Excerpt Reveal: Pitcher by Kristy Marie

 

 

Pitcher, a Commander in Briefs prequel novella by Kristy Marie, releases June 20th! Here’s a sneak peek inside! Don’t forget to add it to your TBR!

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Romance

Stand Alone

Goodreads

 

Blurb:

No one needs that many hookups!
Not even soon to be major league pitcher, Theo Von Bremen.
So, I help him by routinely thinning out his contact list—because I’m the best roommate ever. And he’s optimal baby daddy material.
For me—not Amanda 1, 2, or 3.
But since the man can’t take a hint; I’ll continue to spray his sheets with my perfume and accidentally leave my panties in his laundry.
That has to be enough to break a man eventually. Right?

*This novella is a prequel to Commander in Briefs featuring Aniston and Theo.

EXCERPT:

I wake with a start.

Giggling is coming from the living room.

I’m not a psycho.

I’m not.

I’m jealous.

I know it’s irrational. Trust me, I’ve been in this situation time and time again.

It never gets any easier.

Never.

Climbing out of the bed, I tell my rational self to fucking chill. Just because Theo spent the afternoon with me, holding me in his arms and dragging those long fingers down my spine does not mean he can’t get a quickie in our living room.

I mean, I’ve seen it before.

Many, many times.

So why I am shucking off my pants, leaving myself in his T-shirt and underwear, as I head out into the open area?

Because I’m a closet asshole.

“Don’t mind me.” I wave off, covering one side of my face in a show of giving them privacy. “I just need to use the bathroom.”

It could be true.

“Oh God, I forgot you had a roommate,” the girl of the night adds.

I drop my hand so I can glare at her when I catch Theo’s gaze in the lamp light. His cheek twitches as he peels himself off the bottled blonde. He scratches the side of said cheek with his middle finger, and I almost smile.

Almost.

But Barbie interrupts me. “I bet you’ll be so happy to get your own place.”

My eyes scan for something to throw at her, but I see Theo shake his head.

Whatever. I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life.

I forge down the hall and act like she isn’t shirtless and stroking my man’s leg like she’s about to pounce.

No siree.

I march my petty ass straight into our shared bathroom and grab a pair of panties—not the crime scene ones—and a bottle of perfume, and head into Von Bremen’s room where I proceed to spritz the ever-loving fuck out of his navy sheets.

And when I think I have them completely saturated, I shove my undies under his pillow for good measure.

Two can play this game, Barbie.

He will be relieved to have his own place, my toned ass.

You have no idea the shit I do for this man.

No. Idea.

 

 

Want to read more from this series?

 

** All Books are Standalones**

 

Commander in Briefs (BK 1)

 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

Gorgeous (Bk 2)

 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

Drifter

 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

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*Bloggers & Readers Welcome*

 

Vote for Pitcher!

 

 

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

Blog Tour: A Five-Minute Life by Emma Scott

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A Five-Minute Life by Emma Scott

Release Date: May 16th, 2019

FIVE_MINUTE_LIFE

A Five-Minute Life, an all-new standalone new adult romance by International bestselling author Emma Scott.

Thea Hughes has five minutes to live.

A car accident stole her parents and left her with the second-worst documented case of amnesia in the world. She now has only minutes of experiences, of consciousness, of life…before her memory is wiped clean. The once effervescent artist with a promising future is reduced to scribbling with pens and paper, living an empty, quiet life, three hundred seconds at a time.

Jim Whelan is on autopilot.

A foster kid shuffled around the system since birth, he’s lived his entire life without knowing love…and it’s taken its toll—until he learned to fight back, carry his armor, and keep his head down.

Working as an orderly in the Blue Ridge Sanitarium, deep in Virginia countryside, Jim looked up…and found Thea.

When Thea has the chance to break free of her five-minute prison with a risky, experimental surgery, it could lead them both to an epic love they never thought possible… or one that could require the ultimate sacrifice.

A stand-alone, new adult romance.

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Download your copy today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/AFiveMinuteLife

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

 

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

 

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Excerpt:

“Marc Antony,” I said and nodded at her drawing. “Part of your Egyptian studies?”

Thea leaned her cheek on her folded hands like she was warming herself before a fire. “Marc Antony is part of the romance. A love story with Cleopatra. He went to war for her. Died for her. When they told her he was dead, she put her hand in a basket with an asp. Can you imagine? Loving someone so much that the thought of life without them is too unbearable?”

“No,” I said. “I can’t.”

Her gaze dropped to my hand on the table and her fingers reached to trace the scars on my knuckles.

These tell a story, don’t they?” She traced one of the fine lines. “You put your hand in with the snakes, too.”

I nodded slowly, savoring the feel of her warm skin on mine. “So the bullies would leave me alone.”

“And did they?”

“Eventually.”

“I’m glad.” She put her hand in mine completely, her fingers wrapping around and holding tight. “I’m being too… something. Personal. Delia would throw a fit, but I feel like…”

“Like what, Thea?”

“Like I have to hold on to this moment, you know? Or you… I don’t even know you and yet I don’t want to stop talking to you.” Her hand squeezed mine. “I don’t care if you have a stutter, but please keep talking to me, Jimmy. Okay?”

My mouth went dry at the nameless desperation in her eyes.

Jesus, does she know she’s trapped? She can’t. Impossible…

“I won’t,” I said. “I’ll talk to you every day. I promise.”

Thea breathed a small sigh of relief and released my hand. “Thank you, Jimmy. That makes me feel better.”

With a final smile—a parting smile, I realized—she took up her pen and then froze.

She’s resetting.

Confusion passed over her features. She looked up at me, flinching a little to see a big man in close proximity. I instantly leaned back to give her space.

“How long has it been?” she asked.

“Two years,” I said, my voice hardly more than a whisper. “But the doctors are working on your case.”

“Yes, they are.” She smiled hesitantly and found my nametag. “I’m Thea Hughes.”

Seven. Seven times now.

“Jim Whelan,” I said.

She offered her hand. Again. I took it robotically, enduring her one-pump shake. Again. Her fingers didn’t linger in mine but released immediately, the way you do with a stranger. Again.

“Nice to meet you, Jim Whelan.”

Fuck. I can’t do this.

I rose to my feet. “I have to get to work.”

Her face fell. “Oh. Bummer. Will I see you again?”

I could promise her I would, but she wouldn’t remember. There was no promise. I could tell her the sky was falling or my name was Abraham Lincoln and she wouldn’t know the damn difference. It’d vanish, like every other word we’d ever spoken to each other. I vanished every time her reset hit and was recreated over again in Thea’s eyes. I could be whatever I wanted; whomever I wanted. And yet she was the one woman I might’ve had a chance to be myself with.

The terrible irony of it was like copper in my mouth.

“Sure, Miss Hughes,” I said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

About Emma:

 

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 emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy her novels.

Connect with Emma:

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list:

http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6

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

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/EmmaScottwri…

Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/90674…

 

Cover Reveal: Bad Influence by Charleigh Rose

Title: Bad Influence
Series: Bad Habits
Author: Charleigh Rose
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Cover Design: Letitia Hasser @ RBA Designs

 

 
Allie
 
When I moved to River’s Edge, dating was the last thing on my mind.
I definitely didn’t expect to fall for him.
Jesse Shepherd. 
Popular. Star athlete. Cocky as hell.
You know the type.
But as time passed, I realized there was more lurking beneath that gorgeous exterior.
Secretive. Angry. A little bit broken.
The more I peeled back his layers, the deeper I fell.
Until I slammed headfirst into his sea of lies.
 
Jess
 
I blew my shot.
Pissed everything away—college, lacrosse, my future—only to end up right back where I started in River’s Edge.
I was content to revel in my misery, spending my days drowning in a bottomless pit of booze and girls.
Until I saw her.
Allison Parrish.
Beautiful. Sarcastic. Perpetual bad attitude.
The pretty little distraction from the shit show that was my life.
But the sins of my past were closing in on me, and I learned the hard way that nothing gold can stay.
 
“Did you hear that?” I ask. 

Moving in slowly, he cages me in, bracing his right arm on the wall above my head, his left hand by my hip. He brings his lips close to my ear and I fight the shiver that rolls through me. “It’s probably just your admirer,” he says, his voice hushed and husky. I swallow hard, looking over his shoulder as he nuzzles closer, his nose skimming my neck, then down to my collarbone. My pulse pounds in my ears as he moves back up, his mouth brushing across my cheek, stopping at my parted lips. 

“Is this convincing?” He asks. He’s so close that I can feel his breath on my lips, and I realize that I want him to do it. I want him to kiss me. 

I give a slight shake of my head in response. 

“No?” He smirks, knowing exactly what he’s doing to me. His left hand leaves the wall to curl around my hip and he presses his chest to mine. “How about this?” 

“Almost,” I whisper. I wet my lips and the tip of my tongue nearly grazes his bottom lip. His expression goes from playful to heated in an instant, then he’s closing the final distance. 

It’s soft at first, just a brush of his lips against mine, but soon he’s cupping my face with both hands, tilting my head back as his tongue sweeps into my mouth, his movements confident and skilled. Unhurried and unyielding. 

My hands find his shirt, pulling him closer as his tongue fucks my mouth. Because that’s exactly what this is. This isn’t kissing. Or maybe it is, and I’ve been kissing the wrong boys. 

Jesse groans, fitting a firm thigh between my legs, and the need bubbling inside me threatens to boil over at the sensation. But all too soon, he pulls back, leaving me breathless. 

“Was that convincing enough?”
Charleigh Rose lives in Narnia with her husband and two young children. She’s hopelessly devoted to unconventional love and pizza. When she isn’t reading or mom-ing, she’s writing moody, broody, swoony romance.
HOSTED BY:

 

Blog Tour: Mine to Protect by Kennedy L. Mitchell

We are thrilled to be bringing you the release of MINE TO PROTECT by Kennedy L. Mitchell. MINE TO PROTECT is a brand new standalone romantic suspense you don’t want to miss – be sure to grab your copy today!

 

About MINE TO PROTECT

Recruited to the FBI Cas Mathews has one focus – catch the killer. That’s until officer Alta Johnson shoves her way on to the team, making him fantasize about the delicious curves she hides beneath her park ranger uniform. Alta’s natural beauty catches his immediate attention, but the strength behind her fierce gaze is what holds him captive – demanding he learns more about her.

As the team grows close, the serial killer shifts focus putting them all in danger. Cas should walk away before their sizzling attraction distracts him and gets them both killed. But as the threat pushes Cas and Alta closer, the temptation turns too hot for either to resist.

With their focus diverted the threat zeroes in, catching everyone off guard. Figuring out the players in the killer’s cat and mouse game is key to Alta’s survival. Cas swore he would protect her but with the clues carefully hidden, can he figure it out before Alta disappears for good?

Mine to Protect is a standalone, romantic thriller novel based in the beautiful mountains of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Add MINE TO PROTECT to your Goodreads TBR!

Get your copy of MINE TO PROTECT on Amazon today!

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

 

EXCERPT:

“Stay away from me, Lady.”

Her eyes met mine, daring her to push back. “What? I didn’t mean—”

“I’m not the man you think I am. I’m an asshole with more control issues than they can diagnose. I’m not a nice guy.”

“But I’m safe,” she whispered in a voice so fragile, it chipped at my resolve to stay away for her sake.

Fuck, that weak voice cracked every restraint I had. All she wanted to be was safe, and that was the one thing I could offer. “No one—I repeat, no one will touch you while I’m here. That is a fact you shouldn’t question.”

Her tight shoulders dropped, her lips parted in a relieved sigh. There was trust there, trust I hadn’t earned yet, but still she gave it—to me, a nobody.

Fuck it.

Narrowing my eyes, I crouched directly in front of her, inching closer until her back pressed against the brick hearth. Inches from her nose, I inhaled each of her shaky breaths, savoring the heated fear that pulsed off her as her eyes darkened with lust. She needed to be scared of me, to run in the opposite direction.

Still I dared another inch closer, hoping she’d push me off, praying she wouldn’t.

I slid a hand around the hot skin of her delicate neck.

“I don’t know how to be gentle, Lady,” I growled.

Her breath hitched at the minuscule squeeze of my fingers around her throat.

“What if I don’t want gentle?” she breathed.

“What do you want?”

Light brown brows pulled together in thought, but her hazel eyes stayed locked with mine. “You.”

About KENNEDY L. MITCHELL

Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he’s a lap dog. A bookworm at heart, Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can’t keep their hands off them, then this author is the one for you.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | BookBub | Amazon | Newsletter

Coming Soon: Commanding the Pitcher by Kristy Marie

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Are you excited for Commanding the Pitcher by my girl Kristy Marie?! It is the prequel to Commander in Briefs and is Coming June 20th!!

Have you ever wondered what Anniston was like before she became the Commander? How many times Theo walked away with blue balls after he and Ans hung out when they were just friends? 😜 What kind of things are you most excited or curious about?

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Z8ebXD

Sign ups for Commanding the Pitcher are here–> https://forms.gle/APqS3BRb5NT1Qb3s5

⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️

“Out!” I give the two freshmen an apologetic smile as they gather their gear quickly and exit the batting cages like their asses were on fire. “You didn’t have to make them leave,” I argue with the idiot who is filling two pitching machines with quarters. He stops cold and whips around to face me. “Yes, I did.” He flashes me an ugly look that makes me want to throw a ball at his pretty face. “I don’t need any witnesses for what I’m about to say to you, McCallister.”

#CommandingthePitcher #comingsoon #romance #TheoandAns #tbr #CommanderinBriefsseries

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.

 

 

Excerpt Reveal: Mine to Protect by Kennedy L. Mitchell

We’re only five days away from the release of MINE TO PROTECT by Kennedy L. Mitchell. Read on for a new sneak peek at the story and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the book!

 

About MINE TO PROTECT

Recruited to the FBI Cas Mathews has one focus – catch the killer. That’s until officer Alta Johnson shoves her way on to the team, making him fantasize about the delicious curves she hides beneath her park ranger uniform. Alta’s natural beauty catches his immediate attention, but the strength behind her fierce gaze is what holds him captive – demanding he learns more about her.

As the team grows close, the serial killer shifts focus putting them all in danger. Cas should walk away before their sizzling attraction distracts him and gets them both killed. But as the threat pushes Cas and Alta closer, the temptation turns too hot for either to resist.

With their focus diverted the threat zeroes in, catching everyone off guard. Figuring out the players in the killer’s cat and mouse game is key to Alta’s survival. Cas swore he would protect her but with the clues carefully hidden, can he figure it out before Alta disappears for good?

MINE TO PROTECT is a standalone, romantic thriller novel based in the beautiful mountains of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Add MINE TO PROTECT to your Goodreads TBR!

 

Pre-order MINE TO PROTECT today!

 

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

 

Read an excerpt from MINE TO PROTECT

“Stay away from me, Lady.”

Her eyes met mine, daring her to push back. “What? I didn’t mean—”

“I’m not the man you think I am. I’m an asshole with more control issues than they can diagnose. I’m not a nice guy.”

“But I’m safe,” she whispered in a voice so fragile, it chipped at my resolve to stay away for her sake.

Fuck, that weak voice cracked every restraint I had. All she wanted to be was safe, and that was the one thing I could offer. “No one—I repeat, no one will touch you while I’m here. That is a fact you shouldn’t question.”

Her tight shoulders dropped, her lips parted in a relieved sigh. There was trust there, trust I hadn’t earned yet, but still she gave it—to me, a nobody.

Fuck it.

Narrowing my eyes, I crouched directly in front of her, inching closer until her back pressed against the brick hearth. Inches from her nose, I inhaled each of her shaky breaths, savoring the heated fear that pulsed off her as her eyes darkened with lust. She needed to be scared of me, to run in the opposite direction.

Still I dared another inch closer, hoping she’d push me off, praying she wouldn’t.

I slid a hand around the hot skin of her delicate neck.

“I don’t know how to be gentle, Lady,” I growled.

Her breath hitched at the minuscule squeeze of my fingers around her throat.

“What if I don’t want gentle?” she breathed.

“What do you want?”

Light brown brows pulled together in thought, but her hazel eyes stayed locked with mine. “You.”

Pre-order MINE TO PROTECT today!

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

 

 

About KENNEDY L. MITCHELL

Kennedy lives in Dallas with her husband, son, and 80lb Goldendoodle who still believes he’s a lap dog. A bookworm at heart, Kennedy loves to snuggle up in bed or by the campfire with an unputdownable book. She began writing two years ago with Falling for the Chance and has no plans of stopping. Her novels are witty, action-packed, and offer enough steam for a great facial. If you like strong heroines and sexy, tattooed men who can’t keep their hands off them, then this author is the one for you.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | BookBub | Amazon | Newsletter

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!

KissAndBreakUp_Amazon

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 ***

KABU - AN

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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

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

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2SL1c9N

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

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

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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

 

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**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
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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
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Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Jake Undone

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoQnYd
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B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
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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
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My Skylar

My Skylar

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kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB
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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
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Rebel Heart (Rush Series Duet #2)Rebel Heart

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

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**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

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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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