Excerpt Reveal: The Boss Project by Vi Keeland

Title: The Boss Project
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2022
Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, 
The Boss Project? 
Check out this SNEAK PEEK and meet Merrick and Evie!
Merrick
“Mr. Crawford?” My assistant, Andrea, poked her head into my office while I was eating lunch with Will. “Sorry to interrupt, but HR asked me to find out if you might have time to talk with one of the candidates for the in-house therapist position?”

I shook my head. “I don’t need to talk to the applicants. I already gave my input to Joan. HR is holding second-round interviews and will let me know what they think when they’re done.”

“Apparently one of the candidates asked if she could have a minute with you after her appointment with HR. But her meeting is starting now, and I know you don’t like anything on your schedule during trading hours.”

“Which candidate?”

“Evie Vaughn.”

I leaned back in my chair with a chuckle. “Sure. Why not?”

She nodded. “I’ll let her know.”

Will lifted his chin after Andrea shut the door. “What was that little grin about?”

“One of the candidates for the stress therapist job is interesting, to say the least.”

“In what way?”

“Her first-interview appointment wasn’t until five one day last week, so when the market closed, I ran downstairs to Paloma to pick up a suit I’d bought and had tailored. After I left the store, I thought I’d forgotten my cell phone in the fitting room, so I went back to check. When I opened the door, I walked in on a woman.”

“I hate those places that have one fitting room for both men and women.”

“Actually, this place has separate ones. The woman was just in the men’s room. But that’s not the best part. When I walked in, she was half undressed…and smelling her armpit.”

Will’s brows shot up. “Come again?”

“You heard me right. Anyway, a few minutes later, my five o’clock appointment walks in, and it’s her. The woman from the fitting room.”

“The pit sniffer? Get the hell out of here. What did you do?”

“Nothing. I played it off like I didn’t recognize her, though she definitely recognized me. I could see her squirming.”

“Shit like this only happens to you, my friend. So what went down? How did the interview go?”

“She was the least-qualified candidate. I don’t even know how her resumé made it into the group that got called for interviews.”

“Yet she’s back here today for a second interview?”

“She is, indeed.”

Will shook his head. “What am I missing?”

“When I got home that night, I started thinking about how the board is shoving this position down my throat. They mandated that I hire someone, not that the person be competent.”

Will smiled. “Genius.”

I shook my head. “I need my people to be focused and ruthless while they’re here—not getting in touch with their emotions.”

“I hear you.”

As we finished lunch, Andrea returned and knocked. Evie Vaughn stood right behind her. Her wavy blond hair was up today, and she wore a simple black skirt and jacket with a red blouse underneath, giving her the sexy-librarian look every male fantasizes about at least once in his life. I tried to ignore the stir seeing her caused in me and forced my gaze down.

Andrea peeked her head in the door. “Do you need more time?”

I looked at Will. “We need to discuss anything else?”

He shook his head. “Not that I can think of. I’ll get the Endicott buy order placed as soon as it hits forty a share.”

“Good.” I turned my attention to Andrea. “Please show Ms. Vaughn in.”

Will left, tossing me a smirk over his shoulder as he passed Evie.

When the door shut, she took a few steps forward, then hesitated. “Thank you for seeing me.”

I nodded and gestured to the guest chairs on the other side of my desk. “Have a seat.”

“Your assistant mentioned you don’t usually take appointments while the market is open.”

“I don’t.” Leaning back, I tented my fingers. “What can I do for you, Ms. Vaughn?”

“It’s Evie, please. And…well, I was hoping you could clear something up for me.”

“What would that be?”

“Why am I here? For a second interview, I mean. You made it pretty clear during the first one that you didn’t think I had the right experience for the position, and I didn’t exactly make a winning first impression in that fitting room. So…why am I here again?”

I folded my arms across my chest and deliberated how to answer. The politically correct and professional response would’ve been to say I’d reconsidered based on how she’d handled herself during the interview. But I’d never been accused of being politically correct or professional.

“Are you sure you want the real answer? Sometimes it’s better not to know and just accept the outcome.”

She folded her arms across her chest, mimicking my posture. “Maybe, but I’d like to know anyway.”

I liked her spunk. It was a challenge to keep myself from smiling. “You were invited back because you are the least qualified of all of the people we interviewed.”

Her face fell, and I felt a tinge of guilt, even though she’d said she wanted the truth.

“Why would you do that?”

“Because hiring an in-house stress coach wasn’t my idea. My board of directors is forcing my hand.”

“Is it a problem because it wasn’t your idea?”

“I employ a hundred-and-twenty-five people whose jobs are to give me ideas.” I shook my head. “No, I don’t have an authority issue, Ms. Vaughn.”

She pursed her lips. “Doctor—it’s Doctor Vaughn. I prefer to be called Evie, but if you insist on using formal etiquette, you might as well use my proper title. I hold a PhD in clinical psychology.”

I couldn’t hold back the smile that time. I nodded. “Fine. No, I don’t have authority issues, Doctor Vaughn.”

“So you’re against the position, in general, and you wanted to hire the worst person to prove a point?”

I nodded once. “You could say that.”

“Are you against therapy?”

“I believe some people can benefit from therapy.”

“Some people? But not your employees? Do you believe your employees don’t have any stress in the workplace?”

“This is Wall Street, Ms.—Doctor Vaughn. If it weren’t a stressful job, my average trader wouldn’t earn seven figures. I just prefer my people to be focused while they’re here in the office.”

“Did you ever consider that you might be looking at things backward? Taking an hour out of the day to speak to someone isn’t what’s interrupting a stressed-out person’s focus. They’re already not focused because of their stress level. Therapy could help center someone so they can concentrate better.”

“Noted that there’s more than one way to look at things.” I studied her for a moment. “Is there anything else you wanted to ask? Or have we reached the point in the discussion where you tell me you hope we never see each other again?”

She smiled shyly. “I’m sorry about that. It wasn’t an appropriate thing to say.”

I shrugged. “It’s fine. Believe it or not, I’ve been accused of being inappropriate a time or two myself.”
She laughed as she stood. “Gee, I never would have guessed that from the man who sniffed me during my interview.” Evie held out her hand. “Thank you for your time. And your honesty.”

★★★ 


Excited? We are too!
RELEASING
JULY 11th!
PRE-ORDER LINKS

Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon on release day.


Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

Do you like texts better than email? Receive text notices of Vi’s new releases by texting the word BOOKS to 77948 You will ONLY receive a text when a new book goes live – no other messages at all!
AUTHOR BIO

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

AUTHOR LINKS

Excerpt Reveal: Say It’s Forever by A.L. Jackson

Say It’s Forever

A Close Proximity, Single Parent Romance from A.L. Jackson

Coming March 28th

“You matter, Salem. You matter. Look at you, darlin’.”

There was the charm all mixed up with the disorder that was at the heart of this man. 

My chest squeezed and the blood thundered through my veins. 

“Beauty. The meaning of it.” The words fell on a harsh exhale from his lips, and the air that was barely skating up my throat died right there when he slowly toed off the dress shoes he wore. 

Obsidian eyes flashed like a rush of the darkest night, rough as they devoured me from across the space.

Without looking away, he leaned down and peeled the socks from his feet.

I gulped, then I was nearly passing out when he ticked through the buttons on his shirt and peeled that off, too. 

The man was nothing but wide, wide shoulders. Muscle everywhere, bulky on his arms and chest, his abdomen packed, tapering down and narrow at the waist. 

Most all of his skin was covered in ink that seemed to scream the same as the walls, though it remained indistinct in the minimal light cast down from the rafters. 

But I could make out enough to get the intonation.

The pure intimidation. 

Menace and peril and life. 

The mountain of a man stood there for a moment, then he took a step forward. 

Energy rushed across the floor.

He approached like a phantom. Like a painting that had come to life. 

It covered me whole and caressed me in shadows. 

I was right. This man was definitely, definitely dangerous.

There was no question about it then.

And still, I remained there, held in his gaze, feeling the safest I’d ever felt. 

I thought he was coming for me, only he slipped by on his bare feet. 

Desire rippled through on his wake. 

God, that was sexy, too. 

Jud Lawson was an anomaly.

Conflict and peace.

Harmony and dissention. 

A blinding light in the longest night. 

Stealer of heart and sanity and good sense.

Because remaining there on the ground like an offering? 

Posing for him? 

There was no question I’d lost my mind.

His aura rippled through the room as he moved over to the wall that I faced. He pulled an easel closer, and the canvas he set on it looked like it’d been painted over a thousand times. He knelt to open a few jars of paint. 

He picked up a brush and studied me.

I trembled beneath his watch.

“Beauty,” he rumbled. “Second I saw you out in the rain. Thought I had to be imagining things. Hallucinating.” 

“I was terrified,” I admitted, our voices dancing through the condensed air. 

Louder than they should be. 

The thrumming of our hearts was palpable.

Frantic beats that echoed against the other. 

A smirk ticked at the corner of his sexy mouth, then it slipped when he glanced at me then to the canvas. He began to paint. Quick, sweeping strokes, as if the images fell from him without thought. “I felt your fear, Salem. I felt your desperation. Wonder if I felt it then, that we were bound to be more than strangers. Wonder if I knew you were supposed to be on the back of my bike that night. Wonder if I knew you were going to become something that mattered in my life.” 

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads 

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box?  PRE-ORDER HERE 

Can’t wait for the release? Be sure to vote for SAY IT’S FOREVER as one of your most anticipated March reads on Goodreads!

Vote Here

“If you want a book that will wreck you in the best way possible than grab this UNPUTDOWNABLE, HEARTBREAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL story that will leave you with ALL THE FEELS!” 

— Melissa, Book Addict Fanatic

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads 

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box?  PRE-ORDER HERE 


The Alternate Cover is Here!

Not only do we have the AMAZING release boxes up, but the alternate cover is now available to pre-order as well. I am IN LOVE with both covers and can’t choose a favorite!

If you can’t choose either – I also have hardbacks that feature both!

 

Want a Say It’s Forever Release Box? It includes a signed paperback, premium merchandise, and goodies! This box is even better than the last and I CAN’T WAIT for you all to see what’s inside!!!

Quantities are limited and boxes sell out fast, so reserve yours now!

SAY IT’S FOREVER PAPERBACK & RELEASE BOX PRE-ORDER


GIVEAWAY

Signed Give Me a Reason & Absolution Gift Set

ENTER HERE

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Pre-Order

Want a Signed Paperback or Say It’s Forever Release Box? PRE-ORDER HERE


 

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, FALLING STARS, and REDEMPTION HILLS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, SAY IT’S FOREVER, releasing March 28th!

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Newsletter: https://geni.us/ALJacksonBookClubB

Facebook: https://geni.us/ALJacksonFBB

Reader Group: https://geni.us/AmysAngelsB

Amazon: https://geni.us/ALJacksonAmznB

Bookbub: https://geni.us/ALJacksonBookBubB

Twitter: @aljacksonauthor

Instagram: @aljacksonauthor

TikTok: @aljacksonauthor<!–

Excerpt Reveal: The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland

Title: The Summer Proposal
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 10, 2022
Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, 
The Summer Proposal? 
Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!
CHAPTER 1

Georgia
“What can I get you?” The bartender set a napkin down in front of me.

“Ummm… I’m meeting someone, so maybe I should wait.”
He rapped his knuckles against the bar. “Good enough. I’ll keep my eye out and stop back over when I see someone join you.”
But as he started to walk away, I reconsidered. “Actually!” I raised my hand like I was in school.
He turned around with a smile and arched a brow. “Change your mind?”
I nodded. “I’m about to meet a blind date, so I wanted to be polite, but I think I could use something to take the edge off.”
“Probably a good idea. What are you drinking?”
“A pinot grigio would be great. Thank you.”
He came back a few minutes later with a hefty pour and leaned his elbow on the bar. “So, blind date, huh?”
I sipped my wine and let out a sigh as I nodded. “I let my mom’s seventy-four-year-old friend Frannie set me up with her grandnephew to make my mom happy. She described him as ‘a smidge ordinary, but nice’. We’re supposed to meet here at five thirty. I’m a few minutes early.”
“First time letting someone fix you up?”
“Second, actually. The first was seven years ago. It took me this long to recover from it, if that tells you anything.”
The bartender laughed. “That bad?”
“I was told he was a comedian. So I figured, how terrible could it be going out with someone who makes people laugh for a living? The guy showed up with a puppet. Apparently his comedy act was as a ventriloquist. He refused to speak to me directly—wanted me to talk only to his dummy. Who, by the way, was named Dirty Dave, and every other comment out of its mouth was obscene. Oh, and my date’s mouth moved the entire time, so he wasn’t even a very good ventriloquist.”
“Damn.” The bartender chuckled. “Not sure I’d give another blind date a chance after that, even after a few years.”
I sighed. “I’m sort of regretting it already.”
“Well, if anyone comes in with a puppet, I got you covered.” He gestured toward a hallway behind him. “I know where all the emergency exits are, and I can sneak you out.”
I smiled. “Thanks.”
A couple sat down on the other end of the bar, so the bartender went to help them while I continued to stare at the entrance. I’d purposely taken a seat in the back corner so I could watch the front door, hoping to get a look at my date before he saw me. Not that I planned to ditch if he wasn’t handsome, but I didn’t want him to read disappointment on my face if I felt any. I’d always been terrible at masking my feelings.
A few minutes later, the restaurant’s door opened and a drop-dead gorgeous guy walked in. He looked like he belonged on a men’s cologne ad, probably emerging from crystal blue Caribbean water. I got excited, until I realized he couldn’t be my date.
Frannie had described Adam as a computer nerd. And pretty much any question I’d asked her about him, she’d answered, “About average.”

How tall is he? About average.
Is he handsome? About average.
Body type? About average.

This guy was tall, with broad shoulders, big, blue bedroom eyes, a chiseled jawline, dark hair that was sort of messy, but totally worked for him, and even though he was wearing a simple dress shirt and slacks, I could tell he was buff underneath. Frannie would have to be crazy to think anything about him was average.
Oh.

Oh!

Well, she was a little…different. Last time I went to Florida to see Mom, we went to lunch with Frannie, and she’d glowed orange from an excessive amount of self-tanner she’d bought on the Home Shopping Network. She also spent all afternoon telling us about her recent road trip to New Mexico to attend a UFO convention in Roswell.
But even with that factored in, this guy didn’t look like a computer nerd. Nevertheless, his eyes scanned the room, and when they met mine, he smiled.

Dimples.

Deep ones.
Oh, Lord. My heart did a little pitter-patter.

Could I be this lucky?

Apparently it was possible. Because the guy headed right toward me. I probably should’ve played it cool and looked away, but it was impossible not to stare.
“Adam?”
He shrugged. “Sure.”
I thought that was a bit of an odd response, but his smile widened, and those cavernous dimples seemed to turn my brain to mush.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Frannie. My mom is friends with Georgia.” I shook my head. “Sorry. I mean, I’m Georgia. My mom is friends with Frannie.”
“Nice to meet you, Georgia.”
He extended his hand, and when I placed mine in it, mine felt really…small.
“I have to say, you are definitely not what I was expecting. Frannie didn’t describe you very accurately.”
“Better or worse?”
Was he joking? “She may have described you as a nerd.”
He sat down on the stool next to me. “I usually don’t admit this when I first meet a woman, but I do have a Star Wars action figure collection.” He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. “In fact, I almost always have one on me. I’m a bit superstitious, and they bring me luck.”
Adam unfolded his big hand to reveal a tiny Yoda. He leaned over and set it on the bar in front of me, and a hint of cologne wafted through the air. Smells as good as he looks. There had to be something majorly wrong with him.
“Women tend to not like Star Wars for some reason,” he said. “Or a grown man carrying around an action figure.”
“I actually like Star Wars.”
He put his hand over his heart. “A beautiful woman who likes Star Wars? Should we skip the formalities and just grab a flight to Vegas to get married?”
I laughed. “Maybe, but first promise me you aren’t into ventriloquism.”
He crossed his heart. “Star Wars is as bad as it gets.”
The bartender came over to take Adam’s drink order. I was surprised when he asked for a Diet Coke.
“You’re not going to join me for a cocktail or a glass of wine?”
He shook his head. “Wish I could, but I have to work later.”
“Tonight?”
He nodded. “Yeah. I wish I didn’t. But I actually need to get out of here in a little while.”
I’d thought we were meeting for drinks and dinner, but perhaps Frannie had gotten that wrong.
“Oh, okay.” I forced a smile.
Apparently Adam saw right through it.
“I swear I’m not making that up. I do have to work. But I definitely would love to stay. Since I can’t, is it too early to say I’d love to see you again?”
I sipped my wine. “Hmmm… I’m not sure about that. Normally, I get to know someone on a first date, so I can weed out the serial killers and nutjobs. How am I supposed to know you’re not the next Ted Bundy if you’re running out of here?”
Adam stroked the scruff on his chin and looked at his watch. “I have about fifteen minutes. Why don’t we cut the small talk and you can ask me anything?”
“Anything?”
He shrugged. “I’m an open book. Take your best shot.”
I gulped my wine and turned in my seat to face him. “Alright. But I want to watch your face as I grill you. I’m terrible at hiding lies on mine but great at reading others.”
He smiled and turned, giving me his full attention. “Go for it.”
“Okay. Do you live with your mother?”
“No, ma’am. She doesn’t even live in the same state. But I do call home every Sunday.”
“Have you ever been arrested?”
“Public indecency in college. I was pledging a fraternity, and me and a bunch of other guys had to walk through the center of town naked. A group of girls stopped us and asked if any of us could hula hoop. Everyone else kept walking. I figured they were all too chicken, so I stopped. Apparently, the guys weren’t afraid; I was just the only one who didn’t see the cop coming out of a store a couple of doors down.”
I laughed. “Can you actually hula hoop?”
He winked. “Only naked. You wanna see?”
The smile on my face widened. “I’ll take your word for it.”
“Shame.”
“When was the last time you had sex?”
For the first time, the smile on his face wilted. “Two weeks ago. Are you gonna hold that against me?”
I shook my head. “Not necessarily. I appreciate the honesty. You could have lied and said a while ago.”
“Okay, good. What else you got?”
“Have you ever been in a relationship?”
“Twice. Once in college for a year, and then I dated a woman for eighteen months, and that ended two years ago.”
“Why did they end?”
“College, because I was twenty and…it was a crazy time in my life. And the woman I dated a few years back, because she wanted to get married and start a family, and I wasn’t ready.”
I tapped my pointer to my bottom lip. “Hmm… Yet you just asked me to go to Vegas and marry you.”
He grinned. “She didn’t like Star Wars.”
We were both too busy laughing to notice a guy walk up to us. I figured he must have known Adam, so I politely smiled and looked to him. But the guy spoke to me.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but are you Georgia Delaney?”
“Yes?”
He smiled. “I’m Adam Foster. Frannie showed me a picture of you, but it was from a costume party.” He motioned to the side of his head, twirling his hand around in a circle. “You were dressed as Princess Leia, with your hair all pinned up on the sides, so you looked a little different than you do now.”
I furrowed my brow. “You’re…Adam?”
The guy seemed just as confused as I was. “Yes.”
Now this man looked like what I’d been expecting: worn, brown tweed jacket, cropped hair parted to one side—sort of the average Joe that worked in the IT department at your office. But…
If he was Adam, then who was this?
I looked at the guy sitting next to me for an answer. Though that’s not what I got.
“Did you really dress as Princess Leia for a Halloween party?”
“Yes, but…”
Adam, or whoever the hell the guy sitting next to me was, put his finger over my lips and turned to the man who was apparently my date. “Can you just give us a minute?” he asked.
“Umm…sure.”
As soon as average Adam walked away, I laid into hot Adam. “Who the hell are you?”
“Sorry. My name is Max.”
“Do you make a habit of pretending to be someone else?”
He shook his head. “I just…I saw you sitting at the bar through the window when I was passing by, and you had such a pretty smile. I came over to introduce myself, and it was clear you were here to meet someone else. I guess I sort of panicked that you weren’t going to talk to me since I wasn’t Adam. So I went with it.”
“And what if my date hadn’t showed up? Would you have pretended to be Adam on a second date?”
Max dragged a hand through his hair. “I didn’t think that far ahead.”
Normally catching a date in a lie would make me angry, but finding out Max wasn’t Adam was more disappointing than anything. We’d had great chemistry, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so much meeting someone new.
“Was every answer a lie? Do you even like Star Wars?”
He held up both hands. “I swear. The only thing that wasn’t the truth was my name.”
I sighed. “Well, Max, thanks for the entertainment. But I don’t want to keep my real date waiting.”
He frowned, but nodded and stood. “It was nice meeting you. I guess asking for your number would be stupid right about now?”
I gave him a look. “Yes, it would. Have a good night, Max.”
He looked at me for a few seconds, then slipped a bill out of his wallet and tossed a hundred on the counter. “You, too, Georgia. I really enjoyed meeting you.”
Max took a few steps away, but then stopped and walked back. He again took out his billfold, only this time he peeled off what looked like a ticket of some sort and placed it on the bar in front of me. “I’d really love to see you again. If your real date turns out to be a dud or you change your mind, I promise I will never tell you another lie.” He pointed to the ticket. “I’ll be at the hockey game over at the Garden at seven thirty, if you would consider giving me another shot.”
What he said seemed heartfelt, but I was here to meet another man. Not to mention, I was really disappointed. I shook my head. “I don’t think so.”
With a sullen face, Max nodded one last time before walking away. I didn’t have time to process everything, but I felt a strange sense of loss when I watched him walk out the door. Though as soon as he disappeared from sight, my real date was next to me.
I had to force a smile. “Sorry about that. We, um, just had some business to wrap up.”
“No problem.” He smiled. “I’m just glad that guy wasn’t hitting on you, and I didn’t have to defend your honor. He was a tank.” Real Adam sat down. “Can I order you another wine?”
“That would be great. Thank you.”
“So…I take it you’re a big Star Wars fan?”
“Hmm? Oh, because of the costume.”
Adam pointed to the bar. “And the little Yoda.”
I looked down. Max had left his Yoda figurine behind. I guess he hadn’t been lying about being a Star Wars fan, considering he carried an action figure in his pocket. At least I hoped it wasn’t just a prop he used when he told strangers tall tales at bars and lied about his name.
***

Real Adam talked about artificial intelligence—a lot.
I tried to get my head back in the game after the Max letdown, but I knew before my actual date and I had finished a drink at the bar that this would be our only date. Adam was a nice-enough guy; there was just no connection, physical or mental. I wasn’t into computers or Bitcoin, which seemed to be a big thing for him, and he wasn’t into any of my hobbies, such as hiking, traveling, and watching old black-and-white movies. He didn’t even enjoy going to the movies. Who doesn’t love bingeing on popcorn and a gallon of soda while watching a big screen? Not to mention, when I told him about my work, he said he was allergic to flowers.
So when the waitress came by with a dessert menu, I politely declined.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a coffee or something?” Adam asked.
I shook my head. “I have to work in the morning. Having caffeine after noon keeps me up all night. But thank you.”
He nodded, though I could tell he was disappointed.
Outside the restaurant, he offered to share a cab, but I only lived eight blocks away. So I extended my hand to set the tone for the end of the evening.
“It was very nice to meet you, Adam.”
“You, too. Maybe we can…do this again sometime?”
It was so much easier to be upfront and tell a guy there wouldn’t be a second date when he was a jerk. But I always struggled with the nice ones. I shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. Take care, Adam.”
It was late April, but the cold weather just wouldn’t relent and allow spring to start this year, and a gust of wind blew while I waited at the intersection at the corner of the restaurant. I shoved my hands into my pockets for some warmth, and inside, something pointy pricked at my fingers. I slipped it out to see what it was.
Yoda.
His plastic ears were tapered to points, and there was a tiny chip on the left one. I’d forgotten I’d stuck him in my pocket when Adam and I had moved from the bar to a table. Looking down at him, I sighed. God, why couldn’t your owner have been my actual date tonight?
It had been a very long time since a man gave me the warm fuzzies in the pit of my belly—not since the day I’d met Gabriel. So maybe finding Yoda in my pocket was a sign? The light changed, and I walked a few more blocks, lost in thought.
Did it really matter that he’d pretended to be Adam? I mean, if he was telling the truth, he only did it so I’d talk to him. Let’s face it, if he had walked over and introduced himself as Max, I wouldn’t have invited him to sit down. I would have been polite and told him I was waiting for my date, no matter how gorgeous the man was. So, I couldn’t really say I blamed him…I guess.
I stopped for another red light at the crosswalk on 29th Street, this time at the corner of 7th as I made my way down to 2nd Avenue where I lived. While I waited, I looked to my right, and the neon lights of a sign hit me. Madison Square Garden. Now that was definitely a sign—quite literally. Between Yoda and walking right past the place Fake Adam had said he’d be…perhaps it was more than that.
I checked the time on my phone. Twenty after eight. He’d said he would be there at seven thirty, but I was sure the game took a few hours. Should I?
I nibbled on my lip as the light in front of me turned green. People on both sides of me started to walk…but I just stood there, staring down at Yoda.

Screw it.
Why not?
What do I have to lose?

The worst that could happen was that our initial connection fizzled or it turned out lying was one of Fake Adam’s hobbies. Or…the spark we’d had might lead to just the distraction I was looking for. I wouldn’t know unless I tried.
For the most part, I was pretty conservative with my choices in men. And look where that had gotten me. I was a twenty-eight-year-old workaholic, going on blind dates with my mom’s friend’s relatives. So screw it—I was going.
Once I made the decision, I couldn’t wait to get there. I practically jogged to Madison Square Garden, even in my heels from work. Inside, I showed my ticket to an usher standing at the entrance to the section listed, and he showed me to my seat.
As I walked down the stadium stairs, I looked around and noticed I was pretty overdressed. Most of the people had on jerseys and jeans. There were even a few shirtless guys with their bodies painted, and here I was wearing a cream silk blouse, red pencil skirt, and my favorite Valentino pumps. At least Max had been pretty dressed up.
I hadn’t noticed the row number on the ticket before handing it over to the usher, but the seats must’ve been decent because we just kept walking down toward the ice. When we hit the very first row, the usher extended his hand. “Here you go. Seat two is the second one in.”
“Wow, first row, directly in the middle on the fifty-yard line.”
The guy smiled. “In hockey we call it center ice.”
“Oh…okay.” But the seat next to the one he’d shown me to was empty, and Max was nowhere in sight. “Did you happen to see the person sitting in the seat at the end?” I asked.
The usher shrugged. “I’m not positive, but I don’t think they’ve arrived yet. Enjoy the game, miss.”
After he walked away, I stood looking down at the two empty seats. This was one outcome I hadn’t thought about: I might get stood up. Actually, would it even be considered standing someone up if the other person didn’t know you were coming? I wasn’t sure. But I was here, so I might as well take a seat and see if Max showed. He’d said he had to work, so perhaps he was running late. Or maybe he was already here, just in the men’s room or in line for a beer.
A woman sat on the other side of me. She smiled as I settled in. “Hi. Are you here to watch Yearwood? He’s on fire tonight, already slashed two in the net. Too bad they’re probably not going to be able to hold onto him for next season.”
I shook my head. “Oh. No, I’m actually meeting someone. I’ve never been to a live hockey game before.” Just as I said it, two guys slammed into the glass wall directly in front of me. I jumped, and the woman next to me laughed as they skated away.
“That happens a lot. You’ll get used to it.” She reached out her hand. “I’m Jenna, by the way. I’m married to Tomasso.” She pointed to the rink. “Number twelve.”
“Oh, wow. I guess I’m sitting next to the right person for my first game.” I put my hand to my chest. “I’m Georgia.”
“Anything you want explained, Georgia, you just let me know.”
For the next twenty minutes, I tried to watch the game. But I kept looking around to see if Max was coming down the stairs. Unfortunately, he never did. By nine o’clock, it was pretty clear I’d wasted my time. Since I had early meetings tomorrow morning, I decided to call it a night. The game clock showed less than a minute until the end of the second period, so I figured I’d wait until then so I wouldn’t be blocking people’s views as I climbed the stairs back up to the exit. These hockey fans seemed pretty into the game.
When the clock hit nine seconds, one of the guys scored a goal, and the place went crazy again. Everyone jumped up, so I did the same, only I used it as an opportunity to slip on my jacket. I leaned to the woman next to me and yelled. “I don’t think my date’s coming, so I’m going to head out. Have a good night.”
But as I turned to leave, something caught my attention on the Jumbotron. The player who’d scored held his stick up in the air celebrating, and a bunch of the guys on his team were whacking him on the head. His helmet covered most of his face, but those eyes… I know those eyes. The player took out his mouth guard, waved it in the air, and smiled right at the camera.

Dimples.

Big ones.
My eyes went wide.
No…it couldn’t be.
I continued to stare at the screen with my mouth hanging open until the guy’s face was no longer on it.
The woman next to me finished cheering. “See? I told you he was on fire. If this is your first game, you’ve picked a good one to watch. You don’t see a lot of hat tricks in a single period. Yearwood is having his best season ever. Too bad the rest of his team isn’t.”
“Yearwood? That’s the name of the guy who just scored?”
Jenna laughed at my question. “Yup. Team captain and arguably the best player in the NHL these days. They call him Pretty Boy for obvious reasons.”
“What’s his first name?”
“Max. I figured you knew him, since those are his seats you’re sitting in.”

★★★ 


Excited? We are too!
RELEASING
JANUARY 10th!
PRE-ORDER LINKS

Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon on release day.


Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!
SIGN UP HERE

Do you like texts better than email? Receive text notices of Vi’s new releases by texting the word BOOKS to 77948 You will ONLY receive a text when a new book goes live – no other messages at all!
AUTHOR BIO
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
AUTHOR LINKS

Excerpt Reveal: Uncovered by Andi Burns

 

 

UNCOVERED (Bainbridge University #1) by Andi Burns

Release Date: July 28th

 

 

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57865148-uncovered

 

 

PREORDER TODAY!

https://tinyurl.com/593te8

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

Phoebe

I walk into Drip after the last of my classes has ended for the day. The cool AC feels good, and I’m glad to see friendly faces rather than just an endless sea of people I don’t know.

“So, how was your first day?” Ian asks, placing an iced caramel macchiato in front of me.

“Thanks,” I say, accepting the drink and taking a sip. “My classes were good, so far. The art program here is pretty great, so

I’m excited about my painting class and my clay class. And my bio lecture was pretty standard. It was all typical first-day stuff, but everyone was really nice.”

“Good. Anyone gives you trouble, you just send them to me,” Ian nods. Bless his heart, I think he’s serious. He’s tall, but he’s lean. Built like a runner, but I’d bet my bank account, such as it is, that the only running Ian does is on a treadmill. He’s got fair skin, freckles, and strawberry blonde hair. His glasses are those thick black trendy ones I could never pull off, but he’s got that whole hot-professor look down.

He turns his attention to Mel. “How about you, Mel? Did you kick some accounting ass today?”

“Damn straight I did,” she says, stepping behind the counter and slipping on her apron. “How about you? How’s the TA life so far?”

“Exhausting,” he smiles. “Especially when you add this place in. But I love it. I’m only doing two classes for Hanna–Dr. Bergman–this semester, so things will level off, I’m sure. I just feel totally overwhelmed, but in a good way, you know?”

I totally get it. “I know exactly what you mean. The last week of my life has been a little daunting–a lot of change and new experiences, but it’s all good stuff.”

“Excellent,” he nods. “ And you know where you’re headed tomorrow?”

I smile over my eye-roll. “Yes, I know where all of my classes are. And I scoped out a study bay in the library today. Look at me, exploring uncharted waters.”

Mel clears her throat. “Don’t worry about her, Ian. She got a personal tour of campus from Ty Marshall.”

Ian nearly drops the pitcher of tea he’s holding. “Say what now?”

“It was no big deal– my tour guide was double-booked or something, so Ty took over.” I shrug as if it’s no big deal, because it isn’t one. Ok, he was sex on a damn stick, but he was just doing his job. Well, his friend’s job.

“Honey.” Ian levels me with an older-brother look, and my heart pinches. “You need to be careful with that one.”

“It won’t be an issue, I promise. It was just a tour. He had to do it. And I’m 100% positive he was not impressed by me.”

“Oh, sweetie,” Ian shakes his head. “Let’s get a few things straight. Those broody boys on the hill? The fearsome foursome who live in The Chapel? They don’t have to do anything. And they certainly don’t have to work. Each one of them is richer than sin even without their trust funds. So trust me, he was not doing his job. He was doing someone else’s. And I want to know why.”

“I told you– it was a favor. He wouldn’t say what the favor was for though.” “See? Suspicious.”

Mel’s refilling the napkin dispenser. “Calm down, Ian. My guess is he jumped at the opportunity to cover Gabe’s shift because our girl here is gorgeous. Plus, she’s new in town and knows nothing of his reputation.”

“His reputation?” I ask. Sure, he was surly, but maybe there’s more to the story.

“They’re all assholes,” Ian shakes his head. “Ok, not assholes, exactly. But they’re rich and entitled, and they don’t seem to give much of a damn about anyone but each other. They’re a tight crew. Sure, they’ll socialize. Hell, Whit deejays half the parties on Greek row. And Booker plays hockey. And, yes, I will take this moment to pay homage how fucking hot his hockey butt is. So, yea, they’re visible and everybody knows them. Part of that is because Booker’s great-great-great grandaddy founded this school. Part of that is they’re all nice to look at. But here’s the thing: they’re totally insular. It’s the four of them against the rest of the world. I don’t think any of them have ever had a long-term relationship. Not to say you can’t have some fun, but…just be careful.”

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

My family destroyed hers, but I can’t let her go…

Ty

Amends…they’re not mine to make, but I’ve been haunted by the memory of a shattered girl in that courtroom two years ago.

So, I tell myself I’m doing what’s right. I’ll stay in the shadows, out of her way. She won’t know I’m there–she doesn’t even know who I am. I’m just setting it up and walking away with as clear a conscience as my guilt will allow me.

But then she needs a tutor. And I’m the only one working. How can I say no?

But one coincidental meeting turns into two, and then three. And before I can stop myself, I’m falling hard for a woman I have no business wanting. The problem is, she’s falling hard for me, too.

I need to tell her who I am–I have to. But I know that the moment I do, I’ll break her. And she’ll break me, too.

Uncovered is a full-length novel with a tortured hero, a broken heroine, and an HEA. It is the first STANDALONE in the Bainbridge University Series.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Andi Burns writes contemporary romance infused with humor, sass, and steam. She loves a happily-ever-after as much as her characters do, and she always reads the last page of a book first, just to make sure it all turns out okay.

Andi lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, folding laundry, or daydreaming about her next hero and heroine.

 

Connect w/Andi:

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorandiburns

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19841983.Andi_Burns

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XY9jEy

Excerpt Reveal: The Spark by Vi Keeland

Title: The Spark
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 12, 2021
Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, The Spark? Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!
CHAPTER 1
Autumn
I’m definitely getting too old for this.
I tossed a pile of mail on the couch and plopped down beside it. It was barely six o’clock, and I wouldn’t have minded climbing into bed and calling it a day. I needed a vacation from my four-day mini vacation. Thank goodness I’d scheduled myself a weekend to recover. My girls’ trip/early bachelorette party in Vegas for my friend Anna—the one where we were all going to relax by the pool and get spa treatments—had turned into all-night clubbing and almost missing my flight home earlier today because I’d overslept. It had definitely been a while since I drank more than two glasses of wine in the span of a week, and I was feeling my ripe old age of twenty-eight before the sun had even set this Friday night. Thank God I didn’t have to work tomorrow.
I briefly considered going the hair-of-the-dog route and sucking back a vodka cran while zoning out on Netflix, but then my phone rang, crashing me back to reality.
Ugh…
Dad flashed on the screen. I should’ve just gotten it over with and spoken to him, but I didn’t have the energy. Nonetheless, allowing myself to avoid the stress speaking to my father would inevitably cause reminded me of the other thing I needed to do that I’d been avoiding all afternoon. Laundry. One of my least-favorite tasks—mostly because it required me to sit downstairs in my building’s dingy basement laundry room. Up until a few months ago, I would start my laundry and come back forty-five minutes later to make the switch to the dryer. But that practice had come to a halt after one of my loads went missing—an entire load of wet bras and underwear. Who the hell stole wet clothes? At least nab dry ones. Nevertheless, it was an expensive lesson, and now I didn’t leave the basement until my clothes were washed and dried.
Sighing, I begrudgingly went to the bedroom, where my suitcase still sat on the bed, and unzipped it. I’d packed a linen skirt on top that I hadn’t wound up wearing, and I figured I’d hang it in the bathroom and hope the wrinkles worked themselves out over the course of a couple of steamy showers. I hated ironing almost as much as I hated doing laundry downstairs.
But when I flipped open the top of the suitcase, my linen skirt wasn’t on top. At first I thought my bag must’ve been selected for search, and things hadn’t been put back in order… Though the wingtip shoe I lifted was most definitely not mine.
Shit.
I rummaged through the suitcase in a panic.
Slacks, running clothes, a men’s dress shirt… A sickening feeling washed over me, and I scrambled to look at the luggage tag. I’d never filled out the identification card inside, but the leather had my initials embossed on the outside.
And this one…had no initials.
Crap. Crap. Crap.
I’d grabbed the wrong bag off the luggage carousel. I started to sweat. All of my makeup was in that bag! Not to mention a week’s worth of my best outfits and shoes. I needed to get it back. Rushing to the kitchen, I grabbed my cell from the charger on the counter and Googled the number for the airline. After wading through a half-dozen prompts, I reached a recording.
“Thank you for calling American Airlines. Due to unprecedented call volume, your estimated wait time is approximately forty-one minutes.”
Forty-one minutes! I blew out a rush of air. Great. Just great.
In the meantime, while I waited on hold on speakerphone, listening to staticky music, it hit me that whoever’s luggage I had might very well have mine. I hadn’t even checked the luggage tag to see if, unlike mine, the identification information was filled in.
I zipped back down the hall to my bedroom.
Bingo!
Donovan Deckerkind of a cool name. And he lived here in the city! Thankfully, Donovan even had his phone number listed. It couldn’t be that easy, could it? I doubted it, but considering I still had forty minutes before I could speak to someone at the airline, I wasn’t losing much for trying. So I swiped to end my call. I started to punch in the numbers on the tag, and then decided to hit *67 first to make my number private. With my luck, the guy wouldn’t have my luggage, but he’d be a total creeper.
I was caught off guard when a man’s deep voice answered on the first ring. I hadn’t yet figured out what I was going to say.
“Uhhh. Hi. My name is Autumn, and I think I might have your luggage.”
“That was quick. I just hung up with you guys two minutes ago.”
He must’ve thought I was calling from the airline. “Oh, no. I don’t work for American. I traveled home this morning and must’ve grabbed the wrong bag at JFK.”
“What are your initials?”
“My initials?”
“Yeah, you know, the first letter of your first name and the first letter of your last name.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know what initials are. I just don’t understand why you would ask—Oh! Does that mean you have my luggage? I have my initials embossed on the luggage tag.”
“That depends on what your initials are, Autumn. The first letter matches.”
“My initials are AW.”
“Well, then it seems you are indeed the thief who clipped my luggage.”
Sure, I hadn’t checked my luggage tag, but it offended me that he was calling me a thief. “Wouldn’t we both be thieves? Since you’re in possession of my luggage?”
“I only took yours because it was the last one left rotating around the carousel. You see, unlike you, I checked the luggage tag the first time it passed, and when I saw it wasn’t mine, I left it for the rightful owner to claim. But the line at baggage customer service was twenty deep, and I had a meeting I was already late for. So I took the one I have hostage until the airline could sort it out.”
My shoulders slumped. “Oh. Sorry.”
“It’s fine. Are you here in the City?”
“I am. Could we possibly meet to swap bags?”
“Sure. When and where? I’m out now, but I’ll be back in an hour or two.”
The tag had an address on the Upper East Side, but I lived on the West Side, farther downtown. “Could we meet at the Starbucks on 80th and Lex?” That was closer to him, but at least I’d only have to drag the suitcase onto one subway.
“I can’t think of any excuse not to. What time?”
That was sort of a weird way to phrase a yes, and the way he emphasized the word excuse seemed odd. But hey, I was getting my bag back. So what if he turned out to be a little strange? At least I’d hidden my phone number, and we were meeting in a public place.
“How about eight?”
“I’ll see you then.”
It sounded like he was about to hang up. “Wait…” I said. “How will I know it’s you?”
“I’ll be the one holding your luggage, Autumn W.”
I chuckled. “Oh, yeah. Sorry…long week in Vegas.”
I bent and lifted the shoe from the top of the bag. Ferragamo. Expensive. And big, too. A quick peek revealed it was a size thirteen. The inner teenager in me couldn’t help but think big feet, big…. Plus, the guy had a deep, sexy voice. I would definitely be exploring more of the dude’s luggage after we hung up.
“I’ll meet you at eight,” he said.
“See you then.” I was just about to swipe my phone off when something hit me. Oh God! “Hello? Wait…are you still there?”
It took a heartbeat or two, but the sexy voice came back on the line. “What’s up?”
“Ummm… Did you…open my bag?”
“I unzipped it at the airport to make sure it wasn’t mine when I noticed the luggage tag initials.”
“Did you…see anything?”
“There was a pink thong on top, so that pretty much sealed the deal that it didn’t belong to me. But I didn’t rummage through, if that’s what you’re asking.”
I forgot I’d shoved that thong in at the last minute. It had been at the back of a drawer when I’d checked the hotel room one last time on my way out. But I’d take him seeing my underwear over the other stuff inside my bag. I blew out a sigh of relief. “Okay, that’s great. Thank you. I’ll see you at eight at Starbucks.”
“Whoa. Hang on a second—not so fast. You sounded pretty nervous that I might’ve gone through your bag. Are you hiding something sinister in there? I’m not going to be walking around with a suitcase full of drugs or something, am I?”
I cracked a smile. “No, definitely not. I just…I’d prefer if you didn’t go through it.”
“Did you rummage through mine?”
I glanced at the shoe in my hand. Taking out one measly piece of footwear wouldn’t be considered rummaging, right? Nah. “No, I didn’t.”
“Are you planning on it?” he asked.
I had no idea what the man looked like, yet I could tell by his voice that he was smiling now.
“Nope,” I lied.
“Alright. Then we have a deal. I won’t go through your bag, and you won’t go through mine.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
“Do I have your word on that, Autumn W? I might have some things I’d prefer you didn’t see in there.”
“Like what?”
He chuckled. “See you at eight.”
After we hung up, I tossed the shoe back into the suitcase and bent to close it. But as I reached for the zipper, my curiosity got the best of me. Was he just screwing with me, or did he really have something in here he didn’t want me to see? Of course, I knew what I had in mine, which made me extra curious.
I shook my head and started to pull the zipper closed. About halfway, I laughed out loud. Who was I kidding? Now that I didn’t have laundry to do, I had almost a full two hours to kill before I met Mr. Bigfoot. This suitcase would taunt me all that time. I’d most certainly give in eventually, so why not put myself out of that misery and just take a little look-see inside now? Then I’d be able to relax. He’d never know I hadn’t lived up to my end of the bargain. Not to mention, for all I knew, he was elbow deep in my suitcase right now. In that case, it would only be fair that I got to go through his, right?
I nibbled my lip for a few seconds as a wave of guilt washed over me. But I quickly forced that out of my mind. Of course I’m right.
Feeling justified now, I unzipped the suitcase and took a minute to mentally note how everything was packed: a white dress shirt was folded on top, and two shoes were set on either side, heels facing up. I carefully unpacked those and placed them on the bed next to the suitcase in the same order. The next layer had more folded clothes: two expensive dress shirts, a pair of sweats, boxer briefs, and a few T-shirts, one of which had something emblazoned on the front—familiar lettering that began HA—so I unfolded it to see what it said. Harvard Law.
Ugh. One of those. No wonder he could afford Ferragamo shoes.
Underneath the pile of clothes was a white laundry bag—the kind a hotel gives you to put your dry cleaning in, but most people used it to separate their dirty clothes. With no desire to sort through smelly socks, I started to fold the clothes back into the suitcase, feeling a twinge of disappointment. But when I smoothed out the layers of the pile, I felt something lumpy and hard underneath in the plastic laundry bag. So I took the clothes back out and looked inside, hoping to find…I’m not sure what. Though what I found was definitely not what I expected.
The bag was filled with at least twenty or thirty of those little shampoo bottles hotels give out. Actually, a closer inspection revealed some were conditioner and a few were moisturizer. Buried on the very bottom were also three little sewing kits and half-a-dozen toothbrushes wrapped in plastic—the kind you could get at the front desk of a hotel when you forgot yours.
What the heck had Mr. Bigfoot done? Rob a housekeeping cart? This kind of stuff, though a lesser quantity, is what you’d usually find in my suitcase since I was broke all the time. But it wasn’t the type of thing you’d expect in the suitcase of a man who had gone to Harvard and wore seven-hundred-dollar dress shoes.
Now I was even more curious to meet Donovan Decker.
***
I arrived at Starbucks almost twenty minutes early, so I went online to treat myself to a flat white with honey almond milk. Even ordering it had me salivating, thinking about the sweet, creamy drink. Expensive coffee was my indulgence, but it didn’t happen too often with the five-dollar price tag and my skimpy budget.
I stood at the end of the counter, waiting for my drink and mindlessly scrolling on my phone, when a man walking through the front door caught my attention.
Oh, wow.
Now that was one good-looking man. Describing him as merely tall, dark, and handsome didn’t cut it, not by a mile. Jet-black hair framed a magnificent face with a chiseled, masculine bone structure, full lips, and a Romanesque nose. I wasn’t the only one to notice, either. I watched as the Adonis took a step back outside to hold the door open for a woman exiting the store, and the poor lady caught one glimpse of him and literally tripped over her own feet.
Seemingly oblivious that he’d caused the incident, he extended a hand to help her up, flashed a killer smile, and strolled inside. His bright blue eyes scanned the room, stopping right on my ogling ones. Embarrassed at being caught, I quickly diverted my attention back to my phone. A few seconds later, I was still pretending to be enraptured by my screen when footsteps came to a halt in front of me. I glanced up and blinked a few times. The guy from the door flashed a crooked smile.
“Were you able to control yourself?”
My forehead wrinkled. “Excuse me?”
His eyes danced with mirth, and his voice lowered. “I bet you couldn’t.”
I stared at him for an awkward moment before finally shaking my head. “What on Earth are you talking about?”
The man’s brows furrowed. “We made a deal, remember? I wouldn’t go through yours, if you didn’t touch mine?”
I’d watched the man walk in, stood right in front of him staring for at least a solid minute, and it took until now for me to notice he had something in his hand.
“Oh my God. You have my suitcase!”
He laughed but still looked perplexed. “What did you think I was talking about?”
“I…I don’t know. I was thoroughly confused.”
“I thought you saw me walk in.”
I did. But I hadn’t made it past your face. “No, I hadn’t noticed. Sorry. I guess I was just zoning out.”
The barista behind the counter yelled my name. I was glad for an excuse to put some distance between this guy and me. I needed a moment to gather my wits. Though when I returned, I still felt a little off-kilter.
“Thank you for meeting me to swap suitcases,” I said. “I’m really sorry I took the wrong one.”
“No problem.”
I rolled his case forward and released the handle. But the Adonis didn’t do the same. In fact, he pulled my bag closer to his side.
“Before we switch…” He tilted his head and studied my face. “I’m curious to know if you kept your word.”
I mimicked his pose and tilted my head. “What if I say I didn’t?”
“Well, then you’d have to pay a penalty for violating the terms of our deal.”
I raised a brow, intrigued. “A penalty?”
He nodded. “That’s right. There’s a penalty.”
I laughed as I lifted my coffee for a sip. “I just got back from a girls’ weekend in Vegas. Pretty sure this overpriced drink just used up the last five dollars in my bank account.”
“I wasn’t referring to a monetary penalty.”
“What kind of a penalty, then?”
He stroked the stubble on his chin for a moment. “You’d have to have coffee with me.”
Did this guy really think that would be a hardship? I debated how to answer. If I told the truth, it would be embarrassing. I mean, I went through the man’s personal belongings. But the flipside was I’d get to check him out some more over coffee. Then again, I’d be agreeing to spend time with a complete stranger. Though…whenever I met a guy online, I usually met him at a coffeehouse, and I probably knew more about this guy after going through his suitcase than I would from an online chat. Not to mention, none of my online dates had looked like Donovan Decker lately. In fact, none had made it further than coffee in a while.
Adonis had been watching my face as I debated my answer. His smirk made me think he already knew I’d checked out his bag. So, what the hell?
I stood tall and met his stare. “Was the lady from housekeeping harmed in the robbery?”
His eyes narrowed for a heartbeat, but then a giant smile spread across his face. He held his hand out toward the seating area. “After you, Autumn W.”
★★★ 
 
Excited? We are too!
RELEASING
JULY 12th!
PRE-ORDER LINKS
Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on Amazon on release day.
 
 
Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!
SIGN UP HERE

Do you like texts better than email? Receive text notices of Vi’s new releases by texting the word BOOKS to 77948 You will ONLY receive a text when a new book goes live – no other messages at all!
AUTHOR BIO
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
AUTHOR LINKS

Excerpt Reveal: Not Pretending Anymore by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Title: Not Pretending Anymore
Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 12, 2021
Excited about Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, Not Pretending Anymore?
Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!
CHAPTER ONE
Molly
“So, what do you do for a living?”
The woman drummed her fingers on her thigh. “I’m a musician.”
I glanced down at the renter’s application in my hand. Lyric Chords was the name listed at the top.
I bit my tongue and tried to keep an open mind. This was the twelfth woman I’d interviewed as a prospective roommate. Just because she had a few safety pins in her eyebrow and what looked like a dog collar around her neck didn’t mean I should rule her out.
“Oh. That’s nice. Are you a singer?”
Lyric shook her head. “Drummer. Do you know the dimensions of the bedroom I’ll be sleeping in? I have two sets of drums I need to fit.”
“Umm… I think it’s fourteen by fourteen. But you don’t practice at home, right? I wrote in my ad that I’m looking for a quiet roommate because I work nights.”
“I do. But no worries. I’ll practice in my room.”
My bedroom and my potential roommate’s bedroom shared a wall, so that was the end of interview number twelve. I sighed and forced a smile. “Thank you for coming. I have a few other people left to meet with before I decide. I’ll let you know.”
“Great.” The woman stood. “Also, I know your ad said two months’ rent up front, but I’m running a little short right now. Would one be okay?”
I smiled. “Sure, no problem.” Since you’re not going to be living here.
After Drummergirl, I interviewed two more candidates. One wanted her boyfriend to move into the room with her, even though my ad had specified I was only looking for a single. And the other arrived twenty minutes late, reeked of alcohol, and slurred her words…at three thirty in the afternoon.
Why in the hell was it so difficult to find a roommate in a city of almost three-million people? I needed my last interview of the day to be a miracle, or I was going to have to shell out money for another ad and start the entire process all over. And I definitely didn’t have the time or the funds for that. Rent was due in two weeks. If I got stuck paying the full amount on this place myself again, I’d be eating cat food for a month.
When my last appointment knocked right on time, I took a deep breath, looked up at the ceiling, and asked the big guy in the sky for a little assistance.
Opening the door, I blinked a few times.
Uhhh. I think you answered the wrong prayer, God.
A man stood in my hallway—and not just any man, an absolutely gorgeous one with a perfect, straight nose, cheekbones to die for, a masculine, square jaw, full lips, tanned skin, and the sexiest chocolate brown, almond-shaped eyes I’d ever seen in my life.
“Uh. Can I help you?”
He flashed a killer smile, one that I immediately suspected had made countless women remove their panties.
“Hi. I have a four-thirty appointment with Molly Corrigan.”
“You do?” I had the last application in my hand and looked down at the name on the top. “I don’t think so. My appointment is with a D. Tate?”
He extended a hand. “That’s me. Declan Tate.”
“But…you’re…not a woman.”
He smiled again. “You’re correct. Very observant. I am most definitely not a woman. But my last roommate told me I should’ve been because I use moisturizer at night and cried at the end of Marley and Me. And if I’m being honest, I also got a little watery at the end of Toy Story, so maybe I’m a bit of a wuss. Either way, I think you should consider those my positive feminine qualities.”
I was thoroughly confused. “Umm… I’m sorry. You must’ve missed that my ad said female only.”
“Actually, I didn’t. But if you’ll give me just five minutes, I think I can convince you I would be a better roommate than a woman.”
I chuckled. “Let me get this straight… You hid your first name—what did you say it was again?”
“Declan.”
“Right. Declan. Anyway, you applied to an ad for a female roommate, intentionally deceiving the person who is going to decide if you get the room by leaving your first name off. And your strategy is to convince me I don’t really know what I want in less than five minutes? Do I have that right?”
He flashed that boyish charm again. “You sure do.”
I debated how to handle the situation. On one hand, he was going to waste my time, and I had done enough of that today. But on the other, my curiosity was definitely piqued. Something about his grin told me this could be amusing. Screw it. I had nothing better to do anyway.
I opened the door wider and stepped aside, holding my hand out for him to enter. “I’m setting the timer on my phone, and I’m getting a glass of wine before you start. I like a drink while I’m being entertained.”
Declan smirked and strolled into my apartment.
I motioned to the couch. “Have a seat. I’ll just be a minute.”
When I got to the kitchen, he called after me, “Hey, Mollz?”
I turned back. “Yes?”
“How about you make that two glasses of wine?”
I chuckled. “Sure. Why not, Decs.”
I poured a couple of glasses of pinot grigio and returned to the living room.
“Here you go. Hope you like white.”
“You see? We’re perfect together already. I prefer white over red.”
I brought my wine to my lips. “Yes, perfect. A match made in heaven. I think we might even be soul mates.”
Declan showed me his pearly whites once again. He really did have a great smile, nice teeth, too. Too bad he also had a penis. I knocked back half the contents of my glass and placed it on the coffee table. Picking up my cell, I swiped to the timer app and set it for five minutes.
I showed him the screen. “You ready?”
“I’m always ready.”
I pressed start, placed the phone face up on the coffee table between us, and folded my hands. “Go.”
“Okay. Well…what’s your favorite color?”
“My favorite color?”
Declan pointed to the timer. “Time’s a ticking, Molly. I’m going to need you to not repeat questions.”
I laughed. “Fine. My favorite color is pink.”
Declan reached into one of his pant pockets and pulled out a set of keys. The keychain had a bunch of pink beads with white letters between each one. The letters spelled out his name. “Mine too.”
I arched a brow. “Did you make that yourself?”
“No. My niece, Arianna, made it for me.”
“So how do I know that isn’t just Arianna’s favorite color?”
“Good point. Let’s move on. Your ad said you work nights.”
“That’s right. I’m a nurse. I work the night shift on the maternity ward.”
“So you sleep during the day, then?”
“I get off at seven, and I try to get to sleep as soon as I get home.”
He held his hand to his chest. “I work days. I leave for the gym by six and usually don’t get home until after seven at night. So the apartment will be quiet when you need it to be.”
I nodded. “Okay. I’ll give you that that would make you a good roommate. But most people work days, so it’s not really something that makes you too special.”
“Do you cook?” he said.
“Does macaroni and cheese count?”
“I grew up in a multigenerational Italian home. My nonna taught me how to make sauce from scratch.”
“So you’re going to cook for me?”
“If that’s what it takes to get this apartment, yes.”
“As tempting as that might be, there’s an Italian restaurant around the corner that makes great food. Funny enough, it’s called Nonna’s Place, and an actual nonna makes most of my meals. Not a knockoff.”
Declan took an exaggerated breath and blew it out. He glanced at the cell on the table. “Three minutes and thirty-eight seconds. I can see you’re not going to make this easy. How about you tell me why you can’t have a male roommate so I can address that head-on. Is it because of the toilet-seat thing? Because I have four older sisters, so I’m appropriately trained. When I was eight, I made the mistake of leaving it up once, and my sister sat down where I’d accidentally left a little pee. She dunked my head in the toilet bowl before she flushed. That was the last time I left the seat up.” He held up three fingers. “Scout’s honor. It won’t be an issue.”
I smiled. “It’s not because of the toilet thing.”
“Alright. So why don’t you want a male roommate, then?”
I’d actually never given much thought to why my roommate had to be female. It just seemed natural to have another woman sharing the apartment. “Well…I don’t really have a specific reason. I would just be more comfortable living with another woman. For example, I sleep in a T-shirt and underwear. When I get up to start the coffee, I don’t get dressed. It would be weird to do that in front of a man.”
“Why?”
“Why would it be weird to walk around with my ass cheeks on display in front of a man and not a woman?”
“Yes.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. It just would. I guess because the women I’ve lived with aren’t attracted to other women, so it doesn’t feel sexual in any way.”
“Ah. Now we’re getting to the crux of your issue. So you’re afraid of some sexual tension going on between you and me? Is it because I’m so handsome?”
“What? No! And aren’t you full of yourself, assuming I think you’re handsome, and I’m worried I won’t be able to control myself.”
“Just keeping it real, Mollz. You’re only giving me five minutes, so I’m trying to get to the heart of the reason.”
“I guess I just don’t want to feel like I have to cover up to come out of my bedroom. When I dry my hair, I wear a towel or a bra and underwear—that type of thing.”
“Would you feel you had to cover up if I told you I was gay?”
That question gave me pause. Would I? I wasn’t sure. “Are you?”
“Fuck, no. I was just trying to pinpoint your issue. Is it the fact that I’m a man, or the fact that I might admire your ass if it were on display? Sounds like it’s the latter. So let me put your mind at ease: I won’t.”
I felt oddly offended. “What’s wrong with my ass?”
He chuckled. “I wouldn’t know. I haven’t looked. You know why?”
“Why?”
“Because I’m in love with someone else.”
As insane as it was, I felt a pang of jealousy. “Oh. Well, why aren’t you moving in with her?”
“Because she doesn’t return the feelings…yet. So basically, if your concern about having a guy for a roommate is that he’s going to be checking you out, you have nothing to worry about with me. I’m a one-woman man. If you want, I can give you the numbers of some of my exes for references. I’m no cheater.”
Hmmm… “I don’t know…”
Declan looked down at the clock. Thirty-one seconds were left. “We’re running out of time, so we need to speed things up. How about if I just give you the facts you need to know?”
“That would be good.”
“I’m twenty-eight years old. I make six figures. My credit score is eight hundred and ten, and I have references from previous landlords. I’m neat and clean up after myself. I’m not home a lot, but when I am, I’m pretty quiet. I’m also damn good with a hammer.” He glanced around my apartment and pointed at a hole I’d accidentally made in the wall when I flung the closet door open too hard. “I can spackle that and put on a door stopper so it won’t happen again.” He pointed to the kitchen. “And those cabinets are pretty tall. I’m six foot one. No more having to stand on a chair to reach something on the top shelf. And—”
The timer on the stopwatch buzzed.
“Can I just say one last thing?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“I’ll share my Hulu and Netflix passwords. I have the premium Hulu account.”
I laughed. “Well, those are some pretty enticing qualities for a roommate.”
He smiled. “So I’m in?”
I sighed. “I’m sorry. While I appreciate your tenacity, unfortunately, you’re not. Though I interviewed fourteen other people today, and I have to say, you do seem like you’ll make some other lucky person a fantastic roomie.”
Declan frowned, but nodded. “I figured it was worth a shot. This is a great building, and I work right around the corner. It’s hard to find an apartment where it’s only a six-month commitment.”
“My lease is up then, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to extend or not.”
“See? That’s another reason I’d be perfect. I’m only in town for six more months.”
“I’m sorry. This is definitely a case of it’s me and not you.”
He picked up his wine and guzzled it down before standing and extending his hand. “I appreciate you giving me your time. And thanks for the pinot.”
We shook. “It was nice to meet you, Declan.”
After I walked him out, I shut the door and leaned back against it. What a shame; he really seemed like a nice guy and the best candidate I’d met by a mile. I was just about to go wallow in another glass of alcohol when there was a knock at my door. Checking the peephole before opening, I found Declan standing there.
“I forgot something important,” he said.
“Oh? What’s that?”
He took out his wallet and produced a photo of a nun. “This is my sister Catherine, and it’s not a costume from Halloween. She’s a legit nun. How bad can a person be if his sister is a nun?”
I laughed. “Is this the sister who dunked your head in the toilet?”
He grinned. “It is, actually.”
“Well, I’m not sure there’s a direct correlation between your sister deciding to dedicate her life to the church and you being a good person. Though, even if I take your word for it, it still doesn’t change my answer.”
Declan’s shoulders drooped. “Had to try. She tells me her being a nun won’t get me into heaven. Thought maybe it was good for something.”
“Goodbye, Declan.”
“Later, Mollz.”
***
“So…how’s the roommate search going?” Emma poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the small table in our break room.
I sighed. “Why is it so hard to find a normal person these days? I’ve interviewed more than a dozen people, and not one suitable candidate.”
“Did you post an ad on the employee bulletin board, like I suggested?”
I shook my head. “I don’t want another nurse or tech. It makes it weird at work if things don’t work out.”
“Maybe Dr. Dandy will apply.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “I heard he’s sleeping on Dr. Cohen’s couch until he finds a place.”
That information certainly perked me up. “Really? Will and whatshername broke up?”
“Yup. Lisa in X-ray told me Dr. Cohen told her he’s staying with him. Apparently he and the wannabe actress are finito.”
“Wow.”
Emma smiled. “Yup. And fair warning, my friend… I’m allowing a ten-day grace period for him to grieve the end of a year-long relationship. But after that, I’m going to be up your butt making sure you let the man know you’re interested. He’s not going to be on the market for long, and you missed your opportunity last time he was single. You can’t keep pining for the guy.”
Of course she was right. And while I felt elated that Will was back on the market, the thought of coming clean to him about my feelings made me want to throw up. Will Daniels—or as Emma called him, Dr. Dandy, because of his last name and uncanny resemblance to a male model named David Gandy—and I had been good friends for four years now. We’d started on the very same day at the hospital and had gone through orientation together. I’d had a boyfriend back then, and he’d been seeing a girl from med school at the time, so even though I’d always thought he was insanely handsome, things didn’t bloom until two years ago. And most of the time since then, he’d been seeing one woman or another. Emma was right that the man never seemed to stay single for long.
“He’s going to be at happy hour this Friday night,” I said. “A few of the crew from CCU are meeting up over at McBride’s. I’m curious to hear what he says about the breakup.”
“Does he know you’re looking for a roommate?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well, he needs a place to sleep, and you need a roomie.” Emma shrugged. “Timing is everything. Maybe it’s fate and he’ll move in and take care of two of your needs.”
“I think your imagination might be getting ahead of itself. Why don’t we start by seeing if things are really over with him and whatshername? They’ve split up a few times, but he always winds up going back.”
“Okay. But I have a good feeling about you two.”
“Could you possibly have a good feeling about me finding a roommate instead? I just had to pay for another damn ad.”
Emma shook her head. “I can’t believe you didn’t find one decent candidate.”
Remembering my last interview, I said, “Actually there was one who would’ve been perfect—great credit score, neat, cooks, leaves early in the morning, and works long days.”
“So why didn’t you take her?”
“Because she was a he.”
★★★
 
Excited? We are too!
RELEASING APRIL 12th!
PRE-ORDER LINKS
Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon on release day.
Sign up for Vi and Penelope’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!
PENELOPE WARD
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Excerpt Reveal: Beneath the Stars by A.L. Jackson

Beneath the Stars Excerpt Blitz

A Friends-to-Lovers Rockstar Romance from A.L. Jackson

Coming February 22nd

image

 

Beneath the Stars is coming 02/22, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the except blitz. Check out the fire that is coming to you in this friends-to-lovers romance!

 

“Just how strong are ya, Mag Pie? Think you can sling me on that back and carry me inside?” He managed to only half slur the words.

Droplets of giddiness dripped into my chest. A well gathering fast. “You’re asking me if I can lift a Mack truck?” 

“Hell, no. Just if you can tackle a stallion.”

He waggled his brows, though it was sloppy and goofy and kind of adorable, and god, how easily I could fall for this man.

Like slipping into quicksand. 

“What would you say if I wanted to try?” I whispered, throat so tight it was difficult to speak. 

He grunted. “I’d say that sounds like a mistake.” 

“I thought you said I needed to make a few mistakes along the way?” I lifted my chin, my eyes searching his face in the darkness.

He forced a grin that felt wholly faked. “Ahhh…a few mistakes are called for. But believe me, baby, you don’t want this kind of tragedy.” 

“Rhys—” 

He shook his head to cut me off. “Don’t.” 

I glanced back at the house. “I really should get Royce. He can help me get you inside.” 

Rhys huffed out a laugh, shoving off the darkness that had gathered around him like a violent storm. He cocked a playful grin. “Think I’ve received my full allotment of death threats from your brother today, thank you very much. I can make it just fine.” 

“Death threats?” 

“Let’s just say he made our boundaries very clear.” He gestured at the bare space between us. “Just so you know, we’re already crossin’ them.” 

I scowled. “When?” 

“Doesn’t matter.” 

I huffed a sigh. 

Freaking Royce. 

“Richard?” I offered instead. 

“Nope. Good as new. Can’t keep a good man down.” His words were all slurry and mushed together.

He hopped up like he was going to prove the point. 

Only he stumbled three feet to the side. 

A goliath who swayed. 

I jumped up and rushed to his side. “Whoa there, cowboy. You keep it up, and you’re definitely going down.”

He leaned against me, slinging his arm over my shoulders. 

The man heavy and hard and pure masculinity. 

He staggered a bit, and I struggled to keep him upright, because holy crap, he was made of brick. 

Suddenly, his nose was in my hair. “Why you gotta smell so good, Mags? And this dress.” 

My brain was short-circuiting with him this close. 

With the words that slipped from his mouth so errantly. 

With the way his fingertips grazed over the silky fabric in the barest brush.

Wildfire. 

It consumed my flesh.

But it was my heart that was at risk. 

 

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Live Alert

Want a Signed Paperback? PRE-ORDER HERE

 

Can’t wait for the release? Be sure to vote for BENEATH THE STARS as one of your most anticipated February reads on Goodreads!

Vote Here

 

“AL Jackson wrecked me and put me back together with this book. I fell for Rhys and Maggie’s story from page one!”

-Jessica Prince, Romance Author

 


 

image

 

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Live Alert

Want a Signed Paperback? PRE-ORDER HERE


 

GIVEAWAY

Win a Signed Paperback of Kiss the Stars

image

Join A.L. Jackson’s Reader Hangout to Enter

 

Pre-Order on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

Audio Live Alert

Want a Signed Paperback? PRE-ORDER HERE


 

 

image

 

 

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, and FALLING STARS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, BENEATH THE STARS, releasing February 22nd.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

 

Connect with A.L.

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage&nbsp;

Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock 

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn 

Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub 

Twitter: @aljacksonauthor 

Instagram: @aljacksonauthor

 

Coming Soon: Sancte Diaboli by Amo Jones

SANCTE DIABOLI: PART ONE (Elite King’s Club Series #6) by Amo Jones
Release Date: February 9th

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43903063-sancte-diaboli

Preorder Today!!
Releases Wide and then moves to KU after Release!
Apple: https://apple.co/3pdt0VS
Nook: https://bit.ly/35cnlaw
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3nkZ9Jx
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3peE2KA
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3lf5u8z
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3eJIM63

Blurb:
The Devil comes with baggage, and not the kind you can lose. I was two years old when he saved me. I didn’t understand much at that age, but I remember the pale boy with hair as dark as ink, saving me from two evils. He said he would protect me; I just didn’t know he meant from himself. I was raised in the arms of evil, tailored for the Devil like a custom Armani suit, and every day he wore it like a weapon. Brantley thought by keeping me locked in his manor that it would protect me, and it did.

Until it didn’t.

As I slowly adapt to The Elite Kings Club and the dark, sinister world that exists around the outlaws in suits, I come to learn that the monster everyone fears is the very same one I crave.

Like a prized trophy, I sit on his throne…
Something quite pretty, an object he owns…

She’s a porcelain doll, so shiny, so clean…
Something I want to polish, but to never be seen…

The time has come, I am in his world…
Now his Dea, can be admired by all…

The thing with porcelain is it’s fragile and delicate…
It would only take a second for me to eradicate it…

Excerpt:
“She’s a Vitiosis before she’s anything else.”
“A Hayes by blood,” Hector adds, and I can’t help it.
The corner of my mouth curves, flashing straight teeth. “Sure about that?”

About the Author:
Amo Jones is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, totally winging this author thing (she’s probably doing it all wrong). She likes cake, loves wine, and her religion is magic (Slytherin). She’s a profound work-a-holic, but when she’s not writing, you can find her chilling with her kids & Husband at the nearest beach, with a cocktail in her hand.

New Zealand is not a state of Australia and rugby is the best sport ever played.

Connect w/Amo:
Website: https://www.amojonesbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amojonesauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/10114
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amojoneswrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thatcrazykiwiauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14047384.Amo_Jones
Amazon: https://amzn.to/36soMis
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amo-jones

Coming Soon: Bet the Farm by Staci Hart

Staci Hart has a brand new rom-com standalone coming January 26th! Bet the Farm is a heartfelt, flirty story of opposites attract and I cannot WAIT to read it! Mark your calendars and pre-order your copy today!

Amazon | AppleBooks | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads

A very unladylike grunt grated out of me.

Every muscle engaged as I hauled a ridiculous pink suitcase off the baggage belt of the tiny airport. The curl of my toes kept me braced. My glutes were hard enough to bounce a quarter off of. Shoulders bunched, abs engaged, fingers burning.

It was more than I’d worked out in a year.

In that moment, I second guessed everything I’d packed to come home to California, even though I’d been absolutely certain every article of clothing was necessary at the time. But when I stumbled backward from the force of finally loosing my luggage, I questioned the rain boots. And the overalls. And all that plaid. But I was back at the farm after two long years, and I had to look the part.

The worst part of growing up on a dairy farm was being lactose intolerant.

Butter and cream, ice cream and cheese, and tanks brimming with milk. Growing up, it was inescapable, and as a sweet, innocent child with no clue of the tragic fate my digestive system had in store, I didn’t have to escape it. I remember sneaking hunks of cheese from the creamery and eating until I was sick in the hay loft. Or sitting across from my grandfather, warm brownie and teeming glass of fresh milk before us, the sounds of crickets floating in on the breeze through the open windows of the farmhouse.

These days, it was almond milk and soy cheese, margarine and sorbet. I’d abandoned cream, opting to drink my coffee black, which made me feel like a true badass—no easy feat at five feet and change, with hair the color of a penny and enough freckles to find constellations in the array. I was about as badass as a paper towel or a guinea pig or a carrot. Or a guinea pig on a paper towel eating a carrot.

When the suitcase wheels were on the slick tile floor of baggage claim in the eensy airport, I brushed my hair back from my clammy forehead, scanning the belt for my other suitcase.

It was equally as ridiculous a shade of pink as the one I propped myself on to catch my breath, a bright bubblegum hue, fit better for a little girl than a grown woman. A New Yorker, no less. But I couldn’t bring myself to curb the inclination to the color. It was a color that instantly brought cheer—you couldn’t tow a suitcase that vivid and hopeful without getting the distinct impression that everything would be all right, regardless of where you were going.

Even a funeral.

Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited.

But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.

Jake Milovic.

The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer. 

Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.

His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.

What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other. 

Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined.

Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail.

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Newsletter

Excerpt Reveal: Little Lies by H. Hunting

“Helena Hunting takes your breath and your heart with equal force in this incredible, important novel. This book is a hug and a lesson, as well as a hell of a ride” — Debra Anastasia, author

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting, comes a beautifully written and emotional new adult romance, Little Lies, November 16th and we have the first peek inside this unforgettable romance.

Sneak Peek

Lavender finally looks my way. “You can go back to your bunnies, Kodiak. I don’t need a bodyguard or a babysitter.”
Clarke laughs and smirks at me. “You heard her. We’re good.” He slings his arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side. I’m pretty sure her ass cheek is pressed up against his leg, and his fingers dangle perilously close to her boob.
My control slips. The frustration over not being able to have what I want is wearing me down. Everyone has an opinion on what’s good for me—how I have to manage all the impulses, how I can’t let the obsessions rule me the way they often do. But this is more than I can take. It’s been weeks and weeks of fighting the need of being an asshole because the alternative is to dive right back into that fixation—and if I do, I’m very worried it’s going to consume me. And her.
Want more? Continue reading here >> https://bit.ly/3dQRi2I

Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gn18sL
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Yp95HS
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/littlelies
Nook: https://bit.ly/34rwvzR
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3hmdHpD
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2E9yxu3
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3aWyq0C

Add LITTLE LIES to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2IUtW0y

Synopsis

I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me.
I never loved you.
I turned my words into swords.
And I cut her down.
Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.
I said I’d never hurt her, and I did.
Years later, I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted, when all I wanted was to indulge my obsession.
Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.
I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.
But I don’t want to save her anymore.
I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.

About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2kN5wdZ
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2mloUim
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5
Facebook Fan group: http://bit.ly/2kN5yCD
Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

Never miss an update! Subscribe to Helena’s mailing list:
http://bit.ly/HelenaHuntingNews

H. Hunting

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3huH3ly