Sneak Peek: Influenced by Kelsey Clayton

Welcome to the Swype House,
where the secrets are bigger than the…

Influenced, an all-new enemies-to-lovers rom-com standalone from USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Clayton is coming June 10th, and we have the FIRST look!

From USA Today bestselling author Kelsey Clayton comes an addictive, laugh out loud romcom that will have you falling in love with more than just the main characters.

Welcome to the Swype House,
where the secrets are bigger than the…

The rules are simple:
Fake it for the cameras.
Do it for the views.
Don’t kill each other.

It felt like an easy yes when I was invited to change my bio from, “Kaia Blakely, college student,” to “Kaia Blakely, newest influencer at the Swype House.”

Then I met Declan Royce. His profile highlights his looks and his humor, but it ought to read, “Owner of an ego so large, it was given its own zip code.”

Suddenly, not killing each other feels like an impossible task.

So yes, it was death threats we were whispering in the background of that viral video, not sweet nothings. So no, there’s zero reason to keep the #Kailan hashtag trending.

Except that it’s our job. So it looks like we’re adding another rule to the list:

Don’t let anyone find out the truth.

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wcKV4n
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/InfluencedKC

Check out the first chapter of Influenced herehttps://bit.ly/3yPppEG

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Meet Kelsey
Kelsey Clayton is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance novels. She lives in a small town in Delaware with her husband, two kids, and dog.
She is an avid reader of fall hard romance. She believes that books are the best escape you can find, and that if you feel a range of emotions while reading her stories – she succeeded. She loves writing and is only getting started on this life long journey.
Kelsey likes to keep things in her life simple. Her ideal night is one with sweatpants, a fluffy blanket, cheese fries, and wine. She holds her friends and family close to her heart and would do just about anything to make them happy.

Connect with Kelsey
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Sneak Peek: He’s a Keeper by Stacy Travis

Drunk-texting a grumpy soccer star?
Best worst decision of my life.

He’s a Keeper, a grumpy sunshine sports romance from Stacy Travis is coming May 24th, and we have your first look inside!

Especially when the player is the sinfully handsome, foul-mouthed Holden Sanders… my new library assistant.

The benched bad boy needed an image makeover, I needed to save my job, and his star status was just what the library ordered to raise awareness for our fundraising campaign. The press can’t get enough of Mr. Growly reading to kids.

It’s win-win and completely platonic.

Until I need a shoulder to cry on after drowning my heartbreak in too many margaritas. I only typed that invitation to his brawny biceps and perfect pectorals for fun–I never meant to hit send. Holden isn’t the kind of guy to care about tears and feelings, least of all mine. He’s made it clear good girls aren’t his type.

But he shows up–with his strapping shoulder, a box of tissues and a supersized bag of Doritos.

That’s when I realize there’s more to him than meets the eye.

One soulful, smoldering mistake of a kiss has me craving more, and the heat between us quickly builds to a blaze neither of us can control.

But I’m not the only one guarding secrets, and Holden’s might push us to the breaking point.

Even if I’m surrounded by books, I know better than to believe in storybook endings.

And yet, I want to believe… Because I know he’s a keeper.

He’s a Keeper is a standalone sports romance in the San Francisco Strikers series with a HEA.

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uLFmcv
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Google Play: https://bit.ly/3kDHsoU

Keep reading for a sneak peek inside He’s a Keeper!

Molly

When I reach the glass doors, I expect to see the irritable man outside scrolling on his phone or, if he really doesn’t understand the rules, walking to his car.
But he’s nowhere. Glancing back, I see Seth dutifully walking toward the story area, his shoulders hunched like I’ve sent him to the gallows. Still, he’s going. That gives me a couple minutes to track this man down. I should’ve asked his daughter for his name so I could yell it.
The library is a one-story building on a corner. A small square of grass sits on each side of the front walkway, which leads to the sidewalk where the city hasn’t trimmed the overgrown trees in years. The result is patchy brown areas where the grass doesn’t get enough sun and trees that block out the sky in places.
I head around the side of the building to where the tiny parking lot only has room for a handful of cars. My fugitive stands with a pair of preteen boys each holding a skateboard under one arm. All three stare up at one of the trees.
From my vantage point, I can’t see much except a whisp of what looks like orange fur on a high branch. The boys are doing their best to mask their nerves with a façade of bravado.
“Dude, you do it. I have a basketball tourney this weekend and my dad’ll kill me if I get injured,” one of the boys says, dropping his skateboard and stepping on one end so it flips back into his hand.
The other boy, who has a shock of blond hair, tosses his board onto the grass and cranes his neck toward the ball of fur in the tree. “Nah, he’s really high up. Dude, if he falls and dies, it’s totally your fault for letting him out.”
“I didn’t let him out. He ran out before I saw him.”
“Whatever. You were the one who opened the door.”
“You’re the one with a cat who’s too dumb to stay in the house.”
“Not. Helping,” the man scolds, turning his baseball cap around so the brim hangs over the back of his hair. Now I can see his eyes, though with the way he’s squinting at the tree, I can’t tell their color, just that they sit under aggravated brows.
It’s also crystal clear that my initial take on him was spot on—he’s so good-looking that he uses it as a hall pass to be a jerk. Even his stance, with his arms folded so his biceps pop and his shoulders pull at the fabric of his shirt, shows anyone within viewing distance that he knows what to do with hundred-pound barbells. And he does it.
“I don’t want him to die.” The blond boy wipes his sweaty palms on his jeans and takes a few steps closer to the tree, surveying the climb.
“He’s not going to die. Cats are ninety-five percent tiger. They have eighteen toes. They’re built for climbing,” the man says. “Plus, they have double the neurons in their cerebral cortex as dogs. They’re smart. Your cat’s only climbing as high as it’s safe.”
It’s like dinner theater seeing this brawny dude with the bad attitude rhapsodize about cats. I can’t tear myself away.
Suddenly, he jumps up and grabs the lowest tree branch and executes the most manly pullup, biceps rippling, as he hurls himself vertically, ending up in a squat on top of the fat horizontal branch. The legs of his jeans stretch taut over his thighs, and he balances like some kind of ninja. From there, he reaches for another branch overhead and does the same.
It’s like Tarzan with a zoology degree.
I inch a little closer to get a better view. The boys are fixated on him and don’t notice me until I whisper a question. “Do you know that man?”
“Nah, he’s just some dude who walked out here,” says the blond boy. “I hope he’s got extra toes too.”
“You know an awful lot about cats,” I call up to him.
From the way he flinches, he had no idea I was there. Holding on to a tree branch, he stuffs his other hand into his pocket and looks back at the cat, who’s taken the momentary distraction to scramble higher up the branch. “I almost fucking had it.”
“Hey. Children are present.” I put my hands over my ears to demonstrate, stuck in my library lady persona because, as I said, I’m bad with kids.
“Are you one of them, Mary?” He smirks. It’s not a bad look on him because it slightly looks like a smile. Except that the upturned corner of his mouth makes me want to punch it. And why’s he calling me Mary when I introduced myself to the group right before he left?
“Hardly.” I square my shoulders as though I need to prove to him that I’m not a child, which seems childish and makes me want to punch him again. “Anyhow, you can’t be out here.”
“I have no idea what that means,” he growls, stepping further along the branch, which looks flimsy under his weight.
He’s nearly twenty feet in the air and pretty close to the orange and white cat, which is no bigger than a grapefruit. It sits perched on a high branch meowing like it’s singing opera. Cute little thing.
I don’t have pets. It kind of goes along with my fear-of-kids thing. I worry the responsibility of caring for a pet might be more than I can handle. What if I forget to feed it for a week? What if I let it escape and it ends up in a tree?
But this cat has fate on its side because Tarzan scoops the small thing into his hand and tucks it into his chest. From the way his head is bent toward the cat, I can tell he’s talking to it.
Using his free hand, he deftly slips down to a lower branch and balances on it while he surveys the best path down. Lowering into a squat, he calls out to the boys. “You said you play basketball, yeah?”
“Sure,” one of the boys says.
“You’re going to catch this kitten like it’s a buzzer beater from downtown. You miss, you lose. Ready?”
The boys ready themselves, hands open, squatting like the ballers they want to be. “Ready. I’m open!” the blond boy yells, instantly in game mode.
The man drops the furry, striped body to where the boy grasps it surely in his hands. He scruffs it under the collar and tucks it under one arm while he and his buddy grab their skateboards.
“Thanks, man. You saved my bacon,” the blond one says.
As he swings from the lowest branch and lands in front of the boys, the man is already brushing off their appreciation. “You never have to worry about cats. They’re climbers. He’d have come down on his own, so if he does it again, wait him out. Don’t break a bone. Speaking of that, cats have more bones than people. They’re just small.” He spouts all this information sounding irritable and inconvenienced, as if anyone asked for an encyclopedia entry on cats.
“Cool, good to know.” The boys mount their skateboards and thank him again as he brushes some stray pieces of bark from the sleeves of his shirt.
Then his gaze locks on mine, and I notice the hardness in his steely gray eyes which have dark rims that look like they were drawn with charcoal pencil. They’re pretty but unyielding.
He stares at me like I’m the one who isn’t where I’m supposed to be.
“I need you to come back inside,” I say again. His eyes roam over me from head to toe and back again. He makes no attempt to hide his slow perusal of my form, and I feel a flutter in my belly that irritates me because I don’t want to react to him. I fold my arms over my C-cup chest.
“I’m sorry?” He cocks his head to the side like a dog who only hears words but doesn’t know what they mean.
“You need to stay in the library.”
“I don’t think there’s a law about leaving the library. Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to be inside? Who’s reading to the kids, Mare?”
The kids—as though he isn’t the biggest child among them.
“My name’s not Mary.”
He shrugs.
What he doesn’t know is that I wrangle headstrong, hormonal teenage girls for a living, and if I can get them to work quietly, I can handle one unpleasant man-child. He doesn’t intimidate me. He does, however, beg me to spend a little more time staring at his strong jaw, even though he glares like he’s weighing the odds of murdering me and getting away with it.
I exhale a long breath, prepared to explain the rules, but my mind drifts to a subject that’s more intriguing. It’s not a problem when I’m alone, but when I’m having a conversation with someone, it can lead people to think I have focus issues.
Maybe I have focus issues.
Drifting back, I point at the man accusingly. “How do you know so much about cats? Are you a vet?”
He huffs a disbelieving breath, stuffing his hands deep into his pockets. “I have a cat.” His icy stare makes it seem like he’s unhappy about it.
“You have a cat?”
“I just said I did.”
I shake my head as if to knock the errant words from my ears because I can’t have heard him correctly. In no world does this tightly-wound grump take care of animals, unless he’s skinning them for their pelts. Which makes me worry for the safety of his cat. “You have a cat. As a pet?”
He squints his eyes, which causes the corners of them to crinkle, which seems strange until I realize they’re laugh lines that accompany another smirk. He observes me with his hands on his hips. “As opposed to…?”
“I don’t know, like maybe you’re planning to feed it to some larger animal. Do you also raise coyotes and watch them devour cats for sport?”
He mirrors my stance, and I can’t help but notice the bulge of his biceps when he crosses his arms. He looks sightly menacing, and I worry for a second that I’m poking a beast that’s best left alone. He shakes his head.
“I don’t know what kind of weird shit you’re snacking on behind the reference desk, but no, I’m not into torturing animals. Any other questions about my cat?”
“What’s its name?”
“Greta.”
“Huh.” Is it wrong that I expected him to have a male cat? I picture him with a surly tomcat who hunts for mice with him in the dark. “Greta,” I confirm.
“Garbo. She’s a European Shorthair. Swedish. I like old movies.”
A Tetris block drops into place. “The DVDs. You were renting oldies?” It happens that our branch has a big collection of classic films on DVD, and some people come from across the city for them.
His brow furrows. “What?”
“A couple weeks ago. I ran into you?” What’s the use of pointing out that it wasn’t memorable? “Never mind. But if you’re a Garbo fan, I feel compelled to admit I always liked Romance better than Camille. I know that’s controversial.” I glance to the side, thinking about the two movies. When my attention drifts back, he’s studying me like I’m an oddity.
I’m used to that look. Yes, I’m the library lady who likes books—and even movies—more than people.
It’s why I get a perverse thrill at hiding details about my life and letting people assume what they want. If I admitted to a one-night stand here or there, there’d be questions. Assumptions. Maybe even invitations to hang out after work with some of the male faculty at school. Easier to let people assume I’m a sunshiny little hermit on my way to becoming a spinster.
What people think is irrelevant, which is why it surprises me when this guy picks up my conversational tangent like it’s normal. “Camille might be a tad overrated. I agree there. But Romance isn’t my favorite.”
“Which is your favorite?” I’m here for the talk about old movies. I kind of love it.
“The Kiss.” His gray eyes boring into mine until I can’t take the weight of his stare any longer and look away. I feel the heat rise in my cheeks and prickles of warmth crawl up the back of my neck. Must be hot out here.
When I recover my composure and look at him, he’s smirking like he knows the effect he has on me. “Anyhow, I gotta go.” He starts walking toward the parking lot, forcing me to move quickly to keep pace with his long stride.
“Oh. No. No, no, no. We have to go back. You need to stay inside the library.”
“Why?”
“Because it’s a rule. Parents stay.”
We reach the parking lot and he stops by the door of a sleek-looking Porsche. I half expect him to speed away without finishing the conversation, but he doesn’t pop the locks. “I’m not a parent. I’m here with my niece. We’re bonding.” His grimace and the irritated tone of his voice makes bonding sound as much fun as being stapled naked to a tree.
“It doesn’t matter. You’re her guardian. Parents, guardians, nannies, babysitters, uncles—all of those people need to stay if they bring a kid to the library. It’s not daycare.”
“Not my rule.”
Pressing his lips together, he glares at me like I’m a gnat he’d like to flick away. I offer him my most meaningful stare, which is challenging as my traitorous body cranks up the heat again when he looks at me – to say nothing about my pounding heart.
Stop it. He’s just a man. A normal human man.
Okay, he’s not normal. He’s spectacular, gorgeous, stunning—all the adjectives. But still, just a man. The wind chooses this moment to kick up behind me, pushing a bunch of flyaway strands out of my ponytail and into my face like runaway tumbleweeds, so for a moment, I can’t see if he’s decided to make a break for the fancy, fast car.
“Be a better guy than that.”
Something in his eyes shifts, softens, if only slightly. “Fine,” he says, turning back toward the library. “Not like I have any place to be.” I catch the sarcasm in his tone and the view of his broad shoulders as he swaggers back toward the door.
“It’s one hour. I’m sure you’ll manage. It’ll give you more bonding time, and if you really can’t stand it, the place is full of books. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite author.” I can’t help the brightness of my tone. I love books.
“I said it was fine,” he says over his shoulder, but his fierce, sweeping stride makes it clear he dislikes my terms. He walks ahead of me, so I’m forced to keep pace if I want to see his face, which is marked by a resigned lack of enthusiasm.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Holden.”
I extend my hand, which he grips firmly before dropping it. I swallow hard when I feel an electric zing of pleasure erupt over my skin at his touch. Infuriating, traitorous skin.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Molly.” It’s not particularly nice, but I’m not about to alienate one of the few people at the library. I need about twenty more of him.
“Molly, huh? Given your whole spoonful of sugar vibe, I could’ve sworn it was Mary.”
“Nope, Molly.” I ignore the Mary Poppins reference. He thinks he’s so original.
He stares me down. “Okay, Mare. I mean, Molly.” He says my name slowly like it sticks in his throat. Charmer.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3Oe3AnA

About Stacy Travis
It’s a rough world out there, and we all sometimes need a good, romantic beach read, even if we can’t make it to the beach. I’ve spent many lazy days walking the streets of Paris and other gorgeous European cities, and if I’m doing it right, I’m bringing you a dash of romance and a vacay fantasy.
I can’t sit still, so when I’m not hiking, biking or running, I’m playing a very average game of tennis. Background music for writing undoubtedly features some U2, Lizzo, Billy Joel, Pink, Taylor Swift, and Led Zeppelin. Not necessarily in that order. And if I could only eat one food group, it would be cheese. Or wine. Or bread. Are those food groups? Whatever.

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Website: https://stacytravis.com

Sneak Peek: Once Upon an Island by Sarah Ready

A beachy take on a classic romance.

Once Upon an Island, a steamy and hilarious Pride and Prejudice retelling set in the Caribbean from author Sarah Ready is coming May 24th, and we have your first look!

Fun-loving Isla Waterstone loves her laid-back life on Mariposa Island. She has everything she could ever want…a great job as a journalist for the local paper, amazing friends, and pink sand beaches with stunning tropical sunsets.
The only problem with tiny tropical islands? There are more sea turtles than single men.
So when British billionaire Declan Fox and his aristocratic friend arrive, Isla’s friends know this can mean only one thing.
Marriage.
After all, it’s a truth universally acknowledged, when a single billionaire travels to a tropical island, he must be in want of a wife.
But Isla isn’t convinced. Especially because Declan is the most rude, arrogant, prideful man she’s ever met.
Or is he?

From tropical Mariposa to England and back again, this playful summer romcom finds that first impressions don’t always tell the whole story.

Keep reading for your first look inside Once Upon an Island!

“I have news,” Kate says.
She flags down a waiter and we all grab a glass of champagne.
I shoo away a grackle, the little black birds that opportunistically try to grab food when you’re not looking. We don’t have any food except chocolate at our table. It hops away across the pink sand.
“What’s your news?” I ask, turning back to Kate.
She grins at us and spreads her arms wide. “There’s a billionaire on the island.” She says the word “billionaire” like you’d say “holy grail.”
We stare at her for a moment.
“What does that have to do with us?” asks Renee.
“He’s single,” Kate says with a great amount of relish.
“And?” I ask.
“And in his thirties.”
I sigh. “And?”
“And one of us is going to land him,” she ends with a flourish.
I shake my head. Why did I come today? Why didn’t I ignore the text and stay lounging in my undies eating buckets of ice cream?
“He probably clips his toenails at the dinner table,” Arya says.
We all stare at her, but she just shrugs. “I have a list of all the fatal flaws my boyfriends have had. The automatic breakup flaws. That one is the worst, but it comes up surprisingly often.”
“You’re too picky,” Kate says. “This guy is the white whale of dating and marriage. If he clipped his toenails at the dinner table and then sprinkled them on my food like parmesan cheese gratings I’d still marry him. I want one of us to catch him.”
“That’s disgusting,” I say. “Also, I’m leery of white whales. Didn’t Captain Ahab die trying to catch Moby Dick? He died…trying to catch a dick. Think about that.”
But Renee has a bigger issue with Kate’s statement. “Why do you assume he’s looking for a woman? And why do you assume any of us want to get married?”
She has a point. I grab the last truffle ball. These things are delicious.
Kate gives us all a frustrated look. “It is a well-known fact that any single man with millions or billions of dollars desperately wants to get married.”
“That’s not logical,” Arya says.
Kate disagrees. “It’s completely logical. Once a man has amassed a fortune, he’s bored. Therefore he’s driven to get married, so he can then divorce, lose half his money in the divorce settlement and then have the motivation to make more money. Once he’s back on top and rich again, he’ll look for another wife to give half his money to all over again. It’s a cycle. Men like doing this.”
I stare at Kate, completely aghast. She takes a long sip of her champagne and gives us all a superior look. Want more? Continue reading here > https://bit.ly/3KArJlb

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About Sarah Ready
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.

Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at www.sarahready.com

Connect with Sarah
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Sneak Peek: Unlikely Date by Samantha Christy

It was supposed to be one night.
But it may be the beginning of forever.

Unlikely Date, a sexy opposites attract, single parent contemporary romance from Amazon bestselling author Samantha Christy is coming April 30th, and we have your first look!

Chapter One

Tag

“I don’t get it,” Jaxon says, sinking his teeth into a foot-long chili dog. He studies the impressive ass of the busty blonde waitress who just tucked her phone number into my breast pocket. “We have the same DNA. Share the same parents.” He glances down, eyes sweeping over his jeans, Doc Martens knockoffs, and standard-issue Nighthawks fan tee. “Is it my clothes?”
“It’s my charm,” I deadpan.
“Charm?” He chokes down another bite. “Brother, you couldn’t charm the deuce I took this morning back into my asshole. Seriously, how do you do it? I mean, you’re such a dickwad.”
My left eyebrow spikes at his choice of words. “Dickwad?”
“I teach teenagers all day. What do you expect?”
The suite roars when the Nighthawks score a run, putting them up 7-2 over the Indians in the eighth inning, all but ensuring a win.
Cha-ching!
The more the Hawks win, the better my job security. They’re my biggest client. And as owner, president, and CEO of a sports marketing firm, every run they score is more money in my pocket.
Brady Taylor, the former Nighthawk who still holds the team record for pitching the most perfect games, crosses the room. “You see my kid pitch that fastball in the fifth inning? He’s pushing one hundred miles per hour. That’s Hall of Fame territory.”
“Sure did. Stryker is the reason the stands are packed.”
He smiles proudly. “Hell yeah, he is.”
The inning turns over, and the Hawks take the field. Brady thumbs to his wife, sitting in the front row biting her nails. “Better get back to Rylee. She can’t watch him pitch without squeezing all the blood out of my hand.”
“Give her my best.”
“Will do. Catch you later, Tag.”
A pair of kids duck around Brady and bump into me as they zoom by. I check my tailored pale-gray Hugo Boss dress pants to make sure they didn’t smear food on them. Fucking kids. They shouldn’t be allowed in here. I get out a smoke and nod to the door. Jaxon shakes his head but doesn’t say anything. He gave up years ago on trying to get me to quit. I step outside the suite and find the nearest designated smoking area. A semi attractive woman talks to me as we puff away. I oblige her, proving my point that despite my dickwad tendencies, I can still charm the pants off a snake.
I toss her number into the trash can, then look back. Yeah, she saw me do it. She shoots me the bird and turns in a huff. That’s right, honey. Mentioning your seven-year-old when you want to ride my cock all night is not how to get me into bed.
As soon as I’m back in the suite, Dylan Graff crosses the room with two drinks in his hands. I lean into Jaxon, eyes still on Dylan. “Here it comes.”
“Here what comes?”
“Just wait.”
A fresh beer is placed before me as if I can’t snap my fingers and have Miss Hotpants appear with one in ten seconds flat. Probably with her address this time. And maybe the key to her place. Yeah, it’s happened.
Dylan is an intern for the New York Nighthawks. Someone who wipes noses and asses if he’s told—of adult baseball players. He’s got his head so far up my butthole that it must be hard for him to breathe. I get it. He’s young. A recent grad who’s trying to make connections with anyone and everyone. But he’s taken his suck-up-ness to a whole other level.
He wipes the wetness from the beer off his palm and onto his Old Navy chinos before extending his hand. “Mr. Calloway,” he says.
I hate it when people call me Mr. Calloway. Unless said person is a stacked woman with tits that stand at attention when she’s flat on her back, and I’m driving into her like a jackhammer.
“Tag,” I say with my handshake.
He nods to the stadium below. “Looks like it’s going to be another good day.”
“I guess you get to keep your job.”
He laughs a little too loudly. Fucking suck up. Jaxon chuckles beside me.
“So, hey.” He wipes both palms now, hesitating.
“Spit it out, Dylan.”
He looks nervously across the room. I follow his gaze to the attractive brunette leaning against the wall chatting with another familiar Nighthawks staffer. Her cheeks pink when she sees three pairs of eyes on her.
“My cousin Ingrid was wondering if you’d like to, um…” His palms run down the side of his pants again. If the guy doesn’t change soon, I could wring him out like a sponge. “Meet her?”
I shamelessly appraise her from thirty feet away. I pride myself on assessing the fuckability of any woman from afar. It’s one of my best qualities.
The rounded globes of her tits, which scream push-up bra, are squished together by her tighter-than-spandex V-neck T-shirt. Her honey-brown hair falls loosely, a chunk of it trapped in her cleavage as if asking to be pulled out. By me. “She seems nice.”
He smiles like a kid who’s been given a silver dollar and a pat on the head. “She is.”
“And by nice, I mean her brunette curls would look amazing bobbing between my legs.”

Want more? Continue reading here >>>>> https://bit.ly/3EkUEbf

Town playboy.
CEO extraordinaire.
Monumental prick.
And my blind date.

Tag Calloway is toxic. If you aren’t in his small inner circle of friends, you’re nothing.
An inconvenience at best.
And it’s just my luck that my first blind date—heck, my first date since ‘The Incident’––happens to be with him.
I’ve spent years hiding myself from men. From life. Wallowing in guilt and camouflaging my body.
I live for one reason. Gigi. The broken-condom accident who has become the singular light of my life.
Why did I let my friends talk me into this?
He’s the last person I should trust with my feelings. My body. My scars.

But when our night turns into something I never expected, common sense fails me and I fall hard, knowing this time, it won’t be my body that suffers gruesome damage, it will be my heart.

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About Samantha Christy
Samantha Christy’s passion for writing started long before her first novel was published. Graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Criminal Justice, she held the title of Computer Systems Analyst for The Supreme Court of Wisconsin and several major universities around the United States. Raised mainly in Indianapolis, but also living in Lincoln, NE for a time, she decided to devote herself to family upon the birth of her third child and became a stay-at-home mom. It was then when the writing bug really took hold as she was a voracious reader. Being a stay-at-home mom facilitated her ability to follow her dream of becoming an author.
When she is not writing, she keeps busy cruising to every Caribbean island ships sail to. Samantha Christy currently resides near St. Augustine, Florida with her husband and the two of her four children who haven’t flown the nest. Oh, and her dog, Ozzy, who she worships and thinks is the most adorable Whoodle on the planet.

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Sneak Peek: Falling Embers by Catherine Cowles

“Emotional, angsty, so romantic, and edge of your seat suspenseful! ALL THE STARS!!”
—Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author

Falling Embers, an all-new emotional small town romance from bestselling author Catherine Cowles, is coming April 12th, and we have the first look!

Prologue
Hadley

PAST

“Hads, you know there’s no way she’s going to let you go.”

I leaned back against my bed and cradled the phone against my ear. “I think I can convince her.”

Jenna was silent for a moment before speaking. “I know you’ve got megapowers of persuasion, but your mom is on another level.”

I didn’t need my best friend to tell me that. I lived with my mother’s overprotectiveness every day. No, overprotective wasn’t the right word. It was paranoia.

“I’m going to go talk to her now. I’ll call you back when I’m done.”

“Okay.” Doubt dripped from Jenna’s tone. She’d watched me go down this road too many times before.

But I wouldn’t let her doubt get to me. I was holding on to hope. I pushed to standing and started for the door. I paused as I pulled it open, listening. I could hear voices wafting up from downstairs and moved in that direction.

“It sounds like a herd of elephants is invading,” my dad called as I pounded down the stairs.

“Just one daughter,” I told him, rounding the corner.

He had a baseball game on mute as my mom worked on hand-stitching a quilt.

“Where’s Shiloh?” I asked.

Mom’s jaw tightened, and I knew I’d already made a misstep. I shouldn’t have asked. My dad gave me a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. The kind I’d seen far too many times during the past eight years. “She needed some air, I think. She’s in the barn with the horses.”

My sister practically lived out there these days. And every time she ran off, a muscle in my mom’s cheek fluttered, or her knuckles bleached white—as they were now.

I didn’t know what to say. Not when we were already starting here. Instead, I shuffled from foot to foot, rethinking my approach.

Dad patted the couch cushion next to him. “Take a seat and tell us what you’re working through in that big brain of yours.”

His words had my mom lifting her gaze from her stitching and eyeing me carefully. I swallowed as I sat, my throat seeming to catch on the movement. I tucked a leg under me. “I wanted to ask you something.”

“Go ahead,” Dad said.

I toyed with a loose thread on the couch cushion. “Jenna is going to a party at Toby Jacob’s house tonight. I know you’re not crazy about parties, but I really want to go. I promise I won’t drink anything but sealed bottled water. You can breathalyze me if you want. And I’ll text you every thirty minutes, so you know I’m okay. I’ll stay with Jenna the whole time.”

Mom’s knuckles lost even more color. “Hadley—”

“Are his parents going to be home?” Dad cut her off.

“Um, no. But they know he’s having the party. They’re in Portland this weekend.”

My mom tossed her stitching onto the coffee table. “I can’t believe the Jacobs would be that irresponsible. Letting a bunch of kids run wild in their home while they’re away. Drinking. Probably drugs. Anything could happen.”

“Now, Julia,” my father began, but Mom cut him off with a glare.

“Anything, Gabe. Absolutely anything could happen.”

“But not to me. I’ll be so careful. I promise.”

Mom’s gaze shot to me. “You might be careful, but you could still get hurt because of someone else’s reckless decision. I won’t risk it.”

“Please, Mom,” I whispered. “Everyone in my class will be there. I don’t want to be the freak anymore.”

She stiffened. “You are not a freak simply because your parents want to make sure you’re safe.”

But I was. Everyone whispered. The girl whose sister had been kidnapped. The girl whose parents practically kept her locked in a bubble. The girl who never got invited to anything anymore because people had given up. Jenna was my only friend, but I could feel even that relationship waning. It was too hard for her.

I looked at both my parents. “I only have one friend because no one wants to put up with the insanity it takes. I have no life. It’s pathetic.”

“Hadley,” Dad warned. “You’re not pathetic. And you have a wonderful life. You ride horses, we go to the lake, go on hikes. That would be a pretty good life to some people.”

“But what about the life I want? To go to a party. God, maybe even on a date. To ride the bus to away games like everyone else. But, no. All of those things are too dangerous.”

“Stop it.” My mom’s voice lashed out like a whip. “How can you be so selfish? You know what we went through with your sister.”

“Newsflash, Shiloh’s fine. It’s awful what happened to her, but it was eight years ago. Please don’t steal my life because of it.”

“Go to your room, right now,” my mother barked.

I turned on my heel and ran. But not upstairs. I went out the front door. The house walls felt too claustrophobic, my parents bearing down, everything closing in around me. I tried to suck in air as the door slammed behind me. But I couldn’t seem to get my lungs to obey.

I started towards the paddocks as tears streamed down my cheeks, and I willed my lungs to cooperate. As I rounded the corner of the barn, I collided with a solid form.

Hands encircled my arms to steady me. “Shit, Hads. Sorry, I didn’t see you.”

I tried to get out my own apology, but no words came. The fact that I was struggling to find my voice only made it harder to breathe.

“Hads? What’s wrong?” There was a slight panic to Calder’s voice. “Want me to get your mom and dad? Hayes?”

I shook my head quickly, but the movement was jerky. I didn’t want my older brother, and I certainly didn’t want my parents. WANT MORE? Click here for the full sneak peek. >>> https://bit.ly/3J9UwMw

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sneak Peek: Married by Sunday by Sarah Ready

When opposites attract love may be ignited.

Married by Sunday, an all-new, laugh-out-loud, romantic comedy standalone from Sarah Ready is coming March 22nd, and we have your first look!

Sneak Peek

“Sir?” the snack cart man says. “Coffee?”
The man next to me gives the snack cart vendor a distracted look and then a sharp nod. He holds up his finger to indicate he’d like one large coffee.
Well. He’s not very friendly, is he?
But he is getting coffee…
My stomach gives a tight hungry clench. I make my decision, because honestly, hunger is a great motivator. Plus, it’s fate.
“Devon, anything else?” I ask. I’ve decided that the man next to me is named Devon. He looks like a Devon.
Clearly, he doesn’t answer, because he’s on the phone, ignoring everyone but the crazy-in-love lady on the other end.
I turn back to the snack cart man and smile apologetically. “He’s on the phone with his sister, she’s causing him all sorts of trouble. You see, my husband and I are on our honeymoon and all we wanted was a little time to ourselves. But family…” I shrug. “You know how it is.”
“What does he want then?” asks the man impatiently. There are gobs of people waiting for snacks in the rows ahead of us.
I tilt my head and study the menu pasted to the side of the cart. I lick my lips. “He’ll have that coffee with cream and sugar. A ham and cheese croissant. A chocolate chip muffin. And, hmmm a bag of salt and vinegar chips.”
The snack vendor grunts and starts pulling out the food. I horde it, gathering it on my lap.
“Anything for you?”
I nod, my eyes going glassy from the food smells wafting up to me. “I’ll have a blueberry muffin. An apple. Another ham and cheese croissant. And a large coffee, no cream, but lots of sugar.”
My stomach twists again and I lick my lips.
I set the food in my lap, and then pull out the tray to put the coffee on. It’s steaming and smells so good that I almost start crying again.
The vendor uses an old blocky calculator to ring up the total.
“Twenty-six dollars,” he says.
I look at the vendor, then I look at Devon, then back at the vendor and shrug.
“Please. You can’t possibly get married Sunday. Fine. Bye. I’ll see you—” Devon sighs and clutches his head for a second then he turns to the vendor. It looks like his phone conversation is done. “How much?” he asks.
“Twenty-six dollars.”
Devon’s eyebrows scrunch down and he scowls at the vendor. “For a large? How much do you charge for a small?”
The large-nosed vendor rolls his eyes. “The coffees are four dollars. The croissants ten. The muffins, eight. The apple-”
“I don’t want all that, I just want coffee.”
“Your wife ordered for you,” the vendor says.
“What wife? I don’t have a wife.” Devon looks a little confused and a whole lot offended.
I give the vendor a sweet smile. “It’s a game we play. Being newlyweds. Devon thinks it’s funny.”
Devon gives me an appalled look, and I think he’s only just realized that I’m in the seat next to him. “Excuse me? We’re not married.”
I look back at the vendor. “See?” I open my eyes wide and flutter my lashes. “Come on Devon, don’t be that way.”
I didn’t think it was possible, but Devon becomes even more stiff-backed and starched looking. Want more? Continue reading here >>>>> https://bit.ly/3Ht3Fiq

Synopsis

Opposites clash in this wild, unpredictable rom com, where two strangers team up to stop a wedding at all costs.

Nathaniel Barry is monochromatic, meticulous, and uptight. Izzy Harris is wild, unpredictable, and free-spirited. Nathaniel has a trendy apartment, a successful career, and a girlfriend he’s about to propose to. Izzy has no home, no career, and nobody special to hold her down.

They’re polar-opposites in every way.

So when they sit next to each other on the train to Romeo, New York they clash from the very start. Naturally, Nathaniel decides he wants nothing to do with Izzy. And Izzy…well, she has a different opinion.

No matter how much Nathaniel protests, Izzy knows it was fate that brought them together. Nathaniel’s girlfriend just ran off to marry another man, and Izzy swears she’ll help Nathaniel win her back. They have three days to stop the ill-advised wedding. It should be easy. It should be simple. But when two polar opposites team-up to stop a wedding, there’s only one guarantee – that nothing will go as planned.

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About Sarah Ready
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.

Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at www.sarahready.com

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Sneak Peek: Tattered Stars by Catherine Cowles

“An unforgettable start to a new series. Atmospheric, suspenseful and crackling with tension and electric chemistry, Tattered Stars is a must read romance for 2022!” —Samantha Young, New York Times bestselling author

Tattered Stars, a beautiful and moving romantic suspense and first book in the Tattered & Torn series from bestselling author Catherine Cowles is coming February 1st and we have the first look!

Prologue
Everly

PAST

Be brave. For sixty seconds. Twenty breaths. I could do anything for twenty ins and outs. The springs on my mattress squeaked as I swung my legs over the side of my bed. I froze. And listened.

There were lots of things I hated about growing up here. But there were things I loved, too. Things I was grateful for. Like how attuned I was to every whisper. I’d know in an instant if a sound didn’t belong.

I waited. Heard the screen door rattle in the wind. The call of an owl. Even the hum of our refrigerator in the kitchen. I didn’t hear my brother or dad. Mom had been gone for days, helping a baby come into the world. But I wished for her now. She was the only one who had a chance of stopping the craziness. But she wasn’t here, and I wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring.

I pushed to my feet, praying my mattress would stay quiet and not give me away. The springs didn’t betray me again. I moved to my closet, careful to avoid any floorboards that creaked. Pulling a pair of worn jeans from a shelf, I slipped them on. I tugged the nightgown over my head and reached for a t-shirt.

The breeze picked up through my open window. It had been unbearably hot today but just a few hours into the night and a chill had settled. I grabbed a flannel just in case. Slipping on socks, I picked up my boots. I knew better than to put hard soles on this floor.

My dad had taught me how to move without a sound to avoid any kind of predator. And tonight, I was thankful for each and every lesson—even the ones where I’d had to roll in mud to disguise myself.

I reached for the doorknob, but my hand stilled on the metal. I could just go back to bed. Forget my attempt at being brave and wait for Mom to come home. To bring my dad down from his paranoid state where everyone was the enemy and we were at risk from it all—the government, neighbors, even my teachers.

I’d watched as our lives got smaller and smaller, with fewer and fewer people to trust. I didn’t remember a lot of the normal. But I remembered some. The second grade and Miss Christie before Dad had pulled Ian and me out of school. Visiting Mom’s family in Portland before he’d decided they were heathens. The town fair before he became convinced that it was evil.

I closed my eyes and turned the knob. Stepping out into the hall, I listened again. Nothing out of place. I created a dance to avoid every problematic board in my path, sometimes tiptoeing, other times stretching my legs to the point I worried I’d tip over.

Finally, I reached the front door. Our old dog, Bruiser, raised his head, but I held a single finger to my lips, begging for silence. Feeding him table scraps must’ve paid off because he lay back down and let out a soft snore.

I eased open the door and stepped through to the first true rebellion I’d ever embarked on. One that might make me like my older sister—an outcast. I closed the door behind me with a soft snick, but it was deafening to my ears, echoing off the mountain itself. I let the screen door fall closed, too, only a small rattle in my wake.

I hopped over the porch steps entirely, knowing each and every one would give me away. I landed with an oomph but held in my cry of pain. Slipping on my boots, I glanced at the shed in the distance. The motion lights on its exterior meant I didn’t dare try for it. So, I started for the barn instead.

One of the doors was open a hair to let some of the night air in, and I pulled it a bit more, just wide enough so Storm and I had a path. As I moved down the aisle, our few horses nickered or lifted their heads to see who was about. I paused at the tack room, picked up a bridle, and then continued until I reached Storm’s stall.

She must have scented me coming because her head was already over the stall door. I gave her nose a rub and then urged her back. “Gotta let me in.” She did as I asked, and I left the door open, knowing she wasn’t going anywhere…not without me.

I eased the bridle over her head, and she accepted the bit without complaint. “What do you say we go for a ride?” She seemed to nod her head in agreement. It would’ve been so much simpler if we were just taking off for one of our afternoon adventures, exploring the mountains.

I led her out of the stall and towards the exit. We made our way out, and I hoisted myself onto the fence so I could climb onto her back. She stayed steady as I threw a leg over and adjusted my grip on the reins. “Nice and easy.”

I guided her down the path that stayed far away from the house. One that led to the mountain switchbacks. I glanced up at the sky, thanking the heavens for a nearly full moon. I just prayed my sense of direction was as good as I thought.

I’d never ridden all the way to town before. It was at least fifteen miles, and several paths ebbed and flowed. But I knew where I was headed. I’d memorized these mountains every day of my life. They were both a refuge and a prison. Solace and tormentor.

Tonight, they were on my side. Each trail’s crossroads seemed to give me the next logical step until switchbacks turned to wide, worn paths, the dirt packed by hikers and riders. Soon, I reached the road into town. I stayed just off it, my heart hammering against my ribs as the forests turned to neighborhoods.

I adjusted my grip on the reins, seeking out a peek at the lake on the outskirts of town. The moon made the water almost glitter. “Just a few more minutes,” I whispered to myself. I could be brave for a little longer.

I moved Storm onto the blacktop, her hooves echoing against the buildings along Aspen Street. Every store was dark with limited streetlights so residents and visitors alike could see the stars. Normally, I loved seeing them, too, but tonight I fought a shiver. Wolf Gap felt like a ghost town.

I slowed Storm as we approached the street I knew held my next battle for bravery. I wondered if I was already past the point of no return or if I could guide Storm back up the mountain and go home. I turned her onto Spruce.

The light from a building poured out into the night. It wasn’t harsh, more like a soft beacon, guiding me home. Only if I walked inside, I had a feeling I’d never see home again. WANT MORE? Click here for the full sneak peek. >>>https://bit.ly/3KXHwMq

Synopsis

Be brave. Just for sixty seconds. Twenty breaths.

One night changed them both forever.

Their lives shattered, beyond repair, with jagged edges and pieces askew.

Now, Everly has a chance to make things right. To bring healing to the place where everything fell apart. But it means facing the family her father almost destroyed, and the boy with the dark eyes—now grown—who still haunts her dreams.

Just one breath away from having your life ripped out from under you.

The last thing Hayes wants is another reminder of all the ways he failed sixteen years ago. When Everly drives back into Wolf Gap, his only mission is to get her to leave. For his family’s sake, and for his own, those demons need to stay buried for good.

But everything about this woman is a surprise, from her spine of steel to the sanctuary she hopes to create with the land her mother left behind. And Hayes is powerless to stay away.

As a careful friendship sparks into something more, someone watches. And they’ll do anything to tear it all apart…

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

Connect with Catherine
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Sneak Peek: Josh and Gemma Make A Baby by Sarah Ready

They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.

Josh and Gemma Make a Baby, an all-new opposites attract, romantic comedy from Sarah Ready is coming January 25th, and we have your first look!

Chapter 1

When I was a little kid, I worshiped Josh Lewenthal, now, I couldn’t care less about him, I just need his sperm.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have no idea how to go about getting it, but as my obscenely sexy boss, famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, always says, “anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

That’s my motto for this year. Starting today, January first, I’m going to believe that anything is possible—that magic can happen. And after thirty-two years of being average in nearly every way, magic will be a welcome change.

Josh and I grew up in a small river town a few hours north of New York City. It’s the type of town that has a Christmas tree in the square, a pumpkin carving contest in the fall, and an ice cream social in the summer. The houses are cookie-cutter cute, the yards are golf course green, and everybody waves hello. It’s a kid-friendly, all-American paradise. My family fit right in.

Josh moved to town with his dad when he was eight. Within days my mom warned me to stay away from him.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because he’s not the sort of boy that nice girls play with.”

“Why?” I asked again. I was in that “why” phase that all kids go through.

“Because I said so.”

Well.

My mom was right. I was a nice girl. She dressed me in pink poufy dresses and pigtails to prove it. But instead of listening to my mom I snuck out of the house and went and found Josh Lewenthal. I guess there’s a lesson there. Even when I was little I couldn’t take “because I said so” as an answer.

I found Josh kicking a ball in his backyard. He told me the reason nice girls couldn’t play with him was because he knew how girls got babies in their bellies. To prove it, he smacked a kiss on my mouth. I was terrified for weeks that I was going to blow up like a balloon and pop out a baby. After a month I realized that Josh Lewenthal was full of crap and that my mom had been right.

But that didn’t stop me from idolizing him. My brother Dylan and Josh became best friends. And like little sisters around the world I wanted to do everything they did and be everywhere they were.

When I was sixteen my big sister Leah came home from college for Christmas break. Within days she told me to stop ogling Josh.

“Why?” I asked. I was still in the “why” phase.

“Because if he catches you looking he’ll steal your underwear.”

I didn’t know what she meant. “Why?”

“Because he collects underwear for a hobby and pins them on his bedroom wall. He has almost every girl’s undies in this whole town. He’ll tear them off you and then do things.”

Leah lowered her voice to a whisper. “Marie Johnson said his hands are like an octopus’s. Everywhere at once.”

I was appalled and then intrigued. But, “I don’t think he’ll want my underwear. Dylan is his best friend. Plus, I’m not really into that kind of thing.” You know, being a nice girl and all.

“It doesn’t matter,” said Leah, full of big sister knowledge. “He just has to look at you and you’ll rip your undies off for him. He’s that good. An octopus, Gemma. You better stop ogling him.”

I was skeptical, to say the least.

But six months later, while I was cleaning up my parents’ garage after Josh and Dylan’s joint high school graduation party, Josh told me he’d miss me while he was in New York for college. Then, lo and behold, he stole my panties. Metaphorically, of course.

For the second time in my life, I spent another few weeks terrified that I was going to blow up like a birthday balloon and pop out a baby.

After weeks of toe-numbing worry followed by my period and sweet sagging relief, I realized that Josh Lewenthal was not worth my fascination/worship/idolization, that he was in fact an immature/emotionally constipated user.

I didn’t see him again for six years.

By the time he came back to town I’d been married, divorced, and was long past mooning over fantasies.

I had an apartment in the city and my current (amazing) job, social media marketing coordinator for acclaimed self-help guru Ian Fortune. And I had goals. Lots of goals.

I mean…today I have goals.

Okay. A goal.

And Josh Lewenthal, the man who knows how to make a baby, is integral to my success.

Want more? Continue reading here >>>>> https://bit.ly/3m8Q6wP

Synopsis

New Year’s Resolution:
Have a baby
Preferably with Josh Lewenthal

Meet Gemma Jacobs. She’s driven, energetic, and a positive thinker. She has a great career working for famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, she lives in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and her family is supportive and loving (albeit a little kooky). Her life is perfect. Absolutely wonderful.

Except for one tiny little thing.

After a decade of disastrous relationships and an infertility diagnosis, Gemma doesn’t want a Mr. Right (or even a Mr. Right Now), she just wants a baby.

And all she needs is an egg, some sperm, and IVF.

So Gemma makes a New Year’s resolution: have a baby.

Josh Lewenthal is a laid back, relaxed, find-the-humor-in-life kind of guy. The polar opposite of Gemma. He’s also her brother’s best friend. For the past twenty years Josh has attended every Jacobs’ family birthday, holiday, and event – he’s always around.

Gemma knows him. He’s nice (enough), he’s funny (-ish), he’s healthy (she thinks) and he didn’t burn any ants with a magnifying glass as a kid. Which, in Gemma’s mind, makes him the perfect option for a sperm donor.

So Gemma wants to make a deal. An unemotional, business-like arrangement. No commitments, just a baby.

To Gemma’s surprise, Josh agrees.

They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.

But the thing about baby-making…it’s hard to keep it businesslike, it’s nearly impossible to keep it unemotional, and it’s definitely impossible to keep your heart out of the mix. Because when you’re making a baby together, things have a way of starting to feel like you’re making other things too – like a life, and a family, and love. And when the baby-making ends, you wish that everything else didn’t have to end too.

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About Sarah Ready
Author Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.

Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.
You can visit her online at www.sarahready.com

Connect with Sarah
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Sneak Peek: Beneath the Wreckage by Catherine Cowles (September 15th)

“This book has the perfect blend of small-town feels, an unputdownable mystery, and a love story that will have you cheering for the happily ever after. I loved this book!”
—Willow Aster, USA Today bestselling author

Beneath the Wreckage, an all-new emotional and not to be missed standalone romance from bestselling author Catherine Cowles is coming September 21st, and we have the first look!

Prologue
Piper

PAST

“What do you think?” Jenn spun in front of the skinny mirror on the inside of the closet.

“It’s perfect.” I flicked one of the small little rhinestone buttons in the shape of a flower. It was sophisticated, and the pale pink was beautiful against Jenn’s summer-tanned skin. “I didn’t think there was any way you’d need a sweater while we were here but I should’ve known better.”

“Doesn’t matter that it’s summer; it’s always freezing at night.”

I should’ve remembered. Our families had been making our yearly trip to Anchor Island for as long as I could remember.

“Okay, finishing touches.” Jenn motioned me forward so I stood in front of her. “Look down.”

My gaze caught on the half of a heart around her neck that read: Friends. My fingers sought out my half, rubbing circles on it as Jenn swept something across my eyelids.

“Okay, finished. You can look.” Jenn stepped behind me, her hands on my shoulders. “My bestie is a stunner. Those high school boys won’t know what hit them.”

Facing the mirror, I rolled my eyes. “I just hope no one shoves me into a locker on the first day of class.” The high school we were attending in the fall was so much larger than the middle school we’d gone to, and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the new experience.

She hooked an arm through mine, so we were looking at each other through the mirror. We were polar opposites. Jenn with her blond hair and long, sinewy form. Me with my dark hair and petite stature. But fourteen years of being hitched to each other’s sides had made us more like sisters than friends, even if we looked nothing alike.

“We’ll handle it like we do everything—”

“Together,” I finished.

She grinned into the mirror. “I have a surprise…”

The mischievous glint in Jenn’s blue eyes had my stomach dropping. “What?”

She stuck out her tongue at me in the mirror. “Don’t be like that. It’s a good one.”

Jenn’s good surprises could be anything from: I scored us some double fudge brownie ice cream, to we’re going to toilet paper our pre-algebra teacher’s house. “All right, spill.”

“I ran into Ethan earlier, and he and his friends invited us to a party. They’re having a bonfire up on the cliffs.” She did a little running-man dance and let out a squeal.

That dropping sensation in my stomach turned to cramps. I should’ve known when Jenn had said she wanted to give us both a makeover that something was up. “I don’t know.” I wandered out into the main room of the cabin, Jenn on my heels.

“Come on, Piper. Pleeeeeease? It’ll be fun, I promise.”

I slid into a chair at the table, studying the drawing we’d been working on every night since we’d arrived at Whispering Falls a week ago. “You know my uncles wouldn’t like it. Neither would your parents.”

She leaned a hip against the table, looking down at me with that same mischievous smile. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them. And don’t you want to start high school having gone to one party?”

I didn’t. If I could avoid parties for the foreseeable future, that would be just fine with me. But that was something changing between Jenn and me. I was happy with how we usually spent our yearly vacation here—excursions with our families during the day, whale watching, hiking, shopping in town. And our nights working on our plans for when we’d buy the Falls one day, while our favorite movies played in the background.

“Come on,” Jenn pleaded. “I really want to see Ethan again. And don’t you want to hang out with Nick? You’ll like it. He said they tell ghost stories at the bonfire. You’re super into all of that.”

No number of ghost stories could get me out of this cabin tonight. I had never lied to Nathan and Vic. Okay, I had never lied to them after I’d told them that a fox had kicked the soccer ball and broken the window when I was nine. I was pretty sure there were no foxes in Seattle, and the guilty look on my face had given me away. My uncles trusted me, and I didn’t want to ruin that. “It’s a stupid idea. I bet those guys don’t even know you’re fourteen. They wouldn’t have invited you if they did.” They must be at least sixteen—too old to be interested in an incoming freshman.

Jenn stiffened. “I told them I was in high school.”

“But not a freshman,” I challenged.

“It doesn’t matter. What’s going on with you? Are you scared or something?”

“I’m not scared. I just think that party’s going to be lame, and as soon as they figure out how old you are, they’re going to kick you out anyway. Why waste time?”

Jenn straightened from her perch against the table. “Well, I don’t want to watch another lame old movie and doodle on those stupid plans. I want to have some fun. Live a little.”

“Fine. Go without me, then.” The words were out before I could stop them.

“I will.” With that, she took off, slamming the door against the wall as she went.

Tears stung my eyes as I stared down at the map we’d been working on all week. The sketches of the buildings and the swimming pool blurred.

“What’s going on? Jenn tore out of here like the cabin was on fire,” Nathan asked as he entered, Vic in tow.

Concern laced Vic’s features as he crossed to me. “What are these tears, Munchkin?”

I let him fold me into a hug, the familiar scents of cedar and something just a bit floral wrapping me in comfort. “It’s nothing.”

“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” Nathan said, a bit of extra gruffness to his tone as he sat across from Vic and me.

I gave my head a little shake. “Just a fight. I think high school is going to be different…” I let my words trail off. I didn’t know how to explain it. Everything felt as if it were changing, and all I wanted was for things to stay the same.

Nathan and Vic shared a look, and then Vic turned to face me. “Friends aren’t always forever. Sometimes, they’re just for a season. Others might fall away, only to come back when you least expect it. I have a feeling you and Jenn will find your way.”

“Maybe.” I couldn’t imagine my life without her. We’d been friends for so long, she felt more like another limb. I took a shuddering breath. I could take it back, apologize tomorrow. Or maybe she’d have a horrible time at the party and realize that a movie night was better.

Nathan stood from the table. “Why don’t I make sundaes, and we can pile onto the couch and watch that awful movie for the millionth time?”

Vic pressed his lips together to hide his chuckle, but he wasn’t very successful. “You love Troop Beverly Hills. It’s why you decided to lead Piper’s Girl Scout troop.”

Nathan leveled Vic with a glare. “Don’t remind me of those dark days.”

“The moms loved you, though,” I offered.

“I thought I knew what being competitive meant, but I had no idea until we had to sell those damned cookies. I swear those moms would’ve sold a kidney to win one of those cookie prizes.”

“Language,” Vic chided.

I rolled my eyes. “I think I’ve heard the word damn before.”

Vic pulled me into a tight hug and then covered my ears. “Let me keep you young and innocent forever.”

I immediately went for his sides, where I knew he was ticklish. “What was that?”

Vic’s hands flew off my ears with a shriek. “Uncalled for, young lady!”

Nathan just shook his head at the two of us.

Eventually, we settled onto the couch with bowls of ice cream in hand—extra whipped cream on mine, no peanuts, just the way I liked it. I burrowed into the couch cushions between the men who always had my back, no matter what life threw my way. But the ice cream sat heavily in my stomach, and I couldn’t help but imagine where Jenn was. Wondered if she was having so much fun, she hadn’t thought about me.

By the time the movie had ended, I was a walking zombie, brushing my teeth on autopilot and falling into bed. I pulled back the curtain to peek out the window. I saw no light on in Jenn’s room at her cabin. My stomach twisted. Clearly, she was having way more fun than I’d thought she would. I lay back on my pillow and stared at the ceiling. It was a while before sleep finally came, and when it did, it was fitful. Dreams of being stuffed into a high school locker, kids laughing and pointing.

When an arm shook me awake, I thought it was because I’d screamed in my sleep. Nathan’s face filled my vision. “Did you hear from Jenn last night?”

I blinked the sleep out of my eyes. “No.” Cell phones barely worked on this end of the island. You had to stand in one of three spots to get service.

Nathan’s jaw tightened. “Do you know where she was going? The truth, Piper.”

My heartbeat fluttered, wings beating against my rib cage. “Sh-she wanted to go to a bonfire. With some high school kids. What’s going on?”

He eased down onto the bed. “The Brantons can’t find her. She wasn’t in her bed this morning.”

“What?” I croaked. Jenn might stay out late, but all night? Never.

Nathan took my hand. “No one’s seen her. She’s missing.” WANT MORE? Click here for the full sneak peek. >>>https://bit.ly/3k7IFFx

Synopsis

It was supposed to be a summer we’d never forget.
Instead, everything was stolen from me.
The best friend who was more like a sister. The innocent way I looked at life.
Leaving me with only unanswered questions.

Returning to the island is the second chance I didn’t know I needed.
And Hunter is the surprise that knocks me sideways.

There’s a hurt in him that calls to my own.
A strength I find in sharing our scars.
Igniting a spark that turns to flame.

But someone isn’t happy about the world I’m building for myself.
And nothing will stop them from tearing it all apart…

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

Connect with Catherine
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Website: https://www.catherinecowles.com/
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Sneak Peek: Wild North by JB Salsbury

Wild North, an all-new standalone romance with a broody and swoon-worthy mountain man from New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury, is coming May 18th and we have the first look!

Jordan 

I’m warm. 

The temperature is the first thing I recognize as I wake up in a strange place. I blink open my eyes, grateful to see more clearly as I stare at the horizontal logs of a ceiling. Heat blazes from my left side. I cautiously turn my head to see a fire through the soot-stained glass of a woodstove. Everything is quiet except for the distant sound of wind and rain. Heavy weight presses down on me from my toes to my throat, and the musky scent of wet animal hangs heavy in the air. I wiggle my fingers on my stomach and realize I’m wearing nothing but my long underwear. I tilt my chin to see layers of weighted blankets covering me—no, not blankets. Animal hides. 

I work my mouth and clear my dry throat. My lips are rough and cracked as I lick them with a parched tongue. I try to think back. To remember how I ended up here. Did I manage to crawl here on my own? Is this heaven? Hell?

I try to swivel my head slowly, taking in as much of the space as I can with only the muted light from the fire to expose my surroundings. Everything outside the fire’s glow is black. I need to sit up and get to my feet. As I take a deep breath to gather my strength, my ribcage roars in protest. 

“Ow, fuck.” A moan works its way up my throat as I lie helplessly on my back. Tears spring to my eyes. Shallowly breathing, I lift my head then try to wedge my elbow underneath. I cry out in pain and drop my head back. 

Don’t move.” The deep, booming command comes from somewhere in the dark.

“Who are you?” My voice is weak and shaky and doesn’t sound like my own. A rush of energy fuels my muscles, and I attempt to move again. Gritting my teeth through the pain, I roll to my side toward the heat source. 

“I wouldn’t do that,” the masculine voice says in a tone so deep it’s almost hard to hear. 

Sweat breaks on my brow. My teeth clench until my jaw aches. I breathe through my nose, waiting for the pain to subside. That’s when I see a large mason jar filled with what looks like water sitting within arm’s reach. I scramble for it and slosh some over the rim while sloppily bringing it to my mouth. With greedy gulps, I down the glass, and water streams down my neck to my chest because of the odd angle. With a blissful sigh, I ease to my back with relief. 

“Can I have more water, please?” My voice already sounds better, stronger. 

He doesn’t answer. 

“Hello?” I stare blindly at the roof of what I’ve gathered to be a log cabin. “Did you bring me here?”

Silence. 

“Where am I?” 

He’s so quiet in the dark, I wonder if he’s disappeared. 

“Do you have a phone? A car? I need a hospital. I slipped and fell. I remember tumbling and—” I gingerly reach up and touch my shoulder, moving my fingers over it, and press on the tender muscles. “I think I landed in a ditch or something. I blacked out. I don’t remember how long…” Was I lying there, dying, for days? “What day is it?” 

My questions are met with more silence. 

“Are you there—”

The sound of wood scraping on wood echoes around me, and I feel the air in the room shift. We must be in a small space because I can hear every step he takes. Wood creaks under his weight, and in the dim light of the fire, I see the faint outline of a large man, the yellow light glinting off his tan, bare torso as he climbs a ladder and disappears into more darkness. 

“Hello?” 

The rustling of blankets is my only response. 

“Why won’t you answer me—”

Go to sleep.” Another growled, irritated command. 

A flutter of panic works its way to my chest. Who is this guy? And what does he plan to do with me?

The question sends a ripple of fear through me. I’m completely helpless at the mercy of what could be a deranged outsider living like a wild animal in the mountains. 

Not exactly the kind of thoughts that usher in sleep. 

Alexander 

A woman. 

A woman in my fucking space. And the only person I have to blame for this royal shitstorm is myself. 

But what should I have done? Left her out there to die? And she would surely have died. She was nearly hypothermic when I found her, and that was before the temperature dropped and the storm rolled in. 

Goddammit, how unlucky can one son of a bitch be?

My answer lies in the form of a woman injured and obnoxiously curious on my cabin floor. 

After a sleepless night, I feel her eyes on me before my foot hits the last rung of the ladder from my sleeping platform. My grip on the wood tightens, and I rein in my frustration at her intrusion. When I turn around, I’m surprised to see her sitting up, her back to the wall, still mostly covered in deer hides. Her fiery gray eyes are unflinching as I scowl back at her. 

Yeah, I can ask questions, too. Like, how the hell is she sitting up with what I’m guessing is at least one broken rib? And how utterly stupid does a person have to be to wonder the Adirondack Mountains alone and untrained in survival? And furthermore, why the hell is she looking at me like I’m the one who pushed her off that ridge rather than the man who saved her life?

I rip my gaze from hers, not because she wins, but because my guess is she’ll be glaring at me all day, and I have more important shit to do than play the blinking game with this unwelcome pain in the ass. 

After tossing more wood into the fire, I pull back the rustic shutters on the window to check the weather. “Shit,” I mumble to myself as I become aware of the grim truth.

An ice storm holds me prisoner inside my own cabin with a woman who irritates the fuck out of me by simply breathing. And it’s my fault she’s still breathing.

I go about making my breakfast, uncomfortably aware of her watching my every move. The kettle on the woodstove is already steaming, and I pull out my single bowl as well as a mason jar and add instant oatmeal. I pull out my instant coffee and grind my molars when I consider having to share my limited resources with my unwanted guest. 

“Hello,” she says behind me. “Can you at least look at me when I’m talking to you?” 

My hands freeze on the mason jar. An old memory nips at my nerves, causing an internal storm to simmer with a threat to rage. Abandoning breakfast, I grab my coat, slip on my boots, and throw open the front door, sending a gust of freezing ice inside.

“Where are you go—”

Her words are silenced by the door clanging behind me and the roar of the wind in my ears. I push through the waves of stinging ice to the outhouse, where I close myself inside, grateful for the slice of privacy.

If only the weather were clear, I’d have a shot at getting her out of here and back to wherever she came from. But neither of us is going anywhere until the storm moves through.


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Synopsis

To me, he was Grizzly.
To the world, I would learn, he’s someone else completely.

I should have died on that mountain.
But he rescued me.

More animal than man, he’s cold, distant, and fiercely territorial. He seems to hate me for simply breathing, and yet, he brought me back to life.

After my return to the city, I can’t stop thinking about him. His rough hands, intense glare, and the way he cared for me as if I meant something to him.

He tells me he’s dangerous. That I’m not safe around him. I would eventually understand why he warned me away. But by then it’s too late. My heart is his.

About JB Salsbury
JB Salsbury, New York Times Best Selling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.

Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel.

Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.

Connect with JB
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Website: http://jbsalsbury.com/

Sneak Peek: Reckless Refuge by Catherine Cowles

“Reckless Refuge is absolutely UNPUTDOWNABLE! Beautifully written. Flawlessly executed. An unforgettable 5-Star MUST READ!” — A.L. Jackson, New York Times Bestselling Author

Reckless Refuge, an all-new must read moving standalone romance from Catherine Cowles coming May 11th and and we have the first sneak peek!

Prologue
Shay

PAST

It burned. Everywhere and nowhere. Slices in my skin that made it feel as if hot lava had been poured into my flesh. I couldn’t count them, had lost track after the tenth. I tried to move, to somehow escape. Only my fingers twitched.

Sounds. Voices. Hovering above me. They were everywhere and yet nowhere. Pinpricks of light, like glimmering stars on the darkest night.

“Miss? Can you hear me?”

I managed a low moan. I only wanted the pain to stop. The agony tearing through my body. I craved a blanket of nothingness. An endless sea where I would cease to exist altogether.

“I’m an EMT. You’re safe. We’ve got you.”

“Hurts.” It was the only message I cared about getting across. This woman might have the power to lessen the burn.

A hand slipped into mine, blood sliding down my arm to bind us together, the liquid already growing tacky with the passage of time.

“I know. Just hold on.”

I didn’t want to hold on. I wanted to float away to a world where none of this was real. Where pain didn’t exist—only light and peace and relief.

“Can you tell us who did this to you?”

My eyes fluttered. My cracked lips parted. I could only manage two words.

“My brother.” WANT MORE? Click here for the full sneak peek. >>>
https://bit.ly/3tiUb28

Synopsis

There were shadows I was running from.
Ones that haunted and taunted.
Ones that made it so I had no choice but to disappear.

I’d spent years hiding from the world.
My little island haven, the only assurance of safety.

It all changed the moment he showed up at my door.
The hint of pain in his eyes told me that something haunted him, too.
And I couldn’t help but be drawn closer.

But finding the person I needed most came with risks I never expected.
And when our ghosts find us again, neither of us may make it out this time.

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

Connect with Catherine
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Website: https://www.catherinecowles.com/
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Sneak Peek: Wrecked Palace by Catherine Cowles

“An emotional story of loss and healing that wraps around your heart.
I couldn’t stop reading until I finished in one sitting.”
– Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

Wrecked Palace, an all-new beautiful and not-to-be-missed standalone romance from Catherine Cowles is coming January 19th, and we have the first sneak peek!

Prologue

Caelyn

PAST

The sound of a phone ringing pulled me out of a deep sleep. I groaned and blinked against the darkness. The only light in the room came from the glow-in-the-dark stars peppered all over my dorm room ceiling. I fumbled around on my nightstand, trying to find the ringing device.

“Turn off your freaking phone before I toss it out the window,” Bell called from across the room. Our other roommate, Kenna, let out a mumbled moan.

“I’m trying.” My fingers found the charger cord, and I tugged the phone onto my bed. Glancing at the screen, my chest squeezed. 1:13 a.m., and Will was calling. I hurried to hit accept. “Will? What’s wrong?”

I’d given my little brother a phone before I left for college. I kept the low-budget mobile topped up with minutes because I needed a way to get in touch with my siblings, and for them to be able to reach me. Our house phone hadn’t worked in years, and my parents weren’t exactly keen on us kids using their cells.

“I don’t know what to do—”

Will’s voice was cut off by a cry. Sobs that could only be coming from my one-year-old sister, Mia, sounded over the line, followed by someone pounding on a door. “You owe me a fucking score, asshole. I paid. Give me my shit!”

I sucked in a sharp breath. “What’s going on? Where are you guys?”

“I’m in the girls’ room. I put a dresser in front of the door, but there’s a guy in the house. He won’t leave.”

The light flicked on, and Bell and Kenna were by my side in a flash, hearing the distress in my voice. I motioned for Bell to grab her phone. “Where are Mom and Dad?”

“They’re not here. They haven’t been in days.”

More pounding cut in. “Give me my fucking score or I’ll gut you when I get in there.”

My heart hammered against my ribs in a painful rhythm. “Bell, call the sheriff. Someone’s in the house. Will has himself barricaded with the girls in their room.”

Bell blanched but immediately began dialing. As soon as someone picked up, she started recounting the situation. Kenna eased down next to me on the bed and rubbed my back.

I turned my attention back to Will. “Stay calm, buddy. The police are on their way.” But how long would it take for them to get there? Our small island off the coast of Washington state didn’t have its own dedicated police force. We shared access to a sheriff’s department with the rest of the chain of islands. That meant in an emergency like this one, deputies had to take a boat before they got onto the island.

“I’m scared.”

The tremble in Will’s voice broke something deep inside me. “It’s going to be okay. I’m with you.” More pounding rang out in the background, and Mia started crying harder. “Is Ava holding Mia?”

“Yeah, I put them in the closet.”

My hand fisted in my sheets. My ten-year-old little brother was savvy enough to know he needed to hide his little sisters away. What the hell had my parents been doing since I left for my junior year four months ago? “You’re so smart, Will. And so freaking brave. What’s in front of the door again?”

“I pushed the dresser and then a bed.”

“That’s great. That will keep him out.”

“I hope so.”

God, I did, too. If something happened to my tiny terrors…I tried to force out the horrendous images taking over my mind.

Bell waved a hand at me. “There are two deputies already on Anchor. They’re heading to your place now.”

I gave her a tight nod. I wanted to feel relief, but I couldn’t. Not until I knew, with one hundred percent certainty, that the kids were okay. “Did you hear that? There are deputies coming now. They’re already on Anchor.”

Will sniffed. “Okay.” There was more yelling and pounding, then a cracking sound. “I think the door’s breaking.”

I squeezed my eyes closed, sending up a thousand silent prayers. “Get in the closet with Ava and Mia.”

“I can’t. I have to fight him if he gets in. I have my bat.”

My sweet, brave boy. Tears leaked from my eyes. “He’s not going to get in. Just hold on.”

Shouts sounded across the line. I heard someone yelling that they were from the sheriff’s department and to get down on the floor. There was more screaming and then a shot. The crack of the bullet was so loud, Kenna jerked beside me. All of my muscles locked. “Will, are you okay? What’s happening now?”

“I’m okay. I don’t know.”

“Will, it’s Deputy Raines. Are you okay in there?”

My shoulders sagged in relief. Will answered the deputy in a shaky voice. “We’re okay.”

I heard a door opening, and Mia’s cries got louder, but it was Ava who spoke. “I want Cae Cae.” The sound of her pleading shattered the last piece of my heart still holding itself together.

“I’m gonna be there soon, Ava.”

“Did you hear that, Avs? Caelyn’s coming soon.”

The deputy began speaking again. “We need to take the bad guy out to the patrol car. Then we’ll come back for you.”

“Okay.” Will’s voice sounded stronger now. “I have to move the furniture, Caelyn.”

“Don’t hang up!” I was desperate. This was my one lifeline to my siblings, and I couldn’t let it go. “Put the phone on speaker and lay it on the bed.”

“All right.” Something rustled, and then Will spoke again. “Can you hear me?”

“I can hear you.”

The sounds of furniture being pushed across the carpet, and Will grunting, came over the line. I held my breath until I heard a knock.

“It’s Deputy Raines. Can I come in?”

A door creaked in the background.

“Are you guys okay?” Deputy Raines asked.

“Yeah, we’re okay,” Will answered.

The slight tremor in his voice had me fisting the sheets even tighter. I never should’ve left Anchor. I should’ve simply found the cheapest apartment possible and worked at a bar or a restaurant on the island. But instead, I’d been selfish, desperate to use the scholarship I’d worked so hard for.

Ava’s voice cut into my thoughts. “Can you take us to Cae Cae?”

“Who’s Cae Cae?” Raines asked.

“My sister. She’s on the phone,” Will said.

“Is it all right if I talk to her?”

“Sure.”

The phone beeped as he took me off speakerphone. “Ms. O’Connor, we’ve got them. They look scared but are perfectly safe.”

I burst into tears. Through my sobs, I managed to get out, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“Of course. We’re going to take them to the sheriff’s station on Shelter.”

“Okay. I’m in Seattle. I go to college here. But I’m going to get over there as fast as I can. Will you take this phone so that you can update me if anything changes?”

“I’ll keep the phone with me. Take a deep breath. They’re going to be fine.”

But that wasn’t completely true. Sure, physically, they were okay. But emotionally? The kids were traumatized. And I didn’t know the first thing about how to heal those wounds. But like with everything else, I’d simply have to find a way. I just had to get to my siblings first.

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Synopsis

One night was all it took for everything to change.
From college student to guardian in a single breath.
My siblings became my world.

No time for date nights or romantic dreams.
I traded quiet weekends for sleepless nights.
Giving my all to make sure they were cared for.

But Griffin had a brokenness that called to me—one that mirrored my own.
Gruff and just a little bit reckless.
He was the last thing I needed. But everything I wanted.

Only someone isn’t happy about this new life I’m building.
Deciding to set fire to everything I hold close.
And when the smoke clears, there might be only ashes left behind…

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

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Sneak Peek: Reclaim by Aly Martinez

Reclaim, an all-new second chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez is coming November 12th and we have the first sneak peek!

**RECLAIM is a standalone that can be read and enjoyed independently. However, it does contain spoilers for RELEASE**

Prologue
Nora

Choices.   

Everyone makes them.   

From mundane and monotonous to life-changing and unimaginable.   

But regardless what that choice may be, life is lived in the consequences.  

People want to believe that decisions are weighted. In theory, “What should I have for dinner?” should fall on the opposite end of the spectrum as “Should I swallow this bottle of pills?” But in reality, even the smallest decision can change the trajectory of your entire life.   

 “Oh God!” Ramsey yelled, scrambling across the dirt road on all fours. I watched in the rearview mirror as he paused, hovering over the bloody and lifeless body, not sure which broken part to touch first. “No. No. No.”   

I wanted to care. I wanted to be flooded with guilt and regret. I just wanted to fucking feel something again. Anything.  

Instead, I sat there, stunned and utterly numb.  

My brother’s mouth moved, fast and sharp, but I couldn’t hear him over the ringing in my ears. With shaky hands, I tried to open the car door twice before I was successful. My chest vibrated as a barrage of emotions ricocheted inside me, none of them able to escape. All of them slicing me to the core of my soul.   

Or maybe it was only the remnants of my soul, because the rest of it had been destroyed long before that starry night. 

I swung my legs out, my head swirling with the high of adrenaline, and I struggled to find even one breath of oxygen.  

My brother was seventeen, but he looked like a man as he started chest compressions and rescue breathing. Curiously, I wondered where he’d learned that. Then I immediately wished he hadn’t.  

It was pointless though. He was dead. I didn’t have to be up close and personal to know that. 

“Come on, come on, come on,” Ramsey chanted, never giving up, just like the hero I knew him to be. “Breathe.” 

That asshole didn’t deserve to breathe. He didn’t deserve anything. He’d already stolen it all from me. 

“Stop,” I forced out.

Ramsey’s panicked gaze swung my way. “What the fuck happened?”

How much time did he have?

Wood splintering into my back.

Blink. 

His fingers digging into my flesh.

Blink. 

The welcomed darkness that swallowed me as my only way to survive. 

Blink. 

Thea. 

Thea. 

Thea. 

“Let him die!” I roared so loudly that it scorched my throat. 

But at least I felt that.

The sound of people talking in the distance interrupted my echo, and my brother’s panic skyrocketed. Ramsey quickly abandoned his attempts to revive him and raced in my direction, but just seeing him lying there, alone and lifeless the way I would always feel, gave me a sick sense of pleasure. 

I should have been crying.

Why wasn’t I crying? 

I’d spent two years living in fear—nightmares, sobbing until I physically passed out, hiding behind a smile for fear people could see the filth behind it. 

Maybe there was nothing left of me to give. Not even tears. 

The voices got closer, and Ramsey stepped into my line of sight, blocking out that monster the way I would never be able to do. 

“You gotta go,” he barked. “I’ll take care of this, but you gotta go before someone sees you here.”

“I’m not leaving.” 

He grabbed my shoulders and gave me a hard shake. “Listen to me. You have to leave. I’ll get the car and meet you back at the house. If anyone asks, you haven’t seen me. Tell them I’ve been with Thea all night.” 

I could hear the words coming from his mouth, but I was struggling to process what he was saying. It was like an optical illusion: I could see the picture in front of me, but none of it felt real. 

I glanced around and his car was still running, the front end smashed and covered in blood. “What if they see your car?”

“I’ll…I’ll… I’ll tell ’em I hit a deer or something.” He looked over his shoulder as three silhouettes appeared at the end of the Johnsons’ driveway. “Please, Nora,” he hissed. “I promise you this is going to be okay. But you can’t be here. If they find out what he did to you, they’ll know this wasn’t an accident. I can’t risk that. Okay? You weren’t here. Nothing happened. It was a terrible, terrible accident. End of story.” He palmed each side of my face and pressed a shaky kiss to my forehead. 

That might have been more jarring for me than running over a man. 

Ramsey wasn’t the most affectionate brother. We hugged on occasion, and when I was little, he’d always ruffled my hair or pinched me playfully on the side. 

But he wasn’t a forehead kisser. 

“Ramsey,” I choked out, the adrenaline starting to ebb from my system, a hurricane of emotions moving in.

“Please,” he whispered, his desperate and pleading brown eyes sparkling with unshed tears in the moonlight. “Just run home and get in bed. I’ll meet you there. Everything’s going to be okay.”

Okay. That was a word I recognized all too well. Not good. Or great. Or even fine. Just simply okay was a state of being for us. 

Besides, Ramsey had never steered me wrong before. 

So I squeezed his hand, and like a coward, I ran. 

Choices. Everyone makes them. 

But mine would ruin us all.

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Synopsis

Choices. Everyone makes them. From mundane to unimaginable, one choice can change the trajectory of your entire life.

My mother’s choice was to abandon us with our abusive father.
My brother’s choice was to go to prison for killing the boy who assaulted his soulmate.
Camden Cole’s choice was to fall in love with a shattered girl who had absolutely nothing to offer him but heartbreak.

It was one summer beneath the trees, but with Camden, I had a place where I belonged.
A friend who was always waiting for me.
A boy who I caught staring at me more often than not.

He was mine, but when the world closed in and secrets exploded all around us, it was my choice to let him go.

Choices. Everyone makes them.
But mine would ruin us all.

About Aly
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and four young children.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.
She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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SNEAK PEEK: Little Lies by H. Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting

“Helena Hunting takes your breath and your heart with equal force in this incredible, important novel. This book is a hug and a lesson, as well as a hell of a ride” — Debra Anastasia, author

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting, comes a beautifully written and emotional new adult romance, Little Lies, November 16th and we have the first peek inside this unforgettable romance.

Sneak Peek

Lavender finally looks my way. “You can go back to your bunnies, Kodiak. I don’t need a bodyguard or a babysitter.”
Clarke laughs and smirks at me. “You heard her. We’re good.” He slings his arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side. I’m pretty sure her ass cheek is pressed up against his leg, and his fingers dangle perilously close to her boob.
My control slips. The frustration over not being able to have what I want is wearing me down. Everyone has an opinion on what’s good for me—how I have to manage all the impulses, how I can’t let the obsessions rule me the way they often do. But this is more than I can take. It’s been weeks and weeks of fighting the need of being an asshole because the alternative is to dive right back into that fixation—and if I do, I’m very worried it’s going to consume me. And her.
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Synopsis

I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me.
I never loved you.
I turned my words into swords.
And I cut her down.
Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.
I said I’d never hurt her, and I did.
Years later, I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted, when all I wanted was to indulge my obsession.
Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.
I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.
But I don’t want to save her anymore.
I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.

About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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H. Hunting

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SNEAK PEEK: I Promise You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Will this quarterback score the girl or make the biggest fumble of his life?

I Promise You, an all-new not-to-be-missed, new adult, sports romance sure to make you swoon from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is coming October 12th, and we have the first sneak peek!

I can’t move. I’m rooted to the black and white linoleum tile on her floor as I stare at her. My chest rises, inhaling gulps of air. She took off her hat at the door, or somewhere, and pulled her hair out of her ponytail. Gleaming brown, copper, and blonde strands spill around her shoulders. Three colors in anyone’s hair should be over the top, but on her it’s…
My eyes scan over her face, clearly lit by the florescent lights in the apartment.
Adrenaline hits my bloodstream. Swaying on my feet, I right myself with effort.
She’s—holy shit—the girl from the bonfire.
Same face, petite body, and fierceness.
Want more? Continue reading here >> https://bit.ly/3nsq9r9

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Synopsis

Dillon McQueen: Babe. I promise. You want me.
Serena Jensen: Um, who are you?

There’s a legend at Waylon University: the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you’ll never forget. She’ll crawl under your skin and never leave. She’ll spark a passion so fierce you’ll burn the world down to possess her.

You might even put a ring on it.

As in all things with fate, timing is everything. That kiss can go horribly wrong. She might run in the opposite direction. And boy, did Serena run.

Dillon is Waylon’s hotshot quarterback with something to prove. All he wants is to graduate and make it to the NFL. What he doesn’t need is to finally meet the mystery girl he kissed at the bonfire freshman year. Isn’t it enough that she’s haunted his dreams for more than a thousand nights?

Fate laughs in his face when he runs into the quirky girl at the Piggly Wiggly. Surrounded by his entourage, he’s got all the Oreos in his cart; she gets revenge by buying every six-pack of his favorite beer.

Obviously, that legend is a curse. She’s not his type and hates him. Worst of all, how can she not remember him when she left a Serena-shaped hole in his heart for the past three years?

So why can’t he stop trying to win her?

Will this quarterback score the girl or make the biggest fumble of his life?

Add I PROMISE YOU to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3hRezT9

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

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

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

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

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

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