New Release: Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds

 

Wide Open Spaces 1

“Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder looking more beautiful than ever standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.”

Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds is LIVE!

NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bB0Ejm
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bB0Ejm

**Additional Retailers to follow**

 

wide open spaces 2

Full Blurb
That moment your life changes.
That moment that changes your life.
That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.
That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.
There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.

 

About the Author:

Aurora Rose Reynolds

 

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.
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Bad Judgement by Meghan March Book Review

Bad Judgement by Meghan March Book Review
A sexy enemies-to-lovers STANDALONE romance from USA Today bestselling author Meghan March.He’s arrogant.She’s self-righteous.I hate him.I want her.I’ve been turning him down for two years straight.Every shut-down makes me work harder.I’m not a one-night stand kind of girl.She doesn’t realize I won’t settle for only one night.He’s a distraction I don’t need.She’ll say yes eventually because I’m not giving up.***“My final ruling is that Bad Judgment is Meghan March’s best work yet.”—USA Today bestselling author T.M. Frazier"We absolutely couldn't get enough of this fresh storyline, the insanely combustible steam and a gripping ending you will NOT see coming!" —The Rockstars of Romance“Meghan March’s writing is so addictive. From the very first page she sucks you in, and that’s exactly what happened with Bad Judgment. It was sexy, angsty, and consuming. Another fantastic read from Meghan. PS, thanks for keeping me up late at night.” —Author Meghan Quinn
Goodreads

If you haven’t read a book by Meghan March by now, then Bad Judgement is an excellent choice as it is standalone romance.

Justine Foster is in her final year of law school and just learned that her scholarship is not being renewed for the last year. Her only options come in the form of stripping or tutoring Ryker Grant, the guy who has been asking her out for the last 2 years. While one seems to definitely be a bad judgement call, you don’t know all the facts yet that go into the deal with Ryker to say which one is worse.

I loved the interaction between Justine and Ryker from the start. She wasn’t one to put up with his bull****, and often times called him on it. While Ryker first wanted to get with her cause of her looks, soon he realizes there is more to her than just looks.

Everything though isn’t as it seems when it comes to their relationship. There are things they are both keeping from each other, that can destroy everything before it gets off the ground. What choices do they make lead to bad judgement that can spell disaster for their lives and careers? And once the decision is made, is it enough to make up for that bad judgement call?

The twists that Meghan is known for in her books are present here literally up to the last couple chapters, and I love that in this story. You are kept in the dark on what is going to come and once it’s brought to light, it’s not something you would have thought of, at least not at first. That is one thing that keeps having me come back and back to her books. I also love the panty-melting inducing love scenes between Justine and Ryker. You could feel the sexual tension way before their first time and it only gets stronger from there.

This is a great book all the way around, and especially if you’ve never read Meghan March before, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants real characters that want to do the right thing even when bad judgements and decisions happen, like it does to any of us.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Empire by Kathy Coopmans

empire full

 

.99 cent special pre-order price for EMPIRE by Kathy Coopmans. Releasing October 5th.
This is the final book in The Syndicate Series.
Price increases to 2.99 on release day!

 

 

Pre-order links for EMPIRE.empire cover
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2bxKYR0
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/2bKBX4D
iBooks – http://apple.co/2akiRm1
Nook – http://bit.ly/2aFX47F
Kobo – http://bit.ly/2ao2kOe

 

Blurb
We’ve loved.
We’ve lost.
We’ve hated.
Our Empire is crumbling right before my eyes. No one can be trusted for reasons that are consuming me, controlling me and ripping me away from my family.
What it boils down to is… her life or mine.
The answer is MINE!
I’m perceived as weak, all because I’m a woman.
A woman on a mission now that they’ve stolen someone I love.
They have threatened my family, my child, my love.
This new family who has taken over the streets of New York has taken someone away from us. We will not let them take anymore. The only way to stop them is to sacrifice one of us.
But who? They want to end me and my cousin, Calla.
I will never allow that to happen.
This is our EMPIRE. Our LIFE.
I may be a woman but, I’m the daughter of a notorious killer.
They want to end me and my cousin, Roan.
I will never allow that to happen.
This is our EMPIRE. Our LIFE.
What it boils down to is… his life or mine.
The answer is MINE!
I’m loved.
I’m lost.
I hate.

About the Author:

 

kathy coopmans
Kathy Coopmans

Amazon Best Selling Author Kathy Coopmans, lives in Michigan with her husband Tony where they have two grown sons.
After raising her children she decided to publish her first book and retiring from being a hairstylist.
She now writes full time.
She’s a huge sports fan with her favorite being Football and Tennis.
She’s a giver and will do anything she can to help another person succeed!
Stalk Her: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | Newsletter signup

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$25 Amazon Gift Card

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Furious Rush by SC Stephen interview and giveaway

Furious Rush by SC Stephen interview and giveaway
The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father's talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team's newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie's skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she's racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind...
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Blog Tour Q&A

  1. So why choose to write about motorcycle racers specifically? I wanted a heart-of-gold bad boy who did something sexy for a living. Kellan already owned the rock star market, so I started looking around for other avenues for Hayden. My brother had just purchased a shiny, red street bike, and when I saw it, I couldn’t help but notice that the bike was super-sexy. I knew right then and there that bikes were going to be Hayden’s “thing.”

 

  1. Would you ever write a sports romance about football, baseball, etc.? I think professional football could be interesting. The dramas between the wives, the egos of the players, and of course, the forbidden romance with the cheerleader… Sounds like fun!

 

  1. Was it challenging to write about something completely new after spending so much time with the characters in the Thoughtless series? Yes and no. It was very freeing to be able to write new characters with no set-in-stone back stories, no previous timelines fixing them to a certain path. What I did find challenging however, was the endless possibilities. So many options can be overwhelming, and it took some time to narrow the scope into something more manageable.

 

  1. What is one book you are dying to read but haven’t gotten the time to do so yet? Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. It’s literally sitting on my nightstand right now, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’ve only heard good things about this entire series, and I can’t wait to start it.

 

 

About S.C. Stephens

S.C. Stephens CREDIT Tara Ellis Photography

S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

New Release: Taylor Made by KJ Lewis

Latin man wearing a tuxedo

TaylorMadeFINAL-highEmme James’ southern roots and ease at reading people make her known in elite circles as one of the best image and brand consultants in the business. Her gut-instinct and ability to balance six male roommates, a New York Madame, a rock star and her job do nothing to prepare her for the chaos that ensues when a chance meeting places her on a path that threatens the resolve of control Emme masters.

Having never mislead a woman of his intentions, Graham Taylor makes no apologies for his ‘fuck ‘em and leave ‘em attitude’. He gets no hassle sex and they get money and notoriety. The only stipulation, control. His. An unexpected mishap places him next to an unassuming southern girl whose honesty and kindness kindles a need to show her what it would be like to give control to him even for a short amount of time. His underestimation of her tenacity soon blurs the line of who is really in control.

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Teasers

Man and woman lips wants to kiss

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KJ Lewis is offering all sorts of goodies for her release of Taylor Made.

Enter below to have a chance to win one of three packages from her! Make sure to click the arrows over to enter ALL THREE!

ENTER HERE

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Kj is Memphis raised with a New York soul. Taylor Made is Kj’s first adult contemporary romance duet.

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Mr Corporate by JA Huss Book Review

Mr Corporate by JA Huss Book Review
Weston Conrad is the best headhunter in the business. That handsome smile goes a long way towards convincing most people to trust him with their future.
I’m not most people. I’m his direct competition. And it doesn’t hurt to be just the kind of woman he’s been looking for.
I’m gonna flash you these legs, Weston Conrad.
I’m gonna wear low-cut shirts and micro-mini skirts.
I’m gonna dazzle you with wit and conversation and kiss those lips like they’re exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
So don’t hate me when you figure out my secret.
You understand, right? You’re Mr. Corporate and this is just business.
Goodreads

I’m in love with this series by Julie, just like all her books. She has this thing for writing a standalone and it having it’s own story, but then have that standalone be part of a series with an overall story arc to it. Julie is doing it again with her Mister (Mr.) series.

The story takes place on a deserted island in the exotic Exuma Cays. Look at this yumminess. Nice place to be deserted, right? Let’s just take a moment and have a mini vacation right now…..

Mistress of Romance is a place for all romance lovers to come and explore new reads. Come let me be your book Mistress and check out mr corporateMistress of Romance is a place for all romance lovers to come and explore new reads. Come let me be your book Mistress and check out Mr Corporate

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Okay. Back to business. Victoria and Weston have been sent to the island via a wild goose chase. They are both sent to head hunt the same guy, and he is supposed to be on his island, but he’s not. After they seen a massive storm brewing and acknowledge that their pilot isn’t coming back for them, they are forced to face reality. The reality is their relationship, their businesses and their life in general.

Mistress of Romance is a place for all romance lovers to come and explore new reads. Come let me be your book Mistress and check out Mr Corporate

“Mr. and Mrs. Corporate. It’s just business, Mister style.”

I’m not sure what to ever say in a review. You don’t want me to wrap the story up. That’s why you’re reading it, right? When I read a review, I want it to be short and sweet, but I see others write these long diatribes and I don’t know how they do it. I’m going to try and meet in the middle.

What I like about the writing in the story is that it is faced paced. Lots of up and downs, and there is alway this question lingering that you just can’t figure out. It’s mostly because of lack of information, not because you can’t put two and two together.

I didn’t find myself bored like I sometimes do with other romance books. It fits the formula, but there is something about Julie’s writing that makes it fresh, and I just can’t figure it out. I find myself rating a lot of books 3 stars because while they are okay, they aren’t great, and they aren’t bad. They were just boring.

Mr. Corporate had that give and take with the relationship; which I want to add that Victoria/Tori was my least liked heroine to-date. Ugh. I was so tired of her by the middle of the book that I was wondering what the hell Weston saw in her. She is a real bitch. Her lack of trust in Weston was beyond being independant. It was a whole level of she needs to see a counselor.

Mistress of Romance is a place for all romance lovers to come and explore new reads. Come let me be your book Mistress and check out Mr Corporate

Weston has to be a masochist to be able to take that, and for the length of time that he did. To have to be constantly reassuring someone and arguing about having a little faith in him has to be exhausting. Christ.

“I just need you to now that…I love us. And if you think we even have the slightest chance at making this work, then please, just give in to me. I promise to be careful with you. I promise to go slow. I promise everything. I promise to be patient, and I promise to listen to you. I will do anything-whatever it takes-to make you mine forever.” -Weston

Moving on from the one thing I had to tell you about. We got to see some cameos in this book, either by name or in person. You will have to read to find out. I found that to be uber exciting.

Would I recommend this book to you to read? Absolutely. It’s really a great book.

Well, why the hell did I give it 4.5 stars instead of 5? Because only books that blow my mind, make my heart feel like it is going to burst or makes me think about it for days get a full 5 stars. I just don’t give them out that much. Other reviewers give those reviews 6 stars, but in my world 6 stars don’t exist. 5 do, so I give Mr. Coporate 4.5 stars because it’s that good. A unique story and plot that is fast-paced, a little sexy and a whole lot of lie. A fantastic combination to keep any person reading. A must read!

The Mister Series reading order:

Mr Romantic http://amzn.to/2bxQEqp

Mr Perfect http://amzn.to/2b16hKk

Mr Corporate http://amzn.to/2b88r8c

Mr Mysterious http://amzn.to/2bxS3xa

Mr Match No-preorder yet released October 12, 2016

 

four-half-stars

About JA Huss

JAHuss

JA Huss is the author of the Amazon bestselling Rook and Ronin series, the epic science fiction I Am Just Junco series, and hundreds of kid-friendly science books in subjects such as biology, physics, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and forensics. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology. She has never taken a creative writing class and she hopes she never will.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover Book Review

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover Book Review
The newest, highly anticipated novel from beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover.Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most. Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
Goodreads

There is so much hype about this release. It’s everywhere I look. I’m not sure if I am let down because so many people say it was amazing and deserves all the stars that when I read it I expect it to be the best book she has ever written. I’m in the minority here by giving the book 3 stars. I love Colleen Hoover. I have read every single book she has written and I know her books are amazing.

I went into this book completely blind. I do this with most of my books that I read, but it should also be noted that Colleen didn’t want people to know much about the plot either. This is the part that I’m really confused about. I don’t understand why the plot is such a big secret. There isn’t a huge shock/twist element that I have come to know and love about Colleen’s writing. The concept for the book was revealed within the first few chapters.

Why do I feel just meh about the book? I feel like it was slow. Colleen’s books are usually fast paced and suspenseful. They have you turning that page as fast as you can, but this book I found myself setting it down to do other things instead of telling everyone to leave me alone so I can finish the book as fast as I possibly can.

I do think that this book will bring a lot of information to readers and help them empathize with situations that they may not have previously understood. My favorite thing about Colleen is how generous she is. She constantly gives back to people and expects absolutely nothing in return. I believe she was a social worker before she started writing full-time. What a great job fit, or maybe not. She is extremely caring, so she wants to help people, but I’m sure it hurt her heart seeing people who need so much help and only being able to do so much about it. While I was reading the book I kept thinking about her in this job and maybe the story had something to do with it. The way that she tells the story and explains the logic through the character’s voice tell of someone who has been in those shoes. It told of experience.

What do I like best and least about the book? I really think the biggest reason for the average rating is that it was too slow for me. The one thing I do like is that it will help people understand and empathize with people in those situations and help them realize not to judge someone so quickly.

I do have some examples of specific things that I don’t like about the book, but they would be considered spoilers. I think that my biggest issue with the book is the pace, and that alone is enough to justify my 3 stars without giving away specific plot lines to someone who still wants to read the book for themselves. If you want to know specifics, feel free to contact me and I will calmly discuss the specific things I didn’t care for in the book.

Everyone connects, or doesn’t, to a book differently. Yes, I didn’t connect with this one, but it will not keep me from reading another book by Colleen. I enjoy her books. She is an author that I automatically buy her books and even pre-order them without knowing anything about them. That is how much I enjoy her books. It just happens that I didn’t connect with, “It Ends With Us,” and that’s okay. You don’t have to love every book.

three-stars

About Colleen Hoover

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Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seven novels and one novella. Hoover’s novels fall into the New Adult and Young Adult categories. Hoover published her first novel, Slammed, in January 2012.

The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott Excerpt and Giveaway

The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott Excerpt and Giveaway
Cormac "The Hurricane" O'Connell's star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O'Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife.

In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work. Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them, and O'Connell realizes that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after. He couldn't protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again.
Goodreads

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THE HURRICANE SERIES

The Hurricane, #1

The Aftermath, #2

The Hurricane Series

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Excerpt:

It never occurred to me that mail was something to fear. Not until the day I came home and found Em sat on the floor, her arms wrapped around her knees, and a ripped open white envelope on the bed behind her.

“Sunshine, what’s wrong?” I asked. She swallowed hard and sniffed a few times like she was trying to hold back tears long enough to talk to me. I reached for the envelope, thinking it would give me some clue as to why she was so clearly freaked out.

“Don’t,” Em croaked. “Please,” she added pleadingly. I knew then, as a tear rolled down her cheek, that whatever was inside had to be bad. Contained within a folded sheet of plain white paper were about a dozen or so photos. They were different sizes and all taken at different times, but Em was in every one of them. The earliest photo was of a smiling happy nine year old. Just a normal kid out riding her bike. When the next one showed the same kid, fast asleep in her bed, I felt sick to my fucking stomach. The older that Em was in the pictures, the more invasive they became and none of them looked like they were taken with her knowledge. The last photo was really grainy, like it had been through a window maybe, or within a really bad camera, but it showed in intimate detail, her frail, bruised body taking a shower.

“Mother fucker,” I yelled, wanting to fucking hit something. Anything. I grabbed the envelope looking for some clue who’d sent it, like I didn’t fucking know. Frank was still in prison, pending trial, so someone on the outside must have sent this for him. The postmark on the envelope read London, which didn’t tell me much. The knuckles on Em’s hand were white where she gripping hold of her legs so hard.

“Shit love. You okay?” I said, hating that she looked so fucking scared. She nodded unconvincingly, but didn’t answer. I gathered up the pictures and stuffed them back into the envelope, not wanting her to see them anymore, but I knew we’d need to give them to police as evidence. The idea of her being on display like that to the police and the prosecution lawyers was as bad as knowing what she’d been through. Sitting down next to her, I wrapped my arm around her tiny body and pulled her into my chest. She was stiff as a board and shaking slightly. Rubbing up and down her arms, trying to get her warm I waited for her to talk to me. That was the way of it sometimes with Sunshine. She needed to think shit over before she could get it off her chest.

“I didn’t know about any of them. He’s been taking pictures of me for years. How could I not know? How could I let that happen?” she asked me.

“You didn’t let anything happen. He’s a violent, abusive rapist who’s sick in the fucking head. He did what he did because he’s a fucking whack job. Nothing you said or did gave him permission to do this.” I could see by her face that the pictures shamed her. Fuck that. There wasn’t a single fucking thing for her to be ashamed of.

“It was bad enough dealing with what happened, but he could have hundreds of these pictures and God only knows what he does with them. As if that’s not bad enough he knows where we live. Even in prison he can get to me. I’ll never be free of him will I?”

“Sunshine, even if it means killing him, I swear he will never touch you again. This is just a sign of desperation. In a few more months he’ll be too concerned about how to pick up the soap in the shower without getting arse raped to worry about getting you back. He’s going away for a very long time and there’s fuck all he can do about it. This kind of shit just gives the barristers more ammunition against him.” I did my best to reassure her, but as I was as freaked out as she was. The fact that he could get hold of the pictures and post them from prison had me worried about what else he could do from the inside.

She wiped her eyes and leant across to give me a quick kiss.

“You’re right,” she told me. “A few more months and this will all be over.” It had to be, because I hadn’t been exaggerating. If Frank came after her again, I’d kill to keep her safe.

 

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five-stars

About R.J. Prescott

RJ Prescott_Photo Credit Vancy Duxbury

USA Today bestselling author R.J. Prescott was born in Cardiff, South Wales, and studied law at the University of Bristol, England. Four weeks before graduation she fell in love, and stayed. Ten years later, she convinced her crazy, wonderful firefighter husband to move back to Cardiff where they now live with their two equally crazy sons.

Furious Rush Excerpt by S.C. Stephens

Furious Rush Excerpt by S.C. Stephens
The first in an emotion-fueled, New Adult series from the #1 bestselling author of the Thoughtless novels!

Too fast, too furious—and way too hot to handle…

Mackenzie Cox has a lot to prove. Daughter of a racing legend, she is eager to show the world that she has inherited her father's talent in the male-dominated sport of professional motorcycle racing. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonized by her rival team's newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Plucked from the world of illegal street racing, Hayden immediately gets under Kenzie's skin. His insinuations that Kenzie is a spoiled princess who was handed her career fuels her desire to win, and much to her surprise, Kenzie soon learns she performs better when she's racing against Hayden.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense—and strictly forbidden—attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie always does her best to play by the rules, but when her team slips into a financial crisis, she has no choice but to turn to Hayden for help. The tension simmers during their secret, late-night rendezvous, but Kenzie has too much to lose to give in to her desires. Especially when she begins to doubt that Hayden has completely left his street life behind...
Goodreads

Furious-Rush-Quote-Graphic-#-1-2

Preorder The Book Here

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Excerpt:

Honda Boy was holding his helmet under an arm while he flirted with the girls surrounding him. He was blond, with a short, shaggy hairstyle that probably took a lot more effort to create than it looked like. I could tell from the way the girls around him were tittering like teenagers that he was charming; with seemingly little effort on his part, he had all of them eating out of his hand. When a break in the crowd gave me a clear view of his face, I realized another thing: He was smokin’, someone-hold-on-to-my-ovaries- before-they-explode hot.

There was a perfect symmetry to his rugged features that made it seem unreal that he was standing just a few feet away from me. He should be plastered on a billboard somewhere, half-naked, selling overpriced cologne to men who wanted just a fraction of his sex appeal. As if he could feel my eyes on him, he turned his gaze my way. Our eyes met and locked, and I was helpless to turn away. There was something carnal about him, primal and dangerous. Exotic. I was instantly captivated, and I hated that I was. This guy was neck-deep in a world that twisted my stomach, a world that spat in the face of my sport. My career.

As his light-colored eyes bored holes into mine, one edge of his lip curved up in a devilish crooked grin that was both playful and promising. He was practically shouting, with just that one deadly smile, that he would satisfy my every desire, satiate every craving I could possibly have. My heart started thudding in my chest as sensations that had been dormant for far too long swirled to life in- side me. Luckily for me, the big man taking the guy’s bets clapped him on the shoulder, breaking our stare down. Once I was free of his steamy gaze, I instantly turned around so my back was to him. Jesus, was I breathing harder? Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I was twenty-two, not twelve.

“Damn,” I heard Nikki say. “You were right. I should have bet on him from the get-go. I didn’t really get a good look at him before, but he is freaking hot!”

Inhaling a deep breath, I attempted to force my body back in line with my brain. “This guy is undefeated?” I asked Nikki. “Really?” She nodded in answer and I had to close my eyes for a second. A face like that with racing skills to boot? Jesus.

Clearing my throat, I nonchalantly asked, “What did you say his name was again?” I could at least label the guy in the fantasy I was surely going to have later.

“Hayden… something. He’s been around for a while, from what I gathered.”

I risked a glance over my shoulder at… Hayden. He’d slipped his helmet on, thankfully, although his visor was popped up. The big guy taking bets had been joined by a skinny Hispanic guy who seemed to be giving Hayden instructions. Or maybe a pep talk. The little guy was acting out the race that was about to happen with his hands, complete with swerving and explosions. God, I hoped there weren’t going to be explosions. While he was going through his dramatic highlights, the big guy looped a camera over Hayden’s helmet.

When the two competitors were ready, they backed their motor- cycles onto the street. A cheer ripped up and down the sidewalk as the hopeful gamblers prepared for another round of racing. I didn’t want to feel anything but contempt for what I was witnessing, yet the energy of the spectators, the roar of the bikes—I couldn’t help the zing of excitement that raced up my spine. Against my will, my mouth twisted into a wide grin, and a yell of encouragement left my lips. Hayden’s helmet swiveled my way as he revved his engine. My pulse quickened as our eyes met. Then he winked at me and slammed his visor shut.

As the riders moved into position, Nikki grabbed my arm. “Come on. We can watch the action from the van.”

I had no idea what she was talking about. Before I could ask her, though, she yanked me toward a black van parked on the sidewalk. The back doors were open, and a giant monitor attached to a swinging metal arm was sticking out above the hovering crowd. The screen was split in two, each half showing the footage from one racer’s helmet cam. Hayden and his opponent were both looking straight ahead, and the dual feeds showed similar stretches of barren road. Looking down the street, I saw that the pair were stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change.

Returning my eyes to the monitor, I found myself holding my breath as I waited for the signal to change colors. When it turned green and the bikes surged forward, I stepped closer to the van, like that would somehow release my pent-up energy. In unison, the crowd around me started hooting and hollering. Swept up in the moment, I bounced on my toes and prayed for speed. But after watching the screen for just a few seconds, I was struck with the harsh reality of the situation I was watching. This was no closed-off track with well-defined paths. This was down and dirty, anything goes, just get to the finish line first racing.

The bikes blew through red lights like they meant absolutely nothing. The streets were fairly empty at this early hour, but they blurred past the few vehicles on the road like they were standing still; they had to be going 100 miles per hour, easy. They dodged obstacles by hopping onto the sidewalk, they fishtailed around slick corners, and they came close to colliding with oncoming traffic more than once.

I turned to Nikki with shock clear on my face. “This is insane! Someone’s going to get hurt. Maybe killed!”

Nikki’s face was pure elation as she watched the screens. Her expression changed as my words sunk in, then she looked at me like I had a foot sticking out of my head. I supposed it was odd to hear that type of statement coming from someone who routinely hovered around the 150 mark on the speedometer while riding, but that was a completely different kind of environment. Believe it or not, what I did was safe, relatively speaking. Millions of dollars were spent to make it that way. This was not safe. At all.

“They’re breaking every traffic law there is,” I added, feeling like a giant stick in the mud. Someone needed to be the voice of reason here, though, because everyone was clearly out of their ever loving minds.

Nikki smirked at my comment. “It’s a race, Kenzie. They can’t exactly drive cautiously. Why do you think this happens so late at night?”

“Because it’s illegal,” I deadpanned. I got a couple of odd looks from the crowd after saying that, including a particularly nasty glare from Hayden’s bet collector. Maybe this wasn’t the best place to be talking about the law. Shutting my mouth, I quickly refocused on the screen.

Just as I noticed a familiar section of street come into view on the monitor, one side of the screen started wobbling, then the camera showed asphalt, sparks, spinning scenery, and a rapidly approaching telephone pole. The crowd around me hushed as it became clear that Hayden’s competition wasn’t going to finish this race. I heard Hayden’s bike rounding the corner seconds later, then Nikki was once again pulling me along like a rag doll. She shoved us into a good position to see the finish line right as Hayden’s Honda whizzed past. He was alone. Cheers erupted mixed with a few groans from the people who’d bet on the other guy.

Just as I was wondering if anyone was going to go check on the Ninja rider, Nikki grabbed my shoulders and started shaking me with uncontainable joy. “We won, Kenzie! We frickin’ won!”

“Great,” I said, clenching my teeth so I wouldn’t bite my tongue.

Releasing me, Nikki let out a squeal of excitement. “I just made enough money to pay you back and cover my loss. See, aren’t you glad you came?”

I narrowed my eyes into poisonous daggers that would hopefully drill some sense into her. “I hate you,” I murmured. Nikki held a hand over her heart. “I know by hate you mean love, and I love you too, Kenzie. Now let’s collect my winnings and go home so you can rest up. Big year this year!”

I opened my mouth to scold her with some biting remark about how I’d wanted to leave ages ago, but she turned on her heel and left me there, gaping. Just as I was forcing the muscles in my jaw to relax enough to contract, Hayden pulled up next to where I was standing on the sidewalk. It felt like the world suddenly shifted into slow motion as I turned my head to look at him.

He was still hunched over his bike, hands on the grip and throttle; the only indication that he was looking at me was the direction of his dark helmet. Then, like some freaking Prince Charming in a fairy tale, he slowly removed his helmet and tucked it under his arm. I swear the air around me condensed as his tilted smile came into view. Jesus Christ, this guy was sex on a stick.

Reaching up, he roughly ran a hand through his sweaty dirty- blond hair. The short, sexy shag he’d had going on earlier was destroyed from the helmet, but somehow after just a few scruffs of his hand, the carefree style was back to utter perfection. I kind of wanted to mess it up again, run my hands through the strands, grab a handful and clench it tight while I outlined those incredibly kissable lips with my tongue.

Whoa. No. I didn’t want that.

His penetrating gaze studied my face for a moment. There was something there in his eyes that I couldn’t quite grasp. Interest, sure, but almost… sadness too. Then he smiled, and the look vanished so fast, I was sure I’d imagined it. “Haven’t seen you here before,” he said, his voice low and easy, like he hadn’t just risked his life. “I hope you bet on me. It would be a shame to see someone as beautiful as you… lose.”

His grin turned suggestive, and warning signs started flashing in front of my eyes. Danger! Do not proceed! Rocky road ahead! Turn back now! The warnings flared even brighter when he stood from his motorcycle and began approaching me.

When he was directly in front of me, so close that I could smell the subtle spicy aroma of his cologne, my heart was hammering so hard, I was positive he could hear it, positive he could see my T-shirt lifting and releasing like a frantic hummingbird was hiding under the fabric. What the hell was he doing to me? Was I nervous or excited? Because the sensation was so similar to both, I honestly couldn’t tell.

Extending a hand, he smoothly said, “Name’s Hayden. Hayden Hayes.” I was just about to lift my hand and touch him—my fingers even twitched in response—when he added, “And what should I call you, sweetheart?”

Sweetheart? With those two simple syllables he had just dumped a bucket of ice water over my head and killed any fantasy I might have had about him. I lived, worked, and breathed in a world where men looked at me like I was a second-class citizen. To prove my worth, I had to work harder, longer, and with everything I had inside me, all the fucking time. I felt like he’d just tried to take all of that hard work away from me with that one demeaning word.

“Leaving,” I said, walking away.

Hayden-Hayes2

About S.C. Stephens

S.C. Stephens CREDIT Tara Ellis Photography

S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.

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The Girl In The Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson (Creator) Book Review

The Girl In The Spider’s Web by  David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson (Creator) Book Review
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO IS BACK WITH A UK NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERLisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time.Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story - and it is a terrifying one.More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker.It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters - and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.
Goodreads

Those who spy on the people end up themselves being spied on by the people. There’s a fundamental

democratic logic to it.

This book is personally my favorite out of the series. Right now I’m really obsessed with all things hacker. My favorite show is Mr. Robot, we have the NSA hacks and now the DNC hack. Hacking is all around us right now. It would be stupid of us to brush what is happening under the rug.

The Girl In The Spider’s Web brings to the forefront what hackers and the rest of the world are truly capable of. They can bring down our banking systems, hold people’s personal information hostage until a ransom is paid or they can and are using it for corporate espionage.

This book explains all that can and does happen in a easy to digest way. It has all kinds of technical information that you can apply to your everyday life, but does it while reading an incredible suspenseful book. The pace of this book is definitely faster than the previous.

In the book you get to learn about hacking, savants, quantum mechanics, black holes, investigation and the NSA. It’s all very interesting and makes for a great read. 5 stars!

 

Other books in the Millennium Series:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

The Girl In The Spider’s Web

five-stars