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You’re Not the One I Want by Carrie Aarons Blog Tour with Review & Excerpt

17 Nov

Today we are celebrating the release of the newest standalone title from Carrie Aarons. YOU’RE THE ONE I DON’T WANT is now live and available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited. You will not want to miss this second-chance romance. Be sure to follow Carrie for exclusive updates about her releases.

 

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You’re the One I Don’t Want by Carrie Aarons

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Book Blurb:

Love is weakness.

Which is why Annabelle Mills vowed a long time ago to never let it destruct her. A former pageant queen with a bite equally as lethal as her bark, she’s interning at her dream job on the set of the highest-rated home design show on television. Everything in Annabelle’s life, though it may be cold and isolated, is going exactly as she always planned.

Until her ex-high school sweetheart moves to town. The same boy that she cheated on, once upon a time, essentially breaking both of their hearts. But no one knows the full story, and being vulnerable enough to open up about it is not on Annabelle’s checklist.

Hate is fuel.

The kind that courses through Boone Graham’s veins and allows him to shut out everyone around him. As the hottest rookie on Austin’s professional baseball team, he should be spending his days hitting homeruns and signing jerseys. Except he’s seen dreams ripped right out from under those closest to him, leaving them with nothing.

Without a college degree, he’ll never take the risk of pursuing his real dream. But when he runs into the girl who took a mallet to his heart and stopped it beating, attending the same university might just be the biggest challenge he’s faced yet.

As the semester unfolds, the line between love and hate is blurred. And with the amount of baggage stacked between them, together is the last thing they want to be.

That’s the thing about hearts, though. They develop plans all on their own.

 




Christie’s Review

5 STARS

Buckle up for this enemies-to-lovers/second chance romance!!!!

The synopsis begins with “Love is weakness.” The two characters, Annabelle and Boone, live their lives by that mantra. Annabelle strictly lives by that rule because of her past and her abandonment issues. Boone feels that way because of Annabelle. The two were somewhat involved in high school and ended up breaking each other’s hearts, although she was the one who cheated on him. You might think their story ends there, but that turns out to be just the beginning for these two. Fate has brought them back into each other’s worlds, but it’s up to them to make it work…it will definitely be a lot of work with the baggage these two are carrying.

The romance wasn’t instant as you can imagine. They have a lot of distrust and dare I say, hatred, for one another. Underneath all of that are still a lot of unresolved feelings for one another. I’m so glad that Aaron didn’t rush this. There is a good bit of drama, but that is what makes the story so realistic.

I was team Boone from the very beginning. He certainly didn’t have the best of childhoods, but it made him determined! He isn’t your normal athlete. He really is down-to-earth, and he has made his mind up not to repeat his father’s mistakes. He is also very vulnerable where Annabelle is concerned. I just hoped she wouldn’t completely break him this time.

Ah, now I get to Annabelle. I have to say I was not a fan of this girl AT ALL! She appeared to be self-absorbed, rude, and completely not worth Boone’s time. I don’t think I have ever had such strong feelings for a character as I had for her in the beginning. I wasn’t sure how this was going to affect how I felt about the book. However, I shouldn’t have ever doubted Carrie Aarons. I completely misjudged Annabelle. As more of her character was revealed, I began to see exactly why she was the person she was. She completely closed herself off to anyone else because the person who was supposed to love and protect her abandoned her. She made up her mind to never open her heart to anyone. My heart hurt for her, and her strength really amazed me. Aarons really created one of the most memorable characters in Annabelle. It is the mark of a gifted writer when he or she can completely change how you feel about a character!

I have been a fan of Aarons for quite a while now. She has this amazing ability to write different kinds of romance, and they are all fantastic!!! She creates a great story with each one, with unforgettable characters, and this book was no different. Her writing always makes me come back for more!!!!




EXCERPT:

Boone

I only have an hour in between my workout and the film session that the hitting coaches want us to attend.

My entire schedule since moving to Austin has been busy as hell and completely out of whack. Between getting my class schedule figured out, sprinting across campus to get to the buildings, dealing with my moving company, figuring out where to park my car in front of my building, practicing with the Triple-A affiliate team I was drafted to and everything in between … I’m fucking wiped.

I’ve been scouted for the major leagues since my sophomore year of high school, so I thought I’d been semi-prepared for what was to come, but my mind feels like it has been put in a blender for the last two weeks. I had so not been prepared. It was as if I was hobbling around in the dark in my new reality, trying to grasp at things before they moved on me.

I needed to get it the fuck together. I am a professional now and having a career as a professional baseball player would only get harder from here.

From the few times I’d visited Austin for tournaments or the odd family trip, I remember we’d gone to Big Cheese’s Grill. They boasted the best burgers in town, and it was close enough to campus that the place was always packed with students and professors alike.

I open the door to the restaurant while glancing at my iWatch to check the calories versus fat burned during my workout.

And I slam right into a body.

I bounce back, shocked at the person who just rammed into me. I fumble to hold on to them, to keep our gravity from sending both of us flying. I fail, and the body falls backward, the door slamming into my back. I absorb that blow and keep upright, thank God, or I would have been sprawled flat on top of whoever just plowed into me.

“Seriously?! Watch where you’re going!” An angry, high-pitched tone fills my ears.

My head is down, trying to collect its scrambled thoughts, as I reach for whoever I just knocked to the ground. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize you were coming out—”

The air and words leave me as I pull her up. Her hand is still in mine as we stand face-to-face, my surprise mirrored back at me. Those lips, the lashes, the eyes a rich, deep, soul-searching brown. The freckles across the bridge of her nose that make her look more innocent than she actually is.

A current of tension radiates back and forth between our interlocked hands, and I can smell the glass of wine she must have just drunk on her breath. It’s sweet with a bite of alcohol, and my mouth waters for a drink. I haven’t thirsted for alcohol in five years, yet in one chance meeting, Annabelle has me reaching for a bottle. She’s poison to me, makes me want to do crazy things. I drop her hand as the thought crosses my mind, as if she’s burned me.

“You should really watch where you’re going. Or did you knock me down on purpose?” Annabelle sniffs.

I scoff, “Right, I often go around pushing women to the ground on purpose. I see the cold hard ice hasn’t melted off your personality, Annabelle.”

And a woman she is. So much more grown up than I remembered her. She’d always been beautiful but gone was the gangliness of teenage years. This is a woman who stands in front of me, curves abound and an unseen knowledge of the world to match. I couldn’t help but get that jab in there.

“And I see you’re just as focused on yourself as ever. You never did care what anyone else was doing, did you, Boone?” She folds her arms over her chest and my eyes stray to her boobs in a sizzle of heat between us.

We’re like a bunch of children fighting like cats and dogs out in the street. How can she still pull out every insecure and immature trait within me? My brain is moving seconds slower than it usually does, and I know I’m standing here staring too long. Even though I hate Annabelle Mills, I can’t help but memorize every detail about her for the first time I’ve seen her in about five years.

“Move.” Annabelle pushes past me, not using any manners, and starts to stalk down the sidewalk.

Talk about rude. She’d always been aggressive, harsh, and just a little bit more high-maintenance than any of the other girls. It’s what had drawn me to her. And then seeing those glimpses of vulnerability, that’s what had made me stay. It was addicting feeling like you were the only one who got to see the nice side of the mean girl.

I should walk into the restaurant. I should pick up my to-go order and drive back to my apartment where I’ll eat a quick lunch and change and go to the practice facility.

But a flash of Annabelle in the bar the other night dances through my head. And her callous words just now piss me off even more.

She always did have the perfect way of getting under my skin and driving me wild. When I’m around her, I forget who I am. I turn into some raging bull, with a fuse shorter than the bombs Itchy and Scratchy use on each other.

The stupidest thing I could do right now? Stomp after her, yelling, in the middle of a crowded downtown street.

So that’s exactly what I do.

“You really haven’t changed a bit!” Oh, fuck. What am I doing?

Annabelle rolls around, her eyes sparking with rage. “Nope, still the same cold, heartless bitch you dumped.”

“Yeah, like I said, I can see that.” Lord, my mama would be so disappointed in me agreeing with a woman that she was a bitch.

“Well, no one said you had to be around it. You’re the one who moved to my city. You’re welcome to leave.” She waves around like I should just get out of here.

I fist my hands in my hair. Christ, she’s so aggravating. “No can do, I’m getting paid to be here.”

She rolls her eyes. “Like I’m not? Have you watched TV lately? Or did you take one too many fly balls to the head? I know there weren’t a lot of brain cells in there to start.”

Fuck her. Now it’s time to really piss her off, get under her skin like she’s under mine. “Oh, you mean that show you play house on or whatever? They’ll get bored of you when the next eye-candy pageant queen comes along.”

I swear Annabelle could spit nails at me if she willed it right now. “You’re an asshole, Boone Graham. You’ve only ever cared about yourself and where you want to be. It was silly of me to think you’d ever think of someone but yourself.”

I drop the anvil. “Says the girl who cheated on me. Who lost her virginity to another guy.”

People around us are starting to stare, to really look at the two people arguing openly on the street. It’s not a good idea for me to stick around any longer; people know who I am on a national level and being seen fighting with a girl, who someone will inevitably social media stalk and find out is my ex, is not good publicity.

Except I can’t stop staring into Annabelle’s eyes. They are furious, yes, but there is something more there. I’ve really … hurt her. I’m shocked, to be honest. I didn’t think I could remotely hurt this girl, who self-identifies as a cold, heartless bitch.

But there it is. The raw flash, miss-it-if-you-blink second of real pain that flickers through those mocha pools. I open my mouth to say something, to take it back, maybe apologize, but she speaks first.

“You have no idea.”

Her tone pulls at my heartstrings, it’s low and somber. And then she melts into the crowd, giving no explanation of what I have no idea about.

————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant 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 dog.

 

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Buried by Brenda Rothert Blog Tour with Review & Excerpt

17 Nov

Today we are celebrating the release of Buried by Brenda Rothert. This is a contemporary romance, standalone that is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited. Read an excerpt from the book below and join Brenda’s reader group for exclusive details!

Read it for FREE in KindleUnlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Buried by Brenda Rothert


Book Blurb:

Do you believe in fate?

I didn’t. I’d worked since childhood to become an NFL starting quarterback. All the blood, sweat, and tears were about to pay off with my name in the record books. Setting an NFL record was going to be the crowning achievement of my career. Hell, of my life.

But then fate, the cagey bitch, threw me a curveball I never saw coming. I ended up trapped in a doomsday bunker with four strangers, my chances at that record slipping away as days turned into months.

I never would’ve given Erin a second look. She was gorgeous, sure, but not my type. I liked women who were strong. Fearless. Resilient. Not to mention that she hated me.

But I was so wrong about her. And in that bunker, I fell in crazy, stupid love.

I thought a record would be my greatest triumph. But now, all I want is a shot with Erin. I’ve faced down massive linebackers intent on ending me. For her, I’ll go toe-to-toe with fate.




Christie’s Review

5 STARS

A Must Read of 2018

Wow!!! This is a must read of 2018!!!! It’s really unlike anything you will read this year!!!! It’s got romance, heat, yet it’s a bit of a mystery and thriller/adventure too!!!!

Erin was just making a grocery delivery when the very unexpected happened, and life as she knew it completely changed!!!! She would confront some of her darkest fears and maybe possibly find love with a person she never expected.

Derek is an NFL quarterback who has worked for many years to become the success he has, and he still has a lot to prove to himself. Destiny, fate whatever you want to call it, threw a wrench in those plans. A day that was supposed to be normal turned into anything but, when he finds himself trapped in his doomsday bunker with his assistant and three strangers. As the days turn to weeks, he finds himself growing closer to the beautiful Erin.

As I wrote earlier, this is a book unlike you have ever read before. The characters that Rothert created were out of this world. Derek and Erin are so different, yet they are so alike. If these two passed each other on the street, I don’t think they would have ever given each other a second glance much less fall for each other. But, they do, and it was a thing beautiful to watch. In addition, Rothert created a great cast of secondary characters that made the story flow flawlessly.

The only other thing I can say to you is GO DOWNLOAD this book TODAY!!!!




Read it for FREE in KindleUnlimited

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Add the book to Goodreads

Excerpt:

I sigh softly, willing my heart to stop jackhammering in my chest, and walk over to the large, opened steel door in the ground.

Kenna white knuckles the black steel ladder that leads straight down, scrambling to get her heels situated. I wonder again why she’s wearing a business suit and heels out here.

“Do you work here?” I ask her.

She gives me a sharp look. “I’m Derek’s personal assistant.”

“Oh, got it. And he must be the football player who owns the place?”

Kenna gawks at me in disbelief. “You don’t know who Derek Heaton is?”

I shrug. “Isn’t he a football player?”

“He’s the best quarterback in the league. Also the highest paid.”

“Huh. Well, good for him,” I say dismissively.

Kenna shrieks as one of her feet slips on the metal ladder.

“You okay?” I ask her.

“I’m fine.”

I peer down into the dark hole, trying to think about anything other than going down there. Even after years of therapy, the panic is so strong I want to run away.

Just make it about the groceries, I tell myself. Think about getting the delivery where it needs to go as quickly as possible. You can do this.

I take a deep breath and then follow Kenna down the ladder. I start sweating immediately as my self-preservation instincts kick in. But I ignore it, descending the ladder to a small landing and then taking a staircase the rest of the way down.

For a moment, my fear is forgotten. The bunker is nothing like I was expecting. It’s open and expansive, the kitchen done with stainless appliances and warm wood cabinets. The floors are also wood, and there’s a large leather sectional in a living area.

“This way,” Kenna says, motioning impatiently from in front of a doorway.

I tear myself away from looking at the rich, slightly rustic décor and join her in a large white room. Fluorescent lights glow overhead, illuminating walls lined with shelves. About half the shelves are filled with supplies ranging from toilet paper to giant containers of tapioca pudding.

“Right here,” Kenna says, grabbing a clipboard and glancing down at it.

She stands in front of an empty section of shelves. I wait a couple seconds as she reads something on her list, but then I can’t take it anymore. I refuse to be down here for one minute longer than I have to.

“I’ll go get my first load,” I say, turning.

“I need it shelved in groups,” she says as I depart the room. “Keep all the peanut butter together, all the trail mix together, and so on. And make sure you fill the entire shelf all the way to the back.”

“Okay,” I call over my shoulder.

I hear male voices from somewhere in the bunker, but I ignore them, practically sprinting to the stairs out of this death trap hole in the ground.

When I get to the truck, I stuff my backpack with as much of the supplies it back hold, then grab another box to carry in my arms. Surveying the flatbed load, I realize it’s going to take at least twenty trips to get all this into the supply room.

Just great. I have to make myself go down that ladder over and over again.

As I reach the end of the stairs, I see three men in the living room area of the bunker. One is kneeling by the floor, looking at something. The other two are talking.

One of the two looks pretty young, maybe college-aged. His skin is deeply tanned and his hair is hidden beneath a baseball hat. The other one looks like a young Russell Crowe, very tall and all muscles and chiseled jaw line. He’s wearing shorts and a plain gray t-shirt.

He has to be the football player. He’s got arrogant pro athlete written all over him, from his biceps straining the sleeves of his shirt to his perfect smile.

——————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

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