Excerpt Reveal: Subscriber Wars by Kristy Marie

𝐂𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐒𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐬, 𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐱𝐲, 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐫𝐨𝐦-𝐜𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭-𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫, 𝐊𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐲 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞! 🎬
 
𝑬𝒙𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒑𝒕
“Tsk. Tsk. Those rippled hills of ab muscles won’t save you, my little friend.”
I watch as the drop of water trails the length of Sebastian’s chest, dripping down his belly button. “Ah shit, wrong turn. Now, you’ll die a slow death in those stupid yellow shorts of his.”
The drop of water absorbs into the fabric of his waistband and disappears from sight. “Farewell, my friend. Hell might be hard, tanned and smell like sunscreen and moonshine, but the ruler is quite the dickhead.”
I’m over caffeinated and hangry as I watch as the chair thief behind the window slips a t-shirt over his head and fills a glass of water straight from the tap, pausing long enough to pop what looks to be a painkiller. It appears our neighborhood hoebag had a rough night and an even rougher morning, considering he pretty much crawled to the kitchen.
A pot of coffee brews while he leans both hips against the counter, waiting while he smashed his temples between his palms. Poor baby. It’s hard staying pretty when you’re trashed and sleep deprived, but somehow he manages, which is really a shame.
The last time I was hungover I looked like a literal troll, hissing at Aspen when she offered to wash the dirt and leaves out of my hair before I crawled into bed.
I frown at the window at his perfectly coifed hair and celebrity housewife complexion. He might look like he’s put together on the outside but underneath those ugly shorts is a mess of a man with the personality of a house cat.
Sebastian’s hand drops slowly from his temple and hovers in the air. He’s staring directly at me when he lowers all his fingers but the middle one.
Good morning to you too, jerk.
Blurb:
I can explain.
Kind of.
I realize the wig and makeup don’t help my case, but that’s not the point.
The point is, Sebastian came at me first.
He’s the one who started this war, but I’m the one who finished it.
I’m not even sorry about it.
Fine. Maybe I am. A little.
That’s the only explanation as to why I just agreed to play his fake girlfriend so he—we—can win a million dollars in the hottest reality show contest ever filmed on campus.
Don’t get it wrong though, Sebastian and I may look like we love each other, but everyone knows reality TV is nothing but scripted lies and staged kisses.
Add Subscriber Wars to your tbr. → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54122781-sw
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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. It was a long road, but she can honestly say, the road less traveled had the most beautiful sights.

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

Cover Reveal: Commander in Briefs Series Box Set by Kristy Marie

Go back to the beginning, and prepare yourself for the next generation with the Commander in Briefs Box Set from best-selling author, Kristy Marie, coming July 31st! All five books for less than the cost of two!

 

One bundle.

One exclusive cover.

One super low price of just $6.99!

 

Contemporary Romance

Stand Alones

Designed by Letitia Hasser of RBA Designs

 

Add it to your TBR today!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54350537-commander-in-briefs

Would you like to help spread the word about this amazing new deal? Sign Up →
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Subscribe to Kristy Marie’s newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming releases and receive exclusive bonus content!
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Join Kristy’s Commanders!
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About the Author:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cover Reveal: Inked in Lies by Giana Darling

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Inked in Lies, an all-new sexy and gritty friends-to-lovers MC romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Giana Darling, is releasing July 31st, and we have the smoking hot cover!

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Giana Darling comes a new friends-to-lovers, MC romance about the asshole biker next door and the girl who loves him.

IIL cover

He moved in next door.

Handsome as sin, older in a way that meant forbidden.

He had tattoos on his hands and wickedness tucked in his grin.

I was a goner as a girl to a man they called Casanova for a reason.

He would never love me, at least not the way I needed him to.

I tried to move on.

But I couldn’t turn my back on him or The Fallen MC.

So when they needed me most, I offered the only thing of value I could use to help them.

My body.

And when helping them meant putting my life on the line, Nova had to decide just how much he was willing to do to get me out alive.

INKED IN LIES CR

Add INKED IN LIES to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2MGWpG1

Cover Designer: Qamber Designs

Photographer: Georgios Kasapidis

Model: Stefanos Milatos

Giana Darling pic

About Giana

Giana Darling is a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Top 40 Amazon bestselling Canadian romance author who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently lives in beautiful British Columbia where she spends time riding on the back of her man’s bike, baking pies, and reading snuggled up with her cat Persephone.

Connect with Giana

Website: gianadarling.com

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New Release: The Hunter by L.J. Shen

Hunter - RB banner

“This is LJ Shen at her wittiest, steamiest, heart-aching best!”

–Kennedy Ryan, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

The Hunter, an all-new scorching hot contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

HUNTER_FINAL 4.35.30 PM

Boston’s debauched elite is going up in flames, and it’s the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire.

Hunter

I didn’t mean to star in a sex tape, okay?

It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds.

It just happened.

Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston’s nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.

The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family’s oil company.

Little does she know, that’s not the only pipe I’ll be laying…

Sailor

I didn’t want this gig, okay?

But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.

I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.

Besides, what’s six months in the grand scheme of things?

It’s not like I’m in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors.

No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick’s charm.

Even at the cost of losing everything I have.

Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.

hunteravailablenowfb

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KZt7S9

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

Add THE HUNTER to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Qav1lR

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

huntersbteaseravailablenow

LJShenAbout LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1

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Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

 

New Release: IOU by Kristy Marie

 

We’re celebrating the release of IOU by Kristy Marie! Don’t miss this sexy, new adult stand alone! One-click yours today!

 

 

Contemporary Romance

Stand Alone

Designed by Letitia Hasser of RBA Designs

Purchase Here–> smarturl.it/jys4js

 

Take a card.

Owe him a favor.

I promise, you’ll regret it.

IOU, a sexy, new adult standalone from Kristy Marie is coming soon!

 

 

Blurb:

It’s official.

I, Ainsley James, am crazy.

Desperate and crazy.

It’s the only explanation as to why I’m nauseous, standing outside Maverick Lexington’s door.

I mean, it’s possible the stories about his deck of playing cards—with the words IOU scrawled across the back—are just rumors of the ruthless quid pro quo deals he barters.

But the flutters in my stomach know better.

Maverick is as cold as they come.

But, I need one of those cards.

I NEED to owe Maverick Lexington a favor…

Whatever the terms, I’m willing to pay.

Because, at this point, I have nothing left to lose.

 

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

 

EXCERPT:

I step back just as the door swings open with force, and a rock hard body fills up the empty space. My gaze starts at the top, noting the firm grip he has on the molding. The muscles strain against his taut skin, flexing as he leans forward, cocking his head to the side. His face—

Oh shit.

This is bad—really, really bad.

“Oh no.”

His scowl curves up into a lazy grin.

“Waitress,” he purrs. His voice has this melody of a luring song— one meant to pull you in and destroy your heart in a matter of seconds.

It doesn’t affect me, though.

“Dick at table forty-three, the princess who needed his steak warmed.”

Slap me with a stupid sticker because I have lost my damn mind. Why in the hell did I just say that? Yes, he was the rude-ass who insisted I warm up his food, and yes, he’s the one I dumped said food on, but that was yesterday, and I have moved on. Hopefully, so has he.

“Dick, huh?” He drops one of his massive arms and rubs a spot just above—ah damn, his nipple is pierced. Not to mention the whole right side of his ribs are covered in a massive tribal tattoo. Even on his left, a smaller tattoo wraps from his back and ends on his stomach, teasing me to gaze longingly at the ridiculous set of six-pack abs between them.

Why is life not fair?

I drag in a deep breath and try to let any animosity of yesterday go. “Can we start over?”

That lazy grin of his falls in an instant. “No.”

No. Okay. Well, that’s not good.

Sighing, I watch as his body goes rigid, and his arm goes back to the top of the door frame, blocking any view behind him. His icy blue eyes stare back at me unyielding and hard, not the same guy that grinned when he first saw me. “I’m sorry about last night.” Hopefully, my sincerity will soften him.

“What can I do for you?”

Okay, so we’re going with a hard no on being softened.

With no hint of emotion, other than the apparent tone of boredom, one can surmise that Maverick will not be bought with sweetness and apologies. I’m going with plan B, which I’m making up as I go.

“Are you Maverick?” I could have said that a little stronger and without the slight tremor.

He drops his hands and reaches into his back pocket, producing a handful of playing cards. Oh no. I’m not prepared for it to get real this fast. What if those two idiots in class were right? What if I’m never the same after this?

“How much is it worth to you?” He drawls, producing a marker.

 

 

About the Author:

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cover Reveal: Through the Lens by K.K. Allen

TTL - CR banner

“I had become his muse. What he didn’t know was that he had become mine too.”

Through the Lens, an all-new emotional new-adult standalone from USA Today bestselling author K.K. Allen is coming May 1st, and we have the jaw-dropping cover!

ThroughTheLens_Amazon

Maggie Stevens is done feeling objectified.

After spending her entire life in the spotlight and climbing the high fashion ranks as a model in LA, she’s willing to leave it all behind for a fresh start. Moving to Seattle seems like the perfect solution.

A clean slate.

New adventures.

Endless opportunities.

All is going according to plan. Until she meets the drop-dead gorgeous cooking instructor who delights in adding to her misery.

Desmond Blake is determined to make a name for his culinary school—one that speaks to his hard work and undeniable passion.

When his food photography hobby garners attention from an unexpected source, his dreams are finally within reach. The obstacle he never sees coming is the sharp-tongued bombshell with a distaste for all he stands for.

When Desmond accidentally captures a photo of Maggie during a moment of weakness, he starts to see there’s more to the fashionista than meets the eye…

Sometimes what can be seen through the lens is a skewed version of reality. A bent perspective. Manufactured, therefore losing all sense of authenticity. And sometimes all it takes is a different angle to see what’s right in front of you.

Add THROUGH THE LENS to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Xh0cQI

Be notified FIRST when Through the Lens is live: : http://bit.ly/2J4ixcq

TH_Teaser_Muse

Cover designed by: Okay Creations

Cover photography by: Regina Wamba

K.K.AllenMeet 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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KKAllen_Author

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

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Website: http://www.kk-allen.com/

Stay up to date with K.K. by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2J4ixcq

 

Cover Reveal: IOU by Kristy Marie

Check out this amazing cover for IOU by Kristy Marie! Don’t miss this sexy, new adult stand alone!
Contemporary Romance
Stand Alone

Designed by Letitia Hasser of RBA Designs

Take a card.

Owe him a favor.

I promise, you’ll regret it.

IOU, a sexy, new adult standalone from Kristy Marie is coming soon!

Blurb:
It’s official.

I, Ainsley James, am crazy.

Desperate and crazy.

It’s the only explanation as to why I’m nauseous, standing outside Maverick Lexington’s door.

I mean, it’s possible the stories about his deck of playing cards—with the words IOU scrawled across the back—are just rumors of the ruthless quid pro quo deals he barters.

But the flutters in my stomach know better.

Maverick is as cold as they come.

But, I need one of those cards.

I NEED to owe Maverick Lexington a favor…

Whatever the terms, I’m willing to pay.

Because, at this point, I have nothing left to lose.

Join Kristy’s Commanders!
♠️Blogger & Reader ARC Sign Up → https://forms.gle/LJRR1RaMqTFXRipR6
♠️Blogger Team Sign Up → https://forms.gle/VjzJ1h4fne8y4pLH8
♠️ARC Team Sign Up → https://bit.ly/3c1KbTM
Excerpt Reveal: Mar 31
Teasers: April 7, 14, 21, 28
Release Day Blast: May 1
Review Tour: May 1-8

 

About the Author:

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

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

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

 

Cover Reveal: Life of Debauchery Duet by M. Robinson



From the First Verse 

Release Date: March 24

 

Dear diary,

 

Once upon a time…

 

 

 

There was a girl with long golden hair who had the truest, bluest eyes that turned white when she cried.

 

She lived in a kingdom far, far away in a tower made of stone, but her mind was made of glass that she kept sharp as knives.

 

Where her memories hid behind her darkest doubts.

 

Her deepest thoughts.

 

 

Her diary became the only thing she could rely on.

 

 

 

No one saw through her looking glass.

 

No one cared.

 

 

No one tried.

 

 

 

Until the villain presented himself as the hero in her life.

 

He took and took and took some more.

 

 

 

With no regret.

 

With no shame.

 

 

With no apology.

 

 

 

The page never turned.

 

Their story didn’t end.

 

 

Tomorrow never came.

 

 

His life of debauchery was their journey to nowhere.

 

 

 

She’d give anything to go back in time.

 

To walk where she had walked.

 

 

To see what she had seen.

 

 

One step.

 

 

One breath.

 

 

One day at a time.

 

 

Though in the end, “I love you” were just words.

 

 

 

That destroyed us inside.

 

 

Pre-Order Your Copy Here:

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook

 

 

 

‘Til the Last Lyric 

Release Date: April 21

 

The completion of Cash & Journey’s Story.

 

Pre-Order Your Copy Here:

 

 

 

 

Meet M. Robinson

 

Wall Street Journal & USA Bestselling Author

M. Robinson loves to read. She favors anything that has angst, romance,

triangles, cheating, love, and of course sex! She has been reading since the

Babysitters Club and R.L. Stein.

 

She was born in New Jersey but was raised in Tampa Fl. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in psychology, with two years left. 

 

She is married to an amazing man who she loves to pieces.

 

 

 

They have two German Shepherd mixes and a Tabby cat.

 

Stalk M. Robinson Here:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube Channel  

Reader Group

 

 

 

 

 

Hosted By:

 

Blog Tour: The Life You Stole by Jewel E. Ann

LYS - BT banner

“Hold on with both hands because you’re about to experience the ride of a lifetime. All the stars for this masterpiece.”

-Marni Mann, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Life You Stole, the compelling and stunning conclusion to the binge worthy Life Duet from Jewel E. Ann, is available now!

LifeYouStole-01b

Sex.

Lies.

Revenge.

On the heels of a devastating loss, Evelyn fights to put her life back together.

Only … part of her husband belongs to another woman, and the devil owns her soul.

“If you tell her the lie, I will tell her the truth.”

When her best friend goes to great lengths to protect Evelyn from destruction and devastation, mistakes are made, lines are crossed, and all trust is shattered.

“We weren’t unbreakable.

I just needed to believe we weren’t unrepairable.”

 

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

LYS - AN

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31w0kf7

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

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Add THE LIFE YOU STOLE to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3bgXmQ7

Start this MUST READ duet with The Life That Mattered:

Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/370vtIT

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

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/37132uz

Add The Life That Mattered to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2QUyoN5

Excerpt

I jumped, shutting my computer, and glanced up at Graham paused at the threshold to my room, loosening his red tie. He always looked handsome in a suit and that red tie I gave him for his birthday. I didn’t expect to see him. My assistant said he was at the Governor’s Mansion. I rarely stayed there, but he used it as an occasional “getaway.” Probably from me. So when she told me he was there, I made the assumption (actually hoped) he’d decided to stay the night and get some work done.

“It’s not even seven.” I tucked my bare feet beneath me, still wearing my navy skirt suit and silk scarf—my long hair in loose curls down my back and around my shoulders just like Graham liked it.

He took calculated steps toward me, completely untying his tie, letting it drop to the floor before working the buttons to his starchy white shirt. I tried to forget my internet search, not that it mattered because I couldn’t hide anything from my husband. He elicited a warring of emotions from me. An icy tingle slithered along my spine, making every muscle rigid, while the warmth in my heart fed on the way my pulse reacted to his proximity, the way it always had done. That never changed. It was how I knew we weren’t broken.

“Did you miss me?” He smirked, shrugging off his shirt, revealing his defined torso—abs for days beneath a thin smattering of dark hair on his chest.

I was the envy of so many women. Every day I reminded myself of that.

“Nice scarf.” He knelt in front of the chair.

I returned a nervous smile, hoping the man before me was the man I loved. Graham untied the scarf, sliding it from my neck as slowly as he’d slid off his tie just seconds earlier. The scarf floated to the floor. Gentle fingers swept my hair off my shoulders, exposing my neck.

With the same feather’s touch, he traced the bruises. “It’s nothing …” His lips replaced his fingers, kissing my neck. “You’re fine. Right?”

I wanted to believe him. Could denial become truth if we just believed hard enough?

“I’m fine,” I murmured, closing my eyes.

“Want me to show you how much I missed you?” he whispered next to my ear.

Was he asking me for permission? Governor Graham demanded me. Pre-marriage, pre-Governor Graham asked … begged me to surrender to him.

JewelEAnn

About Jewel

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

Connect with Jewel

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Qzj2iq

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2urUQG0

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

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2s4ftr1

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

http://bit.ly/2FpGXdA

http://www.jeweleann.com

 

Excerpt Reveal: The Guy in the Middle by Kate Stewart

Want a peek inside The Guy in the Middle by Kate Stewart? Check out this jaw-dropping excerpt! Don’t forget to add it to your TBR!

Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

I was born to play and bred to win.

My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.

With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.

Two birds, one ball.

Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.

For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.

*The Guy in the Middle is a stand alone novel in the Underdog Series. This is Lance’s story.

EXCERPT:

Harper

“I’ve missed you, you know? More than you can imagine.”

“Can’t imagine it at all,” he says, picking through a book he’s not reading.

“Can I help you two?” One of the store sales associates asks, and I shake my head and smile. When she takes her leave, I look over to Lance who stands fuming on the other side of a table filled with loose items. We’re in a mismatch shop full of mostly cheap junk, and I can’t imagine him finding anything for his mother here.

“Lance, I have missed you. Horribly.”

“Could have fooled me.”

I can only take so much. Irritated, I lift a designer coffee mug from the table.

“You like this for your mom?”

“No.”

“How about this?”

“Nope.” He’s not even looking at what’s in my hands.

“You sure? It’s a hide purse. Cute for a rancher’s wife, don’t you think?” This gets his attention, and stormy eyes lift to mine.

“Would you buy that for you?”

I look it over and shake my head. “Not really my style.”

“Bet it’s not.”

I can feel my ears reddening. Fuming, I eye a box on the shelf, snatch it and shove it into his chest. “How about this giant fucking purple dildo and matching anal plug!? Think mom will like that?”

He looks up completely unaffected, “Nope.”

“I don’t think we’re in the right place,” Tossing the box down, I stalk out of the cluttered shop and into the department store next to it. He’s hot on my heels.

“Got that fucking right.”

I turn back to see he’s spoiling for a fight and release a stressed breath. Fighting with him is the last thing I want to do. “Look, lets, just…” I search around and pull a sweater from the closest rack. “How about this? Simple, elegant.”

“You think Mom’s simple, huh? I’ll give her your regards.”

“That’s it.” I hook the sweater back on to the rack and close

the space between us, forcing his eyes to mine. “God, you’re still a brute, aren’t you? You haven’t changed a bit. Still pig-headed as hell.”

“Pig-headed?” He opens his mouth in mock shock and covers his chest with his hand. “How dare you.”

I’m in between fight or flight, but I’ve been dodging this long enough. My heart can’t take more confrontation. I missed him too much. His eyes flare with satisfaction at my irritation. “Misery loves company, right, Lance?”

“Never said I was miserable.”

“You don’t have to. Did you come to New York just to torture me?”

“Maybe.”

“Rub it in on what I’m missing out on?”

A voice sounds from next to us. “Is there something I can help you find today?”

We both turn to the woman with lasers in our eyes, and she swallows. I clear my throat. “We’re fine. Thank you.”

Lance winks at the woman, his eyes scanning her form. “Maybe you can help me?”

“You son of a bitch,” I hiss, before walking away from the table. His voice rings out next to me as I rip through a rack of scarves.

“Good to know you care, Priss, gotta admit, it’s surprising.”

I reel on him. “Don’t you dare! Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had to make a clean break. I had just lost everyone that mattered to me. I was losing my mind.”

“I got pissed for one day, and you went off the grid.”

“And you let me go because you knew no matter how much we wanted it to work, it couldn’t. You have no idea what I went through!”

“What you went through? Do you know I spent six months ranting to an Uber driver named Dave because everyone on my team hated me when the truth came out?” He stomps after me as I pull sweater after sweater off the rack. “Troy jumped ship after he got drafted. I had no one but Tony and those fights.”

I turn to him with twenty sweaters in my arms. “Jenner? When did y’all get so tight?”

“When shit got tough, and my fucking girlfriend bailed!” He glares down at me, his breaths coming out fast.

“Guys, we’re going to need you to take this outside.” A woman whom I assume is the store manager approaches us cautiously.

I look around the store and see all eyes are on us, especially the women sizing him up. “He’s available ladies,” I snap, laying the sweaters on a nearby table, “I’m willing to bet he comes really cheap.” He’s on my heels as I push through the glass of the department store.

“Oh, was I supposed to wait for you? Must have missed that memo. That’s it, you must want a saint. That’s why you didn’t stay.”

“I was twenty years old and alienated from a place I didn’t want to be anyway.”

“Good to know.”

“That’s not the way I meant it. And you know damn well until you, I was only there to appease my Dad, who I barely speak to now.”

“I’m sorry about that, I am, but that’s on him. And what in the hell are you talking about ‘alienated’?”

“Forget it.” I pull on my gloves as heavy snow starts to come down. “I think we’ve concluded our tour for today.”

He glances around the sidewalk. “Well, no need to show me more, I hate this fucking place!”

“And why is that? Not enough free-range chickens?!”

His eyes flare. “You digging on the ranch now, Priss? I saw a fucking rat the size of a cat on my run this morning!”

“Probably has better manners than you, shit head.”

“Pulling out the big guns now, huh? There’s that backbone. I was wondering where it went.”

“Go home, Lance, you hate it here. And you obviously hate me.”

“Just the opposite. It’s impossible, and believe me, I’m trying!”

“Well, I hope you succeed! Thanks for stopping by, Mary Poppins. Best Christmas ever! Make sure to bulldoze the nativity scene on your way out!”

“Fuckthis.” He throws his hands up and eyes me warily before turning and walking away.

“Merry Christmas to you, too!”

 

 

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About the Author:

 

USA Today bestselling author and Texas native, Kate Stewart, lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance, as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense. Kate’s title, Drive, was named one of the best romances of 2017 by The New York Daily News and Huffington Post. Drive was also a

finalist in the Goodreads Choice awards for best contemporary romance of 2017. Her works have been featured in USA TODAY, BuzzFeed, and translated in five languages.

Kate is a lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.