Excerpt Reveal ~ Fearless by Carly Phillips

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From Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a powerful new story of love, hope and redemption, of finding light in the darkest places.

Fearless, an all- new emotional standalone by Carly Phillips is coming March 20!


Fall in love with the Wards…

Mechanic and garage owner, Kane Harmon is used to the wealthy beautiful women visiting his beach town. He doesn’t get involved because he knows most females would merely be slumming for the summer.

Except Halley Ward isn’t just passing through. She lives a solitary life in a bungalow on the beach. A woman tormented by her past, distant from her wealthy family, different from Kane’s usual fare of town girls who know his M.O.- Don’t expect more than he’s willing to give.

Kane rescues Halley and her broken down car from the side of the road and instantly he’s hooked. She says she’s not interested in him. He knows she lies. And he makes it his mission to bring her back to life, to return her emotionally to her family. To show her the colors around her were as vibrant as the ones she puts on her canvas.

Until past meets present and threatens all the progress they’ve made. Then it’s Halley’s turn to step up and stand up for the relationship and life she’s finally coming to believe she deserves


He nipped at her lip one last time, swiped his tongue over her in a soothing motion before pulling back and gazing into her eyes.

“So much better than I fucking imagined,” he said in a gruff voice.

She let out a hesitant laugh as reality drifted back and settled on her shoulders. “Kane…”

“No regrets,” he warned her.

She shook her head. “I don’t. I can’t regret that kiss. But you need to know, I’m not a good bet for a relationship.”

He narrowed his gaze, that heady stare still hot on hers. “What makes you say that?”

She swallowed hard. “I’m different. You know that about me. I like being alone. I work hard, get lost in my paintings. I forget what time it is. Sometimes I don’t pay attention to days and nights. I spend more time alone than with people and most guys don’t want a girl they can’t take out with their friends because she doesn’t like big crowds.” There. She’d said it all, put her truths out there for him to hear.

Not all of her truths, of course. There were some she didn’t drag into the light of day. Ever. She didn’t even allow them in her nightmares if she could help it. The problem was, sometimes she couldn’t control her dreams. She wished she could.

“And?” he asked, as if what she’d said meant nothing.

“I’ve had unsuccessful relationships. And do you want to know why they were unsuccessful? Because I’m odd,” she said before he could answer. “And they got frustrated with me and broke things off. So I don’t do relationships anymore. I don’t like disappointing people and I don’t like being hurt when things inevitably end.”


She opened her eyes wide. “That’s all you have to say? Hmm?”

An understanding smile curved his lips. “You’re forgetting that I know you and I like what I see. I’m not looking to change you. And I’m not looking to force you into a relationship you don’t want.”

She blinked and braced herself up with a hand on the sand. “You aren’t?”

He shook his head. “I like you. I like spending time with you. And yeah, I like kissing you. A fuck of a lot. And I plan to do it more often. But trap you in a relationship if that’s not what you want?” He shook his head. “Not happening.”

She swiped her tongue over her kiss-roughened lips. “I don’t know what to say.” Nor did she know what to make of his proclamation and easy acceptance.

“I like you and you like me, yes?”

She nodded.

“And the kiss, it was good?” he asked, stroking a hand down her cheek and eliciting a shiver that went straight to her already erect and aware nipples and down to her sex.

“Yes,” she murmured.

“Then let’s not overanalyze or examine what this is or isn’t. My life is crazy what with the garage, my father, my nephew who hangs around every day… and now a side gig that I definitely enjoy.” He gestured back to her deck. “No need to label and complicate things.”

She was surprised to hear him be so nonchalant. With his pursuit of a date and him showing up here to build her deck in his limited spare time, she definitely thought he wanted something serious.

If he didn’t, if he could accept who she was and what she could give, then she didn’t see an issue with letting things be and taking it one day at a time.

“So are we on the same page?” he asked, his lips brushing over hers. “We have fun? We enjoy each other? And we don’t put pressure on either one of us with expectations?”

“Agreed,” she said, wondering why her stomach tumbled over the idea that he didn’t want her for anything more than just a good time. He’d given her exactly what she’d asked for.


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Meet Carly Phillips:

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.


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Read an excerpt from Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn! You don’t want to miss this book!



I don’t know what love is anymore.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark.

You know the kind of spark I’m talking about?

Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark.

Except I haven’t felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem–but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right?

That’s how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase.

It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I’m a pro. I can handle this.

Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I’m doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don’t think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.






Crystal-blue ocean shines below me, and if I wasn’t so scared of Zoey and her repercussions for being late, I would take the time to appreciate Mother Nature. Instead I hurry into my room, flop my suitcase on my bed, unzip it, and grab my toiletries.

Not taking a second longer, I strip down, leaving my gross airplane clothes on the floor, and practically skip to the shower where I stop mid stride.

In the shower stall is a black razor, with accompanying shaving cream. That’s odd. Is that courtesy of the hotel? This place is fancy, but not that fancy. Spinning on my heel, I turn toward the sink behind me and spot a white and green toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, and men’s cologne. Shit, turning toward the room, my eyes frantically roam the space, spotting a black suitcase in the corner.

Shit, shit, shit.

Naked, I cover my breasts with my arm and open the closet door only to come face to face with a few hung-up shirts.

Yup . . . I’m in someone else’s fucking room.

And whoever this room belongs to is the neatest person ever because who honestly lines up there toothbrush and toothpaste tube perfectly on the counter?

Reaching for the phone, I call down to the front desk.

“Mr. Wilder, how can we assist you?” Oh yeah, totally not in the correct room.

“Uh, yeah, hi, this is Rylee Ryan. I just checked in. I was given the key to room 625 and it seems to be occupied.”

“Oh dear, let me check.” There is a pause on the phone and then the lady comes on the line again. “I’m terribly sorry, Miss. Ryan. We have you in room 626. Would you like to come down here and grab a new key?”

Is she kidding? The trek it took to get over here ate up enough of my time. I can’t possibly take a shower if I have to run back to the lobby, grab a key, and run all the way back here.

“Would you mind bringing it to room 625? I have dinner plans and have to get changed.”

“Oh, of course. I’ll send someone up with a key right away.”

“Thank you.”

I hop around naked, eyeing my pukey clothes on the floor and the shower in the other room. Twisting my lip to the side, I try to decide what to do. I can be super quick, like really fucking quick. I just need to scrub the puke and throw on a dress, simple. Two minutes tops. The water doesn’t even have to be warm. I’ll write a polite note to Mr. Wilder—whoever that is—leave him five dollars as a kind gesture and quietly leave. No problem with that. Right?


Turning on the shower, I hop in before the water can warm up and hiss from the frosty temperature. I douse soap all over my hands and scrub my neck and body vigorously first, which normally I would wash my hair first but . . . puke. Once I’m satisfied with the amount of scrubbing, I wash my hair, condition it in a minute, do one more soap scrubbing all over my body before rinsing and turning the shower off. Two minutes.

Just in case Mr. Wilder is sitting outside the bathroom, I peek my head out the door, towel wrapped around my body, and call out, “Hello?”

When there is no response, I check that the coast is clear then strut to my suitcase and find a simple black sundress. Not bothering to look for underwear or a bra—I really don’t need one with my perky B-cups—I lay out my dress and dry off.

Hopefully Mr. Wilder doesn’t mind me using one of his towels or his room for that matter. He’s probably some old dude away on his golfing vacation. I hope I don’t give him a heart attack.

I drape my towel over the bed and run my hands through my naturally wavy, black hair. This will have to do. Picking up my towel one more time, I scrunch my hair, trying to soak up all the water just as the hotel door swings open, light blaring through, a tall, dark silhouette shadowed in the doorframe.

I still, frozen from the tips of my toes to the hand scrunching a towel in my hair.

Toned calves and legs are covered by black board shorts, slick to his thighs, a bulge prominent. Narrow waist where his board shorts ride low on his hips, a black shirt dancing across his broad chest, cinching sleeves cuffed over his biceps, and a V-neck providing a glimpse of how far his tan extends. Head cast down, eyes transfixed on his phone in front of him, he doesn’t notice the naked girl standing in the middle of his hotel room. He stuffs his keycard in his back pocket and looks up, startled.

I scream.

He grumbles something unintelligible as I point out the obvious. “Ahhh, my boobs are naked!” It might be a little concerning that I consider my boobs to be the only things naked at this point.

As quickly as I can, I cover my body, towel making a poor attempt to hide my girly bits.

The man turns away, covering his eyes with his arm while muttering, “Oh shit.”

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I ask, struggling with my towel. I know damn well the man in front of me must be Mr. Wilder, and this is in fact his room, and I’m the one intruding, but I still feel the need to place the blame on him for walking in on me naked.

“Grabbing my sunglasses,” he says, his voice terrified but also deep and rumbly. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Still trying to cover myself, I scramble to grab my dress and back up to the bathroom. “Washing my neck,” I answer, nervously, boobs swaying with my erratic movements.

Eyes still covered, he keeps his back toward me but straightens up. “Washing your neck? Is that code for some kind of weird Key West thing?”

I back into the bathroom and make quick attempt of putting my dress over my head and righting it so everything is covered up. Hair still damp as well as my body, I step out into the room and clear my throat, dress sticking to my damp skin. “No, it’s not code for anything. I really had to wash my neck.”

“And you chose my room to do that in, because . . .”

Bending down, I shove my dirty clothes in my bag and zip up, giving Mr. Wilder the heads-up that I’m dressed. At least he’s a gentleman . . .

When he turns around, he eyes me up and down, his gaze curious and heated when he sees just how hard my nipples are from the cold shower . . . and the unexpected peep show.

“I didn’t choose your room to take a shower in.” I move my suitcase to the floor and pull up the handle. “The hotel gave me the key to this room by mistake, and since I had puke on my neck from the airplane—long story—I decided to take a quick shower while I waited for my room. I apologize for taking up your space, but I think we’re skipping an important detail here.” I cock my hand on my hip. “You saw me naked.”

“No, I didn’t,” he retorts rather quickly, despite the slow grin that spreads across his face.

I’m calling bullshit. “You totally saw my boobs.”

“I really didn’t. Your scream scared the shit out of me. I didn’t have enough time to see anything before you covered up.”

Eyeing him suspiciously, I ask, “You promise you didn’t see anything?”


Hmm. “Okay, because being hotel neighbors and all, that would be extremely awkward if you saw me naked.”

“Good thing I didn’t then.” He rocks back on his heels, hands in his pockets, unsure of what to do. Finally he reaches out to the desk next to him and holds up his black Ray Bans. “Just needed my sunglasses.”





Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Read an excerpt from White Knight by CD Reiss! Releasing March 6th


White Knight an All-new romantic standalone from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss is coming March 6th!


Catherine’s long-lost love is found.

Catherine Barrington is a rich girl. Chris Cartwright is a poor boy.

He left her to make something of himself. A man she could be proud of. A man she could bring home to her parents. A man she could marry.

On the trading floor he became the man he knew he could be. Now, it’s time to return.

Rich girl.

Poor boy.

She didn’t care about his money, but he didn’t believe her. Soon after he left, all the money was gone.

Her life is hell.

Now he’s back, and he’s different. Pristine. Gorgeous. Rich.

Rich boy.

Poor girl.

Money was never the barrier, until now.


White Knight is a standalone in the same world as King of Code, with its own beginning, middle, and end. You don’t need to read anything else to read White Knight.


Leaning on the bleachers, Chris cracked peanuts between his teeth and spit the shells. I hadn’t seen him in days and it seemed like years. Every time I saw the kick of his hips and the way his lips stretched across his teeth when he smiled, it seemed like the first time.

I watched him.

He watched me.

School started the next day. We’d go back into our different worlds. Would we meet again? Would we see each other at all? We’d grappled with the question by avoiding it.

A waft of smoke from the grills came between us.

We were alone. Surrounded by people, we were alone.

He pitched his peanut bag in the trash and washed it back with a bottle of off-brand cola. When he finished, he sucked in his bottom lip to catch an errant drop.

He tossed the bottle up. It spun in the air, and with a tap of his knuckle on its way down, he sent it into the trash.

I stepped toward him, and he stepped back. Not away. He stepped back toward something, flicking his finger that I should follow.

Easiest decision I’d ever made. It was barely even a decision.

I glanced around for Mom and Dad. They were in the gazebo with Badger, the new mayor, and his staff. Harper and the kids played with the puppies while Johnny and his wife watched. Lance jaunted around the perimeter, peeing on poles whenever he could, nipping back any sibling who got too big for their britches, ever the alpha.

I tilted directions slightly toward the bathrooms, then once past the bleachers, I saw Chris peeking from an alley between the hardware store and the library. I picked up my skirt and ran toward him, cutting the corner so hard I lost my balance. Out of nowhere, his hand was on my arm, keeping me from falling over.

Finger to lips, he led me to a black iron door. He clinked through his keys and opened it, stepping out of the way so I could pass through. We were in an office.

He closed the door with a loud clap, leaving the window as the only light.


I barely got out the S before his lips kissed his name away. He put his hands on my jaw, keeping it still so he could invade my mouth. It felt good to give it to him. My body lost all its strength, held up only by the electrical currents between us.

“Catherine,” he said in a breath, keeping his lips an inch from my face as he spoke.

“Where are we?”

“Back of the hardware store. I open on Thursdays.”

“What are we going to do? I’m scared.”

“Of me?”

“Of not seeing you anymore.”

“I’ll find you.”

I clutched his shirt as if I’d be swept away without him. “I don’t fit in anywhere. Harper is so smart she tolerates me. The only time I feel right, like I’m part of something, like I belong, is when I’m with you.”

“One more year. Then you can go to college and I’ll come after. We’ll be so far away, we’ll forget our names. When people ask where we’re from, we won’t even know.”

“I don’t know if we’ll make it a year. I feel like they see us. Even now.”

I must have been shaking, because he put his arms around me so tightly it hurt. I loved the pain of his attention. It was the pain of safety, of care, of being broken just enough for release.

“Harder,” I said into his shoulder.

He squeezed me so tightly I could just barely breathe, and the tension rolled off me like water.

He let his arms go slack enough to look me in the face. “We’ll make it. Then I’ll follow you anywhere. I’ll be your puppy dog.”

“Oh, Chris, don’t be silly.”

“Don’t deny me. I’m yours.” He said the last word with a gusto I’d never associated with myself. As if life was something to grab with both hands and free like a bird that could carry us into the sky.

Together, we were freedom.

The bird launched from my chest and flew to my lips when we kissed again. Not a kiss of relief this time, but a kiss of passion. Ours was a kiss that began a string of thoughtless acts.

His hands slid down my body, grazing my breasts, landing at my waist. I felt the hardness under his jeans. I should have been scared, or freaked out, or ashamed, but I wasn’t. I was free.

He broke the kiss and stroked my bottom lip with his thumb. “Should we go back?”

“No.” I took his wrist and put his hand on the triangle below my belly.

He gasped and his lashes fluttered. Seeing that he liked it sent my body to the edge of common sense. This was crazy and I didn’t care. Being the good girl hurt, and this felt good.

“My parents have to stay at the barbecue,” I said. “That’s their job.”

He hesitated. Swallowed hard. Pinched a bit of my skirt fabric.

I nodded.

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About CD

CDReissCD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.

She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

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Read an excerpt from Hot Daddy by Lila Monroe! Releasing April 2nd!


Welcome to the Billionaire Bachelors series, where the sexiest men in the city are about to meet their match…

Playboy CEO, Cal McAdams, lives life in the fast lane: hot women, hotter deals, and… a fake fiancee? I signed on to help reform his reckless image and win custody of his god-children, but I wasn’t expecting to come face-to-face (and mouth-to-mouth) with my wild Vegas hook-up from three years ago.

AKA, 6”3 of tanned muscle, sharp suits, and ‘undress me’ eyes.
AAKA, the best thigh-clenching, bed-shaking sex of my life.
AAAKA, the man who couldn’t be more off-limits if he had a uranium belt wrapped around his, um, assets.

I’ve never been one to break the rules, but Cal has me wanting to rip them up – and roll around naked on the scrap paper. But with just three weeks to turn this bachelor into a DILF, can we keep our crazy chemistry from derailing his plans? Or will gold-digging relatives, rambunctious pre-teens, and a little thing called love leave us both crashed out of the race?

Find out in the new sexy, hilarious romantic comedy from Lila Monroe!



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I’ve been stranded at the hotel bar in Vegas alone for exactly twenty seconds before a guy sidles in beside me. “Buy you a drink?”

I glance up. He’s at least twenty years my senior, with pleated khakis and an obvious comb-over. I shake my head and smile tightly. “Got one, thanks.”

“Aw, come on now,” he says, plunking himself down in the empty seat beside me. “You in town for the conference?” Then, in spite of the fact that I haven’t asked: “Medical devices.”

His name is Greg, he continues; he sells surgical equipment and has a hundred dollar per diem he hasn’t blown through yet today, if I want to rethink that drink offer. “I’ll spring for nachos too,” he says magnanimously. “I’m a generous guy.”

I’m sweeping the room for the closest exit, contemplating an escape worthy of Danny Ocean himself, when a hand lands on the back of my barstool. “Hey babe,” a deep voice says casually. “Making friends?”

I whip around. This guy would look right at home with Clooney and Pitt. He’s tall and dark-haired, wearing a shirt rolled halfway to his elbows and an expression that clearly says, just go with it. “I got my ass beat at roulette,” he continues with a sheepish grin. “There goes private school for the kids, right?” He sticks his hand out to medical device guy. “Cal. The husband.”

I almost choke on my paloma. Still, something about the sheer ballsiness of this particular play–and, okay, how hot this guy is–has me playing along. “Hey hon,” I say, laying a hand on his pleasantly solid bicep. “Greg here was just telling me all about the free swag at the medical device conference in town.”

Greg’s gaze darts from me to Cal, then back again. “I guess I’ll leave y’all to it, then.”

“Good to meet you,” I lie, smiling my cheeriest smile.

Once he’s gone I turn to Cal. “So, on a scale of like, one to Disney Princess, how badly did I look like I needed rescuing?”

Cal tilts his head to the side, considering. “I mean, your undisguised expression of misery kind of gave it away.”

“Maybe that’s just how my face is!” I protest, laughing in spite of myself. “Resting miserable face.”

“Eh. Maybe.” Cal shrugs, all confidence as he settles himself onto Greg’s recently vacated barstool. “You don’t look so miserable now.”

Right away I feel my cheeks flush. It’s been a long time since I flirted—or, more accurately, since I was competently flirted with. “So how many kids do we have, exactly?”

“Not too many,” he reassures me, nodding at the bartender for another beer. “Like six or seven, max.”

“Six or seven!” I snort. “And here you are just gambling their lunch money away like some kind of degenerate.”

Cal nods gravely. “I’m a real scoundrel,” he agrees.

“Clearly.” I stick my hand out. “Jules Robinson.”

“Nice to meet you, Jules Robinson.” He gives good handshake, firm but not bone-crushing, all long fingers and the faintest scrape of callus on his palm. His eyes are a deep, friendly brown. “So what brings you to Vegas?” he asks.

“I’m with a girlfriend,” I explain. “Or I was, anyway. At the moment she’s out on an… exploratory mission.”

Cal grins. “Sounds exhilarating.”

“Oh, I’m sure it is,” I assure him. “What about you? What are you doing in town?”

“Auditioning for Thunder from Down Under,” he says immediately. Then, off my laugh: ”Callback, actually. I aced the first round, they couldn’t get enough of me.”

“Right, no, obviously.” The ads for the all-male revue were plastered all over the strip when we got here this afternoon: beefy, longhaired guys in bow ties, cummerbunds, and not much else. “So what’s your character?” I ask, rattling the ice in my mostly-empty glass. “Sexy fireman, sexy cop…?”

“Sexy medical device salesman,” he deadpans. “See, you’re laughing, but I have a whole bit I do with the x-ray machine. It’s a real crowd pleaser.”

Casino bars don’t ever really empty out, but this one is taking on a distinct after-hours vibe, low light and quiet conversations; the Bud-guzzling bachelor party bros are long gone. When I finally check my phone to see if Kelly’s texted—she has, she’s safe, and she’s having a truly epic time with her mountain man—I realize it’s after one. “Holy shit,” I blurt. “How’d it get to be so late?”

Cal raises his eyebrows. “Keeping you up?”

“What? No!” I blurt, immediately embarrassed by how eager I sound. “We just had an early flight out this morning, that’s all. I’ve been up for like twenty hours.”

“I’m teasing you, princess.” He smiles at me then, slow and easy. It’s the most intimate smile of my entire life. It’s a smile like sitting in front of a campfire in October and reading the paper in bed on Sunday morning; it’s a smile, frankly, like getting good and fucked by a man who knows you down to your most essential particles. “You wanna get out of here?” he asks.

I knew it was coming but still there’s something bracingly scandalous about the idea, being propositioned by a total stranger. I’m imagining it now, I can’t help it: that broad chest pressed against mine and his capable-looking mouth on my neck, long fingers reaching down between my legs and—

“Tempting,” I tell him truthfully, laying a palm against my flaming face. “But I probably shouldn’t.”

To his credit Cal keeps smiling, a little rueful; he doesn’t try to convince me, either, just touches my arm and catches the bartender’s eye to settle up. “Fair enough,” he tells me, pulling his wallet out of his back pocket. “Well, it was really nice to be married to you for five minutes, Jules Robinson.”

“Yeah,” I agree, feeling my whole body get warm. “It was nice to be married to you for five minutes, too.”

I’m surprised by the sharp pang of longing behind my ribs as I watch him go a moment later, the strange sense that I’ve somehow given up more than just a roll in starchy white hotel sheets. Still, it’s not like I’m about to just get up and follow him out of here. He probably does this every night, sure. But I’ve never had a one night stand in my entire life.

I’ve never had a one-night stand in my entire life.

The thought stops me—after all, I’m a grown-ass woman with a newly minted law degree, aren’t I? I’ve got nobody to answer to but myself. And this is Vegas. What happens here, et cetera. I swallow down the rest of my tequila, set the glass back down on the bar. “Hey Cal!” I call, slinging my purse over my shoulder and hopping down off my barstool as quickly as my tiny dress allows. “Wait up.”





VERY IRRESISTIBLE PLAYBOY (Billionaire Bachelors #1) – available now.

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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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Read an excerpt from Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward!






From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.


Growing up, the three of us were friends.

He was the nerd.

I was the playboy.

She was the beauty.


Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.

He lied.


I went off to college, and he got the girl.

Amber never knew how I felt.

They were together for years—before he broke her heart.


Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.

When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.


Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.

One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.

Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.

Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.

She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend— me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)

Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel.

When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she got the surprise of her life to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.





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Is that what your friends call you? I like that. Thanks for the answers.

That’s an interesting question—why tonight of all nights? Well, I saw my ex tagged on Facebook with another woman, and that put me over the edge. But it’s more than that. Lately, I’ve developed a strong attraction to a good friend of mine, and that’s sort of screwing with me a bit. He’s actually temporarily living in my condo, but he’s someone I’ve known for years. I’ve always thought he was extremely handsome, but it’s complicated. He and I would not be a good match romantically. He’s not the monogamous type, or at least, he never used to be. We’re better off as friends. He was also the best friend of my ex years back, so there’s that. Having him around, though, has made me more sensitized to my sexual desires. Little things like the waft of his scent, the way he touches the small of my back when he passes by me in the kitchen…it’s like my body is on this constant state of alert. So, I was thinking if I could just—for lack of a better word—get laid, maybe I could get this feeling out of my system.




My jaw was open as I just sat there staring at the screen.

Holy shit.

I read it again.

And again.

And again.

I honestly didn’t think that Amber felt that way about me. She would always make jokes about me being good-looking, but her attraction to Rory proved that her taste wasn’t exactly conventional. Now, I really felt like shit for invading her privacy, because there was no way she would’ve been okay with confessing that to me. I never imagined any of this had to do with me. I’d assumed it was solely about Rory.

She wanted to use another man to f*ck me out of her system?

That revelation left me shocked and confused—not to mention hard as f*ck thinking about the fact that Amber wanted me.









Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a seventeen-time New York Times bestseller. Her novels are published in over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 13-year-old girl with autism and a 12-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Connect with Penelope Ward

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Other standalones from Penelope Ward:

Drunk Dial:

Mack Daddy:

Stepbrother Dearest:

Neighbor Dearest:


Dear Bridget, I Want You: (co-written with Vi Keeland)

Mister Moneybags: (co-written with Vi Keeland)

Playboy Pilot: (co-written with Vi Keeland)

Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)

Cocky Bastard: (co-written with Vi Keeland)

Sins of Sevin:

Jake Undone (Jake #1):

Jake Understood (Jake #2):

My Skylar



Excerpt Reveal ~ Up In Smoke by T. M. Frazier!


Up in Smoke, an all-new gritty standalone romance by T.M. Frazier is coming February 19th, 2018!

Smoke FULL COVER.jpg


I’m a man without a conscience.

I deal in murder and mayhem.

I’m the best at what I do.

Frankie Helburn is supposed to be an easy job.

A means to flush her father out of hiding.


Except there isn’t anything simple about Frankie or the secrets she’s keeping.

She’s stubborn as hell and the sexiest god damn thing I have ever seen, sending dark, dirty animalistic desire coursing through my veins.

She’s cocaine with legs. A f*cking addiction that makes me question things I’ve never questioned before. Want things I’ve never wanted before.

I might have her, but she isn’t mine to keep.

If her father doesn’t show his face, she will be mine.


** Other books in the King Series DO NOT have to be read to enjoy Smoke’s book. Up in Smoke can be read as a standalone. **


“All these bruises,” Smoke muses. “And not one of them caused by me.” He trails a hand up my arms and down my flat stomach. “Pity, but I still have time to leave my mark on you yet.”

My entire body stiffens. I’m as rigid as a corpse.

Smoke chuckles and I’m glad I’m facing away because his laugh is pure torture, causing his erection to vibrate against my folds which are aching for more contact.

“You will be punished, hellion. You can be sure of that.”

I look over my shoulder and meet his dark eyes which darken even further as his pupils dilate. His lingering gaze rakes me over from my feet to my breasts and back down to the space between my thighs. He licks his full bottom lip.

My stomach flips. My will to fight him off doesn’t waiver, but my body isn’t getting the message. My core clenches again. I turn back around to face the tile, digging my teeth into my lower lip until I taste my own blood.

His chest presses against my back, and his hardness pulses between my legs, rubbing against my inner thighs. He squirts some shampoo in his hand, working it into my hair. He tilts my head back and rinses my hair then slides his slick and soapy hand down my body.

I’m breathing rapidly now. Short quick breaths I can’t control. There’s a deep rumble in his throat. His hand travels lower and lower on my stomach until it’s between my legs. He’s working his thumb over my swollen nub, sending sparks of need, pangs of pleasure, and a wave of self-hatred, surging within my battered body and bruised soul.

“What…what are you doing?” I ask, seeing flashes of white hot lust behind my closed eyes.

“More questions…” his voice a hearty amused rasp. His fingers circle my clit while he continues to rock his hard cock between my legs. The pressure building is so strong it borders on painful.

Tears leak from my eyes. I’m so fucking mad at myself for being turned on. For Smoke being right. I’m so wet. He feels it. There’s no way he can’t feel it.

He leans in close. I’m stone still except for the tremors gripping my body. He licks the tear off my cheek and groans. He dips the tip of his finger inside of me and I tighten around the intrusion. It’s a foreign sensation. Strange. It feels both wrong and right. Pleasurable and painful. “Your tight little pussy is weeping too. I wonder if its tears taste the same.”

I look over my shoulder as he withdraws his finger and sucks it into his mouth. He groans. “Fear or desire. They both taste real fuckin’ good to me.”

He places his hand back between my legs. When I try to squeeze my thighs together to keep him out he parts them with his knee on a grunt and begins circling my clit again. This time harder. Faster.

I’m staying as still as I can, but when I feel something begin to happen inside my body. The sparks he ignited within me are all crashing together. I can’t hold back. My face scrunches as I try to fight the orgasm fighting its way out, but it’s no use. I can’t fight it. It’s too fucking strong. I’m so fucking close.

I arch my back without thinking, pressing my ass against him, begging for more. For what I need to push me over the edge.

Smoke hisses. “Oh, what I could do to this beautiful little pussy.”

The pleasure builds and builds as he strokes me harder. Faster. I’m about to come all over his fingers when the feeling is lost.

I spin around.

Smoke is gone.

I can’t see through the steam so I shut off the spray and wipe the water from my eyes only to see Smoke toweling off in front of the sink on the other side of the bathroom.

The only proof I have of what just happened between us was real is his cock. Erect. Thick. Huge. The purplish swollen head bobs against his abs, jutting out over the top of the towel he wraps around his waist.

“What…what just happened?” I stammer, leaning back against the wall for support.

Smoke steps forward, and when I go to jerk back, he reaches out and pinches my nipple painfully hard. I yelp and leap back, slipping on the tile, falling on my ass, taking the shower curtain down with me.

Smoke rips the curtain off my head and glares down at me with a triumphant grin on his evil beautiful face. “What just happened was called punishment and you got off easy. Next time I’ll split that tight pussy in two with my fucking cock.”

He goes to leave but stops. “You want pain?” he asks. “I’ll give it to you. You want pleasure? Now that’s something you’re gonna have to earn.”

He leaves, slamming the door behind him.

I release a shaky exhale.

I’d hoped the rest of my time with Smoke would be tolerable, but there’s no fucking way that’s going to happen. Not now. Not with my skin crawling with need. I’m losing my mind. About where I am. About what this is all about. About this beautiful horrible evil man.

I feel like I’ve already been split in two.

What Smoke is doing to me is far more than punishment.

It’s pure fucking torture.


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About the Author:

T.M.Frazier is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and her young daughter.

When she’s not writing she loves talking to her readers, country music, reading and traveling. Her debut novel, The Dark Light of Day was published in September of 2013 and when she started writing it she intended for it to be a light beachy romance.

Well…it has a beach in it!

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Read an excerpt from The Perfect Roommate by Minka Kent! You don’t want to miss it!






She’s my roommate.

I know how she takes her tea, how she organizes her closet.

I know when she goes to bed each night, what she eats for breakfast, the passcode on her phone.

I know she calls her mother on Mondays, takes barre on Thursdays, and meets her friends for drinks on Fridays.

But more important than any of that … I know what she did.


It’s a pretty little house with an ugly little address.
47 Magpie Drive.
What should have been an ordinary Sunday kicked off with an eviction notice on my door and ended with my belongings shoved into wrinkled grocery sacks and the neighbor’s stolen WiFi on my computer. With just minutes to spare, I managed to find the perfect place—one that didn’t require credit checks, a huge deposit, or a long lease.
With clammy palms stuck to the peeling steering wheel of my ’97 Civic, I stare through my cracked windshield at an adorable white-washed brick ranch nestled in the heart of a family-friendly neighborhood south of Meyer State’s picturesque campus.
I find it difficult to believe that a college student lives here, but her ad was posted on the Tiger Paw Portal and a quick reverse search of her email address in the student directory revealed her name to be Lauren Wiedenfeld, senior in English Lit.
Just like me.
In fact, I recognized her photo immediately, having taken a good handful of classes with her over the years. Shiny ash blonde hair. Dimpled smile. Crystalline eyes accented by thick, curled lashes. I couldn’t count how many times I’d seen her stare past me like I was invisible.
Just like everyone else.
Sniffing my shirt, I’m relieved to drag the scent of dollar store fabric softener into my lungs. I was in such a hurry on my way out, I wasn’t sure if the clothes I’d grabbed were from the clean basket or not.
I need this girl to like me. If she doesn’t? I’m not sure where I’ll go. Apartments in this town come at a premium, and if it weren’t for the fact that my car needed new tires and a new transmission this winter, I might still be holed up in my studio right now. Un-homeless.
Killing my engine, I shove the keys in my purse and check my reflection in the rearview.
At least I got to shower today. My hair is clean, my teeth are brushed, and my pits are slicked with two layers of store-brand deodorant. Plus, I don’t reek of stale alcohol—which is more than most students around here can say on the weekends.
My hands threaten to tremble as I climb out of my car, and I try not to slam the door—I don’t want to seem careless. The ground wobbles beneath my feet. If I were a super hero, social awkwardness would be my power. My entire life, I’ve struggled to get out of my head, constantly overanalyzing every little word or movement or shift of a gaze. I’ve learned it’s easier to sit back and shut up. I find I don’t make as much of a fool out of myself that way. Quietude has become the law of my land, with silence being my official language.
But I don’t have a choice today.
If I want Lauren to welcome me with open arms as her shiny new roommate, I have to plaster a smile on my face, see her bubbly personality, and raise her one of my own.
After rapping on the front door a moment later, I wait with my arms straight at my sides. Signature awkwardness. My heart knocks in my chest before whooshing in my ears, and warmth blooms in my cheeks.
I haven’t officially met her and already I’m blushing.
Inhaling a breath of frosty February air, I soften my expression, loosen my shoulders, and wrap my right hand around the worn leather strap of my purse. I’m not sure if this is what casual and confident looks like, but the sound of the door latch tells me I don’t have another second to try and figure it out.
“You must be Meadow?” I’m not sure what I was expecting, but Lauren is all smiles as she gets the door—as if she’s happy to see me. “Come in!”
The scent of soft gardenia emanates off a flickering boutique candle centered on her glass coffee table, and in the corner, the glow of diffused lamplight paints the room in a welcoming ambience. Her phone is docked on a set of speakers next to her TV, playing the kind of chill music I’d expect to hear in some upscale Manhattan bar.
“Have a seat wherever you’d like,” she says, lowering herself into a rattan chair covered in a faux fur throw. Lauren tucks her mile-long legs beneath her and adjusts her sweatshirt so it hangs just so, revealing a hint of her left shoulder. Her hair is piled on top of her head, and I’m convinced she’s one of only ten people on the planet who can make a messy mane look chic.
Glancing around before I settle in the middle of her gray linen sofa, I have to remind myself to talk. “Love your place. So cute.”
I can do this. I can be friendly even if I have to fake it. People like her don’t understand people like me—the quiet type. They think we’re weird. And no one wants to live with a weirdo.
Lauren’s face lights and she shrugs, almost as if the flattery makes her uncomfortable. “Thanks.”
“Is that your major? Interior design?” No way in hell I’m going to tell her I did a little research on her before I came here.
She shakes her head. “English lit. What about you?”
“Same.” I exhale, sinking into the cushions. She’s easier to talk to than I assumed she’d be. “I think we might have some classes together? I swear I’ve seen you in World Lit.”
Lauren laughs, rolling her eyes. “No kidding? I’m so oblivious most of the time.”
Of course.
That’s why she looked through me all those times …
I’m still not sure if I’m buying this cutesy, friendly shtick of hers because girls like her can be sickeningly fake when they want to be, but I’m willing to give her a shot if she’s willing to take a chance on me.
Besides, it’s not like I have any other options to fall back on.
“People probably think I’m some snob.” She waves her hand, endearing almost. “But I’m just in my own little world most of the time.”
I pride myself on my keen observational skills, something I’ve honed and polished to sheer perfection over the years … but I may have been wrong about this one.
“You thirsty?” Lauren rises from her chair, straightening her shirt and eyeing the doorway to her kitchen. Since she’s already up, I can’t exactly say no. “Fiji water? San Pellegrino? Tea? I’d offer you a glass of wine, but it’s only ten o’clock in the morning.”
I chuckle out of politeness, not because I think she’s funny. “Tap water is fine.”
Her expression falls, as if she’s unable to comprehend that my broke college student taste buds haven’t yet acquired the taste of artisanal water. “Meadow, the lead levels in the water here are off the charts. Haven’t you been following the news? It’s all they’re talking about anymore. And the city’s broke. No plans to do anything about it. I’m telling you, Bonnet Creek is going to be the next Flint, Michigan.”
She disappears around the corner before I get the chance to tell her that between working twenty-four, sometimes thirty hours a week cleaning houses and taking sixteen credits, I don’t exactly have time for late-breaking local news stories.
Lauren returns a moment later, a square bottle of luxury water in one hand and a floral printed paper napkin in the other. She places them before me, like a proper hostess, and I can’t help but wonder if she’ll always be this formal once we live together.
If we live together.
This has to be an act.
People aren’t actually this formal, are they? At least the ones back home, the ones I grew up around, weren’t. I’ve never heard of anyone needing a coaster to go with their bottled water.
Then again, this coffee table looks pricy with its reclaimed wooden legs and crystal-clear glass top.
“Thanks.” I take the water from her, unscrewing the cap and ensuring I don’t so much as spill a drop.
This place is much too nice of a dwelling for a typical Meyer State student. Her family clearly comes from money.
I’ll try not to resent her for that.
“So, tell me about yourself.” Lauren settles into her chair again, resting her elbow on her knee and her chin on her hand, leaning toward me. My Intro to Psychology professor taught us years ago that when someone leans in to you, they’re interested, genuinely interested in what you have to say. “What’s your schedule like? Who’s your ideal roommate? Do you smoke? Throw parties?”
Brows lifted, I let her questions marinate, unsure of where to begin. “Oh. Um. I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t party. So nothing to worry about there. I work. Part-time. And when I’m not working, I’m home. Usually studying. I don’t make a lot of noise. Basically, I’m a clean-freak, studious homebody.”
My cheeks flush and I feel myself growing flustered, but the fact that she isn’t staring at me like I’m some kind of social reject is somewhat reassuring. I suppose I’ve never stopped to examine my uneventful existence, but I’ve always been content to keep to myself.
It’s better if I don’t know what I’m missing out on.
Lauren’s face is lit as I ramble on, like I’m telling her everything she wants to hear.
“Okay, so what do you do for fun?” she asks.
I was hoping I could avoid that question. Pretty sure to someone like Lauren, I’m a shining example of a boring bookworm. Not the kind of person she’d be caught dead with.
“I like to see plays,” I lie. I don’t have money for a theater membership. Not even with the gracious 50% student discount. “And I see movies.”
At the dollar theater. Maybe once every three months.
“Do you ever do Friday After Class at Wellman’s?” she asks. “They have dollar wells from four to six.”
Beer. Pass.
“Sometimes,” I lie. Again.
Lauren sinks back, eyes still glued on me. “That place is always crazy packed. I bet we’ve been there at the same time and never even noticed.”
Taking a sip of water, I nod. “I’m sure.”
My tone echoes hers, something I do when I’m nervous. It’s like second nature, adopting her body language, her intonations, the cadence of her words.
“Where do you work?” she asks.
I push a breath through my nostrils and roll my eyes. “Sparkle Shine Cleaning Co.”
I hate that fucking name.
And the Minion-yellow car I’m forced to drive from client to client, the one that matches the Minion-yellow uniform I’m forced to clothe myself with.
But the pay is decent.
And it sure as hell beats working in food service. Food service means interacting with people all day long, being yelled at by customers when the kitchen screwed up their order or their fork has a water spot on it or I’m not refilling their third glass of Diet Coke fast enough.
No thanks.
“Never heard of it,” Lauren says. “Do you like it?”
What kind of question is that? And what does she expect me to say? That I love scrubbing people’s shit-stained toilets? Don’t even get me started on some of the bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure of bleaching from floor to ceiling. Rich people—or people rich enough to pay someone to clean their house for them—aren’t always as clean as one might expect.
I shrug and offer a tepid smile. “It’s a job. What about you? Do you work?”
Lauren bites her lip and scrunches her face, hesitating for a second. “I don’t.”
Of course not.
“My parents want me to focus on my studies,” she says, as if that makes up for her good fortune. “They said school should be my full-time job, so I get a monthly stipend as long as I keep my grades up. They did the same for my brother. They actually own this house. My brother lived here when he went to Meyer State and my younger sister will live here next year when she’s a freshman. My parents didn’t want to throw money away on rent, I guess. That’s their excuse anyway. If you ask me, I think it’s just a way for them to control their adult children.”
She huffs. I huff.
“Anyway.” Lauren shrugs, studying me, perhaps silently waiting for me to judge her. I keep a poker face.
“So what happened to the roommate before me?” I ask.
“I’ve never had one.”
“Okay. So, why now?”
Exhaling, Lauren says, “So that stipend? It’s based on my GPA. Last semester, I kind of got a little … distracted … and I failed a class. First time in my life. It was a seven AM on the north side of campus on Friday mornings. Anyway. It’s no excuse. I failed it. GPA plunged. Parents were livid. Chopped my stipend in half—essentially barring me from having fun. Their way of punishing their twenty-three-year-old daughter.”
“Oh.” Nice to know I’m scrubbing toilets so she can get wasted with her friends.
This explains everything. The lack of a deposit, the lack of a lease or a background check. She’s desperate for some supplemental income, willing to take in a stranger to maintain her cushy little life.
“Just to let you know … my parents won’t know you’re living here,” she’s quick to add. “And you’ll only be able to stay through May. Maybe July. Depends on how quickly I land a job after graduation. I hope that works?”
So, she likes me.
She’s choosing me.
Just like that.
“That’s perfect actually,” I say. “I’m graduating too. Hoping to get the hell out of here.”
I wear a smile that matches hers and we bask in a moment of mutual understanding for a single, endless second. Our desire to leave Bonnet Creek might be the only thing we have in common, but I’ll take it.
“You want me to show you around?” Lauren rises from her seat and straightens the hem of her top.
Returning my water to its floral napkin resting place, I stand. “Sure.”
Spinning on the ball of her foot, she struts across the small living room, toward a dark hallway. I follow. Flicking on the light, she says, “This house is, like, a million years old. It’s really dark. Windows are small. And your room is on the smaller side, by the way.”
My room.
“I mean, the room you’d be renting,” she clarifies. “If you want it.”
Stopping at the last door, she reaches her hand inside and gets the switch.
Clearly we have different definitions of “small.” This room is easily the size of my last apartment, complete with shiny wood floors, a double bed, a nightstand, dresser, and two curtain-covered windows.
“But you’d get your own bathroom—the hall bath.” Lauren’s words are rushed, as if she’s worried I’m having second thoughts. “I never use it.”
We step inside, and she shows me the closet, which is the smallest thing about this room. But it’s fine. I don’t have a lot.
“What do you think?” Lauren lifts her nails to her mouth, watching for my reaction. “It’s yours if you want it.”
“You sure?” I lift an eyebrow. We’ve known each other all of fifteen minutes, though I suppose living with strangers is kind of the college way.
“Oh my God, are you serious?” She laughs. “You’re everything, Meadow. All that stuff you told me? You’re the perfect roommate. Quiet. Studious. Polite. You’re a rarity in this town, do you know that?”
Yes. Well aware. And she’s kind to say that. I let her earlier words echo in my mind. No one’s ever called me perfect before—in any context.
It feels kind of … amazing.
As much as I try not to, I beam like an appeased idiot, my ego practically purring like a milk-fed kitten.
I know nothing about Lauren Wiedenfeld besides the fact that she treated me like a human being today, which maybe marks the first time in my collegiate history that anyone’s ever tried to have an actual conversation with me about anything, the first time someone’s ever been so engaged and interested.
She’s not the mean girl I expected.
“When do you want to move in?” she asks, bouncing on her toes and clasping her hands across her chest like an excited schoolgirl anticipating a slumber party. Not that I would know anything about that. I didn’t have friends in school. I just saw the way other girls would giggle and jump around Friday afternoons as they talked about the sleepover they’d been planning all week and whose mom was doing the picking up and whose mom was doing the dropping off.
“Is … now … okay?” I ask, exhaling. “My stuff is in my car. I moved out of my apartment a while back, and I’ve been staying at my mom’s, commuting back and forth.”
I have to lie if I want this place.
And I do. I want it so bad.
This house is adorable and clean and it smells like fresh flowers and it’s decorated like a page out of a Serena and Lily catalog. It would be the nicest place I’ve ever lived in. Maybe the nicest place I’ll ever live in.
“Yeah, of course.” If Lauren doesn’t believe me about the commuting thing, she does a good job of hiding it. “You want me to help?”
We head out of the room and down the hall, her messy bun bobbing as she walks, and she reaches up to tighten it—which of course makes it look even better.
“No, it’s fine. I don’t have much,” I say, realizing I sound like someone who’s been living out of their car for God knows how long. “I mean, most of my stuff is back at my mom’s. I didn’t bring any furniture because your ad said the place was furnished.”
I bite my tongue to keep from rambling on and making a mountain out of my mole hill of a lie. I hate lying. It feels unnatural, slimy. And I hate liars.
But desperate times and all of that.
I fully expect karma to bite me in the ass after all the little white lies I’ve told today.
“Right,” Lauren says. “My mother had this place professionally decorated.” She reaches for a magnifying glass resting on top of a curated stack of interior design books on a marble-topped console. The handle is painted navy blue, with little stripes of bone-colored stone. “They went with a California coastal theme,” she continues. “My mom grew up in Orange County. Moved here to Minnesota when she married my dad. I don’t think she ever got used to living in the frozen tundra. You should see their house. Looks like it’s better suited on the beach in Malibu than in some gated neighborhood outside St. Paul.”
Ooh. A “gated” neighborhood. How fancy.
That’s the thing about rich people, they feel the need to insert these little details so casually in conversation, as if you’ve forgotten for a moment that they have money. It’s a crutch, I think. A side effect of their insecurity. And it’s a damn shame, too. Lauren could be that much more likeable if only she didn’t feel the need to word vomit her privileged upbringing into every topic of conversation.
It’s almost as if she’s worried I won’t like her—which is hilarious. No one’s ever cared if I liked them.
“Anyway, I’ll let you get settled,” she says, turning to face me when we reach the end of the hall. “If you need any help with anything, I’ll be in my room.”
I smile and nod. It’s exhausting having to talk this much, having to smirk and laugh and be social and constantly engaged.
But at least it didn’t kill me.
Lauren disappears into her room, leaving the door open a crack. Soft, downtempo music plays a second later, the glow of her expensive, feather-light laptop filling her dark room. The sliver of light is like the tiniest peek into her world, and I must admit I’m curious—though I’m not sure why.
Heading out to my Honda to grab my things, I realize that I’ve parked behind her shiny black Lexus. We’ll have to talk parking spots and particulars later. But for now, I need to focus on getting these bags and bins out of my backseat and into my beautiful new place.
Lugging the first plastic tote in my arms a minute later, I return inside and trek down the hall to my well-appointed guest suite. Dropping it on the center of my bed, the top loosens and falls to the wooden floor with a plastic-y thump. Swiping it off the floor, I catch the hint of a white envelope sticking out from beneath the ruffled bed skirt.
Upon first glance, it appears to be an old bill of some kind, or maybe a credit card offer? The return address is too generic to tell. I place it on top of the chest in the corner with the intention of giving it to Lauren when my gaze falls on the name.
Emily Waterford.
I grab the envelope again, examining the address.
47 Magpie Drive.
And the date on the postage meter sticker.
December 17th of last year.
Only two months ago.
Lauren looked me in the eyes and told me she’d never had a roommate before, that her dire financial situation essentially began this semester.
Did she … lie?
God, I hope not. As hypocritical as it may be, if there’s anything in this world I can’t stand, it’s being lied to. It’s disrespectful, insulting. My tolerance for bullshit and everyday annoyances is higher than most, and keeping my mouth shut when something bothers me is what I do best, but being lied to drives me insane.
It’s like they think I’m stupid. Or unworthy of the truth.
Folding the envelope, I tuck it into my purse. I’m going to have to do some digging as soon as I get settled. But for now, I need to concentrate on not being homeless.




Minka Kent has been crafting stories since before she could scribble her name. With a love of the literary dark and twisted, Minka cut her teeth on Goosebumps and Fear Street, graduated to Stephen King as a teenager, and now counts Gillian Flynn, Chevy Stevens, and Caroline Kepnes amongst her favorite authors and biggest influences. Minka has always been curious about good people who do bad things and loves to explore what happens when larger-than-life characters are placed in fascinating situations.

In her non-writing life, Minka is a thirty-something wife and mother who equally enjoys sunny and rainy days, loves freshly cut hydrangeas, hides behind oversized sunglasses, travels to warmer climates every chance she gets, and bakes sweet treats when the mood strikes (spoiler alert: it’s often).

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Read an excerpt from Vi Keeland’s upcoming release ~ Sex, Not Love!





My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s. Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us. His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off. But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

We ended up back in my hotel room. The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby. Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit. After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time. So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner. The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city. He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.

It’s just sex, not love.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…



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“You’re not going anywhere before you do two things.”

“Two things?”

“Leave your number and kiss me goodbye.”

“I…I…you haven’t brushed your teeth.”

Hunter chuckled. It felt like he could see through all of my bullshit. Reaching over to the nightstand, he grabbed his phone and held it out to me before getting up. “Toothpaste in the bathroom still?”

“The little one the hotel sets out.”

“I’ll brush. You type.”

While he was in the bathroom, I mulled over not typing anything into his phone. There was no way I was keeping in touch with a man living three-thousand miles away. A guy like him was the last thing I needed. But then I thought better of just telling him I’d put my number in. He seemed to have figured me out pretty quick. So instead, I typed my name and number, only I changed the last two digits.

And it was a good thing I did, because when Hunter returned from his bathroom trip, the first thing he did was check that I’d entered something. Luckily, he didn’t attempt to call me. Satisfied, he tossed his phone on the bed and nodded.

“Thank you. Now kiss me.”

I could see he wasn’t going to let me leave without this. So, sacrificing to make my plane, I pushed up on my toes and delivered a quick peck to his lips.

Mmm…. Nice and soft.

(And minty fresh.)

“Well…it was nice to meet you.” I turned to dart out the door, but Hunter grabbed my wrist yet again.

“I said kiss me.”

“I did!”

“Kiss me the way you kissed me last night.”

Before I could even attempt to let that sink in, Hunter yanked me against him. One of his large hands cupped the back of my neck, and he squeezed firmly to direct my head where he wanted it. Then, his lips crashed down on mine.

The shock of feeling his mouth against mine quickly dissipated as he licked my lips, encouraging me to open for him. His tongue dipped inside, and he groaned as he tilted my head and deepened the kiss. The vibration of the sound traveled between us and sent a hum through my body. Soft and gentle went out the window after that. He grabbed a fistful of my ass, and I lifted my body up onto his, wrapping my legs around his waist. As he backed us to the wall, a sense of familiarity overcame me. I couldn’t remember the specifics of our previous kiss, but I now knew deep inside what it had felt like.

My cell dropped from my hand so my fingers could tangle in his hair. Yanking on the soft strands, I couldn’t get enough. A moan from deep inside my chest moved through our connected mouths. Hunter pushed harder, his thick erection pressing into the center of my open legs. He rocked as he kissed me, causing a friction through two layers of clothing that was leading me to a place I didn’t think it was possible to go fully dressed.

It felt like he wanted to swallow me whole, and in that moment, I would have let him. My breasts were crushed to his chest, and a heartbeat raged out of control—only I wasn’t sure if it was my own or his. Jesus, where does a man learn to kiss like this?

I was breathless and stunned when our kiss broke. Hunter sucked on my bottom lip, tugging it before releasing my mouth.

His voice was strained. “Change your flight. We’re not done here.”

I swallowed, trying to gain some composure. “I can’t.” My voice was barely a whisper. It was all I could muster.

“Can’t or don’t want to?”







Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in nineteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels

Beautiful Mistake
Amazon eBook



The Baller
B&N: http://
Kobo: http://

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)



MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight

Worth the Chance

Worth Forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You

Made for You

Co-written novels

Cocky Bastard

Stuck-Up Suit
Kobo: http://

Playboy Pilot

Mister Moneybags
Barnes & Noble

Dear Bridget, I Want You
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iBooks: ➜
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Kobo: ➜
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“You’re not going anywhere before you do two things.”
“Two things?”
“Leave your number and kiss me goodbye.”
“I…I…you haven’t brushed your teeth.”
Hunter chuckled. It felt like he could see through all of my bullshit. Reaching over to the nightstand, he grabbed his phone and held it out to me before getting up. “Toothpaste in the bathroom still?”
“The little one the hotel sets out.”
“I’ll brush. You type.”
While he was in the bathroom, I mulled over not typing anything into his phone. There was no way I was keeping in touch with a man living three-thousand miles away. A guy like him was the last thing I needed. But then I thought better of just telling him I’d put my number in. He seemed to have figured me out pretty quick. So instead, I typed my name and number, only I changed the last two digits.
And it was a good thing I did, because when Hunter returned from his bathroom trip, the first thing he did was check that I’d entered something. Luckily, he didn’t attempt to call me. Satisfied, he tossed his phone on the bed and nodded.
“Thank you. Now kiss me.”
I could see he wasn’t going to let me leave without this. So, sacrificing to make my plane, I pushed up on my toes and delivered a quick peck to his lips.
Mmm…. Nice and soft.
(And minty fresh.)
“Well…it was nice to meet you.” I turned to dart out the door, but Hunter grabbed my wrist yet again.
“I said kiss me.”
“I did!”
“Kiss me the way you kissed me last night.”
Before I could even attempt to let that sink in, Hunter yanked me against him. One of his large hands cupped the back of my neck, and he squeezed firmly to direct my head where he wanted it. Then, his lips crashed down on mine.
The shock of feeling his mouth against mine quickly dissipated as he licked my lips, encouraging me to open for him. His tongue dipped inside, and he groaned as he tilted my head and deepened the kiss. The vibration of the sound traveled between us and sent a hum through my body. Soft and gentle went out the window after that. He grabbed a fistful of my ass, and I lifted my body up onto his, wrapping my legs around his waist. As he backed us to the wall, a sense of familiarity overcame me. I couldn’t remember the specifics of our previous kiss, but I now knew deep inside what it had felt like.
My cell dropped from my hand so my fingers could tangle in his hair. Yanking on the soft strands, I couldn’t get enough. A moan from deep inside my chest moved through our connected mouths. Hunter pushed harder, his thick erection pressing into the center of my open legs. He rocked as he kissed me, causing a friction through two layers of clothing that was leading me to a place I didn’t think it was possible to go fully dressed.
It felt like he wanted to swallow me whole, and in that moment, I would have let him. My breasts were crushed to his chest, and a heartbeat raged out of control—only I wasn’t sure if it was my own or his. Jesus, where does a man learn to kiss like this?
I was breathless and stunned when our kiss broke. Hunter sucked on my bottom lip, tugging it before releasing my mouth.
His voice was strained. “Change your flight. We’re not done here.”
I swallowed, trying to gain some composure. “I can’t.” My voice was barely a whisper. It was all I could muster.
“Can’t or don’t want to?”

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Read an excerpt from Bethany Lopez’s upcoming release ~ A Touch of Cinnamon!

Today we are sharing an excerpt of A TOUCH OF CINNAMON by Bethany Lopez. A Touch of Cinnamon is the second book in an all-new contemporary romance series, Three Sisters Catering, and it will be released on January 22. Check out the excerpt and buy links for the book below.

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A Touch of Cinnamon by Bethany Lopez

(Three Sisters Catering, #2)
Date of release: 1/22/2018

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For the past year, Tasha has thrown herself into her catering business with her sisters, but she’s been keeping a secret. The hot, moody owner of Prime Beef is the man she left behind in college…the man she thought she’d never see again. He’s also the only man she’s ever loved.

For the past year, Jericho Smythe has been waging a war with himself. Does he want to know why Natasha broke his heart and left without looking back? Hell yes. But he’s paralyzed by the glimpses he’s gotten of her at Three Sisters Catering and he hasn’t been ready for a confrontation.

Neither of them are content with their lives, but so much has happened since those stolen moments in college. Can the right amount of spice remind them of the love they once shared? A Touch of Cinnamon may be all they need to give Tasha and Jericho back the richness they’ve been lacking.

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Someone pounded on the door behind me, causing me to jump and squeal in surprise. I turned to look at the still-closed door, and knew who I’d find on the other side.


I wiped my cheeks, put on a brave face, and opened the door.

“Hey,” I managed, even though Jericho stood before me, seething.

I took a step back, then another as he started toward me, slamming the door behind him as he let himself inside.

I tried to back farther away, but he was there, taking me in his arms and lowering his face to mine. I opened my mouth to protest, and that was all the invitation Jericho needed.

It was like coming home, his lips on mine, familiar and oh, so wonderful. I sighed and practically melted against him as he deepened the kiss. My arms went up and around his neck, to steady myself, and to finally feel him. His hair in my fingers, his chest against mine, and his soft, supple lips.

Everything … this was everything. He was everything.

Sweet and sensual quickly turned to unbridled passion as the years apart disappeared and there was only now.

His hands were working on my dress as mine were unbuttoning his shirt, both of us eager to be skin on skin. Everything was on fire, and I worried if I didn’t feel him, touch him, have him right then, I’d burn out.

Hurry,” I said, desperate for him.

“You’re driving me crazy,” Jericho muttered, and then, we were free.


Purchase A PINCH OF SALT Now:

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Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.


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Read an excerpt from Zoe Lee’s A Perfect Fit!


Are you ready for a sweet small town romance with feels?!
A Perfect Fit by Zoe Lee releases on JANUARY 4th!
Keep reading for an EXCERPT!



Two big hearts, one big messy ride.

Daisy Rhys is trying to sneak away from a wedding reception, when Dunk McCoy—the sexy high school football coach and guy known for a good time—comes to her rescue. He’s sweet, nice and keeps putting his foot in his mouth. Daisy is totally delighted. A quick rescue turns into a full on press of a different kind. Their chemistry is something different than Daisy has ever experienced but it looks like one-night was all that was meant to be.

The next morning, Dunk McCoy wakes up after the best sex dream of his life. But when his friends point out that he’s sporting a hickey, he’s adamant that his Cinderella could be perfect for him. He’s determined to find her, and his laughing, disbelieving friends are only too happy to send him on her trail.

Can he convince her that he wasn’t just trying to score? Or will Dunk’s attempt at true love be benched for good?


She raised the glass and hurriedly swallowed the last of the wine.

Taste like passion fruit and vodka.

“Whoa,” Dunk exhaled, the sensory memories almost overwhelming him, the scents and colors matching the woman in front of him. “Daisy.”

“Y-yeah?” she stammered.

He was aware of her two friends eyeballing him, suspiciously.

He clasped a hand carefully around her elbow and drew her away from her friends, away from the easels and the tables, until they were hidden from view by the Young Adult Bestsellers bookcase.

Her eyes were on the floor.

“Daisy Rhys,” he repeated dumbly.

Because, seriously, how could he have forgotten her? She was beautiful, always had been. He hadn’t known her very well before Jamie and Leda’s engagement, but they’d been in the bridal party—well, her officially, him honorarily—together. She was sweet; she’d cried silently the whole ceremony at the courthouse that day, hours before they’d…

His sharp hips, caught by soft inner thighs, cradled and held tight. Her slim, strong arms wrapped around his neck, tangled up in his tie thrown over one shoulder. Her gigantic doe amber eyes glittering with passion as they’d made love.





She gave a low, exasperated sigh. “Why did you bring me over here?”

“You’re my sex Cinderella,” he blurted out.

He cringed at himself, then facepalmed and dragged his hand slowly down his own stupid face.

“What?” she yelped indignantly, crossing her arms.

“Sorry!” he apologized. “Shit. Sorry. This isn’t… I mean, I was looking for you, but I didn’t remember that it was you, which… rude.”

That incoherent crap, miraculously, made her crack a tiny smile. But she was still flustered and confused, and embarrassed. He didn’t mind flustered or confused, but embarrassed, no, that wouldn’t do.

Focus, you moron.

“Okay, sorry.”

“Dunk, just take a timeout for a second,” she suggested, and there was helpless laughter in her voice as she took pity on him.

He blew out a big breath and then met her eyes squarely. “I woke up after Jamie and Leda’s wedding and I thought… that I had had a dream. A great dream. Well, the best dream, really. But then… hickies. I saw hickies.”

“Oh, God,” she whispered, even more embarrassed now.

“No! They were awesome,” he reassured her as quickly as possible. “But. Okay. This next part, it’s not pretty, and I’m really sorry about it. But I didn’t remember it was you, okay. So I started looking. Or, Aden sent me on a… treasure hunt? Well, he and Chase held the guest list hostage?”

She took a second to process that and then ventured, “Like Prince Charming trying to find Cinderella?”

“Exactly!” he exclaimed, relieved that she was getting it.

But then her face went a little pale and then a little pissed off. “So you’ve, what, been tracking down all the single women who were at the wedding and…” Her voice dropped to a furious whisper. “Having sex with them to see if they’re your Cinderella? Your sex Cinderella?”

His eyes widened so much he felt them go dry in terror.

“What the hell? No! What kind of guy do you think I am?”

“Um… the kind of guy who has sex with me at a wedding, forgets who he had sex with, and then gets sent on a treasure hunt by his so-called friends to find her…?”

“Fuck my life,” Dunk whispered, hanging his head.

Then he snapped his face up, fully expecting to get slapped.

But instead, Daisy burst into giggles so loud, he expected all the birds in the trees to burst into song right along with her, just like Cinderella.

“You owe me a steak dinner,” she declared once the giggles fizzled out.

“Pardon me?” he asked, at a total loss.

Her face settled into a stern expression—or, as stern an expression as someone as enchanting and beautiful as Daisy could make—and she raised one finger to poke him in the chest. “You owe me a steak dinner,” she said again. When he just shook his head, still completely confused, she explained, “Sex Cinderella, Duncan McCoy? You owe me an apology. And I’ll accept one in the form of a steak dinner, the most expensive kind of dinner.”

“You want to go to dinner with me.”

He couldn’t even imagine what the hell his face looked like right now.

“Yep,” she chirped.

“Well okay then,” he agreed. “Never let it be said I can’t apologize.”


About the Author:
Zoe has been writing since she was a little girl, growing up north of Chicago. Since then, she’s lived in Ohio and San Francisco, and now lives near Boulder. She has a job that she loves, but it doesn’t sound exciting to anyone else. She does yoga and takes dance classes when she can. She has a husband, who reads her romances, and an amazing little girl, who is way too young to read what Zoe writes (yet). She’s inspired by her family and friends, books and art, and all of the places she’s traveled.
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