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Teaser: Inked Hearts by Lindsay Detwiler ~ coming Oct 21, 2017!

Inked Hearts

by Lindsay Detwiler
Publication Date: October 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Preorder: Am

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“Six years, a complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure.
That’s what he gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.”

Suffering from the sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom. Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time.

But then she meets Jesse.

A tattoo shop owner, the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a line in the sand between their hearts.

When summer nights get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their hearts be permanently inked by past pain?

About Lindsay Detwiler

An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe.

She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry.

Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job.

Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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Coming July 10th ~ Whispered Prayers of a Girl by Alex Grayson!

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Whispered Prayers of a Girl by Alex Grayson releases July 10!

This is one emotionally satisfying read, but warning:  tissues may be necessary!

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PRE-ORDER NOW!!!
Amazon US → http://amzn.to/2sc3fqa
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BLURB

A tortured soul meets a damaged family…

A lonely man, a widowed woman, a carefree boy, and a broken girl… Can the four come together and help heal each other? Or will fear of the unknown and guilt of the past keep them apart?

Her whispered prayers break her…

At night, as she’s drifting off to sleep, I press my ear to the door and listen to her heart-wrenching pleas. Her words are agony to my healing heart, but I cherish the sound of them, for that’s the only time I ever hear my beautiful daughter speak. Since her father died two years ago, she’s grown quiet and withdrawn. Cat’s Valley was to be our new beginning, a place where my family and I can heal, but what we find there is so much more.

Scars mar his body. Pain has left him in pieces…

Four years ago, I lost the two things I cherished most in the world. They were ripped from my arms in the most painful and cruel way. Since then, I’ve kept to myself, preferring to stay away from the pitying looks and murmured rumors. Everything changed when she and her children barged into my life. It was an accident, and I don’t deserve them, but now that they’ve stepped into my life, I’m not sure I can let them go.

*This book is intended for mature audiences, ages 18+. It may be enjoyed as a standalone!

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About Alex:

Alex Grayson is the bestselling author of heart pounding, emotionally gripping contemporary romance including The Jaded Series, The Consumed Series, and two standalone novels. Her passion for books was reignited by a gift from her sister-in-law intended to distract Alex and help her pass the time while her husband was away for work. After spending several years as a devoted reader and blogger, Alex decided to write and independently publish her first novel in 2014 (an endeavor that took a little longer than expected). The rest, as they say, is history.

Originally a southern girl, Alex now lives in Ohio with her husband, two children, two cats and dog. She loves the color blue, homemade lasagna, casually browsing real estate, and interacting with her readers. Visit her website, www.alexgraysonbooks.com, or find her on social media!

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Find Alex Online!
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2qs61qF
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Website: http://www.alexgraysonbooks.com

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Check out a teaser from the upcoming A War Like Ours by Saffron A. Kent

A War Like Ours

by Saffron A Kent
Publication Date: February 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Request to Review

A liar…

Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.

A hater…

After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.

A forbidden kiss…

But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.

Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.

Enter to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card here.

About Saffron A. Kent

Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper.

My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things.

I LOVE to chat with readers about reading and writing so come follow me!

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Check out a teaser from A War Like Ours by Saffron A. Kent!

A War Like Ours

by Saffron A Kent
Publication Date: February 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Request to Review

A liar…

Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.

A hater…

After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.

A forbidden kiss…

But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.

Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.

About Saffron A. Kent

Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper.

My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things.

I LOVE to chat with readers about reading and writing so come follow me!

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Teaser Blast! Under Pressure by Lori Foster coming 1/24/17!

PASSIONS ARE READY TO POP IN THIS STEAMY NEW ROMANTIC THRILLER FROM AWARD WINNING BESTSELLING AUTHOR LORI FOSTER

From New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Lori Foster comes UNDER PRESSURE, the first book in her brand-new Body Armor series, featuring her trademark alpha-male heroes and strong-willed heroines, who risk everything to save one another from the deadly forces that seek to destroy them.

 

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Preorder UNDER PRESSURE here!

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UNDER PRESSURE Synopsis:

He can protect anything except his heart

Leese Phelps’s road hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s brought him to the perfect job—working for the elite Body Armor security agency. And what his newest assignment lacks in size, she makes up for in fire and backbone. But being drawn to Catalina Nicholson is a dangerous complication, especially since it could be the very man who hired Leese who’s threatening her.

What Catalina knows could get her killed. But who’d believe the sordid truth about her powerful stepfather? Beyond Leese’s ripped body and brooding gaze is a man of impeccable honor. He’s the last person she expects to trust—and the first who’s ever made her feel safe. And he’s the only one who can help her expose a deadly secret, if they can just stay alive long enough…

 

 

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Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

 

 

lori-foster-author-photoAbout Lori Foster:

LORI FOSTER is a New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 55 titles, beloved for her contemporary romance novels revolving around alpha males and the women they fall for. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her website at LoriFoster.com, or check out these online locations where she interacts with readers: Facebook.com/LoriFoster, Twitter.com/LoriLFoster, Goodreads and Pinterest.com/lorilfoster.

You can also sign up for her monthly newsletter at LoriFoster.com/Newsletter.

 

 

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Teaser Blast! Dirty Secret by Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert! Coming soon!

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Today we are celebrating the teaser and excerpt reveal of DIRTY SECRET by Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert. This book is a contemporary romance, standalone, title that you won’t want to miss! Check the links below to pre-order it, or to purchase the previous book in this standalone series, Dirty Work. Don’t miss the opportunity to win one of 3 signed paperbacks by clicking the link below!

 

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DIRTY SECRET by Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert

Coming January 17, 2017 – Pre-order available now!

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Book Blurb:

*STANDALONE – ENEMIES TO LOVERS ROMANCE**

Agent: Kennedy Barnes
Target: Phoenix ‘Nix’ Ash
Crimes: Hacker and Heartbreaker
Mission: Get Close and Survive

After living her life in the shadows as the daughter of a congressman’s secret affair, Kennedy Barnes joins ‘Project Greenlight’ – a clandestine intelligence organization. She’s out to prove she’s more than her father’s dirty secret.

One of her first assignments is simple. Get close to Phoenix Ash, collect enough evidence to put him away for life, and get out unscathed.

Phoenix Ash is a world renowned hacker. He’s pulled off some of the biggest heists in modern history, but never leaves a trace. He knows people are after him and that every day may be his last, but when he meets Kennedy Barnes everything changes.

Lines are blurred and secrets are exposed as Phoenix and Kennedy both discover they do have a weakness – for each other.

This is a STANDALONE novel, but is interconnected with Dirty Work, which is now available.

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Pre-order it in paperback

Add it to your Goodreads TBR Pile

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EXCERPT:

PHOENIX

Standing behind a pillar, I watch the familiar woman. She’s browsing through a rack of cocktail dresses, oblivious to my presence. It’s her mouth that draws me in. That fucking mouth piercing keeps flashes in the lights like the beacon from a lighthouse.
When she tugs on it with her tongue and there’s a twinkle, it hits me where I know her from—Hassan’s arm piece but without the bright blue, chin-length hair. She’s more beautiful with the long, pin straight black hair that sways each time she moves a new dress aside than with the electric-blue wig. Her eyes drift to where I’m standing, and I step to the side, shielding myself from her view with the pillar.
I’m not ready for her to see me. Staying hidden until I know she’s alone is more important than my need to speak with her. Reaching into my pocket, I grab my phone and open the camera. I need to get a photo of Eva and figure out who she is before I expose myself to a possible threat. Hassan follows his dick, but I tend to use my brain. But that doesn’t mean I won’t toy with her a little.
I weave through the racks of clothes and step behind her as she’s standing in front of a mirror holding a hanger with a sleek black dress pressed against her body. Her eyes catch mine in the mirror and widen in recognition. “Eva,” I say with a slight smile to her reflection in the mirror.
Her hand with the dress drops, and she spins around on her heel to face me. She smiles nervously and sucks that fucking ring into her mouth.

KENNEDY

Well, shit. This is no good. Nix is eyeing me like a hungry wolf that just found its next meal. And I’ve never felt so naked in my life.
I want to turn and run. Without a disguise to make me into Eva, Raine, Laura, or one of my other many identities, I don’t know what to say to him. Even though I knew one of my work contacts could see me like this, I wasn’t prepared for it. And of all people, it would have to be the man who already seems to be able to see right through me.
“You shopping for a dress, Nix?” I ask, my tone casual but my heart racing as I continue looking through a rack of dresses.
“You look better without the wig.”
He bypasses my question smoothly. I pause my dress perusal and meet his dark, steely eyes.
“Thanks,” I say crisply. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have shopping to do.”
Nix follows me to the next rack of dresses. “No need to buy anything new to impress your sugar daddy with. I hear he’s back in Dubai on business.”
“Do you mean Hassan?” I ask, my tone unconcerned. Inside, I feel a flare of annoyance that Nix knew that and I didn’t.
He hums with amusement. “How many sugar daddies do you have, Eva?”
I narrow my eyes in a glare. “I don’t need a sugar daddy, Nix. Don’t be so backward that you assume all attractive women want a man to pay their bills. I pay my own.”
“And what did you say you do for a living, again?”
“I didn’t.”
He’s a few feet away, but Nix’s presence still feels so warm and close that I want to duck my face and run.
“Kennedy.” The sound of my actual name makes me curl up and die inside. “How about this one?”
I turn to my friend Amara, whom I stupidly agreed to come shopping with today. So very fucking stupidly.
“I like it,” I say, smiling weakly at the short, long-sleeved black dress she’s holding up.
Amara looks back and forth between Nix and me and retreats to a rack out of earshot, obviously feeling like she interrupted something.
Just me blowing my cover to the most elusive cyberthief in the world. Nothing to see here.
“Kennedy.” Nix’s deep voice sounds rich with the satisfaction of knowing my real name.

GIVEAWAY

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Enter to win one of 3 signed copies of Dirty Secret

—————-

PREVIOUS NOVEL IN THIS STANDALONE SERIES

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DIRTY WORK

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Buy it in paperback

———————

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

BRENDA ROTHERT:

BRheadshot

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | | Wattpad | Amazon

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CHELLE BLISS:

HeadshotChelle Bliss, USA Today Bestselling author, currently lives in a small town near the Gulf of Mexico. She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She’s written over thirteen books and has three series available. She loves spending her free time with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and her hamster.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Jennifer Probst’s newest releasing is coming 1/24/17! Check out a teaser!

 

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Today we are showing off some teasers from ANY TIME, ANY PLACE by Jennifer Probst. This is the second title in the Billionaire Builders series. The book will be released on January 24th and it is currently up for pre-order everywhere.

 

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay

Purchase in Paperback

 

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ANY TIME, ANY PLACE by Jennifer Probst

Billionaire Builders, #2 – Coming January 24, 2017

BLURB:

HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this second volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new heart-wrenching and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind.

Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.

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PRE-ORDER IT NOW

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Purchase in Paperback

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PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES

Everywhere and Every Way

PURCHASE EVERYWHERE AND EVERY WAY NOW

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst – Bio:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Check out these teasers from Hooked by Brenda Rothert!

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Today we are sharing some teasers from HOOKED by Brenda Rothert. This book is a contemporary sports romance title. It is currently up for pre-order and will be released on December 6th! Check out the links below to read chapters 1-4 on Instafreebie right now!

 

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Hooked by Brenda Rothert

Releasing: December 6

PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Nook

 

Book Blurb:

From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?

Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.

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Want more? You can now read chapters 1-4 of Hooked on Instafreebie!

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

 

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | | Wattpad | Amazon

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Teaser Excerpt Alert & Giveaway! Furious Rush by S. C. Stephens!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

 

Title: FURIOUS RUSH

Author: S.C. Stephens

On Sale: August 23, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Format: Trade Paperback & eBook

Price: $12.99 USD (TP) / $4.99 USD (eBook)

Add to Goodreads

 

The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

 

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

 

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she’s racing against Hayden.

 

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind…

 

 

PREORDER THE BOOK HERE

 

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Teaser Excerpt!

Honda Boy was holding his helmet under an arm while he flirted with the girls surrounding him. He was blond, with a short, shaggy hairstyle that probably took a lot more effort to create than it looked like. I could tell from the way the girls around him were tittering like teenagers that he was charming; with seemingly little effort on his part, he had all of them eating out of his hand. When a break in the crowd gave me a clear view of his face, I realized another thing: He was smokin’, someone-hold-on-to-my-ovaries- before-they-explode hot.

There was a perfect symmetry to his rugged features that made it seem unreal that he was standing just a few feet away from me. He should be plastered on a billboard somewhere, half-naked, selling overpriced cologne to men who wanted just a fraction of his sex appeal. As if he could feel my eyes on him, he turned his gaze my way. Our eyes met and locked, and I was helpless to turn away. There was something carnal about him, primal and dangerous. Exotic. I was instantly captivated, and I hated that I was. This guy was neck-deep in a world that twisted my stomach, a world that spat in the face of my sport. My career.

As his light-colored eyes bored holes into mine, one edge of his lip curved up in a devilish crooked grin that was both playful and promising. He was practically shouting, with just that one deadly smile, that he would satisfy my every desire, satiate every craving I could possibly have. My heart started thudding in my chest as sensations that had been dormant for far too long swirled to life in- side me. Luckily for me, the big man taking the guy’s bets clapped him on the shoulder, breaking our stare down. Once I was free of his steamy gaze, I instantly turned around so my back was to him.  Jesus, was I breathing harder? Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I was twenty-two, not twelve.

“Damn,” I heard Nikki say. “You were right. I should have bet on him from the get-go. I didn’t really get a good look at him before, but he is freaking hot!”

Inhaling a deep breath, I attempted to force my body back in line with my brain. “This guy is undefeated?” I asked Nikki. “Really?” She nodded in answer and I had to close my eyes for a second. A face like that with racing skills to boot? Jesus.

Clearing my throat, I nonchalantly asked, “What did you say his name was again?” I could at least label the guy in the fantasy I was surely going to have later.

“Hayden… something. He’s been around for a while, from what I gathered.”

I risked a glance over my shoulder at… Hayden. He’d slipped his helmet on, thankfully, although his visor was popped up. The big guy taking bets had been joined by a skinny Hispanic guy who seemed to be giving Hayden instructions. Or maybe a pep talk. The little guy was acting out the race that was about to happen with his hands, complete with swerving and explosions. God, I hoped there weren’t going to be explosions. While he was going through his dramatic highlights, the big guy looped a camera over Hayden’s helmet.

When the two competitors were ready, they backed their motor- cycles onto the street. A cheer ripped up and down the sidewalk as the hopeful gamblers prepared for another round of racing. I didn’t want to feel anything but contempt for what I was witnessing, yet the energy of the spectators, the roar of the bikes—I couldn’t help the zing of excitement that raced up my spine. Against my will, my mouth twisted into a wide grin, and a yell of encouragement left my lips. Hayden’s helmet swiveled my way as he revved his engine. My pulse quickened as our eyes met. Then he winked at me and slammed his visor shut.

As the riders moved into position, Nikki grabbed my arm. “Come on. We can watch the action from the van.”

I had no idea what she was talking about. Before I could ask her, though, she yanked me toward a black van parked on the sidewalk. The back doors were open, and a giant monitor attached to a swinging metal arm was sticking out above the hovering crowd. The screen was split in two, each half showing the footage from one racer’s helmet cam. Hayden and his opponent were both looking straight ahead, and the dual feeds showed similar stretches of barren road. Looking down the street, I saw that the pair were stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change.

Returning my eyes to the monitor, I found myself holding my breath as I waited for the signal to change colors. When it turned green and the bikes surged forward, I stepped closer to the van, like that would somehow release my pent-up energy. In unison, the crowd around me started hooting and hollering. Swept up in the moment, I bounced on my toes and prayed for speed. But after watching the screen for just a few seconds, I was struck with the harsh reality of the situation I was watching. This was no closed-off track with well-defined paths. This was down and dirty, anything goes, just get to the finish line first racing.

The bikes blew through red lights like they meant absolutely nothing. The streets were fairly empty at this early hour, but they blurred past the few vehicles on the road like they were standing still; they had to be going 100 miles per hour, easy. They dodged obstacles by hopping onto the sidewalk, they fishtailed around slick corners, and they came close to colliding with oncoming traffic more than once.

I turned to Nikki with shock clear on my face. “This is insane! Someone’s going to get hurt. Maybe killed!”

Nikki’s face was pure elation as she watched the screens. Her expression changed as my words sunk in, then she looked at me like I had a foot sticking out of my head. I supposed it was odd to hear that type of statement coming from someone who routinely hovered around the 150 mark on the speedometer while riding, but that was a completely different kind of environment. Believe it or not, what I did was safe, relatively speaking. Millions of dollars were spent to make it that way. This was not safe. At all.

“They’re breaking every traffic law there is,” I added, feeling like a giant stick in the mud. Someone needed to be the voice of reason here, though, because everyone was clearly out of their ever loving minds.

Nikki smirked at my comment. “It’s a race, Kenzie. They can’t exactly drive cautiously. Why do you think this happens so late at night?”

“Because it’s illegal,” I deadpanned. I got a couple of odd looks from the crowd after saying that, including a particularly nasty glare from Hayden’s bet collector. Maybe this wasn’t the best place to be talking about the law. Shutting my mouth, I quickly refocused on the screen.

Just as I noticed a familiar section of street come into view on the monitor, one side of the screen started wobbling, then the camera showed asphalt, sparks, spinning scenery, and a rapidly approaching telephone pole. The crowd around me hushed as it became clear that Hayden’s competition wasn’t going to finish this race. I heard Hayden’s bike rounding the corner seconds later, then Nikki was once again pulling me along like a rag doll. She shoved us into a good position to see the finish line right as Hayden’s Honda whizzed past. He was alone. Cheers erupted mixed with a few groans from the people who’d bet on the other guy.

Just as I was wondering if anyone was going to go check on the Ninja rider, Nikki grabbed my shoulders and started shaking me with uncontainable joy. “We won, Kenzie! We frickin’ won!”

“Great,” I said, clenching my teeth so I wouldn’t bite my tongue.

Releasing me, Nikki let out a squeal of excitement. “I just made enough money to pay you back and cover my loss. See, aren’t you glad you came?”

I narrowed my eyes into poisonous daggers that would hopefully drill some sense into her. “I hate you,” I murmured.  Nikki held a hand over her heart. “I know by hate you mean love, and I love you too, Kenzie. Now let’s collect my winnings and go home so you can rest up. Big year this year!”

I opened my mouth to scold her with some biting remark about how I’d wanted to leave ages ago, but she turned on her heel and left me there, gaping. Just as I was forcing the muscles in my jaw to relax enough to contract, Hayden pulled up next to where I was standing on the sidewalk. It felt like the world suddenly shifted into slow motion as I turned my head to look at him.

He was still hunched over his bike, hands on the grip and throttle; the only indication that he was looking at me was the direction of his dark helmet. Then, like some freaking Prince Charming in a fairy tale, he slowly removed his helmet and tucked it under his arm. I swear the air around me condensed as his tilted smile came into view. Jesus Christ, this guy was sex on a stick.

Reaching up, he roughly ran a hand through his sweaty dirty- blond hair. The short, sexy shag he’d had going on earlier was destroyed from the helmet, but somehow after just a few scruffs of his hand, the carefree style was back to utter perfection. I kind of wanted to mess it up again, run my hands through the strands, grab a handful and clench it tight while I outlined those incredibly kissable lips with my tongue.

Whoa. No. I didn’t want that.

His penetrating gaze studied my face for a moment. There was something there in his eyes that I couldn’t quite grasp. Interest, sure, but almost… sadness too. Then he smiled, and the look vanished so fast, I was sure I’d imagined it. “Haven’t seen you here before,” he said, his voice low and easy, like he hadn’t just risked his life. “I hope you bet on me. It would be a shame to see someone as beautiful as you… lose.”

His grin turned suggestive, and warning signs started flashing in front of my eyes. Danger! Do not proceed! Rocky road ahead! Turn back now! The warnings flared even brighter when he stood from his motorcycle and began approaching me.

When he was directly in front of me, so close that I could smell the subtle spicy aroma of his cologne, my heart was hammering so hard, I was positive he could hear it, positive he could see my T-shirt lifting and releasing like a frantic hummingbird was hiding under the fabric. What the hell was he doing to me? Was I nervous or excited? Because the sensation was so similar to both, I honestly couldn’t tell.

Extending a hand, he smoothly said, “Name’s Hayden. Hayden Hayes.” I was just about to lift my hand and touch him—my fingers even twitched in response—when he added, “And what should I call you, sweetheart?”

Sweetheart? With those two simple syllables he had just dumped a bucket of ice water over my head and killed any fantasy I might have had about him. I lived, worked, and breathed in a world where men looked at me like I was a second-class citizen. To prove my worth, I had to work harder, longer, and with everything I had inside me, all the fucking time. I felt like he’d just tried to take all of that hard work away from me with that one demeaning word.

“Leaving,” I said, walking away.

Hayden-Hayes2

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.C. Stephens CREDIT Tara Ellis Photography

S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

 

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Legal Affairs FOR WEB

Teaser! Coming soon: Bad Judgement by Megan March

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Bad Judgment

By Meghan March

Release Day – August 22, 2016

 

He’s so arrogant.

 

She’s so self-righteous.

 

I can’t stand him.

 

I want her.

 

He’s a distraction I don’t need.

 

She’ll say yes eventually because I’m not giving up.

 

Justine Porter is stuck between a rock and a stripper pole. She lost her law school scholarship, which means she has two choices to keep her life on track: strip for her tuition or tutor the most distractingly sexy guy in her class—the one she’s been turning down for two years straight. It should be an easy choice, but tutoring Ryker Grant could derail her plans to graduate with honors faster than two-for-one night at the Déjà Vu. Then again, topless has never really been her color.

She could take the easy road, just this once . . . but the deal has enough loopholes to trip anyone up.

Who knew they taught bad judgment in law school?

 

 

 

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