Excerpt Reveal ~ Adonis in Athens ~ by ~ Kat Mizera

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Get hot this summer with Adonis in Athens by Kat Mizera!
Keep reading for an EXCERPT!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 18th

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Paige Carter’s fling with the dark-haired, green-eyed Greek was short, but it rocked her world. Her only regret was not finding out whether she’d ever see him again before he returned to Greece.

Apollo Lakkas earned his degree and was thrilled to return to Greece to begin work with his family’s shipping business. His only regret is the way he left the sweet blonde he met in Vegas—who may or may not be his wife.

When an unexpected proposal throws Paige into a panic, she packs a bag for Athens and does the one thing she knows she must do before she can face any kind of future…reconcile her past.

The moment their eyes meet once again, Paige and Apollo feel the same spark that ignited them down the aisle. Will they be able to plan a future together or is their love destined to be nothing but a bittersweet memory?

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EXCERPT:

It was hotter than she imagined the hinges of the gates of hell would be. Paige Carter stepped out of her apartment and immediately felt the makeup she’d so carefully applied begin to melt off her face. With a sigh of frustration, she hurried to the stairs and walked down, looking at her watch. She was running late, as usual, and her boyfriend would undoubtedly be annoyed. She didn’t mean to fall behind, but somehow it always happened where Tom was concerned. She often wondered if, subconsciously, she did it on purpose. Nothing else made sense, because she was always punctual for work and other appointments. There was something about him, though, that brought out the procrastination and disorganization she usually kept at bay.

Tom Malone was the kind of guy all her friends were looking for. Not only was he handsome, smart, and funny, he also made an excellent living as an accountant and owned a beautiful home in a gated subdivision. He drove a Mercedes, bought her nice gifts and was generally a good guy. As far as she knew, he’d never cheated, never done drugs and barely drank other than the occasional beer. He’d given her a key to his house, a drawer in his dresser and had asked her to move in repeatedly. He didn’t have a single flaw, she thought irritably as she got into the sauna that was masquerading as her car. Maybe that was the problem.

Turning up the air conditioning and willing the cold air to start coming out sooner rather than later, she rolled down a window and pulled out of the parking lot. She had no idea why Tom had been so adamant she meet him at their favorite restaurant at 6:00 on a Friday night. It was June and work had slowed down a little for her, so all she really wanted to do was put on shorts and a T-shirt and either lounge by the pool with a good book or watch a couple of movies; this time of year, if she wasn’t by the pool, she wanted to be inside, away from the Las Vegas heat.

She turned on the radio and mindlessly hummed along, wondering what Tom was up to. In the 18 months they’d been dating, he’d often surprised her with unplanned weekends away, tickets to shows, and random day trips. It wasn’t her birthday or any kind of anniversary, so tonight could be anything from a romantic dinner for two to a formal ceremony where the mayor granted her keys to the city.

She almost snorted at the thought, chuckling at her own sarcasm. Tom was such a good guy, she hated being so out of sync with him. Quiet and unassuming, he was always there for her, supportive and as interested in her needs as a guy could be. Maybe too much so, she thought with a grimace. If Tom did have a fault, it was that he seemed to read her mind. If she so much as looked at a purse online, it would appear on her doorstep a day later. If she’d forgotten to schedule an appointment for a haircut, and her hairdresser was booked, he’d make a few calls and an opening would miraculously appear. Sometimes, she wanted to figure out how to afford the purse or get the appointment herself—and he refused to let her. He thought his job was to take care of her, but she just wanted someone who would be there to lend moral support.

Reaching out to push the auto-tune buttons on the radio to find something she knew, she stopped on an adult contemporary station and sang along to the end of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” The romantic lyrics made her a little melancholy and she was about to change the station yet again when the next song froze her hand in place. The first few bars of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” inexplicably brought tears to her eyes, and for the first time in ages she thought of him. Apollo. She could still picture his mesmerizing green eyes, chiseled features and body reminiscent of a Greek god. Literally. Tall, Greek and even-hotter-than-Vegas-in-summer good-looking, she did her best not to think about him. Or the spring break he’d come to Vegas. Or the nights they’d spent dancing and kissing as if nothing else in the world existed, running from casino to nightclub to the gondola ride at the Venetian. Or how he’d brought her body alive in ways that made her shudder just thinking about them. No, thinking about Apollo was a bad, bad idea. Especially when she had a night planned with Tom. She hit the button to change the station.

Since it was already 6:10, Paige pulled up to the valet and all but snatched the ticket from the young man’s hand. Tom never yelled or got angry when she was late, but she could see the disappointment in his eyes and it was worse than when a parent looked at you that way. It made her uncomfortable, having that much power over a grown man, so she did her best to avoid being in that situation. Today had just been a long day at work and when it was this hot, she felt sluggish.

Pasting a smile on her face, she approached the hostess. “Hi. My boyfriend is probably already here and—”

“Miss Carter!” The hostess’s eyes twinkled as she grinned at her. “Oh, yes, he’s here! Your whole family is here! Are you totally excited?”

Paige cocked her head slightly, her brows knitting together. “Um, what?”

“Uhh…” The girl’s face darkened slightly and she turned away, fidgeting with something on her computer. “Oh, um, maybe I was mistaken. What’s your boyfriend’s name again?”

Paige had a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach. “Tom. Tom Malone.”

“Okay, yes. Um, follow me.” She strode into the heart of the restaurant and Paige had no choice but to follow, scanning the tables for Tom.

They walked all the way to the back and the hostess turned with a smile. “You’re here in the back room—have a wonderful evening!” She opened the double doors that led into the big room usually reserved for private parties and Paige stepped forward with trepidation.

“There she is!” Tom was grinning broadly as he approached her, and Paige’s stomach dropped.

“What’s going on?” she whispered under her breath as he brushed his lips across hers.

“Wait and see!” he whispered back impishly.

Paige nearly groaned as she spotted her parents sitting at a table with her sister, Nicky, and her Aunt Sue and Uncle Paul. Her father gave her a thumbs-up while her mother waggled her fingers. She glanced from her parents to Tom and then across the room where she spotted her traitorous best friend, Raegan Warner, who should have warned her that something was going on. Because something was definitely going on.

“Tom!” She squeezed his hand harder than she intended and he turned in surprise, his eyes widening slightly.

“Honey, I know you’re always cranky after a long week at work but trust me, okay? You’re going to like this!” He kissed her cheek and pulled her along with him to a table at the front of the room, where his parents and sister were sitting.

“Why is everyone so dressed up?” she hissed in his ear. “I’m in capris and a T-shirt!”

“You’re gorgeous no matter what you’re wearing!” he whispered.

She wanted to roll her eyes but he was being so sweet and earnest, she mentally chided herself as she gave him a little smile. “Thanks—but you know I hate surprises.”

“This one is worth it!” he grinned, pulling out her chair and waiting for her to sit down.

“Hi, Mrs. Malone, Mr. Malone.” Paige nodded at his parents before turning to his sister, Jean, who hated her. “Hi, Jean.”

“Hi.” Jean raised her eyebrows. “Nice Duran Duran T-shirt.”

“That’s what happens with surprises,” Paige said lightly. “If I’d known, I would’ve dressed for a special occasion.”

“Since it’s not that special of an occasion,” Jean muttered, “I guess you’re dressed fine.”

“Jean!” Tom gave his sister a dirty look but she merely shrugged.

He sighed but after a wink at Paige, turned and let out a low whistle. “Excuse me, everyone! Now that Paige is here, I have an announcement.”

Paige was getting more and more nervous as she looked up at Tom. Her parents’ obvious happiness, Jean’s grumpy attitude and the number of friends in the room made his intentions perfectly clear; he was going to propose again and she had no graceful way to refuse him.

“Mr. Carter.” Tom took a wireless microphone that seemed to appear out of thin air and walked across the room to Paige’s father, Seth. “You know how I feel about Paige.”

Seth smiled. “I think everyone does, son.”

No, no, no, Paige thought, her eyes wide, stomach churning as he spoke.

“So after nearly two wonderful years together, I was hoping to get your blessing to ask for her hand in marriage.”

Fuck me loud, Paige groaned inwardly. She cut her eyes to Raegan, who was slowly realizing that the shock on Paige’s face was not laced with excitement.

“Well, of course you have my blessing,” Seth replied. “But I’m not the one who has to marry you. Ultimately, it’s Paige’s decision.”

The guests began to twitter and chuckle, whispers filling the room as Tom walked back towards Paige, pulling a small black box out of his pocket.

I’m going to kill him, she thought, too horrified to move and wondering how the hell she was going to get out of this.

“Paige, would you come down here please?” he asked.

Paige gulped, a roaring in her ears telling her she might start hyperventilating any moment now. She was screwed. There was no way to walk out of here without making a fool of herself, embarrassing Tom, or some combination of the two.

“Honey?” Tom spoke again, his smile faltering slightly.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Jean muttered. “Just say no and spare us all the headache of watching the two of you make the worst decision of your lives!”

Fuck, fuck, fuck. Paige stood on wobbly knees, struggling to breathe, breaking out in a cold sweat. “T-tom?” Her voice was barely a whisper but her eyes were pleading with him to stop this insanity. He had to know she was going to say no. Why else would he have done it so publicly? This was more than a disaster; this was a nightmare and apparently she wasn’t going to wake up before the bad part.

“Sweetheart, I—” He took her icy cold hand in his and pulled her towards him.

“Tom, no!” she whispered frantically. “Please—not here.”

His smile fell a little further. “Paige…”

“Put the microphone down,” she implored, blinking away tears that were threatening to fall. “I have to talk to you—alone!”

He frowned. “Honey…”

“If you truly love me, you’ll do this for me.” She was whispering, desperation in her voice and written all over her face.

Tom took a deep breath and let it out slowly, before picking up the microphone and smiling broadly again. “My girl seems to want this part to be private. Can you give us a couple minutes?” He put down the mike amidst boos, cheers and catcalls, and pulled Paige from the room. They walked around the corner and down the hallway where the bathrooms were. Finally, he leaned against the wall and met her gaze. “Why do I get the feeling it’s not that you don’t want me to propose in there, it’s that you don’t want me to propose at all?”

She swallowed. “It’s not that black and white,” she whispered, searching her mind for something she could tell him to make him understand. To make him think about her needs. Hell, to make him stop trying to move so fast.

Raegan told her she was crazy. She worked as a waitress at a casino on the Strip and seemed to meet the very worst possible guys, so Paige thought her opinion of Tom was a bit skewed. Raegan was right about one thing, though: Tom was one of a kind. He wanted to be in a committed relationship and was willing to put in the work to make that happen. He’d already proposed once and she’d had to gently point out that they were both still young, needing time to get to know each other and grow up a little too. He’d been disappointed, but seemed to take her words to heart. He’d bought the house not long after that and seemed intent on showing her how much of a grown-up he was. She just wished he would slow down. Growing up, to her, didn’t mean giving up all semblance of youth; it meant living and exploring to find out who you were and what you really wanted in life. Tom was on the fast track to leaving behind every bit of childhood and focusing on retirement.

If she could get him to slow down, to stop rushing all the milestones, it would be easier to love him. She didn’t want a mortgage, babies and a dog at 24. She wanted to travel, go to concerts, and get beyond an entry-level position at her job. Tom said he understood, but actions spoke louder than words and his actions said the opposite. He wanted a spouse and a white picket fence sooner rather than later. Paige wanted that too, but later rather than sooner. Was it so wrong to want to enjoy life as an adult without a lot of responsibility for a little while longer?

“Then what is it, exactly?” he asked, his normally easygoing smile turning into a scowl. “I moved too fast the first time, but dammit, Paige. It’s been almost two years!”

“Eighteen months,” she contradicted, warring with herself about whether to just let him go and get this over with or to try to explain so that he would be patient a little longer.

“Paige, what’s going to change at 24 months or 36 months or, hell, 100 months?!”

She bit her lower lip and tried to articulate her reservations. “It’s just…I don’t…” She couldn’t seem to do anything but sigh.

“Do you love me, Paige?” he asked tightly, his brown eyes boring into hers intently.

“I do,” she whispered. “But we’re at really different places in life right now.”

“That again?” he demanded. “Jesus, you want to wait until we’re 30? Forty? I mean, how old will be old enough?!”

“It’s not about age!” she protested. “It’s about lifestyle… You have the big house and the car and the job. You want the wife and babies to go with it, and I’m not ready.”

“What do you want to do?” he asked in frustration, calming down now that she’d admitted she loved him.

“I want to focus on my career and get to a point where I feel successful, instead of one step above entry-level. I want to travel. I want to go on adventures… You’re only 26, Tom. Why don’t you want to go on adventures?”

He looked startled, his eyes narrowing a little. “I, um, well, like what?”

“Swimming with sharks in the South Pacific or zip-lining across Costa Rica or excavating shit in the desert in Egypt—I don’t know! Don’t you dream about anything other than accounting?”

He met her gaze sadly, stuffing his hands—and the box with the ring—in his pockets. “You,” he said softly. “I dream about you.”

Embarrassment and guilt tore through her, making her want to cry. He didn’t deserve a woman like her—he deserved better. He wasn’t the kind of guy who dreamed about adventure; his dreams were about reality. Life, love, marriage, children and retirement; that summed up Tom Malone and it was the opposite of everything Paige wanted. There was just no way to explain that without hurting his feelings.

“There’s something I have to tell you,” she finally said, taking a step away from him and looking anywhere but his face. “I, um, I’m kind of…already married.”

“Huh?” Tom looked too confused to even be angry.

“I mean, I think I am.”

“What?! You think you’re married? How can you not know?”

“It was a crazy fling during spring break, three years ago.” She looked down. “He was leaving to go back to school the next morning and we couldn’t find any papers or anything so we…assumed we hadn’t actually done it, like legally, and…forgot about it.”

“Forgot about it? Are you kidding me?” He was staring at her as though a unicorn horn had just poked through her forehead.

“It was spring break…drinking, partying, carrying on—a too-much-fun overload—and then he was running to catch his flight and eventually going back to Greece… We weren’t sure what we’d done. So he left me his information and said to call him. I never did.”

Tom was still staring at her. “Let me get this straight. Three years ago you had a wild week with some guy from Greece, whom you may or may not have married, but instead of finding out, you went your separate ways and decided to just ignore it?!”

Hearing it spoken out loud like that, it really sounded dumb, but all she could do was nod.

“Is that your idea of an adventure?”

Her eyes shot up and met his, hurt, guilt and a twinge of anger running through her. “That’s not fair,” she said hotly. “Name one college student who didn’t do something dumb!”

He arched his brows. “I can name at least one.”

She scowled. “I’m sorry! I can’t help who I am! It’s not like I’ve changed…I’ve always been this way and you asked me out anyway. I’ve never lied about who I was and I’ve tried to compromise, to do some things your way while still doing other things my own way. You just don’t seem to want to do any compromising on your end, and now—”

“No compromising?!” He glared at her. “Everything I’ve done has been a compromise! If it were up to me, we’d already be married and living together! Instead I keep waiting and putting my life on hold so you can grow up!”

“How have you put your life on hold?” She frowned at him, suddenly tired of this, tired of everything. “Your career is on track, you bought the big McMansion in the suburbs, you have a fancy car and the monthly golf date at the country club. How is delaying putting a ring on my finger holding you back?”

“Single guys don’t get the corner offices or the partner offers—they’re too busy partying to snag the better clients.”

“So you need a wife to further your career?” She was getting pissed now, folding her arms across her chest. “All that stuff about dreaming about me was just bullshit!”

“No! Honey, wait.” He ran a hand through his thin brown hair and sighed. He reached out and gently put his hands around hers, pulling her closer to him. “Listen, that came out all wrong. I’m sorry.”

“Tom, I don’t know if I can do this anymore,” she admitted. “I love you, but we’re in really different places in our lives. Sometimes it feels like you don’t know me at all.”

“What do you mean?”

“If you wanted me to say yes tonight, this wasn’t the way to do it. You know I don’t like surprises and gathering all these people stressed me out—even if things were perfect between us, I might’ve said no because it’s just so overwhelming for me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And I know you love this stuff. In the end, I don’t ever want to be the reason you don’t do something. I don’t want to hold you back.”

“You’re not.” He looked sad. “But I kind of feel like your heart is somewhere else.”

“That’s not true!” she protested. “I’ve never been unfaithful! Never!”

“That’s not what I meant. I know that’s not who you are…but you’re in a different place in life. You want your freedom for a while, to explore the things you feel are missing, and I’m ready to settle down. Maybe…” He met her eyes almost guiltily. “Maybe we need a break.”

“A break?” She blinked.

“At the very least, you need to find out, one way or another, if you’re married. If you are, you need to do something about it. If you’re not, I still think we need some time to think about the future, about where we want to be in a year, five years…ten.”

“I…okay.” She didn’t know how to argue because he was right. Even though it could be different between them, he obviously wasn’t willing to find middle ground. He wanted things to be the way he wanted them; her needs and wants weren’t his priority, even though he made it appear that they were by spoiling her with gifts she didn’t need and the type of overwhelming attention she didn’t want.

“Let’s take a little time to regroup. You can sort out your…marital status and I can think about the idea of adventures.”

She looked up into his handsome face in surprise. “Really? You’ll think about adventures?”

He shrugged. “For me to love you, I’d think I’d have to.”

“It has to be a choice,” she said softly. “Not a burden.”

“That’s why I have to think about it.”

“That’s fair.” She paused. “Tom, my parents don’t know—”

He smiled faintly. “About your possible marriage? I figured. Don’t worry. I’ll cover for you.”

“You will?” She looked at him curiously. “Why?”

“Because you’re right—I didn’t make tonight about you…it was about me. I wanted the big party, the big surprise, the big engagement. I know you, though, and I knew you wouldn’t like it. I just hoped you wouldn’t be able to say no.”

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “But that’s not fair to either of us. I do have to find out, one way or another, whether or not I got married three years ago. And you have to decide if you’re willing to put off the white picket fence dream for another year or two, until I’ve had time to follow some of my dreams too. Once we get married and have kids, everything will change, Tom, and I don’t know that I want to give up that much freedom at 24.”

“Maybe some time apart will make us see that we’re meant to be together,” he said.

“Maybe,” she whispered softly, leaning up to press a chaste kiss on his cheek.

“Go ahead and go,” he said, releasing her hands. “I’ll think of something to tell everyone.”

“Oh. No, that’s not fair. We should tell them together. I can—”

“Tonight was my fault,” he admitted. “I never should have put you on the spot like that, so I’ll make it right.”

“But what will you tell them?”

“That I shouldn’t have planned something like this without talking to you first and that you want a private, romantic engagement, not something this big or ostentatious. When they ask where you are, I’ll say you’re upset with me and that I’m giving you time to cool off. In a few days, we’ll tell people we’re taking a break.”

“And then?” she asked, looking over her shoulder at him.

“I don’t know.” He met her gaze sadly. “I guess we’ll regroup when the time is right.”

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About the Author:

Kat Mizera is a South Florida native. Born in Miami Beach with a healthy dose of wanderlust, she’s called Los Angeles, Long Island, upstate New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Atlanta home. She’s never been able to pick which locale is her favorite, but if pressed, she’d probably choose the west coast.

Kat’s a typical PTA mom with a wonderful and supportive husband (Kevin) and two amazing boys (Nick and Max). When she’s not writing, she’s either scrapbooking or indulging in her second love (after writing) – traveling. Greece is one of her favorite places in the world. She loves that Athens is a big city with a small-town feel. The food, beaches and culture keep her going back as often as possible. She hopes to retire there one day so she can spend her days writing books on the beach.

Kat has been a working freelance writer for nearly 30 years. She sold her first article–a review of a rock concert–for $10 in 1985. Since then she’s been an entertainment journalist, waitress, bartender, legal assistant, food critic, magazine editor, substitute teacher, and sports writer. She also spent some time working at A & M Records in Los Angeles.

As you can guess from her series, the Las Vegas Sidewinders, Kat loves hockey. She is also a freelance hockey writer, covering her favorite team, the Florida Panthers, and any other teams that have an interesting story. The rest of the time, she writes novels: sexy, romantic fiction that she hopes makes you as happy as it makes her. There’s something enticing about hockey players and romance…

Connect with Kat:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatmizera/
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lzRBG6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKatMiz
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2li6zRe
Website: http://www.katmizera.com

Excerpt Reveal ~ Honor ~ by ~ Kennedy Layne

HONOR by Kennedy Layne, one of the five books in the upcoming BAD BOY HOMECOMING series, releases June 27th, but we couldn’t wait to share an excerpt! Get a sneak peek below and preorder your copy today!

 

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About HONOR

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new romantic suspense from USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne.

Derek Spencer hadn’t even bothered to RSVP to his Catfish Creek’s high school reunion. He’d been too busy fighting a war in Afghanistan in his capacity as a Marine and wouldn’t even be in the States during the event. Unfortunately, one emergency phone call from his mother changed everything.

Tessa Daniels had been voted most likely to do everything back in high school. She somehow didn’t think that included acquiring her very own stalker at the relatively young age of twenty-eight. It had stopped being simply annoying after someone broke into her house, invading her privacy. Now, she was actually in fear for her life.

Derek’s mother feels terrible that her son has spent almost every waking hour at the hospital, watching over his recovering father. She sets out–and succeeds–in arranging for Derek and Tessa to attend their high school reunion together. Neither one of them expected sparks to fly or memories of long-lost crushes to emerge, but they are not only faced with their newfound passion…they must also confront the person trying to extinguish their chance to rekindle the flames of past desires.

Add HONOR to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

HONOR releases June 27th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

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✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2nrWPTh

Read an Excerpt from HONOR

Derek had every intention of walking out of Tessa’s house and being the gentleman he’d been raised to be, keeping the promise he’d made to himself not to get too involved in her personal affairs only to end up having to walk away from her.

He’d known earlier this evening that she was different from the rest. He’d reminded himself over and over that he had one more year before he had to make another decision that would affect the next four years of his life. He’d told himself that he would see to it that she was safe in her home, maybe even put a call in to the police about having them do patrol sweeps through the area. He couldn’t leave her unprotected, but he also had a duty to protect himself from damaging his heart.

Now?

Tessa’s supple curves against his body and her lips inches from his made leaving difficult. Hell, she made it all but impossible.

Derek wrapped an arm around her waist and eased her toward him, not stopping until the only thing that separated them were the clothes on their bodies. He captured her lips, unable to get enough of her. The sweet taste of sugar and cream made him think that the addictive taste had nothing to do with her tea and everything to do with the fact that she was a hypnotic aphrodisiac. He no longer cared what tomorrow would bring. They were living in the moment.

Tessa used his body as leverage as she raised herself higher onto her tiptoes to deepen their kiss. She didn’t have to worry, because he didn’t intend on stopping anytime soon. He easily hoisted her up so that her long legs were wrapped around his waist, already accepting that they weren’t going to make it to her bedroom…at least for the first round.

Derek sidestepped the coffee table until they both toppled onto the couch. He pulled his lips from hers so that he could see for himself that she understood the ground rules that she’d already put into place. He ignored the fact that he was repeating her words for his sake only.

“For tonight then.”

“Agreed,” Tessa said breathlessly, already reaching for the unfastened bowtie hanging around his neck. She gradually slid the material out from under his lapel, never once breaking eye contact. “So make it your best effort, Derek.”

Tessa’s challenge was a reckless streak of provocation that immediately raised the heat level. He couldn’t resist leaning down and running his tongue across her lower lip, only to then nip it with his teeth. She still had her legs wrapped around him with apparently no intention of letting him go. He had other plans though. He’d become rigid as a board the moment she’d whispered the word stay.

Derek leaned up and all but forced her to relax her hold on him. She was taking in every move he made. She’d already removed his bowtie, so unfastening the rest of the buttons on his shirt was done with ease. Everything she felt was displayed across her beautiful features and he had to question on whether the desire burning within those baby blues of hers could literally light a fire in something other than his soul.

 

Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

DROPOUT by Carrie Ann Ryan
TROUBLE by Avery Flynn
PROM QUEEN by Katee Robert
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

 

AllCovers

About Kennedy Layne

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Excerpt Reveal ~ Prom Queen ~ by ~ Katee Robert

Katee Robert’s PROM QUEEN, one of the five books in the upcoming BAD BOY HOMECOMING series, releases June 27th, but we couldn’t wait to share an excerpt! Get a sneak peek below and preorder your copy today!

 

About PROM QUEEN

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.

Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…

Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.

The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.

Add PROM QUEEN to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

PROM QUEEN releases June 27th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

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Read an Excerpt from PROM QUEEN

 

It took less time than she would have expected to give a short medical history, and then they were being led back to a dimly lit room with two massage beds sitting side by side and soft music playing in the background. After getting assurances that they didn’t have preferences about the gender of their masseuse, the woman—Sarah—left, closing the door softly behind her.

It was only then that Jessica realized the problem. “I’m not stripping in front of you.”

Jake shot her a look. “I’ve seen every inch of you.”

“It’s different when we’re having sex.” He had been so distracted by the whole having sex thing, he hadn’t been likely to look at her imperfections. They might have been few when she was a teenager, but they were legion now. Five years ago, she’d given up on perfection. Being skinny and perfectly put together every second of every day hadn’t saved her from being fired. It hadn’t stopped her jerk boyfriend from dumping her at dinner in front of an entire crowd of people. And it hadn’t made a damn bit of difference when she couldn’t make rent and was evicted.

So she stopped it a little bit at a time. Going brunette was the hardest—and biggest step—but after that it was as if she’d flipped a switch in her head. She’d leave the house without makeup, or eat a second slice of pizza.

Despite her mama’s dire warnings, the world didn’t end.

She still worked out, but she did it because it made her happy and decreased her stress, not because she wanted to be a size four. And she ate now—mostly healthy, sure, but she’d stopped denying herself little indulgences. Between those two things and the fact she was staring thirty in the face, her body was a lot softer than it used to be. Her stomach was soft instead of taut, and…

What am I doing?

Sometime in the last five seconds, her internal voice had turned into her mama’s. She pressed her hands to either side of her head. Stop it right this instant. Jessica straightened and dropped her arms. Jake looked like he was going to ask her what the hell was going on, but she didn’t give him the chance.

She yanked her zipper down nearly hard enough to rip the fabric. It wasn’t a smooth move to shimmy out of the dress, but she managed. She didn’t meet his gaze as she dipped her thumbs into her Spanx, silently daring him to say a single freaking word.

And then she was naked and there was nowhere left to look.

Jake stared at her body like he was in a desert and had just set eyes on an oasis. He took a step toward her, but she moved to put the table between them. “Massage.”

“Screw the massage.”

A knock on the door interrupted them.

“Just a minute,” Jake’s voice was so rough, his words were nearly indecipherable.

Warmth flowed through her at the realization that she was causing this reaction. She wasn’t nearly as aloof as she wanted to be, because she stared as he pulled his shirt over his head and stripped out of his jeans.

Jake was…

Jake was magnificent.

He’d always had a great body, but the body she’d known so well was the body of a boy. This Jake was a man, through and through. His muscles roped along his frame, no tan lines to be seen. The only break in the color were the scars on his shoulder and arm. A smattering of dark hair created a triangle designed to draw her gaze south, ever south, to where his cock was standing at attention. She pressed her thighs together, but there was no hiding her reaction any more than he could hide his. Her breasts felt larger and her nipples pebbled under his gaze. “Jake—”

“Massage.” He pointed at her table and then waited for her to obey before he carefully laid face down on the other. “This was the worst fucking idea I’ve ever had.”

Jessica was inclined to agree. All of her earlier pep talks about keeping her hands off him went up in smoke. They should have just rented a hotel room far enough out of town that no one would care that they didn’t stay the night. They could have lost themselves in each other’s bodies for hours.

 

Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

DROPOUT by Carrie Ann Ryan
TROUBLE by Avery Flynn
HONOR by Kennedy Layne
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

 

AllCovers

About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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Excerpt Reveal ~ Trouble ~ by ~ Avery Flynn

Avery Flynn’s TROUBLE, one of the five books in the upcoming BAD BOY HOMECOMING series, releases June 27th, but we couldn’t wait to share an excerpt! Get a sneak peek below and preorder your copy today!

 

About TROUBLE

A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new romance from USA Today bestselling author Avery Flynn.

Brains and a badass attitude. That’s all troublemaker Leah Camacho took with her when she left Catfish Creek. She’d promised herself she’d never go back, but when the invite to her tenth high school reunion arrived along with the chance to show everyone who doubted her what a success she’s made of herself, she couldn’t resist. However, when she discovers a 15-carat, stolen diamond in her rental car’s glove box, there’s only one man she can turn to for help—the same sexy, stubborn domineering man who’d smashed her heart all those years ago.

Sheriff Drew Jackson knew a long time ago that Leah Camacho was nothing but trouble and has sworn to never get caught up in her again—no matter how damn sexy she is or how badly he’d failed to forget her. But, when the woman who test drove his heart right into a concrete wall rolls into Catfish Creek with some serious bad guys on her tail, it’s up to him to keep her safe—even if that means guarding her hot bod 24/7 without giving into temptation or losing his mind.

Add TROUBLE to your Goodreads list here!

Find out more about the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

TROUBLE releases June 27th, 2017 – preorder your copy now!

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Read an Excerpt from TROUBLE

Drew stood in the kitchen doorway wearing a scowl and a very tiny blue towel slung low across his hips. Water droplets clung to his chest and Leah watched, unable to look away, as one drop made the downward trek across his hard abs to disappear behind the towel. It was enough to make her brain short out.

“What in the hell was that?” Drew asked, stalking toward her.

She swallowed past the sand pit in her mouth and—out of a sense of primal survival desperation—moved so the small, round kitchen table was between them. It wasn’t that she was afraid of him. More like she was afraid of what she wanted to do when she was near him—every dirty thing she could possibly imagine.

“I’m moving things ahead.”

He glanced down at the table and back up at her with a knowing smirk. “And how were you doing that?”

Her cheeks burned. Damn it. Why was it always like this with him? Taking a deep breath, she clicked together her bad attitude, using it as a shield against his cocky charms. “I called in a favor to get more information about the Rhinestone Cowboys.”

He spread his legs wide and crossed his arms over his broad chest. “You don’t need to know more.”

His stance couldn’t have screamed “I strong man, you weak woman” any more if he tried.

This wasn’t how she worked. She wasn’t about to entrust her life to some random FBI agents who were more concerned with catching the man in charge rather than keeping her safe. And Drew? She might be physically safe with him, but emotionally was a whole other story.

“I’m not going to sit around Catfish Creek and wait for those two goons to make their move.”

“That’s the stupid plan the Feds came up with and you agreed to.” He shoved his hand through his wet hair, making it stand up as he rounded the table to her side.

Her pulse picked up as he neared and desire warm and slick sent a shiver of anticipation through her body. She couldn’t control her body’s reaction to him and it pissed her off as much as it turned her on. He really was the one man she’d never been able to stop herself from wanting, which is exactly why she had to fight against it so hard.

“I’m not going to sit back and wait for the other shoe to drop. That’s not the way I roll.”

“No, you just roll over everything in your path without any thought about the consequences.”

“All the more reason why I can’t wait for the Feds to do their job.” Frustration over the situation and her body’s reaction to the half naked man in front of her, she pushed past him, her only goal being to get out of the kitchen before she did something she’d regret, “I’m going to get ready. Until I know my next move I have to act like everything’s normal. That means picking up my high school reunion welcome packet and saying hi to all the bitches who think I slept my way through the entire varsity football roster and the assholes who started that rumor in the first place.”

“If that’s the way you feel about coming to the reunion then why are you even here?” he asked.

She could pretend she’d come back to Catfish Creek to flip her classmates the bird but that was a lie, she realized in a rush. She’d come back to see him.

“Why come back?” she asked. “To see if anything had changed.”

 

 

 

Find out more about the other four books in the BAD BOY HOMECOMING series on the website here!

DROPOUT by Carrie Ann Ryan
PROM QUEEN by Katee Robert
HONOR by Kennedy Layne
ROCK STAR by Stacey Kennedy

 

AllCovers

About Avery Flynn

Avery Flynn is an award winning, USA Today bestselling romance author. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AveryFlynnAuthor

Twitter: @averyflynn

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Excerpt Reveal ~ The Last Guy ~ by ~ Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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The Last Guy, an all-new steamy standalone from Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise is coming June 12th!

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THE LAST GUY

By Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

Publication Date: June 12th

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…

Sex in the on-set kitchen…

Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge… ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.

When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.

THE LAST GUY is the first white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise. It features Fireball-fueled hookups, Doritos Locos Tacos, attack monkeys, toddlers in tiaras, and one fabulous drag queen. Prepare for frantic clicking (or page flipping!) and smoking-hot sexytimes all the way to the out-of-this-world happily-ever-after.

Excerpt:

 

~ Rebecca ~

He kicks the door shut and without even turning on the light, he tosses me on my back on the bed. I prop up on my elbows. My dress is up around my waist, my bra is wet from Cade’s mouth, and my nipples are pointing right at him.

“Damn,” he rasps, and I watch, mesmerized as he reaches behind his neck to pull his shirt over his head, leaving his hair a sexy mess.

The light of the full moon blasting through my window covers him in a silvery glow. My stomach clenches when I see the lines of his muscles deepened by the shadowy light. My God, he’s gorgeous. He looks otherworldly.

“We really shouldn’t do this…” My voice is breathless.

“Agreed.”

He strides toward the bed, his eyes never leaving mine. He’s focused, determined, and I watch long fingers unfasten his belt, the top of his jeans, his zipper.

“This is a terrible idea.”

“Yes,” he murmurs as he cups my face. I sigh and lean into his palm, letting the sizzle between us electrify me. If I do this…if I go through with boning him…it’s going to be the best sex of my life, judging by the tiny raised hairs all over my body.

I scoot to the foot of the bed so I’m right in front of him and my head is level with his waist. Looking up, I slide my palms to his sides, pushing his jeans lower.

He’s standing in front of me in black boxer briefs. I slide my palms up and down against the hot planes of his pelvis, teasing him, tracing my fingers around the straining bulge of his erection. “We’re gonna regret this.”

A long shudder comes from him, and his eyes are heavy-lidded as he watches me. “I don’t think so, Stone. Not in a million fucking years.” He leans down and his lips capture mine, his tongue sweeping inside my mouth, exploring, owning me.

★ Get an email alert when THE LAST GUY goes LIVE on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TLGSignup

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Get a Text Alert as soon as it’s live! Text “TiaLouise” to 64600 Now.*

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About the Authors:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and the “Queen of Hot Romance” Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap.

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Connect with Tia:

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Website: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/

 

 

 

Excerpt Reveal ~ Lost & Found Sisters ~ by ~ Jill Shalvis

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

 

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ADD LOST AND FOUND SISTERS TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

“Mick?” she whispered.

“Yeah?”

“Are you feeling something?”

“You could say that,” he murmured. “You?”

She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered.

“That’s good.”

“Are you going to kiss me?”

He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.”

She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved.

Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.”

God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek.

“Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat.

He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear.

“Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it.

She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?”

It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.”

“You sure have a lot of requirements.”

He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door.

As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that.

But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.

 

 

They say life can change in an instant …

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood.

Pre-order your copy in any format and receive an exclusive crossover Heartbreaker Bay meets Wildstone bonus scene, featuring Archer and Elle going to Wildstone, CA, the town in which Lost and Found Sisters takes place – read about their night in a haunted B&B!

Simply enter your order number OR upload a screenshot of your proof of purchase. Entries must be received by June 25th and you will receive content via email on June 27th!

Preorder and fill out the form here!

 

 

About Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal ~ Stand ~ by ~ A.L. Jackson

STAND

A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel

Coming May 22nd

“Stand is a lyrical dream of power and strength that will steal your mind, body and soul…A mind blowing 10 stars!!!” Queen Zany Book Blog

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
For seven years, I’ve never lost focus.
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…

PREORDER NOW

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My hands lingered on the keys, and she reached out and set her hand on top of mine.
Warmth and light.
It invaded my senses. Clouded my judgment.
My hand flipped over, palm up, and she threaded her fingers through mine. Her head angled, so soft, this girl so fucking good.
“What is it you want, Zee? What is it you can’t have?”
You.
Flames leapt into that space between us. Alive and dancing and inciting.
A siren’s call.
My tongue darted out to wet my lips, and I was shaking as I lifted our entwined hands. I brushed my knuckles along the silky flesh of her cheek. I swore I saw the trail of pink it left behind, the simplest touch affecting this girl.
She released a shuddered breath. It mingled with mine.
Our mouths were close—too close—and our noses just touched as we hovered in that space.
“I want things that will only ruin me, Alexis. But you…you make me want to wish for them anyway. Make me believe there’s a chance that maybe they could belong to me.”
Tension tethered us, this rigid band that had me rocking in indecision, every second getting closer and closer as I fought the foolish ideas that tried to take root.
Giving in would only destroy me. But none of that seemed to matter when I leaned in and brushed my lips at the corner of her mouth.
Her fucking delicious mouth.
Because fuck. I just needed a taste. Something to take with me. Something to tuck away, even when doing it felt like some kind of brutal tease.
Alexis gasped at the contact. I edged back the barest fraction, and she was panting these tiny breaths.
Breaths I was breathing.
Her eyes locked on mine. Hungry and pleading. Brimming with belief and hope.
I ran my thumb over the corner of her mouth where my lips had just been. “You are so beautiful. I’ve never met a girl quite like you.”
Something so genuine took hold of her expression. “I hardly know you…and somehow you make me feel like I am. Like when you look at me…you see the person I always hoped I’d become.”
Everything stilled at her words.
At her confession.
Because that’s what I wanted.
For this amazing girl to know the way I saw her. That in her space, I felt something different from all the bullshit I’d dealt with for all my life.
I felt like someone different. Someone better. Like the person I’d once hoped I’d become.
I clutched her stunning face in my hands, searching for resolve. For that dedication that right then somehow felt out of reach.
“Zee,” she whispered.
That was all it took for that band to snap.
My hands drove into her hair. And my mouth? My mouth was devouring hers.
Frenzied in its demand. Pleading the same way as her eyes had been pleading with me. Saying all the things I couldn’t ever say.
Our tongues tangled, and my spirit coiled. Heat spread in a flashfire of need. Lust rose in the knitted air, like this intangible greed we both were grappling for, searching for the fastest way to get to the peak.
Our hands searched and clawed and explored. We were a mess of limbs as we struggled to get closer to each other where we sat side by side on the bench.
“Zachary…Zachary,” she whimpered, grasping me by the back of the head. She crawled forward so she could straddle me.
Motherfuck.
My hands sank into her hips, and she edged up and pressed those gorgeous tits against the wild beat thundering in my chest. A groan rumbled out from somewhere in my soul.
She felt so perfect. So good.
I wanted to touch her. Explore her. Claim her.
My dick raged against its confines, all that delicious heat at the apex of her thighs grinding against my jean-covered cock.
It’d been too long. Too damned long. I was goin’ out of my mind.

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A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

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