senator, moved in next door.

Seduced by his undeniable charm, Audrey’s life becomes unrecognizable as she gives in to her impulses.

The affair becomes deadly, and she gets tossed into a political scandal that leads all the way to the governor’s office.

When love becomes lethal, there’s only one way out.

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I was looking forward to reading T.A. Foster’s lastest, The Magnolia Affair, while on vacation this past week.  I couldn’t resist and started while on my overseas flight.  I was so engrossed in Audrey’s story that the pages kept turning and I missed out on my usual routine of sleep.

Foster does a wonderful job with the suspense.  I couldn’t help but want to know what was going to happen next.  And by the end, I couldn’t believe the twist and ending.  I had to read the last couple of chapters more than once.  I hope to see more suspense titles from T.A. Foster…I can’t imagine what other twists she can provide her readers.

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aboutheauthor

T.A. Foster grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, three children and canine kiddo.

She has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.

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Media Blitz Tour – BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL by K.K. Hendin

BEAUTIFUL LITTLE FOOL by KK Hendin

April 2015

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BOOK BLURB: 

Eighty seven billion dollars.

One dead New York business mogul.

No heirs.

No wives.

No relatives.

Eighty seven billion dollars.

Not hers yet.

He doesn’t deserve them.

He doesn’t know what to do with them.

She does.

She always has.

Eighty seven billion dollars.

He’s overwhelmed.

She’s prepared.

That will should have had her name.

Not his.

Eighty seven billion dollars.

His looks are a bonus.

Her looks are her weapon.

He’s fighting a losing battle against his heart.

He doesn’t know it yet.

Eighty seven billion dollars.

She gets everything she wants.

He’s what she wants.

Love has nothing to do with it.

To get to where you’re going, sometimes you need to step on a few people to get there.

Good thing her heels are sharp.

 

EXCERPT

Sitting at her desk a little later that evening, Cedar did the same thing she did every night—something nobody knew she did, and that she would never even think about telling anyone. She Googled herself. Well, she didn’t actually Google herself as much as she logged into a secret account and checked the Google alerts for that day.

Being Cedar Reynolds was a full time job, and that included making sure that all the PR about her was positive. Some people said no publicity was bad publicity, but Cedar was not one of those people. Yes, bad publicity made people talk about you, but some things didn’t need to be publicized. And luckily, they weren’t.

Morgan had tweeted about their meeting today, which Cedar thought was kind of odd, but she was nothing but singing praises of Cedar and the gallery so it was okay. Talking about how strong Cedar was in the face of such a tragedy. The president had commented on Harold’s death, and was said to be coming to the funeral. Who the hell was saying that, Cedar wasn’t really sure, because she hadn’t heard back from anyone at the White House, and neither had Cecil. He would have let her know right away because that’s what she paid him money to do.

She scrolled through the rest of the Google alerts, finding nothing else interesting. One article about Harold mentioned her in the context of poor orphan Cedar, which made her roll her eyes and take down the name of the person who wrote the article. It was true that Harold had taken her under his wing when her parents were killed, but it wasn’t like she was a poor little orphan.

But she could play one if she had to. With things like that, she always played the victim, and was careful to make sure she did. People liked you more when they believed you had a vulnerable side. Cedar’s was complete and utter bullshit, but nobody had to know that.

She got out of the tub, hair piled on the top of her head, rivulets of water running down her stomach and collecting neatly onto the mat. There was nothing about Cedar that wasn’t neat. Nothing. And if there was, it was ruthlessly dealt with until it was no longer an issue.

Cedar wrapped herself up in her robe, and slid her feet into her slippers, a pair of silk lined heels. Flats were for peasants, and any potential heiress of the Feingold fortune was not a peasant. Her housekeeper was, though, if her outfit today was any indication. And the fact that she was working as a fucking housekeeper, for God’s sake. Cedar thought about possibly instating a uniform to her house staff, and wrote a note to herself, reminding her to talk to Jean-Paul about designing a uniform. She had a reputation to uphold, and having a housekeeper in shitty clothing was not a way to do it.

A few more phone calls and emails were sent before she went to bed, satisfied. The funeral wasn’t until the next week, but it was going to be the most amazing funeral that New York had ever seen.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

KK Hendin’s real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she’ll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. She’s the author of the NA contemporaries HEART BREATHS and ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG.

THIS MUCH SPACE is the second book in her new series, TWELVE BEATS IN A BAR.

KK spends way too much time on Twitter (where she can be found as @kkhendin), and rambles on occasion over at www.kkhendinwrites.blogspot.com.

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