Now Available: Falling Embers by Catherine Cowles

“A top must read for 2022”
—Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author

Falling Embers, an all-new must read moving romance from Catherine Cowles, is available now!

I’ve loved Calder Cruz from the moment he taught me how to fly. Racing down a mountain and giving me the release I so desperately needed. My understanding. My safe space.

Hadley has fought for a life of her own ever since her sister’s kidnapping. When she was drowning in expectations and family pressures, Calder was always the one who understood her.

Until one night changed it all. From best friends to strangers in a single breath.

She’s like a fire that lives inside me. Even when I thought it was all burned out, there were still embers that lived in my bones.

Calder knows what it’s like to almost lose the people he loves most. He’ll never make that kind of mistake again. Working at the fire station and taking care of his daughters are the only things he needs.

All it takes is a single moment to make him realize how wrong he is. A split second of coming close to losing the woman he has always loved.

But as long-buried embers light anew, there are those who lurk in the shadows. And they’ll do whatever it takes to extinguish that flame for good…

Fall in love today!
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Start the series today with Tattered Stars!
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Excerpt

Heat flared to life in Hadley’s eyes, a mix of anger and frustration. She whipped her shirt over her head, leaving her in nothing but a pale pink lacy bra. I wasn’t blind. I knew that Hadley had curves, that she was beautiful, but the sight in front of me had my mouth going dry. I fought the urge to lean in closer.
“Cat got your tongue?”
I scowled at Hadley through the mirror. “Took me by surprise is all.”
“Sure.”
I returned my focus to her back, cleaning each scrape meticulously. “Hold your shirt to your chest?”
“Too much boobage on display for you?”
I chuckled, the sound a little rougher than normal. “I need to unhook your bra. That might be too much boobage for you.”
Hadley rolled her eyes but held her t-shirt to her chest, keeping her bra in place. I unhooked the little tines, letting it fall open. I cleaned the rest of the gashes and moved for the antibiotic ointment. As gently as possible I spread it over the worst of her scrapes.
Hadley trembled slightly.
“Did that hurt?”
“No, I’m fine.”
But her breathing was more shallow than usual. Her gaze focused on the counter in front of her. Apparently I wasn’t the only one affected.

About Catherine Cowles
Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

Connect with Catherine
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New Release: Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

♦ ♦ ♦

𝑨𝑹𝑶

Hawken Trent. So polite. So sweet. Such an upstanding young man. 

A virgin, too, I hear. He never gets naughty with a girl. Probably because Jesus told him not to. 

And now here he is, trying to be the hero by protecting another girl from me. 

He calls me a bully. 𝘐𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭. 𝘜𝘯𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦. 𝘈 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭. He can call me anything he wants, I’ve heard worse. 

And he can try to stand between me and my money, but he’s never had to fight for food. That rich, clean, school boy doesn’t have what it takes. 

𝑯𝑨𝑾𝑲𝑬

I surprised her. You should’ve seen her face. 

𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘥, 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺, 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯 𝘐’𝘮 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯. 𝘐𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘐’𝘮 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵.

That is until I realize I 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵’𝘷𝘦 actually gone too far this time. 

She’s there. I’m there. The scene of the crime. 

It’s dark. The police show up. 

We have no choice. We run. Down High Street, into Quinn’s bake shop, and I pull her through the entrance to the old speakeasy that everyone forgot was here decades ago.

The door locks, the cops circle the building, never knowing we’re right here, and I’m hidden in plain sight, indefinitely, with someone who’s awful. 

𝘔𝘦𝘢𝘯. 𝘙𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩. 𝘋𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘺. 

A thief. A delinquent. 

Until one night, lost in all of these rooms together, I don’t see any of those things anymore. 

She’s smart. Daring. Soft. 

Hot…

Everything’s changing. It’s this place. It does something to people. 

We have a silly urban legend in Shelburne Falls about mirrors. They’re a gateway. Don’t lean back into them. 

But we came through front first. 

I don’t care what the county records say. This was never a speakeasy. 

It’s Carnival Tower. 

*𝐹𝐴𝐿𝐿𝑆 𝐵𝑂𝑌𝑆 𝑖𝑠 𝑎 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑒, 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑎𝑑𝑢𝑙𝑡 𝑟𝑜𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑠 18+. 𝐼𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑠ℎ 𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑎𝑔𝑒, 𝑣𝑖𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑒𝑥𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠. 𝑅𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝐴𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑖𝑠 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑛𝑒𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑎𝑟𝑦.

#FBRD-5

♦ ♦ ♦

#FBRD-7

MArch 17

March 21

 

 

 

 

 

♦ ♦ ♦

#FBRD-12

ARO

We sit in silence, me forcing my eyes closed when I really just want to watch the door of the garage. He taps away on his phone before turning on the music.

But after a few, he’s antsy. “This doesn’t feel right,” he murmurs.

“It’s only been three minutes.”

“We shouldn’t have sent her in there,” he tells me. “Another fucking mistake. All I’m doing is making mistakes.”

I open my eyes, staring ahead at the garage down the street. “I’m going to remind you one last time before I beat it into you,” I grit out and then look at him. “No one needs you. Reaction is still action, and you broke the law too. Don’t put this all on me. I’ll use you like you’re using me, but make no mistake, I’d get it done without you.”

“You’d be in jail already or dead if I didn’t show up last night,” he says, looking down at me.

I just snicker. “This isn’t my first adventure, Pirate. I got along before you, and I’d still be kicking the shit out of your friends right now if you hadn’t come along and stuck your goddamn nose into everyone else’s business, like I’m quite sure you have a habit of doing because you’re a control freak who needs to insert himself to feel superior.”

He just laughs, shaking his head. “This conversation is tedious.”

I tip my head back, staring up through the sunroof as I mock back. “This conversation is tedious.”

“Stop acting like a child,” he growls. “And I’m not a control freak.”

I turn my head, gazing over at him. “You watch everyone in town. Like God.”

He can’t argue that, can he?

“Do you get hard when you do it?” I ask.

He goes still.

“Knowing where everyone is at any moment?” I go on. “Who’s skipping classes? Which spouses are cheating? Who stopped off at a liquor store, three sheets to the wind, before climbing behind the wheel of a car? Having the power to ruin a life whenever you want?”

He’s clearly smart if he knows how to gain access to that surveillance, but it’s still not clear what he’s doing with it. Or with that place. I searched the rooms. There’s only one bedroom with clothes, personal items, and a bed that looks like it’s been slept in. He’s not sharing the hideout. He stays there alone.

“I wouldn’t blame you,” I admit. “It would feel good to have some power like that. But don’t worry. I know it doesn’t turn you on.” I lay my head back again and close my eyes. “That’s not why you do it.”

It takes him a few moments, but eventually he speaks. “Why do I do it?” His voice is soft, like it was last night when he patched me up.

I smile, not sure I’m ready to play that card yet. Or that he’s ready to hear it.

When I don’t answer, he exhales hard and then I hear him open his door. “She hasn’t texted,” he says. “She’s supposed to text every five minutes.”

I open my eyes, immediately spotting something ahead.

“I’m going in there.” He starts to climb out of the car.

I grab his arm. “Wait.”

He looks back at me, but I’m looking out the front windshield. “There she is,” I tell him, sitting up.

She taps away on her phone, looking at ease like I told her to, and then she passes Hawke and climbs into the backseat.

“What’s the matter?” I ask her.

“Are you okay?” Hawke slams the door and turns in his seat, looking back at her.

She just nods, pulling on her seatbelt. “Yeah. It’s done.”

He and I exchange a look.

“Already?” I blurt out. “I told you to take your time. To relax. To blend in.”

“Are you sure no one saw you?” he questions.

She just laughs under her breath. “Most people don’t.”

We both stare at her, but I glance behind me to make sure no one’s following her. Hawke turns and loads the camera onto his laptop.

“Don’t worry,” she tells me, relaxed. “We’re good.”

But I’m still on the fence, looking behind me once again for any sign that she was followed. Just walking in and out like that is suspicious.

But then Hawke just laughs. “Well, shit.”

I follow his gaze, seeing the workroom appear on his screen, the camera positioned just like we told her. Two guys play pool, but the flood of activity that usually happens at night has quieted. It’s a pretty clear picture. I look up at Hawke. Where else does he have his own hidden cameras posted? I would post them everywhere. This is kind of fun.

Tommy clears her throat. “You’re welcome,” she sing-songs.

I smile, and Hawke flashes her a warm look in the rearview mirror. “Thanks, Dietrich.”

If that was this easy, we might use her again. One camera might not be enough.

“So, what do I get?” she chirps, doing an excited little bounce in her seat.

Hawke meets her eyes again, like he hadn’t expected her to demand anything other than the pleasure of hanging out with him today.

She looks at me. “I mean, I should get paid, right?”

“Yep.” I cast a look at Hawke.

Like the Joker said, if you’re good at something, never do it for free.

She grins, gazing at Hawke again. “I want to go to the Loop.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

♦ ♦ ♦

#FBRD-9

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, Birthday Girl, and Credence. Please look for Tryst Six Venom and Motel, as well as the Hellbent series, coming next!

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

#FBRD-10

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Excerpt Reveal: The Closer by Kristy Marie


𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗮 𝘀𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗿, 𝗞𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗲? 𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗿𝗽𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝘄!

𝕣𝕖𝕆𝕣𝕕𝕖𝕣 𝕠𝕨!

https://geni.us/TheCloser

𝔸ℝℂ & ℙ𝕣𝕠𝕞𝕠 𝕊𝕚𝕘𝕟 𝕌𝕡𝕤→

https://forms.gle/Sou6uK4JpWpLXaPc9

𝕁𝕠𝕚𝕟 𝕂𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕪𝕤 𝔸ℝ𝕋𝕖𝕒𝕞→

https://bit.ly/3kWcqso

𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 𝐎𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟒, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟏

Broody, Tattooed, Baseball Player

Strong, Sassy Heroine

Marriage of Convenience 

Emotion and Angst

Plenty of Hilarious Banter

Enough Sexual Tension to Melt Your Kindle

𝔼𝕩𝕔𝕖𝕣𝕡𝕥:

“Do you have the rings?” 

“Oh.” Mac looks back at her purse sitting in the chair. “I do.” She holds up a finger. “Give me just a minute. I’m sorry.” 

She drops my hand and sprints over to her bag, bringing out… You’ve got to be joking. 

My eyes widen, and I look at the judge, afraid he might actually ask me what the world is in her hand. But he has a better sense of humor than me, fighting off a grin as McKinley steps up and faces me, two black pieces of plastic clutched in her fingers. 

“Are those zip ties?” I try to appear like this level of crazy doesn’t scare me. 

“Uh-huh.” She smiles tightly. “If they can hold Lu’s bumper, they can hold this marriage together.” 

Tomorrow, I will appreciate the thought, but today, I’m just shocked as the judge resumes, instructing each of us to recite vows and zip tie our “rings” on each other’s fingers.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife. Mr. Lexington, you may kiss your bride.” 

Hesitation should not be in my wheelhouse. I’m a closer, the best reliever in the bull pen. Being put in stressful situations is my Kool-Aid. But right here, in the middle of the judge’s chambers, my palms start sweating as I reach for my bride, slipping my arms around her hips and pulling them flush with mine. “I’m—”

McKinley’s arms loop around my neck, her lips pressing gently against mine. Her warmth… well, I just react. Gripping her hips, I waste no time taking advantage of her silence…and compliance. Maybe it was zipping that dress, watching as my own hands hid the body my eyes lusted after. She wasn’t mine, not in the sense a normal wife is to her husband, but tell that to my body. A mouth that will one day marry another man after we divorce. A mouth that can’t help but pop off with outlandish comments and argumentative retorts. Yeah, my mind might know this marriage is a sham, but my body—my tongue, using her surprise to slip in, claiming her intimately in front of witnesses—knows we’re in deep. This isn’t a kiss meant for a first date or a deal between friends. The feel of her hands tangling in my hair as she

moans deep in her chest is intimate—primal. This is a kiss shared only between a husband and a wife. 

And I’m… I’m screwed. 

A throat clears. “Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Lexington. You may pick up your certificate at the front desk.” 

We finally pull back, McKinley dabbing at her lips, her eyes widening as she stares at me. “Yes, thank you, Your Honor.” 

With zip ties on our fingers, we grab our certificate, walk out of the courthouse to the car and shut ourselves inside, both of us silent on the way home.

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘺. 𝘐𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭, 𝘐𝘖𝘜.

𝔸𝕕𝕕 𝕚𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕋𝔹ℝ→

https://geni.us/50ErKg

𝕍𝕠𝕥𝕖 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕤𝕖𝕣→

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/158069.October_2021_Most_Anticipated_Romance_Releases_

Review & Blog Tour: Sancte Diaboli Part 2 by Amo Jones

Sancte Diaboli: Part Two, the all-new, highly anticipated installment in the Elite Kings series that will leave you on the edge of your seat from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Amo Jones, is available now!

He held a darkness that could never be touched.
She carried a light that could never be seen.

Not by anyone. Only by each other.

Simply two halves of the same soul, Brantley and Saint were fused together with equal parts wrath and peace. Nothing could break through their bond. Nothing.

Until now.

Get yours today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3v98esc
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/sanctediaboli2

Add SANCTE DIABOLI: PART TWO to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2PqdOHu

Read my FIVE STAR REVIEW: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3610905546?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1


Start the Duet with Sancte Diaboli: Part One
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3528Fd2
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Excerpt

Saint
Prologue

Everyone has a story, and when you die, your memories cling to the minds of the people you leave behind, scripted in permanent ink. They can go back and visit their favorite chapters when they need comfort, or simply skip over the scenes they want to forget, but what they can’t do, is be removed. Even if you tear a page from a well-written book, there will always be telltale signs something was there. There you lie, embedded in their minds forever, so essentially you’ll live forever, right? I didn’t think much about this until I met him. The day that I would die, I mean. Would I leave behind a novella, or would it be a nine-book series that would need your undivided attention? You see, I’ve gazed into the eyes of death twice in my life, and both times began at the entrance of his soul. His stare was always heavy and roguish, but he lit a match inside my body that would burn a lifetime after I’m gone. I wasn’t sure what I felt the first time his cold, corpse-like skin sailed over mine, but I remember it was the exact day that I knew I would never be the same. I was touched by the Devil; Heaven would never want me now. Not that Heaven was where I belonged either, though I’m sure he thought so. Tortured souls still weep; they tear themselves apart in dark corners where no one can see. Brantley is just that—tortured—though he doesn’t conceal it. He wears his darkness like a souvenir, proud and indifferent. I knew Brantley from the inside out, and I say that literally. I was familiar with the notes that his blood left in my mouth well after I had swallowed it.
And I think that will haunt me more than anything. It will haunt me so much more than this day.
The day my book hit the final page.

Meet Amo Jones

Amo Jones is a USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author whose books have been translated in multiple countries.

She resides in the tropics of Australia with her family, though she’s a born and bred Kiwi who more often than not, misses New Zealand.

Connect with Amo

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3wgiYXa
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Website: https://bit.ly/3izUGDC
Join the Wolf Pack: https://bit.ly/3izUt3i
Join her newsletter: https://bit.ly/2TpdudS

Blog Tour: The Rebel by Sophie Lark

I Want The One Girl I Can’t Have…

The Rebel, an all-new, forbidden romance from Sophie Lark is live!

Zoe Romera is trapped in a marriage contract with the most sadistic psychopath at Kingmakers.

She couldn’t be more off-limits. Stealing her from Rocco Prince would break the most ironclad rules of the mafia world.

But I have to have her. She’s my soulmate. I want her, or no one at all.

I’ll do anything to save her. Rocco will do anything to destroy her.

I’ve got one chance to achieve the impossible…

“The Rebel” is is the second book in the epic dark mafia Kingmakers series. It’s a forbidden romance, full of jealousy, desire, and a hero who will do anything to save the woman he loves.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QqFblp
Amazon: http://mybook.to/therebel

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3dnYo06

Excerpt


We’re walking up toward the Solar, slowly because neither of us is in a hurry. The thick sod muffles our footsteps.

“It’s not your fault,” Miles says, frowning.

“It is, though. When I disobey my father, he always takes it out on Cat. I knew that beforehand. When I rebel, it’s her that suffers.”

Remembering that immutable fact makes me realize that I’m making the same mistake all over again. I spent the night at the Halloween party, dancing and drinking with Miles, heedless of the consequences that might follow.

Reading my thoughts, Miles takes my hand. His hand is large and strong, and immensely warm.

“Your cousins weren’t here tonight,” he says. “None of Rocco’s friends, either.”

“They’ll still hear. Everybody talks.”

Miles doesn’t bother to deny that — he knows it’s true.

“Tell me about your marriage contract,” he says.

“I haven’t even read it,” I admit. “I wasn’t part of the negotiations.”

“Do you know what your father’s getting out of the deal? What’s in it for Rocco’s family?”

I explain it to him as best I understand, starting with the wars amongst the Galician clans, and ending with everything I know about my father’s business, and the Princes’.

Miles takes it all in, occasionally asking clarifying questions. This is something I’ve noticed about Miles — he’s an information-gatherer. He’s good at asking just the right questions to figure out what’s really going on.

When I’m done talking, he’s quiet for a while, considering.

“There’s a personal element on Rocco’s side, isn’t there?” he asks me.

“Do you mean, is he in love with me?” I say. “I wouldn’t call it love.”

“He’s fixated,” Miles says.

“Yes. We’ve been betrothed since I was twelve. He’s been planning what he’ll do with me once we’re married for eight years now. He’s more than fixated — he’s obsessed.”

Miles’ expression is serious as he looks at me. Miles has eyes of a color I’ve never seen before — a pure, clear gray. Under the starlight they shine almost silver, lighter than his deeply-tanned skin.

“Even if you there was an incentive for your father and the Princes to void the contract… Rocco wouldn’t agree.”

“No. He doesn’t care about money,” I shudder, “he only wants me.”

We’ve reached the Solar. The wind is picking up just a little, rustling the paper feathers of my angel wings.

“I shouldn’t have kept you out here so long,” Miles says, glancing at my bare arms. “You must be cold.”

I should be cold, going from the heat of the crowded stables to the crisp, open air. But I’m not. I’m never cold around Miles — my heart is always beating too hard, my blood thundering through my veins.

“Your cut has almost healed,” Miles says, gently touching the place next to my eye where Rocco dug his knife.

When Miles touches me, it seems to ignite every nerve beneath his fingertips. That one part of my body becomes more sensitive than every other inch of skin combined.

I don’t think he means to kiss me. 

But one hand on my face becomes two, and then he’s pulling me toward him, our lips coming together in one smooth movement. Miles’ lips are full and warm, firm and yet soft against mine. The kiss is gentle at first, and then it becomes deeper, his tongue sliding between my lips, caressing mine. 

The taste of his mouth turns attraction into lust. My heart races so hard it feels like one, continuous throb. I’ve thrown myself into his arms. We’re clinging to each other, kissing with a desperation that feels wild and reckless and utterly addictive.

Kissing Miles is like dancing with him. We’re perfectly in synch. Time melts away. I can’t get enough of it, I can’t seem to stop. The wind buffets my paper wings, making a sound like a thousand whispers, lifting me like I might fly away.

Slowly, I realize how exposed we are at the base of the Solar. Even in the dark, anyone looking out their window might spot me in my white gown.

I break away from Miles.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

It was Miles who kissed me, but I shouldn’t have let him. It’s not only dangerous for me to break my contract with Rocco. If anything, it’s even more dangerous for Miles. The Princes could seek retribution.

“I did it,” Miles says, looking at me intently. “And I’m not sorry.”

“We can’t,” I say to him. 

We both know we can’t, and yet I allowed myself to pretend otherwise. I enjoyed the fantasy that I could talk to a man I liked, flirt with him, dance with him. I let myself experience the feeling of actually falling for someone, reveling in that sense of mutual attraction. I’ve never felt it before. It’s intoxicating.

But now I’ve crossed the line. And it feels too good. So good that I’m terrified of what I’ll end up doing if I don’t stop now.

“I can’t see you anymore,” I say to Miles.

He’s looking at me, face impassive, not answering.

I can’t tell what he’s thinking. I can’t read Miles as well as he reads me.

“You’re going to see me tomorrow,” he says.

“I’m not.”

“You will,” he says.

His gray eyes are brighter than ever, fixed on mine with an intensity I’ve never seen in Miles before. He acts like he doesn’t care about anything. But I always knew that couldn’t be true, because he’s the furthest thing from lazy. He’s always hustling, always working an angle. 

I’m finally seeing what it looks like when Miles is chasing something he wants.

“I can’t kiss you anymore,” I say, “And I can’t be alone with you.”

“I’m not going to argue with you Zoe,” Miles says, his eyes burning into mine. “But I’m also not going to stop.”

Before I can say another word, he turns and strides away from me, across the dark grounds.

I’m staring after him, open-mouthed, my lips still throbbing where he kissed me.

About Sophie
Sophie Lark is an Amazon Bestselling author who writes intense, intelligent romance, with heroines who are strong and capable, and men who will do anything to capture their hearts. She lives with her husband, two boys, and baby girl in the Rocky Mountain West.

She has a slight obsession with hiking, bodybuilding, and live comedy shows. Her perfect day would be taking the kids to Harry Potter World, going dancing with Mr. Lark, then relaxing with a good book and a monster bag of salt and vinegar chips.

Connect with Sophie
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Website: https://sophielark.com

Exclusive Excerpt: Bet the Farm by Staci Hart

Staci Hart has a brand new rom-com standalone coming February 23rd! 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!

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“What are you doing out here at midnight? And what are those?”

“Oh!” she said, seeming to remember the wriggly blonde puppies in her arms. “Oh my God, Jake. Listen to this—Presley was driving me home from Joe’s because I might have maybe had a little to much to drink, and we were just outside of town when we came up on this cardboard box on the side of the road that somebody wrote PUPPIES on the side of. Can you believe somebody would do that? This world is so fucked up.”

I started to laugh at her untethered use of the word fuck, but cleared my throat. “Okay, but what are they doing here?”

“Well, they were so cute, and Presley wanted one and was gonna take the rest to town to”—a hiccup—“’Scuse me. To town tomorrow to see if anyone wanted them or she’d drive them to the animal shelter. And I was sitting there with that box in my lap and was looking at those little babies, with no mama to take care of them, and I … well, I …” Her voice wavered, and tears welled in her eyes so high, they touched her pupil. “They’re all alone. And so am I. And so are you. So I brought us puppies. This one’s yours.”

She shoved a puppy into my chest.

“No, wait. This one’s yours.”

She shoved the other puppy into my chest, clutching the first one to hers.

I looked down at the furry little squiggly thing, taking it with no small amount of reluctance. “I don’t want a dog.”

“Well, that’s too bad, isn’t it?” she said to the puppy in her arms in a schmoopy voice. “Jake, aren’t they just so sweet? I could just eat him up.”

“That one’s a girl.”

She glanced for confirmation. “Well, I guess I’ll have to pick a new name. Kevin isn’t exactly neutral, is it?” When she looked up, her nose was a little red but her eyes were clear. Until she got a good look at me and her face melted into that doe-eyed expression girls got when they looked at a baby.“Awww, Jake! You’re holding a puppy.” She giggled, but her eyes were shiny again like she was going to cry. “And your shirt’s all unbuttoned. And you don’t have shoes on! I can’t handle it.” Her face lit up. “Let me take a picture of you.” She was already fumbling for her phone.

“Pass.” I dumped the puppy back in her arms with its sibling. “I don’t want a dog, and I don’t want to be all over your stupid social media.”

She made a dramatic grump face and said in a doofy mocking male voice, “I don’t wanna be on the interwebs with the TikTockers and InstantGrammar. You are such a fuddy duddy. And you can’t say no to the puppy.”

The puppy was back in my arms. “Trust me, I can.”

I tried to give it back, but she pushed it in my direction, her face screwing up in anger.

“Listen, you asshole—you need this puppy and she needs you. You won’t let me be your friend, so please, take the dog. She doesn’t have anybody else to take care of her and you don’t have anyone to take care of you. We don’t have Pop anymore, Jake. And I don’t have you and you don’t have me because you’re such a stupid jerk and you never have a shirt on when you know it makes me all …” She crossed her eyes and circled her ear with her pointer finger. “So take the goddamn dog! And I’ll take mine. And then we won’t be alone anymore.”

A slice of white-hot pain cut through me at the despair in her words. At the knowledge on their heels. At the look on her sad, angry face and those shiny tears still in her eyes. How she’d gone through so many forms of tears in such a short period of time astounded me. But that was Olivia. She felt everything. And she always tried to find a way to be happy, despite her circumstance. Which, at the moment, was pretty shitty.

And all I’d done was make it worse, simply because I was scared of losing anything else that meant something to me. I’d lost enough.

She was right. We were alone. And we both needed a friend, canine and human both.

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.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Bet the Farm by Staci Hart

Staci Hart has a brand new rom-com standalone coming February 23rd! 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

I went down like a windmill, one socked foot in the air and arms wheeling. The calf had still grazed me, and the force combined with my graceless fall slammed me into the ground.

My ribs quaked, my lungs empty from the shock and locked by the pain. Stunned, I watched the calves tromp around me, knowing I needed to curl up or crawl away or call for help. Only I couldn’t move or speak, too busy trying to unlock my lungs and hear past the ring in my ears.

A sharp whistle cut through the chaos, and the calves trotted to the other side of the pen. The sun hammered me into the mud.

Breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t—

Shade cast over me, and I cracked my eyes to see a silhouette of Jake against the crisp blue sky.

He gathered me to sit, bracing my body against his and inspecting me as best he could. “Are you hurt?”

I shook my head. “Can’t … breathe …”

“You can, just look at me.”

When I met his eyes, I would have told him that was the dumbest thing he’d ever suggested, provided I could speak. Because it was impossible to breathe with his face inches from mine. His eyes were narrowed in concern, the green of his irises crisp and vibrant, even in the shade. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen. I was probably hallucinating. No one could be this perfect, every feature symmetric and aligned. He had to have a flaw besides his shitty attitude. Hairy ears, maybe.

When he turned his head to check my limbs, I noted his stupid ears were perfect too.

Jerk.

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.

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Blog Tour: The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden-Mills

What happens when the king of football meets the queen of nothing?
Find out in The Revenge Pact, an all-new emotional and swoon-worthy enemies-to-lovers standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills!

River Tate is a god on campus.
The king of football.
A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you.
The only chink in his armor is her, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is him, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life crashes down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces. Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.

Download your copy or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited today!
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Excerpt

River

“Why is the elevator so slow?” she mutters.

“Tell me three things you’re grateful for,” I say.  

She does a double take. “Is this where I’m like your…pet project? Don’t feel sorry for me.”

Rainbow, sorry is the last thing I feel for you. 

I want you under me. 

Deep and hard.

“How are things with Donovan?” I ask.

Her throat bobs. “I-I can’t talk to you about him. I mean, yeah, um, it…doesn’t feel right, you know, to him.” 

Right. He’s her boyfriend and my frat brother.

The door opens and she slips out, her arm brushing against my chest. I follow, sucking down the electricity between us. 

She blows out a breath. “I know what this is, why you’re being nice to me—”

“Yeah? Tell me, because I can’t figure it out,” I snap, annoyed she won’t open up while the other side is pissed at myself for asking. “Trust me, I wish I didn’t…” I stop, my jaw clenching.

She stops at the door to class and faces me. “Your paper. I’m sorry I can’t help you, I really am. I love helping others, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for us…” She bites her lip, her gaze avoiding mine. “There’s something about you and me—” She halts and looks down at her feet. “Anyway, I know a few students who tutor athletes. Let me give you their names—”

“No one but you, Anastasia.” 

“What? Why?”

Instinct takes over and I back her against the wall, towering over her. I tilt her chin up, and she doesn’t speak or move, just breathing fast, as my hand slides around to her nape. A hum of heat goes through my body as my hands tangle in her hair. 

“River…what…” Pink rises on her cheeks as her lashes flutter.

Every time, I’m pushing a little more, the dark side of me winning. Monday. Her apartment. Now.

I could kiss her right now, but it’s wrong, immensely, and I’m being bad, so bad…

She gazes up at me, her eyes flaring, the gold around her pupils darkening. She swallows as goose bumps appear on her neck.

A primal sound builds in my throat. 

Anger. 

Frustration. 

Loyalty.

Dammit. I shouldn’t be this close, shouldn’t touch her—

“I’ll wait.” I grind my teeth and step back.

Her lips part, a small puff of air coming out. She looks at my mouth. “For what?”

The lethal side of me, the one itching to play this game no matter the consequences, tries to take over and speak the truth. I shove it down. 

You, I say in my head.

Leaving her there, I sweep past her and go to my seat. 

Five fucking rows back.

About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Connect with Ilsa
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Website: https://www.ilsamaddenmills.com


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CHECK OUT THE OTHER STANDALONES IN THE SERIES!

Best-selling authors Ilsa Madden-Mills, Meghan Quinn and Adriana Locke,deliver three stand-alone romances about college football players finding true love while on the verge of losing everything.

THE ROMANTIC PACT by Meghan Quinn
Release Date: December 10th

Synopsis:
I haven’t seen her in three years.

I haven’t talked to her since the kiss.

So why am I on a plane, flying across the world to spend a week with her in Germany?

One word: Pops.

My life’s a mess.
My possible football career is hanging on by a thread.
I’m driving the roads of Germany in honor of Pops with the one girl I can never have.
And I’m sharing a bed with her, the girl I’ve measured everyone else up to, while desperately trying to not to touch her.

We made a pact growing up, never to get romantic with each other – never fall in love.

And I’m about to break that pact. For good.

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THE RELATIONSHIP PACT by Adriana Locke
Release Date: December 17th

Synopsis
How hard can it be?

That was the question rolling around Larissa Mason’s mind just before she asked Hollis Hudson to be her fake boyfriend.

It was only supposed to be for five minutes, after all.

Granted, that was also before she felt his hand on the small of her back as he charmed the heck out of her family.

She hadn’t heard his laugh yet either.

And it was definitely before she saw the football god shirtless. Otherwise, she would’ve had an idea of just how hard some things could be.

It turns out that pretending to be in love with a crazily handsome, somewhat enigmatic, and absolutely unforgettable tight end (that has an amazing tight end) is easy.

Reminding herself that just because opposites attract doesn’t mean they’re forever is much harder.

What they have isn’t love—it’s a relationship pact. Right?

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Blog Tour: A Bridge Between Us by K.K. Allen

“A breathtaking romantic experience that will have you on the edge of your seat. Allen delivers a poignant new adult must-read.”
– Kandi Steiner, Bestselling Author

A Bridge Between Us, an all-new standalone small-town romance from USA Today bestselling author K.K. Allen is available now!

I had always known he wasn’t mine to keep, but that didn’t change the way I loved him—quietly, gently, and from afar.

As the seasons changed, the corn stalks grew strong, and the grapevines flourished with hope. But none of it mattered, not when the soil at our feet bound us in a century-old rivalry. We’d never even had a chance.

They said life flashed before your eyes on the way to death, but on that night, after my final scream burst from my throat and my world started to fade to black, I only thought of him. Of his sweet chocolate eyes, his desperately cautious stare, and his silence that carried more weight than gold.

I should have died that night. Instead, I crossed the moonlit bridge and never returned.
I let rivalry win. If only that had been enough to keep us all safe. If only we didn’t have a bridge between us.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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Read my FIVE STAR REVIEW here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3597543385?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Excerpt:

She starts to move past me toward the record player when something strong and instinctual—something that feels like fate—gives me a hard punch in the chest. I grab her hand and pull her back to me. Surprised, she stumbles a little, and her palms break her fall on my chest. When she recovers, she meets my gaze, and I don’t try to interpret it. Instead, I move her arms around my neck, wrap mine around her waist, and start to move.

Her eyes narrow, but they have a glimmer in them. “Oh, so now you want to dance.” 

I cringe a little. “I don’t think you can call this dancing. And to be fair, I don’t think you can call what you were doing dancing either.”

Not even her harsh glare can hide the amusement she finds at my joke. She purses her lips to hold back her laugh then swats at my chest before moving her hand back around my neck. “At least I was having fun.”

“Oh, I was having fun watching you. Besides, you didn’t seem to have a problem with my moves at prom.”

Her cheeks redden, and when my gaze slips down to her neck, I find that part of her skin is changing color too. She’s flushed all over, and I can’t help but get excited that I’m doing that to her.

“Yeah, well, you also bribed me with a dozen pink roses, a tent, and a pretty necklace, so we probably shouldn’t compare experiences.”

At the mention of her necklace, my gaze locks on her throat, even though I already know it isn’t there. When she picked me up from the jail, she wasn’t wearing it then either. The disappointment weighed heavily, and as much as I want to ask her where it is, I choose not to go there. I had no right to question it back then, and I still don’t. “Just give me a few minutes, and I can rectify all that.”

She smiles gently back at me, and the mood shifts from playful to serious. “You would, wouldn’t you?”

My heart pounds so hard that I can feel it between my ears. I cup her neck while slowly moving a finger across her cheek, and I glance at her lips before locking on her eyes. “I would do anything for you, Camila. That hasn’t changed, and it never will.”

She blinks, as if she can’t believe me. I drop my forehead to hers, and when her eyelids flutter closed as a shaky breath rushes past her lips, I know she feels the same.

“How does this feel so normal?” Her words are just a whisper. “I close my eyes, and it’s like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.” She shakes her head. “I don’t understand.”

“What’s to understand? Our roots are deep, just like your vines, which adapt to every season. No matter the harsh weather, there’s always new growth.”

“Are you comparing our relationship to the life of a grape?”

The teasing in her voice makes me chuckle. “No. I’m comparing us to a whole damn vineyard. We’re the root.” I lean in, brush her lips with mine, and whisper, “You and me, Wild One.”

A shiver racks her entire body, and I tighten my hold around her, as if it could help. The way she’s engulfed in my arms brings me the most comfort I’ve felt in years. Camila’s right. This feels so normal and natural, like we were always meant to fit.

I brush my lips against hers again, almost expecting her to pull away and tell me it’s too soon or too late. Either one of those responses would be understandable. But when her fingernails dig into my back, I don’t ignore the message. I mold my mouth to hers and kiss her hard.

Her firm lips respond to mine immediately, and she steals every bit of my air as she breathes me in. I explore the taste and feel of her like it’s the very first time. In a way, that’s exactly what this is. It’s been ten years since our lips last touched, and though I’ve dreamed about it, nothing could have prepared me for the real feeling of our mouths moving as one, our breaths tangling with heat and desire, or our hands wandering as our mouths keep a slow and steady pace. The kiss is so consuming and powerful that I feel an awakening within me. And when she parts my mouth with hers and sweeps her tongue over mine, a growl rumbles through me.

Meet K.K. Allen
K.K. Allen is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author and interdisciplinary arts and sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt contemporary romance stories that are as real as they are inspiring. K.K. is a Hawaiian girl who was raised in Seattle, and currently resides in central Florida. She works full time as a digital producer for a leading online educational institution and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

K.K.’s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.’s love for inspirational and coming-of-age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.

Connect with K.K. Allen
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IcBh8V
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Book Review: Little Lies by H. Hunting

“H. Hunting pens a heartbreaking tale that leaves readers absolutely breathless from beginning to end. One of her best books yet!”
– Stacey Lynn, author

Little Lies, an all-new, angsty and emotional new adult romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting is out now!

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.

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Excerpt

The front door swings open, and the never-ending nightmare that is this day smacks me in the face like a long-expired sausage. Kodiak stands in the doorway wearing only a pair of swim shorts, wet hair sticking out all over the place, water dripping on the damn floor. But God, is he ever glorious. Muscle layered over muscle, thick biceps flexing as he holds the doorjamb, a mischievous grin popping the dimple in his left cheek.
My heart seizes and gallops. I miss this version of him: the one that smiles and doesn’t hate me.
He ruins everything a moment later by bellowing, “Who’s fucking in the driveway?”
His gaze moves to Dylan, who looks as horrified as I feel, but as it shifts to me, his smile drops and my stomach tightens.
“You should really go,” I tell Dylan.
“I’ll see you around.” He disappears into his car and barely has the door closed before he’s backing out of the driveway and screeching down the street.
I adjust my backpack on my shoulder and head for the house, steeling my spine and my nerves because Kodiak is still standing in the middle of the doorway, his face a mask of indifference. I try to brush by him, but he stays where he is, making it impossible.
I sigh, exhausted beyond belief. I just want to go upstairs and have a good, cathartic cry. I try to mirror his apathy. “Can you move so I can get into my house?”
His brow furrows as his eyes move over my face. He lifts his hand, like maybe he’s thinking about touching me. There’s no way I can handle that. I jerk back and swat his hand away. “What are you doing?”
“Your lip is bleeding.”
“Don’t act like you actually give a shit, Kodiak.”
“Tell me what happened.” His voice is low and soft, and for whatever reason, that makes me even angrier, so I lash out, wanting to wound him the way he keeps wounding me.
“You, Kodiak. You happened, and you ruined my goddamn life. Now get the hell out of my way.” I elbow past him, almost tripping over several sets of running shoes.
I head straight for my bedroom and lock the door behind me. I slide down the wall until my butt hits the floor and close my eyes, taking deep breaths.
I imagined the concern in his voice.
I imagined the pain that sat heavy behind his eyes.
We see what we want to, not the truth, especially when it hurts.

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.

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