Here’s a Little Tease For Ya!! Someone Else’s Ocean by Kate Stewart

Check out this teaser for SOMEONE ELSE’S OCEAN by Kate Stewart is simply stunning! Tell us what you think!

Contemporary Romance

Stand Alone

July 31, 2018

Cover Designed by: Amy Queau- Q Design Cover and Premades

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2HGkqIn

Blurb:

The first time I met Ian Kemp in the sparkling blue waters of St. Thomas, I was six years old and we shared a summer beneath the stars.
The second time I met Ian Kemp, he was a shell of the boy I once knew. Turbulent and infuriating, he refused my friendship at every turn. Like me, he was a casualty of life’s cruelty, but we were planets apart.
We’d both sought refuge on the island, hoping to find our anchor. Instead, we found each other and managed to reclaim our stars…until we both got swept away.

 

 

About the Author:


A Texas native, Kate Stewart lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. Kate is a lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.
Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

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Excerpt Reveal! Mister Tonight by Kendall Ryan

From New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan comes a standalone romance about a swoony single dad and the new neighbor he falls for.

Last night was the most embarrassing night of my life.

I was THAT girl.

You know, the highly intoxicated chick celebrating her thirtieth with her two best friends—the ones who are happily married. And the more I drank, the more I wanted to do something reckless to celebrate.

By reckless, I meant the sexy and alluring man dressed in a business suit standing near the bar. You know his type—tall, dark, and handsome. I was sure he was out of my league, but I’d had just enough alcohol that things like that no longer seemed to matter. I’m not fat, mind you, but you can tell I like French fries, so there’s that.

He took me home and I enjoyed the hottest birthday sex of my life, well until it came to a screeching, and rather unwelcome halt.

There’s nothing quite like being interrupted mid-ride with a little voice asking:

“What are you doing to my daddy?”

Just kill me now…… or so I thought.

Come to find out the man I rode like a bull at the rodeo is my new landlord.

 

 

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

Kindle US | ✦Kindle UK | ✦iBooks | ✦Nook | ✦ Google | ✦Kobo | ✦Audio

 

 

Casual flings didn’t tend to handle the whole single-dad thing well. Single moms, on the other hand, fucking loved it. The idea of a man devoted to his kid had them panting for days. But casual, no-strings hookups? To them, me being a dad screamed one of two things: I was either an irresponsible asshole who couldn’t properly wrap it up, or I was a total commitment addict trying to lure them in with my adorable four-year-old child in need of a new mama. Either way, it usually didn’t go over well. But so far, Kate was handling it fine.

Then she crossed the room toward me, and a single thought pervaded my brain.

Fuck, she’s sexy.

All those curves and her throaty laugh, coupled with her confidence? I was a total sucker for a confident woman who knew what she wanted.

“Happy birthday,” I whispered, placing my hands on her waist and drawing her in close.

Just because this would most likely be a one-time thing didn’t mean I wanted to rush through it. Quite the opposite, actually. I wanted to savor and enjoy every minute of this. Starting with the perfect kiss.

“It’s almost midnight,” she murmured, her lips just inches from mine.

Placing one hand on her cheek, I guided her mouth to mine, sealing my lips over hers in a slow, soft kiss.

She responded perfectly, opening her mouth in a silent invitation for my tongue to slide against hers. My hands found those curves wrapped under that black fuck-me dress I’d been admiring, and God, she felt even better under my palms than I could have imagined. Soft and warm and so inviting.

I pressed one more slow kiss to her lips and pulled back to study her reaction. I rarely did this kind of thing. Having her here was surreal . . . and really fucking turning me on, knowing what was probably about to happen.

“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked, slipping my hand around her waist. If she’d changed her mind or wanted to slow things down, I wanted her to know that was fine too.

“I can think of other things I’d rather be doing with my mouth,” she replied, her voice low and sultry as she ran her fingertips over my chest.

God, I love a woman who knows what she wants.

 

 

 

 

 

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Here’s a Tease!! Chapter Reveal – Fixed Forever by Laurelin Paige

So excited for this!!

 

Fixed Forever (Fixed book #5) by Laurelin Paige

Chapter 1 Reveal: June 4th, 2018

Release Date: June 25th 2018

 

 

PREORDER FIXED FOREVER TODAY!

Amazon → https://laurl.in/FixedForever-Amazon

Amazon International → http://myBook.to/FixedForever

iBooks → https://laurl.in/FixedForever-ibooks

Nook → https://laurl.in/fixedforevernook

Kobo → https://laurl.in/FixedForever-Kobo

Google Play → https://laurl.in/FixedForever-GP

Goodreads → https://laurl.in/FixedForever-GR

 

 

 

READ CHAPTER ONE HERE:

https://laurl.in/FF-chapterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLURB

Hudson Pierce-

You act so high and mighty, you and your perfect pregnant wife Alayna. With your perfect child and your perfect home.

You weren’t always perfect. Your past is filled with misdeeds.

Does your wife know all your secrets?

Would she stand behind you if she did?

You think because she’s on bedrest you can protect her? How sweet.

Sleep tight, you two.

-An Old Friend.

 

 

Want to watch Laurelin READ the synopsis for FIXED FOREVER?! Head to USA TODAY’S HEA TO WATCH https://usat.ly/2pKpsML

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Laurelin

With over 1 million books sold, Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH LAURELIN PAIGE

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Double Dose of Goodness! Cover Reveal & Excerpt – Family Ties by Stephie Walls

Release Date: June 21, 2018

Cover Design: Wicked by Design

 

Synopsis

 

With a history like ours, the meaning of the word family tended to tangle into something unrecognizable. DNA and bloodlines didn’t tie us together, and neither did our last names. Various shades of grey blurred the branches of our twisted family tree.

I wasn’t her brother.
They weren’t my parents.
Not that it mattered…

She was off limits.

Portia was my friend.
Then my foster sister.
And she’d always be the love of my life.

Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt

 

As adamant as I was that the stages of grief were nothing other than crap some shrink created to sell books and services, the truth remained. I had hit stage two with guns blazing shortly after I dropped Portia off at school. Anyone in my path could testify to that fact, and most made excuses for my poor behavior.

Hensley tried harder than anyone to get me to talk. “Jude, I don’t understand what happened.”

If I weren’t careful, I’d find myself in a counselor’s office exploring my feelings—as if I needed to explore how fucking bad it hurt for my mom to die. I experienced that shit every day—talking about it wouldn’t bring her back or take the pain away.

“I got into a fight.” And suspended for three days.

Ernie and Hensley sat with me at the kitchen table, and Baker laid his head on my thigh in support. He didn’t have a clue what was going on, only that I was unhappy and Ernie had done a lot of yelling.

“Over what?” She pleaded with me to let her in—she’d be happy with a few crumbs.

It didn’t matter over what. They wouldn’t understand, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to explain it in any detail. “A guy said some things about Portia.”

Ernie’s shoulders finally relaxed, and Hensley leaned over to cup my cheek in her hand.

“Sweetheart, I love that you want to defend your sister, but fighting is never the answer.”

My sister. And that’s why I’d never tell them the truth. “Okay.”

She stroked her thumb over my swollen cheek. The guy had gotten in one solid shot. While I’d never thrown a punch, I hadn’t realized what kind of advantage my height gave me when push came to shove.

“Are you sure you won’t consider talking to Dr. Vanderhugh? He was such a help to me when we had family planning issues.” Family planning equated to infertility, which brought the Shaws to Portia and later me.

“I’m fine. I just refuse to let anyone say things about Portia that aren’t true. Neither of you would have stood by while someone talked shit about her, either.”

“Jude!” Ernie’s defeated posture became determined. Ernie and I had always had a bond that Hensley and I didn’t share. I had a mom, but Ernie filled in the empty space left by an absent father. “Language.”

Seventeen years old, yet they believed I never cussed. Or just that I shouldn’t. “Sorry.” I wasn’t.

“I’m concerned that you’ve suddenly started defending with your fists instead of words. You’re such an articulate boy. It just doesn’t make any sense.” Hensley said all the right things; I just had no interest in hearing any of them.

My own mother would have slapped me upside the head—not only for my behavior but my attitude in general. That thought only served to elicit internal shame. I sighed, desperate to end the discussion and wrap up the family powwow. “I won’t do it again. I’m sorry. It got out of hand.”

I didn’t want to disappoint them, either of them. They’d been good to me for the better part of ten years. Not once had they missed anything going on in my life, skipped out on a holiday or birthday, or taken the easy path when my mom was sick—they deserved better than I currently gave. Even with that realization, I couldn’t stop the anger that poured from every part of my soul.

“Can I go now?” This wasn’t getting us anywhere. Either they needed to punish me or leave me alone. I deserved the first and needed the last.

Hensley made to say something, and Ernie put his hand up, halting her. “You can. But be prepared to spend the next three days working around the house. Your suspension will not be a vacation.”

I pushed the chair back more forcefully than intended when I got up and knocked it over. “Understood.” Instead of apologizing and picking it up, I left it lying there and walked out.

I hadn’t even made it to the bottom of the stairs when the sting of a firm grasp jerked my bicep. The force at which the hand held me indicated it was Ernie; even so, I glanced at the offending hand and then at my captor.

“I know you’re hurting right now. I get it. But you will be respectful in this house. And you will act like you have common sense outside of it. We are more than happy to get you someone to talk to if you don’t think it can be either of us.”

I glared at him through squinted eyes and jerked my arm from his grasp.

“Don’t push Hensley and me out, Jude. We both love you.” The pity that radiated from his expression and dripped from his words ate at me. This wasn’t the relationship the two of us had always had, and it wasn’t one I wanted now.

Ernie’s prying wouldn’t change anything and it certainly wouldn’t solve any of my problems. I wished he understood that I needed him to be normal, not protective. If he wanted to serve a purpose in helping me through this, then he needed to act as though nothing had changed. But he wasn’t going to handle anything that way, and I wasn’t going to direct his parenting path.

“I’m fine.” And I stomped up the stairs. I didn’t slam my door, even though I wanted to. Instead, I closed it, locked it, and put on headphones. There, I listened to the Beatles playlist Portia and I danced to the night of my mother’s funeral.

I tried to think back to that night, dancing with her while she attempted to relieve me of some of my grief, but I couldn’t let go of Chad Hartman taunting me in the halls about Portia.

“I heard she’s become quite the free spirit since she’s been gone.”

“Rumor has it, if she was a virgin when she got to school, she sure isn’t now.”

“Frat parties just aren’t the same without Portia Shaw. Seems everyone on frat row has taken their turn.”

The guy had never cared for Portia, although I didn’t have a clue why. He’d teased her mercilessly last year, and somehow, she had managed to ignore him. Not me. The first words out of his mouth, I’d shoved him against the lockers in the D hall. The second insult and my fist met his face. That was the one time he got in a shot. I’d hit him gain, which spun him back into the foot traffic away from the wall. He’d wiped at his bloody lip and then spewed the filth that brought the teachers running. It probably wasn’t his words that grabbed their attention so much as me laying him out on the floor of the senior hall, straddling him, and punching him until someone pulled me off.

I wasn’t sure if I struggled with the horrid things he said or that I couldn’t be sure they weren’t true. Portia had been gone a month and hadn’t come home once. Her calls happened less frequently and were shorter when they came. I didn’t want to believe anything Chad said, yet I couldn’t deny it with any certainty. Something had captured her attention. It might just be growing up and independence. Or it could be all of Phi Beta Kappa.

 

 

Giveaway

One of Five ARC’s for Family Ties

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b1257f8d316/?

 

 

About the Author

 

Bestselling author, Stephie Walls is a lover of words—the more poetic the better. She lives on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina in her own veritable zoo with two dogs, three cats, the Mister, and Magoo (in no preferential order). She would thrive on coffee, books, and Charlie Hunnam if it were possible, but since it’s not, add in some Chinese food or sushi and she’s one happy girl.

 

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Gotta Love Teases! Excerpt Reveal – Him and I by Melody Eve

Him&I-FINAL-AMAZON

Love is a risk.

Roman has never been willing to take those odds, until now.

A beautiful stranger, overheard telling the desk clerk she’s on her honeymoon alone, arouses something in him. Something primal. Something protective. He finds himself doing and saying things he swore he never would in an effort to understand the pain in Aria’s sensual eyes.

His scars are so deep, they may never heal.
His need for control is ingrained.
His desire for her is unparalleled.

The challenge of winning her may be the biggest risk of all.

Add to GoodReads

Excerpt

“Don’t think you can play me that easily, Ms. Savage. I’m the master, and you’re still learning the game.” He stands and slips his tie off folding it neatly. Then he leaves me there hot and bothered and disappointed beyond belief. How dare he!

What does he mean he’s the master? And what game is he referring to? I was just flirting hoping for a repeat of this morning out here on his patio, a little exhibitionism. I wasn’t playing at anything.

I wasn’t then, but I am now. He likes to control. I’ve witnessed it on multiple occasions. It’s time to take that away from him and see how he likes it.

I stand and strip off my tank top, step out of my skirt, and kick off my flip-flops. I round the table and push through the gate separating his patio from the sandy, sparsely inhabited beach. I’m still sporting a thong but absolutely nothing else. I don’t know if it’s a topless beach, and I don’t care.

I stretch my arms over my head scooping my hair into a fresh messy bun and wrap the rubber band from my wrist around it just as my feet touch the edge of the water.

“Aria!” Roman’s voice booms from behind me. I turn with a wicked smile and see him standing still in his suit pants and dress shirt holding up my top and skirt with fury in his eyes.

Bingo, now let’s see who’s the master and what game we’re playing. He catches my expression and lowers his gaze to my naked breasts. Right before my eyes, I watch him turn into a lunatic. Face red, veins bulging and pulsing from everywhere, he throws open the gate on the patio and storms through the sand in his thousand-dollar shoes and ten-thousand-dollar suit.

But I’m safe in the water, or at least I’m pretty sure I am. I wade out deeper feeling more secure but only for a moment. My eyes go wide when he storms into the ocean dressed from head to toe with the look of an enraged maniac on his face.

Nerves scramble my brain, and I laugh as I swim further away from him. My depth is of no concern to this man full of possessive insanity, in fact, it may be propelling him.

“Aria, come here this instant! This isn’t a nude beach. It’s not even a topless beach for Christ’s sake!” he yells before diving underwater in my direction. Oh my God, for the first time since I let spontaneity take over, I worry about the repercussions of my actions.

What will he do when he catches me? He will catch me of that I am sure. I can see crazy in his eyes. He’s angry, and I am wild. He is possessive, and I need to be free. He is controlling, and I am rebellious.

I dart to the right, but it’s too late. His hand closes around my ankle, and I take in a huge breath right before he pulls me under. I can’t see him, my eyes are closed because of the salty water, but his hands are around my waist hauling me to the surface.

“Are you out of your fucking mind, woman? Somebody could have seen you.”

I try to blink the water from my eyes since he has my arms pinned to my sides. “So?”

“So? You just finished telling me that you’re mine while we are here, and in case you haven’t noticed, we are still here!” he shouts, and I recoil. I’ve never been shouted at by a man, especially right in my face.

I roll my lips inward and hold my breath unsure of what to say or do next. It turns out I don’t have to say or do anything. He turns toward the shore and starts walking us in that direction pushing through the water with such force it leaves a wake behind us. I know, I looked!

He turns me in his arms so that my front is plastered to his hiding my breasts from onlookers’ eyes of which there are only two—an elderly man and his wife sunning in lounge chairs a couple of doors down. I wave at them, and the woman waves back smirking in solidarity.

Roman is overreacting. I’m naked, so what? Women all over the world sunbathe topless and nude. He’s acting like I committed a felony.

“Stop fraternizing with the neighbors,” he growls. How did he know I waved?

“You can’t tell me what to do.”

“Oh yeah? You’re not swimming naked anymore, are you?”

“Because you hauled me out of the water like a sack of potatoes!”

“A sack of potatoes has more sense than you right now.”

“I don’t think I like your tone.”

“I don’t like your defiance,” he says storming through the patio doors with his clothes dripping water all over the carpets. He doesn’t stop to put me down. Instead, he makes a bee-line for the bedroom. Goodie!

He tosses me on the bed, and I laugh. I can’t help it, he is being so absurd. “You’re a caveman, Roman Forrest. You know that, right?”

He closes the door to the bedroom.

“You act like I’m your wife.”

He shoves his hand through his silky black hair and unbuttons his wet shirt.

I pull a sheet over myself suddenly feeling exposed and nervous.

“You don’t own me, you know,” I say, but he says nothing and walks in his squishy shoes to the edge of the bed and yanks the sheet off the bed.

“Hey!”

“You wanted to be naked so bad, why the sudden modesty?” he snaps.

“Because it’s my body to do with as I please. I wanted to skinny dip out there, and now I want to cover myself in front of you. You’re acting like a loon.”

“I’m acting like a man who doesn’t want to share his woman with the whole fucking world!” He unzips his slacks and shoves them down along with his black boxer briefs. He kicks off his shoes and socks and crawls up the bed pushing me down to hover over me.

Unsure of how far to go, I lower my voice but stand my ground. “I’d hardly say that grandma and grandpa are the whole world, and since when am I your woman?”

“Since the first time I put my mouth on you,” he says and lowers himself down to take my mouth in a rough, demanding kiss. My toes curl, my belly flips, and I fight the urge to wrap my arms and legs around him for oh, maybe two seconds, tops.

Meet Melody

Melody EveMelody Eve is a Midwestern mother of five children and five fur babies. She is a contemporary romance author who loves writing sexy Alpha male heroes and smart, passionate heroines. Keep your eyes open for Melody’s new release, Him & I on Amazon in 2018.

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Here’s a little tease for you! Excerpt Reveal – Their First Fall by MJ Fields

Check out this excerpt for THEIR FIRST FALL by MJ Fields! Don’t forget to add it to your TBR!


THEIR FIRST FALL

Adult Contemporary Romance

Cover Models- Colin Wayne Erwin and Breanna Erwin

Cover Designer- Juliana Cabrera at Jersey Girl Design

Cover Photographer – Golden Czermak at Furious Fotog

Blurb:

Keeka
Alone in the world, after her mother’s death, she tries to find the life she dreamed of as a child.
Trucker
Alone in the world the family he felt part of began to fall apart, as his dreams of being an NFL quarterback become his reality.
What happens when everything you had is gone, everything you wished for seems to be in arms reach, and your world begins to spin in circles?
You Fall.


Excerpt

March twentieth, at five fifty in the morning, I am walking down 42nd Street with a backpack strapped to my back and a duffel bag slung across my body. I’m no longer looking for where the sea and the sun meet. No longer looking for her to appear and save me from a place where I’m alone and afraid. A place she told me to wait for her because she was my person, and I was hers, no matter who else she had in her life.
She always made me feel special that way. Always. But now, a year after she took that step off the edge and left me where the water never really meets the sun, I know that she was never healthy enough to be someone’s everything. And I know I’m not going to grow and become my own person until I let go.
I can let go, finally, because she did.
I chose this time of day and mode of transportation out of the city that haunts me for a reason. Neither the sun rising or the view of the waters will pull me to look for something … or someone who isn’t there. Something or someone who will always be beautiful in the most confusing way. Something or someone who isn’t here and isn’t real anymore, who is holding me back from growing, and God how I wish to grow.
Stopping at the corner of Park Avenue and 42nd Street, I reach up and untie the pale blue ribbon from my hair. Then I close my eyes and rub it between my fingers, soothing myself, feeling the silky softness that I have felt since she gave it to me. She told me that this scrap of ribbon had once run around the edge of the blanket that a man, who she assured me I have met before; a man she said wasn’t strong enough to be what he truly was supposed to be—my father.
She insisted I always keep a part of him, symbolizing that I was the best part of him, the part he didn’t even know he held. To me, that part of him, that scrap of nothing, has been a hindrance to me and her.
I remember a day playing in the sand when, by chance, I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw it had somehow come untied and was flying in the breeze.
Panicked, I looked around as I jumped to chase it. Mom was talking to a man, smiling from ear to ear for him, engrossed in the attention he gave her, and he was smiling back at her the same way.
That day, I chased a blue ribbon, knowing it meant something to her and, in theory, meant something to me, as it wisped through the air. I panicked, thinking that, after she was done with her crash after that man had broken her smile, she would notice it was gone when I lay next to her, when she would rub the ribbon between her fingers like she always did, soothing herself with its silky softness, just like I did.
Looking up at it, I ran right into a boy who was running along the beach, holding a kite string.
We both jumped up, and then he ran toward the kite string as the wind blew it away like my ribbon.
“Oh shit.” The little boy with black hair laughed as he jumped high in the air, grabbing both the ribbon and the string in different hands at the same time. Then he fell onto his bottom in the sand.
When he looked at me, he smiled and reached out his hand, the one holding the string, not the ribbon. When I didn’t take it from him, he looked at me like I was odd, yet he was still smiling.
“Go ahead; it’s yours.”
When I still didn’t say anything, he looked away from me and at his hand.
“My bad,” he said, then stretched out his other hand. “This is yours.” His smile grew bigger, and then he shrugged. “You want the kite instead?”
I looked behind me to see where my mom was, to see if she was worried. She hadn’t even noticed I had run off.
For a brief moment, I wanted to say yes. I wanted the kite, and I wanted him to take the ribbon. But then he would have to carry the burden of responsibility, and that would make his smile fade. I was sure of it.
Before I could answer him, he pulled off one of the kite’s tail ribbons and stood.
I cupped my hand over my eyes as I looked up at him, shielding it from the sun’s blaring glare, wanting to know if he was still smiling.
He thrust his hand out, the one holding my ribbon and now a part of the kite’s tail. “Here. Now you can have both.”
I took it and looked at the thick orange ribbon, inspecting it. There was a round, orange cartoon character all over it. Then I looked up at the kite, seeing it had the same orange-looking cartoon character on it. I looked back at him to see he was smiling … still smiling.
“His name’s Otto.”
I couldn’t help smiling back at him. But then, I didn’t want to smile at him, because that meant he could take it away—the smile—and make me crash, make me sad.
“Looks like a Lou to me.”
He started to laugh, and it was so loud it startled me and made me jump.
He grabbed my hand. “You fall, you’ll end up with sand in your suit. Don’t fall.”
I nodded as I steadied myself. That was when I heard her call my name.
“I gotta go.” I tried to hand him back the ribbon, but he shook his head.
“It’s yours.”
I looked at my hand, at the blue ribbon, and pondered whether to give it to him or keep it when I heard my name again. I looked from the ribbon and back to the tall, smiling boy framed in the sun.
“You better go.” He nodded toward my mom.
I nodded. “Thank you.”
“Anytime.” He smirked. “Lou.”
~~~
Back in the now, I hold the ribbon up and look at it as the wind blows its end about. Then I close my eyes and think of that day as I release it and watch the wind whisk it away.
Like the kite, it blows higher and higher until it’s gone, and with it, the last of what has held me back. All the burdens, all the responsibilities I had put upon me, knowing they were more a weight than a means to grow.
Turning, I walk into Grand Central Station and take in her beauty as I walk toward the track that I pray will lead me to a place where smiles are in abundance and life will begin.
Sitting in the cushioned train seat, I close my eyes. The fear of the unknown takes ahold of me, but just a little.
When the woman beside me taps my hand, I open my eyes. She hands me a tissue, and I force a smile and thank her.
A total stranger showing me kindness.
While I wipe my eyes, she asks me what my name is as the train leaves the station, as I leave behind my past.
“My name is Keeka.”
And from that moment on, it would be.

 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author MJ Fields write books that scorch pages and melt hearts.

Her style is raw, gritty and authentic.

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WordSmith Publicity

Who Wants a Tease?!? Excerpt Reveal – Wild Card by Lila Monroe

 

‘The Wedding Date’ gets a sexy twist in the new hilarious rom-com from Lila Monroe!
Is there anything worse than playing maid-of-honor to your bitchy college nemesis? Try it when she’s marrying your DAD! Olivia Chambers doesn’t know what she’s done to deserve this karmic retribution, but she needs a date to the wedding from hell – and fast. She’s used to matchmaking billionaires, but now she needs a Prince Charming of her own. Someone handsome and famous enough to make bridezilla and her minions drool with envy…

Someone like hottie ex-NFL star Ryan Callahan.

Ryan is looking for love. Well, the fake kind. He needs the perfect woman on his arm to woo investors for his superstar new business venture, but nobody is scoring that touchdown… until elegant, sophisticated Olivia comes to him with a proposition. She’ll play his perfect date – if he’ll play hers.

The deal is simple! Or is it? Take one week in the Florida Keys, a dose of sizzling sexual tension, a madcap wedding, and some seriously humid frizzy hair, and Ryan and Olivia have the recipe for disaster… or maybe the time of their lives.

But can Olivia let down her guard long enough to let Ryan sweep her off her feet? And will Ryan take his eyes off the (business) prize long enough to see what’s right in front of him?

Find out in the hot, delicious new novel from Lila Monroe!

BILLIONAIRE BACHELORS SERIES:
1 Very Irresistible Playboy
2 Hot Daddy
3 Wild Card (June 2018)
4 Man Candy (Aug 2018)

 

 

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Chapter One

 

When you’ve lived in New York as long as I have, you start to accept the fact that there are certain undeniable truths about life in this city.

1) Carrie Bradshaw never could have afforded that apartment on a journalist’s salary.

2) Unless your idea of Sunday Funday is a teary three p.m. orange-juice hangover, unlimited mimosa brunch is never a good idea.

And 3) this city—and, let’s face it, basically the whole world—is set up for couples. Everything is easier if you’re one half of a pair. Rent is cheaper. Battling the mobs at the grocery store on a weekend is less soul-crushing. And the odds of dying one of those grim, Daily News-type deaths where nobody knows you’re gone until the neighbors start to notice a funny smell from down the hallway? Way less likely when there’s someone around to catch the stench and stop kitty from eating your face.

Most of us try to find our other half the old-fashioned way: looking for true love. A partner to fill our lives with joy—or, at the very least, someone to slump in front of Netflix with on a Friday night and stop us from eating a whole block of cheese alone. (Not that I’ve done that. Not at all.) But what happens if that hasn’t worked out for you just yet, but you still need someone on your team?

Well, if you’re wealthy, and connected enough to know the number—you call me.

The Agency specializes in matchmaking . . . of the fake variety. I’m not aiming to find my clients true love (although, that seems to be a side benefit for a few of them these days), just a true partner-in-crime. Need a fake fiancée to get your interfering relatives off your case? I’m your woman. Old-school workplace treating you like a brazen hussy because you’re not coupled up? I’ll find a partner for that work retreat that your boss will adore. I’m discreet, professional, and I have a knack for finding just the right match to get your through that tough spot. After all, everyone deserves someone to have their back, even the weirdos.

Especially the weirdos.

“So, I think I’ve got all the information I need,” I say now, smiling across my desk at today’s client. Jason is the newly-flush CEO of a tech startup that was just bought out by Google, and he needs a date to bring to a company-wide retreat in the Berkshires. Though most my clients are just too busy—or too famous—to find themselves the right date, with Jason I’m pretty sure it’s got more to do with his twenty-dollar haircut and his habit of peppering every conversation with arcane trivia from Star Trek. “I should be able to find someone with an advanced degree in a STEM field and an interest in . . .” I double-check my notes. “Traditional Latvian folk music.”

“That’s great,” Jason says, smiling eagerly. He can’t be more than twenty-two, and the fact that he has no idea how to handle his newfound fortune is achingly obvious. At our very first meeting, he parked his brand-new Maserati in a tow zone in front of my office and had to take a cab all the way to Coney Island to get it back.

“In the meantime, I want you to go see my friend Lucas down at Bergdorf’s,” I tell him. There’s no way I’m about to send this guy out into the world in his Pac-Man T-shirt and Birkenstocks, no matter how rich he is. After all, I’ve got a reputation to protect. “And I’ve had my assistant Alice make you an appointment at a great salon.”

“Sounds good,” Jason says, nodding like a bobblehead. Then his face clouds. “There is one more thing I’m looking for in a date,” he says, suddenly nervous. “And I think it might be a little . . . unorthodox.”

“Oh?” I try to keep my face neutral. I have to explain to new clients, gently but firmly, that I’m not running that kind of agency. In fact, I have strict rules about romantic activities—they’re totally forbidden.

Jason takes a deep breath. “I’m looking for someone with experience as a Dungeon Master.”

Oh, yikes. “Unfortunately that’s not part of the suite of services we offer here,” I say carefully, “but I’d be happy to give you the card of an extremely discreet dominatrix who operates a private club on the Lower East Side, and I’m sure she’ll be able to—”

All at once Jason sits bolt upright in his chair. “Wait wait wait,” he interrupts, turning the color of a late-summer tomato. “A dominatrix? What are you talking about?”

I frown. “Isn’t that what you just—?”

“A Dungeon Master,” he says witheringly. “Like, for Dungeons and Dragons.”

“Oh. Oh!” I feel my face flush to match his. “Of course. I didn’t realize—”

“Jeez,” he interrupts, looking at me like possibly I’m the perv here. “What kind of operation are you running?”

I spend the next twenty minutes reassuring him that we’re on the up and up, then show him out and turn to my assistant, Alice, who’s sitting behind the reception desk typing away at her computer, her dark hair in a tidy Audrey Hepburn topknot at the crown of her head. “How was that?” she asks, raising her eyebrows.

“Oh, you know.” I stretch as Thor, our cranky ginger cat hops down off the filing cabinet and prowls across the Persian rug. I bend down to scratch him behind his mangy ears. “Just another day in the coal mines. You can knock off early,” I say, straightening up and smoothing my pencil skirt. “I’ve got a lunch across town, and then I’m just going to take the rest of the day.”

Alice tilts her head to the side. “Hot date?” she asks.

“I wish,” I say, plucking my jacket off the brass coat rack in the corner. “My dad’s in town.”

I’m running late, so I take a car across town to the Palace Hotel, where my dad likes to stay every time he’s in New York. My phone rings while we’re stopped in traffic, and I grimace when I see the caller ID.

“Hi, Ryan,” I say, hoping the eye-roll isn’t too obvious in my voice. Ryan Callahan is one of my most difficult, demanding clients. And not because he isn’t attractive. The polar opposite, actually. He was a star quarterback for a pro football team until an injury to his Achilles tendon cut his career short three years ago. Since then he’s had his hand in all kinds of different businesses—sports drinks, fitness apps, even a sneaker line—and his combination of brains and brawn should make him an easy match—if I was just looking for a real date. But the guy needs someone to help him schmooze with investors, and he’s ridiculously picky. He’s auditioned nearly my entire roster, but nobody is good enough. Ryan may be rich and handsome—OK, he’s hot as all get out, with the kind of broad, hard body you want to climb like a mountain—but he’s proving to be a Kilimanjaro-sized pain in my ass.

“Hey, Olivia,” he says, his easygoing voice hiding what I know is an iron will. “We need to talk.”

“Of course,” I reply. “I’m glad you called. Tell me more about why you didn’t like Amy?” And Tessa, and Claire, and Erin, I silently add.

“It’s not that I didn’t like her, exactly,” Ryan says as the car pulls up in front of the hotel. I scoot out of the backseat, smiling at the doorman as I slip through the revolving door and head for the lobby. The Palace is quintessential old New York, with marble floors and crystal chandeliers, the smell of lilies heavy in the air. “She was fine,” Ryan continues. “But I need the perfect wingwoman, you know? This investor meeting is a huge deal.”

“No, I know it is,” I promise, wanting to head him off at the pass before he launches into his pitch—again. He’s trying to raise capital to launch a chain of health food kiosks, and his potential investor is an old-school finance guy, so to make a good impression he needs someone smart and sophisticated. Which, for the record, all my girls are. But none of them have passed muster with Captain America over here. And the truth is I’m starting to run out of options.

“There’s a woman named Lauren I want you to meet,” I tell him now, climbing the wide carpeted steps that lead to the lobby. “She’s an executive assistant at a gallery downtown—very smart, very culturally savvy. I’ll have Alice make you a dinner reservation for this weekend.”

“If you say so,” Ryan says, sounding uncertain. “I just think . . .”

I lose the rest of his sentence in the loud buzzing that suddenly fills my ears as I turn the corner into the lobby—and catch sight of a familiar woman strolling across the plush oriental rug.

Shit,” I blurt, stopping in my tracks and scooting behind a massive floral arrangement before she can see me. My heart jackhammers violently against my ribs as I peek out and check I wasn’t just hallucinating.

But nope. There she is. Vanessa Simpson, my psycho college roommate in the flesh. A lot of flesh. She’s sashaying through the lobby in a flimsy sundress with a Birkin bag slung over one arm.

Ryan breaks off. “Olivia?” he says. “Are you OK?”

“Um, yup,” I promise distractedly, darting behind a bellman pushing a loaded luggage cart across the lobby. “Completely. I’m listening.”

He keeps talking, but I peek through a couple of garment bags to watch Vanessa, who’s stalking across the lobby like she thinks it’s a runway. She was my roommate freshman year and made my life a living hell. There were the normal roommate annoyances, sure—the clothes-stealing, the messiness, the loud hookups so I had to sleep with earplugs and an eye mask in case she came stumbling back at two a.m. with a guy and stripped naked right up against the door. (Twice.)

And then there were the next-level stunts, the kind that took her from “selfish and spoiled” to “psycho in the making.” Like casually wiping my finals papers from my laptop because, whoops, she couldn’t figure out how to download the new Housewives episodes. Or the time I got a particularly gnarly zit on my lip and she told everyone on our floor I had mouth herpes. It took me a week to figure out why the RA kept offering to escort me to the health center.

If there was one silver lining to living with a raging She-Demon like Vanessa, it was her big brother Tristan, who was at school down at Princeton and took the train up to visit sometimes. He always invited me out to dinner with the two of them, asking me about my classes and what books I was reading. To say I had a crush on him was an understatement—the truth is, I would have hitchhiked to New Jersey in a pair of crotchless panties if he’d ever shown one tiny glimmer of interest. As it was, I settled for stalking—ahem, scrutinizing every post he made on social media and dreaming up elaborate fantasies in which he rode up on a fiery steed—or a Toyota Corolla, whatever—and rescued me from undergraduate hell.

But that was then. The minute freshman year was over, I switched dorms and kept my distance from Vanessa. I haven’t seen either one of them since graduation, and I fully intend to keep it that way.

I skulk past the lobby and into an alcove, then drag my focus back to the conversation. Ryan is a big, important client, and I’m determined to find him someone who ticks all the boxes. “Ashley will be perfect,” I tell him. “I think you two will really hit it off.”

I hang up with Ryan and peek around the corner to check the lobby. All clear. Vanessa is mercifully gone—off to have her broomstick re-bristled, maybe, or to steal candy from a small child with a terminal illness. I let out a sigh of relief and head into the restaurant, where my dad is already seated at a table by the window, a glass of Basil Hayden on the rocks sweating in his hand.

“Hi, Dad,” I say, bending to kiss him on the cheek.

“Hiya, sweetheart.” My dad retired down to Key West a few years ago and spends his days relaxing on the beach and taking friends out on his fishing boat. But he’s still a Northeasterner at his core and he makes his way back like a homing pigeon every few months. “How you doing?”

I order a drink and we spend a few minutes catching up. “Should we order?” I ask finally, glancing down at the menu.

“In a minute,” my dad says. “First, I’ve got news.”

I raise my eyebrows, I can’t help it. Suddenly I know exactly where this is going. “Let me guess,” I deadpan. “You’re getting married again?”

My dad makes an exaggerated who, me? face. “Well, hell, Livvie,” he says, sounding a little hurt. “When you say it like that you make it sound as if I’ve got a new bride every week.”

Every couple of years, more like. My mom died when I was in high school, and ever since then my dad has gone through wives like other men go through undershirts. Whoever this woman is, she’ll be new stepmom #4. I try not to let it get to me—it’s his life, after all, and I want him to be happy, even if it does mean having to pretend to be interested in some daffy stranger’s rare doll collection just because she happens to be married to my dad.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I tease, “so you’re not getting married again?”

“Well, yes,” my dad admits sheepishly. Then he brightens. “But this one’s a winner. Really, Livvie, it’s someone I’m sure you’ll like.”

“Oh yeah?” I ask, taking a sip of my prosecco. “What’s she like?”

“You already know her,” my dad says, visibly pleased with himself. “In fact: you’ve lived together.”

“We’ve—wait, what?” I set my glass down on the table.

There’s a horrifying moment where I start to put two and two together, but

it’s like I can’t force my brain to finish the thought before two hands with long pink nails like talons land on my shoulders.

“Surprise!”

I whirl around and there’s Vanessa suddenly looming over me like a Disney villain, as if she’d appeared in a puff of smoke. “Guess what, Livvie,” she trills, baring her teeth in a wide, white smile. “I’m going to be your new mom!”

 

 

About the Author

Combining her passions for books, sex, and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote her first romantic comedy, The Billionaire Bargain, in 2015 and hasn’t stopped since. She loves writing about smart alpha men, and the strong and sassy women who try to tame them.

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