Lustful Literature

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: UNSPOKEN WORDS by H.P. Davenport

UNSPOKEN WORDS
 (The Unspoken Love Series, Book #1) 
 
RELEASING MAY 2, 2016
 

 

SYNOPSIS:
Two lives…as close to perfect as they can be.
 
Camryn Townsend has everything she’s always dreamed of…an amazing family, supportive friends, and the perfect job. Everything a girl could want. Or is it? A trip back to her childhood home threatens to unravel her web of perfection.
 
Her problem…she’s in love with her best friend and she’s too scared to sacrifice their friendship for a love she’s always wanted. 
 
Jamie Banks’ life is the epitome of perfection. His company is thriving, his band is on the cusp of stardom, and the girl he loves is returning home.
 
His problem…the girl he loves has been his best friend for as long as he can remember and he’s not sure he’s ready to sacrifice his best friend for a lover. Pursuing a relationship with the possibility of losing her has him second-guessing everything he knows.
 
 
Unspoken words are the only thing standing in their way.
 

 

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 “Yo, you like what you’re seeing? The girls sure have formed a fan club out there,” Christian yells across the table. He is being such a ball breaker today. What the fuck? Do I have ‘I’m in love with your sister’ written on my fucking forehead?  


“You gonna let those guys try and make a move on the girls, or are you going show them what you got?” he continues with a raised eyebrow challenging me.


Sitting here at the table watching the girls dance is killing me. My fists are clenching under the table as I notice guys approaching the girls. The girls aren’t paying them any mind until one dude walks up behind Camryn. He stands there, eyeing her up like she’s a freaking piece of candy. He hasn’t touched her yet, but the idea of him being that close to her has my blood boiling. My jaw begins to clench, and my body tenses. I look over at Christian, and he has this shit eating grin on his face. 


Not being able to stand it anymore, I grab my beer and take a long swig. It’s nearly empty, so I motion to Lincoln to order me another one then I head to the dance floor. Camryn’s back is toward me so she doesn’t see me approaching, but Morgan does and she has a huge smile on her face.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author Bio:



Paralegal by day, romance genius by night! When I’m not tending to my furry children and my handsome husband, I am seamlessly carving beautiful stories from my mind in my comfy PJs in New Jersey.

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LOVE ‘EM – A Bad Boy Romance by Kelley Harvey Blog Tour & Giveaway

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COVER

 

Title : LOVE ‘EM – A Bad Boy Romance
Author : Kelley Harvey
• Amazon Paid In Kindle Store Top 100 Best Selling Author •
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Release Date : February 11, 2016

 

BONUS: For a limited time, the eBook of LOVE ‘EM. – A Bad Boy Romance will include a BONUS. SO. BAD. – A Bad Boy Next Door novel full length novel. Both are standalones.

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LOVE ‘EM—a Bad Boy Romance

Book Blurb

 

RONNIE

He’s rude. He’s crude. He’s socially unacceptable.
Jackson Tremaine gets under my skin as easily as he gets into my pants.
He’s the prince of late night television
and he single-handedly ruins my life between commercial breaks.
That’s fine. Payback’s a bitch, and she’s named Ronnie Fitz.

JACKSON

Ronnie thinks she knows men, but she don’t know Jack—jackshit, that is.
The biggest problem with Ronnie Fitz? She’s addictive.
I had the best night of my life with her, and now she decides we can only be friends?
Screw the friend-zone.
It’s the fuck-zone or no-zone with Jackson Tremaine.

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Where you can purchase LOVE ‘EM:

 

LOVE ‘EM available on Amazon,
$.99 or *FREE* for Kindle Unlimited Members.

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exclusive excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

RONNIE

My brand new shoes bite into the back of my heels and squish my toes. I fill a paper cup with water and set it aside without ingesting so much as a sip.

Shayna takes my elbow as I pass by for the fifteenth time. “For Christ’s sake, sit down. I wasn’t nervous until you started pacing.”

I press my finger to the twitch at the corner of my left eye. “This is going to be a disaster. I know it.”

“It’ll be fine. Relax.” My best friend for the last three years fluffs my corkscrew curls around my shoulders and grasps my upper arms. “A live studio audience will be good. I promise. You’ll be so happy you did this.”

“Somehow I doubt it. Why couldn’t you have kept your mouth shut when Sam called?” Blah blah blah, that’s what she did. Info dump right into my agent’s ear, and that was the cannonball on the catapult that shot me straight to the gates of Hell.

Shayna was the first to be invited on the show, and after she talked to Sam, I got a call too.

Shay whirls me around to face a blank wall. She holds her hand up as if she’s painting a scene. “Picture this: You’ll sell a million books, and then you can take me to Cancun. We’ll sip fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas, delivered to us on golden trays by hot cabana boys who don’t speak our language. We’ll say the rudest things and smile and still get laid at the end of the day.”

A smile pulls up the corner of my mouth even as I rub the ache between my eyebrows. “If you say so. Let’s just hope Jackson Tremaine is feeling charitable tonight.”

She sticks her tongue out. “Jackson Tremaine can go fuck himself.”

I straighten her platinum blonde, not-quite-human-hair wig and tip her bug-eye sunglasses down enough to stare into her baby blues. “You think all men should go fuck themselves. You know, most of them want the same things we want. To be loved. To be respected. You just have to give them a chance.”

“Every year, I offer about a hundred of them a ‘chance’. All but three have failed, and those already belonged to other women.” Shay quirks her auburn eyebrow. Good thing the shades hide the dead giveaway that she isn’t really a blonde bombshell.

A sad sigh escapes before I can catch it. “I’m so sorry, sweetie, but maybe you need to consider another career path?”

Even though her eyes are hidden again, it’s as though I hear them rolling.

“Thanks for the advice, but I make an excellent living in my current line of work. As much as I love you, Ronnie, you and I have two different philosophies when it comes to men. I’m good with that.”

A petite woman pops into the room. “Ladies, he’s going to bring you out one at a time, starting with you, Ronnie. In five.”

My stomach grabs hold of my esophagus and trembles as the second hand ticks away the moments. My first live appearance on television is tying me into knots.

Appearing on the Up Late with Jackson Tremaine show should be a boon, but it’s probably going to blow up in my face. Like a big fat dirty bomb. Lights out.

My instinct says that he’s a shark and I’m a guppy. He’s going to chew me up and spit me out. That’s if I’m lucky, and he doesn’t swallow me whole.

No. I won’t let him. He’s a man, like all the other men I’ve studied since I was twelve and Dad skipped out on my overbearing, never-to-be-pleased mother. If she’d have shown him some love and compassion, he’d have stayed. I’m sure of it.

I have to remember that about Jackson. Underneath his Armani suits and Rolex watches, he wants the same things as everyone else—respect and love. That’s all. Show him some respect, and he’ll return the favor. And, after tonight, I can move on and watch my book sales skyrocket as I ring in the new year, and my bank account will follow suit.

Shayna stands in front of the full length mirror in the corner and applies a fresh coat of the blood-red lipstick she purchased specifically for tonight. “Can you tell that it’s me?”

I rub my finger along my bottom lip. “Well, I can tell it’s you, but I’d know you with a bag on your head. That sassy sway of your hips and the way you talk with your hands would give it away. But, I think you’re all right. Most people don’t pay that close of attention. I’m certain your secret’s safe.”

“I only want to ensure my potential clients can be assured that their unsuspecting, cheating bastards won’t know what’s coming when I make my move.”

I shake my head. “One of these days, Shay—”

“I know. I know.” She brings her tone up an octave, mimicking me. “‘One of these days, you’re going to meet the man of your dreams. You’re going to read my book. You’ll fall in love. And wah,wah, fucking wah.’ Save it, Rons. I am perfectly happy with my life. I’ll let you do the loving. I’ll stick with fuck and release, thank you.”

 

Offstage, the silent monitor flickers in the dark. On screen, two insanely gorgeous men smile at a shared joke and holiday lights twinkle in the background. The host tidies his stack of note cards, tapping them on the desk and tucking the one at the front behind the others.

Jackson’s voice has a velvet covered rasp, even sexier in person than on television. “Eleven days to Christmas, and a brand new year waits just around the corner. Many will make and break resolutions. How about those resolutions to find love or dump a dead weight relationship?”

His smile widens as he holds up his hands, trying to calm the masses as they cheer.

When the crowd quiets, he says, “The ladies who make up this duo are actually very best friends. The livelihood of both women depends on love, in one capacity or another. I call them Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em, if that tells you anything at all about their respective career fields.”

He brushes his fingers through chocolate-colored hair. “Let’s meet Love ‘Em first. How many of you gals have your eye on a man who seems to stay just out of reach, or one who doesn’t want to commit?”

Someone in the audience cat-calls about her guy.

“And we’re glad you’ve got a man who’s hung like King Kong.” Jackson answers the bawdy lady while he winks at the camera. “Anyway, our next guest thinks she knows men. Love ‘Em’s got us all figured out and has put her wealth of knowledge into book form.”

My stomach takes a plunge to my feet. Here we go.

He holds up my book and exchanges a knowing look with his first guest as he stands. “This guide for women is supposed to help you ladies catch and keep your dream lovers. Please welcome the author of Decode the Man in Your Life, Ronnie Fitz.”

The handler ushers me toward the stage’s side entrance. “Watch—”

Applause drowns out whatever he’s saying as I clear the edge of the royal blue curtain. The clipboard-wielding guy gives me a shove toward Jackson Tremaine who waits three feet ahead with his hand held out in greeting.

Jackson has the clearest sage green eyes I’ve ever seen, dark around the edges but almost white at their center. They crinkle at the corners as he smiles at me, sending my heart into an abnormal rhythm. The hand he holds out to me waves me out, drawing me to him like a—

Something grabs my ankle. Crap. A cable running across the floor is wrapped over my beautiful new shoe. I try to compensate with my other foot, but it makes it worse. I stumble forward, losing my balance as my plastered-on smile falters. Instead of shaking his hand, I fall against Jackson Tremaine’s muscular chest.

Strong arms come around me, pulling me up and tight against him. His scent, something like sandalwood and cinnamon, envelopes me. His laugh vibrates through my breasts, now pressed firmly against his pecs.

The audience goes bat-shit wild with applause.

Oh my—Hell. In Hell. Right now. This can’t be happening.

Mr. Tremaine hangs on tight until the crowd quiets.

“Well, that’s a great start to a new relationship. But I’m afraid I’m happy in my bachelorhood, Ms. Fitz.” He sets me away from him, adjusting first his tie and then his junk right in front of God and everybody.

Heat floods my face, and I don’t know where to look. “Oh, I’m—so sorry. I tripped.”

He tosses a sly look at the closest camera. “No worries. I don’t mind at all. I enjoy a beautiful woman in my arms any time—but only for a short time.”

Jackson takes my hand, sending tingles up my arm. “I’ll hold on to you until we get you safely into your seat.”

He leads me to the chair between guest number one and the side of the desk.

Jackson stage whispers to the other man. “Be careful of this one, Bax. Love ‘Em’s quite a handful.”

Casino mogul Baxter Ransom nods as he offers his hand. “Nice to meet you, Ms. Fitz.”

I do the best I can to swallow my embarrassment. “Likewise.”

Jackson returns to his seat. “So, Ronnie—you don’t mind if I call you that? You’ve put together this instruction manual, if you will, for women.”

I brush my wild curls away from my face with trembling fingers. “I suppose you could call it that. It’s really only common sense things that most of us already know but fail to put into practice in our everyday lives.”

“I read the book last night—well, parts of it—and I’m not convinced.”

The lead weight in my gut grows.

No, it’s okay. He’s playing Devil’s Advocate. It’s his job.

“Oh? What part do you need help with?” I smile, but inside my heart is shriveling into a raisin.

He’s making me out to look a fool, and no one is going to buy my book by the time he’s done with me.

He leans back in his chair, propping his feet on his desk. “Well, this whole idea that a woman can get the guy she wants, simply by showing him deference and respect…”

I take a quick breath, heat simmering in my stomach. Dumbass is twisting my words. “I didn’t say deference.”

He laces his fingers across his flat belly. “Oh, maybe I read that incorrectly. Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of a woman who shows a man respect. I don’t buy that it will get him to commit.”

The fire in my gut stirs. “Well, think about it, Mr. Tremaine. What man doesn’t want the woman in his life to tell him how amazing he is on a daily basis?”

I wait, but he just sits there, smugness poised on his too handsome face. It’s as if he didn’t hear the question I asked.

“Well?” I prompt.

His eyebrows go up, fake surprise in his expression. “Oh, that wasn’t rhetorical?”

No wonder he’s still single.

I let out a huff of air. “How many men get the respect they want and deserve from the women who profess to love them? The principals in my book all come down to one thing: men aren’t as complicated as ladies think they are. They want love just like women do. The biggest difference is what they perceive as love.”

He squints as though considering my words. “Well, they do say perception is ninety percent of reality. My ninety percent says this is a load of rhino dung.”

My jaw drops.

Did he really just say that—about my book, my magnum opus, in front of billions of people?

I snap my mouth shut and glare at him. “Maybe your perception is what’s full of shit.”

His eyes widen, and his gaze darts to a man on the sidelines with a clipboard and an apoplectic vein popping out on his forehead.

“Oops, probably shouldn’t have cursed. All those pesky FCC regulations.” I smile sweetly at my asshole of a host.

Jackson nods to the vein guy, whips his feet off his desk, and holds my book up once more. “And there you have it, folks. Want to know how to get a man? Buy the book and have him in the bag by Valentine’s Day.”

He tosses the book aside and smiles directly at the camera set in the middle isle of the gallery of seats. “Our next guest, BFF to Ms. Fitz here, is pretty much her polar opposite.”

In ways he will never understand.

Jackson grins. “Leave ‘Em—remember that’s her nickname. Sorry, I can’t reveal her true identity, because she needs the anonymity to run her business. Leave ‘Em claims she doesn’t believe in true love. Well, I suppose not, considering it’s her job to prove it isn’t out there.”

Jackson stands and claps. “Please welcome our next guest. She’s the person other women hire to test the men in their lives.”

Shayna glides onto the stage—no tripping for her. She’s much too graceful as she waves and blows kisses Marilyn Monroe style. Maybe she’s taking that wig too seriously.

Shayna takes Jackson’s offered hand in both of hers as Baxter and I shuffle chairs to make room for Shayna in the seat I vacated, closest to the host.

Jackson seats my friend and takes his own chair. “So, you’re the temptress who actually tries to get men to cheat before you report back to your clients.”

“I suppose you might describe my work that way.” Shayna’s lacquered fingernail taps out a rhythm on the arm of her chair.

“You set up and ambush unsuspecting men?” Mr. Ransom shifts in his seat.

She licks her bright red lips. “I only make an overture they could easily ignore. It’s only a trap for those men already predisposed to cheat on their significant other.”

Jackson Tremaine leans forward, his elbows on his desk, chin in his hands. “So, Ms. Leave ‘Em, do you actually screw these cheating guys?”

Shayna grins. As usual, she’s unfazed by direct barbs. As a matter of fact, I’m fairly certain she likes it.

“No, I never go that far. I’m not a prostitute. I simply do my best to lure the men to willingly place themselves in a compromising position. I always stop before anything too serious happens.”

Baxter rubs his chin, as though contemplating what Shayna has said. “Never?”

“Never.” Her shades hide her rolling eyes, but I’m certain that’s what she did.

Baxter lifts one eyebrow. “Hmm.”

Jackson barks a laugh, which he unsuccessfully tries to cover with a cough. “Excuse me. I—oh hell, I can’t lie. I just had a fantastic idea.”

Our host sends a sly look toward the camera to his left before he turns his full attention to me. “So, Ms. Love ‘Em—Ronnie—would you be willing to wager that should a woman use the techniques in your book, her man won’t have the propensity to cheat, because he’d be so enamored of her and happy at home?”

Baxter Ransom coughs, and Shayna whips around to me, her mouth slightly agape.

My throat goes bone dry. “Um—well, I mean—I—”

Shayna jumps to my rescue. “A cheater will cheat, no matter how wonderful his woman is. Some guys are scum. Cheaters cheat, no matter what.”

I lay my hand on her arm. “Wait. No. I believe most people cheat because something in their relationship is lacking.”

Shay elbows me. “Shh.”

I toss her a look.

She ignores me. “No. A cheater is a cheater is a cheater—no matter what.”

The mischief coming off of Jackson Tremaine is almost palpable, and the audience goes silent. It’s as though they know he’s going to do something outrageous, which he probably will. And they’ll all think it’s epic, only I’ll probably be shoved to a lower level of Hell. Even the slight shifting and shuffling that usually goes on in a crowd dies down as he continues to study me and my friend.

He looks around both of us. “Bax, you’re a gambler.”

Mr. Ransom draws back. “Well, my business is gambling, but—”

“Let’s make a wager, shall we? Right here on live television.”

My bladder twitches. Nervousness makes me need to pee. I could probably fill up three adult diapers at this very moment. Whatever Jackson has in mind is bound to be bad for me, terrible for my book, and probably horrible for my long-term career goals.

Baxter leans closer to Jackson. “Go on.”

“Let’s see which of these two ladies’ juju works best.” Jackson wags his eyebrows like he’s a villain in a cartoon.

Shayna pops up out of her seat. “That’s not how I run my business.”

“Aw, c’mon, now, be a sport.” Baxter grins, his eyes trailing from her fake hair all the way to the five-inch heels of her platform fuck-me boots.

Jackson looks straight into the main camera. “What do you think, America? Shall we wager that Love ‘Em can’t use the techniques in her book to keep Leave ‘Em from taking her man?”

Shayna falls into her seat with a thud. “She doesn’t even have a man.”

And there it is. I let out a sigh. All of America knows I’m a love specialist who’s not in love and has no man. No hint of a man in my life—not even an old toothbrush still haunting my medicine cabinet from a man I once had. I’m sunk.

Jackson cocks his head, as though he can hardly believe what he’s heard.

I open my mouth to rebut her statement, only to be interrupted.

“Do you not have a significant other, Ms. Love ‘Em?” His green eyes are too beautiful for someone like him. Nasty, evil people shouldn’t get to be gorgeous. Not fair. They should be ugly as a warning to children not to become emotionally corrupt.

I close my eyes. I so hoped this wouldn’t come up. Of all the things, why this?

I clear my throat. “That has absolutely no bearing on—”

He holds up one finger. “Wait. Hear me out. I take it from your reply that the answer is no?”

Panic sweeps over me in a rush of hot tingles up the back of my neck and across my face. I fight the urge to jump up and run off stage. “No significant other at this time.”

The twinkle in his eyes makes me want to scratch them out of his skull. I’ve never met a man I liked less.

Ever.

I toss my purse onto the counter in the kitchen. “Worst. Day. In. History.”

“I don’t want to hear it. You could’ve avoided that entire exchange.” Shayna drops into a chair at the table and unzips her thigh-high boot.

My jaw falls almost to my navel. “I could have avoided it? What about you?”

Shay kicks off one boot. “Not me. You’re the one who should’ve said no.”

You should have, too.”

She tilts her head to the side, glaring. “No. I couldn’t. My work depends on women trusting the fact that if their guy is a cheater—if he’s going to cheat at all—it would be with me. If I were to say I couldn’t possibly entice your guy—whoever the fuck that ends up being—into cheating, then why would anyone ever hire me?”

“Who’s going to buy a book on how to catch and keep their man from a woman who isn’t confident enough to say that she can keep her man enthralled enough that he’ll turn down the opportunity to go at it with a blonde dressed like a prostitute?”

“Prosti…” Shayna looks down at her outfit and giggles. “Yeah, I guess I am kind of dressed to head down to the boulevard and hawk my ample wares.”

She shimmies her tits in her too tight black leather jacket. “Day-umn. I didn’t even get the big O from that one. How about you?”

“What?”

She makes no sense to me sometimes.

Shay extricates herself from her other boot. “I mean, Jackson Tremaine fucked us both, and good.”

“I guess he did.” I drop into the chair adjacent to hers. “It’s not exactly like we can bail—not now that the entire country is waiting to see which one wins.”

She side-eyes me. “We could tell Jackson to fuck off, and dust off our hands and move on.”

I let out a weary breath. “No. We can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because millions, if not billions, of people saw us on that show. You’re fine if you bow out. You’ll continue to do your thing. But me? If I back out, I’m screwed six ways to Sunday.”

She rubs the teensy crease between her brows. “Aw, c’mon, Rons. Your book’s success isn’t completely dependent on Jackson Tremaine’s show. You just don’t want to rock the boat.”

“Rock what boat?”

“The boat where everyone does what’s expected and no one does what they shouldn’t. The viewers expect you to be part of this bet. You’ll do it, if for no other reason than that you’re afraid to break the rules.”

I huff. “What rules? I don’t know what you mean.”

“Girl, you’ll fall in line behind whatever perceived rule there is in any given situation. I hate to break it to you, but you, my friend, are a goody two-shoes. In your mind, there’s some invisible rule that states the gauntlet has been thrown. Therefore, you must meet the challenge.”

Goody two-shoes? Gauntlet?

“I break plenty of rules, thank you. It’s only that I happen to know this particular thing can sink my career faster than the Titanic went down. I’ve worked too hard for that to happen.”

Shay cast a skeptical glance at me. “What rules have you broken lately?”

The answer eludes me. I search through my recent memory. Nada.

I scratch my head. “I—I don’t know. Who keeps a journal of broken rules? Just… ugh, stop already. We have to do this bet.”

“Oh whatever. I’ll do it, because you’re my friend, and I’d cut off my right arm for you—that’s my masturbation hand, just so we’re clear about what I’d be giving up.”

Only Shay would point that out.

I can’t help but smile. “At least this way only one of us will be screwed.”

“Well, if I’m the one who loses, please make sure you throw me a pittance when you see me lying outside your gate with my tin cup.” She unpins her wig.

When she shakes her red hair down her back, it cascades like a waterfall. The slight wave in it is probably there from being rolled up under her Marilyn get-up. It’s moments like this that I hate her.

“I’d almost kill to have your hair,” I lament for the umpteenth time.

She shrugs. “Well, I would kill to have your curls. So you’d best sleep with one eye open, bitch.”

Shay’s African Gray whistles and squawks in the living room. “Bitch. Who you callin’ bitch?”

 

 

 

MEET KELLEY HARVEY

Kelley and her husband Mike live in North Central Texas. KH PicHaving two daughters, one teen and one in her early twenties, keeps them on their toes. In other words, they’re saturated in angst and excitement. Kelley often feels as though she lives on Teenage Drama Island and desperately needs a vacation to Adult Sans Kids Resort. The upside is she’s always awash in oceans of inspiration.

Kelley enjoys reading YA and NA, although on occasion she gets caught reading other genres. Writing is her full time job. Though it’s hard work, it’s also a dream come true. Her characters knock on the door of her heart and constantly poke their heads out the windows of her imagination. She hopes you connect with them as deeply as she does.

 

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Dark Perception by Alexandrea Weis Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway

 

Title: Dark Perception
Series: A Corde Noire Novel
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Dark Erotica
Published: February 22, 2016

 

 

 

 

Born with a gift, Melinda Harris can see visions of the future.
Nathan Cole is the man who wants to possess her and her power.
A member of the elite Corde Noire Society, Nathan introduces Melinda to his dark world of pleasure and pain. At first, Melinda likes what Nathan teaches her, but then her visions begin warning her to the terrible secret her handsome Dom is hiding.
Nathan has plans for her beyond his bedtime adventure. He wants her to make her his … completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathan gently removed a stray strand of hair from her face and placed it behind her ear. As he stared into her green eyes, the images of the two of them came blazing back to life, even more powerful than before.
“You’re doing that on purpose!” she shouted, and slammed her flute down on the bar.
“What?” Nathan seemed astonished by her reaction.
She backed away from him. “You’re thinking those thoughts.”
“What thoughts?”
Melinda searched his eyes while he inched closer.
Nathan’s mouth pressed into a thin line, adding to the tension in the air. “I think I should go. You’ve had a long day. We can talk again tomorrow after you get settled in. We will need to go over my agenda.”
What’s wrong with me? Get a grip.
Running her fingertips over her forehead, she tried to clear her mind. “What agenda?”
Nathan picked up his glass of champagne and downed the contents. “I have meetings scheduled this week and next about that property development we spoke of the other day.” He turned his eyes to her. “There’s a formal cocktail party at the home of a New Orleans socialite next weekend. She’s interested in my plans for that property and wants to talk to me about funding the project. You’re to accompany me to the party and all my meetings, then you can tell me what you feel about these people.” His eyes traveled over her T-shirt and torn jeans. “You’ll need to dress professionally for the meetings, and you’ll need a formal gown for the party. I’ll have Bob take you to Canal Place for some new clothes.”
“I can’t afford new clothes, Nathan.”
He raised his brown eyes to her. “I’ll take care of that, not to worry.”
“You’ve given me this apartment, furniture, a new television. I can’t have you buying me clothes, too.”
“Melinda, you’re my assistant now. I can’t have you escorting me places dressed like that.” He motioned to her clothes. “You need to look the part.”
Melinda wanted to argue with him, but she thought better of it. He wanted to buy her some new outfits, what of it? After all, this is what she had always wanted, to be taken care of.
“Yes, Nathan.” She gave him a weak smile.
“Good girl.” He abruptly headed for the door. “I’ll come by tomorrow evening and we can go over my itinerary in detail. I have a new cell phone coming for you tomorrow, as well as a credit card. Use the card to buy your clothes and anything you may need for your job.”
“A credit card? Are you sure you want to trust me with that?”
Nathan smirked with amusement. “Just make sure you don’t go too crazy. I still have to justify it all to my accountant at the end of the month as a business expense.”
“Is that why you’re telling everyone I’m your assistant?”
He frowned at her. “What do you mean?”           
“If you tell people I’m your assistant, even though you already have a secretary, don’t you think that will look funny?”
He squinted his eyes, appearing interested in her reasoning. “Funny, in what way?”
“Perhaps everyone thinks I’m not here as an assistant, but as something else.”
“What else?” he questioned with a glimmer of mischief in his eyes.
“You know what else, Nathan.” She turned away, but he held her arm.
“What else, Melinda?”
Melinda gazed into his dark eyes and then she knew. The images she had seen earlier of them together were his. She could feel it as sure as she could feel the warmth of his hand.
Nathan let her go. “I hired you to be my psychic, that’s all. If others read more into the relationship than that, it’s their problem.”
Despite what he told her, Melinda knew Nathan wanted her, but something was holding him back, something she could not see. In her mind’s eye, she searched for an answer, but only foggy images came through.
“I’m very happy you’re here,” he said, and then he leaned forward and kissed her cheek.
Melinda almost grabbed for the doorframe to keep from falling to her knees. The unexpected wave of electricity from the caress of his lips was catastrophic.
“Get some rest,” he told her. “We have a big week ahead, and you have your work cut out for you.”
Confused, Melinda watched him make his way back to his penthouse. Perhaps he didn’t send those images to her.
Was it me?
Melinda quickly shut the door and threw her body against it. “Oh, I’m in trouble.”
Right after Melinda spoke the words, a wave of fear enveloped her. She turned to her living room, and as quickly as it had come, the feeling departed. She gazed about the room, reaching out with her mind to whatever entity had called to her, but nothing came.
Shaking it off, Melinda picked up a box and carried it to her bedroom. When she stepped into the hall, the doorway to the storage room was wide open and the light inside was on. Setting the box on the floor, she went to the room and looked around. Nothing appeared to her, and there were no moans or rattling of chains. But as she stood in the stark square room, the hairs on her arms stood up. In her mouth, the acrid taste of dread. Melinda fought her instinct to flee, and instead opened her mind.
“I feel your fear,” she pronounced.
Then a woman’s soft voice whispered in her ear, “Run.”
Melinda’s eyes flew open. She backed out of the room, flipped off the lights, and shut the door. She stood in the hall staring at the handle on the door as her trepidation faded. There was no lock on the door, no way to secure it. She had a sudden urge to make sure this door stayed closed, because what was inside of that room scared her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josie's review

4 stars

 

Dark Perception by Alexandra Weiss is a mysterious read with a hint of supernatural set in historical downtown New Orleans. I am not a fan of supernatural usually, but in this story, the author completely had me glued to the pages. The story is told in Melinda’s POV. I want to say that this story had me to stumped, there are two male characters in this story that I just did not trust, Jack and Nathan, which kept me twisted up.

 

Melinda is a unique character and I have mixed feelings towards her. She is musically talented and also physic, but she makes poor decision when it comes to men. I mean can’t you see that coming? She is an interesting character and difficult in her own way. She wants to be self-sufficient, self-confident and find a job that will cover just the basics to get by.   She does not tell people their future for her self-righteous gain but to help them out. She has two best friends Ellie and Jack of which Jack is really in love with her.


So, in walks Nathan into her life wanting to give her a job as his own personal physic. Strange right? Immediately, Jack thinks there is something wrong with Nathan’s need to hire, Melinda. There was a connection between Jack and Melinda, one that she chose to ignore but was very much present throughout the story. Despite the warnings from Jack, Melinda goes in into a business arrangement with Nathan. One that will require more than she bargained for.


You know how your mother always tells you to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, well that is how I saw Nathan. He was way too perfect. Red flags and warning bells were going off start from the start. Nathan has a dark side and for seem reason Melinda was drawn to it. The longer she was in his presence the more he dragged her into his world. The more Melinda starts to spend time with Nathan and the high society of New Orleans, she starts to learn about the many secrets they keep. Jack and Nathan are keeping huge secrets from her as well. Secrets that will have her second guessing everything she thought she knew. This story has some serious twist and turns, add some ghosts and yeah nothing at all is what it seems.


I really adored the relationship between Ellie, Jack and Melinda. I found it to be realistic, funny and engaging. The characters and plot are well written and had me very emotionally invested in the story, I was even nervous at the mention of the ghosts. The way the author describes the atmosphere around Melinda when there is a supernatural presence around her was very well documented. When I was reading the story, I knew something was going to go wrong. I was not sure who really was the bad guy but as the story played out and I saw it unfold I felt helpless. If you like a good mystery with a twist this is the book for you.

 

 

 

From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. Her work has been critically acclaimed and has been continually growing in popularity. 

Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Rock by J.A. Huss

 

Rock
J.A. Huss
Publication date: March 7th 2016
Genres: Rock-star Romantic Suspense

Welcome to RK’s rock star life.

I was living the dream, I was full throttle, all in, one hundred percent on top of the world. But it’s a hell of a long fall back down when you finally crash and burn.

Welcome to the delusions, the final act, the coming-to-Jesus moment when there’s nothing left to do but look yourself in the mirror and ask… How did I get like this?

I am RK’s living nightmare. I am RK’s empty soul. I am RK’s unchecked fantasy world that makes no sense to anyone.

I only have one thing left. Just one girl holding my broken pieces together.

And even she might be a lie.

Rock is a standalone rock-star romantic suspense by the New York Times bestselling master of twist, JA Huss.

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Author Bio:

JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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Cover Reveal: Rough & Rowdy (Notorious Devils MC #1) by Hayley Faiman

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Title: Rough & Rowdy 

Series: Notorious Devils MC #1

Author: Hayley Faiman

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: March 24, 2016

 

 

 

 


Kentlee Johnson has always been a sweet girl with good intentions and simple dreams. 

Pierce “Fury” Duhart is an outlaw by nature, born and bred to ride with the Notorious Devils. 

When a chance encounter brings them face to face, Kentlee knows that getting involved with the president of the town’s notorious MC is not a wise choice. 

But Fury knows what he wants, and Kentlee is the little bit of sugar he craves on the side. 

Daring to be bold for just one night, Kentlee surrenders to Fury’s advances—but one taste of the rough and rowdy man is all it takes to turn her world upside down. 

*** Recommended for 18+ due to Sexual Content, Adult Language, and Violence

 

 

 

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32 years young… born and raised in California, did a stint in 
Oregon only to return to the Golden State. Lived that life a while until the Lone Star State called to us, Hill Country, Texas is where we call home, where our boots rest and loving that country life. Living the life with one bearded power pole climbing husband, two little boys that are full of energy and drive us crazy plus a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.
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Noah’s Journey (Sawyer Brothers #3) by C.A. Harms Blog Tour & Giveaway

Title: Noah’s Journey
Series: Sawyer Brothers #3
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
The years that were taken can never be repaid.
The memories stolen can never be returned.
But I had to move forward…for him, my son.Noah had spent years wondering what he could have done differently. Wondering what he’d done wrong to make Stacey leave. The heartache from her absence and the what-ifs of their past eventually turned to anger—and then disgust.It took years for him to move on, and once he did, his past came thundering back, revealing a secret.A secret that would forever change his future.Alena had waited for the chance to have more with Noah. He was an enigma, a man of mystery, yet she wasn’t quite ready to give up on him. She knew there was more to him than what he allowed those around him to see. She was drawn to his charm and his calm nature. With an uprooted past of her own, she craved a little stability more than anything. But when things between them finally begin to grow into more, their relationship is tested.Will it all be too much for Alena to handle?

Or will she decide to stay and be a part of…Noah’s Journey?


Noah’s Journey Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015/2016
Prologue
Noah
A Little Over Four Years Ago
“I just can’t do this anymore, Noah. This is not the life I want or where I want to be forever. I thought you wanted more too. More than this quiet town with no real hope of being somebody.” Stacey sat on the end of my bed, the sheet still wrapped around her naked body.
Of all the times to have this type of conversation, I never thought it would be now. She chose first thing in the morning when I was already late for work.
“So what are you saying?” I asked as I stood in the doorway, fisting my shirt in my hands. I was trying not to blow up, trying to remain the rational one in this relationship.
“I don’t want to be here, in Livingston, for the rest of my life. I want to go somewhere with greater opportunities. I feel like if I stay here, I’m giving up my dreams. I feel like I’m drowning.”
She stood from the bed and let the sheet fall to the floor. Stacey was a gorgeous woman—tall, fit, and almost angelic. She was also very selfish and spoiled. Everyone called her by first name until she finally forced her parents to change it to her middle name instead. “Jessie” was entirely too hick for her taste.
“Noah, you had to see this coming,” she said. And the lack of compassion in her voice only made my anger grow.
“I had to see this coming? Are you fucking serious right now?” I took a step toward her, and she quickly slipped her shirt on over her head. “I asked you to marry me, and now you’re fucking telling me you’re leaving?” I lifted my hand and gripped my hair, pulling at the ends. “So what the hell was last night? And again this morning? One last roll in the sack before you walk out on me?”
“Come with me,” she said with a hopeful expression.
“I can’t just pick up and walk away. I just got on track with where I want to be at the station. I have the ranch and my responsibilities to my family. Plus, this is my home. I don’t want to leave.”
“Then you’re choosing this place and all of them over us.” She actually had the nerve to look hurt and offended.
I stood in the center of the room, watching as she began grabbing items and tossing them in her bag. “I have to get out of here. I gave you the option to come with me, and you declined. So that is on you.”
Heat rose in my neck, and a swooshing sound filled my ears as I fought against my anger. “It’s on me, what the fuck? You’re truly something else, you know that? You throw this shit at me five minutes before my shift starts at the station and have the nerve to blame the end of us on me. You fucking did this.”
She ignored me as she finished dressing and gathered some more of her things. I stepped up behind her and grabbed the bag from her hands, making her stop what the hell she was doing and look at me.
Stacey spun around and gasped as I leaned in, bringing my face only inches from hers. “This is all on you. You’ve been planning this escape all along. Now you want to blame me.” I stepped back and held my arm out, pointing toward the door of my apartment. “Get out,” I said through gritted teeth. “I’ll send your shit to your parents, because right now I can’t fucking look at you a minute longer.”
Her eyes widened, and she covered her mouth with her hand. I gave a sarcastic chuckle as I shook my head. She had already pushed me past my breaking point, and I was through playing the nice guy. “Cut the tears, Stacey. You wanted this, you got it. Now get out. I’m not holding you back from your perfect life any longer.”
I waited until the door slammed before I caved and sat on the end of the bed. My clothes from last night were still tossed around the room. I had given her years of my life, thinking we had a future.
I guess her being younger and unsettled should have warned me off, but her vibrant attitude was what had attracted me from the start. Now I just felt like a dumbass for not seeing what others saw in her. She was a wild card, but I took a chance.
Never again.
Josie's review
4.5 stars
This author has a talent for writing brilliant and powerful love novels where I can’t help but fall in love with her characters and their stories. I have waited for Noah’s book since we got Sawyer’s book and I will say this is was so worth it wait. We get laughs, tears, drama, angst and some really hot cowboy loving.
Noah’s Journey is a fast read but it was wonderful and enjoyable. The prologue was hard and shaped the man Noah was today. For years Noah lived with the guilt that he did something wrong that made his girlfriend up and leave him. He lived his life with his heart closed off and not willing to offer any woman a chance to hurt him again. But he started to trust and open his heart with his friendship with Alena. With Alena he was willing to take a risk and see where things would go. With Alena he was willing to take a risk and see where things would go. Just when he lets his guard down, his ex-girlfriend comes back to town with a secret that will alter Noah and Alena’s life!!


Stacey, I wanted to throat punch. As soon as I read the first page, I knew she was a manipulative, cold hearted witch. She holds something over Noah’s head that makes him makes rash decisions. Alena on the other hand, I loved. This woman was the total package, classy, gorgeous, proud a confident (me I would have decked Stacey but I am not classy). She was very understanding with Noah, and I wished she would have been tougher at times. Alena knows that he has to deal with the secret that Stacey has revealed but Noah’s detachment puts a wedge in their relationship. She loved Noah and wanted what was best for him and did not want to add more stress to his already difficult time.


Noah is not perfect, he makes mistakes and he unintentionally hurts Alena’s. You can tell that Noah is confused and has a lot going in his life. He doesn’t realize the damage he is doing to his relationship with Alena and how he is hurting her until his brothers and family tell him. Noah is forced to try to repair the damage his actions have caused but is too late? Will Noah’s ex-girlfriend’s return cause him to lose the only woman that has ever truly loved him?

 
What I love the most is how this author creates stories and characters where they are not picture perfect. Each couple has a journey they have to take in order to find their happiness. The Epilogue was epic! I really loved it. When I got to that part my heart melted and I fist-pumped and shouted. I can’t wait to see what is next for this author.

 

 

 

C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn’t always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.

She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.

Cover Reveal: Collared by Nicole Williams

 

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AP - Synopsis

 

 

When a seventeen-year-old girl vanishes,
A community is shaken.
Parents turn desperate.
Friends hold vigils.
And the boy who loves her searches.

When a year goes by,
The community is recovering.
Parents feel hopeless.
Friends feel helpless.
And the boy who loves her continues his search.

When ten years go by,
The community has forgotten.
Parents cling to the past.
Friends move toward the future.
And the boy who loves her . . .

Brings her home.

Jade Childs spent ten years in captivity, but now that she’s back, the real battle for survival begins. The media shadows her. Flashbacks haunt her. Her old life evades her. Her so-called new life rejects her. She spent too many years in the dark to recognize the light. She spent too long repressing her feelings to remember how to express them. She spent a decade abandoning hope and cannot dare letting it back into her life. Jade’s not just defined by what happened to her—she’s collared to it.

When the twenty-seven-year-old woman is found,
A community wants to know the story,
Parents want to forget the story,
Friends want to be a part of the story,
And the man who still loves her faces the greatest challenge yet: letting her go.

 

 

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AP- Excerpt

 

He holds my eyes, not letting them wander away from him. “Why have you been avoiding me?”

I wander my room, not sure where to go now that he’s here. I’m not sure where I fit now. I’m not sure where I belong in his life.

“You know why,” I say quietly.

“I want to hear you tell me.”

“Why?”

“So I can change your mind.” His hands slide into his front pockets, and the sunlight catches on his dad’s watch and casts golden beams through the room. It lights up like someone just lit a million candles at once. “I can’t do that unless I know exactly why you don’t want to see me.”

He wants a reason? I’ll give him a whole list of them.

“Because I don’t want to drag you into my mess of a world any more than I already have. Because I don’t want to smear you through the mud on the media’s march to burying me. Because I don’t want to hurt you—again—and because I want to protect you.”

“I can protect myself from them.”

I shake my head and cover my chest with my hand. “To protect you from me.”

Torrin’s jaw hardens. He works it loose the moment after. “I don’t need protection from you.”

“Everyone needs protection from me. There’s something dark in me now, Torrin, and I can’t get it out. It’s growing, spreading, and I don’t want it to infect the people I love.”

He pushes off the closet doors and crosses the room before I know he’s coming. “There is nothing dark in you, Jade. Nothing.” He backs me into the wall and stares at me, unblinking. “There is light and good in you. There always has been. There always will be.”

“That’s gone. He took it from me.”

“No, he didn’t.” Torrin’s hand slams into the wall beside my head. “It’s still there. You had to bury it to keep it safe, but it’s still there. You’ll find it. I know it.”

I want to believe him, but that doesn’t make it true. “You can’t find what isn’t there, Torrin.”

“Dammit, stop talking like that,” he says, his jaw tensing. “It’s there. I know it.”

“I’ve tried. I can’t find it.” Even as I say it, I start to feel different. It’s because of him being so close, saying what he is in the way he is. He’s the tether that keeps me from floating away.

His eyes lower to mine. “I’ll help you find it.”

I feel my heart again. My lungs. Everything else. I feel it waking up. “What makes you so sure you can find it?”

“Because when I look in your eyes, I still see it.” His other hand fits against the wall beside my head. “Because when I’m close to you like this, I can still feel it.” He leans a little closer, and I feel something too. “It’s there, Jade. It’s not gone. He took ten years of your life—ten years.” The corners of his eyes crease as an emotion fires in his eyes. “Don’t hand him the rest of it by believing that kind of shit.”

 

 

AP - about the author

 

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost& Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

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**Savage Lover ( Savage Angels MC Book 4) by Kathleen Kelly Cover Reveal**

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Title: Savage Lover ( Savage Angels MC Book 4)

Author: Kathleen Kelly

Genre: MC Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2016

 

 

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Blurb

Kade Cantrill is a soldier, a nomad without a Chapter to call home. The Savage Angels MC have welcomed him to Tourmaline though he has never felt compelled to stay in one place for long. But that was before he met her. If there’s one person who can convince Kade to stay, it’s Destiny Bennett.
Deaths Minions have a new leader, Adriel. Their numbers have increased and he’s going to take back all the business the Savage Angels stole from his club. Adriel intends to start a war and he doesn’t care who or what gets in his way. Least of all, Destiny.
Destiny Bennett has always attracted the bad boys and when she finds herself at the center of an MC war, Kade must act quickly to save her from the wrath of Adriel.
Will this Savage Lover expel his own demons to be the one Destiny needs to heal her brokenness? Or will Kade continue to allow his past to haunt him and extinguish any hope of a happily ever after?
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About Kathleen

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Kathleen Kelly was born in Penrith, NSW, Australia. When she was four her family moved to Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Although born in NSW she considers herself a QUEENSLANDER!!
She married her childhood sweetheart and they live in Brisbane with their two furry kids. A British Short Hair called Grace and a Burmese called Jack .
Kathleen enjoys writing contemporary, romance novels with a little bit of erotica. She draws her inspiration from family, friends and the people around her. She can often be found in cafes writing and observing the locals.
If you have any questions about her novels or would like to ask Kathleen a question she can be contacted via e-mail: kathleenkellyauthor@gmail.com or she can be found on Facebook. She loves to be contacted by those that love her books.

 

 

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Author Links

If you’d like to keep up to date with my work, connect with me here:

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Tsu | Amazon | Instagram | Newsletter

 

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Kissing Alex by RJ Scott

 

Title: Kissing Alex
Series: Bodyguards Inc #6 
Author: RJ Scott
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2016

 

 

Martial arts expert Lewis is the kind of bodyguard who slips under most people’s radar. Quiet, reserved, but constantly on alert, he’ll do his job, keep his charges safe, then relax by reading Shakespeare in his spare time.

When he’s given a case involving a spoiled celebrity singer, Lewis isn’t all that impressed. The job is nothing but babysitting a pretty boy, and he’s used to diplomatic postings with depth and challenge. What could he possibly have in common with the man he’s being forced to look after?

Alex became the envy of many when he and his fellow bandmates won second place in a huge TV talent show. He has more money than he knows what to do with, no life goals, an ex-boyfriend selling a sex tape and now, someone who wants him dead, or at the very least maimed.

Can Lewis keep Alex safe, even when things usually in his control go to hell? Is running to a remote Scottish island the only way for them to stay alive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RJ Scott has been writing since age six when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and was told to write a story. Two sides of A4 about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born. She reads anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror; however, her first real love will always be the world of romance. From billionaires, bodyguards and cowboys to SEALs, throwaways and veterinarians, she writes passionate stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and more than a hint of happily ever after.


 

 

 

 


 

 

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9 LETTERS by Blake Austin Book Tour, Review & Giveaway

9 LETTERS BOOK TOUR

 

 

9 LETTERS LIVE

 

Meet Luke Crawley in Blake Austin’s debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love!

NOW AVAILABLE!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

 

9 letters cover

 

Blurb

 

Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife’s tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.

 

Until the letters arrive on Luke’s doorstep.

 

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.

 

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she’s ready for something different–something true.

She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he’s different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts–one letter at a time.

 

Discover Blake Austin’s debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.

 

 

9 letters teaser for excerpt reveal

 

 

Excerpt

 

I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar, grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes.

“Damn, Luke,” Jake said, watching me work. “You win the lotto or something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?”

“I’m just in a good mood, that’s all,” I said.

I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart some wisdom learned from my not-particularly-advanced years.

“When everything’s dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it,” I said, “just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world.”

He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen.

Warren though, Warren wasn’t impressed. He was sitting by one of the daytime barflies, but he’d stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex-con.

I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear. Tending bar wasn’t my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the place clean, I poured drinks like I cared.

I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more people filtered through the door. Couple of middle-aged bikers, a retired couple that parked their RV out front.

The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early-evening cold, and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae. Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light.

She’d been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was probably smiling in surprise myself.

The crowd came over to the bar. I’d thought the other four were two couples, but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina, and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer.

Most of the time, I’m awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who’s into who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable, who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble. Maybe it’s some magic of the job, maybe it’s just how people carry themselves at a bar. Helps with tips, that’s for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in.

Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he’s doing that. Get them excited about the top shelf. Not me.

“Hey, Rae,” I said.

“Luke,” she said.

John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was, but if I was the scum then he was… I don’t know, something worse than scum. Wannabe scum.

She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah, maybe I’m an asshole.

“So, how do you know this guy?” Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae.

“Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a bloodhound.” She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. “How is he? You guys call a truce yet?”

“King’s great,” I said. “I mean, he’s probably at home right now, eating everything I’ve ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?”

It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed.

“What can I get you all? Friend of Rae’s is a friend of mine.”

 

 

9 letters teaser

 

 

Beth's Review

4.5 stars

 

I must say I was intrigued by two things with this book, enough that I knew I had to check it out. First the synopsis for this one truly grabbed my attention, a broken man after the love of his life has died and nine letter have arrived at his door step. It had the heartbreak due to the death of a spouse that I have read before but I must say I was intrigued to find out what those nine letters were all about. Second, the author was male and with the fact that the the heartbroken character was the guy, the story would mostly, if not all, be told from his POV so I knew I had to check it out.

 

Luke met the love of his life in high school, fell in love and once they graduated they got married and started their life. They didn’t have a lot but they had their love and that was all that mattered, until Emily got sick with cancer and died leaving Luke heartbroken . But now a year later after her death, Luke has still not moved on with his life, he is left broken and most days he spends them drunk. That is until the one year anniversary of his wife’s death when a box lands on his door step. When he opens it he finds 9 letters all addressed to him, written in Emily’s handwriting. One by one as Luke reads them he continues along the grieving process.

 

I really loved Luke, I fell in love with both his and Emily’s story immediately. I normally not a fan of stories with flashbacks but I must say, the author did a great job with them and really gave us a chance to see the man Luke once was before he became the broken shell of a man he now was. That first letter near gutted me, and I must say I found myself shocked by how much I cried so early in the story without really being connected to the characters but after reading that first letter, I was instantly connected with them, feeling as if they were people that were close to me. I truly loved how we got to know and see more and more of Luke through these letters, we got to see truly how much these two loved each other. But I must say how I loved that she wrote these letters in her dying days, knowing Luke would still have not moved on a year later and knew he would need her help to finally move through the stages of grieving. I loved that their bond was so strong that she knew him better than he knew himself and she loved him so much and was so selfless that in her dying days, she took the time write them so that he could move on with his life and learn to love again.

 

I did enjoy Rae’s character and how she too played a part in Luke healing and moving on. I did feel their connection and the bond they shared but I must be honest and say that for me, their connection didn’t even come close to what he shared with Emily. For me, this story had two parts. The first and most prominent and important part was the story about Luke and Emily. It was about how the letters she wrote were helping Luke move on, one letter at a time. He slowly began to move on from her death and begin living once again, he began to do the things he once did and be the man he once was. I really loved these parts of the story, I was heartbroken that a love so great and strong had to end so early. You could see how amazing Emily truly was, she was his angel and should have never died so young.   But I absolutely love what even in death Emily did for him and how her letters helped him get past and move on.

 

The second part of the story was the bond between Luke and Rae. It was more of a side story for me, and although I felt their connection and was so happy that Luke was able to get to a place he could move on and open his heart up again, I didn’t love this part of the story. I didn’t feel the love or connection between these two that Luke had shared with Emily and it felt more about the chemistry and attraction he and Rae shared instead. But again, I still enjoyed it, just didn’t love it.

 

Overall, this was a really fabulous debut novel by this author. The parts between him and Emily were so beautifully written, so many times the story tugged at my heartstrings bringing tears to my eyes.   If I was to break the story up as I mentioned above and rate it based on the two parts, hands down it would be 5+ stars but the storyline with Rae was more 3.5 stars for me. And to add one suggestion to the author, I loved the flashbacks but I wished that when those chapters began, it was noted that it was in the past, sometimes it would take me a few paragraphs before I would realize it was a flashback . But overall a phenomenal and emotional story that I absolutely loved and I will definitely be watching more to come from this author.

 

 

 

9 LETTERS TEASER

 

 

About the Author

 

blake austin bioBlake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He’s written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel.

For updates: Follow Blake Austin on Facebook here: http://on.fb.me/1ZUj6sR

 

 

 

 

9 LETTERS TEASER BT

 

 

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