LDH-AN

Read an excerpt from R. C. Stephens Mr. All Wrong! Available for preorder now!

Elegant man in suit. looking away

What if the one person who’s all wrong for you turns out to be exactly who you need?
Mr. All Wrong by R.C. Stephens is coming December 4th!

iBooks, Kobo, and Nook readers can PRE-ORDER NOW!
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Kobo → http://bit.ly/2hzEIZ7

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CHECK OUT THE SIZZLING EXCERPT:

“What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?” he asks and presses his nose to mine briefly causing my breath to hitch before he pulls away.
“Your suit reminds me that you are the governor,” I say and I know it sounds weird, but somehow in my head on the last few dates, I tried to convince myself that he was just a regular guy.
He chuckles, and again I wish I knew the sound of his laughter. “I’m still the same guy whether I’m in a suit and tie or a pair of jeans,” he replies. I want to tell him that he looks hot as sin in his suit but something tells me that his ego is inflated enough.
“Isn’t the governor’s mansion in Springfield? Why are you always in Chicago?” I ask, knowing this because I also teach history and the governor’s mansion has been in use since 1855.
“Yes, the governor’s mansion is in Springfield, and I do occupy it in a way, but I hate it there. It’s big and empty. I much prefer my apartment here in the city. Truth is since I met you I’ve been spending more time in Chicago than I have in Springfield,” he says, and his blue eyes blaze as he makes the admission. My chest turns warm and saliva pools in the back of my throat. Fuck! I am so turned on by him.
“Oh,” is the only word I can formulate right now.
He walks toward me at such a slow pace, and I feel like someone has pressed a slow-motion button. I take a large gulp as he closes the distance between us. He pushes a stray strand of hair off my face. “I’ve been thinking about kissing the hell out of you all day,” he says. My knees buckle, at least they feel like they do because the next thing I know his lips are on mine, hot and wanting. He kisses softly at first before his tongue begs entrance into my mouth. His taste is as intoxicating as I remembered. Our lips meshed together in a way that tells me, we fit. This is more than perfect. This kiss is everything.

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MAW_ER_2

About R.C. Stephens:

R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a master’s Degree in Political Science.

 

R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.

Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.

Find R.C. Stephens Online!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xDa9MK
BookBub: http://bit.ly/2yiowDn
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2yh01ch
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2i9lBZN
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ylUdNJ
Website: http://www.rcstephens.com

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Read an excerpt from Heather Van Fleet’s The Right Kind of Reckless!

Today we have the excerpt reveal for The Right Kind of Reckless by Heather Van Fleet! Check it out and grab your copy today!!
About The Right Kind of Reckless:

I’m in love with a woman I can’t have, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from falling.

The problem? Her brother’s my best friend.

I shouldn’t want her this much. Not when it goes against the bro code. Not when I’ve never been able to commit to a woman for longer than a night.

But one look into her eyes and I’m a mess for her. She’s my everything. And I have to walk away with nothing.

Grab Your Copy Today!
Read Reckless Hearts:
Exclusive Excerpt:

Addie and I watched the guys play round after round of Skee-Ball, while Chloe jumped and cheered and stole the occasional ball from each of their rows. No matter what my state in life was, I was happy the three of them had found one another.

“Here, let’s get our picture drawn.” Knocking me out of my woolgathering, Addie guided me toward one of the caricature sketchers who sat just outside the carnival gates. The man had a unibrow the size of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and his mustache was curled at the end, handlebar style. But his work was amazing. Charcoal sketches with colored eyes, balloon- shaped heads with movie-s tar hair.

“How much for both of us?” Addie asked, fishing through her purse. We sat on the stools, as directed, our shoulders touching.

“Thirty- five,” the guy said, his fake French accent too thick to be believable.

I groaned and looked at my friend. “Seriously? That’s too much.”

“Seriously. We have to do this.” Addie mocked me. “Look at how cute those are.” She pointed to a couple with a heart surrounding their heads. Little doves swooped in the air around them, carrying heart balloons in their beaks. Had to hand it to the guy. He was talented.

“I’ve got this, ladies.” I looked up at the sound of Max’s deep voice, finding him searching through his wallet. He pulled out the money, handed it to the artist, then lifted his gaze to meet mine. A soft smile covered his bow-shaped lips, and everything inside me stirred to life at the view.

Addie faked a cough, then pressed a hand over her stomach. “Oh…oh no. I don’t feel very good, guys.”

I faced her and narrowed my eyes as she stood. Don’t, I mouthed, already knowing her game.

Ignoring me, she looked at Max and said, “You’ll take my place, won’t you, Max?” She batted those brown eyes and twirled a lock of her dark hair. No doubt her way of getting anyone and everyone to say yes to her. “Lia here was dying to get her picture drawn.”

Oh, the little liar…

Max nodded, immediately taking her empty seat to my right. With an extra hop in her step, Addie walked away, her ponytail swinging back and forth more the closer she got to Collin and Gavin and Chloe. I wanted to pull it out of her head.

“All right, look this way.” I blinked at the sound of the artist’s voice, my body far too aware of Max’s heady scent.

God, why did he have to smell so good? Fit so perfectly against me?

“You’re much too stiff.” The artist tsked from behind his easel. “Here, wrap your arm around zee pretty lady’s waist, like so.”

I sucked in a breath as Max’s hand was guided along my back, ending at my side with his fingers tucked just under the edge of my T- shirt. I swallowed, shifting in my seat and instantly remembering our kiss— the way he’d moved his mouth over mine.

Warmth pooled low in my stomach, drifting in between my thighs. His touch was like adrenaline, kick- starting my orgasm-starved body to life.

“Chin on her shoulder, lips close to her ear…” I shuddered as Max followed the artist’s directions to a T, the stubble on his chin igniting a stormy thunder inside me. Max seemed unaffected, his chest rising and falling at an even rate, while mine was suddenly in asthmatic mode.

“Relax,” Max whispered in my ear, his warm breath grazing my neck. “I’m not gonna bite ya.”

I shut my eyes and shifted once again, the ache between my thighs becoming unbearable. “I didn’t want to do this,” I finally murmured, refocusing on the artist.

Max laughed softly, his chest vibrating against my back and shoulder. “I know you didn’t.”

My eyebrows pushed together in annoyance. “Then why did you agree to sit here?”

“Because Addie wouldn’t give up until I did.” He sighed, far too relaxed compared to me.

I was jumping, itching, crawling with…something, yet he was unaffected. Which only further emphasized that he didn’t want me the way I did him.

“Plus, she folds my underwear, remember? Gotta make sure she doesn’t stick ants in them or something.”

“Yeah, like Addie would ever stoop to your level.” I couldn’t help but grin, my nerves easing slightly.

He squeezed my ribs. “You would.”

I turned to face him, our noses inches apart. “Damn right I would.”

A slow nod later, he moved even closer, our bodies in sync…

My smile fell away. “Maxwell,” I whispered, so lost in his dark eyes that I couldn’t concentrate. The apology was there on my tongue like earlier, but the need weighing me down was even heavier. How could I ever be just friends with a guy who was likely to break my heart, no matter what we were to each other?

“Tell me why you kissed me that night.” He looked at my lips, a serious glint in his eyes.

Blood rushed to my face at his out-o f- the- blue question. My composure slipped as confusion took its place. Why was he asking me this?

“Because I…” I gulped. “I owed you, remember? For bailing me out and for keeping me safe from those guys.”

Something shifted in his eyes. Disappointment? I squeezed my eyes shut at the thought. When I looked back at him, I knew I was imagining things, because flirty, fun Max was back, winking at me. “Well then.” He cleared his throat. “That’s good to know.”

“What’s good to know?” I frowned.

“That you still owe me.”

About Heather Van Fleet:

Heather Van Fleet is stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s a wife to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three little girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee.

Heather graduated from Black Hawk College in 2003 with an associate degree and has been working in the publishing industry for over five years. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary.

Connect with Heather:
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Blog Tour ~ Read an excerpt from Love on the Edge of Time by Julie A. Richman!

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Love on the Edge of Time, an all-new stand-alone story about a love too great to be bound by time, from Julie A. Richman is available NOW!

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Love on the Edge of Time by Julie A. Richman

Publishing Date: November 13th, 2017

He likes whiskey and wild women

She likes Ben & Jerry’s

He’s about to get kicked out of his own band

She ate her way off the Miss America pageant circuit

What could these two possibly have in common?

A psychiatrist

A lot of unresolved issues

A whole bunch of shared lifetimes

And a love that is never-ending

As bad boy rocker, Jesse Winslow, and former pageant queen, Kylie Martin, each fight the demons screwing up their lives, the one person who holds the key to healing their ills and reuniting two souls that have searched for one another, lifetime after lifetime, is the only one who knows the whole truth.

And keeping that truth from them may just be in preeminent psychiatrist Dr. Claire Stoddard’s best interests.

Claire has committed the ultimate sin in the medical world. She’s fallen for the one man she’s forbidden to love.

Her patient, Jesse Winslow.

And she’s not about to lose him to Kylie Martin… Again.

Excerpt:

This time he didn’t text. He just called, waking her at two-fifteen a.m.

“Bare-ly dressed again tonight?”

Her laugh, filled with sleep was gruff. “Barely dressed every night.”

“What exactly do you have on?”

“A pink tank top and pink silk bikini.”

“Take them off,” he ordered.

“Excuse me,” there was an element of surprise in Kylie’s voice.

“You heard me. Take them off. Now.” Just hearing rustling on the other end of the line, he could feel his cock stiffen and it felt damn good after all this time. Baby, I’m back, he thought.

“We’re having phone sex? But, Jesse, we haven’t even kissed yet,” her protest was weak. And even she knew it.

“Yes, we’re having phone sex, and when I get back to New York, we’re going to do a lot more than kiss. You’ve friend-zoned me, Toots, and I’m busting out.”

Kylie was smiling on her end of the phone. Friend-zoned Jesse Fucking Winslow? Was he serious? “Nobody puts Jesse in a friend-zone,” she couldn’t help herself.

“Are they off?” He totally ignored her joke.

“Mmm-hmm.”

“What was that?” he asked, his voice gruff and serious.

“Yes, they’re off.”

“Okay, spread your legs, and with your phone, take a picture of your pussy for me.”

“Seriously?” She knew she was blushing in the dark.

“Take the picture, Kylie.”

“Okay, but if you sell this to the paparazzi, I will kill you.” There was a rustling sound, then, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

He laughed.

“Okay, here it comes. I hope it’s photogenic. It would be really embarrassing to have a non-photogenic pussy.”

Pulling the phone from his ear to look, Kylie could hear his moan, exciting her even more.

“So photogenic, Toots, just like the rest of you. And I love the red landing strip. It’s so hot. Oh, man, I love this. Spread your legs wider and use one hand to spread your lips open for me and send me another.”

Following his directions, she did as he requested.
LOTEOT-AN

Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2zORlbf

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2iPJJwV

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Nook: http://bit.ly/2jgjdRc

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About the Author:

I must’ve been 5 or 6 when I started writing “stories”. I would write them and hide them.

Not wanting anyone to see my “secret” thoughts. I needed to write – even back then. Now I’m just not hiding them anymore. Is that a sign of maturity? Nah…

Writer, photographer, insatiable wanderluster, edge-player, foodie, music addict, pop culture fanatic, animal lover, warrior for the rights of people and planet, and avid cusser (am a Native

New Yorker, so very little offends me…and if I am offended, it must be pretty freaking bad..like

bad grammar!)

I am a big believer in signs and if we keep ourselves open, there are guideposts all along the way. Stay humble. Be true. Be you.

Life is not a dress rehearsal…
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Connect with Julie:

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

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieARichman

Website: http://juliearichman.com/

Sign up for Julie’s Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2xRFgB2

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Read an excerpt from Toni Aleo’s Two-Man Advantange, coming 11/14/2017!

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Two-Man Advantage by Toni Aleo releases on November 14th!
Keep reading for an excerpt!
Genre: M/M Sports Romance

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ADD to your TBR → http://bit.ly/2fbwpW5
FOLLOW Toni on Bookbub → http://bit.ly/2yGqqR6

Wells Lemiere knew the moment he saw Matty Haverbrooke, he had to have him. Matty was quiet, he was talented, he was beautiful, and Wells couldn’t stay away.

As the youngest and most talented son of the NHL Commissioner, Matty had found the burden of family expectations almost too heavy to carry on even his broad shoulders. He had no intention of getting involved in a relationship with Wells. But the heart he’d given up for dead had other ideas.

Their affair was intense and overwhelming, but when Matty couldn’t bring himself to come out and admit he wanted a public future with the man he loved, Wells had no choice but to honor his vow to live openly…and leave Matty behind.

But then he learns Wells is marrying another, and Matty knows he can’t let that happen. Can he throw down his gloves and embrace his future with both hands? Or will he pull the door to his closet shut once more?

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EXCERPT:

Stretching in the bed, Matty extended the motion from his fingertips to his toes. It was a great stretch, but shit, what time was it? With his eyes still shut, he reached for his phone on the nightstand, bringing it to his face, blinking to see it was close to six a.m. Why in the hell was he awake? This was a vacation, he needed to fucking sleep, especially with how much all these people talked. Wells’s family was nice, he liked them just fine, but damn, they talked all the time. And picked on each other! He wasn’t a stranger to razzing, but for fuck’s sake, he wasn’t sure there was a moment someone wasn’t picking on someone else.

It was very entertaining.

But very new.

Or maybe that was just his fucked-up upbringing. Because in the Haverbrooke household, no one really joked or laughed for no reason when he was growing up. Or, hell, even now. Everyone was in their own rooms, doing their own thing. The only time he saw his mother and father was either at dinner or at a hockey game. They never once put him on the bus or made him breakfast; the nanny did that. That didn’t mean he didn’t love his parents. He did, very much, but they were always busy. So were his older brothers, and all he had was Avery. Until he ruined that too.

When he realized the bed was empty, he looked around the room to see that, like his teenage years, he was very alone.

Where was Wells?

Pushing off the blankets, he got out of bed, naked. The windows were open, letting in the salty air. Anyone could look in, but he wasn’t worried about that. When he looked out at the beach, he saw Wells standing in the water, his arms above his head, the muscles in his back taut and undeniably sexy. Reaching for a pair of running shorts, Matty watched Wells while he put them on before going out the front door, shutting it behind him. “Hey.”

Wells looked over his shoulder, his eyes softening at the sight of Matty. “Hey yourself, lazy ass.”

Matty sputtered with laughter as he walked to the shore, the water running up on his feet. “Shit, that’s cold!”

Wells rolled his eyes. “You’re such a baby. It’s great. Especially after running for an hour.”

As Wells turned, coming toward him, a grin moved across Matty’s face. Running did Wells’s body so fucking good. His torso was cut and defined, his pecs thick and mouthwatering, but those shoulders? Yeah, they had Matty’s cock hard within seconds. “Fuck, you’re hot.”

Wells smirked. “I know.”

Rolling his eyes as Wells reached for him, pulling his body against him, Matty let out a little sound of distress. “Dude, it’s cold!”

“No, it’s not. Come here, I’ll keep you warm.”

Gay lgbt same sex marriage wedding kiss bridegrooms kissing.

About the Author:

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

Connect with Toni!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonialeo1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToniAleo1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/toni_aleo/
Intagram: https://instagram.com/tonialeo1/
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2yGqqR6

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Read an excerpt from RC Boldt’s upcoming release ~ He Loves Me Knot!

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He Loves Me…KNOT by RC Boldt is coming soon on NOVEMBER 14th!
Keep reading for an EXCERPT!

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PREORDER NOW:
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HLMK- Teaser 4

Sometimes love needs a second chance…

I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive, my world is damn near perfect.

Until I come face-to-face with my past. With the man I once loved. The man who holds my future in his hands. The man who’s hell-bent on getting even with me for leaving him at the altar.

Even with all the unfinished business between us, I still love Knox Montgomery. The only problem?

He loves me…KNOT.

HLMK -Teaser 2

EXCERPT:

PROLOGUE

EMMA JANE

“BLESS HER HEART.”
This—the quintessential Southern phrase “bless her heart”—is the ultimate kiss of death.
The irony isn’t lost on me since I just avoided my own kiss of death, figuratively speaking. Instead of walking down the aisle, I’m trudging along the Pensacola Beach boardwalk in my wedding dress.
Alone.
With tear-stained cheeks.
Two elderly women peer at me, blatant curiosity etched across their features, and one turns to the other to hiss, “I wonder if the groom left her.”
“Would you blame him?” the other woman responds, disdain dripping from her tone. “She’s got a”—she utters the next words much like they’re absolutely scandalous—“nose piercing.”
The dark glare I direct at them is concealed by my sunglasses, so with a dismissive huff, I continue plodding along, swiping a hand across my tear-streaked cheeks. Judging by the black smudges on my fingers, my waterproof mascara clearly lied.
Damn jackass mascara.
Damn jackass groom. I’m starting to see a trend here…
The longer I walk, the more stares I get. One little girl in a tutu bathing suit points to the top of my head and squeals with joy, “Look! A princess!”
Damn jackass tiara and veil my mother insisted I wear.
I march over to a large trash bin and—without any finesse whatsoever—begin tugging the pins holding this awful tiara-veil combo in place. As I’m attempting to remove it, agitation takes over due to my sad lack of progress. I bunch the veil in my fists and give it a firm tug from my elaborate up-do. Bobby pins shoot and ping in various directions, and I distractedly pray no one gets too close and loses an eye. Shoving the obscene length of fabric in the trash, I feel a bit lighter.
The June sun beats down on me as I stand on the stamped cement of the boardwalk, the heat radiating through the soles of my favorite flip-flops. My eyes flutter closed as I inhale a deep breath of the salty Gulf of Mexico air.
God, I love this beach. It’s always been one of my favorites, especially since it takes just under an hour to drive here from Mobile. The water is a gorgeous shade of blue-green, and the sand is perfectly white and free of pesky shells. Any other time, I’d be kicking off my flip-flops and running toward the surf. Now, though, I have different priorities: a stiff drink. Or ten.
Or twenty.
The challenge is finding a place where I might not draw attention—er, as much attention. I slowly survey the nearby choices of bars and restaurants lined up along the boardwalk; I scan and dismiss them one by one.
“No…no…no…n—”
Wait a minute.
One particular sign snags my eye. It has an outline of two men standing back to back, their forms filled with a swirl of rainbows and the name Be-Bob’s written in script-like font beneath it.
A gay bar.
Perfect.
With my key ring clipped to my small wristlet, I stalk over to the bar, doing my best to ignore the startled looks and gawking from other beachgoers. Tugging open the heavy door, I step over the threshold and into the brisk air conditioning.
Into a place where I might find slightly more acceptance.
I slide my sunglasses to rest atop my head and take a moment to allow my eyes to adjust to the dimmer light. There are only about eight people scattered about, chatting over drinks. When I don’t earn more than a brief glance before they return to their own conversations, I breathe my first sigh of relief. Most of the patrons are likely indulging in the great weather and enjoying a Saturday at the beach, not looking for refuge and hiding out like I am.
I scan the framed photos that adorn the walls featuring local drag queens and scantily clad male models before striding over to the bar. I hoist myself up onto a worn leather bar stool, and catch the eye of the only bartender behind the counter. He appears to be taking inventory of the liquor, if his clipboard is anything to go by.
When he turns around and gets the full visual of me, his expression is priceless, his eyebrows nearly hitting his hairline. I’d laugh if I had it in me, but I’m emotionally spent.
As he regards what’s visible to him from the top of the bar on up to my hair, his light brown eyes soften and the corners of his mouth tip up slightly. Without batting an eye, he reaches below the counter and produces a wet wipe. I gratefully accept it and he rests his forearms upon the lacquered surface, regarding me with interest as I rid my cheeks of the dark mascara streaks.
The bartender waits until I’m finished and then accepts the wipe from me before tossing it into the trash.
“Well, I can’t say I’ve ever served a runaway bride before.” My makeup-fail savior appears to gauge me, as if expecting me to burst into a river of tears.
Funny enough, the drive here has expended me of those and I’m firmly entrenched in the anger stage of my fiancé’s betrayal.
I prop an elbow on the bar, rest my chin on my palm, and offer what I know is the weakest excuse for a smile. “There’s a first time for everything, right?”
He doesn’t immediately answer, eyeing me curiously until his lips stretch into an easy smile. His eyes do that little crinkly thing at the corners and he has what I call “kind eyes.”
Then again, I remind myself, what the hell do I know?
I’m clearly not the best judge of people. That much has become all too evident.
The bartender reaches out a hand. “Casey.”
I grasp his hand, noting his impressive manicure. This guy’s cuticles are better than mine and I love the shade of metallic gray polish on his nails. “Nice to meet you, Casey. I’m Emma Jane.”
He reaches beneath the bar and I hear a clinking as he scoops ice, before he brings a cup into view. Then he works his magic, and pours in a bit of this and that from one bottle to the next. Finally, with flourish—and a maraschino cherry tossed in—he slides the plastic cup across the smooth surface.
“It’s my special, secret mix. I call it”—he leans in toward me and lowers his voice, his eyes dancing with mischief—“the Panty Dropper.”
One of my brows arches as I stare back at him with dismayed skepticism. “I hardly think I’m a prime panty-dropping candidate right now.”
Casey lifts a shoulder in a half shrug, his eyes flickering over my shoulder before returning to me. His smile grows wider. “You never can tell.”
With a tiny laugh, I shake my head and wrap my lips around the straw to take a sip of the concoction he’s made me. Just as I swallow the sweet drink, I both feel and smell a person sidle up next to me at the bar.
Hell. The reason I came here was because I thought for sure my chances of getting hit on would be slim to none. But, as I glance at him from the corner of my eye, I observe strong, muscled forearms, tanned and sprinkled with dark hair. The scent of him is appealing and masculine, a cologne that doesn’t overpower. Just the sight of those arms alone, however, makes me incredibly wary to see the rest of him.
Casey doesn’t address the newcomer, his focus still on me. “I’m all ears, Emma Jane. Been told I’m a great listener.”
Good Lord. Where do I even start?
Before I can answer, the man speaks up, his deep voice booming. “Are you cheating on me, Case?” He makes what sounds like a gasp of exaggerated indignation. “I can’t believe you’d betray me like this.”
I glance up to see Casey’s expression full of mirth, and he rolls his eyes. “You know better. I’m still waiting on you to switch over.”
A husky laugh greets my ears and it sounds far too male—far too appealing—which is why I refuse to turn and look at the man beside me.
“I might switch if you’d agree to root for my team.”
“Not gonna happen,” Casey scoffs before his gaze meets mine. “Isn’t that drink exactly what the doctor ordered?”
I muster up a smile because he seems like a sweet guy. “It is.” With a start, I realize I haven’t given him my card to pay or at least start a tab. I reach for my wristlet. “What do I owe you?”
He waves me off. “Honey, that one’s on me as long as you promise to dish before we get slammed in a few hours.”
A loud exhale spills past my lips. “It’s a pathetic story, really.”
“Let me guess.” Mr. Forearms’s husky voice is a deep timbre, amusement threaded in his tone. “You caught him with your maid of honor.”
I let out a harsh laugh and fiddle with my straw, using it to move around the ice cubes in my drink. “Nope.” If only it were that simple, I muse internally.
“Caught him with his best man?”
This time, his suggestion drags a lighter sounding laugh from me. “Not even.”
“Well, you know I can’t leave here without hearing the story. I’m intrigued.”
This guy is something else, that’s for sure. His voice is the epitome of sexy, and yet, even with all that’s transpired, I have zero interest.
Finally, I drag my attention from my drink and my eyes travel up those muscled forearms, over the bulging biceps stretching the short sleeves of a dark-blue polo shirt and up to the face that—
My breath catches in my throat as recognition floods me, my eyes widening as I take in the man beside me.
Becket Jones, the quarterback for the NFL team in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s a two-time Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida and had been the second overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Adding to that impressive resumé, he’s been recently voted MVP and is also a Lombardi Trophy recipient. His face is in commercials and on billboards everywhere. Living in Mobile, Alabama, and in a state without a pro football team, most of us either gravitate toward the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints, or the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I don’t follow NFL as closely as college football, but I’d have to live under a rock to not recognize Becket and his pretty-boy face. Even beneath the brim of the ball cap, which curls under at the edges and draws shadows over his eyes, I’d recognize that wide charming smile of his anywhere. He’s slouching against the bar but I know he pushes well over six feet.
His features cloud as he observes my response, his large hand reaching up to tug his cap lower. “Please don’t tell me you’re going to sell some seedy story about seeing me in a gay bar to a stupid gossip rag.”
“Of course not. I’m just…” I falter for a moment, “surprised.”
His chin lifts, gesturing to a couple of guys standing nearby a jukebox, laughing and talking. One of them is wearing a shirt with bright pink flamingos printed on it, along with a yellow feather boa draped around his neck.
“I’m with my brother, Brantley—the one who insisted on that crazy getup—and his roommate, Vonn, whose birthday we’re celebrating.” His eyes flicker to them briefly, obvious affection in his gaze, before returning to me. “I drove in from Jacksonville late last night to join them.”
I nod politely, not sure what to say. “Well, I hope you guys have a great night.” I turn back to my drink and studiously take another sip of the dangerous concoction while acknowledging Casey and Becket’s attention is fixed on me with unfettered curiosity. This drink is deliciously sweet and I know it’s masking the copious amount of liquor Casey put in it. And I can’t get hammered. I should—and I really want to—but I can’t. I have bigger fish to fry.
Like figuring out my freaking life.
With a long sigh, I unzip my wristlet and withdraw my cell phone—whose ring had been silenced—to face the “music” I know is about to blare at me.
Let this be noted as mistake number one. Because I’m certain my phone is going to overheat from the number of text messages and missed calls I’ve received already. Mainly, the ones from my father.
Dad: You’d better get back here now, young lady.
I continue scrolling past all of his other messages until I get to the last one, time stamped from about five minutes ago.
Dad: Consider yourself disowned. Don’t even think of coming back to this house after the way you’ve embarrassed everyone.
Huh. Well, thank heavens I’d already thought of that and had made a quick stop at the house before driving here. I’d scooped up the items I’d need most, knowing my father’s reaction would be extreme. Maybe I was delusional, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this.
Just as I’m about to place my phone back in my wristlet and avoid the remainder of the painful messages sure to come, another one comes in.
Dad: Forget your job at the magazine. It’s done. You’re done. You did this, Emma Jane.
My chest tightens and my stomach churns sickly. I knew it was coming but it doesn’t make it any less devastating. I’d worked my ass off for Southern Charm Lifestyle magazine at their new location in Mobile. I know I have the potential to rise up in the ranks.
But now it’s gone. Poof. All because of my father. The one and only Davis Haywood, city councilman, owner of the local newspaper and the city’s largest magazine, and commercial developer galore. He has the money and power to make things happen in Mobile.
I just never thought he’d use that money and power against his own daughter one day.
“So.” Becket startles me, so caught up in my own drama-filled thoughts. “You might not know this about me, but I was brought up to be a gentleman.”
I regard him warily, unsure where he’s going with this. “O-kay,” I drag out the word slowly.
“This means I can’t leave you sitting at this bar, staring down at your phone, looking like your puppy just died.”
I shoot him a hard glare that would normally cause people to rear back…but then I recall that this man faces the risk of being tackled by two-hundred-plus-pound men on any given game day.
So, as much as my dangerously narrowed eyes might flare with the “Don’t even go there” vibe, my glare does nothing.
He looks around first before slipping his ball cap around on his head, the brim now at the back. And honestly, on any other grown man, it would look juvenile. On Becket Jones, however, it actually looks cute.
Casey slides a bottle of water to him, which Becket uncaps before downing half of it. Resting his arms on the bar, he playfully nudges me with his shoulder.
“Go ahead. Spill.”
Exhaling loudly, I peer up at him skeptically. “You really want—”
“To hear all the sordid details?” He grins at me, nearly blinding me with his pearly white teeth. “Absolutely.”
Shaking my head at him, I take another sip of my drink and toy with my straw, making the ice cubes clink together within my cup. “Fine. But don’t you dare give me a bless your heart that’s chock-full of pity.”
“Deal.”
Letting a long sigh loose, I answer, my voice muted and laced with pain. And I hate the way it sounds.
“I’m running from a man who doesn’t really love me.”

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About the Author:

RC Boldt is the wife of Mr. Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.

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Read an excerpt from Deadly Premonitions by Kennedy Layne ~ coming Nov 14th!

We’re just over a week away from the release of the last book in Kennedy Layne’s Safeguard Series, DEADLY PREMONITIONS! You can get your hands on DEADLY PREMONITIONS on November 14th – and trust us, you don’t want to miss this one! Check out the first chapter below and preorder your copy now!

 

About DEADLY PREMONITIONS

Available November 14th

USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne brings the Safeguard Series to a stunning conclusion with your favorite characters that will have you staying wide awake until the very last page is turned…

The ominous knock on the front door in the middle of the night should have given Shailyn Doyle fair warning, but she answered it despite her palpable fear. Her past had finally come back to haunt her. It would be nothing more than her worst nightmares come to life.

Townes Calvert had been given a brief glimpse of nirvana before having it ripped from his grasp. He now has a chance to reclaim what was taken from him, but he must first hunt down the man responsible for murdering eighteen women and risk all that he loves.

Townes and Shailyn have no choice but to play a sadistic serial killer’s twisted game in their search to reclaim the love they had once been forced to sacrifice. They both have envisioned what could be…but will they end up with nothing more than deadly premonitions?

Add DEADLY PREMONITIONS to your Goodreads list here!

DEADLY PREMONITIONS releases November 14th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

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Read the First Chapter

Pain unlike anything she’d ever experienced before radiated throughout her body. There were no tears. She couldn’t manage a single teardrop. A deathlike chill had settled into her bones, chasing away all other bodily functions.

She was paralyzed.

She was unable to move, to scream… or to hide.

She was at his mercy, of which he had none.

Shailyn Doyle gasped as her upper body came off the bed. She couldn’t suck in enough oxygen. Her vision had become blurry. She would certainly die this time.

Panic took hold as its tentacles slithered around her soul, slowly strangling what life was left within her.

Shailyn wrapped her fingers around her throat in desperation. She struggled to draw air into her lungs to the point that even she could hear the whistling rattle of her frantic attempt at breathing. Seconds ticked by until the terrifying nightmare slowly fragmented into bits and pieces, eventually fading into dust as the terror disappeared.

“Two hours,” Shailyn murmured to herself after glancing at the clock on her bedside table. The green illuminated numbers read three fourteen in the morning. “Progress.”

Shailyn tossed the heavy comforter and sheet to the side in acceptance. She wouldn’t get any more sleep tonight. What was noteworthy was the fact that the top sheet was dry. She hadn’t even broken a sweat in her throes of memories best forgotten. It was hard to be proud of that detail when she recognized her reaction for what it was— tolerance.

She swung her legs over the side of the bed. She recalled as a child always believing something or someone would reach out of the darkness and grab her ankles if she kept them dangling there long enough. She missed the days when the monsters had been nothing but a figment of her imagination.

Certain kinds of monsters were very real.

Shailyn automatically reached for the journal she kept on the bedside table, ignoring the slight tremor of her fingers. It was a byproduct of her time spent as a victim with a psychopath as her tormentor. She’d been left with a lot of daily reminders. That particular one didn’t rate high on the scale of her insecurities.

It wasn’t a conscious decision to write in her diary. It was a rote behavior after so many years of psychoanalysis. She didn’t even think twice about sliding the pen off the soft brown leather cover and setting the black ink to paper. Her psychiatrist had explained that keeping detailed notes of her dreams and reactions could render the next night a little easier and maybe even less intense. That had never been the truth as she knew it, but it did give her purpose.

She wrote down every facet of her nightmare underneath her last entry almost twenty hours earlier. There was no need for her to turn on a light considering she never slept in the dark anymore. As a matter of fact, every lamp and overhead light in this one-bedroom house was currently shining bright to keep the obscure shadows at bay.

It gave her a false sense of security. The dark represented the evil that crept in with the night.

She honestly didn’t care that the reassurance was a fabrication. The presence of the lights allowed her to physically walk through the rooms without hesitation.

Shailyn clipped the pen back onto the smooth jacket of her journal before setting both onto the nightstand. It didn’t take her long to cross the room and carefully draw the heavy curtain aside. Her bedroom was located on the main floor of the house, facing toward the front where a heavily armored, black government-plated SUV had been parked ever since Shepherd Moss had escaped from a federal prison.

Shepherd Moss— her own private monster.

He was a very special demon summoned from the depths of hell itself.

He was out there somewhere, biding his time as he savored her soul. Shailyn didn’t doubt that he was looking for her right this very moment.

After all, she was the only one who had ever gotten away.

Technically, that wasn’t true. She had not been able to work her way out of the restraints Moss had her bound in for three days. An Arthurian hero had found her instead, and her shining knight had refused to let her die. She barely recalled him arriving as dark as the night. His armor had been as rough as sackcloth, moving among the shadows as if they held no sway over him. He was the antithesis of her tormenter.

What did astound her was that the torture she’d undergone had only lasted three days.

A mere seventy-two hours.

How was that even possible when her time spent in that hellhole had seemed like an eternity of several lifetimes? Of course, the same thing could almost be said for the years she’d been in the witness protection program. Now those three hundred and sixty-five day spans seemed endless, consisting of nothingness. Was she actually awaiting Moss’ return with the promise of renewed torture?

She supposed she should be grateful. Eighteen women hadn’t been as lucky as her, but then again, what was so fortunate about living this so-called life she’d been given?

Shailyn let the curtain fall back into place, checking to make sure that not even a sliver of darkness was visible before she crossed the bedroom floor in her bare feet. The coolness of the hardwood didn’t bother her all that much, but wearing any type of shoe made her want to rip them off her feet and burn them. The scars on her ankles always became irritated when material rubbed against them for any period of time. She’d tried slip-ons in the past, as well as flip-flops, but those hadn’t worked either due to the damage done to the heels of her feet.

It didn’t take long for her to enter the living room and walk into the kitchen. The layout was simple, just as she liked it. The walls were devoid of pictures, there were no knick-knacks on the shelves or tabletops, and the few simple sticks of Ikea furniture had been rented with the house. It wasn’t like anyone questioned the way she lived, especially considering she never had any guests. No one was permitted to enter her home, though she did make an exception now and then to the U.S. Marshals who had taken up guarding her night and day since Moss had escaped federal prison. Why make any friendships when she would most likely be relocated sooner rather than later?

Groceries were delivered to a drop box on her front porch from the local store. She had access to the small area from inside the house. She could lock the outside access door to the box before ever opening the inside hatch. The delivery service was a special arrangement the grocery store provided for the elderly and shut-ins.

The Marshals vetted the designated delivery man and all the other employees of the friendly retailer. The grocery store tended to substitute their own brand a lot for other brand names, and they also charged a premium for nearly every item available through their service. Privacy apparently came with a price.

Shailyn hit the brew button, having already prepared the coffee maker three hours ago. She shivered slightly when condensation layered the sides of the glass carafe. Her feet were a little colder on the kitchen tile than they had been on the hardwood floor. The memory of a blue torch flame flashed across her mind’s eye.

She crossed into the living room and looked over at the bay window to ensure the drapes were closed like she’d left them. Her need for solitude had nothing to do with the fact that she was wearing a pair of flannel pajamas.

Everything was as it should be. She didn’t miss a step as she continued directly to the wall where her thermostat was positioned a little lower than eye level.

The digital numbers read seventy-two degrees. She didn’t care what digits were displayed and intentionally pressed the up arrow twice. Heat from the furnace had a tendency to rise from the vents, keeping only the upper half of the room warm while leaving the floors far too cold for her sensitive feet. Winters in Maine tended to get rather brisk, and this house wasn’t insulated properly. She honestly didn’t mind her electricity bill being higher. She always kept to her budget. It wasn’t like she spent her money on anything other than rent, utilities, and groceries.

She turned around to make her way back into the kitchen when the sight of her files on the desk caught her eye. The manila folder with ungraded essays sitting on top of the stack was crooked. She stopped walking, allowing her arms to drop to her sides, anticipating the assault.

Her heart stuttered in fear. Not because of death, but what came before it.

Everything on her desk had been perfect when she’d turned in for the couple hours of sleep she barely managed to obtain. She’d gotten into the habit of positioning items in a manner where only she would recognize if they’d been disturbed. And she was one hundred percent positive that the pile of schoolwork she’d been grading last night had been organized squarely in the left-hand corner. Not a millimeter had been out of place.

Okay. Ninety-nine percent sure, because one of the two U.S. Marshals sitting in the vehicle outside of her house had paid her a visit after noticing one of her two bulbs had burnt out on the porch. He had kindly replaced the lightbulb before rejoining his partner outside in the black sedan.

He could have easily bumped into the edge of her desk, causing the slight misalignment.

How many times had she overreacted over the years? Too many to count, that was for sure.

Shailyn bit her lip as she carefully looked over the living room for any other sign that someone other than the U.S. Marshal had been in her home. She cautiously put one foot in front of the other as she made her way through the entire house, eventually completing her search by returning to her desk after checking every room.

Nothing else was out of place.

“You’re losing your mind, girl.”

It was bound to happen, given the circumstances. She recalled a psychiatrist telling her that the average individual would have been institutionalized after suffering through the ordeal she’d been through. He couldn’t seem to accept that she was nothing extraordinary. She’d switched shrinks after that, going through a long line of men and women who had various opinions on how she should handle her future.

Shailyn gently rested the palm of her right hand underneath her breast on the opposite side. She had been left with a reminder that she would never have a normal life… at least, not the way she’d once envisioned.

The rich aroma of coffee filled the air, prompting her to return to the kitchen. She did stop briefly at the living room window and verify that the ever-present black sedan was still in position. Two silhouettes were easily discernible.

She thought about taking them out a thermos full of coffee, but a couple of things prevented her from doing so. For one, she didn’t go outside of these four walls any more than absolutely necessary. Two, she didn’t even own a thermos.

Shailyn pulled a single brown mug that had seen better days from the cupboard. The eighties-style porcelain dishes came with the rental house, allowing her to travel light when she had to move. Honestly, everything she owned fit in one suitcase and an oversized purse. She was a simple woman, really, even taking her coffee black without any further additions.

She sighed in resignation as she took her steaming coffee into the living room, snatching up the folder of essays that had given her more of a jolt than the caffeine in her coffee could provide. She looked forward to doing some mundane reading from the writing assignments she’d given her students taking the online course she taught to pass the time. It was also a way to make some additional money, though her students knew her as Ms. Rachel Smith.

Her online persona, as detailed in the course curriculum, featured a picture of a random middle-aged spinster freshly returned to the farm after retiring from some teaching position. She sometimes wondered about the identity of the woman in the photograph, considering the lack of a full-fledged backstory. WITSEC wasn’t that original when it came to assigning new identifications to their patrons. Ms. Smith was a retired teacher from Iowa. That was the best they could come up with.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

The essays scattered onto the hardwood floor as the papers fell from her lap, taking the manila folder with them. Each essay was now drenched in coffee as she scrambled to her feet and spilled her hot beverage all over them. Her first thought was that Shepherd Moss wouldn’t knock on her front door to gain entry. He would have just appeared behind her. Her second and most insightful deduction was that trouble had just landed on her front porch.

She quietly stepped over the wet papers and set down her coffee mug on the side table, not stopping until she reached her desk. One of those cheap buy-as-you-go cell phones purchased off the rack at the local drug store was tucked into the top drawer. She always made sure the device was charged and ready to go should she need to leave the property or contact the Marshals. It also came in handy when she needed to call 911… which had never happened in all the years she’d been in WITSEC.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

“Ms. Smith, it’s Deputy U.S. Marshal Sturridge.”

Sturridge was the Marshal who had changed her lightbulb a few hours ago, but she couldn’t fathom why he would need to speak with her at this hour. She quickly opened the top desk drawer and retrieved her phone, pressing in the three numbers without initiating the call. She rested her thumb on the button as she slowly made her way to the door to evaluate the situation further.

“What seems to be the matter, Marshal?” Shailyn asked with concern, but doing her best to keep her fear disguised. She tilted her head so that she could hear Sturridge’s reply through the heavy door. She left off that this wasn’t their usual procedure. Technically, the average WITSEC individual didn’t have two Marshals sitting outside of his or her home on a regular basis. They were all given new identities and then expected to adapt, as if their lives hadn’t been ripped out from underneath them in the most violent way imaginable. “Is everything okay?”

“Ms. Smith, there’s been a development. We need to take you down to the Bureau’s Portland Field Office as soon as possible.”

Shailyn swallowed back the lump of alarm that formed in her throat. Had Moss killed someone else she’d known in her childhood? He’d done that exact thing a couple of months ago, most likely trying to draw her out from under the concealment of her WITSEC identity. The U.S. Marshals Service had been very adamant that she follow their instructions down to the exact letter since Moss had escaped federal custody. She’d complied, but she wasn’t so sure she could continue to do so should he target her friends or family again.

Shailyn rested her forehead against the hard surface of the door and pretended for just a moment that this night was like any other. She’d get close to a couple hours of sleep, work for a couple more on the computer, and then maybe get a half hour rest before her day started with her schedule of online classes. The visual gave her the composure she needed before releasing all three security locks they had installed upon moving her into this house.

“My family?” Shailyn asked hesitantly after opening the door. Sturridge gave her an encouraging smile, though sadness was visible in his soft, brown eyes. He reminded her of those gentle cowboy giants Louis L’Amour had written about when her father had been a young man. She recalled her dad reading her books of the Wild West when she’d been younger, allowing them both to enjoy her bedtime stories. Sometimes she wondered if her father would have preferred a boy. “Are they okay?”

“Yes, ma’am, they’re all fine as far as I’m aware.”

“Then why am I needed at the Portland Field Office in the middle of the night?” Shailyn had once been the spontaneous type, living every second of every day like it was her last when she’d been younger. That day had arrived sooner rather than later, changing her outlook on the simplest of pleasures. “Am I being relocated again?” “

Ms. Smith, you—”

“Please.” The word was just short of a plea. She was only human, and a flawed one at that. “Just tell me.”

“Shepherd Moss killed an agent on the case yesterday.”

Shailyn wasn’t surprised. At least, she shouldn’t have been surprised. Her breathing faltered, though. Moss had targeted someone else, someone unrelated to her. She suspected that it wasn’t with no strings attached. She shouldn’t feel any guilt over the man’s predilection for torturing and killing people, particularly women. She’d done her part by sitting on that witness stand and testifying— no, reliving— every painful cut he’d sliced into her body. That included every burn he branded into her flesh, as well.

“I still don’t understand what that has to do with me, Marshal.”

Shailyn’s mouth had gone dry and she couldn’t even lick her lips to get the words out smoothly. Sturridge was glancing at his watch, as if they should be in a rush to get to the Portland Field Office. Since when had her activities ever been on such a tight timetable?

“Ms. Smith, the agent who was murdered had been assigned to watch over a woman by the name of Brettany Lambert. She was a childhood friend of yours, correct?”

Yes. Brett had been Shailyn’s best friend through elementary and middle school. A memory of them turning up the dial on her old boom box came to mind, along with a made-up game that kept them busy for hours. The first lyric to come through the speaker was what the boy she liked at the time was thinking of her at that very moment. They would each take turns, giggling their weekends away.

“Ms. Smith?”

Shailyn cleared her throat before nodding her agreement. She would go with Sturridge to the Portland Field Office, believing one hundred percent that she would be on a plane by noon. The U.S. Marshals and the FBI had been very cautious. It was their job to ensure her safety from the monster she’d helped put away. There had only ever been one man who’d truly given her that precious sense of security, and she hadn’t seen him once since the day she entered WITSEC.

This was her life now… being alone with only a suitcase to her name. She often wondered when the hand underneath the bed would finally grab her ankles and pull her into the shadows. What if she were to go into that hiding place voluntarily? Was that how she would find her freedom? Was death her only escape?

Or could she slay the monster before he was able to kill her?

*

He closed his eyes, reliving every second he spent in the company of Shailyn Doyle. Her unblemished flesh had been a canvas from which he had created something beautiful. He did design his masterpiece on her body, but only she had the pleasure of seeing his work every single day in the mirror.

He wanted her back.

He needed to finish the seminal work he’d begun.

Did the authorities not understand that he was the one in control? Had he not proven his dominance time and time again? His parting gift in Colorado he’d left for Townes Calvert should have gotten his message across.

Townes Calvert.

The only adversary who had ever lived up to his most exacting standards. The man’s personal interest in Shailyn Doyle would only make this game that much sweeter in the end. They would meet again soon, but he wasn’t ready to see his entertainment come to an end. He preferred the long game.

He rocked back on the wooden porch and listened to the crickets and frogs communicate in their harmonious languages. Mother Nature could end their conversations with a mere slap of her hand.

He recalled the enchanting screams that fell from Shailyn’s chapped lips— now that was his favorite melody.

 

 

About Kennedy Layne

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Read an excerpt from Drowning Eric by Elizabeth O’Roark… coming soon!

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When she falls in, she starts sinking fast.
Drowning Erin by Elizabeth O’Roark will be here November 9!!!

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CHECK OUT THIS SUPER STEAMY EXCERPT!!!

He lifts the champagne high overhead. “Mouth wide,” he warns.

“No, Brendan, it’s going to go everywhere,” I complain. “I can’t swallow it all.”
“That’s what she said,” he answers.
And then we’re both laughing, and he tips the champagne so it seems to explode from the bottle—over my face, my shirt, my shorts—and I laugh even harder. This moment, like so many from the last few weeks, reminds me of biking downhill faster than I should. It feels thrilling and wild and reckless, the danger and the excitement weighted equally. When I compare this moment to the rest of my history, it feels as if I’ve been tethered to the ground my entire life. Right now I finally feel free.
I jump to my feet, still giggling. “Your pouring skills are legendary.”
He sets the champagne down and moves toward me, closer than he should. I can feel the warmth radiating from him. It makes me want to move closer too. His hand presses to my stomach, and I hold my breath.
“You need to change or you’re gonna freeze out here. You want me to go get you clothes?”
I shake my head. As much as I don’t want to be the voice of reason, and as much I want to remain out here with him, I have just enough common sense to know it’s the last thing I should do.
“We should probably head in. We’ve got to be up in four hours,” I tell him. “But I wish we had more time.” I wish this was a night we could stretch into a week’s worth of hours, or more.
His eyes are brighter right now than I’ve ever seen them. “I wish a lot of things were different, Erin.”
My heart goes triple time, and my breath stills somewhere between my lungs and my throat. The prospect of admitting even a tiny portion of the truth to him is terrifying. “I wish they were different too.”
His hands frame my face, sliding through my hair, and then his mouth is on mine, better even than I remembered. He tastes like champagne, and all of my resolution is forgotten under the force of this, after years of wanting this exact thing only from him.
This kiss reminds me of diving off the rocks yesterday, of the moment when I first plunged into the water—surrounded, disoriented, thrilled, and horrified all at once. In the space of that moment, only as long as it takes us both to swim to the surface and gasp for air, nothing makes sense and nothing else exists—only tangled limbs and warm skin and hearts that beat too fast. My mouth opens under his, and he groans, one hand sliding down around my hip, pulling me into him so that all of his heat is pressed against me, pulsing and ready.
“I’ve wanted this for so fucking long,” he says, his mouth moving to my neck, his hands sliding to the hem of my shirt, grazing my skin.
There are a million reasons why this is a terrible idea, and I don’t care about any of them.
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About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth O’Roark is a former medical writer who lives in Washington, DC with her three children. She is an avid runner when able to escape the aforementioned children. She drinks an embarrassing amount of Diet Mountain Dew, and would exist entirely off of candy corn were it socially acceptable to do so.

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Read an excerpt from Love On The Edge of Time by Julie A. Richman! Coming 11/13/2017

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Love on the Edge of Time, an all-new stand-alone story about a love too great to be bound by time, from Julie A. Richman is coming November 13th!

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Love on the Edge of Time by Julie A. Richman

Publishing Date: November 13th, 2017

He likes whiskey and wild women

She likes Ben & Jerry’s

He’s about to get kicked out of his own band

She ate her way off the Miss America pageant circuit

What could these two possibly have in common?

A psychiatrist

A lot of unresolved issues

A whole bunch of shared lifetimes

And a love that is never-ending

As bad boy rocker, Jesse Winslow, and former pageant queen, Kylie Martin, each fight the demons screwing up their lives, the one person who holds the key to healing their ills and reuniting two souls that have searched for one another, lifetime after lifetime, is the only one who knows the whole truth.

And keeping that truth from them may just be in preeminent psychiatrist Dr. Claire Stoddard’s best interests.

Claire has committed the ultimate sin in the medical world. She’s fallen for the one man she’s forbidden to love.

Her patient, Jesse Winslow.

And she’s not about to lose him to Kylie Martin… Again.

Excerpt:

I’m at a table in the back-right corner, he texted.

In a cab a few blocks away. See you in 5.

Kylie was running a few minutes late, not rudely late, just fashionably late. She had pulled nearly everything she owned out of her closet, trying to find something that was flattering, yet rock-star cool and ‘Yeah, I know his ex is a top model’. ‘So What’ chic was the look she was trying to pull off. It wasn’t easy. With the recent weight loss, she was between sizes. Her big girl clothes, as she was now referring to them, looked like misshapen potato sacks on her and her pageant days’ wardrobe were nowhere near an option yet, and might not ever be.

She made the decision. It’s New York, seriously, just pick something black. And so black it was. Black legging jeans, black high boots, a thin, black, cashmere V-neck sweater, all topped with a black leather jacket. Twisting her hair, she clipped it up, then pulled a few strands out to frame her face and a few at the base of her neckline. It was messy and sexy.

Standing in front of the mirror, she wondered for whom she was dressing. Jesse? Well, yeah, you don’t want to be seen with a rock star looking like a beast on parade. The paparazzi? Same logic applied as for Jesse. The skinny model ex-girlfriend? Well, not really for her, but for everyone who would make a comparison. For herself? C’mon, he’s Jesse Fucking Winslow. Get real.

As she made her way to the back of the darkened restaurant, Kylie could feel her spine straighten, shoulders fall back, chin up. The only thing missing was the sash as she gracefully floated past tables, the male occupants covertly attempting to sneak an appreciative look without alerting their female companions.

I’ve still got it.

And her confidence soared as she sat down in the chair next to one of the sexiest, most recognizable men on the planet, and he had watched every man in the restaurant check her out.

“You look gorgeous, Toots.”

“Thank you.” It was still surreal that she was sitting here with her new buddy.

“I’m going to have to fight half the guys in the restaurant off you.”

Laughing, “I doubt that.” Kylie rolled her eyes.

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About the Author:

I must’ve been 5 or 6 when I started writing “stories”. I would write them and hide them.

Not wanting anyone to see my “secret” thoughts. I needed to write – even back then. Now I’m just not hiding them anymore. Is that a sign of maturity? Nah…

Writer, photographer, insatiable wanderluster, edge-player, foodie, music addict, pop culture fanatic, animal lover, warrior for the rights of people and planet, and avid cusser (am a Native

New Yorker, so very little offends me…and if I am offended, it must be pretty freaking bad..like

bad grammar!)

I am a big believer in signs and if we keep ourselves open, there are guideposts all along the way. Stay humble. Be true. Be you.

Life is not a dress rehearsal…

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LDH-AN

Read an excerpt from Infamy by L. P. Maxa… coming 11/16/2017!

BLURB

ONLY FOR…



Landry Cole’s life began
when she was nine. Until then the day-to-day turmoil of her early childhood was
the stuff of nightmares. Her father, his wife, and all her aunts and uncles
showed Landry unconditional love, and under their care, she bloomed. But she
never forgot. Fast forward to the fifth year of her surgical residency, and
from the outside, Landry’s got it going on. Inside, loneliness and betrayal
color her life until she meets the outrageous and daring Clashing Swell
drummer, Brody Frost.



THE SHORT TERM



Brody’s life was golden. He surfed every
morning, his band, Clashing Swell, had just signed with RiffRaff records, and
he was free from emotional attachments. Until he met Landry Cole. To say she
took his breath away was an understatement. But she was a princess to rock
royalty, and Brody was no one from no where. Sure, the tour the band was about
to undertake would change all that, but he wanted Landry now. When she told him
they were short term, she wasn’t going to be a tour widow, he thought he’d take
whatever she would give him. Little did he know she was about to give him
everything.
 
Coming November 16, 2017!
 
Add it to your TBR – http://bit.ly/2hPnISb
 
 

EXCERPT

As soon as my aunt and uncle turned the corner, Brody
whispered in my ear. “Lucky for you, fun is my specialty.”
I turned to him, smiling despite myself. “Oh yeah?” Clearly,
Brody wasn’t the type of guy that needed to be encouraged. Yet, for some
reason, I couldn’t seem to help myself. I blamed the wine and fresh ocean air
for making me act as crazy as the drummer.
He nodded, his sexy smirk firmly in place. “You wanna see?”
I should have said no. But, then again, maybe Aunt Lo was
right; some fun would do me good. Plus, Brody wasn’t hard on the eyes, not by a
long shot. “Yes.” Before I knew what was happening, he picked me up, threw me
over his shoulder and headed down the long cement and cinder-block hallway.
“What are you doing?” I screeched. “People will see us.”
“All anyone can see right now is your perfect little ass.”
He slapped it lightly.
I never did things like this—ever. The last guy I dated was
a heart surgeon, with an ego the size of Texas, and little to no sense of
humor. He’d asked me out on a date, and it’d taken him four more to get in my
pants. And then he’d cheated on me…so really, I should be happy Brody seemed
like Dr. Douche’s polar opposite. “Where are you taking me, caveman?”
“To have fun, of course.” He turned a corner to the left,
this hallway much darker than the last. Another turn to the right, and suddenly
it was pitch black. He placed me on my feet, and I held onto his arms while the
blood rushed back into my head.
“Are we in a janitor’s closet?” The room smelled vaguely of
chemicals.
“I think so.” He was close, standing right in front of me.
The way he placed his hands on my hips was like we knew each other. Like we had
been seeing each other.
“And this is fun?” I was biting my lip. Standing in a closet
with a complete stranger wasn’t a normal Landry Cole move. It was more of an
old-school Jacks Cole move, if we were naming names.
“Are you excited and slightly terrified?” He was closer now,
his words whispered against my lips.
“Yes.”
He put a hand in my hair, his fingers rubbing my scalp.
“Then we are well on our way to real fun, baby cakes.” And then he kissed me.
I had butterflies in my stomach and goosebumps on my skin.
He tasted like the sea air and coconuts; like summer. I ran my hands up his
arms, more than a little surprised at myself. I didn’t know why I wasn’t
pushing him away. Why I wasn’t demanding to be let out. Who was this
woman he’d made me become?
“God, you taste good.” He bent me backward, kissing me
deeper. When he stood up, I climbed him like a damn tree then wrapped my legs
around his waist.
Call me crazy, but I wanted him. I wanted this wild man to
fuck me in a supply closet. I wanted it bad.
He walked forward, pushing my back against another
cinder-block wall. I freed my hands from his messy blond hair, fumbling with
his button and zipper trying to get his pants off. If I was going mental I
might as well go all the way, right?
Tomorrow I would go back to being a responsible
surgeon.
Tomorrow everything would go back to boring. But tonight—tonight I
wanted fun.

 

 

 

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About L.P. MAXA

 

 

L.P. Maxa lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, daughter,
3 rescue dogs, 1 cat – the fish died – and one bunny who doesn’t seem to like
them. She loves reading romance novels as much as she love writing them. She
says, inspiration can come from anywhere: a song lyric, a quote, a weekend with
friends. The tiniest things can spark amazing stories. She loves to hear from
readers.

 

 

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LDH-AN

Read an excerpt from Meghan Quinn’s The Other Brother ~ coming 11/2/2017!

 

 

 

 

 

I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me.

There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go?

I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good.

Until I met my neighbor.

It’s been three years since I’d seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?

I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.

Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?

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ENJOY THIS EXCERPT FROM THE OTHER BROTHER

 

 

Right on time, I’m impressed.

She doesn’t get out of her car right away, so I give her a second but then realize maybe she’s not exiting the vehicle because I have the key to the house and she has nowhere to go.

Wanting to make a good impression and seem approachable since I’m the property manager, I run my hand through my hair and adjust my jeans. I’m not wearing any fancy shit, but at least I don’t have holes in or paint stains on my clothes. I hop off my front porch and make my way toward her car, slowly, not wanting to scare her.

There is muffling coming from her car, voices I can’t quite hear, but I get the idea she’s finishing up a conversation, so I slow my pace drastically. That’s when I see her tilt her head down and look at me. From the reflection of the light off her windows, I can’t make out her features. I can only see a silhouette.

I lift a friendly hand in her direction to let her know I come in peace and make my way to her driveway. There is no wave back, but I do hear the telltale sound of her opening her car door. She steps out and when I round the vehicle, I catch the sun off her driver’s side window, temporarily blinding me.

Blinking my eyes a few times to calm my retinas, I bring her into focus.

“Aaron . . .”

Every hair on my body sticks straight up and my body goes still from that voice, that unmistakably sultry voice.

When she finally comes into view, I am met with a pair of hazel eyes I haven’t been able to get out of my head since the day she left town for bigger and better things.

“Amelia.” I clear my throat and take a step forward. “Wow, I uh . . .” Tongue-tied, that’s exactly what I am right now. “Didn’t expect to see you get out of that car.” I laugh nervously while I pull on the back of my neck, trying to comprehend what’s going on. I point with my thumb toward the house and ask, “You’re the new tenant?”

She nods and looks me over, taking her time with her perusal, her eyes burning a hole right through my clothes like they used to. When her eyes meet mine again, she asks, “You’re the property manager?”

I nod and swallow hard. “And neighbor.”

She presses her lips together, thinning them out. “What are the chances?” She laughs nervously.

“Yeah, especially since I thought your life was in the city.” I didn’t mean for that to come out rude, but it did. Gentling my voice, I ask, “What brings you back home?”

Staring at the ground, clutching her purse to her side, she says, “My dad. He’s, uh, not doing well.” Duh, Mrs. Ferguson mentioned something like that. I’m so damn overwhelmed and shocked right now though, that entire conversation I had with Mrs. Ferguson is not registering in my mind.

“Oh no.” My brow pinches together in concern. “What happened?”

She waves me off. “Nothing you need to worry about.” And just like that she shuts me down. Honestly, I’m surprised she said that much to me after how we ended things between us.

Yes, there was an us, a perfectly beautiful, love-filled us. Amelia Santos was the best thing to ever happen to me, and yet, she was also the worst. During a time where my heart broke from every uncaring glance from my mom, Amelia resurrected me from the ashes I would have otherwise drowned in. She was my rock, the one solid feature in my life.

She was also my downfall.

She was going places, and I wasn’t. She had opportunity, and I had none. She wanted me to move with her, and I couldn’t, but no way in hell would I hold her back. I barely made it out of my mom’s house. There were many days when I tried hard to earn a buck so I could find a place to live other than the homeless shelter where I spent many lonely nights. Amelia deserved better than that, so I pushed her away to achieve her dreams. Little did I know, breaking up with her would send me in the biggest downward spiral of my life. The only reason I’m the man I am today is because after hitting rock bottom, I knew things needed to change, and it was up to me to make something of myself. So I worked my ass off. And now at thirty, I can say proudly that I’m a co-owner of an up-and-coming construction company as well as the proud owner of a house in the heart of Hillcrest, a beautiful two-story house. I’m doing well for myself . . . at least that’s what I thought until Amelia stepped out of her car.

Now I’m questioning every little thing about my life leading to this point.

 

 

 

 

 

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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