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That Secret Crush (Getting Lucky Series #3) by Meghan Quinn Release Blitz with Excerpt

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That Secret Crush by Meghan Quinn

Release Date: February 11, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2t6lC6o

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AVAILABLE NOW!!!

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Universal Link: mybook.to/ThatSecretCrush

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BLURB:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the third novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and laying your heart on the line.

What happens when your secret crush isn’t so secret anymore?

I’ve had feelings for Eve Roberts for as long as I can remember, but because she also happens to be the twin sister of my best friend, Eric, I’ve never acted on my feelings and long ago resigned myself to keeping my crush under wraps.

But after a terrible falling-out with Eric involving a failed restaurant venture and plenty of blame on both sides, I’m back in Port Snow without my best friend and without any direction. But can you guess who’s here? Eve. And my attraction to her is as strong as ever.

As old feelings rush back, Eve and I find ourselves pulled together, whether we like it or not. Lines are crossed, secrets are kept, and we soon discover that the difference between love and friendship may not be so black and white, after all.

Everyone wants that secret crush to love them back…but will I be ready when she does?

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EXCERPT:

Prologue

**REID**

What the fuck was that?

Did I just experience real-life witchcraft? Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure Neptune and Uranus collided in space, because that shit was crazy.

Stunned and nervously laughing at each other, my brothers and I hurry to a more populated part of the city. We’re soon threading our way through crowded cobblestone Bourbon Street toward a partially broken neon sign advertising huge pretzels.

“She was scary as shit,” Brig whispers into my ear, reaching for my hand. I swat the idiot away.

Out of all my brothers, Brig is by far the most sensitive, but holding hands—come on, dude, self-respect.

Although I can’t blame him for quivering in his jeans.

It might be all the alcohol I consumed, but damn . . . I’m feeling a little uneasy and a whole lot terrified.

Why, you ask?

Because I’m pretty sure an old crone who surfaced from Satan’s lair just cast some weird-as-shit curse on us. She pointed a crooked finger and laid it all out: we’ll have nothing but broken love for life.

And before you scoff at such a blasphemous occurrence, you have to know this: There was fucking wind whipping us in the nuts as she spoke. And on this still, muggy New Orleans night, where the fuck did that wind come from? There were no fans in sight, and there was zero traffic down the narrow cobblestone side road.

Confused? Okay, here are the Cliff Notes.

Baby Brig turned twenty-one, and the four of us Knightly brothers very intelligently chose New Orleans as the place to celebrate because we didn’t want to be cliché and go to Vegas—although I’m kind of wishing we had right about now. We were in the middle of having a great alcohol-fueled night on the town. But, not paying any attention to where our wobbly legs were taking us, we ran into some old palm reader’s table, and Brig’s fat ass broke it. To make up for the destruction, Brig paid her to read his fortune.

Well, she did a shit job.

Oooh . . . you have brothers. They’re going to get you into trouble one day—thanks, lady, tell us something we don’t know.

Her prediction was a load of crock, and because of that, we might have, you know, vocalized our intoxicated opinion on her subpar storytelling. That’s when the crazy shit went down.

Not taking a liking to our constructive criticism, the old bat started flinging her cloak-draped arms around while her evil eyes turned a shade of petrifying yellow, and a huge mole grew on her nose out of nowhere. Pop! Just like that, the mole . . . with accompanying thick black hair.

Okay, maybe the mole isn’t true, and her eyes didn’t change color, but she did wave her arms around, and she said some pretty traumatizing shit. Things like Your dicks are going to fall off and You’ll forever have sensitive nipples.

Hmm . . . that doesn’t seem right.

Did she say that?

Confused, I break the silence hanging over all of us. “Did she say our dicks were going to fall off?”

Panic rises in Brig’s voice. “Shit, did she? Did I miss that part?” He grabs his crotch with both hands as he continues to walk. “I can’t afford to have my dick drop dead.”

“As if we can?” Rogan, the group pessimist, says, ducking around a rowdy bachelorette party. “Pretty sure we all need our dicks, dude.”

Griffin, the oldest and most sensible despite his alcohol intake tonight, speaks up. “There was no mention of dicks falling off. She just said we’ll be cursed with broken love.”

“Okay, so broken dicks,” I clarify.

“Like, I’ll never be able to get it up again?” Brig steps in front of all of us. “Quick, take me to a strip club. I need to make sure that’s not what she meant.”

“She didn’t mean that, you idiot.” Rogan wraps his arm around Brig’s neck and continues down the street, giant pretzels in sight.

“That lady was a fucking whack job. Clearly she has some kind of mental health issue. It’s best if we just forget about everything and move on,” Griffin says.

Sage advice from the brightest out of all of us.

And even though I’m not as freaked out as Brig—I mean, I’m not clutching my dick and praying to the good Lord right now—I have to admit whatever happened back in that alley didn’t seem entirely kosher.

What did she say again? Something about having broken love, and it won’t be until our minds have matured that the curse will be cured? What the hell does that even mean? Not that I’m looking for love, not when my restaurant is my life right now, but it would be nice to know that I still have the option.

When my best friend, Eric, and I were getting through culinary school, pretty much every instructor told us that we weren’t going to have any time for relationships. The only love of our lives would be our knives.

That’s turned out to be true. Betty, Beverly, and Barbie are my girls. Every night we have a foursome, and weirdly, they’re the best I’ve ever had. They enjoy my hands, and I enjoy their cutting edge—fuck, I’m hilarious.

So even though that lady was weird, I don’t think I have anything to worry about.

Broken love.

Curses.

Yeah, okay, you old crone. Go tickle someone else with your mole hair—we’re not interested.

Together, we step inside the crowded, noisy pretzel bar and take a seat before putting in our order. Brig sits next to me, bouncing his knee and scanning the restaurant, its garage doors tucked up into the ceiling, used for closing time only. Everything about this place—selling giant pretzels in the heart of the French Quarter for all the drunk tourists—is genius. Despite the sticky bar top, peeling walls, and dirt-encrusted floors that probably haven’t seen a mop in a few years, there’s no doubt in my mind that it makes a killing . . . on just pretzels. Brig leans in and whispers, “I think she followed us; I can feel her here, staring at me.”

“Dude, you’re fucking paranoid right now. Chill, man.”

“Did you not hear her?” Brig seethes with worry. “She said we would never have dicks again.”

Christ.

I drag my hand over my face. We are way too drunk to be dealing with something like this. “She said we would have broken love. Your dick is fine.”

“That’s what you think? Have you looked at yours yet? What if she turned them green or something? And broken love . . . that’s even worse. You know my goal in life is to be a husband. How can that happen if I’m cursed with broken love?”

Luckily, at that moment, my phone vibrates in my pocket. I reach for it and see Eric’s name flash across the screen. He knows I’m in New Orleans celebrating Brig’s birthday, so this must be important.

I hold up the phone to my sweating, hysterical brother. “Have to take this. Talk to Griff—he’ll hold your hand.”

“Really? You think so?”

I don’t bother to reply and take off toward the hallway that leads to the employee entrance at the back of the bar, trying to gain a little bit of privacy and to get away from the loud, pounding music.

Straight from culinary school—and after working multiple jobs and saving every last penny we ever earned—Eric and I were able to scrape enough money together to start our own restaurant in Boston, which we named Bar 79 after Harbor 79, our favorite place to fish in our hometown, Port Snow.

After six months of tireless menu prep, designing the space, and marketing the hell out of our New England–inspired cuisine with a twist, we opened our doors. And we’re only three months in, but we’re killing it so far. The food blogs love us, and three major articles have been written about our impeccable flavoring and our incredibly close bond.

I accept the call and bring the phone up to my ear. “Hey, man, what’s up?”

“Hey, I know you’re out with your brothers, but I, uh . . . I have a problem.”

“What’s going on? Is it the restaurant, or is it something with Janelle?” Eric has been dating our business manager for the past three months, ever since we opened. I told him it was risky and maybe not the smartest idea he’s ever had, but he was gung ho on making a move, and there was nothing I could say or do to stop him.

“Uh . . . yeah.”

Still drunk, but not so much that I can’t help out with any restaurant issue, I lean against the wall. “Walk me through it.”

Eric has always been the big picture guy, the dreamer, the extravagant one, while I’m more grounded and work out the fine details. So when he calls with a problem, I’m usually pretty confident in my ability to help him work through whatever it is.

“Uh . . .” His voice shakes, a crack in his usually even-keeled persona. Cue the worry. This can’t be good. “Did you recently ask Janelle to make a transfer?”

Janelle has been handling our business for the past five months, ever since Eric confronted me about not being able to juggle everything as we were gearing up for the opening. I was dropping the ball on multiple responsibilities, like managing our funds, paying vendors, and getting all our orders in on time while still trying to cook and develop the menu, so he found Janelle and brought her into the mix to help manage everything. With her MBA and businesslike confidence, she was doing a good job, I thought—well, until this very moment.

“A transfer of funds?”

“Yeah.”

“No. Why? Did she?”

“She did.”

“Okay, so what’s the problem?”

“She, uh . . . she kind of transferred all the funds.”

I press my hand to my forehead, wishing I wasn’t drunk right now. “Dude, spell it out for me, okay? I’ve been drinking all damn day, I just got my dick turned green, and I’m hungry for a pretzel. What the hell is going on?”

“She took it all, Reid. She fucking took it all.”

“Took what? Our money?” That can’t be right.

“Yeah. Took every last penny and just disappeared.”

“Wait. What?” I pinch the bridge of my nose, trying to comprehend what Eric is telling me. “She took all of our money? Where did she go?”

“No fucking idea.”

“So . . . we don’t have any money in the joint account?” I think back to how much was in there. After all our expenses and the cost of the opening, we were at about twenty grand, I think. Okay, don’t panic.

“No, man. She took it all, out of all of the accounts.”

My heart seizes in my chest as my breath comes out in gasps. Confusion and understanding collide in my brain, sending my stomach into a nauseous roll.

“What the fuck are you telling me right now?”

“The restaurant . . . fuck, man, it’s broke.”

My head falls back against the wall, my body going limp as I slide to the sticky ground that hasn’t seen a mop in a decade.

Broke.

As in, no funds?

There has to be a solution. The police, lawyers . . . this shit isn’t legal.

“Did you report her?”

“Yeah, but because she’s a partner, there isn’t much we can do. She had access to everything. She fucked us over.”

I rub my hand across my forehead, eyes shut, preparing for the worst. “So what the fuck are you trying to tell me?”

“We were already behind on bills. Janelle apparently wasn’t paying them but was still paying herself. Rent is two months overdue, vendors want their money, contractors still need to be paid. We’re fucked, Reid. Utterly fucked.” He lets out a long breath and says the last thing I ever expected to hear. “We have to close.”

No fucking way.

***

I pace the sealed concrete floor of Bar 79’s kitchen, still trying to comprehend what the hell happened while I was gone.

I told Eric to meet me here in the morning after I got back, but he has yet to show up. I’m seriously starting to worry that he’s stood me up when the back door bangs open. I glance up to see Eric stumble inside, a bottle in his hand, a hitch in his gait. What the ever-living fuck?

“Are you drunk?”

“I can’t believe you’re sober.” He makes his way to a prep table and hoists himself on top of it before taking another swig of what I can only imagine is a bottle of scotch.

“How the hell am I supposed to have a conversation about our restaurant when you’re drunk off your ass?”

“Just a wee bit twisted,” he says, holding his fingers up. “And there’s nothing to talk about. We’re fucked, Reid. She took it all. We put every ounce of our savings into this place, and my parents’ money . . .” His face twists in grief before he takes another swig.

“We have to be able to find some investors, some partners. We have great reviews; we’re up and coming on the restaurant scene. We have options.”

He shakes his head. “News is already spreading. No one is going to want to work with two idiots who don’t know how to manage a business.”

I run my hands through my hair, tugging at it. “This can’t be it. There has to be something we can do.”

“We owe vendors a shit ton of money, Reid. We are so far in debt that even if an investor likes our talent, they’re not about to scoop up all the debt we owe. Face it, this is over.” He leans back on one hand and takes a sip of his drink.

“Fuck!” I shout and kick a garbage can across the kitchen. “Fuck! I told you not to date her. I told you it was a bad idea.”

Gaining a little clarity, Eric sits tall and jabs at his chest with the hand that’s holding his bottle. “Are you blaming this on me?”

“She worked you, man. She used you and took what she wanted—that was her plan all along. I never should have let you hire her.”

“I never would have had to hire her if you didn’t drop the fucking ball on all the business shit. Don’t blame me, Reid. When we went into this partnership, you said you could handle the business end while I took over the big picture planning. I did my part. You were the one who fucking failed on his end. I stepped in and tried to find the solution.”

“With a pair of tits,” I shoot back. “You hired her because of her tits, not her qualifications.”

“Fuck you.” He slides off the prep table, the slap of his sneakered feet reverberating through the kitchen. “We never would have been in this situation if you didn’t fuck us over to begin with. Don’t blame this shit on me, not when you’re just as much at fault. Face it, Reid, we might be good in the kitchen, but when it comes to running a business . . . we both just destroyed our careers.”

I don’t want to admit that he’s right, and I don’t want to take blame for this, even though a heavy weight is pressing down on my chest, reminding me over and over that this very well might be my fault.

I should have asked for help.

I should have interviewed Janelle.

I shouldn’t have been so lazy when it came to decisions.

But . . .

“I trusted you,” I say, hands on my hips, staring at Eric. “I trusted you to make the right decision for the business, and you thought with your dick instead of your head.”

He tosses the bottle to the side, the glass shattering as it hits the floor. “Yeah, well, I trusted you to hold up your end of the bargain, and you didn’t, so looks like we’re both shitheads.” He shakes his head and starts to walk toward the back door. “Good luck with your life, Reid. Just don’t ever try to run a business again. Anything you do is guaranteed to crash and burn, just like Bar 79.”

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AUTHOR BIO:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

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AUTHOR LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7360513.Meghan_Quinn

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormeghanquinn/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn
Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

5-Star Review · A Top Read in Coming of Age Romance · A Top Read of 2020 · All-time Favorites · Book Tours · Christie's Reviews · Coming of Age Romance · Excerpt · Must Read · New Review · Romance · Sports Romance

Close to Me by Monica Murphy Blog Tour with Review & Excerpt

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Close to Me by Monica Murphy

Release Date: February 11, 2020

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Close to Me, a New Adult romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Monica Murphy.

Asher Davis. My first crush.

My first kiss.

The boy who ripped my heart out of my chest again and again. Over and over. I let him have it every single time.

Willingly.

We are that toxic high school couple you hear about, the one you witness in the hallway as they avoid each other. You laugh at them in class when they’re forced to work together, their gazes full of hatred. We are the couple you gossip about when they win homecoming prince and princess their sophomore year…

The back and forth is what kills me the most. I’m not his princess, I’m the girl he toys with when he’s bored. And he’s definitely not my prince, no matter how badly I want him to be.

Finally it’s our senior year and we’re months away from never having to see each other again when disaster strikes—and brings us closer together. All it takes is one touch, and I’m burning for Ash. Hotter than I ever have.

But will that burn turn into a devastating fire? Or can we actually make it work this time?

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Christie’s Review

5 STARS

All-Time Favorite Read

A Top Read in 2020

A Top Read in Coming of Age Romance

I have long been a fan of Monica Murphy ever since reading One Week Girlfriend, so I was super excited to discover this would be about Fable and Drew’s daughter, Autumn! Murphy far exceeded my expectations. 

Close to Me is a story filled with lots of angst and drama. Asher Davis was Autumn’s first crush, her first kiss, and her first heartbreak. Whenever he is around her, he tends to bring out all of her insecurities yet he makes her heart race. She thinks he enjoys toying with her feelings, but what she doesn’t realize, is that this boy doesn’t know how to express his feelings for her. She does things to him he can’t explain. After a lot of push and pull between them, they agree to just avoid one another. That works for awhile until something happens that will force them together. They come to a brand new understanding about each other, but will it be enough to last forever?

Murphy uses angst and drama quite unlike any other author, always to her advantage, and always making the storyline even better. In other books I have read, some writers overdo the angst, and it completely overwhelms the story itself. Murphy knows just how much of that push and pull to use, and it worked beautifully between Asher and Autumn. 

I quite like how Murphy also wrote the book from several POVS. It was mostly told in Autumn’s voice. However, she used Asher in several chapters, as well as Fable and Drew. Through Drew, readers learn how deeply he loves his family and what a huge heart he has. He spotted something special in Asher and didn’t let him down. Fable has a background so similar to Asher’s that she understands him to a certain extent. She is one of his biggest cheerleaders. 

Autumn is such a special girl. She is smart, intelligent, and pretty independent. She isn’t afraid to stand up to Asher, which he loves by the way. Despite being from a family who has a lot of money, she realizes how fortunate she is. She never judges those from different backgrounds. Her biggest weakness is Asher!

When readers hear Asher’s voice, they get a glimpse into this beautiful boy’s mind and heart. He adores Autumn, but he feels like he would never be good enough for her. He hasn’t always made the best decisions, but he had to in order to survive. Despite his smart mouth and attitude, I couldn’t help but love him.

I loved catching up with Fable and Drew and seeing all their children. They are great parents, the perfect combination of strict and loving, always wanting their children to work towards their goals and succeed, much like we all do as parents. 

This was just a wonderfully beautiful, emotional read full of the feels. The ending couldn’t have been better. It is just the beginning for this young couple. The two are just starting their own journeys. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series which is Jake’s story, Autumn’s younger brother. 




Download your copy today!

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Excerpt:

“Do friends give each other hugs? The friends I have do. Sometimes.”

“There is no way I’m hugging you.” I roll my eyes.

“A truce hug then? Come on.” He lets go of the door handle and faces me fully, stretching his arms out in invitation. “I’ll leave you alone after this, okay? I promise.”

I’m not sure if he’s the type who keeps his promises. I’m guessing no.

This could be the last time I hug him. This entire encounter has been weird. Confusing. We’re a mess. We would never work, and us going ’round and ’round in circles tonight just proves that.

So what’s the harm in getting one last hug from Ash? It’s just a hug. A brief moment of bodily contact and then I’ll send him away. He won’t bug me again. He’ll get over his so-called feelings for me. He’ll give his heart to someone else or even better, he’ll discover he actually has one, and he’ll forget all about me. He’ll give it to someone else, and he’ll finally leave me alone forever.

Why does that thought make me feel so empty inside?

Deciding it’s do or die time, I walk right into his hug, my arms sliding around his waist, my head resting on his chest. I can feel the steady thump-thump of his heartbeat and I close my eyes when his arms come around me. Slowly. Enfolding me into his body so that we’re snug tight.

He holds me with a desperation, almost as if he’s afraid to let me go, and when I lift my head, tilting it back so I can stare into his eyes, I find he’s already watching me.

“Friends don’t make each other feel like this,” he says, his voice a gravelly whisper.

The hairs on the back of my neck rise. “Feel like what?”

“Like you could be my everything.”

My shoulders sag. “Ash—”

“Stop talking.” He presses two fingers to my lips, silencing me. When he’s seemingly assured I won’t speak, he lightens the pressure, gently caressing my lips. Back and forth. Making me tingle.

Making me want him to do more than touch my mouth.

I want him to kiss me.

“You have the sexiest lips,” he murmurs, and the blush returns, setting my face on fire. No one has referred to me as sexy before. “What we’re doing is fucking crazy. You know this right, Callahan?”

I ignore his question. “How could I be your everything when you told me you don’t know how to feel?”

“The only time I seem to feel is when…” He presses his fingers into the corner of my mouth, so gentle, I could almost think he never actually touched me. “I’m with you.”

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Meet Monica:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and HarperCollins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1YUl0Vm

Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IW5U0y

 

4.5 Star Review · Book Tours · Contemporary Romance · Danielle's Reviews · Excerpt · New Review · Romance

Unbreakable (Cloverleigh Farms Series #4) by Melanie Harlow Blog Tour with Review & Excerpt

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“Unbreakable is everything you expect from a Melanie Harlow novel: emotional, sexy and a love that’s worth risking it all for. I could not get enough of Henry and Sylvia’s story!”

— Corinne Michaels, New York Times bestselling author

Unbreakable, an all new “do not miss” sexy and emotional second chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is available now!

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In hindsight, I should not have had that fifth mimosa at Breakfast with Santa.

Or the sixth, seventh, and eighth.

But my shame over the public meltdown that resulted was nothing compared to being abandoned by my husband of fifteen years for a much younger woman—and did I mention she’s pregnant?

For the sake of my children and my pride, I pack up and head for my childhood home and the small town where I grew up. Cloverleigh Farms would be the perfect place for a fresh start.

Falling for Henry DeSantis wasn’t part of the plan.

Sure, he’s easy on the eyes and hard in the bedroom (also the hallway, the bathtub, and on top of his desk), but he’s newly divorced too, and things between us are moving so fast I’m afraid neither one of us has had enough time to heal. Not to mention the fact that I’m a single mom now—my kids have to come first.

But Henry makes me feel beautiful and sexy and wanted and strong—things I haven’t felt in years. We understand each other, and when I’m in his arms, I’m tempted to trust again. To love again. To let myself be loved without fear.

But deep down, I’m terrified.

Is this all too much, too soon? Or am I a fool to let a second chance at happily ever after pass me by?

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Danielle’s Review

5 STARS

Loved this super sweet romance by Melanie Harlow! This is the 4th book in the Cloverleigh Farms series but you don’t have to have read the others to enjoy this one.
Sylvia has returned home to her parents’ farm with her two children, looking for the comforts of home and family to help mend her heart after her husband leaves her for another woman. She needs to take the time to figure out who she is as a single mother and what she wants for her future. While out for a walk one evening, she stops to talk with Henry, an acquaintance who also happens to work at Cloverleigh Farms in the vineyards. Even though Sylvia had seen him a dozen times over the years at family events, she isn’t expecting the sparks that fly between them this time.
Henry has been working himself nearly to death since the collapse of his 10 year marriage. He wants to avoid all the awkward questions nosy people ask and just do what he loves. He has heard that Sylvia has returned home to Cloverleigh Farms with her two children and newly single. Henry has seen her several times over the years and even though he thought she was beautiful, would never stray from his wife. When she stops by to say hello, he’s surprised by how attracted he is to her and how they seem to have so much in common.
Is it too soon for Sylvia and Henry to move forward from their failed marriages? How many times can they deny the chemistry that is sizzling between them?
I loved this story! Although I hadn’t read any of the other books in this series, I didn’t feel lost and immediately fell in love with Sylvia and her entire family. And Henry is a wonderful, swoon-worthy character himself! I loved that the connection they built seemed so sweet and true and not solely based on a physical attraction. Sylvia’s children endeared themselves to me as well. I hope there will be more stories from Cloverleigh Farms so that I can catch up with Sylvia and Henry again in the future.

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Purchase your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt

“Want to unzip my dress?”

“That would be a hell yes.” He took my hand and pulled me to my feet. “Turn around.”

I turned, lifting my hair off my neck. Slowly, he pulled the zipper down my back, and the red dress fell to my feet. Stepping out of it, I suddenly felt self-conscious. I hadn’t been fully naked in front of a man without the cover of darkness in a long time. I hadn’t been fully naked in front of anyone but my ex since I was twenty—and I didn’t have that body anymore. I’d had two children. Even though I knew it was stupid, that nagging little prickle of insecurity still stung . . . I’d been left for a younger woman. He’d told her I didn’t excite him anymore. Was my body to blame? Before I could stop myself, I covered my chest with my arms, wrapping one fist inside the other and tucking them beneath my chin.

“Hey.” Henry turned me by the shoulder so I was facing him again. “Don’t do that.”

“What?” I had trouble looking him in the eye.

He tipped my chin up. “Don’t hide yourself from me.”

“I’m not hiding,” I said, but of course I was.

Taking me by the wrists, he forced my arms down to my sides, and looked at me.

I started to panic a little.

I was totally bare before him—stretch marks, C-section scar, less-than-perky breasts and all. Unlike many of my friends, I’d never had surgery to restore my post-baby body to its former tight, bouncy, unmarked state. Now I was kind of wishing I had.

I’d never felt so naked or vulnerable in my life.

“Sylvia, I’m going to say this once,” Henry said seriously. “And then, since you’ve learned not to trust words entirely, I’m going to spend the rest of the night showing you that it’s true—I think you are the most exquisite woman on the face of the earth, in every way. There is no part of your body, no inch of your skin, that isn’t perfect, because it’s yours.” He took my head in his hands and kissed me, hard but sweet. “And all I want to do is make you mine, even if it’s just for tonight.”

“Yes,” I whispered. I rose up on my toes, pressing my lips to his again while my hands went to work unbuttoning his shirt. “Make me yours tonight, Henry. That’s all I want to be.”



About Melanie

USA Today bestselling author, Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie

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5-Star Review · A Top Read in Contemporary Romance · Book Tours · Contemporary Romance · Danielle's Reviews · Excerpt · Must Read · New Review · Romance · Romantic Suspense · Top Read of Romantic Suspense

The Life That Mattered (The Life Series #1) by Jewel E. Ann Blog Tour with Review and Excerpt

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“The wildly talented Jewel E. Ann consistency finds a way to level up. Every book she writes leaves me desperate for more! The Life That Mattered is a must-read.” – Ella James, USA Today bestselling author

The Life That Mattered, an all-new emotional and poignant novel from Jewel E. Ann, is available now!

LifeThatMattered_EBook

Sex isn’t love.

Love isn’t sex.

And friendship is neither.

The son of a French Olympic skier and a Malaysian fashion designer, Ronin Alexander has lived the life of a nomad, traveling the world to find his next adventure.

Life takes a dramatic turn when he meets Evelyn, a beautiful scientist who owns a bath shop in Aspen, Colorado. They defy all the rules of relationships, falling hard and quickly in love.

Their world intertwines with Evelyn’s two best friends, the Governor and his soon-to-be wife. The four become close—very close.

When tragedy strikes, things from their pasts are unveiled—unimaginable truths and the grim realization that life will never be the same.

Jewel E. Ann steps into another dimension with this mind-bending thriller, a provocative story that pushes boundaries and tests the true meaning of love.




Danielle’s Review

5 STARS

Jewel E. Ann delivers another phenomenal read with this one!! Each book she writes becomes my new favorite, and this one is no different.

Evelyn meets Ronin while on vacation with her two best friends who happen to be engaged to each other. They share a cup of coffee and a fantastic conversation. Evelyn is pleased to discover that Ronin is relocating to Aspen, where she lives.
When he stops by her shop, the pair pick up where they left off the day they met and soon become inseparable. Will this whirlwind romance be the HEA they want it to be?
This is a story unlike any other I’ve ever read. The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat and left me hanging with an enormous cliffhanger!! Anyone who knows me knows I hate cliffhangers but waiting to read a book by Jewel E. Ann is out of the question. I love her writing and the elements of surprise that keep me hooked until the story ends. This book made me feel so many emotions and I loved every word of it!! Now bring on part 2!!



Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Pre-order The Life You Stole, releasing February 20th, now!

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LTM - AN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

I wasn’t opposed to the occasional drunken one-night stand, but not with Evelyn. We weren’t drunk, and I wasn’t okay with an arbitrary time in the future that I may or may not see her again.

“I’ll walk you to your door,” Evelyn said as she turned off her Jeep.

“God …” I laughed, shaking my head. “That’s messed up. Now I feel a huge urgency to get my own vehicle. I think I’ll go tomorrow to buy one just so you don’t ever have to walk me to my door again.”

She climbed out. “I don’t have to stop at your door. We don’t have to play by the rules of dating. I think we’re past that age. How old are you?”

I found her hand and led her to the front door. “Thirty-five.”

“I’m thirty-four. Have you ever been married?”

We stopped at my door and faced each other. “No. You?”

She shook her head. “The rules don’t apply once you’re past thirty.”

“The rules?”

Evelyn grinned. “The courting shit. The baseball game.”

“The baseball game?” My head canted to the side.

“Yeah. The sexual bases? First base is kissing. Second base is—”

“Yes.” I fished my keys from my pocket. “I’m familiar with the bases.”

“Well, I don’t know if you’re a fan of baseball or not, but I am.”

I unlocked my door and motioned for her to go inside.

She wet her lips and stepped into my condo without an ounce of hesitation. “You’re inviting me in. So you are a fan of baseball.”

Not so much. Skiing, football (soccer), rugby, cycling, tennis … but not baseball. However, something told me Evelyn might make me a baseball fan.

“Are you sure you’re living here?” She glanced around at the sparse furnishings of my two-bedroom condo.

“I never stay in one place long. No need to own much. It’s just that much more to sell or move.”

Books.

I owned books and a place to sit and read them. My parents didn’t believe in letting Julien and I watch television while we were growing up. Julien embraced art. I embraced fiction—mysteries and sci-fi.

“What do you consider not long?” She ran her fingers along the back of my leather recliner before dropping her bag to the floor and slipping off her jacket.

“Three to five years is a nice stay.” I tossed my coat onto one of two barstools at my kitchen counter.

“Okay. So our marriage will be short.” Her teeth trapped her full bottom lip.

“Probably.”

I’d dated enough women to know there existed a sequence of events that took place way before the M word should ever be discussed. I’d never reached the point of discussing the M word. Not even with my longest relationship, which lasted two years.

Two years and we didn’t talk about marriage.

I was out of my realm of experience with Evelyn. We joked about marriage, but who joked about that? Then there was a baseball discussion happening, and I didn’t even like baseball, but I waited with restless anticipation for Evelyn to make her point. Something told me it could be brilliant.

“Kenny was a guy I dated my first year in college. He played baseball.”

I could not have cared less about this Kenny guy, but he brought her back to the baseball talk, so I folded my arms over my chest, leaned against the counter, and gave her my full attention as she walked in slow circles around my furniture. A predator with calculated moves.

Who was I to judge? I walked into her shop that day and basically said we needed to expedite our dating status—laid out my plans to eat dinner with her, close down bars, and sip hot chocolate.

“He was a solid hitter. Always got on base, but he never hit a home run. I honestly think he lacked the confidence to go for it. His coaches told him to just get on base, so that’s what he did because that’s what you do when you’re young like that. You spend a lot of time on the bases.”

Were we still talking about baseball in the literal sense?

“I think once you hit your thirties, no one should judge if you just hit it out of the park your first time up to bat.” Her lips twisted as she stopped in front of me. “The goal is to hit it home. If you can do that, then why the hell not, right?”

I thought I understood the metaphor. But if I was wrong, I could get thrown out of the game.

“Can I get you a drink?”

Evelyn shook her head.

My eyes narrowed, studying her for a few seconds.

“First base is fine.” She shrugged.

Fuck me …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JewelEAnn

About Jewel

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

Connect with Jewel

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Qzj2iq

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http://www.jeweleann.com

 

Book Tours · Excerpt · Romance · Second Chance Romance

Hot Shot by Robin Bielman Blog Tour with Excerpt

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He believes in fate…

Hotshot, an all-new slow-burn second-chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Robin Bielman, is available now!

hotshot-300dpi

Here’s my plan: Crash through the ceiling of my family’s business to become the best hotelier on the West Coast. Nothing rattles me when it comes to a challenge and hard work, but when I spot my almost one-night-stand in my lobby, I’m thrown totally off my game. Alejandra is my dream girl. The one I can’t forget who got away—literally. Which might explain why I blurt out to my meddlesome, matchmaking grandmother that Alejandra is my date for her fast approaching and highly choreographed eightieth birthday party.

She’s been on pause…

Some decisions are harder than others, but agreeing to a date with Drew isn’t one of them. He’s a charming and gorgeous curveball I didn’t see coming, but the more time we spend together, the harder it is to remember to play it safe. I’ve made a promise, and even though I’m now torn, I have to honor it in order to move on from the past.

Drew feels like my future, but I’m about to put everything I want in jeopardy.

Hot Shot - AN

Download your copy today!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

“Is it okay if I take this seat?” a man asks. The masculine voice is deep, seductive. Friendly.

That’s what resonates deep inside me, and I don’t have to think twice about my answer. I also don’t have to turn my head to know who’s asking. “Sure.”

“I’m Drew,” he says as he gets comfortable beside me.

I take a moment to breathe in his clean, spicy scent before I look at him. “Alejandra.” “It’s nice to meet you, Alejandra.”

“You, too.” Up close, he’s even better-looking. Eyes a shade of blue-green I’ve never

seen before, neat hair longer on top than the sides, broad shoulders that fill out his tailored suit coat. I’d venture his outfit cost more than my monthly mortgage.

He notices my glass of water and waves a hand at the bartender. A thick black watch peeks out from his sleeve. His hand is big, capable-looking. “Can I buy you a drink?”

With the way my pulse is racing, he absolutely can. I may need several to calm my nerves. “I think I saw a blood orange margarita on the menu.”

“Good choice.”

“Hey, Drew,” the bartender says. “What can I get you?”

“Two blood orange margaritas, please. On the rocks.”

“You got it.” He drops a cocktail napkin in front of Drew and one in front of me. “You seem to know a lot of people,” I say.

“A few. What about you?”

“I’m here with my sister and two friends. They’re on the dance floor.”

“It’s lucky I got to you before someone else, then.”

I can’t get my head down. It’s a good thing my light brown skin doesn’t give away my blush easily. Are there other people here? All of a sudden it doesn’t feel like it.

“Looks like you took one for the team,” he says next.

“What?” His knee taps mine as he swivels and nods to my boot.

Oh, that. I grin. What a nice way to put it. Not only is Drew the hottest-looking man in this bar, but he’s decided I’m caring rather than klutzy, something no stranger has done in the five weeks I’ve been injured. “Team captain right here,” I say.

“Your T-shirts have a ‘W’ on them, don’t they?”

It takes me a second to follow his train of thought. Wonder Woman. “Laying it on a little thick, aren’t you?” I tease.

He smiles and I’m hit not only with flirty intensity, but sincerity, too. He might be coming on strong, but his compliment is genuine. “Is it working?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RobinBielmanAbout Robin

Robin Bielman is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifteen novels. When not attached to her laptop, she loves to read, go to the beach, frequent coffee shops (and by frequent she means daily but she’s trying to break the habit), and spend time with her high school sweetheart husband and two sons.

Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas. She writes with a steady stream of caffeine nearby (see above) and the best dog on the planet, Harry, by her side. She also dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch on social! Xoxo

Connect with Robin

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Website: https://robinbielman.com

 

Book Tours · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · Romance · Romantic Comedy

Weekend Wife by Erin McCarthy Blog Tour with Excerpt

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“The perfect, irresistible romantic comedy!”

—Erin Nicholas, New York Times bestselling author

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Weekend Wife, an all-new sassy and quirky stand-alone rom com from New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy, is available now!

WeekendWife FOR WEB

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can just keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.

And bossy.

And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

WW - AN

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Add WEEKEND WIFE to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/35JEWEF

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt

I looked at Leah. “Sorry about that. I am not filthy rich.” I actually was, but I felt compelled to be modest. “I’m just rich.”

“Oh, yeah? Well… I think everyone’s definition of filthy is different.”

And just like that, Leah took an awkward moment and made it flirtatious. Her voice was low, breathy.

Green light. That’s what that was. And I was hitting the gas and plowing into the intersection.

I eyed her. “What do you know about filthy?”

I had leaned closer to her, turned slightly, my thigh brushing against the fabric of her skirt. Her lips were a ripe raspberry color and she had a divot in the base of her chin that made me want to kiss it. Her chest rose and fell beneath her tight sweater with a quick rhythm, like she was turned on. Intrigued. Contemplating her move. She opened her mouth, gaze sweeping over my lips, and for a second I thought she was going to move close enough that I could kiss her.

Instead, she held my gaze, all seduction and skill, while her hand shot out and tucked the cash into the breast pocket of my suit. She grinned and turned back to the front, smug.

Damn.

“Nice acting skills,” I told her dryly. Leah, starring in the role of femme fatale, and I’d fallen for it.

“Thanks. I’m working on eye contact.”

I was working on blue balls.

She was cute and clever. Fuck.

I knew a couple of women who wanted exactly what I did—no-strings-attached sex. No one got offended if months went by without contact and it was just as likely they would text me as I would text them. I didn’t get… ensnared. Leah could ensnare me. It might be time to send out a sexual SOS. I needed zero contact with Leah after today. She wasn’t good for my concentration. But I did admire both her boldness and her talent.

“That was savage,” I told her. “I love it.”

“I need a distraction from the fact that my ankle seems to have a heartbeat and half the ice has melted so now my sock is damp.”

Right. Her busted ankle. That was the relevant issue at hand, not my dick.

“You really should elevate your ankle. Turn a little.”

Surprisingly, she obeyed me. I dug my way through all that fabric and hauled her calf and ankle up onto my lap. I also tucked the hundred bucks back into her skirt pocket. She didn’t seem to notice and just cleared her throat.

Leah bit her bottom lip. “This is weird,” she said. “I don’t think you want my damp sock on your pants.”

There were so many things I wanted to say. All of them inappropriate as fuck.

What I settled for was, “Don’t assume what I want.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Erin McCarthy

About Erin

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

Connect with Erin

Facebook: http://bit.ly/39K0yDk

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Website: https://erinmccarthy.net

 

Book Tours · Excerpt · Kindle Unlimited · Romance · Romantic Suspense

Dying for Rain (Conclusion to The Rain Trilogy) by BB Easton Blog Tour with Excerpt

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“This series will forever be one of the best.” –Goodreads Reviewer

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Dying for Rain, the captivating and unforgettable conclusion to The Rain Trilogy from BB Easton, is available now!

Door leading to a burning city

What could be worse than knowing the exact day the world is going to end?

Waking up to find out that it didn’t.

The post-April 23 world is a lawless, senseless, ruthless place, but it’s not loveless. At least, not for Rain and Wes.

But when the government begins holding daily televised executions as a demonstration of their power, that love is put to the ultimate test:

Sacrifice one life to save the many?

Or sacrifice many to save the one?

 

DFR - AN

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Start the trilogy with Praying for Rain!

Free in Kindle Unlimited
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

My heart thuds in time with his footsteps as they echo down the hallway, and Rain’s heart beats even faster where it’s pressed against my chest.

She’s here.

Holy shit.

She’s actually fucking here.

I wrap my arms around her trembling body and squeeze so hard I’m afraid I might crush her. I don’t move. I don’t breathe. I close my eyes and pretend that time has stopped, just for us. That tomorrow isn’t coming. That we’re fleshy statues now, and we can stay like this forever.

But we can’t because Rain’s trembles are now full-body shudders as the sob she’s been trying to hold in leaks out all over my chest.

“Wes,” she cries, burying her face in my neck. “I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have—”

“Shh.” I smooth a hand over her hair and feel her breath, hot and desperate, on my skin.

Rain lifts her tear-streaked face. Her pouty red lips tremble as they pull into a frown, but before she can let out another sob, I seal her mouth with mine. She tastes sad and girlie—all salty tears and cherry lip gloss—but she kisses me back with the determination of a woman. Her tongue slides and swirls around mine. And her hands dive into my hair, holding me like a balloon in danger of floating away. Then, her kisses begin to roam.

“I love you so much,” she murmurs, kissing my cheek.

“Oh my God, I missed you.” Her kisses trace the line of my jaw.

“This is all my fault.” She breathes against my neck. “I’m gonna get you out. I promise. I’ll … I’ll figure something out.”

“Hey.” I capture her face in my hands and tilt it back so that I can stare directly into her wide, panicking eyes when I tell her, “I’ll get myself out. Do you hear me? You shouldn’t be here.”

Rain’s eyelids close as she exhales a quiet, shuddering sob. “This is the only place I want to be.”

Without looking up, Rain grips my zipper and slides it down my chest. I grit my teeth as she reaches in and wraps her arms around my exposed torso, pressing her wet cheek against my bare skin. My eyes sting. My lungs scream for air. Nothing fucking hurts as much as this woman’s touch. It filets me like a dull knife. At first, it hurt because I realized that no one had ever cared for me like that before. Then, it killed me because I knew once she left, no one ever would again. But now? Now, her love cuts me down where I stand because I can no longer deny how much I want it.

I don’t want to die for her or let her go or try to convince myself that she belongs with someone else. I never did. The soul-crushing truth is that I want her more than I’ve ever wanted anything. I want her by my side and in my bed and in my life forever. I still don’t believe that God will let me have her, but until he pries her out of my cold, dead hands, I’m going to keep fighting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About BB Easton

bb easton author photo

BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write books about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about that.

Praying for Rain is BB’s first full-length work of fiction. The idea, fittingly, came to her in a dream.

If that sounds like the kind of person you want to go around being friends with, then by all means, feel free to drop her a line. You can find her procrastinating at all of the following places:

Connect with BB Easton

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2U7mjc0
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https://www.artbyeaston.com/