Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins Excerpt Blitz

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?
Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on . . . and cannot resist.
Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest . . . and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?
Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.
EXCERPT
“There you are, my dear,” said the Earl of Forsyth with a beaming smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.
Maitland saw at once that Daphne favored him. Her green eyes were the same shade as his, though there were lines of dissipation bracketing the earl’s. And though his expertly cropped blond hair was shot through with silver, what remained of its original color was the same shade as hers. But whereas Daphne’s gaze was focused off to the left of whomever she conversed with, like a bird hovering just over a branch, Forsyth’s speared one with cold calculation. As he did to Daphne now.
“You are looking well, Daphne,” the earl continued, stepping forward to embrace his daughter, who looked as uncomfortable with the contact as Maitland had ever seen her. “The sea air agrees with you. As I knew it would.”
“The sea is very beautiful,” Daphne replied woodenly. “Why are you here, Father?”
“Is that any way to greet your Papa?” the earl chided, stepping back from her and wandering farther into the room, standing to stare out at the gardens below through the window. “I’ve traveled all the way from London to see you. And this lovely estate. I must admit that when I first learned of your inheritance, I thought it was all some sort of trick. But you would have your own way and leave the loving bosom of your family no matter what I said. Now that I’m here, though, and see it in person, I must admit that it’s a lovely spot. And your chaperone, Lady Serena, is quite beautiful, isn’t she? A widow, I take it?”
His jaw clenched at the man’s mention of Serena, and Maitland thought perhaps it was time to announce himself. Daphne seemed not to realize he’d followed her in, and the earl was too busy waxing rhapsodic over the beauties of Beauchamp House.
“I don’t believe we’ve met, Forsyth,” he said forcefully, stepping up to stand side by side with Daphne. He gave a slight bow, perhaps not quite as deep as was warranted, but not caring. “The Duke of Maitland. I am a friend of your daughter’s, you might say.”
What he meant by that last, he could not say, but the man made every bit of protective instinct within him go on the alert. He was her father, but all the same Maitland knew that Daphne was no safer with him than she would have been with Sommersby if he still lived.
At the sound of the duke’s voice, Lord Forsyth turned with almost comical haste from the window and stared. For the barest flicker, he looked angry. Well, if he were upset at the knowledge that his daughter was not without friends, then he would simply have to swallow it. Because Maitland was damned if he’d leave her alone with the fellow.
“Duke,” Lord Forsyth said with a tilt of his head, “I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I was a friend of your father’s, and had little notion I’d be meeting you here. He was a good man, your father.”
His father had been nothing of the sort, but Maitland was hardly going to discuss it with Forsyth.
“I am here visiting my sister, Lady Serena,” Maitland said coolly, letting the other man know in tone rather than words that he had not appreciated the older man’s speculative words about her earlier. “And of course my cousin, Kerr. He only recently married another of the heiresses here, and resides here with her.”
Forsyth’s eyes narrowed at the implication that Daphne was well protected should her father wish to cause trouble. At least that was the message Maitland was endeavoring to send. And by the looks of it, Forsyth read him loud and clear.
“Capital, capital,” the earl said with false cheer. “A merry party you must all make here. I had no idea you were in such fine company here, Daphne. No notion at all.”
“Because we have not spoken since I left,” Daphne said, looking from her father to Maitland then back again, as if wondering what went on between them. “And now, father, I really must ask you to leave. I have a great deal of work to do and . . .”
“Don’t be absurd, Daphne,” her father said with a shake of his head. “I only just arrived. And there is something very important I must speak to you about.” He turned to Maitland with a raised brow. “I’m sure you’ll excuse us, Duke. I’m afraid what I need to tell my daughter is private family business.”
Maitland was opening his mouth to tell the man he would leave Daphne alone with him when hell froze over, when Daphne did it for him.
“Maitland stays,” she said, reaching out to grasp him by the arm. It was as much of a cry for help as he’d ever thought he’d see from her. Wordlessly, he slipped her arm into his, as if they were about to promenade round the room. He covered her hand with his, keenly aware of the thread of tension in her.
Once more, the earl’s eyes narrowed, and he turned an assessing gaze on Maitland, perhaps realizing for the first time the threat coming at him from that direction.
His jaw clenched, Forsyth said grimly, “Very well. If you wish your friend to witness our dirty linen, so be it.” As if needing to be in motion in order to speak, the earl began to pace the area between the window and the fireplace. “You know, Daphne, you left me without any obvious means of recouping what I lost from years of paying that tutor of yours, old man Sommersby.”
“You agreed to pay him,” Daphne said tightly. “After I threatened to expose . . .”
Hastily, Forsyth continued, “And I am currently in need of funds. As such, I must insist you return to London with me for the time being and meet a particular gentleman who has expressed interest in marrying you. Though his birth is not as high as yours, he’s quite wealthy and will make you a good husband, I trust. He’s assured me he has no concern about your odd ways, if you’re as beautiful as your portrait.”
Before Maitland could burst out with the string of invectives the other man’s pronouncement inspired in him, Daphne said, “I cannot marry this person. I’ve never even met him. You promised me that I would not have to marry someone for money as long as I won enough at the tables. I did so. You promised me, father.”
“I never actually promised, Daphne.” Forsyth said with a shake of his head. “If you chose to interpret it as such, that is not my fault. Now, go pack your things.”
Daphne’s hand on Maitland’s arm gripped him tightly. And before he even knew what he was doing, he said, “I’m afraid that’s impossible, Forsyth. Daphne is staying here.”
“I don’t know who you think you are, Maitland,” said the earl through clenched teeth, “but I am her father, and I am well within my rights to take her back to London. Now, kindly take your hands off of her and let her go pack.”
“It might once have been your right, Forsyth,” Maitland said coldly, “but Lady Daphne is my betrothed now and as such, she will remain here. With me.”
Copyright © 2017 by Manda Collins and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.
Author Bio:

Manda Collins is the author of several books, including Ready Set Rogue and The Lords of Anarchy series. She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.
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WHEN LIFE HAPPENED by Jewel E. Ann Chapter Reveal

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When Life Happened, an all-new standalone romance from

Jewel E. Ann is coming June 5th!


WLH Full

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann

Publication Date: June 5th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Parker Cruse despises cheaters. It might have something to do with her boyfriend sleeping with her twin sister.
After a wedding day prank involving a strong laxative, that ends the already severed relationship between the twins, Parker decides to grow up and act twenty-six.
Step One: Move out of her parents’ house.
Step Two: Find a job.
Opportunity strikes when she meets her new neighbor, Gus Westman. He’s an electrician with Iowa farm-boy values and a gift for saying her name like it’s a dirty word.
He also has a wife.
Sabrina Westman, head of a successful engineering firm, hires Parker as her personal assistant. Driven to be the best assistant ever, Parker vows to stay focused, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, and not kiss Gus—again.
Step Three: Don’t judge.
Step Four: Remember— when life happens, it does it in a heartbeat.

Exclusive Chapter One Reveal:

Preorder exclusively on iBooks:

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/2Nkk9h


About Jewel:

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor. With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business. After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing. When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

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Twitter: @JewelE_Ann
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Dare to Love by Amanda Kaitlyn Chapter Reveal


Title: Dare to Love
Series: The Beautifully Broken Series
Author: Amanda Kaitlyn
Genre: LGBT Romance/Gay Romance/New Adult Fiction
Release Date: June 9, 2017 

 

Chapter One

Ally
THE SMELL OF freshly brewed coffee and powdered sugar hit my nose as I entered the coffee shop my older brother, Lucas and his wife owned. The scent of coffee and sweet pastries was heavenly and I stepped in the long line of customers, eager for my caffeine fix.
“Allison? Is that you?” I heard my name being called and I turned toward the sound, spotting my sister in law, Kaelyn rushing over to me from behind the counter. Smiling wide, I moved into her widely held arms and felt her sigh of relief against my shoulder. I’d been driving all night long and was bone tired, but I was excited to finally be here.
I graduated from Art School yesterday and to say it felt damn good would be an understatement. It felt amazing. It felt even better to be near family again, even if I wasn’t back home in Chicago like I wanted.
When my brother asked me to help out in the cafe over the next three months, I thought it would be fun to have a nice, relaxing winter down south.
My sculptures could wait, after all.
“I’m so happy your here! We are going to have a blast this winter!”
Kaelyn’s excited voice said in my ear and I nodded, my smile getting even bigger on my face. As she squeezed me even tighter to her side and we stepped forward in the line, I gave her an even tighter one in return.
Now that I’d seen her, this place felt so much warmer than I thought possible and it felt just like coming home.
God, how I had missed this girl.
We sat in the large, deeply cushioned chairs that were placed against the walls of windows making the space light up with bright, natural light. My eyes took everything in and I felt my body become rejuvenated just from the ambiance of the place.
How had I never been here before?
The coffee shop and bakery had been in Kaelyn’s family for two generations and now I could see why it was so important to her. My brother had wanted her to sell off her shares of the business and move back to Chicago with him and their two beautiful daughters but she’d resisted. She wanted to finish out the year before transferring her half of The Joyous Cup to her best friend and business partner, Meghan. Having grown up in the heart of the windy city, I couldn’t help but want her and my brother to come back home where our family was. Ever since I was a young girl, I was surrounded by people who loved and cared for me. My family was tightly knit and though, yes it could prove to be a bit stifling- I loved every moment of it.
“So? How was the drive in? Did you hit any traffic?”
“No, it was a pretty smooth drive. I stopped for a few hours half way through. Who knew staring at the road could make me so damn tired?”
Kaelyn laughed softly, shaking her head.
“I still can’t believe you drove all the way here, by your self for that matter. Babe, Luke would have driven you.”
I waved her concerns off, unworried.
When I was growing up, my Dad took a truck driving job one year when the business at the garage wasn’t doing very well. Most times, I would tag along on his long drives if they landed on a weekend or during that winter. I loved the feeling I got from the slow hum of a powerful engine underneath me and the sight of the road in front of me. But after close to thirty hours behind the wheel, it had definitely worn me out.
I desperately wanted to get to the Bed and Breakfast I booked for the winter and sink my tired body into a nice, hot bath.
“You look exhausted, Allison. How about I close down early and drive you to the hotel?” Her hand rested on my knee then, but I shook my head, not wanting to be a bother. It was only a few minutes drive, anyways.
“No, no. That’s okay, Kel. I’m going to head out, though.”
I stood and embraced her and felt her slender arms wrap around my waist and hug me just as fiercely.
“Give the goofball a big kiss and hug for me, OK?”
I said into her ear, fondness for Luke clear in the tone of my voice.
Nodding, she pulled away and I stepped out into the cool, crisp night air. Digging a hand through my black-strapped purse on my shoulder, I slid my keys out and unlocked my car before sliding back in front of the wheel.
Only a few more minutes. I told myself, putting the gear into drive and merging back onto the now quiet street toward my home for the winter.
A Bed & Breakfast was nested between two large, very old oak trees and the only parking that I could find was a spot just next to the front door.
My feet ached as I went inside and set my suitcase and carry on bag on the luggage cart I spotted by the interior doors.
“Welcome to Bunk and Bean Bed and Breakfast! My name is Bree, how can I help ya?”
The familiar voice roused me from my long, indulgent yawn and a smile spread my lips as the petite woman behind the counter turned toward me.
“Oh my gosh! Allison?”
Nodding, I dropped my purse onto the luggage cart and rushed toward her, curling my arms around her as soon as I got close enough.
“I can’t believe your here, Bree! I’ve missed you so much!”
She pulled away from our hug first, her eyes shining with excitement.
“How have you been? Shit, girl, it’s been so long since I last saw you!”
I wiped away a stray tear from my face, nodding. Bree James and I had been best friends since I could remember ever having one. Our mothers were the best of friends, even calling each other sisters as we were growing up. It was natural that we became fast friends as children. I shook my head in blissful remembrance at all of the shenanigans we caused back then. Bree and I were attached at the hip. As soon as we could leave home without our protective mothers hovering nearby, we set out to cause mischief. My favorite had to be when we poured ice water in a metal jug and attached it to the door of my fathers tool shed, causing him to be pelted when it opened. The look on his face as he spotted us hiding and giggling loudly in the nearby bushes? Priceless.
Since I moved away from our home town of Chicago, Illinois, we had lost touch. At first, it was small. We would miss our daily phone calls, a visit back home would be canceled or I would forget to video chat her after class one night. It was hard to be so far away from the large, loving home I grew up in. It was even more difficult to adapt to living without the constant presence of my two best friends, Bree and Nathan. I didn’t notice how far Bree and I had strayed from our friendship until it was too late.
As we hugged again and reminisced on our childhood adventures, I thanked God that there was a such thing as social media. We’d reconnected online last year and were thankfully as close as ever, especially now that I was spending the hot, Texas winter here. I was so happy she was here.
“The last few weeks have been crazy, Bree. With final projects being due and my older brothers coming into the city to attend my graduation, I was sure I’d go crazy before the ceremony ended!”
Her sweet, carefree laugh hit my ear.
I sometimes thought that it was crazy we were ever able to get along.
We were opposite in almost every way. I was bright and happy, overly excited for every phase of life and eager to take the world by the horns.
I had always been that way.
The always present support of my loving family had made me thrust out of my shell at a young age.
Complete with bright, neon colors, long flow skirts and enough books to last me a lifetime, that was who I was.
Bree was this small, light skinned beauty with black hair that fell down her back in waves. Her eyes were the color of the sea- deep, navy blue with flecks of green and yellow in them. She always wore dark colors, black, brown or brown. And she was always in either a pants suit or a pair of snugly fit Levi jeans. Bree hated to dress up and thought of herself somewhat goth. Her makeup was dark, ruby red lipstick and silver eye-shadow. The faint lines of her midnight black eyeliner made her eyes look even brighter as she lifted her head and I smiled.
Out of all of the time I had known her, she never changed.
I loved that so much because I knew she was real, through and through.
Growing up under the watchful gaze of the public meant that most friends I had made as a child were that of motive. Girls became friends with me to get closer to my musician brothers. Boys befriended me in hopes of getting a shot with my families record company. Almost none of them were founded by true friendship. At first, it hurt. But then I realized that in time, I would find who my real, my true friends were. In the end of high school, I learned who that friend had been all along.
Bree James.
“I’m so damn proud of you. I knew you could do it. When you left, I was mad. Not going to lie about that. But your my best friend. My confidant. My sister from another mister,” A loud laugh leaves me at that but she just squeezes my hand in hers and continues.
“I couldn’t be mad at you for long, though. You followed your dream of sculpture like a fucking badass, Allison.”
I broke into a mess at her honest words and flung my arms around her, again. As she hugged me just as fiercely, I realized she was here. In Fredricksburg, Texas.
My eyebrows drew together at the realization because it just didn’t make sense. We’d grown up in Illinois. Her family was in Illinois. Why was she here, now?
“What are you doing here, Bree?”
She pulled back, smiling wider at my question.
“I own this place. My husband and I bought it after the Wilson’s, the previous owners, passed away. Don’t you just love this little place?”
My heart squeezed in my chest almost painfully. God, I’d missed out on so much while I was away. Somehow my once cynical and hopeless romantic best friend had gone and gotten married and if the twinkle in her eyes was any indication, she was happy. She had the life I always hoped she would. Surrounded by love and happiness and void of the sorrow her childhood had once given her. My best friend was finally happy.
“Oh, I’m so happy for you. God, we missed a lot in each others lives, huh?”
I asked, cradling her face as a bright, no holds barred smile spreads across her face.
“It was only last month that we got married.”
I was pretty sure my eyes bulged out of my head as I heard her voice whisper across the space between us, her voice quiet as if she hadn’t meant to omit that confession.
“I wish I had known, girl. I would have loved to be there”
Shaking her head, she busies herself with the folder in her hands.
I could feel the nerves radiating off of her in waves. Somewhere between the topic of the bed and breakfast and Kingsley, she’d become a bundle of nerves.
“It was, uh, a quick wedding”
“Oh my gosh, Bree!”
“What!” Her quiet yell snapped back at me and my eyes widened as I noticed the blush that was now littered across her cheeks.
“It was a shotgun wedding?”
Sighing loudly, she plopped back into the chair next to me and nodded, then quickly, she was shaking her head again.
“Uh, no, I swear it wasn’t like that. I moved here a year ago and I needed a part time job between classes. Something to fill my time. Kingsley worked at the local bar and hired me on the spot. Almost immediately, we began dating. It was slow going at first, though. He would stay after his shifts ended and we had dinner after the night crew had left. He’s just got this way about him, Allison.”
“My ears are ringing, Bree. You bragging about me to our customers, now?”
A deep, booming voice came from the doorway of the front lobby and my eyes moved toward the sound. When my eyes landed on the large, tall man that not only stood in the doorway but filled it completely, I gasped in surprise.
“Hey, I didn’t think you would be home for a while. How was the meeting?”
Bree stood and walked toward him, her hands instantly drawing up to touch his scruffy face. I watched, entranced as the seemingly hard, stone faced man visibly softened the moment she was touching him. Bending his knees just slightly, he brought his wide, muscled arms around her back to take hold of her ass as he lifted her up his body that had to be at least 6’5. Her hands smoothed over his cheek as she smiled, a look passing through them that spoke volumes as to how they felt about each other. My best friend was in love.
“It was fine. This contractor is gonna get his ass kicked if he doesn’t stop beating around the bush. I don’t need him to argue with me. I just need him to get this shit done” Even with the anger spliced through his tone, his body molded tightly to hers, his hands squeezing her bottom in a silent claiming.
“King. I want you to meet someone. Stop feeling me up, silly man”
He scoffed roughly, hiking her body up a few inches until their mouths touched.
“Don’t tell me what to do, woman”
“Let me down.”
Frowning, he kissed her briefly, then caved to her softly spoken demand.
“Allison, this is my husband, Kingsley. Kingsley, baby, meet my best friend from high school, Allison.”
He stepped forward, out reaching one large hand to me.
“I’m damn glad to meet you, Allison. Bree has missed you something fierce.”
Shaking his hand, I nodded.
I had missed her, too.
“Me too. It looks like you make her very happy.”
Bree rested her head against his shoulder, proving my words were true.

A small, almost private smile took up residence on his face.

“Yeah,” He nodded once. “I guess, I do”
***
The softly blowing wind whispered over my face, my feet stepping over crushed leaves as I walked toward the small park in the middle of town the following day. After spending some much needed time with Bree and her husband, I hadn’t been able to keep the smile off of my face. It felt so damn good to be back near the people that made me happy, made me laugh. Though I hadn’t seen my brother yet, I knew that feeling of true happiness of this place would only grow once I did. Luke was my biggest fan, after all. Hell, wasn’t that what older brothers were for?
The wind of the cool, winter day picked up and my hands reached for the small zipper of the black fleece jacket I wore, dragging it up until it reached my chin. The sun shone above, causing rays of light to cascade over the hills of the grass covered ground in Fell’s Park.
There was another rolling hill toward the ending of grass, where the green ground led to a small, dirt road and I noticed a quaint little brick house nearby. I squinted my eyes, my gaze landing on the small sign at the top of the door. As I moved closer, my hands slipped into the deep pockets of my Lucky dark denim jeans. The sign becoming larger as I approached, my curiosity piqued.
Who knew an animal shelter lay in the center of the small park I chose to take a walk in?
Ever since I was a young girl, I had a very special love for animals of all kind.
Dogs, cats, anything I could get my hands on, I loved them.
I couldn’t count on one hand how many animals I had as a kid.
The time away from home hadn’t changed that.
An excited smile tugged my lips as I headed toward the small, brick house. But the closer I drew to the house, I noticed it wasn’t really a house at all.
It was three brick cottages built together, connecting by a large, cherry wood wrap porch. Behind the buildings lay a long pasture of grass area where I saw the heads of a few grazing horses. The excitement inside of me caused my heart to flutter like that of a little girl but still, I couldn’t retreat from what I had stumbled upon.
The large, wooden door creaked as it closed behind me and I stepped inside, cautious. The floors were the first thing I noticed. They were laminate hard wood and as I looked at them, I could tell they’d been laid by hand. I watched my older brothers do enough construction to know that wasn’t an easy task. My eyes moved next to the large front lobby and a long, narrow hallway that most likely led to where the animals were kept.
I all but jumped out of my skin from surprise as a woman’s voice came from the other side of the reception desk in front of me.
“Be with you in just a moment, Ma’am”
A shiver ran up my spine at the sound of the raspy voice and my hand came to rest on the handle of the door I’d just come through.
As if at a moments notice, I would bolt.
Maybe I would.
I didn’t understand the mixture of trepidation and curiosity that was now humming through my veins like liquid adrenaline.
I didn’t know why I suddenly wondered why I’d stumbled inside the building in the first place.
I stepped deeper inside as I heard the woman’s footsteps retreat from the desk, most likely getting something from the the office.
For some reason, the sound of her voice had struck a cord in me.
I had no idea how it sounded so familiar to me, since I hadn’t been here even a few days yet. How could I know her if we’d never actually met?
Maybe she was another old friend from up North, where I grew up.
Shit, maybe I was going crazy from the lack of sleep.
Between the long drive from New York, my late night yesterday and a fatigue from the drastic change of weather I’d experienced, I was probably losing it.
I was about to step back from the reception desk and toward the large, oak wood door when the woman came from the back office and into my view for the first time.
No. My inner voice screamed at me as I took a step back unconsciously, as if from sheer instinct. It couldn’t be. I told myself, shaking my head in disbelief.
“Ally,” She said, her rasped voice now so much clearer as she stood in front of me. There was only one woman who’d ever called me that. She was a ghost from my past but for this one, small moment, she was real.
“C-Charlie?”
One moment. 
One moment changed my life forever.
Her big green eyes looked at me and I knew I would never be the same. 
But sometimes in life, the things you want are the ones that stand just out of reach. 
The pain her loss in my life caused was indescribable. 
Hot, piercing pain that in all of my fourteen years of living, I had never experienced. 
I remembered her. 
Every day. 
Every bad date my friends pushed me into. 
Every lonely holiday I spent without her to talk to. 
Until I saw her. 
And I found her all over again. 
My father always told me that love snuck up on you when you were least expecting it. 
That’s what happened with her. 
Charlie was my girl from that moment on and I would do anything to protect her. 
Anything.
Amanda Kaitlyn is an author of heart stopping, sweet romance. Finding Beautiful is her debut novel. She is a hopeless romantic at heart. Books by Kristen Proby, Kelly Elliott and Stephanie Meyer have influenced her writing. One thing that inspires her is music. Country, pop, rock, Amanda enjoys it all. As a young girl, she loved fairy tales. As she grew up she realized that these stories change. Love isn’t always perfect and the fight of that love is what urges her to write the stories she does. Between the pages of her books you will find real, heartfelt romance, rugged emotion and lots of steam. Do you want to know more about Amanda Kaitlyn and her books? You can find her on social media and her author website.

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SHACKING UP by Helena Hunting Excerpt Reveal

SHACKING UP by Helena Hunting
SMP Swerve
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
eBook ISBN: 9781250133328; Price: $3.99
Paperback ISBN: 9781250150479; Price: $15.99
Audio ISBN: 9781427292797; Price: $23.99

Description
Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.


EXCERPT
She taps the arm of her chair and regards me for a few seconds. “So . . . that woman you were with at the engagement party, I’m guessing she’s not your girlfriend or anything? I don’t need to worry about her freaking out because another woman is living in your condo?”
“You mean Brittany? Uh, no. She’s definitely not my girlfriend.”
“Good to know.”
“With all the travel a girlfriend hasn’t been all that practical.”
She cocks her head. “What do you mean?”
“When I played professional rugby I was on the road a lot. And now it seems like I’ll be on the road more than I anticipated. At least for a while. It makes it difficult to get involved.”
“Ah. I understand. Theater is challenging like that, too. The hours are odd since performances are typically in the evenings and on the weekends. Unless you’re dating another actor it’s not very practical.” She dips her spoon in her dessert again. “So that Brittany chick was just meant to be a hookup then?”
I’m sure Brittany would’ve been good with the hookup part, but I don’t mention that to Ruby. “I went out with her as a favor.”
She grimaces. “Wow, that’s some favor.”
“She’s not that bad.” I’m not sure why I’m defending Brittany, other than it seems to irritate Ruby.
“She called me a slut!”
“Well, you were kissing me, so . . .” I have to bite back the smile at her incredulity.
She points her spoon at me, her annoyance clear. “You kissed me.”
I shift an arm behind my head. “You didn’t put up much of a fight.”
Her mouth drops open and snaps shut just as quickly. It’s the same reaction I got out of her the other day when I brought the same thing up at the restaurant.
Her eyes narrow into slits. I bet she’s a real firecracker when she’s angry. I sort of want to push her buttons just to see what happens when she goes off. I bet angry fucking with her would be incredible. I wonder if she’s a hair puller, or a biter, or a scratcher. Wow. That got dirty fast.
She narrows her eyes. “We are not talking about this.”
“About you kissing me back? I wasn’t going to bring it up, but now that we’re on the subject—”
“Consider it un-brought-up.” Her cheeks flush.
I can’t help myself. I keep pushing. “No way. You as much as admitted that you kissed me back, right there. You opened the door. I’m walking through it. Why would you kiss a complete stranger?”
“I said I wasn’t talking about this.” The pink in her cheeks rises to the tips of her ears.
This is way too much fun. She’s got one hell of an angry glare going on. “I’m leaving you in my house for more than a month, alone. I need to be certain you have sound judgment.”
“I’ll have you know my judgment is usually very sound. However, when an incredibly attractive man surprises me with his tongue in my mouth, the most logical response is to kiss back.”
“You think I’m incredibly attractive?”
She rolls her eyes. “Of course that’s the part you choose to focus on. You see yourself in the mirror every day. You can’t tell me you don’t know you’re nice to look at. I’m just stating a fact.”
My ego inflates a little at this. I know I’m not unattractive, but my nose has been broken a couple of times, and there’s a bump I can’t ever get rid of without plastic surgery. I’ve had knee surgery and I’m not great under anesthetic, so I’d prefer to avoid that scenario. I also have a few small facial scars from playing rugby all those years, which, in the environment I grew up in, takes me down a few points on the desirability scale. Not that I give a fuck. It’s my mother who seems to be worried about it, as she does about every line and gray hair. It’s a blessing I don’t have any sisters.
I see. So you’re telling me if any incredibly attractive man did what I did, you’d respond the exact same way.”
“Now you’re generalizing. It’s circumstantial.”
“What do you mean by circumstantial?”
“Well, I guess I assumed you had to be a guest at the engagement party.”
“So that made it okay to kiss a stranger? Because we were attending the same event?”
She pauses with her spoon at her lips. “That’s not what I said.”
“It sounds like that’s what you’re implying.” That spoons slips into her mouth and she licks it clean before she responds. The entire time I’m thinking increasingly dirty thoughts about that tongue of hers.
She flounders a little. “It’s not like I was at some seedy bar with seedy douches. It was an engagement party.”
“So that makes me better somehow?”
“Are you always this antagonistic?” She throws up her hands. “You kissed me. You smelled good and you’re good with your tongue so I went with it. Stop judging me.”
“I’m not judging, I’m just asking. So on top of being incredibly attractive and smelling good I’m also an excellent kisser.”
“I never said excellent, you added your own adjective. And if you keep talking about how attractive you are you’ll go from a ten to a nine pretty fast.”


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Author Bio
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’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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PLUS ONE by Aleatha Romig Excerpt Reveal


 

ARPlusOneBookCover6x9_MEDIUM

A fun, sexy new stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

He’s sexy and confident, the kind of man every woman notices. You know, the one with the to-die-for body and panty-melting smirk. And then there’s the way his designer suits drape over his broad shoulders and big…well, we’ve all heard the rumors, the ones that say he’s up for any challenge.

But I can’t see him that way. He’s my boss—technically one of the owners of the company where I work—and definitely not in my league. Men like him don’t notice women like me, and they don’t date them.

And I don’t date men like him.

Until that one time that I catch him in a compromising position when I’m also in need of a last-minute date for a wedding…and then it’s not real. It’s blackmail.

For one weekend, he’s my plus-one.

Beautiful and unobtainable.

From the moment she walked into my office with those stunning blue eyes and crazy sensual curves, she’s been on my mind. Three years and never once has she acted interested in me. Usually I flash a million-dollar smile and women fall to their knees, some literally.

Not her.

Then on the occasion that I agree to let another woman do that—fall to her knees—guess who happens to catch us?

It may not be the most conventional way to get on her radar, but I didn’t get this far in business without knowing when to seize an opportunity. If this sexy little firecracker with perfectly kissable lips thinks she can blackmail me into attending her cousin’s wedding, I’m going to jump at the chance to be her plus-one.

You love her darker side. Now it’s time to meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha, as she trades her renowned twists and turns for laughs and love with this sexy new stand-alone romance, PLUS ONE.


PRE-ORDER NOW

Chapter 1

I push the thought of my mother’s call away and concentrate on my friend, Shana. As I do, the slippery napkin escapes my hold. Quickly, I slide from my seat to retrieve it.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice says as black leather loafers stop precariously close to where I’m now kneeling to rescue my napkin.
Seeing the shoes, I look up and suck in a deep breath.
Towering above me are long legs covered in tailored trousers. As I follow them up, they lead to a trim waist, a black belt, and a white shirt that buttons over a broad chest. I barely swallow the lump in my throat as I recognize the wide shoulders covered with the matching suit jacket. Seizing the napkin, I stand, suddenly face to face with one of the owners of the company where I work.
My face burns with embarrassment as his shimmering green eyes narrow and head tilts. Inches away from me is one of the handsomest men I’ve ever met. He should be on the cover of GQ, not gracing the halls of Buchanan and Willis.
His firm lips form a tight smirk and cheeks rise in amusement. “Miss Jones.”
Staring into the sea of emerald, I try to pretend I wasn’t just on my knees in a chic restaurant in front of Duncan Willis.
“Mr. Willis,” I respond, my voice cracking. Nervously I take a step backward. As if the moment weren’t awkward enough, I wobble, teetering precariously on my high heels.
Swiftly, he reaches out, grabs my elbow, and steadies my footing. Though he just saved me from making an even bigger fool out of myself by falling face-first into what I can only imagine is a hard, defined chest, my mind is suddenly consumed with the electricity of his touch. The energy heats my skin as his grasp lingers.

 
aleatharomig1

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!
Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.
In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and a member of PEN America.  She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Scarred by Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele Chapter Reveal


Title: Scarred
Series: Ruthless Rebels MC #3
Author: Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2017

Scarred

(Ruthless Rebels MC Book 3)

Co-written by:

Chelsea Camaron

And 

Ryan Michele

Copyright © Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele 2017

All Rights Reserved. This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction in whole or in part, without express written permission from Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

1st edition published: May 2017

Cover Design by: M.L. Pahl of IndieVention Designs

Editing by: Asli Fratarcangeli

Proofreading: Silla Webb

This work of fiction is intended for mature audiences only. All sexually active characters portrayed in this book are eighteen years of age or older. Please do not buy if strong sexual situations, violence, domestic abuse, and explicit language offends you.

This is not meant to be an exact depiction of life in a motorcycle club, but rather a work of fiction meant to entertain.

Scarred

Whitton ‘Skinny’ Thorne – scarred skin only covers a beautiful soul.

Bitter with a capital B.

Life has been hell from the beginning when Whitton was burned as an infant, yet as much as he pushes me away I’m always coming back for more.

When I finally let go, he wants to let me in, how do I survive when we’ve both been scarred?

Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele have teamed up to bring you an explosive new MC romance that will have you panting for more of the Ruthless Rebels. Hold on tight, it’s going to be a wild ride full of action and suspense that these two authors are known for. Throw in two people who finally get their second chance, and things are about to get smoking hot. 

Chapter One

Roe

Fairytales, nursery rhymes, and childhood memories, none of them are really all that great!

Holding my hand in the air with three fingers up, I sing the song about Sally the camel and her humps. Simple.

I don’t have or need complications in my life. Sally has humps that come and go, she has issues, me – I’m good.

The twenty-two smiling children sing along with me with utter enthusiasm. They love this song. Most days we sing it once sometimes twice before we do the weather and calendar first thing in the morning. Our routine, the structure the kids need to thrive, and I need to feel like things are in order.

I look up when the door to my classroom opens. 

It’s preschool. The director of the school comes in and out throughout the day so at first I don’t think much of it. When my assistant teacher Ms. Jennifer stands up to take over, it’s then I make my way to the door. As the lead teacher if the director comes in it’s Jennifer who takes over for me and I meet with the director. Any changes necessary from the director, I will make them. Jennifer and I have worked together for three years now so our system is solid.

Beside the director, Ms. Marie, is the cutest little girl. Obviously, this visit is to bring us a new student. Her blue eyes are a bit too big for her face making those rounded little cheeks stand out too. There isn’t fear in her blue depths, but there is a lot going on in that brain of hers. Finishing the song to the delight of the children on the ABC carpet, I let Jennifer continue with the next song. I focus my attention and greet our newest student, warm smile in place.

I bend down to her level looking her in the eyes. “Hello, I’m Ms. Roe and what’s your name?”

“Marlayna,” the little girl in pigtails says softly. 

My heart breaks when I see the scar on her neck that her hair isn’t covering. I know those marks too well. I fight back the emotion that sits just under the surface. 

Burns.

This little girl has suffered a tragedy and I hate that for her. 

“Would you like to join us in circle time?” I offer as I fight back the past. He is not the only person to be burned in their lives and survive. So many things twist inside me and I have to push it down. The emotions that keep beating down the well-structured walls I’ve built around them over the years always try to spill over, but I won’t allow it. I’ve had no other choice but to keep a handle on it all. 

My job is about teaching and nurturing Marlayna, today is not about him or his scars. 

She nods her head and the day commences with story time, rhyme time, nap time, and all the normal activities of my day. Marlayna adjusted very well in the class for it being her first day. She went with the flow no trepidation and without much of a reaction to anything.

It pains me. I don’t like when the kids cry, but when they come in almost numb like little Marlayna it hurts more to wonder what has hardened them to life already. Children should be free to be kids not caught up in some adult situation or punished unnecessarily.

The afternoon passes with little Marlayna quickly falling into the routine and making friends. After each of the children are gone and I get my room cleaned up, I head out.

Arriving home, I sit on the sun room of my two-bedroom house and enjoy the Georgia afternoon. When I moved out, this was my one requirement, sun room. I love the outdoors and not feeling closed up. 

Blakely, Georgia, population five thousand. Small town lifestyle near the Alabama – Georgia state lines.

April is my favorite month of the year. The weather is sunshine, the birds sing, and the humidity isn’t unbearable so boob sweat is a non-issue for the time being. No woman ever wants boob sweat. August, in the deep south is hotter than hell so I’ll enjoy my outside time while I can.

In fact, tomorrow I think I’ll take my class to have a picnic and maybe do sidewalk chalk and hopscotch on the playground. They love the outside and it helps to get as much of their energy out as possible.

My mind goes to little Marlayna. She is in the system. Foster care, with the Brown family, who are regulars in the community when it comes to taking in children. They will be good to her.

I once knew a boy who lived with the Brown’s. My mind, my heart, they always go back to him. I wish it wouldn’t but we have too much shared between us. His scars were similar to hers only they covered his face and half his body.

Whitton Thorne, the boy down the road with a tortured past. His mom had things so twisted in her head when it came to her twin boys. She believed Whitton was evil and Waylon was the son of Jesus or something crazy. I wasn’t privy to all the details. I just know every time the state let the boys go back to her, Whitton was returned to his social worker more damaged than before. I know once they tried to send Waylon back and leave Whitton with the Brown’s only for Waylon to run away to be with his twin. The two of them were close. In their situation, I would imagine one would have to be. They were also complete opposites.

God, I loved Whitton. 

From the beginning when he was the boy I bumped into in grade school to the man who grew into there isn’t a moment in time since I met Whitton Thorne that he didn’t have my attention. He intrigued me. His strength captivated me. And the more time I had with Whitton Thorne in my life the harder I fell in love with him.

Even now, years have passed and I can’t help but hope he’s okay. Hope that somewhere he found his slice of happy.

Night comes and I slide into my t-shirt blend sheets. I don’t make much with my job, but this is my splurge, soft bed sheets. After all, one can’t be at their best with twenty children without a good nights sleep. I close my eyes and the fatigue of the day quickly consumes me.

“Whitton Thorne, one day you’re gonna be the President.” I smile proudly at my friend.

“The President of the rejects club, maybe,” he replies in his normal tone.

I sigh. The boy is nothing short of amazing. He’s smart, athletic, and cute. He just doesn’t see it. Him and his twin brother look nothing alike. All the girls crush on Waylon. He has this mystery to him. Whitton, though, Whitton is the kind of boy you can talk to, really talk to. There is depth to him. The intrigue of him keeps me on edge to know more, see more, and have more time with him. From the time we met in elementary school at eight years old until now he has captured my attention. We’re young, he’s seventeen and I’m sixteen, but I can’t get enough of him.

“What do you see in me, Roelyn Duprey?”

I feel the blush cover my cheeks. “All good, I see all the good in you Whitton.”

He smirks. “You got the wrong Thorne, Roe. Maybe you think I’m Waylon.”

I prop my hand on my hip. “I know what I see in you Whitton and I see potential!”

“You have all the potential, Roe. The future is in front of you and there’s not a single thing to hole you back.” He tells me like he does all the time. “You need to have bigger and better than what Blakely, Georgia and a misfit like me can offer.”

“Oh, Whitton, you will have bigger and better in your life. I know it.”

He laughs me off like he does every single time I tell him I think he’ll be someone someday. Only thing is, I know down to my soul he has so much more to give in this world. My heart bleeds that he doesn’t see it.

My alarms blares drawing me out of the dream. The memory of a lost time when things weren’t complicated and the boy I knew and believed in may not have believed in himself, but back then he believed in me. Something I desperately needed. 

Whitton Joseph Thorne, my best friend since we ran into each other playing at recess when we were only eight years old. Twenty years later, I still consider him the best friend I’ve ever had … only everything between us has changed.

No longer is he the boy I thought could give the world goodness. He’s a grown man who left everything in Georgia behind ten years ago when we crossed a line.

Would I cross the line again? If I knew the outcome would be this, I’m not so sure. At the time, it felt right. Hell, I thought it was going to change everything into something we could build a future on.

Except, Waylon took off and Whitton was right behind him. Where one brother went, the other was sure to follow. They had a rough start in life. Bonded as twins, bonded as brothers, and bonded by the times life kicked them while they were down those two would always stick together.

Part of me blames Waylon. The other part of me, knows the truth. Whitton ran. Yes, he woke up after the best night of our lives and couldn’t handle the emotion. He found out Waylon took off and he followed. It was an escape and an all too easy excuse.

I’m not sure he realized that no matter the distance he put between us, he still had me with him. I haven’t figured out a way to get that piece of me back from Whitton yet. Even after all these years, I belong to him in a way that keeps me from moving on.

Looking at little Marlayna yesterday and waking up today, it’s time I let go of Whitton. Everything I thought we could one day be is a far fetched dream. Marlayna has her life ahead of her. No matter the past, she has a future.

The same can be said for Whitton Thorne and it’s a future that he decided would be without me.

**

Sitting down to a late dinner, I pull out my phone and scroll social media. I don’t know why because it only tells me things I don’t care to know. Even with a bowl of vegetable soup in front of me, my stomach growls at seeing the yummy chocolate desserts. I have a sweet tooth. My ass and hips thank me for it. 

Sipping my soup, it warms me. My thumb moves on my phone screen, skipping past people I went to high school with that I never talk to. Why I’m even friends with them, I’ll never know. Maybe it’s time to declutter my life. Most of the time people friend you just to see what you’re doing and then delete you. Personally, I like it when people take out their own trash. 

My private message pops up and internally I groan seeing it’s from Lance. Hi. See you’re on. Want to talk to you. He types. I need to figure out how to block people from seeing when I’m on and when I’m not. Or maybe I just need to block him. I’m thinking the latter.

Going out with Lance was up there with many mistakes I made in my life. Two dates, then I called it off. Only he didn’t seem to get the point. Even telling him flat out I wasn’t interested, he still messages me, texts me and calls me. Not wanting to appear rude, I’ve answered all of them. But this, I just don’t want to engage with him. I’m tired of it. I repeat myself all day everyday with my students. My personal life, I don’t want that. 

I move the little bubble that shows a picture of a golf club, Lance, and toss it down below to get rid of it off my screen. 

The phone begins to ring and I jump. First thought is, Lance is calling me. Then when I look at the screen, I see Elizabeth Calling. A smile crosses my face as I except the call. 

“Hey woman!” I greet my best friend. We met in college, which seems like a lifetime ago, but really wasn’t.

“Hey back at ya! What are you doing? I want to meet for drinks.” 

I look to the clock noting it’s only five-thirty, but I do have to work tomorrow. Drinking and then rowdy children in the morning is not a good combination. 

“Is something up?” I take the last bite of my soup and push it to the side. 

“Yes, but I don’t want to tell you over the phone. Meet me in twenty at Carlyle’s?”

Looking down at my clothes, the puppy dog pajama bottoms won’t cut it going out. “Give me thirty. I need to change.” 

“Epp.” She makes the sound then, “Okay, see you then.” And disconnects. Whatever she has in store must be exciting. 

At least one of us has something good going on.

Chapter Two

Skinny

Flames extinguish, scars fade, but the burn can’t be felt forever!

I strike the match and watch it burn.

The blends of reds and yellows into oranges is mesmerizing. The flickers of colors all move as if they’re dancing together. The heat gets closer and closer to my fingertips as the flame grows intently.

I feel no pain. I feel nothing.

Void. Empty.

My life is not one of colors and blends.

Poof. I blow the match out. The flame is extinguished. All that’s left is black smoke. It’s like my soul. Dark, unforgiving.

I sit in the dim lit room I call home. Ruthless Rebels MC – my family and the clubhouse where I calm myself at the end of every day. 

The ten feet by ten feet space has my bed, one nightstand, and a dresser. The closet is small but I keep a three tiered bookshelf in there, full of different books and photo albums. It’s not much, but it’s mine. Beside that door is the door to the bathroom.

Feeling the acid burn in my gut, I get up and make my way in front of the porcelain. Dropping to my knees I wretch.

I don’t remember the last time I woke up and didn’t throw up within an hour. It happens, every damn day. I finish, stand, wash up, and brush my teeth. There’s no use in looking in the mirror, I already know the mess I’ll see.

I hate fucking mirrors. Only one time in my life did I ever look in a mirror and not see the hideous beast I am … and that will never happen again. Roelyn Duprey, she made the man in the mirror not a monster but a lover. She is everything beautiful I should never touch. It’s a memory I’ll hold onto.

She believed in me, believed in having something not understanding the monster I am. From the beginning the devil gripped my heart and never let go. The bitch known as my mother told me I was spawned in evil. She scarred me, marked me, and made sure the world could see me for what I am. A horrible, vile, demonized man.

Roelyn Duprey had rose colored glasses on. I let her keep them on because I needed her lifeline. The spark between us, I fed. Continuing to fuel, provide the heat, like a flame, I watched us grow, flicker, and rather than watch us fade, I snuffed it out quickly leaving nothing behind but black smoke.

My brother needed me and Roe needed me to go away even if she didn’t know it. I took off, never looked back, and haven’t looked in a mirror since the night I watched me fuck her in one. 

Spitting in the sink, I rinse my mouth and walk away never checking my reflection. I know what I’d see. The flames of hell flicker in my eyes and burn in my soul, no need to remind myself.

Throwing on a clean pair of jeans, I don’t bother with boxers, briefs, or anything to cover my junk. The raw denim rub will remind I’m alive. Somehow, in the hell that is my life, I keep surviving and I’m not sure why. Sliding on my shirt, I grab my cut as I drop my feet into my boots before I head out, not bothering to tie the laces till I get to my bike.

Today I have packing duty. I don’t mind. I’ll head to the warehouse, pack the guns to ready for shipment, and then meet up with Waylon. 

My twin, Triple Threat, as he’s known in the club is everything I’m not. He’s good looking, level-headed, and not held back by a damn thing.

Me, I’m a scarred mess, hot-head, and haunted by the one thing I gave up so long ago.

Yeah, tonight calls for the strip club. I’ll pay to have a stranger grind on me till I get hard, then head back to the clubhouse and fuck a trick until I can’t remember my name, my past, and the woman I left behind.

**

“It’s a boy!” Shamus rushes into the clubhouse announcing. “DJ has a healthy, happy, eight pound, nine ounce, twenty-two inch baby boy. Kenderly is doing good.”

There are smiles and happiness that fill the space. Shamus comes over to me, slapping me on the back. “You wanna go with us to set up the house, brother.”

I nod. There isn’t a single thing with any of my brothers I would miss because they are all I have. And for once in my life, I belong.  

After DJ’s whore mother dropped her problems on Kenderly’s doorstep, DJ claimed his woman and in turn the Rebels handled their shit. Kenderly and her mother had an uphill battle to climb with everything they had already lost, but DJ’s mother cost them their home.

It took some time, but DJ won over Kenderly’s heart. They have a good life, building themselves a solid future. And now their new addition. Everything is looking good for my Rebels’ brother.

Not too long ago, DJ bought them a big ass house and furnished it to Kenderly’s liking. Now, it’s time for the Rebels to ride in and make sure our newest member is set.

“Your woman handle buying the goods?” I ask Shamus knowing he and Andrea have decided not to have kids because of the health risks for her. 

“Shit, brother. She loves shopping for all this baby crap. Kitten has a soft spot for being the auntie apparently. She even bought Kenderly a video baby monitor instead of the basic one they had on the registry.”

I laugh. “Nothing wrong with that.”

“I didn’t think so but apparently DJ and Kenderly had talked. DJ didn’t want to be fuckin’ his woman and look to the nightstand and see their baby awake.”

“I never thought a damn thing would give DJ stage fright.” We both laugh before heading out to go set up a nursery Rebels style.

“Guess a baby changes things. I’m good with how my life is so no change needed here.” Shamus adds with a smirk. Things are good in the club, they are good for DJ and Shamus. It’s even better to feel like I’m a real part of something. 

Andrea is already inside when Shamus, Lurch, Triple Threat, and I pull up. She rushes outside and over to the car parked in front of the house.

“Mom brought me over, got lots to unload.” She says more to Shamus than anyone with a smile that is relaxed and easy going.

Given the path Andrea went through to finally be okay again and with Shamus, I smile with her. Like me, her life is full of scars.

Only in all the turmoil, Andrea has found a way to not allow her scars to define her.

She lived a different life. Following her dreams into investigative reporting landed her half dead in a hospital oceans away from her home. She survived her traumatic brain injury like I survived my burns. With no place to go to pick up the pieces she came home. It took a bit, but Shamus and Andrea worked their shit out. Their past isn’t holding them back from a future.

Waylon and I won’t have this. Our past defines our future and it’s not one that looks so bright. 

For a moment, I had hope that somehow I could have a second chance to have something real in my life outside of the club. With DJ and Shamus both getting their second chances, I thought maybe there would be a sliver of time where Waylon and I could have more than what we have managed to secure. Then I dreamt I caught a look in the mirror and quickly remembered what my life has been destined to be from the moment I was born.

I am my brother’s keeper. My place on Earth is to protect him even from himself. I don’t have the time or emotion for anything else.

Our mother is a psycho bitch who thinks my brother is the second coming of her God or some shit. Apparently during an ultrasound, it appeared that I, baby b, was kicking or hitting, baby a – being Waylon. From that moment on I was destined to the damned.

She even tried to have me aborted but the doctors said she was too far along and it was risk to my brother. Then we were born.

She tried to leave me at the hospital. The nurses told her it wasn’t good for infant twins to be separated this early. According to the medical records we later dug up, they felt she was suffering from post partum depression and would eventually want me. Having two babies at once via c-section meant she couldn’t hold us right away so she didn’t bond properly the doctor noted.

Bond.

What a joke. The woman tried to kill me more than once. 

I’ve never had a mother’s love. Neither has my brother.

She may have wanted me marked, condemned, banished, and branded, but she wanted my brother to be some savior to the world.

We just wanted to be boys. We grew into men who just wanted to live life. To this day I still can’t understand her mindset. I gave up a long time ago trying. Waylon – that’s another story.

I’ll go to the ends of the Earth for my brother. I’ll protect him from her or God himself if I have to.

“Snap out of it, these diapers won’t unload themselves!” Waylon says throwing a box of the shit holders at me.

“How many boxes do they think Kenderly needs?” I ask looking at the van full.

“Daisy, XXX (Lurch’s woman forgot her name), Andrea, her mom, Kenderly’s mom and aunt, and every other woman around swear they will go through these and more.” Shamus says walking inside with a bag of clothes.

“Wonder what it was like for mom to have twins?” Waylon says out loud and my chest stings in the pain I know he feels.

Yeah, we have no future like what DJ or Shamus have found. I need to stop disillusioning myself into ever thinking I could. Walk the line, it’s what I have to do.

If I fuck up, I’m not the only one who suffers, Waylon will too. I won’t do that to him or me. Yes, I’m better off alone.

Whitton ‘Skinny’ Thorne– scarred skin only covers a beautiful soul.
Bitter with a capital B.
Life has been hell from the beginning when Whitton was burned as an infant, yet as much as he pushes me away I’m always coming back for more.
When I finally let go, he wants to let me in, how do I survive when we’ve both been scarred?
***Each book in the Ruthless Rebels MC is a new couple, but are best read in order. This is a biker book so please expect violence, foul language, and sexual situations. Do not buy if any of this offends you.***

 




USA Today Bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.



Ryan Michele found her passion in making fictional characters come to life. She loves being in an imaginative world where anything is possible and has a knack for special twists readers don’t see coming.
She writes MC, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, New Adult, Inspirational, and many more romances. And whether it’s bikers, wolf shifters, mafia, or beyond, Ryan spends her time making sure her heroes are strong and her heroines match them at every turn.
When she isn’t writing, Ryan is a mom and wife living in rural Illinois and reading by her pond in the warm sun.


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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour Review

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From New York Times Bestselling author Kristen Ashley, comes ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING, the long awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure you grab your copy today!


    Baseball on the Infield Chalk Line with the Base in the distance    

Kristen Ashley’s ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
January 4th
All Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Books Need TLC – Review
Garden of Reden – Review
Lit. 4 Ladies – Review & Excerpt
The Book Maven – Review
January 5th
Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt
KT Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Words We Love By – Review & Excerpt
January 6th
Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt
Shameless Book Club – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Once Upon a Page – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
Stacey is Sassy – Review
The Cantu Sisters Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
January 7th
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt
Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt
Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews – Review & Excerpt
January 8th
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt
Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt
January 9th
Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt
Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt
Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review
January 10th
Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt
BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Lit Slave – Review & Excerpt
Under The Covers Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
January 11th
Bookalicious Babes Blog – Review & Excerpt
Knotty Girl Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Talk Books to Me – Review & Excerpt
Love Between the sheets – Review & Excerpt
January 12th
Nicely Phrased – Review & Excerpt
Viviana, Enchantress of Books – Review & Excerpt
Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review & Excerpt
January 13th
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
The Book Bellas – Review & Excerpt
 

 
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EXCERPT

“You, thinkin’ I’d have a problem with you bein’ Marcus Sloan,” I expanded.
“Do you know who I am?”
“Nope.” I shrugged. “Don’t care either. Though, that’s to say ‘nope’ don’t mean that I don’t know. I just don’t really know. I still don’t care. And that’s not why I don’t wanna have dinner with you.”
“I’m still not understanding.”
“Honey bunch, I’m a stripper.”
“Yes. And?”
I shut up.
Dear God, he thought I thought I was better than him.
No.
He thought I thought I had reason to think I was better than him.
“I don’t judge,” I said quietly. “Life’s life and a person’s gotta do what they feel they gotta do to get along in it.”
“This is correct.”
“So I don’t care what you do or who you are.”
“And this delights me.”
My heart started racing because it did. It delighted him.
And I knew this because his eyes were again twinkling.
“Men are a**holes,” I shared.
“Some of them are, yes,” he somewhat agreed.
“Not met many who aren’t. My count, all my life, that number equals two.”
Those twinkling eyes stopped twinkling in order to flash.
“Just two?”
“Yup. Two,” I confirmed.
“Although I find that knowledge upsetting, I’ll share I’d like to make that three,” he told me something I already (mostly) got.
   


A Message from Kristen:

Dear Reader,

I’m beside myself with glee that this prequel to my Rock Chick series has been unleashed! There was some time when I never thought I’d write it. When I couldn’t be in that terrible place with Daisy. But I’m oh-so glad that she called to me, demanding her story be told so she could give it to me and now I can give it to you! I loved every moment spent with Daisy and Marcus. And I hope you do too!

~Kristen Ashley

About ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING:

From New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, comes the long-awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, Rock Chick Reawakening. A prequel to Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloan—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Download the Free Kindle App

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Praise for Kristen Ashley and ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING:

“OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This was pure Old School Vintage KA GOLD!!!”

~Aestas Book Blog

“This novella is like the key to all the locked doors in this series.”

~Angie’s Dreamy Reads

“We inhaled Marcus and Daisy’s story, how could we not. It was everything to us and we cannot thank Kristen Ashley enough for writing it, in her much loved unique manner. The queen of epilogues struck once more and we smiled through copious tears of happiness, our hearts feeling full and complete. Whilst sad that it’s over we just can’t feel anything but happiness and love right now. It was Aces! Rock on…and be prepared to be swept of off your feet.”

~Totally Booked Blog

“[Kristen] Ashley captivates.”

~Publisher’s Weekly

“There is something about them [Ashley’s books] that I find crackalicious.”

~DearAuthor.com,Kati Brown

“I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes… my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when my heart (I mean… her heart) would break.”

~Maryse’s Book Blog

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About Kristen Ashley:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. 


Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. 

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

WEBSITE * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * NEWSLETTER * GOODREADS * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM

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Review

Rock Chick Reawakening (Rock Chick, #0.5)Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book gives us the backstory for Daisy and Marcus. Both are very strong and have overcome much in their lives. Daisy is so sweet and light for all the pain she’s had. It makes me appreciate her uniqueness even more after witnessing her struggles. Marcus is amazing. His actions are perfect and mature in every situation. He’s secure in himself and respectful of Daisy in every way. We get to witness how they came to be a couple. They seem so different; yet, they’re perfect for one another.
Seeing bits of much beloved characters from other books is a treat of course. We get scenes before we ever knew them in the previous stories, before they’re more settled. I adore the Rock Chick series. I thought it was over so I’m super happy to get more. RCR is more serious than some of the other books and shorter, but it gives the reader that great vibe of being back in that world. I’ve missed it. Reading this novella is a must for all RC fans.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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