Empire by Kathy Coopmans Excerpt Reveal

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“These people are ruthless, Calla. Are you sure you can handle it?” I told her as well as Alina and Anna the same thing I’m telling Roan. I’m extremely aware of how dangerous this situation is. I may not have had the displeasure of personally dealing with these wretched leaders who don’t play fair in our world; on the contrary, I will not tolerate any of them treating me any different because I have tits and a vagina. If it weren’t for women, they would be fucking each other over more than they do now. Welcome to the first episode of badassery and women power, you self-righteous dicks.

I’m a firm believer in women’s rights. I don’t care what men’s opinions are of us or what a woman is trying to accomplish. We are all equal. The only difference we have is, women use their brain the way we should, while most men use what hangs between their legs to do their bidding for them. And I can guarantee, these overbearing suckers have dicks that should be playing a role in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Small dicks, small brains, and all that jazz.

I’ve been fighting round after round with Cain for weeks over this. The need to protect me I get. We have a daughter, is his argument. “Why do you feel the need to take on this role? You don’t have to, you know? One of us can.” It’s not that Cain wants this position. No. That’s not it at all. The man is scared of losing his wife. Of the things I will see, the things I may have to do. How I’ll react to being threatened. Will the same thing or worse happen to me like it did before? It’s not one bit funny, but the only way to shut that man up is to flash my tits and vagina in his face. Then fuck him until his cock—which isn’t small by any means—takes over his worried brain. Like I said, men. I love my man, though. These pissy, arrogant cock-suckers who will be calling a meeting at any time are the worthless pieces of shit. Except the Solokovs, who think in this century and treat everyone equally like we do, not like these fools who I’ve studied until my eyes were bleeding and could no longer make out their faces through my blurred vision. Most of them I haven’t met yet, and they already make me sick and make me want to hurl all over their expensive Armani suits. They could all learn a thing or two from a woman.

“Get to the point, Calla. You said we don’t have time to fuck around. Let me hear your theory.”

“You need to loosen up, Roan. You sound like Hitler, for god’s sake.” I salute him.

The tiny crack of a smile he had moments ago falls; in its place is the face of a man who’s suffered loss and hardship. This look on him is what I hate. I’ve been busting my ass to help him out here. Searching through tiny holes for any goddamn thing I could find.

What Cain and Roan don’t understand is the craving I have to protect them too. It’s my right. I may not have lived my entire life growing up in this environment of murder, drugs, stealing, and the latest, underground illegal fighting, but I’m no fool. I can play with fire, but I’m not allowing myself to get burned.

“I’m not afraid of those men, you know. I’m not afraid of you either. In fact, I just may be your biggest weapon. Remember that, Roan,” I seethe. Between him and Cain trying to scare the crap out of me, I’m ready to prove myself to them more than anyone else.

The sharp tongue, piss, and vinegar are all in my blood. Just like Roan, I will kill for my blood. I also know Roan. That man protects with his life, as do the rest of these men. He’s going to have someone on me at all times. Maybe even several men. What he fails to realize is, my dad will never allow anything to happen to me. He’s already volunteered to go where I go. People are scared to death of the unstoppable John Greer, and they should be. He’s killed and made more people disappear than I want to know about, but he’s my father, my protector, and even though I trust our friends and family, I trust him more. His eyes are everywhere, trained on point. I don’t want anything to happen to my dad. I do know he will refuse to let anyone take care of what’s his, especially after the hell I went through with Roan’s older brother, Royal; a man I didn’t know before he kidnapped me. Besides, both of them know my dad has trained me to shoot. I hope I remember how. I’m not invincible, none of us are. But I sure as hell will not lie down and let anyone trample all over me. Especially men who don’t respect me.

I’m sick and tired of this shit. Here we think everything is fine. Those people will stick with the rules. You stay in your territory, and I’ll stay in mine. Hell no, someone crossed over. Someone shot our loved one in cold blood.

 

 

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.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.

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

 

Haven’t read this series yet?

Download The Wrath of Cain for FREE here:  http://bit.ly/2dfwxyp

 

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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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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Other books in the Series

 

The Wrath of Cain

(book 1 in the Syndicate Series)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LQp9pV

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1M2rREu

 

The Redemption of Roan

(book 2 in the Syndicate Series)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SVUsPe

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1qCCESh

 

The Absolution of Aidan

(book 3 in the Syndicate Series)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1OE8yn5

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1RRM20g

 

The Deliverance of Dilan

(book 4 in the Syndicate Series)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1RBbaCz

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1rfMPgG

About Kathy Coopsman

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!

The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken Excerpt Reveal

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Excerpt

“Bentley!” Brock barked and shook his head.

“What?” Bentley shrugged then smoothly walked over to Jane and pulled out a box of black high-heeled pumps in a size eight and a half. “Your foot, milady?”

Brock rolled his eyes. “Give it a rest, Bentley. She can put on her own damn shoes.”

Bentley completely ignored him. “I love a woman’s foot.” He grabbed Jane’s broken shoe and tossed it to the side while his hands danced along the arch of her foot. His fingertips danced along her skin. Seduction by foot rub? That was new.

“It’s sexy, the arch.” He leaned over her, his lips parting just enough to give her the impression he was thinking about kissing her. “The curve of a woman’s foot reminds me of her body…see? Sexy.” He slid the shoe on a very terrified looking Jane and stood. “Perfect fit.”

Jane’s mouth opened then closed as a rosy flush crept over her face. “Th-thank you.”

“I bought you my favorite brand.”

Her eyebrows arched. How did he know about Manolo Blahnik? “Oh.” And then she nodded and said loudly, “Ohhhh! That makes sense!”

Bentley’s eyes narrowed. “Me buying women’s shoes?”

“You wearing them,” she explained. “That’s great. I mean, good for you. I’m sorry I’m so awkward at things like this, but it’s good you’re…you know…” She bobbed her head and sputtered. “Out and…comfortable with it.”

“Out?” Bentley repeated. “I’m confused.”

“Of the closet,” she said slowly then saw the scowl on Bentley’s face. “Or maybe you just like to dress like a woman?” She straightened her shoulders and tried again. “In either case, congratulations on your choice to wear women’s clothing!”

Brock about died laughing as Bentley’s horrified expression went from stunned to genuine confusion.

“You heard her.” Brock held his laughter in check. “Congratulations, brother. I’ll take care of the press release: Bachelor Playboy Bentley Wellington and his private women’s shoe collection.”

Bentley let out a strangled laugh. “Yes, and while we’re at it why don’t we remind the press that the clock is ticking on that auction of yours? Hmm?”

“Auction?” Jane asked.

“Don’t.” Brock shook his head. “You don’t want to know.”

“But she probably already does.” Bentley pointed out. “Unless she doesn’t read the news…?”

They both stared at her, waiting for an answer.

“I, uh…” She ducked her head, blushing again. “I read books.”

“How pure.” Bentley smiled and sat down next to her. “And just so we’re clear.” He leaned in as though he was going to kiss her. “My bat only swings one way…and I can assure you, every time I get thrown a pitch, I hit it out of the park.”

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Are you ready to Meet Brock Wellington?

THE BACHELOR AUCTION by Rachel Van Dyken

is coming October 4!

Pre-Order your copy today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cqtEJo

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2casLH2

iBooks: http://apple.co/2c4SmQS

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SKyEdn

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bgINiM

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2bNZuQE

 

bachelor-auction3

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.
Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

SSUCv3H4sIAAAAAAAEAJ2QPQ7CMAyFdyTuUGXu0FBAwFUQg0mtYhEalLgghHp38tNKntnyPvs5fv6uV1WlrhDIqFP1TSpqsnYM7IHJDRE39cyxI3aewCaY2JQrKjDwGDCkETMywNjH3gJn//LPuehqKeRidMSSUrVgYbxmtqCp/ttZHpclCvQ4mE9eWATxaBFKkHNpVfc3o3/IaC/q0AkNY0dOpHw5AzYZWjH56cnQ0Aub4xt6ebF4cvcQYHCcN5mDqS6eNEnd6marm40+6kOz17tDG1NOP46uYKPKAQAA

 

 

About Rachel Van Dyken

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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.
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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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About R.J. Prescott

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...
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Preorder The Book Here

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aAysdP

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2b0ym0W

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Kobo: http://bit.ly/2asujib

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 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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Never Say Love by Carly Phillips and Lauren Hawkeye

Never Say Love by Carly Phillips and Lauren Hawkeye

Never Say Love by Carly Phillips and Lauren Hawkeye

Blurb

Never Say Never is about a boy bound by a vow with his friends, hotel tycoon Nathan (Nate) Archer refuses to settle down and tie the knot. His only commitment is to bachelorhood. Granted, that contract was made when he was 15 years old… and in a treehouse. Still, a promise is a promise. And Nate takes his promises seriously.

But when cute little Eleanor Marshall walks back into his life, this blast from the past is no longer the timid little girl he used to know. When Ellie propositions him for a night of sizzling, unattached sex, Nate can’t refuse. Besides, it’s only one night. And Nate is never going to settle down.

Never say never…

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About Carly Phillips and Lauren Hawkeye

Carly Phillips and Lauren HawkeyeCarly Phillips

After a successful fifteen year career with various New York publishing houses, and over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels published, N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips is now an Indie author who writes to her own expectations and that of her readers. She continues the tradition of hot men and strong women and plans to publish many more sizzling stories. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She’s a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she’s a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.

Lauren Hawkeye

New York Time and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Hawkeye never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, two young sons, pit bull and two idiot cats, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting, reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

Find Carly Phillips and Lauren Hawkeye Online

He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker: Prologue and Chapter One

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We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring you the Prologue and Chapter 1 Reveal for K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN! HE WILL BE MY RUIN is a Romantic Suspense novel, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, and is set to be released February 2, 2016!

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K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN – Prologue and Chapter One:

Prologue

Maggie

December 23, 2015

My wrists burn.

Hours of trying to break free of the rope that binds my hands behind my back have left them raw, the rough cord scrubbing away my skin and cutting into my flesh. I’m sure I’ll have unsightly scars.

Not that it will matter when I’m dead.

I resigned myself to that reality around the time that I finally let go of my bladder. Now I simply lie here, in a pool of urine and vomit, my teeth numb from knocking with each bump in the road, my body frozen by the cold.

Trying to ignore the darkness as I fight against the panic that consumes me. I could suffocate from the anxiety alone.

He knows that.

Now he’s exploiting it. That must be what he does—he uncovers your secrets, your fears, your flaws—and he uses them against you. He did it to Celine.

And now he’s doing it to me.

That’s why I’m in a cramped trunk, my lungs working overtime against a limited supply of oxygen while my imagination runs wild with what may be waiting for me at the end of this ride.

My racing heart ready to explode.

The car hits an especially deep pothole, rattling my bones. I’ve been trapped in here for so long. Hours. Days. I have no idea. Long enough to run through every mistake that I made.

How I trusted him, how I fell for his charm, how I believed his lies. How I made it so easy for him to do this to me.

How Celine made it so easy for him, by letting him get close.

Before he killed her.

Just like he’s going to kill me.

 

Chapter 1

Maggie

November 30, 2015

The afternoon sun beams through the narrow window, casting a warm glow over Celine’s floral comforter.

It would be inviting, only her body was found in this very bed just thirteen days ago.

“Maggie?”

“Yeah,” I respond without actually turning around, my gaze taking in the cramped bedroom before me. I’ve never been a fan of New York City and all its overpriced boroughs. Too big, too busy, too pretentious. Take this Lower East Side apartment, for example, on the third floor of a drafty building built in the 1800s, with a ladder of shaky fire escapes facing the side alley and a kitschy gelato café downstairs. It costs more per month than the average American hands the bank in mortgage payments.

And Celine adored it.

“I’m in 410 if you just . . . want to come and find me.”

I finally turn and acknowledge the building super—a chestnut-haired English guy around thirty by my guess, with a layer of scruff over his jawline and faded blue jeans—edging toward the door. Given the apartment is 475 square feet, it doesn’t take him long to reach it.

I think he gave me his name but I wasn’t listening. I’ve barely said two words since I met him in front of Celine’s apartment, armed with a stack of cardboard flats and trash bags. An orchestra of clocks that softly tick away claim that that was nearly half an hour ago. I’ve simply stood here since then, feeling the brick-exposed walls—lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and filled with the impressive collection of treasures that Celine had amassed over her twenty-eight years—closing in on me.

But now I feel the need to speak. “You were the one who let the police in?” Celine never missed work, never arrived late. That’s why, after not showing up for two days and not answering her phone or her door, her coworker finally called the cops.

The super nods.

“You saw her?”

His eyes flicker to the thin wall that divides the bedroom from the rest of the apartment—its only purpose is to allow the building’s owner to charge rent for a “one-bedroom” instead of a studio. There’s not even enough room for a door. Yes, he saw her body. “She seemed really nice,” he offers, his throat turning scratchy, shifting on his feet. He’d rather be unplugging a shit-filled toilet than be here right now. I don’t blame him. “Uh . . . So you can just slide the key through the mail slot in my door when you’re finished, if you want? I’ll be home later tonight to grab it.”

Under different circumstances, I’d find his accent charming. “I’ll be staying here for a while.”

He frowns. “You can’t—”

“Yeah, I can,” I snap, cutting his objection off. “We’re on the hook with the lease until the end of January, right? So don’t even think of telling me that I can’t.” I’m in no rush to empty this place out so some jackass landlord can rent it next month and pocket my money. Plus . . . My gaze drifts over the living room again. I just need to be in Celine’s presence for a while, even if she’s not here anymore.

“Of course. I’m just . . .” He bites his bottom lip as if to stall a snippy response. When he speaks again, his tone is back to soft. “The mattress, the bedding, it’ll all need to be replaced. I would have already pitched it for you, but I figured that it wasn’t my call to make. I pulled the blanket up to cover the mess and tried to air the place out, but . . .”

I sigh shakily, the tension making my body as taut as a wire. I’m the only jackass around here. “Right. I’m sorry.” I inhale deeply. The linen air freshener can’t completely mask the smell. Her body lay in that bed for two days.

Dead.

Decomposing.

“I’ll be fine with the couch until I can get a new mattress delivered.” It’ll be more than fine, seeing as I’ve been sleeping on a thin bedroll on a dirt floor in Ethiopia for the past three months. At least there’s running water here, and I’m not sharing the room with two other people. Or rats, hopefully.

“I can probably get a bloke in here to help me carry it out if you want,” he offers, sliding hands into his pockets as he slowly shifts backward.

“Thank you.” I couple my contrite voice with a smile and watch the young super exit, pulling the door shut behind him.

My gaze drifts back to the countless shelves. I haven’t been to visit Celine in New York in over two years; we always met in California, the state where we grew up. “My, you’ve been busy,” I whisper. Celine always did have a love for the old and discarded, and she had a real eye for it. She’d probably seen every last episode of Antiques Roadshow three times over. She was supposed to start school this past September to get her MA in art business, with plans to become an appraiser. She delayed enrollment, for some reason.

But she never told me that. I found out through her mother just last week.

Her apartment looks more like a bursting vintage shop than a place someone would live. It’s well organized at least—all her trinkets grouped effectively. Entire shelves are dedicated to elaborate teacups, others to silver tea sets, genuine hand-cut crystal glassware, ornate clocks and watches, hand-painted tiles, and so on. Little side tables hold stained-glass lamps and more clocks and her seemingly endless collection of art history books. On the few walls not lined with shelves, an eclectic mix of artwork fills the space.

Very few things in here aren’t antique or vintage. The bottles of Ketel One, Maker’s Mark, and Jägermeister lined up on a polished brass bar cart. Her computer and a stack of hardcover books, sitting on a worn wooden desk that I’d expect to find in an old elementary schoolhouse. Even the two-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree has well-aged ornaments dangling from its branches.

I wander aimlessly, my hands beginning to touch and test. A slight pull of the desk drawer finds it locked, with no key anywhere, from what I can see. I run a finger along the spine of a leather-bound edition of The Taming of the Shrew on a shelf. Not a speck of dust. Celine couldn’t stand disorder. Every single nutcracker faces out, equidistant from the next, shortest in front, tallest in back, as if she measured them with a ruler and placed them just so.

Being enclosed in this organized chaos makes me antsy. Or maybe that’s my own ultra-minimalist preferences coming out.

I sigh and drop my purse onto the couch. My phone goes next, but not before I send a text to my personal assistant, Taryn, to ask that she arrange for a firm double mattress to be delivered to Celine’s address. Then I power the phone off before she can respond with unnecessary questions. I’ve had it on silent since my plane landed in San Diego five days ago for the funeral. Even with two proficient assistants handling my organization’s affairs while I’m dealing with my best friend’s death, the stupid thing hasn’t stopped vibrating.

They can all wait for me, while I figure out where to begin here.

I know I have a lot of paperwork to get to the lawyer. All estate proceeds will eventually go to Celine’s mother, Rosa, but she doesn’t want a dime. She’s already demanded that I sell off anything I don’t want to keep for myself and use the money for one of my humanitarian efforts in her daughter’s name.

I could tell Rosa was still in shock, because she has always been a collector by nature—that’s where Celine got it from—and it surprised me that she wouldn’t want to keep at least some of her daughter’s treasures for herself. But she was adamant and I was not going to argue. I’ll just quietly pack a few things that I think would mean a lot to her and have them shipped to San Diego.

Seeing Celine’s apartment now, though, I realize that selling is going to take forever. I’m half-tempted to dump everything into boxes for charity, guesstimate the value, and write a check. But that would belittle all the evenings and weekends that Celine devoted to hunting antique shops, garage sales, and ignorant sellers for her next perfect treasure.

My attention lands on the raw wood plank shelf that floats over a mauve suede couch, banked by silky curtains and covered with an eclectic mix of gilded frames filled with pictures from Celine’s childhood. Most of them are of her and her mom. Some are of just her. Four include me.

I smile as I ease one down, of Celine and me at the San Diego Zoo. I was twelve, she was eleven. Even then she was striking, her olive skin tanned from a summer by the pool. Next to her, my pale Welsh skin always looked sickly.

I first met Celine when I was five. My mom had hired her mother, Rosa Gonzalez, as a housekeeper and nanny, offering room and board for both her and her four-year-old daughter. We had had a string of nannies come and go, my mother never satisfied with their work ethic. But Rosa came highly recommended. It’s so hard to find good help, I remember overhearing my mother say to her friends once. They applauded her generosity with Rosa, that she was not only taking in a recent immigrant from Mexico, but her child as well.

The day Celine stepped into my parents’ palatial house in La Jolla, she did so with wide brown eyes, her long hair the color of cola in braided pigtails and adorned in giant blue bows, her frilly blue-and-white dress and matching socks like something out of The Wizard of Oz. Celine would divulge to me later on that it was the only dress she owned, purchased from a thrift shop, just for this special occasion.

Rosa and Celine lived with us for ten years, and my daily routines quickly became Celine’s daily routines. The chauffeur would drop Celine off at the curb in front of the local public school on our way to my private school campus. Though her school was far above average as public schools go, I begged and pleaded for my parents to pay for Celine to attend with me. I didn’t quite understand the concept of money back then, but I knew we had a lot, and we could more than afford it.

They told me that’s just not how the world works. Besides, as much as Rosa wanted the best for her child, she was too proud to ever accept that kind of generosity. Even giving Celine my hand-me-down clothes was a constant battle.

No matter where we spent the day, though, from the time we came home to the time we fell asleep, Celine and I were inseparable. I would return from piano lessons and teach Celine how to read music notes. She’d use the other side of my art easel to paint pictures with me of the ocean view from my bedroom window. She’d rate my dives and time my laps around our pool, and I’d do the same for her. We’d lounge beneath the palm trees on hot summer days, dreaming up plans for our future. In my eyes, it was a given that Celine would always be part of my life.

We were an odd match. From our looks to our social status to our polar-opposite personalities, we couldn’t have been more different. I was captain of the debate squad and Celine played the romantic female lead in her school plays. I spearheaded a holiday charity campaign at the age of thirteen, while Celine sang in choirs for the local senior citizens. I read the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times religiously, while Celine would fall asleep with a Jane Austen novel resting across her chest.

And then one Saturday morning in July when I was fifteen, my parents announced that they had filed for divorce. I still remember the day well. They walked side-by-side toward where I lounged beside the pool, my dad dressed for a round of golf, my mom carrying a plate of Rosa’s breakfast enchiladas. They’d technically separated months earlier, and I had no idea because seeing them together had always been rare to begin with.

The house in La Jolla was going up for sale. Dad was buying a condo close to the airport, to make traveling for work easier, while Mom would be moving to Chicago, where our family’s company, Sparkes Energy, had their corporate headquarters. I’d stay wherever I wanted, when I wasn’t at the prestigious boarding school in Massachusetts that they decided I should attend for my last three years of high school.

The worst of it was that Rosa and Celine would be going their own way.

Rosa, who was more a parent to me than either of my real parents had ever been.

Celine . . . my best friend, my sister.

Both of them, gone from my daily life with two weeks’ notice.

They’re just a phone call away, my mom reasoned. That’s all I had, and so I took advantage. For years, I would call Celine and Rosa daily. I had a long-distance plan, but had I not, I still would have happily driven up my mom’s phone bill, bitter with her for abandoning me for the company. I spent Christmases and Thanksgivings with Rosa and Celine instead of choosing to spend them with Melody or William Sparkes.

To be honest, it never was much of a choice.

Through boyfriends, college, jobs, and fronting a successful nonprofit organization that has had me living all over Africa and Asia for the last six years, Celine and Rosa have remained permanent fixtures in my life.

Until thirteen days ago, when Rosa’s sobs filled my ear in a village near Nekemte, Ethiopia, where I’ve been leading a water well project and building homes. After a long, arduous day in the hot sun, my hands covered with cuts from corrugated iron and my muscles sore from carrying burned bricks, it was jarring to hear Rosa’s voice. California felt worlds away. At first I thought that I hadn’t kept myself hydrated enough and I was hallucinating. But by the third time I heard her say, “Celine killed herself,” it finally registered. It just didn’t make sense.

It still doesn’t.

Hollowness kept me company all the way back—first on buses, then a chartered flight, followed by several commercial airline connections—and into Rosa’s modest home in the suburbs of San Diego. The hollowness held me together through the emotional visitation and funeral, Rosa’s tightly knit Mexican community rocked by the news. It numbed me enough to face Rosa’s eyes, bloodshot and rimmed with dark circles, as she insisted that I come to New York to handle the material remains of her only child.

The case is all but officially closed. The police are simply waiting for the final autopsy report to confirm that a lethal dose of Xanax— the pill bottle sitting open on her nightstand was from a prescription she filled only two days prior—combined with an unhealthy amount of vodka was what killed her. They see it as a quick open-and-shut suicide case, aided by a note in her handwriting that read I’m sorry for everything, found lying next to her.

The picture frame cracks within my tightening grasp as tears burn my cheeks, and I have the overwhelming urge to smash the entire shelf of happy memories.

This just doesn’t seem possible. How could she do this to her mother? I shift my focus to the picture of Rosa—a petite brunette with a fierce heart, who gives hugs to strangers who look like they’re having a bad day and spouts a string of passionate Spanish when anyone tries to leave the dinner table before every last bite is finished.

Before this past week, I hadn’t seen Rosa since last Christmas. She still looks frail eleven months after the doctors told her that the double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation had worked and she was considered in remission. It’ll be a year in January since the day Celine phoned me to give me the good news: that Rosa had fought breast cancer hard. And had won.

So why the hell would Celine make her suffer so horribly now?

I roam aimlessly through the rest of the apartment, in a state of extreme exhaustion after days of travel and jet lag and tears, taking in everything that remains of my childhood friend.

But there are things here that surprise me, too—a closet full of designer-label dresses that Celine couldn’t possibly have afforded on an administrative assistant’s salary, a bathroom counter overflowing with bold red lipsticks and daringly dark eye shadows that I never saw touch her naturally beautiful face, not even in recent photos.

Knowing Celine, she bought those dresses at secondhand stores. And the makeup, well . . . She would have looked beautiful with red lipstick.

I smile, sweeping the bronzer brush across my palm to leave a dusting of sparkle against my skin. I’m supposed to be this girl—the one with the extravagant clothes and makeup, who puts time and stock into looks and money. As the fourth generation of one of the biggest energy companies in the world, I will one day inherit 51 percent of the corporation’s shares. Though my parents don’t need to work, they each run a division—my industrialist father managing the ugly face of coal burning while my mother distracts the world with a pretty mask of wind and solar energy farms, hiding the fact that we’re slowly helping to destroy the world.

I grew up aware of the protests. I’ve read enough articles about the greed and the harm to the planet that comes with this industry. By the time I turned twenty-one, still young and idealistic and embroiled by the latest disgrace involving our company and an oil tanker spill off the coast of China, I wanted nothing to do with the enormous trust fund that my grandmother left me. In fact, I was one signature away from handing it all over to a charity foundation. My biggest mistake—and saving grace—was that I tried to do it through my lawyer, a loyal Sparkes Energy legal consultant. He, of course, informed my parents, who fought me on it. I wouldn’t listen to them.

But I did listen to Celine. She was the one who persuaded me not to do it in the end, sending me link after link of scandal after scandal involving charity organizations. How so little of the money ever actually reaches those in need, how so much of the money lines the pockets of individuals. She used the worst-case scenarios to steer me away from my plan because she knew it would work. Then she suggested that I use the trust fund to lead my own humanitarian ventures. I could do bigger, better things if I controlled it.

That’s when I began Villages United.

And Celine was right.

VU may only be six years old, but it has already become an internationally recognized nonprofit, focused on high-impact lending projects throughout the world geared toward building self-sustainable villages. We teach children to read and give them roofs to sleep under and clean water to drink and clothes to wear and books to read. Between my own money and the money that VU has raised, we have now left a lasting mark on thirty-six communities in countries around the world.

And I’m not just writing checks from my house in California. I’m right there in the trenches, witnessing the changes firsthand. Something my parents simply don’t understand, though they’ve tried turning it into a Sparkes Energy PR venture on more than one occasion.

I’ve refused every single time.

Because, for the first time in a long time, I’m truly proud to be Maggie Sparkes.

I haven’t even warned them about my newest endeavor—providing significant financial backing to companies that are developing viable and economical green energy solutions. VU was preparing to announce it to the media in the coming weeks. As much as I can’t think about any of that right now, I’ll have to soon. Too many people rely on me.

But for now . . . all I can focus on is Celine.

I wander into her bedroom, my back to another wall of collectibles as I stand at the foot of the ornate wrought-iron bed, the delicate bedding stretched out neatly, as if Celine made it this morning. As if she’ll be back later to share a glass of wine and a laugh.

I yank the duvet back, just long enough to see the ugly proof beneath.

To remind me that that’s never going to happen.

Edging along the side of her bed—I actually have to turn and shimmy to fit—I move toward a stack of vintage wooden food crates that serve as a nightstand. A wave of nostalgia washes over me as my finger traces the heavy latches and handmade, chunky gunmetal-gray body of the antique box sitting next to the lamp. The day that I spied it in an antique store while shopping for Celine’s sixteenth birthday, it made me think of a medieval castle. The old man who sold it to me said it was actually an eighteenth-century lockbox.

Whatever it was, I knew Celine would love it.

I carry it over to the living room, where I can sit and open it up. Inside are sentimental scraps of Celine’s life. Concert stubs and random papers, a dried rose, her grandmother’s rosary that Rosa gave to her. Rosa is supremely religious, and Celine, the ever-devoted daughter, kept up appearances for her mother, though she admitted to me that she didn’t find value in it.

I pull each item out, laying them on the trunk coffee table until I’m left with nothing but the smooth velvet floor of the box. I fumble with a small detail on the outside that acts as a lever—remembering my surprise when the man revealed the box’s secret—until a click sounds, allowing me to pry open the false bottom.

Celine’s shy, secretive eyes lit up when I first showed her the sizeable compartment. It was perfect for hiding treasures, like notes from boys, and the silver bracelet that her senior-year boyfriend bought her for Valentine’s Day and she was afraid to wear in front of Rosa. While I love Rosa dearly, she could be suffocating sometimes.

My fingers wrap around the wad of money filling the small space as a deep frown creases my forehead. Mostly hundreds but plenty of fifties, too. I quickly count it. There’s almost ten thousand dollars here.

Why wouldn’t Celine deposit this into her bank account?

I pick up the ornate bronze key and a creased sheet of paper that also sits within. I’m guessing the key is for the desk. I’ll test that out in a minute. I gingerly unfold the paper that’s obviously been handled many times, judging by the crinkles in it.

My eyes widen.

A naked man fills one side. He’s entrancingly handsome, with long lashes and golden-blond tousled hair and a shadow of peach scruff covering his hard jawline. He’s lying on his back, one muscular arm disappearing into the pillow beneath his head, a white sheet tangled around his legs, not quite covering the goods, which from what I can see, are fairly impressive. I can’t tell what color his eyes are because he’s fast asleep.

“Well then . . .” I frown, taken aback.

I’m not surprised that Celine could attract the attention of a guy like this. She was a gorgeous young woman—her Mexican roots earning her lush locks, full lips, and voluptuous curves tied to the kind of tiny waist that all men seem to admire.

Nor am I surprised that he’s blond. It has always been a running joke between us, her penchant for blonds. She’s never dated anything but.

But I am surprised that she’d have the nerve to take—and print out to keep by her bed—a scandalous picture like this in the first place.

I wonder if she ever mentioned him to me. She always told me about her dates, utter failures or otherwise. Though it’s been years since she was seeing anyone seriously, and she was definitely seeing this guy seriously if she was sleeping with him. Celine usually waited months before she gave that up to a guy. She didn’t even lose her virginity until she was twenty-two, to a guy she had been dating for six months and hoped that she would one day marry. Who broke up with her shortly afterward.

So who the hell is this guy and why didn’t I ever hear about him? And where is he now? When were they together last?

Does he know that she’s dead?

Worrying my bottom lip between my teeth—it’s a bad habit of mine—I slowly fold the paper back up. Celine’s cursive scrawl decorates the back side in purple ink. Words I hadn’t noticed before.

Words that make my heart stop now.

This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.

 

 HeWillBeMyRuin - Teaser 1

 

About HE WILL BE MY RUIN:

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

 

HeWillBeMyRuin - Teaser 2

 

Author pic - KA TuckerAbout K.A. Tucker:

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ruin by CD Reiss | New Release

    C.D. Reiss' Ruin Release Day Launchantonio-teaser-ruin-hurt-protect
CoverRuin front full
Book Info

Title: Ruin

Author: C.D. Reiss

Genre: Erotic Romance

Cover Design: Paradox Book Cover Designs

Release Date: Oct. 14th 2014

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Synopsis
WARNING: This book contains delicious sex scenes with a hot man dirty-talking in Italian; women handling firearms and explosives; and scenes of violence with a crystal Virgin Mary cigarette lighter.

What happens when a mob capo falls for a lawful woman?

Does he ruin her, or does she ruin him?

Do they live together, or die together?

This is Antonio Spinelli’s story.

Buy Links

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Meet C.D. ReissCD Reiss
CD Reiss is a USA Today and Amazon bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up, she’s at the well, hauling buckets.

Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere, but it did embed TV story structure in her head well enough for her to take a big risk on a TV series structured erotic series called Songs of Submission. It’s about a kinky billionaire hung up on his ex-wife, an ingenue singer with a wisecracking mouth; art, music and sin in the city of Los Angeles.

Critics have dubbed the books “poetic,” “literary,” and “hauntingly atmospheric,” which is flattering enough for her to put it in a bio, but embarrassing enough for her not to tell her husband, or he might think she’s some sort of braggart who’s too good to give the toilets a once-over every couple of weeks or chop a cord of wood.

If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.

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J.A. Redmerski | New Release & Sale price on other works

J.A. Redmerski | New Release & Sale price on other works
Victor Faust’s new Order is growing. Business is good as there is no rest for the wicked in an underground world of hardcore criminals and contract killing. Relationships among the operatives have changed little over the past year—but things are about to change now, and all six high-ranking members of the new Order will be blindsided by an unlikely enemy.

Loved ones whose only ties to Victor’s organization are their relationships with its members, are abducted. The price to get them back safely—the six must confess their deepest, darkest secret to this mysterious young woman named Nora, who is as deadly as she is beautiful, and who seems to know more about each of them than they know about each other. And although no one has any clue about who Nora really is, it becomes clear that she also isn’t who she appears to be.

So much more is at stake than secrets and the lives of innocent loved ones; with each member that Nora forces to confess, the truth about their dark pasts and their present objectives will cast suspicion, pit some against each other, and may tear others apart.

Before the game is over everyone will know who this woman is and why she is here, but the damage she will leave in her wake could be the beginning of the new Order’s destruction.

Whose dark secret will be the darkest of all? And can Victor’s Order survive any of them?

 

RELEASE

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The first book in the series, KILLING SARAI, will be on sale for a limited time for $1.99 (Kindle and Nook) starting October 1st.

205596762055969519500066

Book #4

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In the Company of Killers

Adult Crime/Suspense/Mystery

Released October 1, 2014

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: SEEDS OF INIQUITY is NOT a prequel about Fredrik Gustavsson as previously stated. It is a brand new present day book.

 

 

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away (3) Signed Sets of the In the Company of Killers Series! If you would like to enter, please visit AToMR’s Facebook page.

About the Author

J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Spark: an erotic novella by Bambi Bellamy | Blog only giveaway + another author giveaway

Spark by Bambi Bellamy 
Publication date: April 15th 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Romance
Synopsis:
WARNING: Spark contains sexy neighbors who love getting it on… with each other. Graphic language and sex scenes abound. Be advised, this is no sweet romance. Contains hard pumping and ridiculous sexual situations and scenes to make your toes curl. If you can finish Spark without getting hot and bothered, I would check for a pulse. 18+ only!

Newlyweds Violet and Hunter are new in PussyWillow Falls, and they’re loving it.

Everything is beautiful, including the people.

Things heat up FAST when Violet satisfies her husband while they both watch a menage a trois over the fence going on in their neighbors backyard.

But, when the mailman, the paper boy and all the neighbors come calling for a piece of the Violet and Hunter action, was PussyWillow Falls a swinging paradise, or a swinging hell?


Blog only Giveaway !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment below with the name of the book you are currently reading and you will be entered to win (1) ebook copy of Spark: an erotic novella by Bambi Bellamy. The winner will be chosen May 24th, 2014 at midnight CT. 


Excerpt:
 Hunter’s fingers worked like an expert, slowly pulling off the wedding dress to reveal a very big surprise just for his eyes.
You would’ve thought I had given him the best Christmas present in the world, as he looked me over from head to toe, admiring the new lingerie that I had gotten for my wedding night. My bra came off with a flourish, and then he leaned down onto his hands and knees, before driving his teeth into the material of my panties.
Growling, he ripped my panties down my legs, until I was standing in front of him in nothing but my birthday suit. His manly hands moved up my legs, slowly making his way to my most treasured of areas. His hot breath blew across my pussy, causing my clit to wake up from its slumber and come out to see what was going on.
“Oh god, Hunter, I have been anticipating this for as long as we have known each other… mmm.” His tongue made contact with my nether lips, slowly moving back and forth from the bottom to the top, until he was peeling those folds open. “Ohhh.”
I didn’t want to miss a single moment of this, so I endeavored to keep my eyes open through the entire thing. Looking up at me, he smiled, as he performed an oral delight on my body that took my breath away. I loved watching him work his tongue into my body.
I reached for his head and guided him between my legs.
Hunter was ravenous for my body and had stirred up a wonderful sensation that was coursing through me within minutes “Ahhh.” Being a conservative type, I thought for sure that I was going to be meek and mild in the bedroom, but it was turning out that he was able to turn me into an animal.
Forcing my hand on top of his short light-brown hair, I pushed his face into my pussy, holding him there as I rammed into his mouth and all over his face. Bucking several times, I finally let go of his head, falling back on the bed with a satisfied expression etched on my face.
“If you think that was something, wait till you see what I have for you for a wedding gift.” Was talking about the profound bulge in his pants?
No, not Hunter. I didn’t think that’s what he was getting at. I really didn’t have time to contemplate anything more. I watched him with rapt attention as he dropped his pants and underwear to my gaze.
I gasped, and then reached out with both hands to curl my fingers around his length. Hunter made a sigh of contentment. “I have been waiting forever, Violet, and I don’t think I can wait any longer.”
Sticking out my tongue, I lathed the shaft, letting every single inch slide in and out of my mouth effortlessly. Hunter was everything that I wanted, and I wanted to give him something special just for him.
I could feel his wedding night excitement was pushing him over the edge. He was ready to explode in my mouth. He pushed me away before he went over the edge.
“Not yet, my love, I don’t want to end this too soon.”
The look on his face told me exactly what he was going to do next, and I giggled like a schoolgirl as he joined me on the bed. Taking my legs in his hands, he licked and sucked on each of my toes, causing my pussy to moisten even more.
His cock was so near my pussy that I was sure he could feel the heat emanating from inside me.
I wanted him. My insides throbbed, wanting to be filled and taken.
I laid flat on my back and stared up at Hunter. His placed his big muscular arms on either side of my head. His hard body glistened in the soft lighting of the room. His face loomed above me, looking masculine and gorgeous, like it was carved as the perfect male specimen out of limestone.
He rocked his hips forward just a little and teased my opening with the head of his cock. He stretched me little by little, invading me little by little.
Pressing forward, I felt his elongated member force through my lips, and he continued to move against me until he was balls deep. We were joined as one, and we began to give that mattress a very hard and deep workout, making the bed crash against the wall over and over again.
“My god, Violet, had I known what a wild one you were, we would’ve been doing this long before now.”
I felt the same way, as I wrapped my legs around his waist to get him in as deep as possible. “Fuck me, Hunter, show you how you feel about me.”
Using his legs for leverage, he was really getting into my body, and our skin was covered in a fine sheen of sex sweat. “I love how your body fits like a glove with mine.”
We were looking at each other, as if our souls were joined for all time, and I began to move my body against him, matching each stroke that came my way. The shaft of his cock was rubbing up against my clit, and before long I was lost in the throes of passion, throwing my hair back and forth across the pillows during my orgasm.
The surprising thing for me was that he didn’t join me and continued to hammer his cock deep within my depths. When he pulled out, I could see a combination of his sauce and my juices coating his shaft, before he flipped me over onto my hands and knees and came after me from behind. He put his hands on my shoulders for support, our bodies lost in the moment, and I could feel his release on the horizon.
“Almost there…. almost there.”
At the exact same time, my body went out of control, and I began to strangle and milk him of everything that he had. “Ahhh.” Our screams of ecstasy echoed off the walls, and then he slumped forward over my back, licking the back of my neck, and whispering sweet nothings into my ear.
We both collapsed on the bed and stared at the ceiling fan swirling above us. The breeze from the fan made my nipples perk up.
“I bought a house,” he said randomly.

Ten amazing facts about sex

Salt-N-Pepa – Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s talk about sex.
Sex, taboo, exciting, intimate reproductive, amazing, boring, are some of the words that come up when people hear mention sex.
Here are some fascinating facts about sex.

10. Sex acts lead to weight loss

The average human loses 26 calories when kissing for a minute. Furthermore, vigorous sex for half an hour burns 150 calories (you can lose three pounds in a year – if you have sex 7 to 8 times a month). Kissing is also very good for your teeth: the extra saliva released during the act helps to keep the mouth clean – reducing the risk of decay.


9. Sex cures headaches
Next time your significant other refuses your advances by claiming to have a headache, remember this fact: the sex act can help to cure a headache. Sex causes the body to release endorphins which naturally reduce the pain of a headache.


8. Sperm is good for the skin
The proteins in sperm have a tightening effect on the skin. When sperm is left to dry, the evaporation of the water in it leaves behind protein which can help to reduce wrinkles. While this may be an excellent anti-aging treatment, the obvious downside is that you have to walk around with sperm on your face.

7. The term “blow job” comes from the Victorian times
In Victorian times, a slang term for a prostitute was “blowsy”. At the same time, “blow” was slang for ejaculation. Consequently, by the 1930s, the act of fellatio came to be known as a blow job. It was also used to describe jet planes in World War Two. In Ancient Greece, the common slang for a blow job was “playing the flute”.


6. Humans aren’t the only creatures to have sex for fun.
Humans aren’t the only members of the animal kingdom that have sex just for fun. Dolphins and Bonobo chimps have also been observed engaging in sexual activity, when they are not in their natural reproductive cycles. With the exception of a pair of Cohan gorillas observed doing so, bonobos are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities: face-to-face genital sex, tongue kissing, and oral sex. When Bonobos come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity, presumably decreasing tension and allowing for peaceful feeding. Interestingly, Bonobo chimps also play and experience joy like humans.


5. Orgasms can make women more creative

Studies have shown that orgasms can make women more confident, productive and creative. And it’s a feedback loop—women achieve fuller orgasms when they are being creative.


4. Being well hydrated leads to better orgasms

Because the body is mostly fluid, being hydrated enhances people’s ability to achieve orgasm.

3. The Vibrator

According to the Museum of Sex, the vibrator was originally used as a medicinal treatment for female “hysteria” during the 19th century. The vibrator-induced orgasms helped doctors dissipate hysteria’s anxiety-related symptoms.

2. Sex and Social Media

Forget post-coital cuddling! According to a poll by consumer electronics site Retrevo.com, 36 percent of people under the age of 35 check their Facebook and Twitter accounts after a roll in the hay. Hopefully, they are not posting any pictures!

1. Who has more sex, men or women?
Think men get laid more than women? Wrong! According to Men’s Fitness, women have sex 17 percent more often than the average guy. Go girls!

Extra:

Think food is sexy? Some people admit to feeling a similar sense of arousal when thinking about food as they do when thinking about sex.
Purchase:
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Out Of Mindy by Jen McLaughlin Excerpt & Giveaway


Out of Mind by Jen McLaughlin

April 29th

BOOK SUMMARY:

Reaching for sunlight…

Finn survived the ambush and came home to me, but in his head, the battle is still raging. He’s falling apart and I’m trying my best to pick up the pieces of him, to find the us we used to be. I love him as much as I ever did, but love isn’t enough to fix this. I thought telling my father about our relationship would be the hardest thing we’d ever have to face. I was wrong.

Lost in shadows…

All I wanted was to be worthy of Carrie. One mission, just one, and I’d be able to give her the future she deserved. Then everything went wrong, leaving me tainted and broken. Carrie wants me to be who I was, but all that’s left is what they made of me. I’m no good for her. No good for anyone like this. I have to figure out how to move forward. Alone.

Sometimes love isn’t enough…

Excerpt:
Don’t let me die…Please don’t let me die…
Explosions boomed in my ears, shooting me upright into a sittingposition in bed, gasping for air and crying out into the empty bedroom. Gunshots still echoed in my head, along with the gurgling of Dotter’s blood as it poured out of his body until there was nothing left. I looked down at my hands, half expecting to find them bloody. They weren’t.
But metaphorically? That was a whole other fucking story.
Trembling, I rose to my feet, my broken arm casted and hanging uselessly in a sling. My body was coated in a light sheen of sweat, and even my sheets were dampened and dark. Blinking at the sunlight that crept through the closed curtains, I tried to remind myself where I was. I wasn’t fighting for my life. Wasn’t watching people die. I was safe.
As safe as I was going to be, anyway.
Pushing the curtains back, I squinted outside. After spending a couple of weeks in a hospital in Germany, followed by another couple of weeks in a hospital in D.C., it was nice to be in a home. But instead of the sandy beaches and hot weather of California, I saw a foot of snow reflecting the sun, blinding me. And we were supposed to get even more tomorrow night. Fucking ridiculous. I studied the position of the sun in the winter sky. Damn, what time was it now? Last thing I remembered, I took a few pills and zonked out. It had been…morning? Maybe? Now, judgingfrom the sunlight streaming through clouds, it was mid-afternoon.
I’d missed a whole day.
Sure. I could act shocked about this, but that happened more oftenthan not lately. I slept away the day, high on painkillers and drunk from whiskey. When I woke up, I swore I wouldn’t touch another drink. I’d last an hour or two.
Then I’d do it all over again.
I ran my hand over my shaved head, wincing at how rough it felt. I’d been back in the good old USA for a couple of days now. I still felt like I was trapped in the fucking desert. Instead, I was in the winter wonderland from hell. Carrie’s parents’ house.
A knock sounded on the door, and I dropped the curtain. I glanced down at myself. I had on a muscle tank and a pair of black basketball shorts. Decent enough, I supposed. “Come in.”
The door cracked, and the red hair I’d recognize anywhere appeared before the face I needed so damn much did. “You’re up?”
Yeah.” I tugged on my tank and crossed the room. “You can come in.”
Carrie entered, shutting the door behind her. She hesitated, looking torn. Her blue eyes were sober and crystal clear, while I was a fucking drunken wreck. I’d been snapping at her lately. Pushing her away. I hated myself for it, yet I couldn’t seem to fucking stop.
Did you sleep good? I thought I heard you cry out.”
I fingered the puckered wound on my head. It was still sensitive to the touch and ugly as fuck. Not as ugly as the rest of my scars. Inside and out. “I had another nightmare. Same old thing.”
She approached me slowly. “Anything I can do to help?”
Yeah.” I met her eyes. “You can come hug me.”
She gave me a smile. “Anytime.”
Within seconds, she was in my arms. Well, my arm. I glowered downat my broken arm, knowing it was as marked up as my head. You just couldn’t see it right now. I closed my arm around her, burying my face in her neck. “Fuck. I missed you.”
She tilted her face up to mine. “I missed you, too.”
Buy Links: Only $2.99


OUT OF LINE (Book #1)

Amazon – http://amzn.to/17HLrFu

B&N – http://bit.ly/17hfkvi

OUT OF TIME (Book #2)
Amazon – http://amzn.to/1daxXYL

B&N – http://bit.ly/1g7hPas

OUT OF MIND (Book #3)

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1lqa3cw

B&N – http://bit.ly/1mSkmpP

Author Information

Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Website: http://dianealberts.com/

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianeAlberts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921962.Jen_McLaughlin

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