Release Blitz & Review- The Lion Heart by Carrie Aarons

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The Lion Heart by Carrie Aarons is now LIVE and FREE in KU!
𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐛 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐞: mybook.to/TheLionHeart

𝙆𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙣 𝙋𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙥𝙨, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙟𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧.

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙟𝙤𝙠𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙤𝙩-𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙧.
𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙢𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙄 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡.
𝙊𝙝, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙧? 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙍𝙖𝙮𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙣.
𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙨𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙩 𝙢𝙚, 𝙮𝙤𝙪’𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙤𝙛𝙛 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙢𝙮 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙙.

TLH cover

Blurb

He’s supposed to be the ruler of this kingdom.
The prince poised to take his rightful place on the pitch.
Instead, he plays the jester, shunning his legacy.
Only I am privy to his lion heart.

Kingston Phillips is the heir to England’s football dynasty. The offspring of two of the world’s greatest players, the expectations set on his shoulders could crush the universe. But the golden-haired Adonis chooses to live his life as a game; a series of nightclubs, brawls, pranks and different kit chasers parading through his sheets.

I’m the last woman he should chase, and I’ve told him so. My cheeky mouth and icy demeanor guard the secret no one can learn. But when the Casanova I’ve been avoiding becomes the bloke next door, he quickly begins to thaw the frost around my heart. Kingston shows me the ferocious, loyal, protective side of himself that no one else gets to witness.

I begin to realize that he’s just as damaged as I am.
That as much as I try to deny it, we’re the same.
And … that might just be our undoing.

 

Teaser 1

Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as The Tenth Girl and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the love stories of her imagination, and the athleisure dress code, much better.

When she isn’t writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and Lab/Great Dane rescue.

Author Links

Website   ***   Newsletter   ***   Amazon  ***   Facebook

Carrie’s Reader Group   ***   Instagram   ***   Twitter   ***   BookBub  ***  Goodreads

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debbiesreview

I couldn’t wait to read Carrie Aaron’s new series, Rogue Academy. I enjoyed reading the first book in the series, The Second Coming. In The Second Coming we are introduced to Kingston and Poppy. From the beginning there are sparks and I was waiting for CA to announce the second in the series.

I think The Lion Heart might have moved to the top of my CA favorites. The match of Kingston and Poppy is brilliant. I loved that although both are beautiful, rich, and famous, CA gives us characters that have some vulnerability and depth to keep us invested in their story.

Cover Reveal – GREAT AND PRECIOUS THINGS by Rebecca Yarros

How do you define yourself when others have already decided who you are?
Six years ago, when Camden Daniels came back from war without his younger brother, no one in the small town of Alba, Colorado, would forgive him—especially his father.  He left, swearing never to return.
But a desperate message from his father brings it all back. The betrayal. The pain.  And the need to go home again.
But home is where the one person he still loves is waiting. Willow. The one woman he can never have. Because there are secrets buried in Alba that are best left in the dark.
If only he could tell his heart to stay locked away when she whispers she’s always loved
him, and always will…
Great and Precious Things is a heart-wrenching story about family, betrayal, and
ultimately how far we’re willing to go on behalf of those who need us most.
PREORDER AT THESE RETAILERS 
B&N | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | 
Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and paleo. She is the author of The Last Letter, the Renegade series, and the Flight & Glory series, which includes Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned SkywardBeyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes and has been
blissfully married to hers for eighteen years. 

 

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, and an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet. Having fostered and adopted their youngest daughter, Rebecca is passionate about helping others in the foster system through her nonprofit, One October.

 

Release Blast & Review – JOCK ROAD by Sara Ney

 


EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL. 

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras. His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol. 

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.
Repeat.  
Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough. 
 
BIG. DUMB. JOCK.
Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.

 

Available HERE:

Amazon

Free in KU


Meet the Author:
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives in the Midwest, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. 
For a list of cities/venues Sara will be signing at, or to purchase signed books, please visit her website at http://www.authorsaraney.com

 

 
 

 

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debbiesreview
I’ve enjoyed Sara Ney’s Jock Hard series and Jock Road is a fun addition to the series.  From the start, Triple J and Charlie had me laughing and smiling.
Jock Road is a fun, sweet romance that is over before you’re ready to say good-bye to Jackson and Charlie.  The initial encounters had me laughing and eager to see how their relationship was going to develop.  I couldn’t help but fall a bit for Jackson.
I’m hoping to read more in Ney’s Jock Hard series.

 

Cover Reveal – THE LION HEART by Carrie Aarons

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TLH cover

Your next binge read has a cover! The Lion Heart is the second new adult sports romance in the Rogue Academy series, and can be read as a standalone! This book is cheeky, charming, emotional and most of all steamy!

Add The Lion Heart to your TBR: bit.ly/TheLionHeartTBR

Read The Second Coming (Rogue Academy, Book One): mybook.to/TheSecondComingAMZ

Blurb:

He’s supposed to be the ruler of this kingdom.
The prince poised to take his rightful place on the pitch.
Instead, he plays the jester, shunning his legacy.
Only I am privy to his lion heart.

Kingston Phillips is the heir to England’s football dynasty. The offspring of two of the world’s greatest players, the expectations set on his shoulders could crush the universe. But the golden-haired Adonis chooses to live his life as a game; a series of nightclubs, brawls, pranks and different kit chasers parading through his sheets.

I’m the last woman he should chase, and I’ve told him so. My cheeky mouth and icy demeanor guard the secret no one can learn. But when the Casanova I’ve been avoiding becomes the bloke next door, he quickly begins to thaw the frost around my heart. Kingston shows me the ferocious, loyal, protective side of himself that no one else gets to witness.

I begin to realize that he’s just as damaged as I am.
That as much as I try to deny it, we’re the same.
And … that might just be our undoing.

 

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Blog Tour – RULES OF A REBOUND by Nina Crespo

Today we have the blog tour of RULES OF A REBOUND by Nina Crespo! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: RULES OF A REBOUND

Author: Nina Crespo

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Rules of A Rebound:

Natalie Winters thought she’d married the man of her dreams…but her marriage ended way too soon in a nightmarish divorce. She even has to share custody of the dog! The stress is killing her, so she decides to take a night off and attend the Breakup Bash—a private party for women celebrating their breakups—with her friends.

Former executive security specialist turned bartender Rome Collier is drawn to the woman easily trading sexy banter with him. And if she wants the “Do Me” condoms she accidentally throws across the counter at him, she’ll have to claim them…personally. Their flirtation turns into so much more, and every scintillating night they spend together is better than the last.

Strong, protective…and hot, Rome is everything Natalie ever wanted in a man. All she has to do is convince him he’s more than a rebound.

Grab Your Copy Today

Catch up on the Standalone Series:

The First Rule of Hook-Ups, Book 1

 

About Nina:

Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.

Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.

Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

***JOIN NINA’S READERS GROUP***

Help spread the word about the books in the Breakup Bash series as well as upcoming books. Your participation will not go unrewarded. Freebies, ARC’s, awesome swag, and bookish treats are a part of the fun!

Fill out the questionnaire here: https://forms.gle/PXwA5LaJa79CDPRK8

Connect with Nina:

Website | Book Page | Newsletter | BookBub | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook Author Page | Twitter

Enter Nina’s Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nina Crespo’s Rules of a Rebound was exactly what I didn’t know I needed to read.  I loved the chemistry from the start and could not put down my kindle until the last page was read.  Rome and Natalie are a fun match up.  I enjoyed this light on the drama but sexy romance.  I’ll be picking up the first in Crespo’s Breakup Bash.

 

 

Release Blitz – The Complete Captive Heart Duet by Carrie Aarons

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All 3 Covers Teaser

Charlotte never thought she’d be staring down the barrel of a gun when she walked into her thankless bank job. Especially one that is held by her childhood neighbor and the boy who broke her young heart, Tucker. And the last thing she expected was to become his hostage. What ensues is a story of heartbreak, recovery, passion, and prevailing through it all to save the love that still burns between them.

“Aarons takes a typical boy next door romance and turns it on its head. No flowers and sweet, swoon-worthy late night stolen kisses here. There is grit and suspense and a struggle to move forward; and Aarons does it flawlessly.” -The Read Report

Strong Athletic Man Fitness Model Torso showing six pack abs. is

LOST

We knew each other a lifetime ago. And then…
We lost childhoods. We lost opportunities. We lost love.
Fate is giving us another chance. But a chance at what?
Because even though we’ve been brought back to each other under the worst of circumstances…
We are still. So. Damn. Lost.

Strong Athletic Man Fitness Model Torso showing six pack abs. is

FOUND

We found each other where no else could.
Found a purpose. Found ourselves. Found love.
Again.
But then life got in the way.
Three years later and the people that we once were are nowhere to be found.
Can our love survive everything we’ve put it through?
Can we find a way back to each other…
Again?

Teaser 1

One-click The Complete Captive Heart Duet, 99 cents for release day only: mybook.to/CHDuet

Add The Complete Captive Heart Duet to your Goodreads TBR: bit.ly/CHDuet

Author Bio:

Author of romance novels such as The Tenth Girl and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the love stories of her imagination, and the athleisure dress code, much better.

When she isn’t writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and Lab/Great Dane rescue.

Author Links:

Website  **  Facebook  **  Reader Group  **  Instagram

Twitter  **  BookBub  **  Goodreads

Sign up for Carrie’s Newsletter: bit.ly/2LzzxXA
Check out Carrie’s books on Amazon: amzn.to/2Pn3XkR

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debbiesreview

LOST and FOUND make up Carrie Aarons’ Captive Hearts Duet.  I have to admit that I’m glad to have waited to read both together.  I cannot imagine if I had to wait for FOUND after only reading LOST.  Charlotte and Tucker couldn’t be any more real than what CA gives readers in this duet.  Living a life that can seem very relatable while adding issues that sometimes seem unimaginable, Charlotte and Tucker could easily be a IRL couple.

While some of the subject matter may be a bit grittier than what I’ve experienced reading CA in the past, the reading experience remains the same.  I was rooting for Charlotte and Tucker through both books and very happy to see them fight for their HEA.

Cover Reveal – JOCK ROAD by Sara Ney

Book 3 in the Jock Hard Series Releases September 5th! 

 
 
 
EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

 

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.

 

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

 

Repeat.  

Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough. 

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.

 

PRE-ORDER HERE:

Will be FREE in KU

 

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives in the Midwest, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. 
 
For a list of cities/venues Sara will be signing at, or to purchase signed books, please visit her website at http://www.authorsaraney.com

 

 

 

 

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Blog Tour & Review – DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION by Donna Grant

Today we are excited to help celebrate the release for Donna Grant’s DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION with a blog tour post today! DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION is the highly anticipated 8th installment of the Reapers series. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, you’re going to want to get your hands on this!

Purchase your copy of DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION today!
Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM | Google

Amazon UK | Amazon CA

DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION by Donna Grant

AVAILABLE NOW!

About DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION:

There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

My duty to Death drives me forward. I’ve never once strayed from my path – not even when the future seemed uncertain. However, Maeve’s intelligence, cunning and determination challenges me in ways I never imagined. Finding out what she knows is the key to learning how to conquer our enemy. The Dark Fae breathes new life into me unlike anything I’ve ever know. For Maeve, I will risk trusting the Dark. For her…I will battle darkness itself.

Purchase your copy of DARK ALPHA’S REDEMPTION today!
Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM | Google

Amazon UK | Amazon CA


About DONNA GRANT

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Follow Donna:
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

I can’t help but pick up every new Reapers book that Donna Grant puts out.  I love her world building and always look forward to escaping in them.

Dark Alpha’s Redemption has Bradach finally meeting his match in Maeve.  Death’s assassin and a Dark Fae.  Love it!  The chemistry and action will keep the pages turning.  I did feel that I would have benefited from a reread of some of the earlier books in the series but this didn’t detract from the enjoyment of reading Dark Alpha’s Redemption.

I’m very much looking forward to what is in store in the upcoming books in the Reapers series.

 

Release Blitz & Review – SMUT UNIVERSITY by Kahlen Aymes

Smut University by USA Today bestselling author Kahlen Aymes.Available Now!This is a series or short reads, priced to own, but also in #KindleUnlimited!

Genre: Contemporary Romance

PLEASE Add #SmutU to your TBR LIST by clicking the link!! –> http://bit.ly/2QIVBBr
35k word Novella (part 1 in the series)

Welcome to SMUT UNIVERSITY! 

The Art of Sex… In Writing. 
The name alone would have made it the most sought-after writing course at Columbia, but it didn’t hurt that the professor was smoking hot!
Addison Tomms was an aspiring romance novelist and senior Creative Writing Major at the prestigious Ivy League university.  The class was packed and judging by the tongues wagging and the obvious swooning by the male and female student body alike, she figured she was one, in maybe a hundred, serious writing students in the auditorium. 
Addy knew Dr. Jackson Michaels was a New York Times bestseller many times over, and secretly, she devoured his books. His love scenes set the pages, and her body, on fire.  It was no secret that the associate professor teaching the course was sexy… but was he as really as sexy as his words?
Addison had her answer on the very first day of class when the handsome Dr. Michaels taunted and teased his students with what the class actually entailed; all watching with mouths agape. He was a thousand percent more stunning in person than the television entertainment interviews she’d seen or any of the photos that she and her best friend, Michelle, had spent hours searching online.
Something stirred deep inside her when his sensual eyes raked over her because she’d been the only one brave enough to answer his first question.  Her reaction was physical; his gaze felt as if he’d actually touched her, and she was more and more intrigued.
Addy knew this man would rock her world… but it wouldn’t just be between the pages. 

 

SMUT UNIVERSITY (Part One) Excerpt
His eyes locked with mine.  “Miss Tomms,” he said my name without asking who I was. A shiver ran through me that he remembered; like it foreshadowed some earth-shattering scene about to come.  Those intense eyes framed by incredibly dark lashes.  The strong jaw. The broad, muscular shoulders.  God, that face.  That f*cking sex hair.  Up close it was criminal how incredibly sexy he was. He was utterly stunning.
My breath left me in a soft rush, and I sucked in another so I could speak.  “Dr. Michaels,” I acknowledged with a small nod.
He had a file box in front of him that held the graded papers separated alphabetically by dividers.  He reached in and slowly pulled mine out.  Maybe this weird tradition he had of insisting the first assignment was printed out was his way to bring his students face-to face in order to press upon us just how intimidating he actually was.  And, he was.
There was admiration in his eyes as they roamed over my face and hair, lingering on my mouth.  I couldn’t help looking at his.  His lips were as perfect as the rest of him, the lower one full and begging to be bitten.  I cleared my throat.  I felt like helpless prey; paralyzed by a mixture of fear and adulation; the venom of his incredible eyes and his scent.  Whether it was his will to eat me alive or seduce me, it was certain that I would succumb to either in that moment. My heart thrummed inside my chest, blood rushing in my ears, wetness pooling between my legs.  Oh, God, my legs went weak and I struggled to stand.
His long fingers bent the stack of stapled paper so that the grade was hidden from view when he held it out to me. I held the book bag to me with one arm and reached for the document with the other hand.
He pulled it back for a second, denying it to me, his brilliant eyes still burning, but now teasing into mine.  I cocked one eyebrow in question and a hint of a smile graced his luscious mouth.  “I’d like to see you in my office, tomorrow. I have office hours from four to six.  Does that work?”
My mind was racing; wondering at the reason behind his request at the same time as my heart fell into the pit of my stomach.  Did I totally screw up the assignment?  I felt like I was about to throw up and wished the earth would open up and swallow me.
He cleared his throat.  “Miss Tomms?  Does that work for you?”
“Ummm,” I stammered. “Yes, professor.  See you then.”
“Excellent.”  He handed me the paper, his eyes still not breaking contact.  I felt like I was falling into the deepest end of the ocean, drowning and only he could save me. I was in trouble.
“Yes, sir.”
My heart felt as if it would fly from my aching chest as I took the paper and turned, concentrating on walking without rushing to the far left of the room, taking the side stairs up to the marble lobby and then walking out of the building.  I wanted to look at the grade as I clutched the still folded assignment in my hand, but something inside me hesitated.  My heart felt like it would explode as I opened the folded pages and then, in astonishment flipped through the rest.  There was no grade.  No editorial mark-ups.  Nothing.
“What the f*ck?” I exclaimed.
 
Meet the Author
Kahlen is a USA Today Bestselling author, who writes sizzling hot, deeply moving romantic fiction in New Adult/Erotica/Adult Contemporary,  Her books have been on several bestseller lists including Amazon, Publisher’s Weekly, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and USA Today.
While all of her stories are sensual, hot, full of love, romance and angst, readers should expect fresh plots, compelling characters and an abundance of steamy scenes on each series/story.  NO COOKIE-CUTTERS Allowed!
Creative by nature, she enjoys the arts, music & theater, loves reading romance, dystopian, and fantasy.  Her favorite things include music, dancing, cooking, animals, & long walks with her iPod, conjuring up her newest book boyfriend.   
Facebook  *  Instagram  *  Twitter  *  Site  *  Newsletter

TravelsnReads-Dividerdebbiesreview

For my first read by Kahlen Aymes, Smut University #1 has me ready to read more of this serial.

I really enjoyed the set up of for this serial. Hot, successful novelist/professor with an aspiring writer student in his Art of Writing Sex class. Addy and Jaxon provide chemistry and heat that you can’t help feel coming off the pages. The only down side is this is a short, quick read that will leave you wanting more. But that will just have you ready to read more. Can’t wait.

 

Release Day Blitz – BREAKING THE HABIT by Ember Leigh

Today we have the release blitz for BREAKING THE HABIT by Ember Leigh! Check out the festivities and grab your copy today!

Title: Breaking the Habit

Author: Ember Leigh

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About BREAKING THE HABIT:

He’s on a war path to fame.

And Levi Swain doesn’t care who knows it. The more people that know him, the better. As the hottest MMA rising star, opportunities are materializing out of thin air. When a wealthy sponsor approaches him, looking to have Levi cause a tabloid-worthy scandal, Levi only knows how to say yes. He didn’t come to war to lose.

Except he never counted on meeting Riley. The glam-shy bombshell who won’t touch fame with a ten-foot selfie stick. Levi planned on her ending up another notch on the bedpost, where every girl ends up. Instead, Riley is everything he wasn’t looking for. The artistic dark angel who can knock him out faster than a middleweight champion with just one glance.

Out here in Hollywood? He can have fame, or he can have true love.

But he can’t have both.

 

Grab Your Copy Today!

Catch up on the rest of the Breaking Series!

BREAKING THE RULES (Book #1)

CHANGING THE GAME (Book #2)

BREAKING THE SINNER (Book #3)

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

“I really appreciate you bringing dinner,” she said, squeezing the top of the arm chair. She wouldn’t sit down again, so he got the message: this meet-up was over. “How much do I owe you?”

He scoffed, pocketing his phone. Something clouded his eyes, but she couldn’t tell what. And she wouldn’t know, either. Because she was done with this stupid habit of picking the wrong guy. Falling for the same tired ploys. “Nothing. It was on me.”

“You sure?”

“Occasional dinners are part of the contract,” he clarified. “The informal contract. The one that says that occasional nights out are included, too.”

She arched a brow. “Nights out?”

“Yeah, like going to a bar. Or a winery. Or an ax-throwing range. Whatever you’re into.”

His honey eyes twinkled as he watched her. He was opening the door enough for her to slink through.

“This is unrelated to the work you’re doing for my league,” he clarified as he gathered their trash into one bag. “If you say no, it’s not like I’m going to find another photographer. I told you—you’re my ride or die.”

God, it was so tempting. The way he looked at her warmed her straight to her frozen core. The scruff on his chin, his sturdy width, the masculinity that poured out from every inch of him. He was the type of man she’d always dreamt about, the shadowy physical ideal of perfection that made her core clench from glimpsing him. But more than that, he had a warmth buried behind the jokes and the perfect body that made it hard to turn away.

But she knew enough about him to stay away. No matter how much she wished for a pair of strong arms on her loneliest nights, dating a guy who would only hurt her just so she had a body in her bed wasn’t the way for her. Not anymore. Not after what had happened with Braden.

“I…really can’t.”

Levi wet his bottom lip, that intense gaze unwavering. “Like, tonight or…ever?”

“Ever.”

Levi worked his jaw back and forth, not looking away. She held his gaze, wanting to win this battle of fortitude or stubbornness or whatever the hell it was.

“Cool.” He cleared his throat as he stood, an awkward weight in the air between them. His sneakers scuffed as he ran his hands through his hair, heading toward the door.

“Do you want me to send you these pictures tonight, or…?” Her voice sounded strange in the quiet room. She had to give it to him—he’d respected her line in the sand. So why did her heartbeat echo between her ears, pulse racing with the secret desire to go back on her word and accept the damn invite?

Levi was the last person she needed to give in to.

This needed to stay a work relationship.

“Yeah, email me a link or whatever. I got an idea for a couple of them so far.” The absence of his nearness sent a strange sort of desperation cycloning through her. She was a breath away from calling out a hoarse “Levi, wait!” and grabbing him by the wrist in the middle of a rain storm, dramatic-movie style.

“I’ll get a shared folder set up.” There’d be no wrist grabbing here. No desperate pleas to stop. She knew what she was doing. And she needed fewer hot men in her life, not more. “I got your email on the contract, so…”

Levi didn’t look at her, simply nodded and tapped the side of his fist against the glass door as he peered out to the sidewalk. “Cool. So, I’ll…” Finally he swept that sweet cinnamon gaze back to her. A chill raced up her spine. “I guess I’ll see you later.”

There it was. The stall. The brief moment in which she held all the power in the world. A woman’s most victorious moment, where everything hung on her next words. Her decision. Her desires.

She steeled herself. Her desires had no place in this conversation.

“Bye, Levi.”

He pushed out of the studio, and it might have been her imagination, but she thought she sensed a cloud of disappointment behind him.

She could only see it because it clung to her, too.

 

About Ember Leigh:

Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.

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