Book Tours · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · Romance · Small Town Romance

Keeping You by Lena Hendrix Blog Tour with Excerpt

I never should have slept with Colin McCoy.

Keeping You, an all-new laugh-out loud small-town romance from Lena Hendrix is available now!

When I moved to my sister’s small town, I was looking for a fresh start—no more shallow relationships, no snotty fake friends, and definitely no charming, dirty-talking musicians.

We had a fun, red-hot night together and we agreed that hooking up was a mistake, a one-time thing. But when my dream bakery location happens to be right next door to his bar, every day I’m forced to see that chiseled jawline and remember the feel of his incredible body on mine.

No. I’m starting over. I have rules. No more bad habits, definitely no falling in love. No matter how hard he tries, hooking up with him again would prove I’m the flake everyone expects me to be.

But here I am, stuck between wanting to make something of my life and wanting to grab him and make another delicious mistake.

Excerpt

Honey

 Two weeks after I gave the one finger salute to my former boss, I pulled my vintage matte black Chevelle onto Main Street of Chikalu Falls, Montana. The ninety-minute drive left behind the flats and wound through beautiful mountain highways.
Chikalu Falls was nestled at the base of the mountains and from the church on the corner, to the grocer on the right, it always felt slower and a little like stepping back in time. Childhood memories of the summers Jo and I spent with Grandma Nana and Pop flooded back to me.
 A bubble of excited energy squirmed in my chest. Nearly every person I passed raised their hand in greeting, and whether they knew me or not, I waved back enthusiastically. I peered over the steering wheel as I entered town to watch someone rolling white paint high on the town’s water tower.
Are they painting over a drawing of a dick?
 I shook my head and laughed about this quirky town—Jo always had great stories about it. I passed the town bar and dance hall, The Dirty Pigeon, and fractionally slowed my car. Willing myself to look straight ahead, I still managed to sneak a side-eyed peek at the front door.
 My palms felt sweaty against the steering wheel. It wasn’t all that long ago I spent the most incredible, panty-melting night of my life with the bar’s owner, Colin. My chest warmed just thinking about it and a tingle settled between my legs.
Get it together. You both knew it was just one, hot night.
Squashing the thought, I pressed the gas harder and cruised forward, leaving behind all thoughts of Colin’s thickly roped arms pulling me close and the scrape of his stubble against the sensitive skin of my neck.
 Four turns later, I pulled into the hidden driveway of Joanna’s farm property. The long and winding gravel path opened up to a stunning piece of land.
Off the road, the Big House was a gorgeous white home with black shutters and a huge wraparound porch. A small river cut through the landscape and near it were several little cottages. I wasn’t sure where Jo wanted me to stay, so I parked near the house and found her sitting on the veranda, waiting for me.
“There’s my girl!” I called up to Jo. The excitement expanded in my chest at seeing my sister after so long. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of relief.
She pulled me into a tight hug, “I’ve missed you!” Jo and I used to share an apartment, but with her now living in Chikalu Falls, it felt like an eternity since we’d been together.
“Mmmm,” she replied, squeezing me a little harder. “I just still can’t believe you’re really here.”
“It didn’t take too long to sublease my apartment and I need a change of scenery.”
“Well,” she moved away from me to sweep a wide arm around the impressive, rural land, “this is definitely a change!”
We both laughed and held each other tightly.
It was fantastic to see Jo’s face so full of life and happiness. I shooed away the brief pang of jealousy. She deserved this life and it suited her.
“You’re welcome to stay for however long you need. Mr. Bailey is in Cottage Four, but all the others are open. I think the best view is from Cottage Two.”
“Cottage Two it is! Help me unpack?”
Jo looked past me to see my car practically bursting at the seams with bags and luggage. She didn’t know it, but the trunk was full, too.
“How is it possible you have so much shit?”
“Well,” I answered, “a girl’s gotta look her best.” I winked at her and lifted a shoulder.
“Honestly, Honey. If you’re going to survive here, you at least need one pair of good work boots.” She eyed my ankle booties and their sharp heels warily, but then we got to unpacking.
It only took a few—ok, fine, several—trips for Joanna and me to lug my clothes into the cottage, but we managed to get it all in. After she helped me put some things away and stack the suitcases in the closet, we stood together in the dimly lit kitchen. Jo wrapped her arm around my shoulders and squeezed as we both looked out the large picture window overlooking the riverbank.
“You did what so many people are afraid to,” she whispered in my ear. “You started over.”
My eyes misted and a small, scratchy lump formed in the back of my throat. I pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth and willed the tears away.
I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. “Thanks, Jo.”
I hoped with every fiber of my being that I could get it right this time.
* * *
After getting cleaned up, Joanna and I decided to meet her fiancé, Lincoln, at The Pidge. A flutter danced in my stomach at the possibility of running into Colin. He was Lincoln’s best friend and hot as fuck. I glanced around to see if I would spot him. Bumping into someone I’d slept with had never been a big deal before, but Colin just did something to my insides.
Since he was Lincoln’s best friend, Colin and I had been thrown together to help with Jo’s fundraiser. At the time, she hosted a fishing event for veterans and he insisted that the bar cater for it. The food was spectacular, and his generosity did not go unnoticed. Neither did his thick arms, hazel eyes, or that tight ass.
I needed to think about something—anything—else.
“Can you believe this place?” Jo was perched on a stool across the high-top table.
“It is pretty incredible,” I admitted. The walls were covered with old photographs of life in Chikalu Falls mixed with posters for local bands. It had a real honky tonk vibe but with an upscale flair to it. The name might suggest it was a dive, but the parts of my brain trained in marketing knew it was intentional. My eyes swooped across the stage and dance floor, still secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of Colin.
No. Remember the rules? No men. Especially men who make you tingle straight down to your toes.
“Well aren’t you two a sight for sore eyes,” Lincoln’s deep, rumbling voice had us looking behind us. He wrapped both arms around Jo and left a trail of kisses up her neck. She giggled and tried to move away, but it was obvious she loved the attention of her man.
“Hey, Linc,” I said between sips of my vodka gimlet.
“I heard you stepped away from your old job. Planning to stay a while?”
“More like lit my old life on fire and danced on the ashes. But yeah. You’re stuck with me now.”
We all laughed but a heaviness lingered around my shoulders. I took another sip of my drink and added, “I still need to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do about a job. But that,” I finished my drink in a burning gulp, “is a worry for another night. Who needs another?”
Jo lifted her glass and Lincoln unwound himself from her. “I got this, ladies. You just sit back and enjoy.”
Joanna’s gaze wandered over her fiancé’s muscled back as he walked up to the bar.
“You going to eye fuck him all night, or what?” I teased. A blush immediately rose to her cheeks.
“Cut it out.” She slapped her napkin against my arm, but not before I caught her sneaking another peek and drooling over him again.
When I followed her gaze to the bar, my heart sputtered and my mouth went dry. Colin McCoy was behind the old wooden bar, filling glasses from the tap with beer in beautiful shades from dark amber to gold.
“You know,” Jo added hopefully, “now that you’re in town again, maybe you and Colin could pick up where you left off.”
I tried to sound as indifferent as I could manage despite the warmth feathering across my chest. “Nah. I think it was just a one-time thing.” Over my drink, I took a peek at him again.
Fuck. That man is a walking orgasm.
“We agreed it would be better to be friends—especially with you and Lincoln now back together. Your friend group doesn’t need us tangled together and complicating matters. Plus, we were separated by ninety miles.” I shrugged my shoulders and flicked my eyes to the dance floor and hoped to look confidently unaffected by his presence.
“Well not anymore. He’s right here.” Jo bumped my shoulder and winked. Since getting together with Lincoln she’d become a hopeless romantic.
I can’t even handle being around him—he’s too tempting and my life is a literal train wreck right now.
As if my thoughts wound through the crowded bar and tapped him on the shoulder, his eyes flicked up and locked onto mine. The familiar thrum of desire bloomed in my chest, sinking lower into my belly.
It really was a fucking shame that I had sworn off meaningless sex—all sex for that matter—before getting to see Colin McCoy naked again.
Damn, the things I would do to you.
Colin’s eyes didn’t leave mine, but a smile quirked his lip up and that lopsided grin was nearly my undoing.

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About Lena
Lena Hendrix is the author of steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her love of romance started with her grandmother’s Harlequin paperbacks and now Lena’s stories are full of heart, humor, and plenty of strong Alphas with marshmallow insides-she likes her coffee hot and her heroes hotter!

Lena lives in the midwest with her husband, three children, and two derpy Australian Cattle Dogs. When she’s not writing or devouring new novels, you can find her hiking, camping, fishing, and sipping a spicy margarita!

Connect with Lena
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4-Star Review · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Contemporary Romance · Kindle Unlimited · New Release · New Review · Romance · Series · Small-Town Romance

Release Tour with Review & Excerpt for A Place to Belong by Alexa Rivers

When Felicity Bell walks into her new rental, the last thing she expected was to find Wyatt Dawson, her hot new neighbor, half-naked in her kitchen. Despite their misunderstanding and rough start, things heat up quickly for this unlikely pair. Fall for this hard-working hottie in A Place to Belong by Alexa Rivers, an Opposites Attract Romance, the next book in the Blue Collar Romance Series.

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From Alexa Rivers comes an opposites attract romance packed with humor, emotion and a sizzling happily ever after.

Horror author Felicity Bell moves to the charming town of Oak Bend after being shunned from the last place she called home. When she walks in the door of her new rental, she doesn’t expect to find a half-naked man standing in her kitchen. There’s just one problem: Wyatt Dawson seems to think it’s his kitchen. Misunderstandings aside, her new neighbor is lumberjack hot, and his grumpiness only makes her more determined to bring a little joy to his life, even if he’d rather be left alone.

Burned by his past, Wyatt isn’t about to let the cheerful free spirit next door into his heart only for her to crush him when she flits out of town again. But with his well-meaning, matchmaking, mother on the case, these two end up spending far too much time together and things between the unlikely pair quickly heat up. It may be true what they say—opposites do attract, but only if their relationship can survive Wyatt’s interfering ex-girlfriend and Felicity’s fear of history repeating itself.

Welcome to Oak Bend, where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder, especially when it comes to landing their happily ever after.

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Christie’s Review

Sweet and steamy small-town romance with tons of emotion! 

Felicity has moved to the small town of Oak Bend. She isn’t sure what she is expecting when she walks into the new place that she hopes to call home, but it definitely wasn’t the sexy half-naked man she sees standing in the kitchen! This is the beginning of a journey neither one of them is expecting!!!! 

Wyatt has definitely had his share of heartache, and he has no intention of letting anyone into his life, especially the strange woman who is standing in his kitchen. As they talk, they both realize his well-meaning mother is trying to play matchmaker again. Neither of them is falling for it, or that is what they keep telling themselves. 

The attraction and pull the two have is undeniable, even from their first meeting, no matter what they tell themselves. Wyatt has made his mind up that he will never let another woman into his life. He can’t handle another heartache. Felicity has never stayed in one place for very long. Her modus operandi is running…never staying in one place long enough to put down roots. Both of them are trying to find, as the title suggests, “a place to belong.” Soon the pull becomes too much to resist. But, will each of them learn to trust the other with their heart? 

This book was a sweet and steamy small-town romance, made complete with a charming town and quirky characters, especially Wyatt’s mom…I loved her!!!! I found myself immersed in the town of Oak Bend and with the fall festival Felicity suddenly finds herself in charge of. If you enjoy a quick read with a great setting and great characters, give this book a try. It is Book 2 in the Blue Collar Romance series. I think you will find that you quite like this series!

Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 Alexa Rivers

I should have known the moment I saw her that this was no coincidence. A hot crazy lady randomly appears in my house? Not fucking likely. This has Mom’s fingerprints all over it, and the keys clutched in the blonde’s hand are the nail in her coffin. I sigh. The woman is eyeing me like I’m a rabid dog about to strike. Or at least, that’s how she’s looking at me now. I caught the flash of heat in her gaze when my towel dropped a moment ago.

Groaning again, I lean against the doorframe and wonder what I did to deserve this. I’ve spent a long day completing work on a brick fence. My back aches, and all I want is to crack open a beer and watch hockey.

“So?” The blonde clasps her hands together, fidgeting. She’s pretty, if a bit skittish. Her moss-green eyes dart around the kitchen, returning to me every few seconds as though she’s wary of taking her attention off me for too long. “What’s going on?”

I nod toward the keys in her hand. “Those belong to my mother. She owns the house next door, which is the one you actually rented.”

“Oh.” Her slim shoulders slump in relief, and her curls bounce. “Thank goodness for that. It’s all a big misunderstanding.”

I laugh dryly. “It’s no such thing.”

A furrow forms between her brows. “What do you mean? Surely she just gave me the wrong set of keys.”

“If only.”

She seems baffled by my cryptic comment, and I sigh, already able to tell that she’s the type who’s curious enough to stick around until I explain everything.

“Mom intentionally sent you here,” I say, figuring I may as well get the awkwardness out of the way. I’m sure it’s not the only time she’ll be subject to Mom’s match-making machinations if she plans to live next door. She has a wholesome, sweet vibe that Mom will just eat up.

Yeah, I’m going to be dodging this woman for the foreseeable future.

“She hoped we’d run into each other, and that I’d be smitten with you. She set us up.”

“Oh.” This time, there’s a whole other level of meaning to the word. But then she cocks her head, and the furrow deepens. “I wouldn’t have thought you needed to be set up.” Her gaze rakes over me once again, and I can’t help but puff out my chest. It’s been a long time since anyone looked at me with such blatant appreciation, and I can tell she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, or else she’d be mortified.

“I don’t,” I reply firmly, and her eyes snap up to mine. A delicate, pink flush journeys down her neck. Damn, I need to get rid of her before I actually do start to find her charming. “Here. I’ll get you my key for the place next door, and you can give me that one.” I nod at the key in her hand. She drops it on the counter.

“I’m so sorry about this.” She wrings her hands, looking awkward as fuck. “I didn’t mean to just walk into your house and make myself at home.”

“I know you didn’t,” I assure her. “I’m going to come closer now, is that okay?”

She nods, but her eyes remain on me as I enter the kitchen and head for the key hook by the fridge. I remove the one for the rental and replace it with the key she left on the counter, then offer her the one she actually needs. Our fingers brush as she takes it, and something jolts in my chest. Shaking it off, I snatch my hand away and check that the towel is still secure. The last thing I need is to give her another peep show.

“That key will open the front door of the house next door. Hold onto it for now, and I’ll get Mom to drop by with the proper key tomorrow.”

“I can do that.” She smiles, and I resist the urge to fall back a step, because it lights up her entire face, elevating her from pretty to gut-wrenchingly beautiful. “I don’t want to put you out any more than you already are.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Despite my frustration, I find my lips curving. “It’s not you I’m angry at.”

Her expression softens. “Please don’t be too mad with Nadine. She seems like such a nice person, and I’m sure she only wants to make you happy.”

Damn, she has a point. But whether her intentions are good or not, it’s going to stop me from giving Mom a piece of my mind. She needs to know it’s not all right to hand out my house key to total strangers just because she wants grandbabies.

About Alexa Rivers

Alexa Rivers is the author of steamy and heartfelt small town romances.

She lives in a small town herself, complete with nosy neighbors and quirky traditions.

She shares a house with a neurotic dog and a husband who thinks he’s hilarious.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys travelling, baking and decorating cakes, eating those cakes, cuddling fluffy animals, drinking excessive amounts of tea, and absorbing herself in fictional worlds.

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About The Blue Collar Romance Series

Escape to Oak Bend where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder.

From broody carpenters to sexy electricians, these eight standalones are packed with small town feels, heat, and heartwarming happily ever afters.

Enjoy your favorite tropes written by an amazing group of authors: Jaymee Jacobs, Alexa Rivers, Evelyn Sola, Kate Carley, Tracy Broemmer, Mila Nicks, Claire Wilder, and Moni Boyce.

Fall head over heels for swoon-worthy book boyfriends who aren’t afraid of a little hard work for that happily ever after.

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Book Tours · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · New Release · Release Tour · Romance · Second Chance Romance

Kiss of Fate (Kiawah Kisses #3) by Louise Lennox Release Tour with Excerpt

Release Tour for Kiss of Fate by Louise Lennox

Nicole wanted to keep things casual with Ray after returning to the island, but a positive pregnancy test causes complications for them both. Can Nicole stop fighting Ray long enough for the two to have a second chance? Readers who love Kennedy Ryan and Nicole Snow will love Kiss of Fate by Louise Lennox, an unexpected pregnancy, second chance romance.

Blurb

The Carolina Lowcountry is sexier, because the beautiful Kiawah Kisses rule the Sea Islands with strength, spice, and sass. This summer, each friend will reconnect with a Gullah hometown hero and learn to love again. This is Nicole’s story…

When two lines appear on a pregnancy test, Hollywood’s top casting agent Nicole Mack knows exactly who’s to blame-Ray Baines! They’ve happily hooked up for two years now, so the positive result is no surprise. But it is a problem! Ray is back home on Kiawah Island; the very place Nicole worked hard to ignore after he broke her heart a decade ago.

Hooking up proves she no longer hates him, but she’s still mad as hell.

Ray Baines has terrible luck. He was NBA rookie of the year, before he got hurt. He was the hometown hero before he became a hermit. And he lost the love of his life, Nicole, to foolish pride and an ill-advised marriage ten years ago.

As a matter of fact, the only good thing in his life is Miracle, his daughter, and he refuses to complicate her life. So, when Nicole arrived in town two years ago to support a friend, he cautiously agreed to hook-up and keep things light. But now she’s pregnant and all bets are off!

Nicole Mack is his… Well, at least, she was. If she stops fighting him long enough; she always will be.

Kiss of Fate, book 3 in the Kiawah Kisses Series, is a steamy, small town, contemporary romance featuring a strong, smart heroine and the compassionate and sexy boy-next-door who recaptures her heart. Download it today and get ready to fall in love with your next favorite book boyfriend.

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Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 @Louise Lennox

“Y’all are so nasty! In the doctor’s office? Why? Just why?” Keisha tuts in displeasure. She flew in from San Francisco once her big case wrapped up and surprised me today at a brunch date I scheduled with Tara and Symone. 

I laugh as my friends look at me with looks that span from amused to disgusted. Keisha’s uptight ass is downright horrified. That’s nothing new. She’s always clutched her pearls with me and my decisions. But I trust her with my secrets. Well, except Ray.

Symone is too bossy and will only try to tell me what to do. Tara gives great hugs and will walk through the fire with you, but she has enough on her plate. Well, at least she did. She was married to a fool that dragged her through hell for ten years. I’ve kicked his ass more than once over the years and I still think about it when I see him around. Jason Kent is the worst and Tara always deserved better. Thank God she finally got it.

But Keisha… she’s the problem-solver of the group. Which makes sense, because she’s an amazing lawyer. I’m almost certain she knows more about all of us combined than we know about each other. That’s because we all come to her with our deepest secrets and hardest problems. For example, she’s the only one that knows Lorraine McIntosh offered me a job in L.A. a week before Ray got hurt and released from the Lakers.

When he came home, I immediately deferred my hire. Luckily, Lorraine understood and gave me a few months to help him get back on his feet. I think the fact he was a Laker helped. Keisha, however, was dead set against me delaying my offer and waiting on him.

“He broke your heart, Nicole. He doesn’t deserve you. And he certainly isn’t worth putting your career on hold. He would not put his need before yours if the tables were turned. He’s already proven that he’s not ready for the love you provide.”

On and on she went, but I didn’t heed her words. Sure enough, when he was healthy again, things did not end happily ever after.

At first, it was all good. Ray apologized for breaking up with me after his NBA career took off, but he explained why. I’d heard it all before, but it was good to hear it again. He’d rather leave than to cheat.

We got close, and he pledged his love to me. Before I knew it, he was proposing marriage. 

He didn’t know I had a major career move waiting for me in the very city that kicked him out. When he found out; he was livid. Suddenly, I was selfish and not prioritizing what was important in life. He wasn’t supportive, and he swore if I got on that plane to L.A. that would be the end of us. 

I thought he was blowing smoke and being dramatic. But after a month in L.A. with not so much as a check-in from him; I knew we were over… at least for a while. Then a month later; Keisha came to L.A. to tell me Ray married a woman named Taylor.

Keisha held me for two weeks while I cried; asking how he could do that to me. She never said I told you so, but she made me promise not to let a man do that to me again. 

Use common sense before you use your heart, Nicole.

That was Keisha’s favorite line during my emotional recovery. Which is why I never told her Ray and I started hooking up again two years ago. That’s also why she was so mad to find out I was pregnant. Keisha is not a fan of Raycole. I don’t blame her. I’m not sure if I am. No, I take that back. I’m definitely a fan. I just don’t know if I should be.

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About Louise Lennox 

Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.

A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.

Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.

When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!

To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website http://www.lovelouiselennox.com.

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4-Star Review · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Contemporary Romance · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · New Release · New Review · Romance · Series · Small-Town Romance

Chasing Down the Dream: A Best Friend’s Sibling Romance (Blue Collar Romance Book 1) Release Tour with Review & Excerpt by Jaymee Jacobs

Asher Wallace has always had a crush on Kasey Ruggieri, but as his best friend’s older sister, not only was she off-limits, but completely out of his league. Now that Kasey’s returned home after her fashion design business imploded, the heat between them is undeniable. Can Asher prove to Kasey that Oak Bend has all that she’s looking for? Fall for this hard-working hottie in Chasing Down the Dream by Jaymee Jacobs, a Best Friend’s Sibling Romance, the first book in the Blue Collar Romance Series.

Read Now! 

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Christie’s Review

4 STARS

Sweet beginning to a new small-town romance series!

Kasey is a designer who returns to her small hometown to lick her wounds after her fashion business fails. Her brother has allowed her to stay at his home while he is traveling, playing professional hockey. When the AC quits, he sends over his friend, Asher, to fix it. This isn’t the Asher that Kasey remembers. This is no skinny boy; this is a full-grown sexy man. Those five years separating them doesn’t seem to matter anymore. 

Asher had dreams just like Kasey….to play professional hockey, but he let go of those dreams and now works in his family business. Once he sees Kasey, all those feelings he had for her come roaring back. 

As the two reconnect, each one of them realizes there is some major electricity between them. The two begin spending more time together and really bond over their dreams that seem to have become out of their reach. They are really cute together, and I loved how they supported one another in not giving up on her fashion designer dream and him becoming a professional hockey player. But, as they come closer to ascertaining their own dreams, will their newfound relationship end before it ever really gets started?

This is the first book in the Blue Collar Romance Series that is a part of a standalone series. Each book is written by a different writer, and it looks like it is going to be a good little series with great characters and a great setting! I’m definitely looking forward to reading more!

From USA Today best-selling author Jaymee Jacobs comes a best friend’s sibling romance packed with heat, heart, and happily ever after.

When Kasey Ruggieri returns to her hometown after her fashion design business implodes, she barely recognizes the handsome guy with a smokin’ body who comes to fix the HVAC as her brother’s best friend. The skinny teenager she once knew is gone, and when Asher strips off his shirt to work in the boiling heat, Kasey can’t take her eyes off his glistening, muscular chest. Now she needs more than air conditioning to cool her desires.

Asher Wallace has had a crush on Kasey ever since he realized girls don’t have cooties. She’s beautiful, talented, and fun. But as his best friend’s older sister, she’s completely out of his league. Once Kasey left Oak Bend to pursue a fashion career in New York City, Asher shelved his boyhood crush and moved on from his college hockey days and into the family’s heating and cooling business.

When Kasey and Asher finally connect, there’s enough heat to melt a Michigan winter. But when Kasey stumbles onto a new, profitable fashion venture, will she leave Asher behind for the bright lights of the big city once more? Or can Asher prove to Kasey that love and success can be found close to home?

Welcome to Oak Bend, where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder, especially when it comes to landing their happily ever after.

Add to Goodreads!

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Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 Jaymee Jacobs

If I had thought the temperature in this house was hot before Asher showed up, it was absolutely tropical after he arrived. Asher was just a kid the last time I’d seen him, before I’d gone off to college. His voice hadn’t even changed by then. And now, well, now he was all man.

I leaned against the boxes of my stuff stacked in the hallway, watching the way his biceps bunched under the tight sleeves of his T-shirt as he did whatever the hell he was doing to the thermostat. Asher used to be so scrawny.

Of course, I’d seen the way he’d looked at me back then. He was always over at our house, hanging out with Owen, staying for dinner. I knew his parents both worked, but I always wondered if he came to my house so much because of me. As a teenager, that had been a very conceited thought, and I’d forgotten all about it—and Asher—when I’d moved away.

Watching him now was a pleasant distraction from everything. From the fact that I’d had to pack up my life in New York City and move back home to Oak Bend, Michigan, because I couldn’t hack it in the big city. Because I’d made the leap and tried to break out on my own, but I had failed. Now I was back in my hometown with nothing to show for myself except for credit card debt and boxes of stuff.

In fact, watching him do his thing was the first time in a month that I hadn’t been overwhelmed by the heavy feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach weighing me down. I felt relieved to get a break from that sense of despondency, but it was more than that. It wasn’t just a lack of sadness but actual happiness at watching Asher do his thing. Sweat dripped down his forehead, and he wiped the beads away with his forearm. I figured it was time to do something more than just watch.

“Can I get you some water?”

“Uh, yeah,” he said, turning to look at me with eyes that I’d never realized were so damn blue. How had I never noticed that before? “That’d be great.”

“One sec,” I said, heading into the kitchen. Owen always kept the place stocked up for when he came back into town. He was hardly home, but he liked to be prepared and well-hydrated.

I grabbed two bottles from the fridge and went back into the living room, and oh my God—Asher had peeled off his shirt and was using it as a towel. He had a well-defined six pack and a dusting of dark hair between his pecs. His broad shoulders met up with the bulging muscles of his arms.

Was this real life? Or was I dreaming?

“Here you go.” I reached out to pass him his water. The smooth sheen on his skin caught a glint of sunlight, and I thought maybe I was in the presence of a Greek god. Damn.

About Jaymee Jacobs 

Jaymee Jacobs is a USA Today best-selling author and author of the Dallas Comets series. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in English literature and a psychology minor.

Her books have the same two themes: hockey and the “millennial” experience. The first is because she’s a die-hard fan (particularly of the Pittsburgh Penguins). The second is because she felt that there weren’t any books to which she could personally relate. So she began to write the stories she wanted to read. Her books spotlight those in the up-and-coming generation as they navigate this new era of ubiquitous technology, online dating etiquette, and what it means to “adult.”

When she’s not writing, you’ll find Jaymee curating her cats’ Instagram account, listening to true crime podcasts, scrolling through Pinterest for fructose-free recipes, or yelling at the TV during Penguins games.

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About The Blue Collar Romance Series

Escape to Oak Bend where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder.

From broody carpenters to sexy electricians, these eight standalones are packed with small town feels, heat, and heartwarming happily ever afters.

Enjoy your favorite tropes written by an amazing group of authors: Jaymee Jacobs, Alexa Rivers, Evelyn Sola, Kate Carley, Tracy Broemmer, Mila Nicks, Claire Wilder, and Moni Boyce.

Fall head over heels for swoon-worthy book boyfriends who aren’t afraid of a little hard work for that happily ever after.

Book Tours · Contemporary Romance · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · Release Blitz

Love Me Ever After (The Ever After Series) by Julie Archer with Excerpt

Release Tour for Love Me Ever After by Julie Archer

For exes, Mason and Ems, the last thing they expected was to be sharing a home together. Their willpower will be tested in ways neither of them expected, until an unforgettable night of passion brings the two of them back together and changes their lives forever. Readers who love second chance, roommate romances will enjoy Love Me Ever After by Julie Archer, an angsty, accidental pregnancy romance.

Praise for Julie Archer

Lennon’s life isn’t working out as planned. She’s back at her grandparents’ vacation home. Justin, local bad boy, has always been interested, but thinks she’s spoiled. They came close, but never quite got together. Until now. This book checks all the – bad boy, sweet girl down on her luck, total opposites in a small town. Besides this new romance, there a touch of suspense, with his ex causing trouble, what she seems to do best. This was a wonderful book, everything I expect from this author. I’m excited for the rest of the series.- Amazon Reviewer, Kiss Me Ever After

Georgie’s sister, Darcy, is getting married, Georgie’s helping and about to start a new job away from where she was previously. Unfortunately Darcy’s fiance is great friends with Georgie’s ex, who cheated on her. She’s decided that she’s going to forget about men for a bit, then she meets Alex, and when he’s in a charity auction and she’s over imbibed she bids on him! A great emotional read from Julie.-Goodreads Reviewer, Promise Me Ever After

Read Now! 

Amazon https://amzn.to/3xnrYua 

He didn’t believe second chances had consequences. Until now.

Sharing a house with his ex was the last thing Mason Miles expected when he came back home. After nearly eighteen months away, he finds himself in the spotlight at work with a career that’s threatening to go stratospheric.

Moving in with Ems was the easy option, although it seems she’s determined to make it hard for him at first – in more ways than one. But he soon realises he can’t let her slip through his fingers again.

For Ems Berry, sharing a house with Mason, more ripped and tattooed than when they were last together, is massively testing her willpower. Until one night of passion in the wrong place at the right time draws them back together.

When he gets a job offer he can’t refuse that will take him away again, can their newly reestablished relationship survive? Especially with the added complication of a baby on the way…

Add to Goodreads!

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Excerpt 

Copyright 2021 @Julier Archer 

Luke and Tasha’s suggestion ate at me all day. I had plenty of time to think on the journey for a client meeting, then on the way back. At the same time, I’d browsed the local Ealynn Sands estate agent sites for rental properties. There wasn’t much around unless I wanted a one-roomed studio near the marina for an extortionate price or to spend all my salary on a massive property I’d only use about three rooms in, which I wouldn’t be able to afford either. I would have to bite the bullet and call Sara.

But how would Ems react to me moving in? We hadn’t been in touch since I went to New York. But needs must. I waited until I got back to the station before calling Sara; signal on the last part of the journey was dodgy at the best of times and I didn’t need it cutting out when I was in the middle of this conversation.

Standing by the bus stop, I dialled and waited.

“Hello?” A female voice I thought I recognised answered.

“Hey, is that Sara?”

“Yes…” A note of suspicion crept into her voice, no doubt assuming I was a cold caller about to offer her compensation after an accident.

“It’s Mason. Mason Miles.”

A shriek down the line had me holding the phone away from my ear. “Oh. My. God. Mason!”

“Tasha gave me your number. She’s moving in with Luke and there’s a spare room at yours.” There seemed little point in beating around the bush.

“I never expected you to call me though. What will Ems say?” Sara laughed.

“No idea, haven’t spoken to her in a while.”

“Huh. And don’t I know it.” Sara paused. “It was a bit of a shitty thing to do, Mason.”

“What? Tell her my plans to go on a secondment to further my career, offer her the opportunity to come with me and have her walk out on me? It wasn’t all one-sided, you know.” I don’t know why I felt the need to defend myself, given that all of this had happened eons ago. But I needed a place to live and without Sara’s support, I wouldn’t get a roof over my head.

Sara let out a sigh. “Yeah, you’re right. Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge and I expect you’ve got some hot chick in New York, so there’s no need for Ems to stress.”

I didn’t answer and let her think that was the truth. “About this room?”

“Oh, yes. Look, Ems is working late tonight, why don’t you come around about six and see what you think.”

Suddenly, I had a vision of the future where Ems and I would be taking turns in working late in order to avoid each other. But I needed a place to stay and if that was how it would be, I’d have to deal with it.

About Julie Archer

Author of contemporary romance featuring rock stars, small towns, a healthy dose of angst, some steamy times and always a happy ever after!

When not writing, I can usually be found binge watching teen drama series on Netflix, or supporting Spurs from my armchair, and running around after my two feline children, Corey and Elsa.​

Real Angst. Real Romance.

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This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Book Tours · Dark Romance · Duet · Kindle Unlimited · Mafia Romance · New Release · Romance

Merciless (Blood & Thorns Duet Book 2) by Faith Summers Blog Tour

Skeletons fall out of the closet as I get my memories back.

Merciless Union, the stunning conclusion to the all new Blood and Thorns Duet from Faith Summers is available now!

Everything changed overnight.
Truth became my enemy, and the sting of betrayal dragged me into a web of lies.
I’m damned if I fight to live and damned if I die.
The dark secrets I remember might tear my marriage apart.
Love is a myth we shouldn’t have explored.
My husband was always my enemy.
Love just made me forget and blinded me.
The cruel hand of death is the only answer when doom takes over.
I don’t know if I’ll survive.
Or if death will bury me along with the sins of my father.

Merciless Union is a dark mafia arranged marriage romance. It contains dubious situations, mature content, and graphic violence some readers might find offensive and/or triggering.
This is the last part of a duet and is not standalone.

Download your copy today!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uSDooi
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Start the Duet with Merciless Vows!
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About Faith
Faith Summers is the Dark Contemporary Romance pen name of USA Today Bestselling Author, Khardine Gray.
Warning !! Expect wild romance stories of the scorching hot variety with the kind of alpha male bad boys best reserved for your fantasies.

Connect with Faith
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3erKv1k
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Book Tours · Duet · New Release · Romance

Rise (Rise & Fall Duet Book 1) by Grahame Claire Blog Tour

Rise, the all new captivating and moving first book in the Rise & Fall Duet from USA Today bestselling author Grahame Claire is available now!

I have it all.
As a titan of New York City real estate, there’s nothing out of my reach.
Money. Power. Success.
The rise to the top wasn’t easy, but I’ve overcome every obstacle in my way. Including the biggest one.
My father.
Then I met her.
She isn’t afraid to put me in my place. Doesn’t tip toe around me because of who I am.
And she’s there to witness the most humiliating moment of my life.
The thing about being on top is there’s a lot further to fall.
Someone wants to see me lose everything.
And they just may get their wish.
Because I can’t focus on anything except my sister’s best friend.

Grab your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gOWc3z
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Reserve the second book in the duet Fall!
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About Grahame Claire
Grahame Claire is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
A writer. A blogger. United by our love of stories and all things romance. There was definitely some insta-love. Hello? Books involved. A little courting. A lot of writing. The result…Grahame Claire.
Soulmates. Unashamed of our multiple book boyfriends. Especially the ones that rooted in our heads and wouldn’t leave us alone. Don’t worry. We’ll share.
Pleased to meet you.
Want to find out what we’re up to?

Connect with Grahame
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2PvwpPc
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Website: https://www.grahameclaire.com

Book Tours · Contemporary Romance · Excerpt · New Release · Romance · Romantic Comedy

Love Not at First Sight (A Soul Mates in Romeo Romance) by Sarah Ready Blog Tour with Excerpt

Love Not at First Sight, an all new charming and emotional contemporary romance from author Sarah Ready is available now!

When your soul mate is the man you loathed at first sight…Book Two in Sarah Ready’s Soul Mates in Romeo series sparkles with tension and a delicious helping of swoon-worthy romance.

Veronica Diaz loves her career, her friends and the great outdoors – she has no room in her life for men. In fact, she knows there are only two types of men in the world: players and wanna-be players and she wants nothing to do with any of them.

So when a psychic informs Veronica that her fated soul mate is Frederick Knight “The King of Players,” Veronica does what any sensible woman would do – she runs.

A twist of fate lands Veronica in the depths of a pitch-black cave system with a man she’s never met and can’t see. As Veronica and Sam struggle to survive they open up, share their secrets, and risk their lives for each other. Soon Veronica starts to wonder if maybe not all men are players, and maybe she can trust Sam enough to fall in love.

The only problem: Sam is actually Frederick Knight. The man Veronica swore she’d never, ever, ever love.

In fact, she loathed him at first sight.

And if they make it out of the cave alive, and Veronica sees him for the first time, she’ll loathe him again. Won’t she?

But maybe, sometimes you can only see who someone really is when you can’t see them at all? And maybe you can only fall in love when it’s not at first sight?

“This will easily and unequivocally be one of your top reads this year.” By Bookaddict (Chasing Romeo, Book 1 in the Soul Mates in Romeo Series)

Grab your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SU65TF
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Excerpt

I kick my legs, fighting to pull the woman to the surface. I have a hold of her beneath her arms. She’s a dead weight and I pray that she’s okay, that she didn’t get hurt in the fall. The icy water urges me to kick harder. There’s no light. I can’t tell up from down. I’m going on pure instinct, and a prayer, please God, let me be swimming toward air. 

I kick harder. My heart pounds in my ears and my lungs ache. Maybe I chose the wrong direction. Up was down, or down was up and I’m swimming to the bottom of the water. I start to panic. Then, just when I’m about to turn around, reverse direction, we break the surface. I gasp, drag in a harsh breath then cough and sputter. I draw the woman’s head higher. Float on my back and hold her against my chest. She coughs and sputters. 

Then, “Are you okay?” she asks. Her voice is ragged and soft. 

Before I can answer, her head falls again to my chest and her body goes limp. 

My blood goes cold. 

“I’m okay. Are you alright?” 

She doesn’t answer, she lies heavy and still against me. I kick my legs to keep us at the surface and feel for her pulse. I let out a sigh of relief, it’s strong and steady. At least there’s that. She shivers and I’m reminded of how cold the water is. Like an ice bath. We’re going to get hypothermia if I don’t get us out of it soon. 

But I can’t see. There’s no light. I dropped my phone when I went to grab her. I saw her flashlight fly from her grasp. Then I remember my watch. It’s a waterproof divers watch, a twenty-thousand-dollar piece that my sister bought me last year for my birthday. She laughed because she said she’d spent my money to get it. I’ve worn it ever since. Thank the Lord. I press a button on the side and the display glows. It gives a dim light that barely illuminates the space around my hand. I hold up my arm and twist the watch in the air. The light catches on the white stone and reflects around the cavern. The water that was black in the pitch dark is turquoise and clear where the light hits. There. About twenty feet away I can just make out what looks like water hitting rock. I can’t be sure. The light is too dim. But I swim that way because right now it’s our best chance. 

I’m breathing hard and shivering harder by the time I reach the rock wall. 

“We made it,” I tell the woman. I lift her onto the rock first, roll her onto the surface and then I climb out after her. Water sluices onto the rock and runs around us. It’s cold. It’s too damn cold. I feel for the woman’s pulse. It’s still strong, but her skin is like ice and she’s shaking. 

“You’ll be okay,” I say. I keep talking, because it’s so dark and quiet in here that any voice, even my own, is better than the silence. “I’ve never been so scared as when I saw you fall,” I tell her. I keep my voice low and soothing. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of here. Or even if there is a way out. My phone is gone, hers is likely in her pack which is still up on the stalagmite at the top of the crevice. To be sure I pat her pockets. Carefully. I don’t want her waking up thinking I’m some creep taking advantage. Nothing. They’re empty. Not that a phone could get reception down in the depths of a cave. 

“We’ll get out of here,” I tell her. I put my hand on her arm. Dang, she’s cold. “I’ll get you out of here. I promise.” 

I hear a scratching noise and then a rhythmic crunch, crunch, scratch. The hair on the back of my neck stands up. There’s something else here with us. 

I hit the display of my watch and look around. Nothing. I can’t see anything. I hold it over the woman. I can barely make out the shape of her face.

She shivers again and I make a decision. I have to get her warm and I have to get her to help. I think the most urgent thing right now is getting warm.

But how?

Body heat. But first we need out of these soaking wet clothes. 

“Damnit.” 

I kick off my shoes and socks and then pull off my T-shirt. I wring the water out of them and set them out on the rock. Then, I strip down to my boxers and wring out my shorts. I’m too cold to feel awkward. I jump up and down and rub my hands over my clammy skin. Then I kneel down next to the woman. 

I untie and pull off her hiking boots and socks. Then I work the soaking wet long-sleeved shirt over her head. I wring it out and put it next to her socks and boots. I feel around in the dark for the buttons to her pants. The skin of her stomach is cold and taut. 

I find the button. 

Suddenly, her hand lashes out and grabs my throat. She squeezes and I freeze. 

“Take off my pants and I’ll kill you and leave your body in the dark.”

About Sarah Ready
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.

Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at http://www.sarahready.com

Connect with Sarah
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PVEe4j
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Website: http://sarahready.com/
Stay up to date with all the things and subscribe to Sarah’s mailing list: https://bit.ly/3sWxUbe

Book Tours · Excerpt · New Release · Romance · Small Town Romance

Dirty Ginger by Stacey Kennedy Blog Tour with Excerpt

Dirty Ginger, an all new emotional small town standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy is available now!

Everyone at Three Chicks Brewery knows that Amelia Carter has the magic touch when it comes to creating the perfect beer. Her ales have customers singing her praises and begging for more. Unfortunately, when it comes to love, the only magic she seems to have is the cursed kind. After being left at the altar by her ex-fiancé, Amelia gives up on the idea of happily-ever-after to focus on making the Carter family brewery a national success.

Beckett Stone finally started to believe in happily-ever-after the day Amelia’s worthless ex bailed on their wedding, finally giving Beckett another chance with his high school sweetheart— the only woman he’s ever loved. Unfortunately, Amelia’s broken heart is just one of the obstacles Beckett needs to overcome if he wants to win her for good. He knows he’s not the man Amelia deserves, particularly with his money-pit of a house, a 1975 truck that barely runs, an alcoholic father, and a universe that seems to have a twisted sense of humor when it comes to giving Beckett a break.

But when pressure mounts to make the Three Chicks Brewery’s top beer, Foxy Diva, into a huge success, Amelia starts to fall apart, and Beckett swoops in with his gentle reassurances and hard work ethic. While the last thing Amelia wants is fall in love again, she can’t deny that her heart beats a little faster whenever she sees Beckett walk through the door. Soon, every warm caress and soft whisper of understanding becomes a balm to both of them. As Beckett makes his intentions clear, Amelia must decide if she can overcome her shattered heart and believe in the magic of true love again.

Grab your copy today!
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Start The Three Chicks Brewery Series today!

Grab your copy today!
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Excerpt

After Amelia arrived back home, the lingering tension of meeting Luka followed her. She skipped the house and went straight for the brewery, needing to figure out a plan on getting it back into shape. With every step she took, she kept waiting for her heart to squeeze tight, missing Luka, to feel more broken, raw, anything, but she only felt glad to keep Beckett from facing jail time. And something about that kept rubbing her wrong. She’d spent nearly three years with Luka, why wasn’t she trying to understand why he ended things so cruelly? Why didn’t she want an explanation from him? Why wasn’t she ready to let him have it and to feel the pain he’d put her through? She amounted this to getting over the worst of her heartbreak in the tropics. But there was this little part of her heart that told her there was a good chance that Luka should have been in her rearview mirror for a long time, and maybe the reason she couldn’t hate him for what he’d done was because, beyond the embarrassment and the sadness that the life she dreamed up was over, maybe the life she thought she had with Luka wasn’t real to begin with. 

When she reached for the first tank, she noted the pungent smell in the brewery had improved greatly with the barn doors left open for most of the morning. The dust begrudgingly hadn’t improved. First thing first, the tanks needed cleaning. 

She only got one step into the barn, when from behind her, Beckett snapped, “What did you do?” 

Whirling around, she found Beckett’s face tight and muscles straining. The one bad thing about small towns was word got around fast, and obviously, he’d learned about her meeting Luka today. Trying to play dumb to avoid the conversation she didn’t want to have, she turned back to her work. “I’m about to clean my tanks,” she said. 

His voice tightened. “That is not the answer to my question, and you know it.” 

She refused to look back, hearing the anger in his low voice, and not wanting to see it on his face. “I did what had to be done,” she told him. To keep her hands busy, she reached for a cloth and began dusting along the stairs that led up to the top of the tank. 

“That payment was mine to make, Amelia, not yours,” he said, his voice barely controlled. “If you had asked me, I would have told you that I rejected his offer to pay him because I don’t want the prick to fix his nose. He should wear that shame for the rest of his life.” 

She’d never missed pina coladas on the beach more than she did right now. With a heavy sigh, she turned to face Beckett, spotting the vein in the middle of his head bulging like it would burst any second. Of course, she had expected him to show up, but she wasn’t expecting his anger. But it didn’t matter, she wanted this behind her. For good. “What is bothering you the most here, Beckett: that I paid to fix your problem or that Luka will get his nose fixed?” 

Beckett arched an eyebrow. “Do I need to pick one? Can’t both piss me off equally?” 

A laugh nearly escaped her, but nothing about any of this was funny. She knew all too well that fate was not in her hands. The death of her parents taught her that. But she didn’t need to sit by and let fate decide everything without fighting back either. “What did you expect me to do?” she countered, glaring at him. “Let you go to jail for me?” 

To anyone else, he’d look intimidating with his legs planted wide and his nostrils flaring, but she heard the warmth in his voice behind the tightness as he said, “I expect for you to come and talk to me about it, instead of giving that bastard your money.” 

Yeah, well, she could play the intimidating part too. She flatted her lips, placing her hands on her hips. “You never would have agreed to pay him if I’d asked you.” 

“You’re damn right I wouldn’t have,” he growled, his face reddening.

Heat flushed through her body as she ground her teeth, turning away from him. God, he’d always been a hard wall that she’d beat her head against. But she realized in this moment that her arguments were so different with Beckett than they were with Luka. Luka got upset when she wouldn’t change something about herself for him. Beckett only ever got upset when he felt she was treated wrongly. Her stomach roiled in awareness that she’d forgotten what it was like to have someone support her. “Well, it’s done and over and now we can all put this behind us and move on.” 

“Don’t kid yourself, Amelia. Nothing is behind us,” he said slowly and coldly, flicking her gaze to him. His look was all knowing. “You can’t simply brush this under a rug and hope it all goes away.” 

“Why not?” she asked, throwing up in hands in frustration. “Why can’t I pay Luka off and end this entire shitshow? What is the harm in that?”

Beckett’s expression softened. A smidgen. “The harm is that you caved when you shouldn’t have.” 

Her chest heaved, breathing become rough and rapid. “I caved to protect you.” 

A gust of wind swept up dirt up around him as he crossed his arms, his brows knotting. “I didn’t ask you to do that. If I had wanted to pay the asshole off, I would have fucking paid him.” 

“Yeah, right.” She snorted. “You have too much pride for that.” 

“This has nothing to do with pride,” he snapped, reaching into his back pocket. “This was my problem. Not yours.” He offered her a check. “I won’t pay him, but I will pay you. Take it.” 

“No,” she said, firmly. “My problem, not yours.” 

His eyes slowly narrowed into slits. “Amelia.” 

Her gut began to boil. She’d had about enough of men today. She tossed the cloth down on the stairs and closed the distance between them, getting into his space. “I get you’re pissed, really I do, but can’t you just say thank you and be done with it?” 

A laughter with an edge escaped him. “Do tell me what I should be thanking you for.” 

She was pushing him. She knew it. She also wasn’t about to back down. “For making this all go away. For ensuring that you wouldn’t get jail time. For protecting you like you protected me when your fist hit Luka’s face.” 

A pause. His gaze flared. “I will never thank you for that.”  

She stared him down, and he glared right back for many, many seconds. Years they’d been together, and from those years, she knew that he wouldn’t give, not when it came to protecting someone he cared about. The silence drudged on until she threw her hands up. “Honestly, Beckett, you’ll have to explain this to me. Why are you so mad?” 

Intensity simmered on his face as he closed the distance between them, bringing the hard wall of his chest nearly against hers. She felt the heat emanating off him and was shocked when her nipples puckered in response to him being this close. Tingles raced through her all the way to the tips of her toes as he said, tightly, “I’m mad about all of it. I’m mad that you left for college, and I was too much of a fucking mess to go with you. I’m mad that you met that fucker, and he got his damn claws into you. I’m mad that instead of you being blissfully happy, I watched your heart shatter before my eyes.” His chin dipped, bringing his mouth near inches from hers, his warm breath brushing across her face. “I’m mad that instead of that prick suffering, he has your fucking money to fix his stupid face. And I’m mad that I have no way to stop any of it.” 

The world narrowed on him with each and every meaningful word that passed his mouth. The affection, the protection, the sheer helplessness, all affected her in a way she never anticipated feeling again. She became tangled in the safe energy he projected. The familiarly of having him close. She took in his simmering eyes with so much emotion in them she could barely breathe. The heat of his body, the strength of him, so close to her. His sculpted lips drew her in, closer and closer, until her hands fisted his T-shirt and her mouth met his. 

Beckett stiffened. He did not return the kiss. 

At the coldness against her mouth, she gasped and broke away, horror making her blood run cold. “Oh my God, Beckett, I’m so sorry.” 

Only silence greeted her. Was he shaking? 

His eyebrow slowly arched. “Did you do that to shut me up or because you wanted to kiss me?” 

Heat crept over her face. “I don’t know why I did that.” She swallowed deeply, and then began rambling, “No that’s not true. I was just thinking how nice it felt to have someone protecting me and caring about me… and it seemed familiar and safe… and your mouth looked good…” 

More silence descended. Until all the shock on Beckett’s face was swept away to reveal raw, unadulterated lust, an expression she hadn’t seen from him for a very long time. It occurred to her then she missed being looked at like that – with fierce hunger. Like no other woman compared to her. Like he didn’t care what hell he had to walk through to reach her, he’d do it time and time again. Like he was just the reckless kid that wanted something and didn’t care what the consequences cost him. 

She wanted to be that person she was back then with him. The one who didn’t know what heartbreak felt like. The one who laughed often and believed anything was possible. She swallowed again, swearing her heart was beating loud enough for both of them to hear. 

A beat. 

Then a gasp ripped from her throat as he grabbed the front of her shirt and yanked her against the hard planes of his body. He did what she didn’t do. He finished the kiss. 

A moment later, her back hit the beer tank, and Beckett wasted no time devouring her neck with his hot kisses. She pushed off his cowboy hat to run her hands through his hair, feeling her sane mind unravel at his passion. Her mind shut off and only her body was thinking now. Beckett’s touch was imprinted on her skin, reminding her of teenage freedom and wild affection. 

“Ew, my eyes,” Maisie screamed. 

Amelia broke away from Beckett with a loud gasp, snapping her eyes open, finding her sisters standing in the barn’s open double doors. Maisie was blinking rapidly, and Clara’s back was ramrod straight. Amelia stared at them for a second before they both turned and walked away. 

Beckett chuckled proudly. But Amelia wasn’t laughing at what her sisters had caught her doing two weeks after she was dumped at the altar. “There is something wrong with me,” Amelia muttered. “Seriously, something wrong with me.  I can’t believe I just kissed you like that. I’m sorry, Beckett. Please forgive me.” 

Right as she raised her shaky hands to cover her face, Beckett grabbed her wrists. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” he stated. The kiss he dropped on her mouth was indecent and the best kiss of her entire life. He gave her a panty-melting smirk. “Just to clarify, I’m not one bit sorry about that kiss.” 

When he released her, she wobbled. Sure, back when they dated, Beckett had always known how to make her blush and kiss her just right, but this was a man’s kiss, not the kiss of a kid looking for some fun. This kiss had intent, power, and made her hunger to taste it again. 

Before she could even think straight, he was striding past her sisters, giving them a simple hello like what they’d walked in on was everyday business. 

Clara whirled around to Amelia, her eyes huge and mouth gaping open. She appeared to try to talk, but nothing was coming out. 

Maisie gave a shit-eating grin. “If that’s not a spectacular welcome home, I don’t know what is.”

About Stacey Kennedy

Stacey Kennedy is a USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romances full of heat, heart, and happily ever afters. With over 50 titles published, her books have hit Amazon, B&N, and Apple Books bestseller lists.
Stacey lives with her husband and two children in southwestern Ontario—in a city that’s just as charming as any of the small towns she creates. Most days, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family or venturing into the forest with her horse, Priya. Stacey’s just as happy curled up indoors, where she writes surrounded by her lazy dogs. She believes that sexy books about hot cowboys or alpha heroes can fix any bad day. But wine and chocolate help too.

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Book Tours · Excerpt · Friends-to-Lovers Romance · New Release · Romance

Pause by Kylie Scott Blog Tour with Excerpt

Pause, an all new emotional friends-to-lovers romance from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott is available now!

An unpauseable new romance from New York Times bestselling, Audie Award winning author Kylie Scott!

When Anna wakes up from a coma after a car crash, she discovers life has gone on without her. Her husband has been unfaithful—with her best friend—and she’s been long since replaced at work. While her old life is a distant memory, her new life feels like an empty shell. Then she meets the stranger who saved her life during the crash, and he changes everything.

Leif Larsen—tattooist, joker, and player—has his own scars thanks to the crash that put Anna in a coma. Helping her move on from her failed marriage, and create a new life, sounds like a perfect distraction. So when he needs a new roommate, he invites Anna to begin her new life with him.

Although their lives may have been put on pause, together they just might find a way to heal.

Grab yours today!
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Excerpt

Leif Larsen lives in a big old brown brick building with a sprawling dogwood out front in a cool urban neighborhood. No one answers when I press the buzzer. But according to the details on the scrap of paper the nurse gave me, I’ve got the right place. 

What to do? 

The rational response would be to give up and go home. Because hiding out in my childhood bedroom has worked out great so far (and this would be sarcasm). It’s been months since I left the house for anything other than a medical appointment. Weeks since I’ve heard from any friends. Right on cue, my cell buzzes inside my tan Coach purse. I don’t bother to look. Mom requests proof of life every hour on the hour. Not even dinner at the country club can distract her, apparently. Her parental concern for me is well past claustrophobic.

My hand clenches the iron railing against a gust of unseasonably warm evening wind. It’s been a while since I stopped using a mobility aid, but things can still feel tricky. The whole damn world does, if I’m being honest. So many things I took for granted have now been turned upside down. 

This is the problem with living the supposed dream. With having an airtight plan for your life. Meet Prince Charming and marry him. Find the perfect job. Only problem is, if something goes wrong, when reality smacks you upside the head and sends you reeling, then there’s no system for putting the pieces back together. There’s no Plan B because it never occurred to you that you’d need one. A lack of imagination on my part, perhaps.

A motorcycle pulls up to the curb and it’s like everything happens in slow motion. Something about this long, lean man just makes time want to stand still. A denim-clad leg is swung over the back of the iron beast. A helmet is removed and shoulder-length hair tumbles free. High cheekbones and perfect lips are framed by stubble and all I can do is stare.

I don’t know if I’m intimidated or turned on or what.

“Can I help y . . .” he begins. There’s the faintest spark of recognition in his eyes.

I continue to stand there frozen.

“Fuck me,” he mutters, stalking closer. His gaze slides over me from top to toe, lingering on the small scars on my left cheek from the glass. There’s no attempt made to hide his curiosity. “It’s really you.”

Nichelle the nurse described him as being a nice young man. Nothing more. Certainly nothing that would prepare me for this. And I dispute “nice.” Ripped denim, battered leather, and a Harley-Davidson motorbike are not nice.

“Never seen you conscious before,” he says, getting even closer.

I just blink.

From beneath the collar and cuffs of his leather jacket emerge colorful tattoos. Lots of them. Blue waves and black letters. Red flames and white flowers. The man is a walking, talking piece of art. My parents would be horrified. Ryan too, for that matter. Not that any of their opinions matter. I need to forge my own path. Go my own way.

“How did you find me?” he asks with a faint frown.

“Oh. Ah.” I smooth down the front of my pale blue midi-length linen summer dress. My dark hair is slicked back in a low ponytail and my makeup is simple but perfect. It’s nice having some things I can control. “One of the nurses from the ICU told me about you and I wanted to come say thank you. But maybe an apology would be more in order?”

For a moment he pauses, then he asks, “Do you want to come in?”

Good question. The fact is, I don’t know. Nor do I know how to do this. Something made obvious when my mouth opens, but nothing comes out. So much nothing for such a length of time that it’s beyond embarrassing. Dammit. Whatever it is I came here looking for, it wasn’t this. Him. Whatever.

“We’ve never properly met, have we?” He holds out his big hand. “Hi, I’m Leif.”

“Anna.” 

While I’m tentative, he shows no such reserve. Strong, warm fingers enfold my own stiff and cold ones. There’s no attempt at a dominating handshake or groping. He gives my hand a squeeze, just the one gentle squeeze, before setting me free. 

“I’d say it’s nice to meet you, but that would be weird.” He grins conspiratorially and oh my God. Everything low in my stomach wakes up and takes notice. Shame on my lady parts, but the chemical pull of the man is ridiculous. It takes me a minute to remember that I’m a married woman. Mostly. Well, somewhat anyway. I certainly have no business smiling at him like I am. My life is messed up enough without adding a crush. Perhaps it’s in reaction to me, I don’t know, but the mirth disappears and his gaze becomes serious. A little bleak even. “I still have nightmares about that day, you know?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault.”

“I shouldn’t have come.”

“Don’t, Anna. Don’t look like that. I didn’t tell you to hurt you or make you uncomfortable. I was just . . . sharing.” His expression changes again, a more subdued smile taking the place of the brief hint of trauma. Then he suddenly winks at me all flirty like. I don’t know how to react. I can barely keep up. The man is a whirlwind. “Want to come in and have a beer with me?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“I just . . . I don’t want to remind you of things you’d rather—”

“I want you to come inside. I wouldn’t have asked otherwise.”

A drink with a pretty wild man that I have a strange sort of history with or a swift return to safety and boredom? I don’t overthink it. I don’t even hesitate. “Then yes, Leif. I’d love to.”

About Kylie Scott
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

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