It’s a Cover Reveal: Ethan Walker’s Road to Wonderland

 Book: Ethan Walker’s Road to Wonderland
(Road to Wonderland Series #3)
by L.J. Stock
Genre: New Adult

Goodreads
Synopsis2

At nineteen, the world has so many possibilities. 

Ethan Walker was a typical teenager in that respect. He was happy, living at home with his family and partying when the mood struck. He was in no rush to grow up. His life was a blank page just waiting to be written, but that couldn’t last forever. 

Unfortunately, reality came knocking at Ethan’s door, forcing him to face truths he’d never allowed himself to see in the past – truths that soon robbed him of his innocence and youth. With the life he’d always known gone forever, Ethan found himself battling demons in disguise, only to find his own weakness was his worst enemy. 

When temptation turned to indulgence, and the ghosts of his past encouraged him to dig deeper, Ethan sought salvation in the form of violence. His fists and fortitude became his bread and butter, but the new turn in his life rejected the familiar and opened the door to more evil.

Inevitably, the darkness tried to sink him, and there was only one constant light that somehow seemed to shine brighter than the promise of escape: the mystery girl with the golden hair. 

In order to survive, Ethan had to dig deep and find a strength in himself not even he was sure existed. Only when he found himself on a path to Wonderland did he start to see a future beyond his past. All he had to do to get there was learn to breathe and not get himself killed in the process.

**Book 3 in the Road to Wonderland Series, Ethan Walker can be read in conjunction with Izzy Moffit’s Road to Wonderland by Victoria L. James and Paris Hemsworth’s Road to Wonderland by Francesca Marlow or standalone.

author

 From a young age L.J. Stock was led by her imagination. From the moment she could read she fell into worlds where trees could talk and little girls could move things with their minds.
In no hurry to grow up, she found stories all around her, in the forests of Plym Bridge, the moss covered hills of Dartmoor, then, as she grew older, the wide spread city of Houston, where she currently resides and works. A constant daydreamer, she hopes that one day, her passion can become something more than just a hobby for her.

Still led by her imagination, the worlds have slowly grown from childish adventures to urban fantasies and romances. With inspirational authors such as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, John Grisham and Stephen King guiding her through her life so far, L.J. Stock has finally decided that it is time for her to go for gold and try land herself on someone else’s future list of favorites. 

Putting words on paper is as essential as breathing to her, but on the rare occasions that she isn’t writing, she can be found with a video game remote in hand or curled up on the couch with her pup and a good book. Music is also such an important part of her life, it’s a wonder there isn’t a background soundtrack playing wherever she goes. A good girl to most, a bad girl to a few, L.J. believes that every genre should be attempted and is more than likely to have tried to release three hundred series’ ranging from vampires and werewolves, to dystopian and even classic romance, before she reaches even middle age. At least, that’s the plan for now.

Stalk the Author on Facebook

Author @ Twitter
Author @ Goodreads
 

 Buy The Book
The Road to Wonderland Series:

Izzy @ Amazon US    Paris @ Amazon US

Izzy @ Amazon UK   Paris @ Amazon UK

It’s a Cover Reveal: One to Save by Tia Louise

OneToSave_CVR_MED

ONE TO SAVE (One to Hold, #6)

(Derek & Melissa)

By Tia Louise

Coming March 26, 2015! #SaveDerek

Cover Design by Steven Novak

Photography by Lauren Perry, Perrywinkle Photography

goodreads

 

Synopsis2

Some threats come at you as friendly fire.

Some threats take away everything.

Family won’t let you go down without a fight.

The Secret isn’t as secure as Derek’s team originally thought it was, and a person on the inside of Alexander-Knight is set on exposing him, breaking him, and taking away all he holds dear.

Refusing to let anyone suffer for his crimes, Derek takes matters into his own hands. He’s exposed, he’s defenseless, but his friends are determined to save him.

A STAND-ALONE, ONE TO HOLD NOVEL. Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

 Buy The Book

Pre-Order ONE TO SAVE Today!

Amazon | iTunes | Google Play | Kobo | Are | Nook: *coming March 26!

 Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt

One to Save

©Tia Louise

*unedited draft, subject to change*

 

Chapter 1: Secrets

Melissa

In the cool darkness of the semi-crowded bar, I study the glass in front of me and consider my journey, how many steps I’ve taken in the last two years, how far I’ve come. Memories of my old life fade like smoke in a glass. The shame that held me so tightly now dances at the edges of my mind like the whisper of a bad dream, a flicker of shadows that no longer make sense in my world.

Young women in shiny slip dresses twist and laugh on the dance floor, but instead of resentment, my lips curl into a smile. My old self—cynical, bitter, defeated—is a memory I have to work hard to recall. These days I could dance all night with them, but I’d rather spend my energy engaged in other activities.

The slim glass holds a pale amber liquid, and I can’t resist taking a sip. An involuntary wince pinches my eyes as I put it down. Seven and seven. Refreshing citrus dragged down by the heavy undertone of whiskey. So gross.

Sliding my palms over my thighs, I realize my outfit isn’t much different from those of the girls on the dance floor. The deep red silk is fitted at my waist, and drapes loosely over my torso. My long dark hair is swept over one shoulder revealing a thin spaghetti strap. I lightly touch the delicate gold chain around my neck leading to the floating heart pendant that sits between my collarbones, and light glances off the thick gold cuff on my wrist.

Unlike that night, I’m alone. My best friend Elaine is miles away with her new husband, most likely indulging in that blissful honeymoon period of early marriage. Make that, most certainly indulging. I know those two well.

No, I came by myself to the bar in Princeton after finishing my business with a client in town. My infant son is in Wilmington, spending the weekend with his grandmother. Studying my hands, I admire the deep blue sapphire ring on my finger, but I have no wedding band.

At thirty-two, I’m an unmarried mother of a beautiful little boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing… Yet. The tiny silver scar at my hairline reminds me of what a bad marriage looks like, and with my successful marketing business and the gorgeous cottage at the beach I own, I’m satisfied with my life. Calm, not desperate. I’ll take my next steps deliberately, with confidence.

All these thoughts preoccupy my mind when I blink up and catch him watching me from across the square-shaped bar. Blue eyes, strikingly blue because of the way they stand out beneath his dark brow, coupled with collar-length thick dark hair.

He’s massive, at least six-two, and elegantly dressed with a thick stainless watch on his wrist. I can spot his type a mile away—rich, powerful, accustomed to getting what he wants. I can’t deny the hum his gaze sets off under my skin. I know what he wants.

Catching my lip in my teeth to stop my grin, I also know what I want, and it’s no coincidence I happened to look up at that exact moment to meet his stare. Still, I’ll make him work for it.

He starts to move, his eyes never leaving mine. I don’t look away either. Thick cords of muscle ripple beneath the thin black sweater he wears as he glides past the oblivious patrons talking and laughing. Some are more animated than others, waving their arms and putting their drinks in peril.

Yellow lights hidden in the recesses above the bar illuminate rows of liquor bottles in all colors and shapes. Glasses hanging upside down above also catch the flickering light. It’s a raucous atmosphere, but this man and I are in our own secret place of longing and desire.

As he rounds the final corner, and I see him in full, my breath quickens. My eyes drift from his broad shoulders to his narrow waist, grey slacks and black shoes, then back up just as he reaches me. A close beard shadows his face, and the muscles low in my pelvis tighten at the thought of how it feels brushing the soft skin of my inner thighs…

#SaveDerek #March26

 

Books by Tia LouiseONE TO HOLD SERIES

One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013

Amazon | B&N

One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

Amazon | B&N

One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014

Amazon | B&N

One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014

Amazon | B&N

One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), Dec. 29, 2014

Amazon | B&N

One to Save (Derek & Melissa), coming March 26, 2015!

One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), coming May 2015!

 

SIGNED COPIES: http://smarturl.it/SignedPBs

 

author

TL_Logo_MED

Tia Louise is the Amazon and International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.

From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to picking up USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning a 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.

A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…

 

Connect with Tia

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram: @AuthorTLouise | Tsu.com

 

Sign up for Tia’s Book News: http://eepurl.com/Lcmv1

Get Exclusive Sale and New Release text alerts straight to your device: Text “TiaLouise” to 77948*

*Max 6 messages per month; HELP for help; STOP to cancel; Text and Data rates may apply. Privacy policy available, allnightreads@gmail.com.

 

love 2

Releasing Now: Where We Belong by Eve Connell

 

Title: Where We Belong
Author: Eve Connell
 Release Date: February 19, 2015 

Synopsis2

One man diving into the past.

One woman emerging from the depths.

At the age of seventeen, Amelia Baide won silver at the Olympic Games and was the second-fastest woman in the pool. Then one tragic night she crashed into a  lake and was dragged out without a pulse. Now twenty-four, she is still haunted by it and hasn’t swum again. Until this year’s anniversary of the accident. It  is a day unlike any other and a strange turn of events finds Amelia back at a swimming pool.

Harry Jamieson had eyes for one girl, while women and the media had eyes for  him. As a trainer of Olympic athletes, he was an in-demand man. Until one boozy  morning after … But from bad luck to pure chance he runs into his old flame,  Amelia, at a swimming pool no less. She doesn’t remember a thing from the night  of the crash.

And Harry knows every single secret.

The pair joins forces—a comeback for Amelia and Harry’s ultimate coaching  opportunity. But dodging waves is hard to do; and even the strongest swimmer  may sink.

Where We Belong is a second-chance love story for young and old, for swimming enthusiasts and romantics at heart.

My Review

****4 Stars****

Where We Belong by Eve Connell tells the story of Amelia and Harry, and their bumpy path back to one another. Amelia is a former Olympic swimmer who left the pool after a horrific accident that she doesn’t remember. Harry is someone from the life Amelia had before the accident, and he’s tied into her past and present life in more ways than one.

This book initially drew me in because it’s a second chance romance. I love me a second chance romance because I love all that they’re about: second chances, trying to redo what went wrong, and fighting like crazy for everything they want.

What also drew me to Where We Belong was the aspect of swimming. Having swum competitively myself for over half my life, I was more than ready to read a book that captured the specific nuances of swimming. And let me tell you, Where We Belong delivered on that aspect and more.

What I loved about Where We Belong:

  • Amelia’s faithfully strong and determined self. Amelia is a strong and determined as all get out character. You feel that through how much she fights for what she wants, and you see it immensely with her swimming, and her fight to move forward with her life. Sure she has her vulnerable moments which make her very authentic, but at her core, her strength and determination through everything she faces defines her. It just shows the level of fight she has, and it had me having mad respect for her character.
  • The enigma that is Harry. Harry begins this book as a mystery of sorts. When I first read his character, I found myself wondering what he was really about and what he was really after. I wanted to know what got him to where he was, and over the course of the story I understood more and more of him, and as I got to know him I loved him more. With each piece I got of him I understood his motives more and why he did the things he did, and it showed me what he was truly about. Getting to know the real Harry was simply wonderful.
  • Figuring out the whats of the past. Throughout this book you know that Amelia and Harry’s lives were both drastically changed because of the accident. But slowly and strategically over the book you learn what actually happened, and you get more and more pieces to the puzzle. The way you find out more of the what adds to the story itself, and has your mind reeling to try and figure it out. And believe me, you may think you know what happened, but trust me, you don’t.
  • How taken Amelia and Harry are with one another. You can feel the connection that Harry and Amelia share with one another. You can just tell how profoundly they care for one another, and that just brings their relationship to life. You will feel how taken they are with one another in how much they fight for their shared goals, their individual ones, and in all the things they say and do. Reading their story will just show you over and over how taken they are with one another, and how far their willing to go to explore how deep their connection truly is.
  • Capturing the life of a swimmer. I can’t say enough how much this author completely captured what it’s like to be a competitive swimmer. What it feels like to be in that water, what it’s like to compete, and what it’s like to strive for something you want so badly. She captures it all fantastically, and even if you’ve never swum a day in your life, you feel like you’re with Amelia on that block and swimming in that water towards the finish line. This author captured every single little nuance of swimming, and that just adds a magnificent and wholly authentic layer to this story.
  • The emotional pull. This is a very emotional story because of the nature of what is told, and the author does a great job of puling you into those emotions. All those emotions thrust you into what you’re reading in such a wonderful way that allows you to experience the story that all of these characters go through. That level of connection and emotional pull will just pull you more into the story and to these fabulous characters.
  • All the resiliency. These two characters are very resilient. It’s a characteristic that defines them both in a way. They’ve both gone through so much from their shared and individual pasts, and the resiliency that they have to try to overcome their pasts will just have you loving them. Their resiliency and their desire to fight to get over the darkness of their pasts will make you want to fight right along with them to get them right to where they want to be. That level of resiliency and how it takes shape in these characters will honestly just make your heart happy.
  • The writing. This is this author’s debut novel, and I have to say that her writing was fantastic. She captured both points of views wonderfully, and allows you to really step into their minds. She also writes a very intricately developed story, and her writing style just captures everything surrounding the events of this book. The writing of this book just envelops you into it all and allows you the chance to experience the competitiveness with swimming, the trauma of Amelia and Harry’s past, and the many heart racing and pulling events that make this book what it is.

Where We Belong was an overall fantastic book that tells the story of two characters fighting their pasts in order to find a future together. There are many twists and turns on their journey forcing them to give it all they got, but I promise you’re going to love seeing them attempt to figure it all out.

Amelia and Harry’s story is emotional and it’s going to pull at your heart like crazy, but you’re going to love what you experience with these two. You’re going to love seeing them attempt to navigate the bumpy waters of their past, present, and future, and you’ll be rooting with all you’ve got that they can figure out what it is that’s going on between them.

This story is about second chances, fighting for what you truly desire, and giving it all you’ve got until the very last second because in that last second, in that last fight of umph is when magic can really happen.

Buy The Book
AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

 

author
Writer, kid-at-heart, awesome partner, graphic design dabbler, book lover.
Author Links
FACEBOOK     TWITTER     BLOG      GOODREADS

NEWSLETTER

Giveaway
Click below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review Post: Obligation by Aurora Rose Reynolds

obligation book tour

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1EWf7QW

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1DfD2sz

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1y2bxMH

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1DVAfDi

 obligation cover

 

Synopsis2

[ob-li-gey-shuh n]

An obligation is a course of action that someone is required to take, whether legal or moral.

At six years old, Myla was sent to a family her father and mother had chosen for her when they knew their time on earth was almost up. What they were unaware of was what they thought would be her safe haven would become her living hell.

Kai has been watching Myla from afar since he took over the family business from his father and inherited the responsibility of keeping her safe. When word gets back to Kai that Myla is not only in danger, but that his assets are being compromised, he immediately jumps into action and does the only thing that can be done at the time by marrying her.

Neither Myla nor Kai would have thought that something that started off as a farce would become the most important thing either of them could’ve ever done.

Excerpt

Excerpt #1

“Everyone is looking for you.”

I turn my head, pulling my hair out of my face as I watch a boy I’ve never seen before climb up the stairs and into my tree house.

“Who are you?” I ask him as he sits across from me.

“Kai,” he smiles, looking around. He looks a lot different than the other kids I know. His hair is long, and his skin is a lot darker than mine. “Why are you hiding?”

I shrug and look away from him. Daddy was yelling earlier; he was so mad that he was turning red. Then Mommy started crying, and Daddy started yelling louder. I heard Mommy telling Daddy that he had to send me away. I don’t want to go away. I try to be good, but sometimes, I forget to listen.

“Why are you crying?”

I look up at him and wipe my face. “I’m scared,” I whisper, wiping my nose.

“Come on. I’ll protect you,” he says, holding his hand out to me.

Then my mommy calls my name again. I look at his hand, move Mr. Bear under my arm, and put my hand in his.

“Myla!” Mommy yells, running towards me.

I can tell she has been crying again.

“Where did you go?” Her hands grab my shoulders and she shakes me hard.

“It’s my fault. I asked her to show me the tree house,” Kai tells her.

She stops shaking me then looks at him. “You shouldn’t have done that. You knew we were looking for her,” she says angrily her head.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking,” Kai says softly, putting his hands in his pockets and looking at the ground.

I look back at Mommy, and she shakes her head before grabbing my hand and pulling me with her. When I look over my shoulder at Kai, he smiles, making me smile back.

 Portrait of handsome couple gently kissing

Excerpt 2

I feel the sun on my closed eyelids and something sharp poking me in the face. Moving my hand, trying to get away from the pain, I whimper when it scrapes against my cheek. I lift my head and run my fingers along the side of my face, feeling wetness. Opening my eyes to see a light smear of blood on my fingers. I flip my hand over, and then I see the gaudy ring that is now taking up residence on my ring finger.

“Great,” I whisper, closing my eyes and laying my head down again.

I prayed earlier, before I went to sleep, that when I woke up, the ring I’m wearing now and the man who put it there would be nothing but a bad dream. No such luck. I roll over and take a shaky breath, wanting to close my eyes for a few more seconds, wishing I could just sleep until everything was back to normal.

My Review*****5 Huge Stars***** 

Obligation is the next installment in Aurora Rose Reynolds utterly fantastic Underground Kings Series. Each of Aurora Rose Reynold’s books have been absolute must reads for me because boy does she know how to write one heck of a story, with an absolute gem of an alpha male, and the perfect female counterpart with her own wonderfully distinctive personality.

Obligation is no different. It has every aspect and more that makes me love a book, and the reading experience it gives me.

I’ve loved all of her books, but there’s just something about this series that just gets me. Something that just hooks me into it all that much more. The darker and more intense feelings because of the nature and premise of this series has me beyond enthralled. I also seriously love how much these characters and their storylines just push the boundaries a bit more.

It just works, and I can’t get enough.

Obligation, and Kai and Myla’s story was one I absolutely loved for what it gave me as a reader. I honestly wish I could spend more time in their book, because I loved both of those passionate people immensely. Their story in Obligation is one that will just have you realizing once again what it means to read and experience a truly fantastic book.

What I loved about Obligation:

  • The softness and strength of Myla. Myla had such a grace and softness to her. I was kind of taken aback by how beautiful her character was, and I don’t just mean physically. Her emotions and the things she felt, the essence that was her, her spirit, and just the things she said and did over the course of the book were just beautiful and showed a real sense of strength from within her. After all that she went through and overcame in her life, to have that perfect blend of softness and strength just kind of left me in awe of her character.
  • Kai’s unyielding self. Kai was a character I was sold on the instant I met him. He is a protector, someone who will go to the ends of the earth to do what needs to be done for all those he cares about, and it just so happens one of those people is Myla. What Kai embodied in this book with just the general magnificence that was him melted my heart because of the fierceness of what he felt, the passion behind it, and all the meaning and reasoning for his actions. Kai is the ultimate protector, and you feel that as the reader. It’s also going to have you wishing that you had your own Kai in your life because of what that man makes you feel.
  • That wonderful push and pull. There is a lot of will they or won’t they in this book. Aurora Rose Reynolds creates the perfect amount of push and pull between Myla and Kai, and that will just have you clawing at what these two could share together. Fighting and praying that they’ll get it together. All that push and pull and back and forth will have you feeling as if you’re building towards something pretty spectacular, and let me tell you that that push and pull will just have you soaring with love for Myla and Kai, and what they experience as a result of that push and pull.
  • The perfect amount of counterbalance. Where Myla is soft and sweet, Kai is that perfect counterpart of hard and not so sweet. They balance each other out phenomenally, and I couldn’t get enough of seeing that balance attempt to come together. I also effing loved what these two brought out in one another. In a way Kai makes Myla stronger, and in another way Myla makes Kai softer. They make each other better, and they make each other whole, and getting to see how all that balance tries to unfold is just outstanding.
  • All the feeling. I can’t say enough how much I felt this book in every way, shape, and form. All the passion, all the want and desire, all the doubts and questions, and all the possibilities. You feel it in your bones because of the outstanding way Aurora Rose Reynolds writes this book. You’re experiencing and feeling it all as you read this book. Those feelings just amplify everything from the page, and connect you more and more into what you’re reading.
  • Twists and turns galore. One of my favorite aspects of this series is the nonstop action. I never know what or where the story will take the characters in, and what twists and turns are around the corner. I love the excitement that that brings, and how much that just engages me in the story. Aurora Rose Reynolds adds in just enough drama and excitement to keep you more than interested, but more importantly it all makes sense for the story and the characters. It flows extremely well, and all those twists and turns have you dying to know what will happen next.
  • How it all unfolds. Myla and Kai have an unusual beginning to their story. It’s not typical, but that’s what makes the difference. Getting to know these characters and their story the way that it’s developed with all its intricate and detailed layers is fantastic. It all just works together so well, and slowly but surely you get more pieces to the puzzle that is Kai and Myla’s extraordinary story. And the more you see the more you love it, and the more you live it, the more you will be praying with all you’ve got that everything will work out for these two.
  • Underground Kings all the way. This series has the title Underground Kings for a reason, and the way the author brings the theme of this series into the individual stories is exceptional. There is almost a tangible level of excitement and danger, but at its core it shows that these men and these characters are willing to give every ounce of their being to do what they know is right for the people they love and care for. Feeling and experiencing that kind of theme, that kind of devotion, that level of protectiveness, and just meeting characters that fully embody that sentiment is just effing spectacular. It also exemplifies the absolute best things from the characters and stories in this fantastic series.

Obligation was another must read for me by Aurora Rose Reynolds. It had so many aspects to it that I just loved, and I simply couldn’t get enough of spending time with Kai and Myla’s phenomenal characters. They were just kind of the bees’ knees because of all they were and had to offer, and this author’s fantastic and well-crafted writing just brought them and their story to life.

Myla and Kai and their fantastic story will have you feeling it all right along with them, and will have you fighting like crazy that these two fiercely passionate people can find a way to make it all work. Their story is going to take you on one helluva ride that is full of so much amazingness, and in the end you’ll be very sad to say goodbye, but at the same time you’ll just be ecstatic that you got to experience it all.

Trust me. I have one heck of a book hangover because of that.

Obligation is just another magnificent addition to Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Underground Kings series, and I for one cannot wait for more. Like I might be needing that tomorrow, because I am dying to jump back into the spectacular world this author created with this book and this series. Fingers crossed the next book is out very very soon!!

Buy The Book

assumption cover

Assumption (Underground Kings #1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1onxQI0

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qaNWJ3

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1pdSccC

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/1olp5C0

Blurb

as·sump·tion:

a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof

They say when you assume that you make an ass out of you and me. Kenton Mayson learned this lesson firsthand when he made assumptions about Autumn Freeman and the kind of woman she is based on what little information he had. What he finds out is she’s not only beautiful, but also smart, funny, a fighter, and exactly the kind of woman he wants to share his life with. Autumn made assumptions of her own about Kenton, and now he needs to prove her wrong in order to protect her and their future.

 author

aurora bio

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 Giveaway

Giveaway — $50 Gift Card

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Releasing Now: Reclaimed by River Savage

Title: Reclaimed (A Knights Rebels MC Novella 2.5)

Author: River Savage

Publication Date: February 17, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Add to your TBR:  Goodreads

Purchase Links: 
Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA / Amazon AU  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  iTunes

Synopsis2

When the woman you love is lost, how hard will you fight to get her back?
Following the birth of her daughter, Kadence Knight finds herself in a battle she never prepared for. With desperation and unhappiness threatening to overwhelm her, a sense of hopelessness pulls her away from the one thing she has always longed for: a family. 
As Nix watches his wife struggle with something he doesn’t understand, he can’t help but feel disconnected to his woman. The Kadence he once knew has drifted into the darkness. In her place is a shadow of the woman she once was, one who is fearful of the impossible…failing their daughter. 
This Valentine’s Day, Nix has one goal — to reclaim the woman who gave him everything. 
*Please note this is a novella and features the characters from the previous storyline. 
The events of Reclaimed take place after Incandescent and Affliction. Book one and two in the Knights Rebels MC. 
To get the full advantage of the story, and character development, I strongly suggest you read in order.
 
 
Excerpt

“I don’t know what you want from me,” I whisper. Communication was never this hard. The distance growing further between us as each day passes makes me afraid that this is what we’ve become.

“I just want to bring you happiness, baby,” he sighs, but before I can tell him I don’t think he can, Harlow’s cries come through the monitor. I move off the bed to go to her, knowing she will need to be fed.

“You walk out of this room, Kadence, you walk out on me.” His cold tone stops me from moving any further. It’s the same tone he used in the bathroom. “Leave her,” he commands, but the thought of continuing this conversation, where we tear each other down, has me fighting him.

“Nix, I have to check on her.” I continue to the door.

“Don’t you dare leave this fuckin’ room. I’m important too. I’m your fuckin’ husband. Do you hear me? We are important.” His hand sweeps across his nightstand, causing one big crash that sends everything tumbling to the floor. I’m frozen in place, my hand resting on the door handle. The room is silent. The shock of what has gone on tonight so raw I don’t think either of us knows how to process it.

“I don’t know what you want from me,” I repeat, closing my eyes when Harlow’s cries grow louder, sending my anxiety rising. Doesn’t he know he’s only making it worse?

“Jesus, I don’t know. Give me a look, smile at me…fuckin’ touch me. Give me a connection that says we’re on the same fuckin’ side. I can’t continue to stay in this place we are in. I’m drowning here, Kadence. We both are, and I just don’t know if I can keep treading water for both of us. You have to help me, baby. You have to want us to survive.” He falls to the bed, his head dropping to his hands. Seeing him like this, in this state makes me realize that our situation is bigger than me, than him. It’s bigger than either one of us realize.

“That’s not fair.” I release the handle and turn, collapsing against the wall. The wind knocks out of me as his words resonate within me. We are drowning and I have to stop fighting. At this realization, my knees become weak. Standing becomes too hard. I slide down the wall, dropping my ass to the carpet.

“Life isn’t fair, Kadence. I wish it was, but it just isn’t. Look where we both have come from; look where life has taken us. We won’t survive if you won’t talk to me, Kadence. Talk to someone.” He stands to come to me, but having him in my space only makes things worse.

“Please don’t.” I draw in a breath, defeated. His frustration and concerns only prove what a bad mother I’ve been, what a bad wife I’ve become.

“Don’t what, Kadence?  Don’t make me walk away. I want my wife back. I don’t know what’s happened, but I don’t like who you’ve become.” His voice is pained, as broken as my soul feels. His confession doesn’t surprise me, but it still burns. I know I don’t like who I’ve become. How do I expect Nix to like me?

“You don’t think I ask myself that question every day? That I don’t look at myself and ask what is wrong with me? I don’t know who I’ve become, Nix. All I know is I should. I should know who I am.” My head thuds against the wall in defeat. I can’t keep going on like this. I can hear Harlow’s cries quietening, as she resettles herself, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting out of this room.

“I know who you are, Kadence. You’re the woman I love. The most amazin’ mother to our daughter, our son.” Saying Z is my son pulls at me harder. The fact that he, too, is affected by what is happening hurts even more. Nix walks over and squats to my level, careful not to get into my space, but close enough for me to reach out and touch him if I wanted to.

“Why don’t I know that? I should know that Nix.”

“You don’t have to know. I know, the kids know and that’s enough.”

“It’s not enough for me.” My hand itches to touch him, to feel his hardness under my fingers, but sitting broken on the floor of our bedroom, I know I can’t. I can’t touch the man who means everything to me and I hate myself for it.

“When did you stop trustin’ yourself?”

“I don’t know. When did I stop being myself?” I counter, and my admission halts him for a moment. He crawls forward, coming closer into my space. His warmth, his calming presence wraps itself all over me.

“The first step is askin’ for help, baby. Let me help you. You don’t have to be alone. Let me learn to breathe the ugliness you see. Let me share the darkness, Kadence. Just don’t push me away.” His pleading pulls at me, pulls at the hatred that has settled inside.

“I’m not doing good, Nix,” I say, looking up and giving him what he needs. What I need. “Somewhere along the way, I woke completely lost and overwhelmed. And every day, it gets harder and harder to deal.” A sob tears from deep within me, and walls I’ve been hiding behind crumble down.

“I know, baby.” He pulls me into the hardness of his chest. “We’re gonna be okay,” he promises, and everything in me wants to believe him. Everything in me wants to trust he has me. That he has us. But the truth is, I’ve drowned in so much self-doubt and uneasiness, that trust seems so far away.

My Review

*****5 AMAZING Stars*****

The instant I met Nix and Kaydence in Incandescent, I was just enraptured in the fierceness that is them. I effing love their characters. Their passion, their love, the dynamic of the connection they share, everything.

Going into this novella, I knew I would get more Nix and Kaydence, but I didn’t know how much emotion, pain, and vulnerability I was going to find with them in Reclaimed. This story pulled at every single emotion I had, and at times it hurt my heart so much to read what Nix and Kaydence were going through, but I cannot tell you enough how utterly phenomenal this novella was.

What River Savage creates in this story will pull at your heart again and again. She created a chapter in Nix and Kaydence’s story that packs one serious emotional punch. She tackles a subject that is very very real, and very very raw, and she does that with such a magnificent level of authenticity.

Bottom line: she does it justice.

That’s probably the aspect I took away most from this novella. I love me some Nix and Kaydence something fierce, and will never tire of reading a story filled with their amazing selves, but what River Savage creates and takes on in this novella is something else. Something more. She tackles a real live struggle that many women face, and does so with an immense amount thought and care.

I myself am not a mother yet. I’ve never personally experienced the things that Kaydence goes through with creating the most extraordinary thing, a new life, to then being thrust into something you were never prepared for. Something you never expected to have happen, feeling things you never wished to feel. I’ve never felt what Nix experiences when he watches someone he loves fade away into a pain filled numbness, all while losing a parts of himself in the process.

I’ve never experienced that kind of pain or felt that level of internal and external struggle, but after Reclaimed I feel like I have such a better understanding of it all, because of what River Savage created. The writing and development of this story and its characters makes it so easy to connect into all that is going on and all they go through, which makes for an unforgettable reading experience.

Nix, Kaydence, Z, and Low’s story is brought to life, and within all of their pain and struggle is so much breathtaking strength at what they fight through and attempt to overcome together.

My heart still aches from the full on emotional and pain filled story within Reclaimed. But at the same time my heart also soars after reading this story because of what River Savage wrote, created, and brought to the page. While this story pulled at my heart more times than I can remember, it also tried to heal it over and over again with the continuation of Nix and Kaydence’s spectacular story.

Reclaimed takes Nix and Kaydence to their most vulnerable. It pushes them to places they never expected to be, but it also brings them to an extraordinary place. All that struggle, all that pain, all that fight comes out in Reclaimed, and I guarantee you’re going to be blown away from it all.

While Reclaimed is definitely a heavier emotional read, it also has everything else that I’ve come to effing love from this author and this series. All of the outstanding characters from this series are back, and just add to the entire extraordinary picture that is Reclaimed. Jesse, Sy, Holly, Beau, Brooks, Z, and everyone else come back to wow you. Their wonderful and distinctive personalities continue to shine through, and I love them all the more. And Jesse’s book needs to get here like yesterday. Just saying.

This book also packs some serious heat and heart. You feel the love and you feel that connection Nix and Kaydence share, and the passion they have for one another that you’ve come to know from the other books just catapults off of the page. All those moments of searing heat and passion, and all those moments of heart melting love, fit into this story seamlessly and will just make you whole heartedly believe again that what they share is worth fighting for with all you’ve got.

What can I say? I heart me some Nix and Kaydence. River Savage writes a well-developed and thoughtfully crafted story within this novella, and she does these characters and their emotional story the justice they warrant. The events of this novella make them fight like crazy to reclaim what they once had, but let me tell you: it’s one helluva fight that shows the true power and breathtaking beauty of love.

I’m just blown away yet again by everything this story had. All that pain, all that vulnerability, all that emotion, all that enrapturing passion and love. It all just fit together like the pieces of a well-made puzzle, and it’s just going to knock your darn socks off.

Reclaimed was just so much of everything, and I loved every little thing about it. Even those heartbreaking moments, because they were real and raw, and they were a part of Nix and Kaydence’s story that needed to be told.

This is a phenomenal addition to this series, amplifying all that makes these books and characters exceptional, and I for one cannot wait for more.

 

Buy The Book
Purchase Links: 
Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA / Amazon AU  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  iTunes

______________________________________________________________________________Series Reading Order

Incandescent (Knights Rebels MC #1)

Phoenix ‘Nix’ Knight thought pulling his club out of the illegal shit his Pops got them into was difficult.
Until he meets Kadence.
Kadence Turner has no business lusting over a student’s father, especially the president of the Knights Rebels MC. Nix is crass, obnoxious and dangerously sexy and for some reason, Kadence can’t seem to hate him for it. The bossy biker breaks down her defenses, but unlike the old Kadence, the woman she is today won’t give in without a fight.
The tension is undeniable, the attraction fierce. A man that wants what he wants and a woman that will fight him every step of the way.
 
 
Add to your TBR Today: Goodreads
 
****

 
Three little words are all it takes to rip his world apart. Lost in his own affliction, Sy has been living in a darkness that he doesn’t ever want to let go of. 
Until she arrives and shines her light so bright that nothing else mattered.
She was only in it for the chase, for the thrill of capturing the unattainable.
But what happens when her world shatters around her, spiraling her into the darkness beside him?
Can his affliction be her resurrection?
Or will two lost souls living in the depths of deception let it destroy them?
Add to your TBR Today: Goodreads
 
 
 

______________________________________________________________________________

author

 River Savage is the author of the Knights Rebels MC Series. 

An avid reader of romance and erotic novels, her love for books and reading fueled her passion for writing. Reading no longer sated her addiction, so she started writing in secret. She never imagined that her dream of publishing a novel would ever be achievable. 
With a soft spot for an alpha male and a snarky sassy woman, Kadence and Nix were born.
 
River would love to hear from you. You can contact and/or follow her via…

Facebook / Twitter ( @RiverS_Author ) / Pinterest / Website / TSU / Youtube

Email: riversavageauthor@gmail.com 


 

Giveaway
Click below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s a Cover Reveal: Sing Like Nobody’s Listening by SJ McCoy

Sing Like Nobody’s Listening
Cover Reveal

Release Date: February 22nd

Kenzie Reid is a survivor. She’s been out on her own since she was seventeen years old. She may not have much to show for it, but she’s made her own way in the world. Other than her sister, Megan, no one has ever cared whether she lived or died—not even her own parents. 

When Kenzie visits Summer Lake to make sure Megan is okay there, the quaint little town threatens to cast its spell over her, too. The place has its attractions, not the least of which is Chase, the lead singer with the local band. Kenzie knows attraction doesn’t last though and besides, she’s not cut out for small town life. 

Chase Harper lives a life many guys would envy. He sings in a band, hangs with his guys, can have any woman he wants—and usually does. When he meets Kenzie, he soon realizes he’d gladly give it all up. He believes what they have could be a one-of-a-kind, but first he’ll have to convince her that it’s more than just a one-off.  

Will two people who weren’t looking for a relationship learn to trust one another enough to make it work?
 
Sing Like Nobody’s Listening is book 6 in the Summer Lake Romance series but can be read as a 
stand alone.
 
 

 

Hi, I’m SJ. A coffee addict, lover of chocolate and drinker of good red wines. I’m a lost soul and a hopeless romantic. Reading and writing are necessary parts of who I am. Though perhaps not as necessary as coffee! I can drink coffee without writing, but I can’t write without coffee.
I grew up loving romance novels, my first boyfriends were book boyfriends, but life intervened, as it tends to do, and I wandered down the paths of non fiction for many years. My life changed completely a couple of years ago and I returned to Romance to find my escape.
I write ‘Sweet N Steamy’ stories because to me there is enough angst and darkness in real life. My favorite romances are happy escapes with a focus on fun, friendships and happily-ever-afters, just like the ones I write.
These days I live in beautiful Montana, the last best place. If I’m not reading or writing you’ll find me just down the road in the park – Yellowstone. I have deer, eagles and the occasional bear for company, and I like it that way :0)

Facebook / Twitter / Website

 
Purchase the other books in the series today!
 

It’s a Cover Reveal: Pretty Pink Ribbons by KL Grayson

PPR cover

Title: Pretty Pink Ribbons

Author: K.L. Grayson

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative Covers

Photographer: Tomasz Zienkiewicz Photography

goodreads

Synopsis2

Dying . . .
Dead . . .
Deceased . . .

It doesn’t matter how many times I say it or how many different names I give it, it still means the same thing. One of these days I’ll be nothing but a passing memory, a familiar face in a forgotten photo. But there’s three things I need before this life of mine ends . . .

I need to tell him I love him more than life itself.
I need to feel the strength of his arms wrapped around me just one more night.
Most of all, I need him to forgive me.

Eight years ago I broke the heart of the only man I’ve ever loved and today I’m moving home in hopes that he’ll let me put it back together. I’m not sure how many breaths I have left, but I’ll use each and every last one fighting for what I destroyed.

My name is Laney Jacobs and this is my journey.

PPR 1

ppr 2

Prologue

“Levi?” Her soft voice rings through the bar, effectively kicking my heart rate up a couple hundred notches, and I take a deep breath. This is what she does to me. When she’s around, my entire universe shifts and I know—I know—that this woman is it for me.

“Coming.” I rush to light the last of the candles, taking a quick inventory to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I’ve known for several months that Laney is different … special. But the other night when her warm body was curled up in my arms, head tucked under my chin, I realized just how perfectly she fits. And not just with me, but into my life.

A loud thud followed by a faint “shit” catches my attention and I run across the patio, through the door, toward the dining room. “You okay in here?”

Laney is bent over, rubbing her knee. She lifts her head and her dark hair slides away from her face, putting her hazel eyes—the eyes that I love—on display. Her nose crinkles and she cocks her head. “Why is it so dark in here? You know I’m afraid of the dark.” I laugh, bending down to inspect her knee. “Are you laughing at me, Mr. Beckford?” I glance up in time to see a sly grin split her face and I return it before focusing my attention back on the bruise that is now marring her flawless skin. Leaning forward, my lips graze her knee and she sighs, threading her delicate fingers through my hair. “When you act all sweet like this, it’s hard to be mad at you for laughing at me.”

I look up and she places a soft kiss against my lips. “I have a surprise for you,” I whisper, pulling away, knowing good and well what her sweet innocent kisses can turn into. Sliding a hand along her back, the other under her knees, I lift her off the ground and she squeals, wrapping her arms around my shoulders. Burying her face in my neck, she starts peppering kisses along my jaw.

“I love surprises.” Her voice is low and sexy as shit, and if she says one more word, I’m certain we won’t make it out to the patio. Soft lips encircle my earlobe and she nips it playfully before sucking the sensitive flesh into her mouth. I swat her ass and she moans, the vibrations sending a rush of blood straight to my dick. Fuck … the things this woman does to me.

Stopping in front of the patio doors, I lower her to her feet. “Close your eyes.” Her gaze snaps to mine and her eyes widen with excitement before she slaps a hand over her eyes. Gripping her free hand in mine, I gently lead her across the threshold into the warm summer air.

I couldn’t have asked for a better night to do this. My dad closed Flame for the weekend to celebrate my cousin’s wedding so we have the entire restaurant to ourselves, and the weather is absolutely perfect. I blow out a slow breath, hoping that this perfect night gets a little bit more perfect when I tell Laney just how much she means to me. “Open your eyes.”

She smiles wide, her sparkling white teeth lighting up her face. Her hand remains locked across her eyes and I can’t help but laugh. “Laney.” I tug at her arm, but she doesn’t budge. “Open your eyes.”

“Wait,” she laughs, pushing me away with her free hand. “I’m prolonging the moment. I haven’t had a surprise since I was seven years old and my mom bought me a Cabbage Patch doll for my birthday.” Laney’s smile falters and something inside of me clenches. Laney doesn’t have a lot of memories of her mom, and she has even fewer good memories of her dad. “It wasn’t even new.” I stood there, my hands hovering at my sides, at a complete loss for words. “I think she got it from a garage sale, but I didn’t care … I loved that doll.”

Stepping toward her, I lace my fingers around the back of her neck, drawing her to me. “Laney, I didn’t—”

“No.” She buries her covered face in my chest and takes a deep breath. “It’s okay. I’m sorry I got carried away. I’m just really excited for your surprise, even if it’s nothing … I’m not saying it’s nothing, but if it was, I’d still be just as excited.” She pauses, pulling away from me. “Wait. That didn’t come out right.”

My hand glides down her back and I pull her to my chest. I want to spend the rest of my life making her happy. Logically, I know it’s way too early to talk about marriage, what with the both of us still in college, but the thought lingers in the back of my head. “I know what you meant.” She nods and I kiss the top of her head. “I’m going to give you lots of surprises, Laney.” She nods again. “I’m going to spoil you rotten. I promise, one of these days you’ll be sick of surprises.”

She lifts her face as though she is looking for a kiss, but her hand is still covering her eyes and she isn’t anywhere close to my mouth. I grin. She looks so damn cute with her pouty pink lips puckered and ready. “Where’s your mouth?” she huffs, lifting up on her toes. “Levi?” Slipping my arm under her butt, I lift her up and she instinctively wraps her legs around my waist. Gripping the back of her head in my palm, I guide her smiling face toward mine and her lips part, granting me access. Our tongues collide, sliding and pushing against one another. Kissing Laney is like getting a taste of heaven. If she’d let me, I’d probably spend most of my days walking around with my lips connected to her in some way, shape, or form.

“Can I have my surprise now?” she mumbles against my mouth, biting at my bottom lip. I groan and she smiles against my mouth, knowing good and well what she’s doing to me. “Did that turn you on?” She waggles her eyebrows above her hand, her knowing smile completely infectious. If her eyes were open, I’d adamantly deny any such thing. But they’re closed so I smile back, loving this playful side of her.

“Nope.”

“No?”

“Not even a little.”

She tries to pull back and my arms lock around her middle and she giggles. The most perfect sound in the entire world. “I don’t believe you.” She wiggles her free hand between us until she finds the swollen bulge busting at the zipper of my jeans, causing her to burst into full-on laughter. “I knew it. I knew it. Good God, you’re easy.” I have no comeback because she’s right. This girl can fucking breathe on me and I’ll get hard.

“What do you expect? You’re fucking gorgeous, Lane.” I run my nose up the side of her neck and back down. Her laughing morphs to giggling and she scrunches up her shoulders when I suck on the spot just below her ear. How easily she forgets that I know how to make her squirm too. “What’s a man supposed to do? You’ve got these perfect tits rubbing all up on me.” My hand roams up her side, my fingers grazing the outside of her breast. She’s no longer laughing … or giggling. I inch my hand up a little bit higher, tangling my fingers in her hair. Wrapping her dark waves around my hand, I give a firm tug and her head leans back, a small whimper falling from her lips. But I know my girl and that was not a whimper of pain. I just turned the fucking tables.

“Did you like that, Lane?”

“Mmm-hmm.” My cock throbs at the sight of her, skirt bunched up around her hips and neck stretched, begging for my mouth.

“You look turned on, Lane. How turned on are you?” My nose slides down her neck until my lips hit the swells of her breasts and her breath hitches.

“A five. I’m a five.” Bullshit, she’s a five. Letting go of her hair, I slip my fingers in the top of her shirt, yanking it down. Laney’s breast pops free, her nipple tightening when it meets the warm breeze. My mouth waters at the sight and I lean down to suck her sensitive bud into my mouth. My tongue swirls and my teeth nip, and within seconds she is writhing against me.

“A five, huh?” I blow on her wet nipple and she moans.

“I hate you,” she pants. “A ten. I’m a ten.” Her eyes flutter, but I’m not quite done with her yet.

“Did I tell you to open your eyes?” I swat her ass and she grinds into me, shaking her head furiously. “You haven’t seen your surprise yet. Do you want your surprise?” She squeezes her eyes shut and nods.

“Is it you? Can I have you?” Her words slam into me and suddenly our little game is so much more. “I just want you.” That last part sounded more like a plea and my throat constricts. I can’t wait any longer. I need to tell her … she needs to know.

I push down on her hip, and she reluctantly untangles her legs and slides to the ground. I fix her shirt and attempt to adjust her bra. She laughs at my awkward movements and reaches up with her free hand to help. When her clothes are righted, I entwine our fingers, bringing her hand up to my mouth.

“You have me, Lane.” I kiss her knuckles and she takes a step toward me. “I’m already yours.”

“Levi? There’s something—”

“Wait.” I press a finger to the center of her mouth. “Open your eyes first, Lane.” She obeys and I spin her around. Her mouth drops open on a gasp, her hand flying to her mouth.

“Oh my God.” She turns to look at me, and then back to the patio, then back to me. “Levi,” she sighs. “This is … it’s … you did all of this?” Her golden eyes glitter under the pale moonlight.

“I wanted to do something special for you. It’s not much, but—”

Laney turns, stepping into me. She grips the collar of my shirt with her manicured hands and pulls my face close to hers. “What do you mean not much?” She glances over her shoulder and my eyes follow, taking in what she’s seeing.

Flame sits on the banks of the Mississippi River and the patio overlooks a wide expanse of rippling water, providing a magnificent view of the Arch riverfront. Lanterns are strung along the railing, emitting a soft ethereal glow, and a round table is tucked in the corner adorned with her favorite flowers.

Laney’s grip loosens on my shirt and she twists around, taking off toward the table. “You made me dinner?” She lifts the silver cover that’s hiding one of the plates, then quickly replaces it. She turns to me with a brilliant smile. “My favorite.” I nod, watching her reach toward the bouquet of Calla lilies. She pulls one from the bunch and raises it to her nose. Her eyes close and she sniffs, her entire chest rising and falling on a slow inhale. Her face is the perfect picture of serenity.

This is it … here’s my cue.

“Laney?” I stand in front of her and she smiles, slowly peeling open her eyelids. My heart is pounding against my ribcage, and if my palms get any sweatier, I’ll be embarrassed to touch her. Come on, Levi, do it. The words are stuck in my throat, threatening to choke the shit out of me if they don’t come out. I rub my hands along my thighs and take a deep breath. “You like the lilies?”

What the hell was that? I was supposed to confess my love, not ask if she likes the damn flowers.

She stuffs the lily back in with the bunch and squeezes my hand. “I love them.” Damn it. I was really hoping she was going to say ‘I love you’ … then I wouldn’t have to be the first. Ever so gradually, she lifts herself up and when our lips meet, something stirs inside me. I feel like I’m home. She is my home. She kisses me softly several times, never deepening it. “This is beautiful. It’s wonderful.”

Now would probably be a good time to spit it out … get it off my chest. If only I could concentrate—or breathe. I should probably breathe first; that would be good. My lungs fill and I blow out a big breath.

“Are you okay? Do you want to sit down?” Laney pulls me to a chair and shoves me in it.

“I have to tell you something,” I blurt, catching her off-guard. She clears her throat and pulls out the chair next to me.

“I have to tell you something too.” She looks away and then down at her hands, which are fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. She’s nervous. What the hell is she nervous about? I’m the one about to lay my heart out on the line. Alas, my dad always told me ladies first.

“You go first.” I scoot my chair forward until our knees are touching and she glances up at me, blinking rapidly. She wrings her hands together, her eyes searching my face. “No.” She shakes her head adamantly. “You planned this amazing surprise. You go first.”

“No, really—” She shakes her head jerkily, dismissing me, and we both sit there … staring at each other. Neither one of says a word and the air grows thick with awkward tension.

Damn it.

This is not how I wanted this to go. I wanted to tell her I loved her, hear her say it back, eat dinner and then make love to her under the stars. But really, I just want to tell her I love her … and hear her say it back.

Both of us, obviously disturbed by our lack of communication, start talking at the same time.

“I love you.”

“I got in!”

“What?” she gasps, her face beaming. She moves closer, which is funny because suddenly I’m wanting to move away.

“What did you say?” My stomach hardens as a wave of nausea rolls through me. My mind is working desperately to try and figure out what she’s talking about, but I’ve got nothing.

“You got in?” I ask, brows furrowed. “You got in where?”

Her eyes sparkle with excitement. I want to be excited with her, but the pain I have gnawing inside my gut is telling me that this is going to change everything. Her knees are bouncing at a fast clip and she bites back a smile. “Do you remember when I applied to the CIA?”

I nod once, vaguely remembering her talking about some scholarship for the Culinary Institute of America. She never said anything else about it, so I just assumed it was a passing thought. I was wrong, obviously.

Laney loves to cook. In fact, that’s how we met. She started to waitress and hostess for my dad at Flame, and I bartend for him on the weekends and occasionally during the week. She told me once that she wanted to be a chef and working in a restaurant was her first step in that direction. I’m not going to lie, the girl can cook. There were a few times when my dad even pulled her back to the kitchen to help out if someone called out or left sick.

“I got accepted, Levi.” She catapults forward, throwing herself into my arms, but I can’t move. I’m in shock. What is this going to mean for us? Where is the school? I never once considered the fact that she may move. She can’t move, I love her. “Levi? Did you hear me? I got accepted!” Her eyes are gleaming, but for the life of me I can’t find the strength to smile back.

“So, what does that mean?” I manage to stutter out.

She sits up, her hands locking on mine. “It means I get to go to college. On a full scholarship. I don’t have to pay for anything, Levi.”

“But you’re in college.” I don’t see what the big deal is. What can she do there that she can’t do here? Her whole life is here. She can’t possibly think it’s a good idea to just pick up and leave. And what about Luke? She can’t leave Luke … she can’t leave me.

Her smile fades, the light in her eyes dulling a fraction, and she stares at me. “I’m going to a community college, Levi.”

“There’s nothing wrong with a community college,” I insist.

She shakes her head. “No, there’s not, but I’m not doing anything there. This isn’t where I want to be.” Her words are a punch to the fucking gut and I stand abruptly, sending my chair toppling backward. “Wait”—she reaches for me, but I pull away—“I didn’t mean it like that.” Slowly, she stands. “There is nothing for me here.” Another fucking punch. “My life is going nowhere, Levi … you know this.” Jesus Christ, screw the punch, she’s using a jagged-edge knife. I rear back at her harsh words and she hangs her head, a tear slipping down her flushed cheek.

Laney’s mother died of cancer when she was ten years old, and a few months after her passing, Laney’s dad became a raging alcoholic. Laney spent her entire childhood raising her brother. The only good thing her poor excuse for a dad ever did right was give Laney access to any money he ever had. I’m not sure where he got his money, considering he could never keep a job for longer than a few months at a time, from what Laney told me. But he got it from somewhere, and it kept food in her and Luke’s bellies and a roof over their heads.

“What about me, Laney?” I yell, jamming my finger into my chest. “What? I’m nothing to you? Your life with me won’t ever go anywhere?” My arms are held out to the sides, but she doesn’t answer. Her head snaps up and she moves forward.

“No.” Her voice is high and frantic. She looks bewildered at why I would say that. “That’s not it at all. You’re everything. You mean everything. This doesn’t mean we’re over, it just means I’m going away to school for a while.”

My eyes lock on a barge floating slowly down the river—what I wouldn’t give to drift away right along with it. “Where is it? Where is the school?”

“St. Helena … California.”

My eyes snap to hers. “California?” She nods and my stomach twists. “When would you leave?”

“The semester starts in six days. There was a last-minute cancellation … that’s how I got in. That’s why it’s so sudden.”

Tears are swimming in her eyes, but that does nothing to subdue the anger that is boiling up inside me. She bites down on her bottom lip, a small quiver taking root in her chin, and I grip my hair tightly, spinning away from her. “Christ, Laney,” I growl, my voice echoing into the empty night.

As hurt as I am by what she’s just told me, it’s what she didn’t say that’s bothering me the most. Those three little words that I was dying to tell her were not reciprocated and that slices right through me. Did she even hear me say it?

“This doesn’t have to change anything.” I can feel her body behind me, the familiar scent of her perfume wafting through the air. I hang my head in defeat. What am I going to do if I can’t see her every day? She has become my life. I go to bed thinking about her, I wake up thinking about her … hell, I probably even dream about her.

Not to mention, she’s bound to get noticed. A girl like her catches the eye of every hot-blooded male within a five-mile radius. I’m going to go insane not being able to be there, and it very well might kill me not knowing who she is talking to or what she’s doing at any given time. And when am I going to see her? It’s not like either one of us can afford to travel back and forth.

“This changes everything.” There has to be somewhere closer for her to go to culinary school. This can’t be the only option. “I don’t want you to go. I don’t want to be away from you.”

Her eyes soften, but something about that pisses me off. Reaching out, she grips my forearm and gives it a gentle squeeze. I don’t pull away, mostly because something inside of me is screaming that this may be the last time we touch. “It’s only for a couple of years. I have to do this, Levi.”

“I can’t do a couple of years.” My words come out surprisingly calm considering I’m about two seconds away from punching the goddamn wall.

Her hand falls from my arm as she takes a step back. “What do you mean you can’t do a couple of years?” Her words are slow and careful.

I need her to pick me. I need her to pick us. If she just gives us a chance—a real chance—one where she isn’t thousands of miles away, we can make this work. I just need to finish school, then we can work at getting her into culinary school and I’ll happily follow her wherever she wants to go. If she leaves now, we’ll never make it. I won’t survive it. Jesus, I probably sound like a fucking pussy, but I need her. When she’s not around, I feel like I can’t even breathe. Right now I need to know that she feels the same way about me. I close my eyes and take a deep breath.

When I look up, big doe eyes are watching me … waiting. As much as I want to pull her to me and tell her everything is going to be okay, I can’t. My stomach clenches hard and tight as rejection and a ton of other emotions that I can’t even name rip through my body. “If you leave” —I glance over her shoulder, unable to look her in the eye— “we’re over.”

“You don’t mean that?” She lunges toward me, but I step back. Tears streak down her face and my hands itch to make this right, to somehow make it work.

“But I do.”

She sobs, frantically wiping the tears from her face. “We can make this work. You’re making this into so much more than it is. Please, Levi, you have to understand that this is my chance to get out of this town and start a new life.”

“A life without me.”

“No,” she says, shaking her head vehemently.

“Really?” I yell, throwing my hands out to the side. “How do you suggest we make it work? You won’t be able to afford to fly home, and I can’t afford to fly to California.” Her mouth snaps shut. She knows I’m right. “What are we going to do, talk on the phone every night? Sure, that might work in the beginning, but what happens when school starts to get busy and those calls start getting missed? What happens when I start wondering where you are and who you’re spending time with? Or vice versa … what if you start wondering where I am or who I’m with?”

Laney crosses her arms over her chest. She’s frustrated. Good, so am I. “You don’t trust me?” she scoffs. “You think I’m going to go away to school and just forget about you … forget about us?”

“I don’t know, Laney, you tell me!” Adrenaline is coursing through my body. My lungs are heaving, my heart racing.

“I trust you, Levi.”

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t.” I don’t mean it. I don’t. But I’m hurt, and this is what fucking happens when I’m hurt. I’m stubborn as hell and I feel the need to hurt back, which judging by the look on her face, I hit my mark.

Her eyes are like daggers shooting straight through me, but I don’t budge. “So what’s it going to be, Laney?”

“You want me to choose? You want me to give up my dreams, my one chance to get out from under my dad?”

It kills me that I’m doing this to her. Lord knows I don’t want to give her an ultimatum, but I know me, and I know I can’t do long distance. I know that if she just chooses me, I’ll move heaven and earth to make every fucking dream of hers come true. “Yes. I’m asking you to choose.”

Laney’s hand covers her face. Her shoulders bob several times as soft cries float from her mouth. A few minutes pass and then she straightens her back, wipes the remaining tears from her face, and looks at me sadly. “I’m sorry.” She hiccups on another sob and her shoulders hunch forward. “I’m so sorry, but I have to do this, Levi.”

Her words slam into me like a freight train. My mind goes blank, everything around me dissipating into a mass of emptiness. Without thinking, I reach for the vase and hurl it across the patio. Hand-painted glass shatters against the wooden deck, sending two dozen Calla lilies into the air. A faint scream echoes through the air, but my mind blocks it out as I grab one plate and then the other, slamming them into the side of the restaurant. A loud roar rips from my lungs, echoing through the quiet summer night.

“Levi, please.” A shaky hand touches my arm and I whip around, wrenching free from her grip. The sight of her tear-streaked face rips open my heart and infiltrates my soul, a place that I will never allow another woman to ever go again. I can feel large steel walls slam down around my heart, effectively closing it off.

My eyes fall on hers, which are full of fear and anxiety. I don’t want to scare her. That wasn’t my intention, but she hurt me. And I’ve already been hurt by another woman, one who walked away from me without a second glance. Chose a different life … one I didn’t fit into. Unfortunately, I was only twelve and didn’t know not to trust and love another woman again. Well, this time I’m older, wiser, and I’ll learn from my mistakes.

Swallowing hard, I turn to look at the destruction my anger left behind. Closing my eyes, I grip my hands behind my neck, tilting my head up to the sky. “You need to leave.” My voice is soft … resigned.

“Levi, plea—”

“GO,” I snap, just wanting her gone. She doesn’t say another word. I’m not sure how much longer she stands there, but I know the minute she walks away because she takes my heart with her.

ppr 3

 

ppr 6

author

K.L. Grayson

K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males, brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that order.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Click below to enter the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ppr full

love p

Releasing Now: The Summer Remains by Seth King

Title: The Summer Remains
Author: Seth King
Release Date: Feb 14, 2015
Find on Goodreads

Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may very well end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.

As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app – and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.

Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.

Amazon

Chapter 1

On a sunny Tuesday morning towards the end of March, a white-haired man walked into a cold room and told me I might die soon.

I fidgeted on the hospital bed as Dr. Steinberg entered, the late-spring sunlight mocking me as smiled onto the industrial tile floors. I’d known Steinberg since I was four. He’d handled almost all of my throat problems, and I trusted him. He was like a second father to me, and I knew he would always tell me the truth.

That’s why the look on his face scared the living shit out of me.

I listened for the next ten minutes as he gave me the gist of the story. It was all so surreal that my mind could only catch certain phrases before the sentence would run away from me again:

Your esophagus has ruptured again, for good this time…

Your stomach is leaking more and more…

Toxicity levels are through the roof…

Your body just isn’t getting the nutrients it needs from your feeding tube any longer…

And finally, terminal.

“Terminal?” I heard myself squeak, my throat filling up with that weird, shivery feeling you get when you know your life has just changed. Steinberg suddenly became very interested in a fraying string on the sleeve of his jacket.

“T-terminal,” he stuttered. “Summer, the thing is…I’m afraid this is a…well, nobody has ever…”

He finally cleared his throat and met my gaze, tears pooling in the corners of his cerulean eyes. “Sweetheart, I am so sorry to tell you this, but this mountain may be unclimbable for you.”

My mother let out a small, sharp sob in the corner and then clapped her hands over her mouth.

“Okay, unclimbable,” I swallowed, staring down at the floor as I tried to grasp just what that word now meant to me and my family and this weird little life I had created for myself.  “Okay. Unclimbable. Okay.”

But Steinberg wasn’t done yet.

“Hold on. I said it may be unclimbable, not that it definitely will be. I want to prepare you, and I don’t want to give you any false hope, but there may be something we can do, Summer. It’s a small chance, but still, it’s a chance. A Hail Mary, if you will.”

I reached up to rub my temples. “Okay, well, survival sounds good. Better than death, I suppose. What is this Hail Mary?”

Steinberg crossed his arms, studied me for a moment, and then took out a chart and launched into a spiel about something called the Porter-Collins Procedure, an extremely major surgery that would perhaps be saving my life in three months’ time.

“Nobody has ever survived this particular operation,” he concluded a few minutes later, skipping all the medical jargon to keep from boring you to death, pardon my pun. “Nobody. It’s been attempted three times, but none of those were ultimately successful. One person survived for three months in intensive care, but she was fifty-one, and in frail health in general. We think you’re a much more viable candidate, but then again, there is no way to be sure. We can do it in two, maybe three months, after I assemble the specialists and create a game plan – considering your health doesn’t take another nosedive before then, that is. If we’re going to try this, we need you in tip-top shape – or as close to that as we can get you, anyway.”

“Okay,” I said again, sitting a little taller. “And what are the chances that this Hail Mary will even work, and that I won’t just die a few days later, anyway?”

He peered down at me from over his glasses. “I’m afraid to say that it would be stretching things to even tell you eighty/twenty.”

I steeled myself and took a breath. “Okay, well, that’s better than a hundred to zero. Let’s go out with a bang, then, Steinberg. Let’s do this.”

He threw up a fist, triumphant, but I could see the fear in his eyes. “It’s settled, then. Hail Mary it is.”

My mom rushed over to sit beside me and kind of hang onto my shoulder as some counselor woman came in who helped families handle these types of situations – “transitions,” she called them, and just hearing that word threatened to pull me under. Dr. Steinberg watched, an apology on his face, as she said things like “preparations” and “options” and “arrangements.” I tried to be polite and pay attention, but truthfully I didn’t give a damn about what she was saying. It was go time, and things were looking grim. I already knew that. The wet, metallic panic erupting in my stomach was due to an entirely different subject.

“And finally,” the counselor, Angie, said in a hushed, clipped, polite voice that spoke of years of having impossible conversations with worried families huddled in chilly waiting rooms, “I work very closely with Last Great Hope, a wonderful organization that specializes in situations like this, and if there is anything you want before the surgery, Summer – a trip to Tahiti, a cabin in the mountains, whatever – we can do it. Or if-”

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I said, making her stop short.

“Wh – excuse me?”

“Save the Disney trips for the twelve-year-olds,” I told her. “Spend all that money on a cancer kid or something; I know the truth about those fairy tales now. Make someone else happy – I’ve got everything I need. Or almost everything.” I paused as everyone leaned in. “I do have one request, actually. First of all, all of you are forgetting something vital.”

“Oh no, did we forget your milk?” my mom asked as she reached for her purse. “I thought I put some-”

“No, Shelly, we did not forget the baby milk I pump into my stomach tube every day to keep myself alive because my throat doesn’t work, but that does have something to do with it.”

As she pouted in my general direction I realized what a complete bitch I was being, and then I realized just as quickly that I probably wouldn’t be able to stop myself anyway.

“What is it, then?” my mom asked, stung, and I took a breath and then pushed it back out.

“Frankly, I need all of you to chill the fuck out.”

My mom dropped her purse onto her lap. Dr. Steinberg looked at me like I’d just tried to jump out of the third story window. Angie held her pen in midair and stared at me, the sun turning her brownish eyes ocher.

“Excuse me, young lady?” my mother asked. “We need to what?”

“Chill the eff out,” I said, editing my language the second time around. “Sorry, but all this emotion and drama and doom and gloom crap is already making me freak out. You’re all forgetting I’ve had a broken throat and a tube in my abdomen since I was in diapers, and that I can handle this. I’ve dealt with health scares before, and I will do it again, no matter how much scarier this Scare is than all the other Scares. Like, I know you’re trying to help and stuff, and I love you, but having meltdowns in front of me is not going to help me deal with all this, so please, I beg you, everyone take a deep breath, close your eyes, and get your panties out of a bunch.”

“We’re sorry,” my mom said after an impossibly long and awkward moment. “It’s just that we need to prepare you for…for what will happen, and-”

“Prepare me to die?” I asked. “Guess what, Shelly, I’m going to die one day, be it in three months or sixty years, and wasting all my time crying over it isn’t going to help. Here’s what I want, my one last wish – or my maybe-not-last wish, or whatever the hell this is.” A tear appeared in my mom’s eye, and I softened my voice as I reached up to wipe her cheek. “Okay. Before the surgery, I want to have a normal summer by the beach,” I began as I cleared her eye and shook the water from my finger. “I want to go to the sea and go to work and read my books and go about my business like usual without everyone breathing down my neck and treating me like A Broken Person, because if I am treated like A Broken Person for one more month of my life I will break some faces, no offense. Shelly, if you so much as make one special meal – I mean, not that I can eat or anything, because I can’t – anyway, I’m burning down the house. There will literally be a pile of smoldering ashes where your kitchen used to be, I promise.” Shelly pouted again, but I trudged through. “I’m serious, no special treatment. No Christmases in July, no excessive hugging, not even a midnight run to Target for some trinkets from the dollar section. And most of all…”

I looked around and, seeing sympathy in everyone’s eyes and knowing this request would be completely futile, said – “No sympathy. Please. The sympathy is what breaks me and makes me feel broken. If this is gonna be my last chance to live and have fun and be normal, then I’m going to need to feel as normal as possible, and that means absolutely no pity, because that separates me from everyone else and makes me Different with a capital D. And if I don’t stay in a good headspace I’m gonna spend the next three months in a fetal position in my closet having an endless anxiety attack about the surgery, so please work with me here and keep the pity locked up.”

A sigh and a smile. Shelly put her hand on mine. “I would never pity you, Summer. You’re the strongest person I know, and you always have been. You know that. We all know that. That’s not what this is about.”

I tried to smile back. “Thanks, Shelly.”

“Anytime. And can you please call me Mom, like a normal twenty-four-year-old?”

“Not a chance, Shelly.”

“Okay, fine. So, then…a Jax Beach summer? Is that really all you want?”

I paused as her words hung in the overly sanitized air. It wasn’t all, and I knew it. As I sat there I thought of the one thing I didn’t have, the one thing I’d never had, the one thing that screamed at me from the silence and jumped out at me from the shadows – and now that this upcoming summer had perhaps just become Summer’s Last Stand, my desire was suddenly more urgent than ever. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop the longing from rising to my face, and as I felt the blood burn my cheeks I caught Steinberg’s eyes again, which just embarrassed me even more.

“Well, I mean, since you’re asking, there is one thing…”

“Anything!” Shelly and Dr. Steinberg said at exactly the same time, and I stared out of the window as my eyes got all weird and watery.

“Okay, well, I know something so sentimental is going to sound crazy coming from someone so…well, you know how I am…”

“Honest?” Steinberg offered, trying to be polite.

“Opinionated?” Shelly said.

“Brash?” Angie asked, even though she’d just met me ten minutes ago and it was literally beyond embarrassing that she already held that opinion of me.

“Headstrong and stubborn and annoying,” I finally said, shoving it out of the way, and they all nodded. “Anyway, here goes. Since you’re asking, the thing is…well, I’d like to fall in love.”

I looked down at the ground again as everyone in the room broke my most important rule already: I could feel their pity descending on me, smothering me just like it had my entire life, snuffing out any chance I had at being treated like a normal, living, breathing human, who deserved to love and be loved just like anyone else, as they say in the Hallmark cards.

“Oh, honey…” Steinberg sighed.

“It just wouldn’t be fair to someone…” my mother chimed in, just as Angie the counselor lady threw in her two cents, too.

“Sweetie, you have to understand, your situation is very serious. People get irrational during times like these, and if you get involved with someone and the worst happened, well-”

I crossed my fingers behind my back and shook my head. I’d known they’d react like this – why had I even tried in the first place? Some things, I knew, were just better left unshared.

“Yeah,” I said. “Okay, yeah, you guys are right. I’ll try to…put that off, I guess. For now. God knows I have tons of time to think about it – it’s not like I’m dying or anything.”

Everyone forced quick, fake laughs and then got back to business. Unbeknownst to them, however, my mind was quickly leaving the room, flying past the barren oak branches outside the window and soaring above the clouds to someplace only I knew. My desires could not be contained by the circumstances in this room, or by sickness, or even by reality in general, really. I wanted love more than anything – this was true, as much as it humiliated me to admit it. I’d wanted love ever since I was a cookie-cutter little girl being brainwashed by cookie-cutter Disney movies about cookie-cutter princes and princesses falling into cookie-cutter love and then prancing off to their cookie-cutter castles to live out their cookie-cutter lives. And strangely enough, this desire had only deepened after the fairy tale fantasies faded away and melted into a more grown up, real-world entity known as relationship FOMO, when my condition had rendered me an observer from the social media sidelines as everyone my age paired up and got engaged and married and pregnant and then shouted about it from the Facebook treetops as loud as their keyboards would let them while I sat there single as a nun with the flu. But I didn’t want that cookie cutter love from the Disney movies and my social media feeds. I didn’t want some run of the mill summer romance that would fizzle out as soon as the sunrays slanted in the fall and the Facebook Official status went to shit.

Because I, Summer Johnson, Purveyor of Pragmatism, Lover of Logic, Ultimate Believer in the Rational, and Person Who Was Maybe Going To Die Soon, wanted to drown in someone.

 

Seth King is a twenty-five-year-old author and artist.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

 

Pre Release Blitz: Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan

unexpected pre-release blitz

Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan

Excerpt

Prologue

“Axel Reid, don’t you dare!” my mom exclaims. Then she yelps when my daddy charges through the front door.

“Don’t I dare what, Princess? No way that boy is going near my girl. Look at him! He looks like he can’t wait to creep on my daughter!”

“Well, there is no need to scare him to death!” she mocks.

My cheeks heat instantly when I see Dane start backing away from the porch. My hopes of being able to actually go to my senior prom are starting to go up in flames.

Poof.

Just like that.

Not that I should be surprised about it. Mom did her best to calm Daddy down, but we should have known better. He took one look at me and stormed over, only to return ten minutes later looking like he does now.

So embarrassing.

“You need to stop this nonsense right now, you big lug, or you’ll be sleeping on the couch,” Mom fumes.

“Like hell I will, woman!” Daddy roars at my mom.

I watch her face get sharp. He stops long enough to sling one of—that’s right, ONE of—the rifles he’s carrying over his shoulder, where it lands next to the other one he already has over his other shoulder.

Only my mom would be brave enough to deal with him when he’s in “Protect Dani from everything with a penis” mode. He looks absolutely ridiculous. He has two hunting rifles now hanging by their leather straps over each shoulder. He has two handguns strapped to each thick thigh, two on each side of his belt, and various knives along the way. His shirt, which he thinks is hilarious to wear when I attempt to go out on a date, says I kill things…and eat them. I know it’s a hunting shirt—for animals, not teenage boys—but Dane doesn’t.

Mom moves in front of him, standing in the front doorway and blocking his path, where Dane is still slowly retreating. She’s been dealing with this way before they even had me. He’s…protective. I guess that’s the nicest way to put it. Well, she calls him protective. However, I call it possessive, overbearing, controlling, demanding, and jerky.

“This is her senior prom, Ax. You wouldn’t let her go last year.” She pauses when he grunts. “And I’m sorry, but you won’t be stopping her this year. She has a right to experience this. And Dane is a nice boy. Right, Dane?” she yells over her shoulder.

“Uhh…” he stammers, causing my daddy to grunt some more.

“The boy doesn’t even know how to talk, Izzy. I bet he will be nothing but handsy and think with his little pecker. Nope. No way. Not near my baby girl.”

Oh. My. God. I wish I could just fall into a hole right now. I try to see over my parents to find out if Dane heard that, but with Daddy basically being a giant, that’s not happening.

“You did not just say that!” I yell at his back.

Daddy turns around, his movements awkward with how many weapons he has strapped to his body. His green eyes, so like my own, slant and harden. He looks down at my dress for the thousandth time since I came downstairs and doesn’t even bother hiding his displeasure that it’s showing too much of my body. Even if it is about as tasteful as it gets.

My strapless, red dress has a sweetheart neckline, and everything he calls my “girly bits” is covered.   There isn’t really any cleavage. Well, okay, there is some, but surely with my lack of being busty, you couldn’t even call what is showing “cleavage.” His first problem was with how much of my legs was showing. Then I made the mistake of turning around without my wrap on. That’s when he saw that the dress was completely backless to my bra line. Well, what it would be if I had been wearing one. Which is clearly when he lost his mind.

“You look just like your mother did that night twenty years ago when we finally came back to each other. Right down to those strappy shoe things. And I guarantee you, Danielle Reid, any teenage boy who doesn’t bat for the other team will be thinking thoughts I’ll cut his dick off for. No. You aren’t going with that boy, and that’s final.”

I harden my eyes, and his narrow even further.

I put my hands on my hips, and he squares his shoulders, his rifles clinking together.

I raise one brow, and he mirrors the action.

“Daddy.”

“Dani.”

“I’ll cry.”

“No, you won’t. You have more balls than that.”

“Want to bet?” I attempt to muster up some tears, knowing that he won’t be able to handle them, but before I can force the first one out, my brother jumps into my line of sight and blocks our standoff.

“Yo, Dane! You just run along now. Dani is unfortunately feeling a little under the weather. Ebola. Or the flu. I don’t know. It’s really ugly and you probably don’t want to be around this. The boils—they could pop at any moment.”

“You did not just do that,” I heatedly whisper, fuming at his nerve.

Nate turns and smirks at me. “Oh I just did.”

“I can’t believe you two!” I spin to look at the one person who can help me.   “Mom, seriously?”

Her expression softens, and she just shakes her head. “I’m sorry, Dani. I tried.”

“You two,” I start, pointing between my older brother and father. “You just can’t leave it alone? I’ll be eighteen in a few months. What are you jerks going to do then?”

“You’re not dating, Danielle. Not ever.”

“Oh yeah, Daddy? And how realistic is that crap?”

“Watch your mouth, little princess.”

“Mom?”

“I’m so sorry, Dani.” She walks over and wraps me in her small arms.

I could probably really cry now a lot easier than when I was trying to fake it, but I’ve never been one of those girls who weep constantly. It would be easier to just go upstairs, take off the dress mom and I spent hours looking for, scrub off the light makeup she helped me apply, and pretend this night didn’t happen.

***

An hour later, I’m sitting in my bedroom, still wearing my perfect dress. My makeup is still done and my hair is still flowing in long waves. And I’m no less mad at the men in my life than I was earlier. I’ve considered climbing out my window. I’ve considered asking my best friends, Lyn and Lila, to come help me escape. But what would be the point? Rambo-Dad already scared away my date, the only boy left in school who had been willing to ask me even though his friends had warned him about my father.

I lie down on my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Maybe I should go away for college. I planned on living at home while I attended Georgia Tech, but there is no way I can deal with this stuff any longer. If my father had things his way, I would be shipped off to become a nun. Or he would buy an island and make it an all-girls cult.

“Uhggggg!” I yell to the empty room.

“Seriously, Dani-girl, things can’t be that bad.”

I jump up when I hear the deep, gravelly, insanely sexy voice coming from my bedroom door. That voice. My lord. The things it alone does to me should be classified as illegal.

My hair slaps me in the face, a good handful landing in my open mouth, and I hastily pull it out before I turn to where he is standing.

My lord, he’s beautiful. He’s always been. My heart speeds up when I take in his smirking face and the mischief dancing in his brown eyes.

“Cat got your tongue?”

I shake my head.

“Speechless?”

I shake it again.

“Do you really have some flesh-eating, boil-slash-Ebola-like sickness?” he laughs.

I narrow my eyes at him, and his rich laughter booms through the room.

“I’m just kidding, Dani-girl. Come on. Get yourself ready and let’s go rock this prom.”

My jaw drops again. “What?”

For the first time, I notice that he’s dressed in a perfectly tailored tux. My eyes travel down his tall form to his shining, black dress shoes. On the way back up, my eyes hit the corsage spinning around his finger before I look back up into those gorgeous eyes.

“Let’s go, beautiful.”

“Does Daddy know you’re here?” I ask, not moving from my spot.

He sighs, steps into my room, and walks over. His cologne, Gucci Black, wraps around me. He’s worn the same scent for years. I perversely sniff it every time I hit the mall with Lyn and Lila. That scent—it’s my undoing.

He grabs one of my hands and gives my knuckles a kiss before placing the corsage around my wrist. He gives my hand a squeeze before letting go. Placing his strong hands on my shoulders, he presses down until I’m seated on my bed. Kneeling before me, he takes my feet one by one and fastens the straps of my black heels before standing and grabbing my hands, again, to pull me to my feet.

The whole time, I act like a freak and just gape at him.

What in the hell is going on?

“Ready?” he asks.

“Uhhh…”

“Right. You’re ready,” he laughs, grabs my hand, and pulls me through the house, down the stairs, and into the entryway of the house, where my parents are waiting.

Mom has her camera ready, forcing us to take some pictures, for all of which I’m sure I’m just standing there in a daze. I think I smiled in them, but I was too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Daddy smiles big and triumphantly the whole time, like he’s won some battle here.

“Oh, good. You got here,” Nate mumbles through a sandwich he’s stuffing down his throat.

I shake out of my stunned stupor and look over at him. “You did this?” I ask with disbelief.

“Well, duh. Can’t have my little sister miss her prom because of some boils. Plus, I knew this guy,” he says, pointing at our father, “wouldn’t mind him.” He takes another bite before he looks over my shoulder. “And I know he isn’t going to try to pet the cat.”

“Nathaniel Gregory!” Mom gasps.

“What? Why do you think Dad acts like he does? Just because I’m willing to say the words doesn’t mean you have to freak out.”

I look over at my mom, who has turned bright red.

Daddy laughs at her embarrassment and pulls her into his arms. “Are you sure we didn’t drop that one a few times as a baby?”

She slaps his hard stomach and shakes her head. “You look beautiful, honey. Have fun, okay?”

I smile at her and move my eyes to Daddy to judge his mood.

He just smiles at me. “I trust him. He won’t let any of those pimple-faced, prepubescent boys touch a beautiful hair on your head. Have fun, sweetheart.”

I walk over and give them both a hug, standing up on my toes as far as a can to whisper my gratitude in his ear. He’s annoying, overprotective, and possessive of his girls, but I love him and I know he comes from a good place.

“Uh, excuse me? Do I not get any little-sister love here? I’m the one running this show, you know?”

“You’re such a dork, Nate,” I laugh and give him a hug before turning back to my date.

He’s standing by the door, talking in low tones to my daddy. I can’t hear him, but he’s still smiling, so I’m guessing there isn’t any talk about dismemberment going on. He looks over, his smile deepening and the lines around his eyes crinkling. Something moves behind his eyes that darkens them slightly, but he looks back over at Daddy, finishing up their conversation.

“Ready, Dani-girl?” he asks a few minutes later, making my heart speed up again.

Holy. Crap.

“Yeah. I’m ready.” Or at least as ready as I’ll ever be.

**

That night, while dancing to Brett Young’s “Kiss by Kiss,” I knew I would never be the same. I could feel the jealous waves coming off every female in the room as he held me in his arms. Of course, I had a man and not a boy as my date. Five years older than I am and very obviously not a teenager.

Being held in his arms was a dream come true. His scent invaded my lungs with every inhale. His eyes twinkled as his smile held me hostage. I knew I would never love a man as much as I love him.

Yeah. That was the night I confirmed what I had always known. What I had always felt.

Cohen Cage owned my heart and I never wanted it back.

unexpected fate 213

Buy The Book

unexpected fate cover

Meet Cohen & Danielle in the newest stand alone

in the Hope Town Series by Harper Sloan!

Releasing: February 17th

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Aguv8a

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1z4HNQJ

Nook: http://bit.ly/16PbeyN

Synopsis2

Unexpected Fate

(Stand alone)

Have you ever felt like you were living your life for a future that was predetermined? Like there was some bigger picture you just prayed you would someday see clearly? That picture has been crystal clear to me since I was old enough to recognize it for just what it was.

Or I should say recognize him for who he was.

I’ve loved Cohen Cage since I was a small child. He’s been my everything for the last twenty-two years. I’ve loved him through every girlfriend he’s ever brought home. Through his college years and then mine. I’ve loved him through two deployments. And ever since the day I told him how I felt, he’s acted like I’m a stranger.

My name is Danielle Reid, and it’s time for me to get my man.

Our future is an unexpected fate, and no matter what our parents, siblings, and friends say…it’s going to be worth every second of the fight to make it happen.

 unexpected fate 212

author

harper

Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed ‘Estrogen Ocean’, much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero–the super alpha kind!

Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn’t take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Review Post: Intoxicate by Tessa Teevan

INTOXICATE - tour Banner

Intoxicate, Book # 4 in the Explosive Series

Can be read as a standalone

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: January 29, 2015

goodreads

 

Synopsis2

Marry me.

Two words Kalli Montgomery never expected to say out loud to Xavier Cruz, even though she’s been in love with the sexy, single father for as long as she can remember. Unfortunately, she hasn’t just been friend-zoned for the past ten years. No, even worse, he’s treated her like a little sister, no matter how hard she tried to prove she could be so much more. When she agrees to spend the summer as the caregiver for his daughter, Lily, she knows it’s her last chance to finally make him take notice.

As unexpected circumstances threaten to disrupt his home life, Xavier’s desperate to keep his family together. He’ll do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a woman he doesn’t love. For Xavier and Lily, Kalli will do just about anything, even at the risk of getting her heart broken in the process.

Little does she know, sometimes love isn’t quite as unrequited as one may think. Xavier sees her-he always has. And the vow he made all those years ago never to go there with his best friend’s little sister is wavering, and it’s wavering fast. When they come up with a plan that leads to wedding bells, it’s a no brainer.

This marriage of convenience has one rule: absolutely no falling in love.

Easier said than done. Throw together a girl who believes rules are meant to be broken, and a man whose whole career revolves around following orders and you get a recipe for disaster. What could possibly go wrong?

Intoxc

 Buy The Book

81WzBnhV4GL._SL1500_

Amazon US | UK | CA | AU | B&N

My Review

*****5 Huge Stars*****

So I think it’s safe to say that Tessa Teevan continues to blow me away more and more with the utterly fantastic books she writes. It’s also pretty safe to say that her books, the wonderful characters she creates, and her phenomenally crafted stories are ones that will stay with me.

For effing ever.

I’ve loved every single book by this author, and I am simply enraptured by what she creates in all of them. She creates dynamic, passionate, relatable characters that you can’t help but love, care, and root for. The storylines captivate you in fully, and make it so you HAVE to finish because you physically cannot put them down.

And all those gloriously developed emotions, feelings, relationships, and everything else in between will envelop you in the instant you start them, and by the end you’ll be begging them to never let you go.

Intoxicate was no different for me, and was just another shining example of why I just LOVE this outstanding author’s books. It had me adoring the fabulous ferocity that is Xavier and Kalli. Those two really are something else, and there’s no way to resist their charming little selves in this superb book.

It also had me wishing like crazy that I will find someone like Xavier Cruz to whisper Spanish sweet nothings in my ear. Fingers crossed for that one!

What I absolutely loved about Intoxicate:

  • Fiery Kalli Montgomery. Kalli is sassy and fiery and passionate as all get out. There’s no way to resist her dynamic disposition, and I dare you to try and resist the pull of this spunky little lady. There is just a spark about her, and that spark will immediately draw you in. She’s also one helluva fighter and that shines through again and again throughout Intoxicate. Kalli is a serious firecracker, and you’re going to love all the breathtaking and amazing sparks she emits over the course of this book!
  • The utterly swoon worthy Xavier Cruz. Xavier Cruz is just a darn good man. He’s a single dad that will practically make you swoon the instant you meet him. He loves his daughter Lily fiercely, and the sacrifices he makes for her will have you falling at his feet. Xavier is also immensely endearing, and the things that man says and does will melt you heart…and something else if you catch my not so subtle drift. He feels with all he’s got, and the spectacular level of vulnerability he has will have you head over heels in love with him before you can look up how to say “thank you lord for Xavier Cruz” in Spanish.
  • The general set up of the story. The way Intoxicate is told, you know the what, but throughout you learn much more about the why, and how things came to be. Your thrust right into the thick of it, which just works so well for this particular story. It feels as though you’re experiencing it all right along with the characters because of how it’s all fantastically set up. Going back between past and present was spectacular, and it allows you to see, feel, and fully experience how everything unfolds for Kalli and Xavier. The setup of the story just works, and helps you just get everything there is to know about them.
  • All that depth of feeling. Kalli and Xavier both feel deeply about one another. You’ll feel that the instant you meet them, and you’ll be dying for the moment when they’ll realize it to be true. That depth of feeling just adds to the build of Kalli and Xavier’s relationship. This book had build for days, and at times that build had me practically shrieking for when it would all explode over, but all that build felt so darn good. That also just heightens how much you feel the passion and connection they share, and their level of intimacy at times had me through the roof with happiness, because it showed how deep their feelings truly went.
  • What they bring out in each other. Kalli and Xavier bring out some pretty magnificent things in one another. That’s one of the things I loved most about them because that kind of spoke volumes about them. The strength that Kalli brings out in Xavier, and how Xavier pushes Kalli to see and fight for what she wants, are just two of the many outstanding things these characters bring out in the other. They make and push each other to be more, and that just sold me.
  • Push and pull. There is so much push and pull between Kalli and Xavier, but that characterizes their story in the best possible way. It forces them to fight for what they want and have, and it pushes and pulls them to places they’ve always wanted to be, yet never knew they’d get to. The flow and evolution of their relationship just works, and increases all that push, pull, and build to a whole new level. Through all of that you’ll learn so much about them, and that will have you just pushing and pulling right along with them for what they desire.
  • The best supporting cast you could ask for! This series has some of the best supporting characters around. Even if you haven’t read their respective stories yet, you’ll love them and be captivated by their enthralling selves. They’ve all got their own little personalities that continue to shine through and just pull you into them more. You feel as if you’re a part of the crazy unique family within this book. You feel included and that makes all the difference, because spending time with this bunch is nothing short of wonderful.
  • The best of both worlds. You get everything in this book, and I mean everything. You get the heat and sexiness exploding off the page. You get humor at the best points to lighten it all. You get the passion they share, the heartache they feel, the evolution of ups downs and turn arounds in their relationship, and every little thing in between. And it all just balances seamlessly to give you the whole entire outstanding package.
  • All the heart melting moments. So many moments in this book had me feeling one helluva heavy sigh, in such an extraordinary way. Some hurt, some weren’t pretty because of what was going on, and some practically brought my heart to its knees, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way because some of those heart melting moments took my effing breath away with how beautiful they were. Those moments made this book, and were this book. They exemplified everything Intoxicate was about: accepting what you feel even if it’s messy and scary as all get out, and putting trust in all that you feel and know to be true. And once you get there, it’s nothing less than pure amazing. Trust me.

I am telling you that this book will have you intoxicated in every little spectacular thing Xavier and Kalli share. Their connection. Their story. All their passionate feelings. You’ll be intoxicated by just the amazingness that is them.

Tessa Teevan brings yet another wonderful couple to life in a way that is just exceptional, and I’m telling you that you won’t be able to resist the firework level pull of Kalli and Xavier’s remarkable story.

It’s almost as if they’re two puzzle pieces with their own little grooves that make them them, but as their relationship grows and develops, new grooves mold their way into each of their distinct pieces, changing them permanently. Making them more distinctive in their own ways, but with each new groove Kalli and Xavier just become more and more right for each other.

Intoxicate is a book is all about them finding, searching for, and fighting for those moments when they can start to fit together, and as much as they sometimes fight against those new grooves coming into place, and as much as they sometimes try to resist that inexplicable pull between them, their journey and their outstanding evolution is exactly what they need.

And let me tell you, you need to experience the power of that. This very instant, because the fiery pull of Kalli and Xavier is contagious, and you’re going to want to catch what they share the first second you can.

10847871_10100312850713620_8236037035687098561_n

 Playlist

 

Excerpt

Shooting a glare at him, I throw my hands up in exasperation. “Are you telling me that this whole anticipation thing is one-sided? Is it that easy for you to resist? I really need to step up my game.”

Xavier’s eyes fall to my lips for a quick moment before he looks back up at me. I see the desire in his expression, and without him even saying a word, I know he wants this, too. So why is he making me wait?

“You have no idea how much I want to kiss you right now. How many times I’ve thought of doing just that. Every time you were curled up against me on the couch, I wanted to kiss you. Every morning when you showed up, I wanted to kiss you. Every time you said goodnight to Lily and then slipped out my door? I wanted to kiss you before you left. It’s not a new development. The first time I ever saw you, Kalli, I wanted to kiss you. And I’ve wanted to ever since.”

His admission floors me. He’s told me before that he “saw” me, but I had no clue it was from the very beginning. I’m not really sure how to process it. In fact, he beats me to the punch.

“So now you know. This will be just as hard for me, but it will be so damn worth it. Because when you’ve wanted something for as long as I’ve wanted you? It’ll be the best feeling in the world when I finally get it.”

“Our first kiss will be that epic?”

“A first kiss to rival them all,” he quips, grinning at me. He holds his arms out wide. “Now, we’ll start with a hug and work our way up.”

“I feel like I’m sixteen again,” I tell him as I wrap my arms around his waist.

His hands come down to my back and he gives me a big squeeze, my head pressing against his firm chest. I love this feeling of being in his arms, him holding me close. There’s nowhere on the planet I’d rather be than right here with him. As much as I want him, I know he’s right. I don’t care when it comes. Because when it does, our first kiss will be unforgettable.

His chest rumbles as he chuckles. He squeezes me tight one last time before letting me go. “And it’s only just the beginning,” he tells me. “Have a good night, crazy girl.”

EXPLOSIVE - series

Ignite (Explosive #1) | Incinerate (Explosive #2) | Inflame (Explosive #3)

 

author

Tessa Teevan_Author Photo

I’m a twenty something book junkie who is also obsessed with sports. Bengals, Buckeyes, Reds are my teams! I work for the government during the day, hang out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and have been married to my own book boyfriend for over seven years. We currently live right outside of Dayton, OH with our two cats.

If I’m not writing or looking through tons of photos of hot men, all in the name of research, then you can probably find me curled up with my Kindle, ignoring the rest of the world. I love my sports almost as much as I love my books. My other obsessions include red wine, hot men, country music, and all things Grace Potter.

 

Connect with the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email | Goodreads

Giveaway

Click the link below to enter the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

love 2