Blog Tour: Kiss and Break Up by Ella Fields

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You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.

Kiss and Break Up, an all-new angst-filled, friends to lovers New Adult romance from Ella Fields, is available now!

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Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.

He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.

Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.

Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.

You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.

And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.

Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

*** READ MY FIVE STAR REVIEW HERE ***

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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

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Excerpt:

I fell to the bed just as a thump hit the exterior of the house, and Dash launched himself through the window.

“Can you ever land gracefully?” Or you know, use the front door. For as long as we’d lived here, he’d snuck in. At first, it was due to being unsure whether my mom would still want us hanging out, but it didn’t take her long to figure out what he was doing.

She didn’t care. When I’d shaken like a mouse cornered in a kitchen, she’d smiled and told me she’d never stop us from being friends. Yet the window always remained unlocked.

Dash kicked off his boots, and they hit the aging floor with two bangs. “I’m all man, baby. Not a fucking cat.”

Hearing him say that reminded me of why he was here. I sprang to my feet, hurtling out into the hall and into the bathroom.

“What are you doing?”

Too busy gargling mouthwash, I didn’t answer and spat it into the sink as he appeared in the weathered mirror behind me.

“Seriously?” he asked. “You burp in my face after eating garlic pizza, so this is just fucking dumb.”

“You burped in my face first.” I put the cap back on the bottle, not meeting his gaze. I couldn’t. I headed back inside the safety of my room.

But I had to wonder, as I heard Dash gargling mouthwash too, if it would be considered safe again after this. Would this ruin everything by making it awkward?

“Dash,” I said, wringing my hands as I paced the floor of my room. “We probably shouldn’t be doing this. What if––”

“What if it’s awesome and you fall madly in love with me? Well, we already know I don’t do commitment.”

A tiny laugh skittered out. “No, what if it gets awkward? I don’t want anything to change.”

He took me by the shoulders in the middle of my rainbow knitted rug and leveled me with his vibrant eyes. “We’ve done some pretty awkward shit, so what’s a little mouth to mouth going to change?”

I nodded, exhaling slowly, then I frowned. “Why are you doing this? I mean, I know why I want to, but you? What do you even get out of it?”

He grinned. “You might be my best friend, but I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to stick my tongue down your throat.” He tipped a muscled shoulder. “Let’s just say you’ll be killing that curiosity.”

“You’ve always wondered?”

“I’ve got eyes, Freckles. And I don’t need my glasses to appreciate the sight of something beautiful.”

I blinked. “Wow. That was actually really swe––”

“Shut your inexperienced mouth and kiss me.”

I was still laughing when he grabbed my face, and then I squeaked as the world changed color, and his lips lowered over mine.

My heart became a trumpet, blaring in my ears at the first touch of his lips.

I pulled away, startled and still laughing. “Oh, my God.”

Dash’s hands were warm on my face. “That good? They barely even touched.”

“No,” I choked out, pushing his hands away. “It’s just … a little weird.”

“Weird?” His brows scrunched. “We’ve barely even begun.”

I blew out a shaky breath, unable to look at him as my hands flapped at my sides. I stared at his white shirt, looking at where the cotton met his tanned skin. “I don’t know, Dash.”

“Wanna try again?”

I looked at him then, at the eager glint in his blue eyes. “It’s not weird for you?”

He chewed his bottom lip which was a little fatter than the top. And it’d just been touching mine. Oh, how crazy. “Maybe a smidgen. I can just picture Margot Robbie, and I’ll be good.”

I froze. “Margot Robbie?”

He gestured to my hair. “The blonde hair helps.”

“Jesus.” I swiped my hands down my face. “This is dumb. Let’s just forget it.”

He stood there a moment, glancing around my room. “Why don’t you imagine someone? That guy from the Thor movie. You like him.”

“Chris Hemsworth?”

“Yeah. Imagine him.” Then he grinned, waggling his brows. “Pucker up, baby.”

“You didn’t just say that.” I laughed, plopping down on the edge of my bed.

“Whatever. Are we trying again or what?”

The thought of Byron and that mischievous twinkle in his green eyes, the way he’d wasted no time moving in to kiss me … yeah. I needed to do this.

“Okay.” I shook out my hands, bouncing a little on the bed. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Dash’s lips thinned. “This isn’t a cross meet. We’re only swapping germs.”

“You just had to say that, didn’t you?” My pep had officially vanished.

Dash tugged me off the bed. “Close your eyes and relax.”

I tried, but I was as stiff as a board when his mouth met mine again. He tasted like spearmint and cigarettes, but his hands were gentle as one held my chin and the other glided through my hair to the back of my head. Slowly, with the soft press of his lips on mine and the gentle exploration of their shape, my limbs loosened.

“Open,” he whispered, his voice threaded, rougher.

I did, expecting the invasion of his tongue, but the velvet feel of it only traced the inner edges of my mouth.

Out of all the things I’d expected to feel when he’d suggested this crazy idea, it wasn’t relaxed, and it certainly wasn’t the buzzing sensation currently warming my insides.

“This isn’t so bad,” I said when he pulled back, my voice a low exhalation.

“Good. Now repeat the same to me.” My eyes were about to spring open, but he growled. “Keep them closed. Don’t think, just do and feel.”

Drawing in a quick breath through my nose, I found his stubble-coated cheeks with my hands and lifted myself on my toes. I tried to do the same thing he did to me, but my tongue plunged deeper, meeting the warm softness of his. I licked it, stroking cautiously until I heard him hum, the sound vibrating up his throat and causing our lips to mash together.

His hands became firmer around my head, his tongue greedier, sweeping inside my mouth before my teeth found purchase on his plump bottom lip, and pulled.

He groaned, and it had me staggering back, my heart racing and my breath an unsteady, embarrassing sound.

Dash swallowed, then cleared his throat as he shifted on his feet. His eyes met mine, and I looked away, down to where my mint green toes were curling over the abrasive fabric of my rug.

Awkward. This was so awkward, and I prayed we hadn’t just made a huge mistake.

“So that’s how it’s done.” He grabbed the TV remote and plopped onto my bed. “Got any popcorn?”

I shook my head. “Wait, that’s um, it?”

He started flicking through Netflix. “Well, yeah. Not much else to it. We can practice again before your date if you want, but I’m fucking starving, and we need to re-watch the last season of GoT before the new one is out.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said, remembering I’d promised him that weeks ago. Hungry myself, I stepped outside, then scowled at him from the doorway. “Don’t put your socks near my pillow.”

He grumbled but shifted and moved over to the other side of the bed.

About Ella Fields

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

Connect with Ella

Website: https://ellafields.net/

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2tLtO8L

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

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2VvhqFP

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2EHIyvD

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Excerpt Release: When August Ends by Penelope Ward

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A Standalone Contemporary Romance Novel

NY Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Penelope Ward

RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2019

 

EXCERPT:

Noah stood up and walked off the porch to put his cigar out on the cement. When he returned, he remained standing across from me. I was reminded of just how tall he was as he towered over me. A breeze blew his scent—a mix of cigar and cologne—in my direction. The same smell saturated the shirt I was wearing. I could’ve breathed it in all night. His nearness was doing things to my body I hadn’t ever felt.

Noah looked around. “You mentioned some stuff around here needs to be repaired. What specifically?”

I blew out a breath. Even thinking about it was exhausting. “So much. I’d have to make a list.”

“Why don’t you do that? Make a list. I’m pretty good with my hands. I’ll see if there’s anything I can help with while I’m here.”

He’d lost me at pretty good with my hands. My imagination was running wild. Shit. I imagined those hands doing a lot of things—mostly to me.

“I can’t let you do that.”

“You’d be stupid not to take me up on it. I came for a change of pace, but the truth is, too much quiet isn’t good. I like to keep busy.”

Biting my bottom lip, I shook my head. “I don’t know…”

“Make the list,” he insisted.

Noah was right. It would be dumb not to take him up on his offer. It wasn’t like there was anyone else knocking down our door to help.

I tilted my head. “What would be in it for you?”

His expression turned dark. “People don’t always have to have ulterior motives.”

Suddenly feeling bold, I said, “I thought maybe you would want me to go out with you in exchange.”

Did you hear that? It was a record screeching.

I admit, that was ballsy, but being around him brought out my flirtatious side. Maybe his cologne and cigar smoke were going to my head.

“You’re joking, right?”

Okay. I shouldn’t have asked.

“Actually, I—”

“I’m practically old enough to be your father.”

Really? That’s how he saw me? I knew he was older than me…but he didn’t seem that old. No way. I’d pegged him as early thirties, though I truly had no idea how old he was.

I shook my head. “No, you’re not. That’s a lie. An older brother, maybe. How old are you?”

Instead of answering, he took two steps forward. “Let me make something clear.”

“Okay…”

“I was not insinuating anything by offering to help. And I will not be asking you out, propositioning you, or going anywhere near you, for that matter. We clear on that?”

Okay, then.

I swallowed. Disappointment washed over me as I cleared my throat. “Yes.”

“Good.” He made his way toward the door, turning around one last time. “You’d better go. It was nice chatting. Get me the list tomorrow.”

He disappeared into the house, leaving me on the porch to wallow in his lingering smell and feeling like a complete and utter idiot.

 

Download the FIRST TWO Chapters Here https://dl.bookfunnel.com/7atulhxa6j

 

Audio https://adbl.co/2traZHS

Amazon Print https://amzn.to/2T351eE

Apple Books https://apple.co/2Tj776z

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Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/2Eg5DFw

**No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.

Synopsis:

What do you do when a sexy, older man moves into your family’s summer rental?

Well, apparently, you make a fool of yourself—over and over. Things didn’t exactly get off on the right foot with Noah Cavallari. Our first encounter was embarrassing, to say the least.

But despite that, I found myself waking up every day with a newfound energy. Nothing exciting ever happened on the lake—not until Noah moved into the small boathouse on our property. He’d booked it for the entire summer…and I was still trying to figure out why.

When my mother became ill, I inherited the responsibility of making sure our guests were well taken care of. I should have been in college. Instead, I was living my best life…as a maid.

Dark, handsome, and mysterious, everything about Noah screamed forbidden.

I knew he was just passing through town for the summer.

I knew he was probably too old for me.

Yet, I was drawn to him.

Not to mention, he tried to save my life when he mistakenly thought I was drowning.

I wanted him and made no secret of it.

His own attempts to warn me away soon gave way to late-night moonlight chats by the lake. We were slowly easing into a friendship that was gearing up to explode into something I might not recover from.

Because he’s leaving at the end of the summer.

And I have no idea what I’ll do when August ends.

 

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About the Author:

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 one-point-five million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

Sign up for Penelope’s mailing list: http://eepurl.com/MnXoH

Find Penelope here:

Website: http://www.penelopewardauthor.com

Gmail: penelopewardauthor@gmail.com

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

Facebook Fan Group (Penelope’s Peeps): https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor

Instagram: @penelopewardauthor http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7105545.Penelope_Ward?from_search=true

Other books from Penelope Ward

 

Standalone Novels

Love Online Ebook

Love Online:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2obQRa2
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2LzO4om
B&N: http://bit.ly/2wfHUQO
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2MYBexz
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ORdVWT
Audio: https://adbl.co/2KAWnMq

Gentleman NineGentleman Nine

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoRJC5
iBooks: http://bit.ly/2D7K7Qi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2EPuDCn
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nMeoP3
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2C9ESTm

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Drunk Dial

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rcBbVl
iBooks: http://apple.co/2tq7dRz
Nook: http://bit.ly/2xeEH2H
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ihXnMD
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LzQ2Fg

Mack DaddyMack Daddy

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2regybn
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LhHZxB

RoomHateRoomHate

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rficJw
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JMo306

Stepbrother Dearest

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FBxe1G
ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JJV90V

Neighbor Dearest

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JJQPz2
iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LFzZTn

Jaded and Tyed

Jaded and Tyed (A novelette)

Amazon Print only: https://amzn.to/2JLzTYJ
Audio: https://adbl.co/2LVET1V
35696570

Sins of Sevin

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2I6i3T6
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LImsup
Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Jake Undone

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoQnYd
iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2uU45v3
Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rbAlZQ
iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JHWUM0
My Skylar

My Skylar

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fwe78V
iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mzqkmn
Gemini

Gemini

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rggfwv
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2zYoXXP

BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD & VI KEELAND:

Hate Notes final ebook cover

Hate Notes:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RrY8iw
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2qxG2R2
Audio: https://amzn.to/2zR81AE

The Rush Series (2 Book Series)

Rebel Heir (Rush Series Duet #1)Rebel Heir

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JHynHe
iBooks: https://goo.gl/iG6fmD
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ubjd6b
Kobo: https://goo.gl/iU76VK

Rebel Heart (Rush Series Duet #2)Rebel Heart

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KuY8Me
iBooks: https://apple.co/2oleXyJ
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ew2ggj
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2H7FRCm

Cocky Bastard

Cocky Bastard

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JIy7HT
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up SuitStuck-Up Suit

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KvRMfE
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy PilotPlayboy Pilot

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFAtec
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
B&N: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Mister MoneybagsMister Moneybags

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFgHzm
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
B&N: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

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British Bedmate

(Previously titled Dear Bridget, I want you):

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sGyJbZ
Apple Books: http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N: http://smarturl.it/o780mb
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dear-bridget-i-want-you
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LANW8s

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WHEN AUGUST ENDS – RELEASING FEBRUARY 25, 2019

Download the FIRST TWO Chapters Here https://dl.bookfunnel.com/7atulhxa6j

Audio https://adbl.co/2traZHS

Amazon Print https://amzn.to/2T351eE

Apple Books https://apple.co/2Tj776z

Nook https://bit.ly/2IiEqX7

Kobo https://bit.ly/2BAL4lC

Google Play http://bit.ly/2BCw3Qc

Goodreads http://bit.ly/2SL1z9e

Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/2Eg5DFw

**No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.

 

Book Review & Excerpt: The Son & His Hope by Pepper Winters

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The Son and His Hope by Pepper Winters

Release Date: February 12th

Scroll down for my 5 Star Review and an Exclusive Excerpt.

This is one of my all-time favorite books!!!

 

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The Son and His Hope, a sweeping standalone from New York Times Bestselling author Pepper Winters.

“Things you should know about me from the very beginning:

I was born to true love, witnessed the destruction it causes, and vowed never to let such agony happen to me. I am not a story-teller like my father. I am not a writer like my mother. I am just a son—their son.

I am happy being alone.

And that is all I ever want to be.”

JACOB

The day he was born, Jacob learned his hardest and longest lesson.

It wasn’t a lesson a boy should learn so young, but from his earliest memories he knew where happiness lives, so does tragedy. Where love exists, so does heartbreak. And where hope resides, so does sorrow.

That lesson carved him from the kid to the teen to the man.

And nothing and no one could change his mind.

HOPE

I first met him when he was fourteen at a movie premiere of all places. A movie based on his parent’s life.

He was stoic, strong, suspicious, and secretive.

I was only ten, but I felt something for him. A strange kind of sorrow that made me want to hug and heal him.

I was the daughter of the actor hired to play his father.

We shared similarities.

I recognised parts of him because they were parts of me.

But no matter how many times we met. No matter how many times I tried.

He stayed true to his vow to never fall.

*** READ MY FIVE STAR REVIEW HERE ***

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Download your copy today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HUEKLf

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/SonHopePW

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2UOVBAP

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

Kobo: https://goo.gl/yUJUqc

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2RQr8EN

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Exclusive Excerpt:

It’d been a long time since I’d seen her, and this new woman in front of me didn’t compute with the waifish girl I’d done my best to scare off.

“I couldn’t sleep.” She blinked with eyes too hooded to be innocent. She spoke with a voice too rich and feminine to belong to the annoying Hope Jacinta Murphy.

My hands curled, fighting away sick appreciation. For years, I hadn’t bothered mingling with anyone other than family. Back when I’d attended school, the girls showed off their newly formed bodies and flaunted their sexual preference. Their obvious flirting turned me off rather than on. They all seemed so desperate to impress, so eager for a connection that would end up destroying them.

Hope, meanwhile, was none of those things.

She was shy beneath strength. Quiet beneath conversation. And when she’d hugged me?

God, she’d shown me pain had multiple levels.

A hug from family could sear and sting.

But a hug from her?

It drew blood.

“It isn’t safe to wander around this late on your own.” My hands balled, my voice thickened, and I did my best to keep my eyes on her face because there was no way I could look at her body. No way I could permit myself to see the change in her, the growth, the knowledge that she might drive me to rage and disturb my carefully perfected world, but she was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen.

Soft but sharp. Trusting but careful. Fragile but brave.

All the things that drew out the best and worst in me. I wanted to be kind, so she was happy. I wanted to be cruel, so she’d leave.

I didn’t have the strength to fight both instincts or convince myself I was content with being alone. My phobia of getting close to anyone ordered me to back up and point at Mom’s house. “Go back, Hope.”

She bit her lower lip, looking at where I pointed before capturing my stare again.

I didn’t stand a chance with the way she studied me. The same way she’d watched me as a child with a certainty and calmness that made me fidget and bristle. Only now, a deeper element was there too. A terrifying welcome. A petrifying invitation that had nothing to do with the years we’d danced around each other and everything to do with this new torturous existence.

“I don’t want to go back yet.” Her voice whispered through the grass, sounding part breeze, part shadow.

“What do you want?” My jaw clenched.

What the hell sort of question is that, and why did I ask it?

She cocked her head, hair tumbling, eyes searching. “To walk.” Taking a hesitant step toward me, she smiled softly. “Want to walk with me?”

“What I want is for you to get off my property.”

Her smile warmed instead of cooled. “Can I walk on it first? Then I’ll get off it.”

I couldn’t understand her. Was she joking with me? Teasing? Being plain exasperating? Crossing my arms, I raised my chin. “Walking it would take hours. It’s big.”

 

About Pepper:

Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller.

After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six times in three years.

Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette.

Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released

titles in Italian and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017.

Connect with Pepper:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lLHxdG

Twitter: @PepperWinters

Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1511645192400372/

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http://www.subscribepage.com/www.pepperwinters.com

https://pepperwinters.com

 

Re-Release: Unbreakable by Emma Scott

Author Emma Scott has re-released one of her first books Unbreakable with a brand new cover and new material!

Scroll down for an Exclusive Excerpt and a Giveaway Chance!

 

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Blurb:


Alex Gardener has her life planned out, down to the smallest detail. She has a skyrocketing career as a litigation attorney, a close group of socialite friends, and is engaged to one of the most successful businessmen in Beverly Hills. Everything is just as she wants it: comfortable, predictable, secure…if lacking passion. Fire.

Cory Bishop is a struggling working man, trying to make ends meet while fighting to keep custody his young daughter. He knows that working hard is the only way to achieve his goals, but lately it seems everything he wants hangs just out of reach.

The bank robbery changes everything.

Alex and Cory spend three harrowing days as hostages locked in a bank with fifty frightened people and six criminals who grow more desperate–and dangerous–by the hour. Alex and Cory find comfort and safety with each other and reveal their deepest hopes and fears and secrets, unknowingly building a bond forged out of desperation and fear, one that they can’t break, even once outside the bank’s walls.

Their lives are turned upside down, irrevocably altered, and they seek to move on and put the robbery–and each other–behind them.

But some bonds, once forged, cannot be broken.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U7YCMd

Add to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/2T5M1cx

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Alex

I marched into the towering edifice of United One Bank, my shoes tapping over the marble floor. I managed a brief smile for the portly security guard but it quickly fell away when I saw that half of Los Angeles had decided to do their banking at lunchtime too.

“Damn.”

         I took my place in line behind a tall blond man in jeans and a rugged brown jacket. The whiff of perfume filled my nose as a beautiful, immaculately dressed young woman of Indian heritage stepped in line behind me.

         I settled in to wait, wondering if I should call my assistant, to make sure nothing was going haywire with any of my cases. But Abed knew me well: waiting until I came into the office to give me news was a bad idea. I checked my cell phone for messages and saw none. No word from my team, and nothing from the court’s clerk. No verdict yet.

I eased a sigh and then tightened up again when I realized I hadn’t filled out any forms—or whatever the hell it was I needed—to get the cashier’s check out of my firm’s expense account.

Isn’t all banking electronic by now? I wondered, irritation mounting.

         The line behind me had grown and the line in front wasn’t moving. I made a questioning motion to the young woman behind me to save my place. She nodded and waved a gold-ringed hand absently without interrupting her cell phone conversation. I hurried to a wooden bank of slips, grabbed one, and stepped back in line with a brief smile of thanks.

But I had nothing to write on. The man in front of me had a strong back.

Maybe he’d let me make a desk out of him.

 I smirked and admired the man’s physique from behind. Broad shoulders, narrow waist. His jeans fit him rather perfectly.

Nice ass, I thought and tingles of a very real, likely very bright blush colored my neck.

Oh, grow up, I laughed at myself.

I rummaged in my bag and pulled out a small stack of my engagement party invitations; the thick stationary would make a sufficient backing. I fished out a pen and started to fill out the little withdrawal form when woman behind me issued a sudden laugh and bumped my elbow. The little stack of envelopes flew out of my hand to scatter around my feet and that of the blond man in front of me.

         “Sorry, so sorry,” the woman muttered to me.

         “Honestly,” I muttered, and knelt to gather the envelopes. The blond man in front of me turned and knelt to help. “Thanks.”

         “No problem.”

         I looked up and might have gasped. I prayed I hadn’t but someone issued a sharp intake of breath, and my neck went beet-red again. I could feel the fire of it burning my pale skin.

         Hello, gorgeous.

The face bent close to mine was ruggedly handsome with a strong jaw, chiseled chin, broad mouth with full lips, and—most surprisingly for a man with lighter hair—rich brown eyes, which were sharply intelligent and soft at the same time. I smelled his crisp scent—aftershave and something like freshly chopped wood—and it seemed that scent settled into my chest and remained there, warm and clean.

Wow, you’re being extra ridiculous right now. 

         “Have I got something stuck in my teeth?” the young man asked, amused. His voice was deep, gravelly…

Sexy.

         I gave myself a mental shake and gathered the rest of the spilled envelopes. “No, I just…I thought I recognized you from somewhere. Are you an actor?”

         He made a face. “Not remotely.”

         “Oh. Well, you never can tell around here. And you look like you could be one. An actor.”

Or a model. Jesus, those eyes…

         He shrugged and smiled crookedly. “I think I look like me.”

         I smiled back. Good answer. I had never seen a man as good-looking—on screen or in real life—as this man in front of me. If I were a romantic sort—which I wasn’t—the word breathtaking would not be overstating it.

We both rose from the floor. His eyes were warm but he seemed to stiffen slightly as he took in my expensive suit, my jewelry, my bag.

He ran a hand through his unruly blond hair and handed me the envelopes he’d gathered. “Yeah, so. Here you go.”

         “Thanks,” I said.

         “Sure thing.”

         He turned his back to me and a small twinge of disappointment nipped at me.

Focus, Gardener, I admonished. The judge could call us back at any moment.

         The blond man in front of me sighed impatiently and checked his watch—a nice looking silver timepiece with a beat-up leather band. His head turned in profile to me.

          “Is it just me or has this line come to a complete standstill?”

         “It’s not just you,” I said, steadfastly ignoring the little tingle that sparked in my belly at the sound of his low, bedroom voice. I cleared my throat. “Looks like they’re short a teller or two.”

“Or ten. Fuck me,” he muttered, then eyed me apologetically. “Sorry for the language, but there isn’t a worse day for this kind of—”

“Bullshit?” I supplied with a wry grin.

         He laughed, and some of the tension in his face relaxed. I tried my hardest not to stare. If he was breathtaking just standing there, there wasn’t a strong enough word for how he looked when he smiled.

         “I’m Cory Bishop, by the way.”

He extended his hand and I took it. Large, rough, calloused. Working man’s hands.

         “Alexandra Gardener,” I said. “Alex.”

         “Good to meet you, Alex,” he said, and it seemed his smile softened around my name.

I shouldered my bag to buy time for a response. No man—not even Drew, my fiancé—had ever affected me this way, and I grew irritated with myself for letting it happen.

“It’s always busy when you’re in a hurry and traffic lights are always red when you’re running late,” I said. “Murphy’s Law.”

         “Is that your specialty?”

          “No, litigation. How did you know I’m a lawyer?”

He shrugged. “Lucky guess. Mostly lawyers and accountants around here. Or movie producers.”

         “Or actors, but we’ve already established you’re not one of those,” I said lightly.

         Cory’s smile tightened. “Nope. Just in the area for work, and in need of a bank before I get back. Looks like I picked the wrong one.”

He rocked impatiently in his work boots, his hands jammed in the front pocket of his jeans. I thought the conversation was over but he was still half-turned to me.

Nothing wrong with small talk. Passes the time.

A good excuse. Plausible. No objections. But the simple fact remained that I wanted to talk to Cory, to keep looking at his handsome face, and prove I could do so without melting into a puddle.

 “So what line of work are you in?” I asked.

         “I’m in construction. A journeyman.” Cory said. “It’s sort of like an apprentice to a general contractor,” he said, answering my confused look. “You have to pile up a bunch of hours doing that first before you can become a contractor yourself.”

         “Never heard that term before, journeyman,” I said. “Sounds rather exotic. Nomadic.”

         “Yeah, well, it’s neither. Not unless you consider driving to job sites nomadic.”

The line moved ahead by one person. I noticed that Cory and I were now standing side-by-side.

“What exactly does a litigator do?” Cory asked. “Litigate…that’s argue, right?”

“Yes. I’m a trial attorney. I specialize in personal injury, and some medical malpractice.”

He scratched the light stubble on his cheek. “You don’t happen to do family law on the side?”

“No, but there’s an attorney in my firm who does.” I cocked my head, studying Cory’s troubled expression. Do you need his number?” I asked softly.

Cory looked as if he were about to say something, changed his mind, and said instead, “Nah. I’m good, thanks.”

The line inched forward and a silence fell between us. For lack of something better to do, I checked my phone for any news from Abed. Nothing.

“No news is good news, right?” Cory said, watching me return the phone to my bag.

“Not this time,” I said. “A short jury deliberation usually means a guilty verdict.”

“You’re in the middle of a trial right now?”

I nodded. “Just finished closing arguments today.”

“Well, if you get the call and have to bail, I’ll hold your place in line. It probably won’t have moved anyway.”

I laughed. “Probably not.”

He smiled and I smiled back. The bank’s air conditioning was working overdrive against the Los Angeles summer heat, but I felt warm all over. And good. It felt nice to stand beside this handsome man and bask in his smile. I did yoga four times a week to keep the stresses of my job from wrapping me tight and squeezing. Talking to Cory Bishop for all of five minutes had the exact same effect.

We stood in a comfortable silence, and I glanced here and there before venturing to make eye contact again. I caught him watching me, filling his eyes with me, and then he grinned and rubbed the back of his neck, sheepish and charming and beautiful.

He’s beautiful, I thought again. No argument there. Case closed.

I blinked and realized Cory’s dark eyes were holding mine intently, and my heart stuttered in response.

“Hey, listen—” he started to say then stopped. Froze. Whatever he had been about to say was lost forever. His eyes widened at something over my shoulder. I started to turn but he grabbed my shoulders—hard—and shoved me roughly behind him.

I stumbled in my heels. “What the hell are you doing…?”

The glass doors of the bank shook on their hinges and I turned to watch with a shocked, detached fascination as six or so men streamed inside. They wore dark, non-descript clothes, their faces hidden behind different Halloween monster masks. Each had a huge, black, automatic weapon strapped around their shoulders and gripped in gloved hands.

A scream—the first that set off a chorus—echoed in the cavernous heights of the bank as one man drove the butt of his weapon into the security guard’s midsection.

Time slowed, and it felt as if some spell had been cast turning summer to winter. I’d been suddenly submerged in ice-cold gelatin. My heart crashed hard against my chest like a wrecking ball, and I clutched Cory’s arm in a vise grip. I could feel the coarse denim of his jacket against my skin. Tangible. It helped to battle the surreal scene that was unfolding before me.

Cory turned to me. I saw fear spark bright in his dark eyes, but they held a grim determination too.

 “Get down!” he shouted, breaking the strange slow-motion spell. “Get down, now!”

Time shot forward and I heard screams, tromping footsteps, and cries. But I couldn’t move. I felt rooted in place. Cory grabbed me and suddenly I was on my stomach, my face pressed to the cold floor, my hand still clutched around his arm. My heart was now pounding so hard I could hardly distinguish one beat from the next.

In seconds, I felt warped by a terror I hadn’t thought it possible to feel. I sucked in air to calm myself as above me and around me, armed men infiltrated the bank, brandishing their enormous weapons, shouting, swearing, and striking people who didn’t move or obey fast enough.

“Ladies and gentleman,” said one, shouting through his vampire mask in order to be heard while pacing among the masses of cowering people. “In the event you have any lingering confusion, this is a fucking robbery.”

Author Bio:

 Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels.

Where to Find Emma:

Website: www.emmascott.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwrites Twitter: @EmmaS_writes
Instagram: @EmmaScottWrites
Amazon: http://bit.ly/EmmaScott

 

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Excerpt Release: Drifter by Kristy Marie

Who’s ready for a sneak peek inside DRIFTER by Kristy Marie! Add it to your TBR today!

This is one of my most anticipated books of 2019 – and I have had the privelege to Beta-read it and am so in love with Connor Hayes!!!

 

 

 

Contemporary Romance

Stand Alone

Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser

Cover Model: Patryk Stawinoga

 

Blurb:

Bianca

Pretty things don’t distract me. In my line of work, a distraction will get you caught. Or in my case, blackmailed. But this isn’t the only time I’ve been hustled, and soon Connor Hayes will learn that men are only pawns in my end game. I don’t love. I hate. Even a pretty boy like him.

Hayes

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Except when they are five-foot-seven and hotter than my exhaust pipe. So, I blackmailed her. It was either that or turn her in. And if anyone was going to put her in handcuffs, it was going to be me. Bianca Morgan stole the only woman I’ve ever loved. It’s only fair she replace her.

Excerpt:

“Excuse me.”

A hip bone brushes mine, and I’m shoved to the side.

“Excuse me. Would you mind moving over?” repeats a voice that should be on the other end of a 900 number.

The sexy smile and quip die on my lips when I meet the eyes of the woman next to me. Dark hair cascades down her back like rolling hills. Against pale skin, eyes the color of sapphires stare back at me in question.

“Are you going to move over, or just stare at me like an asshole?”

An asshole?

“Is that what an asshole does?” I muse. “I was thinking there was more to the definition other than staring and being shoved over.” I catch her eye and grin. “In fact, I think I am the victim here.”

One of her dark brows arch. “Are you insinuating that I’m the asshole?”

I shrug, as if saying, “Maybe.”

Her chest bounces, and her bra is thin—thank heaven for small miracles—creating a complete and utter distraction from what she says next.

“Are you looking at my boobs?” she says with a lightness to her tone which tells me she isn’t about to pull out the mace and empty the can in my direction.

“What? No!” I lie, pulling my gaze up to her face where I’m met with an exasperated look.

“You have something on your shirt,” I argue. I reach across and swat something off her neckline, because seriously, I cannot get maced again. But instead of laughing, she jumps from my touch.

Okay. Not expecting that but people do have boundaries. Even me. Mine are just looser than most. I ignore the sudden change in her demeanor and keep with my rambling. “I wouldn’t be a friend if I let you walk around with cat fur on your shirt. The cluster of mean girls in the back would eat you alive.” I hold my hands up in a surrendering gesture. “I’m just trying to help you out.”

A slow smile replaces her harsh look.

“You’re just being a good friend and saving me from the mean posse of women that await me?” She doesn’t believe my story at all.

I widen my eyes, feigning shock. “What? You think I’m like one of these guys in here? Only here to score some pussy?”

She nods, fighting to keep her grin from splitting wide open.

“That’s exactly what I think, playboy.”

I really ham it up this time, rubbing my chest like my heart aches from her words. “And here I thought society had done away with stereotypes.”

 

 

 

 

Catch up on the rest of the series!

Buy Links

** All Books are Standalones in a Series**

 

Gorgeous (Bk 2)

 

 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Commander in Briefs (BK 1)

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

About the Author:

 

A self-proclaimed reader enthusiast, Kristy started her writing journey back in 2009, reading and writing when her daughter was napping. Establishing her place in Corporate America (because something had to pay the bills), writing became her dirty, late-night secret.

 

After eight long years, she released her debut novel, Commander in Briefs. It was a long road, but she can honestly say, the road less traveled had the most beautiful sights.

 

The only thing Kristy Marie loves as much as reading and writing is sports! Especially those that require muscles and a nice ass. Her favorite is, and always will be, baseball. She’s such a fan, that she even married her small town’s high school’s centerfielder where they still live with their three badass kids.

 

Cover Reveal: Magnolia Road by J. Lynn Bailey

It’s cover reveal day for J. Lynn Bailey’s Magnolia Road. Check it out and be sure to pre-order your copy today!

Title: Magnolia Road

Author: J. Lynn Bailey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: January 29th

About Magnolia Road:

On the outside, Bryce Hayes is satisfied with the structure of her life, her demanding career, and a series of no-strings-attached relationships, but her brother bounces in and out of rehab, her mother thinks she can beat her son’s addiction, and her father is simply doing what he can to keep a semblance of “normal”. When Bryce’s father, Congressman Hayes, orders her to Granite Harbor, Maine, due to a string of threats to their family coming from an unidentifiable source, she doesn’t expect Ethan Casey, the sexy soldier who slept with her, then walked out, without so much as a goodbye, to be her landlord.

Ethan’s past is riddled with chaos, bullets, and loud noise. After returning to his small town after the war, he’s determined to get back to his roots. Peace, quiet, and working as a game warden for the Maine Warden Service sounds right as rain. But with Bryce in Granite Harbor, staying in his house on Magnolia Road, Ethan can’t stop thinking about his future—and that includes Bryce. But to make things right with the love of his life, he’ll have to open old wounds…and risk losing her forever.

 

Add On Goodreads!

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

If silence had a name in this moment, it would be fear. Fear and darkness go together like smothered love—stifling, overbearing, and hard to overcome. But, right now, all I know is that I’d rather feel these things because I’m with Ethan. And I’ll do it the way he wants. If that means as friends or lovers because living without him doesn’t seem like a viable option. It’s not something I think I can do. The strong, willful, never-need-a-man woman that I am has somehow changed, turned. Flipped.

This situation could have been avoided. Maybe, if I had ignored Ethan that day in Los Angeles, ignored his long legs and his dark brown eyes and long eyelashes, the vein that runs the course of his left arm, his big hands, maybe this moment wouldn’t hurt so much, knowing it was the beginning of the end. Knowing I made a choice that would shatter my heart because what we did today wasn’t love. We didn’t make love. We didn’t share our deepest secrets.

We put bandages on our wounds.

I lick my lips before I put my mouth to his chest for a kiss. “I know this is the end, Ethan.”

 

 

About the Author:

J. Lynn Bailey has loved to write since she learned to read, around the second grade. When she isn’t running after her children, watching COPS, or on the hunt for her next Laffy Taffy joke, you can probably find her holed up in her writing room feverishly working on her next book. She lives in Northern California with her family.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | My Website

Enter J. Lynn’s Giveaway:

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Blog Tour & Excerpt: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

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HOOPS Holiday, a Christmas bundle featuring all-new, never-before-published content by Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

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MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.

They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck’s first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they’ve climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn’t changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . .

except them.

But that was then.

The only question is…what about now?

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Grab your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2S1Q20Q

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/HoopsHoliday

Add HOOPS Holiday to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EU5RVg

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** Hoops Holiday consists of FULL-COURT PRESS, a HOOPS novella originally published in the TEAM PLAYER Anthology. It has been expanded with all-new, never before published content & epilogue.

It also includes Christmas-themed bonus material for LONG SHOT (Iris & August) and BLOCK SHOT (Banner & Jared).

*All HOOPS Stories are standalone, and can be enjoyed individually or in order.

Excerpt:

Soft and fresh like petals.

I’m a jock. Not a dumb one, but a jock nonetheless. I don’t describe a woman’s lips as soft and fresh or compare a kiss to flowers. Besides the few years I was married to Tara, if it opened its legs and said yes or please, I fucked it. I always rushed it. A man’s got needs, but I got in and I got out. This woman, this kiss, I have to savor. I’d be a fool not to. It’s a first kiss. I understand the difference now between the first time you kiss someone, and a first kiss. This is a discovery of tongues and lips and heat. An introduction of our souls, if that doesn’t sound too pussy-ish. It’s how I feel, though. Like as our lips brush back and forth, as our tongues tangle, as I taste her, mouthful by delicious mouthful, I’m learning her secrets. I’m telling her mine. My hand slides from the door to flatten into the warmth of her back through the silk blouse, bringing her incrementally closer. The air shifts and takes the shape of lust; assumes the form of want. The sound of her moaning, the slight lift and fall of her breasts against my chest, testifies that she feels it, too.

The elevator dings, and our bodies go still even as we keep exchanging breaths and heartbeats through our clothes; even though my mouth is still poised above hers. I have her against the door, and every curve of her body is impressing itself on me, making sure I’ll never forget how right we fit together. I look over my shoulder toward the elevator. The doors open, but no one gets off. That interruption was enough to bring her back to her senses, though. God knows I can’t find mine.

“Um . . . you should go,” she whispers, a muscle rippling along the smooth line of her jaw.

I bend to breathe over her mouth, so she can taste our kisses lingering on my lips. “Or you could invite me in.”

Her scent and the warmth of her body take my senses hostage. I smell her and want to kiss her again so badly it stings my taste buds. Her eyes already regret the last few moments I thought were so perfect. I can’t calm my emotions or my body that quickly.

“You don’t want to come in, Deck.”

“I assure you I do.”

A short laugh, deceptively light, breezes past her lips. She glances down to the floor and shakes her head.

“I’d make the worst one-night stand ever,” she says.

“One-night stand?” I take her chin in hand and lift, forcing her to look at me. “I’ve waited a long time for this path to be clear. No conflict of interest. No other people standing in our way. I don’t know exactly what I want, Avery, but it’s damn sure more than one night.”

Catch up on the other HOOPS novels:

LONG SHOT: https://amzn.to/2xYBvv5

BLOCK SHOT: http://mybook.to/BlockShot

Add HOOPS Holiday to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EU5RVg

ENTER THE RELEASE GIVEAWAY!

ANY Signed HOOPS Novel signed paperback!

http://bit.ly/HHRelGive

Want more from Kennedy? Love audiobooks?

Listen to her audio-first story SWIPE for FREE on the Read Me Romance podcast!

SWIPE cover

Swipe is available NOW exclusively on Read Me Romance!

Listen here:

AppleBooks: http://geni.us/A888vRA

Google Play: http://geni.us/7lB4UBK

Stitcher: https://bit.ly/2Salz0s

Website: http://www.readmeromance.com

On May 2nd, an EXPANDED e-book version of SWIPE will be released!

Pre-Order on Apple Books, Kobo & B&N:

http://books2read.com/SWIPE

Sign up here to be notified as soon as it’s live on Amazon:

http://bit.ly/2S2XtoJ

Coming March 2019!

Add HOOK SHOT, Hoops 3, to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/KeLoGoodreads

About Kennedy

A Top 30 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

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Connect with Kennedy

Never Miss A Release! Follow Kennedy on BookBub: bookbub.com/authors/kennedy-ryan

New Release Txt: http://bit.ly/KennText

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Website: http://kennedyryanwrites.com

 

Blog Tour: Only Love by Melanie Harlow

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Heartfelt, beautiful and sexy!”

Lauren Blakely, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Only Love, an all-new sexy standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!

 

Scroll down for my Review and an Exclusive Excerpt!!!

 

Only Love AMAZON

A gorgeous former Marine with a tortured soul.

The beautiful, compassionate therapist living next door.

A meddlesome grandma determined to get them together.

I was expecting a proposal on my birthday, and I got dumped instead.

How could I have been so clueless?

Grams knew exactly how to distract me.

The “cute boy next door” who’s been helping her with yard work clearly needs a little therapy. Who better to call than her newly single therapist granddaughter?

She even fakes dementia to get me to visit, and now that I’m here she’s doing everything in her power to throw us together.

Not that I’m complaining. Ryan is the sexiest man I’ve ever met–I mean the full package, from the chiseled jaw to the massive shoulders to the rippling abs. (And yes, his package is full, and he knows exactly how to deliver

it.) He makes me want to get out of my head and follow my heart. He makes me want to take chances I never thought I’d take.

He also makes me want to take my clothes off. A lot.

But he’s moody and challenging–one minute he’s an open book, and the next he’s completely closed off. He holds me like he’ll never let go, but insists he wants to be alone.

Some wounds are so deep, only love can heal them.

How can I convince him to let me try?

*** READ MY REVIEW HERE ***

 

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Download your copy today!

AppleBooks: http://bit.ly/OnlyLoveMH

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

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/OnlyLove

Nook: http://bit.ly/2FbQ7Nz

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yWa9Gu

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Dacxwd

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2y4EVve

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Excerpt:

“Ryan?”

Startled, I turned around to find Stella standing a few feet away on the grass, wearing a T-shirt and pajama pants, arms crossed over her chest. Her feet were bare, and her hair was loose around her shoulders and a little messy, like she’d already been asleep. Thinking about her in bed did things to my insides. “Hey. Did I wake you?”

“I was awake. My windows are open, and I heard something and thought I saw you through the window. What are you doing?”

“Uh, building you a swing. But it was supposed to be a surprise.” Now that she’d caught me at it, I was kind of embarrassed. What if she thought this was stupid?

“You built me a swing?” She came a little closer, and I realized she might not be able to see it in the dark. The moon was only a sliver tonight.

“Yeah.” I grabbed one of the ropes. “Right here.”

She stared at it. “Why?”

“I’m not entirely sure.”

Her eyes met mine, and my heart pumped harder.

“Want to try it?” I asked.

“Like right now?”

I moved behind it and held both ropes steady. “Come sit.”

She hesitated, and I thought maybe she was going to tell me to quit being weird and go home before she called the cops, but after a few silent seconds, she came toward me. Turned around. Lowered herself to the seat and closed her fingers around the ropes.

“Well?” I asked. “How does it feel? Like you’re a kid again?”

“This was very kind of you, but not necessary.” Her tone was stiffer than her posture.

“Stella.”

She didn’t answer.

“I’m sorry.”

“About what?”

“Last night.”

“You’re sorry about what we did?”

“I think I’m more sorry about what we didn’t do.”

Her head turned sharply, and she looked at me over one shoulder. “You sure know how to confuse a girl.”

“One of my many talents.”

She looked straight ahead again. “Tell me about some other ones. And give me a push.”

I smiled, even though she couldn’t see it, and gave her a little nudge. “I’m fast.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah.” I gave her a little harder push.

“Track team in high school?”

“Tried. Didn’t take.”

“Why not?”

“They expected me to show up for practice.”

“Ah.” She straightened her legs and leaned back in the swing, her hair dangling behind her. “Tell me another one.”

I gave her another push. “I’m good with my hands.”

Her laugh floated back to me. “I have observed this about you already. Give me another one.”

I pushed her again, just so I could feel her hair brush against my hands. “I’m not afraid of anything.”

“No? Nothing?”

“Nothing I can think of.”

“Hmm.”

“Are you analyzing me now?”

“Kind of. I mean, you can’t say something like that to a therapist and expect her not to reflect on it a little bit, right?”

“And?”

“And what?”

“Do you think I’m a liar or a fool?”

“Neither,” she answered. “I think you mean what you say. I think you only lie when you have to, and even then, you hate it. And if I dug a little deeper—which I won’t, because my sisters have told me it’s annoying and intrusive—I think I might discover that it’s because above all, you value your honor. Your word.”

For a moment, I was too stunned to think or move or speak. Then I said, “I take it back.”

“Take what back?”

“What I said. That I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Oh? And what are you afraid of?”

She swung back toward me and I caught her around the waist. Put my lips to her ear. “Your ability to read my mind.”

Beneath my arms I could feel her chest expand and contract faster. “I’m sorry, Ryan. I know I shouldn’t say those—”

“Come home with me,” I said, my voice raw with something like thirst. I pressed my lips to her throat and breathed in her scent. I let one hand move toward her breast. I waited for an elbow to the ribcage, a cry for help, a slap across the face. Because if she could read my mind right now, she’d know exactly what I wanted to do to her—and it was a long, detailed list.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes.”

About Melanie Harlow

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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Blog Tour: Suit by BB Easton

SUIT by BB Easton is now available! I can’t convey to you how much I loved this book. It is authentic, raw, hilarious, and relatable. Check it out and grab your copy now!

*** READ MY FIVE STAR REVIEW HERE ***

SCROLL DOWN FOR AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT AND GIVEAWAY CHANCE!

 

Title: SUIT
Series: 44 Chapters
Author: BB Easton
Release: October 18

About SUIT

Because BB Easton had so much fun writing her bestselling, award-winning memoir, 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN, she decided to give each of her four men his own steamy standalone. SUIT is Ken’s book—the hilarious, heartwarming tale of how BB finally got over her bad boy phase and found happily ever after with…gasp…a guy in a tie.

“Since when are you into guys in ties? You only like guys who look like they rob guys in ties. At gunpoint.”

It was true. By 2003, my type had been well-established. There might as well have been a giant sign on my heart that said, “Good Guys Need Not Apply.”

Which is exactly why I had to friendzone Ken Easton. The man was a former football star, smelled like fresh laundry instead of stale cigarettes, and had more ties in his closet than tattoos on his knuckles. Pssh. BOR-ING.

But the more I got to know my hunky study buddy, the more questions I came away with. Questions like, why doesn’t he date? Why does he avoid human touch? Why does he hate all things fun and wonderful? The psychology student in me became obsessed with getting inside Ken’s head, while the spoiled brat in me became obsessed with getting inside his heart.

In 2003, I found the one thing I love more than bad boys…

A good challenge.

*SUIT is Book 4 in the 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN spin-off series, but it can be read as a complete standalone.

Buy Now or read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Add to Goodreads

Exclusive Excerpt:

I had just settled in for a long night of staring at the TV, fighting off Jason’s yuppie friends’ blatant sexual advances, and pretending like I knew jack shit about football when something by the door caught my eye.

No, not something.

Someone.

Time slowed down.

An invisible wind machine roared to life.

And Jason’s newest arrival waltzed in with the grace of a Grecian god.

Or perhaps a fallen angel, considering his wardrobe.

Jason’s mystery guest was tall and lean and dressed in black from head to toe.

He shrugged off his black wool coat and draped it over an armless chair in the entryway. He shoved the rolled-up sleeves of his black button-up shirt a little higher above his elbows, exposing two well-defined forearms. His shirt was tucked into a pair of black slacks that looked soft, not starched, and hung casually low on his hips. And as he turned and glided toward the living room, he reached up and loosened the knot on a stylish, skinny black tie. Above that tie, I was pleased to discover a jaw line that rivaled Captain America’s, cheekbones for days, and short, light-brown hair that flipped up in the front effortlessly, just like the end of his button nose.

He looked like a bad boy with a good job and a great body, and I was definitely in the market for one of those.

I canceled my pity party, slurped the drool back into my face, and formulated a plan. I was either going to fall onto the floor at his feet and fake a seizure or pretend to be choking so that maybe he’d give me the Heimlich maneuver. Either way, I was positive that it would end with him thinking he’d saved my life and us forming an instant, unbreakable bond.

I was about to make a dive for it when I heard Allen, one of the regulars at Jason’s apartment, shout, “Ken!”

I looked around.

Ken?

Ken wasn’t at the party. I would know. Ken was my Gatorade-drinking, athletic-wear-wearing, smartass-comment-making, kind-of-cute-if-you’re-into-clean-cut-jocks-which-I-most-definitely-was-not, sometimes-study-buddy. He wasn’t—

My mouth fell open as Allen bounded into the living room, his bowl cut and big glasses bouncing on his head as he charged toward Jason’s newest arrival with his arms outstretched. “Bring in it, bro!”

With a last-minute duck and lean, Mark McGrath-in-a-tie completely evaded Allen’s attempt to tackle-hug him, smirking as his stocky four-eyed friend nearly crashed into the coffee table.

Oh my fucking God. It’s Ken.

I suddenly had no idea how to act, what to do. Ken was my pal. I should have at least been able to least say, What’s up? but I just sat there, hiding in plain sight, waiting for more signs of Ken-ness.

He’d already avoided human contact like a ninja.

Very Ken.

He walked into the kitchen and pulled a Gatorade out of Jason’s fridge.

Super Ken.

Then, that GQ-looking motherfucker with the black shirt and the black tie and the sexpot hair and the aqua-blue eyes turned and looked out over the living room…at me. I think I leaned forward and sighed with dreamy hearts in my eyes before I remembered that I was supposed to smile or…something.

There was nowhere on the couch for him to sit, so my first instinct was to get up. I was going to go over there and talk to him. I could do that, right? We were friends.

I’d only taken three steps across the living room floor before I totally freaked out. Taking a sudden, unexpected right turn, I bolted out the back door onto the balcony. In January. With no jacket.

Like a fucking moron.

The vibe outside was totally different. White party lights hung from the ceiling and the local alternative rock radio station was playing on Jason’s outdoor speakers. Whereas inside it had been loud and bright and warm and chaotic, outside it was dark and cold and still and melodic. A brooding song by Linkin Park was just ending, so I curled up on Jason’s cushy outdoor loveseat, lit a cigarette from the pack in my pocket, and enjoyed the moment as much as I could while slowly dying of hypothermia.

The moment didn’t last long. Within the first three seconds of hearing the next song I was already considering throwing myself off the balcony. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’d committed to sitting outside the freezing cold, staring at the apartment across the parking lot where my entire life had gone to shit, the universe thought it would be absolutely hilarious to make me listen to “Falling Star” by Phantom Limb—the song Hans had written for me when we first started dating.

It had been their first and only radio single. Phantom Limb was dropped from their record label soon after we broke up due to low album sales, but that didn’t stop the local radio stations from playing “Falling Star” every fucking hour on the hour.

With nowhere else to go, I sighed and surrendered to my fate.

As I listened to the lyrics, really listened to them, it was as if I was hearing the song for the first time. It didn’t make me sad. In fact, it made me giggle. And then laugh. And then cover my own mouth to shut myself up so that I could listen some more.

“Falling Star” wasn’t some epic tale of fated destinies and true love like I’d made it out to be in my mind. It was about a girl who was meant for bigger things than her lover. He’d tried to keep her small, but in the end, she exploded into a supernova, leaving him in the dust.

“You like this song?” I jumped, my hands still clasped over my mouth, and turned to see Mark McKen closing the door behind him. He was wearing his coat and carrying mine.

A smile split my face wide open. I didn’t know who I was happier to see, Ken or my coat.

Handing over my shiny maroon flight jacket, Ken said, “It’s kinda whiny, don’t you think?”

I burst out laughing as I pulled my coat on like a blanket. “It’s whiny as shit!” I cackled.

I scooted over to make room for Ken on the loveseat, but he retreated to the opposite side of the balcony, just like always.

Never too close.

“So, what’s your favorite band?” I asked, taking a drag from my cigarette as if I wasn’t in danger of losing my fingers to frostbite.

“Sublime,” Ken answered without missing a beat.

Snort. “Sublime? Shut the fuck up.”

“What’s wrong with Sublime?”

He was serious?

“Nothing!” I backpedaled. “They’re awesome.”

“Then what is it?” Ken arched a brow and leaned against the balcony railing, enjoying watching me squirm.

I enjoyed watching him watching me squirm.

“Um, literally all they sing about is drinkin’ forties and smokin’ weed.”

“And child prostitution,” Ken deadpanned.

“Oh right,” I giggled. “How could I forget about ‘Wrong Way?’”

“I don’t know. It’s basically the greatest song ever.”

“Hey,” I said, distracted yet again by his appearance. “I like your outfit. Why’re you so dressed up?”

God, I hope that didn’t sound as creepy as it felt.

“I had to work. I’m usually off on Sundays, but a buncha assholes called out because of the Super Bowl, so I had to go in for a while.”

“Guess that’s the problem with being the boss, huh?”

Ken was the general manager of a movie theater, but he refused to let me come see any movies for free because I’d called him an asshole one time.

“Yeah, especially when all your employees are fucking teenagers.” Ken smirked. “No offense.”

“Whatever,” I scoffed, throwing a pillow at him from Jason’s loveseat. “I haven’t been a teenager in months.” I had terrible aim, but Ken reached out and caught the projectile before it flew over the railing. The movement was so effortless I think he could have done it in his sleep. Ken smiled and pretended like he was going to bean me with it, then tossed the pillow gently onto my lap as I squealed and covered my face.

Asshole.

Lowering my hands, I tried to give him an eat shit and die look, but one corner of my mouth wouldn’t quite cooperate. It kept pulling up instead of down.

* Enter the Giveaway *

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About BB Easton

BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write stories about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about it.

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New Release: Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were

Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.

 

AVAILABLE NOW

AMAZON | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:

WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.

“That’s different for you.”

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.”

“Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

 

 

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

 

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