Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole

YES The Excitement is Real!!! Sweet Hope by the bloody brilliant Tillie Cole is finally here and what’s more we finally get to find out who the mysterious Elpidio is!!! Book 4 in the Sweet Home Series tells the tale of Ally and her mystery man who was hinted at by Austin at the end of Sweet Fall…having read it for myself I can safely say you will NOT be disappointed!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008]

Synopsis

From the USA Today Bestselling Sweet Home Series, comes Sweet Hope.

My name is Ally Prince and I’ve always been unlucky in love. I don’t know why, I just always… have.

When all of my best friends were falling for their soul mates in College, I was left behind. I was Ally, the pretty cousin of superstar quarterback, Romeo Prince. I was Ally, the best friend to the most amazing group of girls I’ve ever known—a title I loved, but one I became tired of ‘just’ being. And I was Ally, the one on which they could all rely.

But to me, I was Ally, the girl with the heart no one had claimed… And I was, Ally, the girl, who underneath it all, was heart-breakingly lonely.

I LOVE love; the thought of it, the nervous excitement of falling for Mr. Right, the desire of someone becoming my entire world… of me becoming theirs. I’ve always wanted passion, heart-stopping, epic, life-changing romance… I’ve always wanted the fairytale… I’ve always wanted it all.

It just never seemed like I would get it.

For the past few years I’ve thrown myself into my career as a museum curator. I’m the best of the best, the person every museum wants to hire, so when an opportunity came up to move to Seattle, I jumped at the chance. My cousin and my best friend lived in Seattle and I needed a change.

I needed a new beginning.

I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone in the Emerald City. I wasn’t expecting to work closely with the reclusive new sculptor my all-important gallery design was centered around. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to fall for him… heart-stopping, epic, life-changing love…

My real life fairytale come true.

But, like in every fairytale, there’s a villain, a dark and tortured soul… I just didn’t know that the villain and the hero in my story would end up being one and the same.

New Adult Romance Novel—contains adult content, sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up.

Add To Goodreads

Sweet Hope Teaser7

Review

I have been waiting for this book with eager anticipation and with not a lot of patience! The mystery of who Ally’s mystery man is has captivated us for a long time now but finally we get to know the truth! But don’t worry I won’t say who I’ll just refer to him by his other name, Elpidio.

Its been several years since we last left the guys in Sweet Fall, all of our favourite couples are loved up and married but Ally Prince is still single. Now doing well as an art curator she’s making a life for herself but when she looks at her best friends in love and happy she can’t help but feel like there’s something missing. Flying to Seattle she’s about to interview for her dream job – curating the infamous Elpidio’s marble sculpture collection. She’s never met him, doesn’t even know what he looks like, but his sculptures speak to her in ways nothing else ever has.

When she gets the job she’s over the moon and what’s more she gets to live with Rome and Molly whilst she’s there. One night while she’s setting up the sculptures she notices a man lurking in the shadows…Elpidio. Worried about his anonymity he shies away from her but after a while he finds it hard to stay away. Each night he meets her at his exhibition they grow closer until one day their chemistry becomes too much.

Ally is falling hard and fast for the man that captured her even before they’d met. But she only knows him as Elpidio, the man who makes beautiful emotional sculptures which speak to her on every level…the man whose given her some of the best nights of her life.

Elpidio has a past which has left him damaged to his core, it inspires his tortured artwork and riddles him with guilt and sorrow each and every day. He’s finally found a small piece of happiness with Ally but what will happen when she finds out the truth?

I’m going to warn you now I spent the majority of this book with tears in my eyes and the rest of it full on sobbing. And not gentle tears running down my face I mean full frontal ugly sobbing surrounding by dozens of tissues. The emotion in this book? God it just makes your heart ache the entire time. It’s just so beautiful and heartfelt and the raw pain Elpi feels is excruciating. I devoured this book, there is no other way to describe it. It was mesmerising and intense and just so God Damn Good!! I loved reading about all the gang again especially Rome and Molly! I won’t say who else so you can’t guess who Elpi is but I just love all of the Sweet Home gang!

I could quite literally go on and on about how incredible this book is! I can’t recommend it to you enough. Knowing it’s written by the amazing Tillie Cole automatically tells you you’re in for one hell of a book with an even bigger emotional rollercoaster! You will not be disappointed with this one let me tell you!

Sweet Hope is a beautiful, emotional, heartfelt story full of hope and above all love. You will be held captivated from start to finish and crying your heart out is almost a guarantee. I’m not sure I will ever get over my book hangover from this, and to be honest I’m not sure I want to.

Read Sweet Hope for yourself…

Amazon US / UK

Excerpt

As the curtains closed behind me, I jumped in surprise when I caught movement ahead.

My eyes slowly traveled upward to a pair of legs clad in black jeans, to a sculpted waist and torso covered in a short-sleeved black shirt splashed in what looked like marble dust.

My heart was in my throat as I drank in large arm muscles, sculpted and pronounced under heavily tattooed olive skin. My gaze drifted to a muscular tattooed neck, partially covered by a dark short scruffy beard and shoulder-length dark brown hair.

Elpidio…

I had to blink to believe the man I’d wanted to meet for years was really standing right in front of me. I forgot how to breathe. I forgot how to speak, move, or anything else that should come naturally to a human being.

Elpidio’s head was down, avoiding my gaze, but I knew he knew I was there. Every inch of his body was taut, as if ready to spring.

My voice failed to work as I watched his broad chest rise and fall. Then, with deliberate slowness, he exhaled harshly through his nostrils and lifted his head.

I nearly staggered back.

He was… dark. There was no other adjective I could think of to do him justice. Dark, aggressively tattooed, and absolutely yet unconventionally… beautiful.

Elpidio was as inspiring to look at as his sculptures, and when his almost-black eyes pierced mine, I released a pent up shuddering breath.

I thought my legs would give way as I watched those curious onyx irises rove all over my body. I trembled under his scrutiny, knees weak, heart fluttering.

Italian, I thought. Austin had been right. Elpidio definitely looked Italian.

It felt as though minutes passed in silence as we stood motionless, not knowing what to say.

Trying to salvage a modicum of professionalism, I snapped out of my stupor and stepped forward, timidly holding out my hand.

“Hello…” I said in a cracking voice.

Elpidio’s stern gaze never once drifted from mine, his dark eyes stabbing. “I’m Aliyana. You… you must be Elpidio?”

In a second, I witnessed paleness spread on his cheeks and his eyes dropped to the ground, his shoulder-length brown hair falling to cover his face. He was protecting his anonymity. Vin had told me how uncomfortable he was with any acclaim or recognition. His mentor clearly wasn’t lying.

“It’s okay,” I rushed out. “I’m the curator of your exhibition. Your being here stays with me. I’m ethically bound to protect your anonymity if you so wish.”

Elpidio’s shoulders seemed to relax some at that, and sighing reluctantly, he raked back his long hair from his face and raised his head.

This time I could see him more clearly. He was ruggedly edgy, and on his left cheek, he wore a tattoo of a black crucifix just below his eye. He simply screamed danger. His eyes were unnervingly assessing as though he had no trust in me, or toward anyone else for that matter.

Suddenly, Elpidio reached forward and encased his hand in mine. When our hands touched, I lightly gasped, the heat of his palm searing. I’d forgotten I’d been holding my hand out to greet him, too entranced by his unrefined looks and silent temperament.

“Aliyana,” he said gruffly. My heart skipped a beat on hearing his husky drawl.

About Tillie Cole

Tillie Cole Author PicAmazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole, is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.

Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the ‘Toon’, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven ‘proper mint’ and ‘lush’ years.

One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, “D’you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book.” Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and “just bloody do it!” For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination.

Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing — yep, there’s more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!

After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl… Ye-haw!

Connect With Tillie

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Giveaway

Fancy winning a $150 Amazon giftcard? Then enter THIS GIVEAWAY

Owned by M Never

 New Release for today Owned by M Never Book 1 in the  Decadence After Dark series – a dark erotic romance is definitely an apt description for this one. For mature readers only!

Synopsis

“I like you collared, baby. I like you naked, I like you mine.”

Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes – until temptation finally gets the better of her. Impulsively, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo’s infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts.

In a hidden corner of a trendy New York City lounge, the spark kindling between the two of them ignites. Unable to resist the sinful attraction, Ellie agrees to leave with Kayne, believing she is finally bedding the man of her dreams. Little does she know when she walks out the door, she’s about to be Owned.

Owned is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Review

Owned is book 1 in the decadence after dark series and that couldn’t describe this book better – pure decadence best enjoyed after dark. This book wasn’t what I was expecting but I wasn’t disappointed – insanely hot and definitely a dark erotic romance this isn’t one for the light-hearted.

Ellie Stevens has worked at Expo for a couple of years now slowly moving her way up the ranks. Having never been able to afford to go to college she’s been saving her whole life to fulfil her dreams, see the world and get herself a better education. For the last year she’s been lusting after their biggest client, Kayne Roberts. Drop dead gorgeous and intriguing as hell she’s always admired him from afar. But when he comes in for a meeting her lust gets the better of her and she can’t resist flirting with him over the mini cupcakes.

Arranging to see each other at a work party Ellie can’t believe she’s finally got the chance to be with the man whose occupied her dreams incessantly. But will the reality of being with him match her fantasies?

Kayne isn’t exactly what he appears to be. Turning up to Expo’s party he’s anxious to see Ellie after admiring her for a long time. Having never thought he could be with her he’s stayed away but after she practically offers herself to him he just can’t resist. When the two finally meet they don’t plan to stay for long but when an acquaintance of Kayne’s drops by and sees Ellie, the plan drastically changes.

In a bid to protect Ellie Kayne does the only thing he can think of – claims her. Kidnapping her and locking her away in his mansion he goes to desperate lengths to make her his and keep her safe.

Ellie meanwhile has no clue what’s going on, waking up in a strange place, held against her will with Kayne telling her she’s now his to control – that she’s his new pet.

Weeks pass and Ellie learns what being Kayne’s truly means – an idea that doesn’t seem as bad as it did originally. But something is going on with Kayne, she’s already learnt one of his secrets but what else is he hiding? And will she be able to forgive him when she finds out?

Owned was not what I was expecting – I was thinking girl meets guy, guy is a Dom, and he introduces her to his world. But oh how wrong I was. Full of twists and turns this book is much more than you think. Yes the first 60% has some pretty intense erotic scenes between Ellie and Kayne which some people may find difficult to read but it’s in the last 40% of the book you get the idea that everything isn’t as it seems.

Dangerously hot and darkly intense Owned is a shocking and erotic read you’ll enjoy best after dark. The dual POVs really help to develop the story and you’ll be screaming in frustration for more than one reason. The chemistry between the two character makes for a great read and it sure does end with a bang! Bring on Book 2!

Read Owned for yourself…

AMAZON US / UK

Also Available

 

 

AMAZON US / UK

About M Never

M. Never resides in New York City. When she’s not researching ways to tie up her characters in compromising positions, you can usually find her at the gym kicking the crap out of a punching bag, or eating at some new trendy restaurant.

She has a dependence on sushi and a fetish for boots. Fall is her favorite season.

She is surrounded by family and friends she wouldn’t trade for the world and is a little in love with her readers. The more the merrier. So make sure to say hi!

Connect with M Never

FACEBOOK

PINTEREST

GOODREADS

Giveaway

Fancy winning some great prizes? Enter the giveaway below!

Billionaire’s Pursuit (Never Never Man #1) by Sloan Storm

I am SO excited to share this new release from debut author Sloan Storm – Billionaire’s Pursuit Book 1 in the Never Never Man series! As her #1 fan (yes that is my official title in Sloan’s Street Team 😉 ) I can’t wait for everyone else to meet Grey for themselves – though I have already called dibs so….Back Off!

Billionaire's Pursuit Cover

Synopsis

Recently dumped by my ex, I found myself broke and jobless after five years of chasing stardom in Hollywood. Desperate, I took the advice of my best friend and roommate, Katy, and started my own business in a last ditch effort to prevent a full on meltdown into bankruptcy.

Little did I expect my first client to be a man like Grey Sinclair. Young, rich and cruelly handsome, he had a reputation for making women squirm in his presence. When I first saw his image in a photo, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel an irritating stir in places I shouldn’t have.

Even so, if I failed at making a good impression on him, it could not only mean the end of my business but all my dreams as well. With that much on the line, I would have no problem keeping my urges in check.

Right?

Add To Goodreads

Billionaire's Pursuit Teaser 1

Review

I’ve had to wait to write this review because I knew if I wrote it before now it would have had far too many exclamation points in it…to be honest that’s probably still going to happen but I shall try!

Maddie Olsen is determined to make something of herself. Starting her own business in personal concierge services was never going to be easy but when her bestfriend Katy refers one of her billionaire client’s she’s hoping to kick start her business and get herself an amazing referral.

The problem? The client Katy refers is arriving that afternoon.

Determined to make this work Maddie pulls out all the stops and despite the power cut and her dying phone she manages to make it to the airport on time. But her dwindling battery is the least of her concerns when Greyson Sinclair makes his appearance.

Confident, controlled, filthy rich and devilishly handsome Grey isn’t a man to be messed with, nor is ‘No’ an answer he understands. When arriving in LA he was prepared to do business with Maddie, but after meeting her, business isn’t the only thing he wants from her anymore.

Keeping things professional is proving difficult and with Maddie’s business on the line the stakes are high. But with a chemistry as burning hot as theirs will they be able to keep it that way for long?

Holy Shitballs! What an amazing start to what promises to be a brilliant serial, and an even better career for Ms Sloan Storm! Maddie and Grey’s chemistry will set your kindles on fire and their journey will suck you in and have you screaming in frustration in no time – I warn you now the cliffhangers are out in full force in this set of books! I can NOT wait to read more about these two in what is undoubtedly going to be an amazing story full of passion and heartache – bring on book 2!

Billionaire’s Pursuit is the start of a 5 part serial following Maddie and Grey’s evolving relationship and each book must be read in order to understand the story – they are NOT standalones!

PLUS for this premier weekend only Billionaire’s Pursuit is FREE!! So make sure to get your copy NOW and become as addicted as I am!

Read Billionaire’s Pursuit for yourself…

Amazon US / UK

About Sloan Storm

sloan stormSloan Storm is a writer who pens imaginative yarns based on dominant men and the women who challenge them. As such, power plays and passion are the heart of each and every story. The writer’s creative tendencies may drift as the mood strikes, but the essence of all tales told wind up back at the same place… the polarizing difference between the sexes.

After all, what else is there in life?

Never Never Man Series Release Schedule:

Billionaire’s Pursuit (Book #1): Available Now
Billionaire’s Caress (Book #2): April 8, 2015
Billionaire’s Kiss (Book #3): April 22, 2015
Billionaire’s Threat (Book #4): May 6, 2015
Billionaire’s Trust (Book #5 – Final Installment): May 20, 2015

All Titles are Free in Kindle Unlimited

When not glued to a keyboard creating tales of whimsy, Sloan loves to talk to fans! Join in the fun here….

Connect With Sloan Storm

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Website

Billionaire's Pursuit FREE

Revved by Samantha Towle

Today is the day!! Revved by Samantha Towle is finally here! After a surprise release yesterday Revved was available earlier than expected but not on all platforms so I thought I’d stick to the original release day post to celebrate it all today!

Revved RDL

Happy Release Day to Samantha Towle and her new standalone REVVED! You will LOVE Carrick Ryan!!! #BreakTheRules #ToTheLimit

BUY THE BOOK

Revved will be on SALE during RELEASE WEEK ONLY for $2.99!!!!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B&N | iTunes US / UK | Kobo

revved

Synopsis

Race car mechanic Andressa “Andi” Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it.

Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder. The youngest driver to ever sign with F1, he’s still at the top of his game five years later, breaking hearts on and off the tracks.

When Andi is offered her dream job working in the glamorous world of F1, she leaves her home in Brazil, positive she can handle working for Carrick. But she’s not prepared for the off-the-chart sparks that fly the moment they meet.

Now, Andi has a crush on the one man she can’t have, and her resolve is about to be put to the test, because Carrick has decided he wants Andi, and he plans on testing her to the very limit…

add-to-goodreads-button

RevvedTeaser2-Final

Excerpt

I run my fingertips over the blue-and-silver paintwork as I walk toward the back end. Bending over, I start poking around, taking a look at the engine.

“Please tell me that you’re my birthday present.”

The Irish drawl has the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end.

I turn my head to find Carrick Ryan standing behind me.

Oh. Wow.

He’s definitely better looking in the flesh than on television. I knew he was attractive. But blonds aren’t usually my thing. I’m more of a dark-hair-and-dark-eyes kind of girl.

But his dirty-blond hair, blue eyes laced with sin, and full lips—the kind of lips you spend hours sucking on—and that chiseled jaw decorated with stubble…yep, it all seems to be working for me. Well, my body anyway. Definitely not my head. Man-sluts are not my thing.

My eyes meet with his as he lifts them from blatantly staring at my arse. The look in them hits me straight in the gut, surprising the hell out of me. His eyes are profoundly blue and filled with heat. My skin starts to prickle as his intense stare burns me up.

I’ve never had such an instant visual reaction to a man before.

Fuck.

Take it easy, Andi. This isn’t a problem. You’ve met good-looking men before. You can turn this off. Drivers are a no-go area, especially ones you work for.

My job is too important to lose over a man.

Straightening, I turn to face him.

“Hello,” I say in my most confident and formal voice.

I get nothing back, and that’s because he hasn’t heard me. He’s too busy staring at my breasts.

Typical man.

I have the sudden urge to punch him in his handsome face.

But I won’t because I’m a professional. I’ll handle this in the best way I know when it comes to dealing with pervy dickheads like him.

“It’s your birthday?” I say sweetly, my smile a little on the flirtatious side.

He grins. “It sure is, and it’s definitely looking up now that you’re here. Are you going to make it extra special for me, sugar?”

He thinks he’s about to get lucky.

Far from it. Smarmy twat.

I tilt my head to the side, keeping the flirty smile on my face, as I walk up to him until there’s very little space between us. I press my fingers to his chest. God, that’s firm. I can feel the ridge of his muscles underneath my fingertips.

He’s tall, too, a good few inches higher than my five-nine. I’d say he’s six-one, which is tall for a driver, but he’s lean. He needs to be to fit into those cars. I bet, under those clothes of his, there’s nothing but toned muscle. Drivers have to be seriously fit, and Carrick Ryan certainly ticks that box on both counts.

Now, I’m imagining him naked. Great. Just fucking great.

I force my focus back to the now. “Well…” I lean in closer to him, hearing him suck in a sharp breath. I lower my voice as I whisper, “If you ever call me sugar again, you won’t see your next birthday. That’s for sure.”

He tilts his head back in amusement. “Feisty. I like it.”

I take a step back, dropping my hand from his chest. “There’s nothing here for you to like.”

His eyes run the length of me, lingering on my legs, the lusty look firing in them again. “I see plenty to like. Jesus…your legs go on forever.”

I wish I had something to hide my legs behind. Instead, I fold my arms to bring his focus up. “I’m not your type.”

Lifting his eyes back to mine, he gives me a confident smile. “Amazing arse. Great stems. Awesome rack. Beautiful face. Yep”—he nods—“you’re definitely my type.”

AboutTheAuthor

samantha towle

New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author Samantha Towle began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She has written contemporary romances, THE MIGHTY STORM, WETHERING THE STORM, TAMING THE STORM and TROUBLE.

She has also written paranormal romances, THE BRINGER and the ALEXANDRA JONES SERIES, all penned to tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, and more of her favourite musicians.

A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Giveaway

Check out the amazing Amazon giveaway below!…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Revved SALE

Teaching Aleck by Muriel Garcia

 Book Two of The Last Hangmen MC is finally here! After reading Ayden’s story we now get to read about Charline and her stubborn man Aleck!

Synopsis

Aleck Sanford had everything growing up, absolutely everything, except for the one thing he and his sister desired the most: the love of their parents. After many years of emotional neglect, Aleck only understood the love between siblings, his parents certainly didn’t love them or even each other. How do you pick yourself up when everything around you falls apart? When the only person to love you has to leave?

Everything changed when he met Charline Dane. Still affected by his past, Aleck doesn’t understand or do relationships but he wants her. He just doesn’t know what to do about it. When Charline’s past catches up with her Aleck is forced to make a decision: fight or flight?

Will Aleck finally give into his feelings for Charline and save her before it’s too late or will their pasts get in the way? Will they both be able to overcome history and start anew?

 Review

After reading book 1 in the series Saving Ayden I was really looking forward to Aleck’s story.  We know from this first book that something was brewing between Charline and Aleck but Aleck was holding back…now we get to know why.

Aleck’s past hasn’t been easy. Growing up in a loveless family, with the only good thing he had ripped away from him, now he avoids commitment and anything that could bring him pain having never experienced love for himself. When Ayden brings home her best friend Charline Aleck thinks he’s seen an angel, but she’s only 17 and completely off limits.

Aleck and Charline begin on a difficult path with both of them drifting apart before coming back together again. Charline has loved Aleck for all these years despite him always turning her away, she’s tried many times to get through his walls  but his fear of getting hurt always gets in the way.

When Charline is in danger, Aleck must decide whether to risk his heart and protect her or protect himself but risk losing her.

But both Aleck and Charline have been keeping secrets  – will they be able to overcome their pasts, accept their secrets and fight for their future together? And will Aleck be able to keep Charline safe, no matter the cost?

Teaching Aleck is a truly brilliant read, with a storyline that matches if not trumps the emotional rollercoaster that was the first book. I loved Aleck and Charline as a couple – both of them with their own troubles but together working to heal one another. Packed with drama and heartache this is not one to be missed!

Read Teaching Aleck for yourself here… 
AMAZON US / UK

Also Available

 

 

AMAZON US / UK

 

About Muriel Garcia

Muriel Garcia grew up in Belgium. She loves music, tattoos, hot tattooed men, travelling, and cooking. She always had an overly imaginative and creative mind but never thought of writing a book up until a couple of months ago. Now she couldn’t imagine not writing stories that are near and dear to her heart.

Connect With Muriel

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK GROUP

 Fancy winning 2 ecopies of Teaching Aleck, 1 swag pack, 1 set of postcards, rack cards and bookmarks signed? Then enter the giveaway below!

Strictly Temporary Volumes 1 & 2 by Ella Fox

So I’ve finally handed in all my University reports and can FINALLY post my review of this amazing series!

Strictly Temporary Volume 1

strictly temporary 1

Synopsis

Just a Small Towne girl…

Raised on fairytales and dreams of true love, Arden Winger left for college with a smile on her face and a happy, hopeful heart. Fast-forward seven years and that small town is behind her, but not the baggage she’s been carrying since she left.

Just a city boy…

It’s not that Exton Alexander had anything against relationships—he just never had the desire to try. Not necessarily jaded, Exton considered himself a realist. Little did he know, the one woman that would change everything was about to rock his world. This Alpha male knows the second he lays eyes on her that Arden is special– now he just has to work past her defenses.

Strictly Temporary is Volume One. Volume Two will arrive in February. Arden & Exton’s story will be resolved in book two- but the temporary series will continue after that with different characters.

Review

Before I begin…

WARNING: this book contains a cliffhanger that will leave you frustrated and begging for more – wearing a hole in the carpet from pacing is expected. If you can’t handle the sexual tension and anticipation about what happens next I suggest you wait for book 2 to read the story in all its glory. Or you can be as impatient as me and read part 1 anyway despite knowing about the cliffy at the end & join me in my struggle.

PS. A drawer of new panties is required for all scenes including Exton Alexander….

So this is my second review as Goodreads accidentally deleted half of my first so here goes review 2.0 …

OMG THIS BOOK!! I absolutely loved the Hart series – I mean Dante and Sabrina?!! AAAHH! So when I saw this book I one-clicked instantly!

Arden used to dream about perfect fairytales and loved to read romance books filled with HEAs. But after a childhood filled with misery and daily bullying her belief in fairytales is slowly diminishing. After moving away from her old town to escape her daily torment she starts a new life, hoping to finally find some peace…but plans never do go right do they?

When one of her old bullies comes back for her she’s reluctant to believe his kind words but after weeks of attention she finally gives in. Little did she know that would be the worst mistake of her life.

Years later, Arden has lost all belief in fairytales and HEAs. Now working for Dante and Sabrina at Hart she’s finally made some real friends and found a life for herself. Except she doesn’t trust anyone and her heart is firmly guarded.

When Exton Alexander, one of Dante’s bestfriend’s, makes his appearance she’d have to be dead not to feel the pull between them. Charming and panty-melting Exton is lusted after by every woman in the city but at the moment there’s only one girl he’s seeing – Arden.

With Exton determined to make Arden his and Arden determined to keep him at arm’s length the two begin a battle of wills. Arden knows his type and won’t open herself up to more heartbreak. But she wasn’t prepared for Exton’s determination, nor how insanely hot he is ( 😉 ), and the struggle to keep him away becomes harder and harder.

Will she be able to let him in and find her happily ever after?

Wow Exton Alexander!! What a panty-melter! Him and the Hart boys are truly something to be reckoned with! And Arden – gosh I love her! Her past was truly horrendous and I really felt for her situation – the way Exton builds her back up again and earns her trust is brilliant and I really enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them.

Absolutely CAN NOT WAIT until book 2! What a cliff hanger! Definitely a must read – add to your TBR right NOW!

Read Volume 1 for yourself here…

Amazon UK / US

Strictly Temporary Volume 2

 

strictly temporary v2

Synopsis

Arden Winger stopped believing in fairytales and true love a long time ago.

Exton Alexander breached her defenses, but when a blast from the past rocked Arden’s world, she panicked.

Is a happily ever after in their future?

Strictly Temporary is the second and final part of Arden & Exton’s story

Review

After the stinker of a cliff-hanger at the end of Part 1 I was salivating for more! And now we finally get to find out what happens next!!

Arden was just letting herself feel truly happy again with a guy who just seems too good to be true. The perfect mix of unbelievably sexy and protective alpha male Exton is chipping away at the walls she erected around her heart and though she’s scared, she couldn’t be happier. When her horrendous past comes back to haunt her yet again her first instinct is to run – even if that leaves Exton behind.

What’s great about part 2 is we get to go back through previous events but from Exton’s POV – I mean who wouldn’t want to spend some time in Exton’s head?!! Once we’ve gone through the events from part 1 we re-join Exton and his pursuit of Arden. With the knowledge that her childhood bullies aren’t finished with her yet, her feelings of embarrassment, hurt and shame all come back in spades and her desire to run clouds her judgement.

Exton is determined to protect what’s his – no matter the cost, but will he be able to win back the girl and piece her back together again? Arden lost her belief in fairytales a long time ago but with her very own Prince Charming standing in front of her, and a little Princess whispering in her ear, will she take the chance and believe again?

This book – WOW!! I love the Harts and this definitely hasn’t changed after reading this – I mean Dante and Sabrina’s daughter? So Cute!! Exton is of course all kinds of yummy in his alpha, protective sexiness that’s just pure Exton Alexander. He makes Arden’s dreams come true and it makes for a beautiful read. What a guy! I’m so happy Arden got her HEA and of course to hear more about my favourite book family, the Harts!

Strictly Temporary has been an emotional, gripping and God damn HOT read, with heartache and scorching chemistry. The Hart men are in a league of their own, and with Exton joining their ranks they’re pretty damn irresistible! If you want to read a fairytale romance but with all the juicy bits left in you will fall head over heels for this!

Read Volume 2 for yourself here…

Amazon UK / US

 

When I Fall by J. Daniels

*SQUEEEEEEEEE* LOOK LOOK!!! Reed is FINALLY here!! If you couldn’t tell already I absolutely LOVE this series 😉 here’s my review and all the juicy detes you need to know…

Synopsis

From NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author, J. Daniels Book three in the Alabama Summer series.

For the past nine years, I’ve kept my heart as far away from my dick as possible.

Those two can’t be anywhere near each other. They don’t play nice, and one of them undoubtedly winds up getting hurt.

Not my dick. My dick is good.

The women I take home know exactly what they’re getting from me—sex.

Nothing more. At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen. The sweet brunette from Kentucky I set my sights on tonight shouldn’t have been any different. I had her right where I wanted her. Where I needed her.

But when my past comes walking into McGill’s pub, the woman in my arms decides to take things to a whole new level, putting me into a situation I never saw coming.

My heart is about to get fucked. My dick can sit this one out.

*** Warning: This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to strong language and explicit sexual content. When I Fall can be read as a standalone novel.

Review

Ahhhhh THIS BOOK!!!! I absolutely LOVE this series and was squealing like a complete fangirl when it landed on my kindle! I’m pretty sure I speak for all women when I say I could kiss the shit out of J Daniels for giving us Ben, Luke and Reed…..I mean in a completely platonic-I’m-not-crazy-I-promise-I-just-bloody-LOVE-the-shit-out-of-these-boys-and-am-now-fangirling kind of way you know?!….yeah I’m gonna move on now…

Reed is a fuck ’em and chuck ’em type of guy. Never letting his heart get in the way of things and choosing to let his head down there (*wink wink*) make all the decisions. Having been burned before he isn’t about to make that mistake again, even if all of his friends are all loved up. But he wasn’t planning on her.

Beth has a troubled past. When her Mum passed away she didn’t think she had any family left. Penniless and alone she goes to desperate lengths to keep going and when help was finally offered she couldn’t do anything but accept it. Trapped with a man who belittles her daily but with no where else to go Beth struggles on until she finds out about an Aunt she never knew she had and after a few phone calls she’s on her way to her new family.

Turns out Beth’s Aunt and Uncle own McGill’s Pub and it’s there that she first meets one Mr Reed Tennyson. Reed being Reed he automatically tries to get in her pants but when his bitch of an ex walks in the last thing he expected was Beth to start making out with him.

…..Oh and telling his ex they were dating.

Now that both of them now invited to his ex’s engagement party, (not at all awkward right?), Reed has no clue what to make of it all. Of course when Tessa and Mia find out he now has a fake girlfriend all kinds of mischief is let loose 😉

With Beth and Reed now thrust into each other’s lives, their undeniable attraction is getting hard to ignore but with Reed adamant about never loving anyone ever again their journey isn’t without it’s drama.

Beth has never truly felt loved by anyone before and all she wants is to finally belong. Having made friends in Mia and Tessa and building a relationship she never thought she’d have with her Aunt and Uncle, she’s on her way to feeling happy again. But with her feelings for Reed growing with each day and Reed’s inability to say the L word, will it be enough for her to stay?

Reed never thought he’d let his heart do the talking ever again, but when faced with losing Beth forever what will win out – his fear of heartbreak or his fear of losing her?

OH THIS BOOK!!!! Reed – HOT DAMN HE IS SMOKING HOT!!!! His dirty mouth, his cocky-attitude….he’s just so smexy!!!! I literally love everything about this man. And the sexy scenes? Wow-ey you will need multiple new pairs of panties and cold showers after those my friends I’m warning you now!

As for our girl Beth I love her just as much (obviously for very different reasons though 😉 ) She’s so sweet and I loved her strength. Of course Ben and Luke making an appearance once more only added to this already amazeballs book, throw in Mia and Tessa and of course Sir Nolan and you’ve got yourself one hell of a read.

When I Fall is a beautifully written, sweet, smoking hot read with laugh out loud moments as well as heart-breaking ones. The girls will make you laugh, the Bama boys will have you drooling and Sir Nolan will make your heart squeeze. J. Daniels has done it yet again with an absolutely perfect book.

You will laugh, you will cry and you will be reaching for new underwear. When I Fall is one of those books you will just keep coming back for more of because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want some more of a man like Reed?

Read When I Fall for yourself at…

Special release price $2.99

AMAZON US / UK

Missed the first 2 books? Check them out here….

#1 Where I Belong

AMAZON US / UK

#2 All I Want

On sale for $1.99

AMAZON US / UK

About J Daniels

J. Daniels was born and raised in Maryland. After putting her kids to bed, she escapes into her cheeky world where some of her characters kiss, and some of them do a lot more than kiss. She is an avid reader and enjoys everything from unconventional romance to fantasy novels.

Connect with J Daniels

GOODREADS

STREET TEAM

Fancy winning signed paperbacks of 3 books in the  Alabama Summer Series? If so enter the giveaway below!

War by Isabel Lucero

This book is one suspense-filled thrill ride after another! Intense and action packed this is a romance story with a difference! If you’re a fan of MC novels then this is just perfect for you!

 

Synopsis

My father was the leader of a protection racket; a criminal group that uses violence to ensure our clients won’t be harmed or robbed, and that their businesses will remain protected. What we do isn’t legal, but it’s the way we’ve lived for many years now.

Memphis Reed—my father—was formidable. He was a man people both respected and feared. He taught me everything he knew, and when he died I was left in charge.

Before his death, a battle was brewing on the streets. Lies were told, deceptions were made, and people were killed. People we thought we knew changed, relationships and friendships were torn apart, and loyalties were questioned. After his death, a full on war is raging, and Roman Rios—a man we now know we can’t trust—wants to move in on our business.

With me now being the leader of nine men, it’s up to me to protect them from Roman and his own crew of ruthless criminals. I’ll do whatever’s necessary to keep my business my own and protect everything my father worked for. Even if I have to go up against Xavier Delgado. Roman’s number two. A man with no heart and a black soul. A man Roman trained to be as vicious and cold-blooded as he is. A man who once upon a time I thought I was in love with.

Yes, I’m a she. My name is Chevelley Reed, and all’s fair in love and war.

 

WAR RELEASE DAY PARTY

From 4pm EST on Monday, March 16

 

Join HERE

Review

Wow! This book is one intense, thrill ride of drama, suspense and a whole lot of lust! This is my first book by Isabel Lucero but I doubt it’ll be my last now!

Chevelley is the daughter of Memphis Reed the big boss of a feared illegal group who protect their client’s and their businesses by any means possible. When Memphis goes missing and is presumed dead Chevelley takes his place. The only woman amongst a group of big intimidating guys she’s worked hard to earn their respect and considers them all her brothers.

Before his death events were unfolding that would change the course of all of their lives. There were lies and betrayals which left them reeling. And at the heart of it all? Roman Rios.

Roman is a very dangerous man – if you want to stay alive you learn to never trust nor betray him. Chevelley has managed to keep her business and boys away from him…until now. With Roman determined to steal her business, a war is brewing and it’s Chevelley’s job to keep her boys safe. But there’s one problem.

Xavier Delgado.

Once upon a time Xavier meant everything to her, she loved him unconditionally and couldn’t have been happier. But after his father’s death, he changed. He pushed her away and betrayed her in the worst possible way – he joined Roman’s crew.

Now Roman’s number 2, Xavier has done terrible things and Chevelley can barely recognise him anymore. When war breaks out between their crews, Chevelley knows that they will undoubtedly come face to face. But will she be able to protect her crew and do what ever it takes to win this war – even if it means killing Xavier? Or will old feelings creep to the surface and get in the way?

Shots are fired, blood is spilt and lives are lost, but at the end of it all, is everything truly what it seems?

War is an absolutely epic read. Fast-paced, full of suspense and unbelievably hot, I was held mesmerised by this book from start to finish. If you’re a fan of MC novels then this is definitely right up your street. I loved that Chevelley was the big boss – normally in this time of book the heroine is the boss’ daughter but here Chelle is definitely the one calling the shots and it’s brilliant! As for her and Xavier? Boy those two have crazy chemistry! Trust me when I say their story will captivate you in every way and Xavier will undoubtedly be added to your alpha male book boyfriend shelf!

Suspense. Lust. Betrayal. Lies & Passion – War has them all in spades. An intense, epic read with unbelievable twists which will leave you begging for more – definitely one not to be missed!

Read War for yourself here…

 Amazon UK / US

About Isabel Lucero

Isabel Lucero is the author of the romantic suspense novel The Secrets That We Keep and the bestselling erotic romance books Living in Sin, Unforgivable Sin, and Sins & Mistrust; books one, two, and three in The Escort Series.

She was born in a small town in New Mexico and was lucky enough to escape and travel the world thanks to her husband’s career in the Air Force. She’s been married for eleven years to the love of her life and Jr. High School sweetheart. Together they have two of the best and most beautiful kids in the world.

Isabel’s love for reading is anything but new, she’s been reading since before she was a teenager, enjoying a multitude of different types of stories.

She’s a multi-genre author, tackling genres such as romantic suspense, erotic romance, crime drama, and contemporary romance.

She currently lives overseas and is constantly coming up with new book ideas, so keep an eye open for new stories coming your way. Isabel loves connecting with her readers and fans of books in general. You can find her on her personal website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Connect with Isabel

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

GOODREADS

For your chance two win $25 Amazon giftcard and a signed War paperback enter the giveaway below…

Contractual by Alice Tribue

Another new release this week Contractual by Alice Tribue is the story of an unconventional love between a girl forced into the role of an Escort and a guy fed up of girls wanting more.

Synopsis

They told me I’d be an escort; they made it sound so easy.

Really I’m just a high priced call girl.

Desperation brought me to this and it led me to him, my one and only client.

Hating him is easy, he reminds me of my shame.

Wanting him is wrong it fills me with guilt.

Loving him is a losing battle yet it’s become everything.

A gift and a curse, he consumes my every thought and I’d rather play my part in his bed than to spend one day without him.

 

Review

I was sent this book whilst I was knee deep in dissertation crap – literally, my room is covered in paper. So it was a well welcomed break to spend some time screaming in frustration about the idiotic male I’m reading about as opposed to Excel not formatting my tables properly!

Sage’s life certainly isn’t going to plan. With bills pilling up and the threat of eviction looming over her head she’s in desperate need of money with no one to turn to. With her family back home in Indiana and still angry with her about moving to New York with her now ex-boyfriend and his daughter, she has no one to ask for help. Now living in the apartment she once shared with her ex, trying to pay the rent she used to share is proving difficult – especially with her crappy job.

Searching for another job hasn’t been easy so when she spots an ad for a masseuse job she calls for an interview thinking she can use the small amount of training she did in the past to get the job and work there until something better comes along. But at the interview she soon learns that it isn’t a luxury day spa but in fact a VIP escort service for men who either don’t have the time or the patience to find a women to take care of his needs. She quickly gets away but takes the business card offered if she changes her mind.

Determined to never lower herself to that level Sage continues her search but when she loses her current job and has to resort to stealing hotel buffet food and using café Wi-Fi to job search that business card is looking pretty tempting. With no other options Sage accepts the job, comforted by the fact she’ll only ever be with one man until he no longer requires the service – she can almost pretend she’s having a casual affair with the guy…except he’s paying her.

Jackson Stone is a man who always gets his way. With little time for anything apart from his business empire he only ever wants a woman for one thing but they never seem to understand the word ‘casual’ or ‘no-strings’ and are always asking for more. Sick of dealing with women who can’t understand ‘No’ he turns to his friend Victoria who runs a VIP escort service asking for one of her girls…someone different to his normal tastes, someone who can give him what he wants.

When Sage turns up to his hotel room introducing herself as Meadow, looking like she wants to be anywhere but there he soon catches on to the fact that this is new to her. Not wanting to deal with her emotional needs he’s quick to turn her away but Sage, determined get this money and fix her life, won’t take no for answer.

After a horrible night Sage returns home feeling sick to her stomach at what she’s become but at least he’ll never know her identity with Victoria’s no-real-name rule and she’ll only ever have to be with Jackson – even if he is a dick.

They continue to see one another, constantly going head-to-head in power struggles – Sage telling him no and pushing him away but Jackson always ready to throw her contract in her face and remind her of her place.

But as time passes and they get to know each other their relationship becomes about much more than sex and a contract. The time they spend together starts to feel more and more intimate and a relationship starts to form – despite both of their concerns.

When they decide to give it a go and be with one another because they want to be, not because of a contract, things seem to be going well but when Jackson makes a false assumption and Sage runs, will he be able to get her back when he realises what he’s done?

I have to say that Jackson Stone isn’t an easy character to like, in the beginning at least. The way he treats Sage and constantly throws the fact she’s basically a whore in her face the whole time isn’t nice and you can’t help but feel for Sage when he’s stood their belittling her. But by the end of the book you kind of understand why he did it and in a twisted kind of way you do end up loving him too – especially his alpha, protective streak over Sage.

What I really liked about this book was the ending. As opposed to it just being left with a chapter of epilogue that tells you what happens quite quickly, you instead get a few chapters set in the future that show where the characters are now and how they’ve grown – yay!

An unconventional love story between a guy who doesn’t want to let in someone else who could leave him and a girl whose frightened that she will never be good enough for anyone’s love after a lifetime of being told she’s worthless.

Contractual is one HOT read with a reluctant escort and a man used to getting his way – sparks will fly, power struggles will ensue but at the end of the day will they both come out on top?

Read Contractual for yourself here…

AMAZON US / UK

About Alice Tribue

Alice Tribue lives with her husband and daughter in New Jersey. She has a bachelors degree in communications and is currently working on her masters degree. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, and when the weather permits lounging out on a beach.

Connect With Alice

GOODREADS

WEBSITE

 

For your chance to win a signed paperback of Contractual, 5 ebooks and a $10 Amazon Gift Card enter THIS giveaway!

Unwritten by Melody Grace

Book 7 in the Beachwood Bay series Unwritten by Melody Grace can be read as a standalone – which is exactly what I did and I still loved it 😉 Be sure to check out the excerpt at the end of the post!

Synopsis

He’s my best friend’s brother – and the only boy I’ve ever loved. Movie star, manwhore, and totally off-limits.

Until now.

I told myself it was time to move on, until one epic night changed everything. Now there’s no denying the way I feel when he touches me, or the reckless desire in his eyes.

Once we cross that line, there’s no going back. But can I risk it all for him when he’s still hiding secrets of his own?

Some love stories are destiny. Ours is still unwritten.

Review

This is my first book by Melody Grace and it won’t be my last. Unwritten is the 7th book in the Beachwood Bay series – each book centres around a different couple so they can be read as a standalone, as I have with this edition.

Zoey has been in love with Blake Callahan since the day she met him. Having grown up together she’s seen him grow into all of his perfection….and he’s seen her at her most awkward. Her feelings for him have always gone unnoticed and kept securely to herself. Not only does Blake see her as another little sister, but her bestfriend Tegan, the only person she’d ever want to share her feelings with, happens to be his actual little sister and therefore can never know the depth of her feelings.

Fed up of her honorary sister title she takes a job in Paris determined to learn how to become a mature, seductive young woman Blake won’t be able to ignore. Having spent her time in Europe growing in confidence she finally returns for New Year’s Eve to put her new skills to the test.

Having found Blake minutes before midnight, she surprises him at a party they’ve both attended and shocks him with her new look. Gathering her courage she does the one thing she’s never had the balls to do before – she kisses him. Well into the New Year as well. And more importantly, he kisses her back.

Now she knows he wants her too, her determination to finally be with him doubles and she leaves the party fully intending to not return to Paris. Having always been afraid of what Tegan would say she decides Blake is worth the risk and sets her plan in motion.

A few weeks later she’s landed herself a job as an assistant on a film set at Beachwood Bay. A film Blake just so happens to be starring in. Surprised to see her there, Blake wonders what to make of this new Zoey – how had he never noticed her before?

It’s from here that the games begin with Zoey pushing Blake to admit his feelings and Blake running away from situation she’s creating. But beneath it all there’s a passion neither of them can deny and when Blake finally gives in it makes for an explosive read.

Zoey is finally living out all her fantasies but why does it feel like Blake is holding back? Blake has always dreamed about being a big Hollywood Star – the applause, stardom and spotlight being all he’s ever wanted. When his career takes an unexpected turn and imposes on their relationship will Blake choose Zoey or continue to run away from her in favour of fame and fortune?

Unwritten is a classic forbidden romance which I easily devoured in one sitting. With one very frustrating, yet incredibly hot, leading man and a ballsy, leading lady determined to get what she wants, this book is not short of passion and drama. Zoey’s determination was definitely admirable – to do some of the stuff she does takes balls that’s for sure!

Melody Grace writes with a fluidity which keeps you hooked until the last page. A sweet romance filled with passion and drama Unwritten is one entertaining read not to be missed.

 

Read Unwritten for yourself…

AMAZON US / UK

iBOOKS

Excerpt 

I only have one New Year’s resolution, and it’s the same I’ve had for six years now:

Make Blake Callahan fall madly, deeply, and uncontrollably in love with me.

            Every year, I write it in big block letters on the first page of my new journal, and every year, I finish out December with those some words still taunting me. But not this time. This year, I’ve decided, I’m really going to make it happen.

            “Happy New Year!”

            Noise floods through my thoughts.The party is in full swing around me, hundreds of people crammed into the amazing beachfront mansion. Music plays so loud I can feel it in my chest, and everywhere I look, people are flirting and laughing, getting ready for that midnight kiss.

            I check my phone. Just a few minutes to midnight. My heart beats faster. If I’m going to do this, I need to do it now. I can see Blake out on the deck, looking illegally hot in a vintage white T-shirt and jeans that deserve an award for their services to womankind. I haven’t seen him in a couple of years, but clearly, he only gets more devastating with age. It’s the reason he’s tipped as the hot new Hollywood star, about to break out in his first big movie role. But to me, he’ll always be plain old Blake Callahan: my first love, my unrequited crush.

My best friend’s older brother.

            I’ve always been too scared to cross that line, but tonight is different. Tonight, everything changes. I take a deep breath, slide the doors open, and step outside.

            “Hello, stranger.” My voice comes, sounding flirty and bold. Good start.

            Blake turns, and I swear, his jaw drops. I feel another tremor of nerves, but they melt away when I recognize the familiar look in his eyes, the one I’ve seen from plenty of guys since my transformation, but never from him.

            Desire.

            He blinks at me in disbelief.

            “Zoey?” he says, sounding uncertain. “Holy shit, what happened to you?”

            Play it cool, I remind myself. Easy, breezy, like he’s been the last thing on your mind.

            I arch an eyebrow. “Good to see you too.”

            I sashay over and lean in to kiss him on both cheeks, the way I learned in Europe. I leave a smudge of scarlet on his skin, so I reach up and wipe it away. He looks confused. “Sorry, Paris,” I explain, kicking myself for the familiar gesture.

            “Uh, hey,” Blake recovers. “Welcome back. Is it just a vacation visit?”

            “It depends,” I say.

            “Uh, depends on what?” Blake asks. His gaze drifts down my body, all the way to my peep-toe sandals, the ones that usually make me feel invincible. But now, I feel stripped naked under his blue eyes, my heart beating so loudly in my chest I swear he can hear it over the muffled sound of the music inside.

            You.    

            I bite back the truth. “You’ll see,” I answer cryptically instead. “But, yes, I’m back.”

            “Tegan will be happy, I know she missed you,” Blake smiles.

            “Me too.” I try to relax. This is Blake, I remind myself. Not some stranger. I know him. “I missed all of you guys,” I add, thinking of the whole Callahan family: Tegan, and their two other brothers too. “Europe is a long way from home.”

            I take the spot beside him and lean out to watch the dark shadow of the ocean play along the distant shore. “So what’s your resolution?” I ask, trying to sound flirty.

“I guess… Make some great movies this year,” he smiles. “Not screw up and wind up waiting tables again to make a living.”

            I laugh. “No way. We all knew you had the talent, it just took the world a little while to catch on.”

            “You haven’t seen me act,” Blake retorts, teasing.

            “Sure I have,” I remind him. “I remember a certain show you did one Christmas…”

            “No!” Blake bursts out laughing. “God, why would you remind me about that?”

            “Come on,” I tease him, “you were the hunkiest Ebenezer Scrooge that Santa Monica ever saw.” He dressed up as a surfer Scrooge and played scenes on the promenade for fifty bucks. His brothers never shut up about it; we teased him all year.

            “Please tell me you don’t have photos, the tabloids would go crazy,” he groans.

            “Your secret is safe with me.”

“I knew I could count on you.” Blake smiles, and I’m hit all over again with the force of him: that chiseled, handsome face, the smile, those magnetic blue eyes that always belonged on a movie screen. I feel the same flip in my stomach I felt the day we first met; time and distance have done nothing to lessen his effect on me.

            I think I see something shift in his expression, a glimpse of desire, but it must be wishful thinking, because he turns away.

            You better get back inside,” he says shortly. “You’ll miss the party.”

            Disappointment crashes over me.

            I turn and slowly walk away, feeling like a fool. All my plans are for nothing; I tried and struck out again.

            But did you really try? A small voice nudges me. Didnt you promise to give it your best shot?

            I gulp, then before I know what I’m doing, I whirl around and stride back to him. I put my hand on his arm, and pull him around to face me.

            “It’s the New Year,” I say stubbornly, my heart racing.

            “Not for another ten seconds.” Blake looks confused. They’re counting down inside, chanting the numbers.

            Time is running out.

            “Then I guess we’ll have to pass the time.” I take a deep breath, gathering all my courage, and then I reach up on my tiptoes and press my lips against his.

            “Nine! Eight! Seven!…”

            The voices fade away as I fall into the kiss. Blake’s mouth is warm, and I can taste the bourbon on his lips, feel the faint scrape of stubble on his jaw.

            This is it. I’m finally kissing him.

            But then I realize, Blake is frozen in place. He’s not kissing me back—but he hasn’t pulled away either.

            I loop my arms determinedly around his neck and pull his body down against mine. As if it was the signal he was waiting for, Blake suddenly sweeps me into his arms. He spins me around, pushing me back against the railings as he kisses me hard and deep, and I come undone.

            God… This is what I dreamed about, all those years of innocent fantasy. I must have played this moment a hundred times over in my mind, but nothing is as sweet as the feel of his lips claiming mine, the heat and desire blazing to life throughout my whole body.

            He eases my lips apart and sinks his tongue deep into my mouth. I moan against him, arching up to press closer against his body. I can feel the taut muscle through his clothes, the gorgeous planes of his shoulders and back. His hands slide over my body, cupping my ass and molding me to him, until there’s not an inch of space between us. And all the while, his mouth is driving me crazy, teasing and demanding, his tongue sliding hotly against mine, igniting a fire in my bloodstream that spirals low between my thighs.

            The sound of fireworks cuts through the haze. I pull away, breathless. Bursts of glitter and stardust light up across the bay, and there’s the sound of cheering inside. For a moment, I feel like the universe is celebrating our kiss, then I realize we kissed our way into the New Year.

            Elation crashes through me. He kissed me back. I wanted a sign, and here it is: big neon letters saying “He wants you too.”

             “That’s decided then,” I murmur to myself. Blake is standing there, looking shell-shocked. I smile. “Happy New Year.”

            I turn on my heel, and quickly duck back into the house before I can ruin the moment. But just as quickly, my joy fades. Because now that I know there’s something between us, my feelings aren’t so safe anymore.

            Loving him could destroy my friendships, my sense of family—everything that’s important to me in the world. Once we cross that line, there’s no going back.

                So do I take that risk?

About Melody Grace

Melody Grace is the New York Times bestselling author of the Beachwood Bay series. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach lover, after spending her life with her nose in a book, she decided it was time she wrote one herself. She loves steamy romance novels, happily-ever-afters, and lusting after fictional menfolk. She lives in LA with her two kittens, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers.

Connect With Melody

WEBSITE