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Ink by Elizabeth Hunter

 

INK, an all new opposites attract, Contemporary Romance by Elizabeth Hunter is coming March 13th!

 

Synopsis

It’s everything but business as usual.

Emmie Elliot hadn’t expected to come back to Metlin, California. She definitely didn’t expect to stay. She returned to her childhood home with a mission: Sell the building that housed her grandmother’s book store and move on with her life.

But life doesn’t always go according to plan.

To reopen her grandmother’s book shop, Emmie will need a hook. She’ll need a strategy. She’ll need an… Ox?

Miles Oxford doesn’t have much interest in quiet bookstore owners. He’s a tattoo artist without a space to work, and the last thing he wants is to get involved with anyone after his last disaster of a relationship. Work and pleasure don’t mix for Ox, but since he doesn’t have any interest in the cute girl with the bold business proposal, he should be safe from any awkward complications, right?

She sells ink. He tattoos it. Unusual? Yes. But a book shop/tattoo studio might be the ticket for both Emmie and Ox to find success on their own terms. As long as they keep their attention focused on business.

Just on business.

 

 

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EXCERPT

 

The sign Ox was painting in the alley would hang over the 7th Avenue door. It simply read INK.

INK. What else could they call it? Books and tattoos. Tattoos and books. Ink.

They were doing this, and Emmie asked herself every morning if she was making a horrible, awful mistake.

“It’s not too late to call it off,” Daisy said. “Then you can find a nice children’s retailer to work with while I convince Ox that the two of you are meant for each other.” Daisy had hopped on the INK train and immediately hopped off when Emmie had told her about Ox’s condition.

“Don’t be ridiculous and keep your voice down,” Emmie said. The shop was finally clean, the shelves were empty with all salvable stock boxed and organized, and Emmie was standing on a ladder, starting the new coat of vanilla cream paint that would set off the dark oak bookshelves and the counters that Ethan and his dad had ordered.

“You and Ox would be great together,” Daisy hissed, glancing toward the back hallway that led to the alley. “I was thinking about setting you up. I was just waiting for him to break up with Ginger.”

“You are full of it. He may be hot, but I am the opposite of his type.” Emmie started the paint and immediately let out a happy sigh. Everything was better with fresh paint.

“He is a twenty-eight year old man,” Daisy said. “Trust me, he doesn’t know what type is good for him.”

“Good for him? What about me?”

“Trust me. That man would be very good for you. Or parts of you, at least.”

Emmie rolled her eyes. “We are starting a business together. Not getting involved was a smart condition, and I agreed immediately because I am a grown up and business is more important than my hormones.”

“And then you died a little inside,” Daisy said sadly. “Because you will linger alone, a poor village girl, slave to her virtue, never having felt the fire of passion in your too-short life.”

Emmie laughed so hard she snorted and almost smudged the woodwork. “Have you been watching telenovelas in the kitchen again?”

“I swear, Eddie works faster when they’re on in the background,” Daisy said. “I think I’m absorbing them subconsciously.”

 

About Elizabeth Hunter

 

 

ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. She’s the author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.

 

Follow Elizabeth Hunter

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Websitehttp://elizabethhunterwrites.com/

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Excerpt Reveal · S&SR Review Soon

Memphis by Ginger Scott

Check out the amazing excerpt of Memphis by Ginger Scott! We are so excited about this release!
Memphis by Ginger Scott
A Contemporary New Adult Romance

Release day: February 23

Goodreads

Blurb:

My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.

The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.I never understood it…how love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, it was the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then…there’s the way he moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.

EXCERPT:

“Come here,” he says, calling me with a finger.

I wait a second before giving in, letting my arms fall to my sides as I take the few steps from where I am to where he is. His hands wrap around my biceps as soon as I’m near enough and I breathe in fast, just once. His eyes widen a little.

“You’re stronger than you look,” he smirks.

My gaze is held by his when he speaks. He holds it hostage and when I start to look away, his hands slide down to my wrists and he shakes them lightly until I look at him again. His head tilts, and he waits until I get it.

I’m stronger than I look.
“Thank you,” I say, pulling my lip in tight, so afraid I’m not. I’m stubborn for certain. I’m hardened and jaded. I’m not sure if any of that makes me strong.

My muscles bend to Memphis’s will as he threads his fingers through my right ones and lifts my arm, his other hand holding my elbow into my side. He lets go of my fingers and wraps his palm over my knuckles forming a fist and then moves my entire arm forward slowly, stopping when my body lunges with it.

“Here. You lose everything…right here,” he says, stopping my fist where it is then placing the tips of his fingers on my hips.

Memphis’s eyes are intent on where his hand rests at my waist, and he pauses to take a breath, his tongue pinched by his teeth, his lips twitching up at the corners, his eyes blinking fast—all in a second.

I think about kissing him again right now.

“Your weight is already spent, and you haven’t even made impact with something yet. Think about it,” he says, eyes flitting up to mine.

I shake my head a little from the brief stare and silence we share.

“Okay,” I say, following his lead as he brings my arm back and steps behind me.

“You hit me hard, but that was without everything you have behind it. Imagine,” he begins, adjusting his hold on me, his right hand sliding down my arm and covering my hand, feet straddling one of mine from behind, his chest against my back, his breath at my neck and a thousand beads of nerves dotting my skin.

“You’re here,” he says, his voice low and right at my ear.

My eyes flutter when his left hand runs down the side of my body to my hip, and my breath hitches when he grips it more forcefully.

“Your opponent is standing right there. Do you see him?”

I nod.

“Yes,” I say, my voice barely audible.

“He’s cocking,” he says, and I giggle at the word while his nose moves closer to my skin, tickling against my ear. “You’re such a child.”

I clear my throat and wriggle my hips and roll my shoulders, all under his touch.

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” I say, still smiling.

A short breath escapes him in laughter.

“He’s about to swing, okay?” he says, coaxing me to focus.

“Trust me.” His voice falls to a whisper, and my eyes fall closed.

Memphis drives my body, the space between us gone so much that I am lying against him while standing. His hand brings mine up, tucking it close to our bodies. His fingers splay on my thigh, and my leg feels strong. He leans with me, our bodies in sync as we twist to the left, our right shoulders stretching backward, necks rolling until we’re nearly back where we started.

“His balance is off,” he says at my neck. There are no areas of my body that aren’t affected by the vibration of his voice. “You have him. He’s yours. You have balance. His is gone. This is where you win.”

His hand holds my left side still, and his right hand brings me back to swing with a tighter form than I had before. He takes me through the motion once slowly, almost like we’re just part of some intimate ballet performance, then he brings my fist back in and tucks his chin into the side of my neck.

“Again,” he says, this time leading me through the motion faster as his hand slides from its hold on my hip to my diaphragm.

“Breathe out,” he says, and I do slowly at first, but with each swing we repeat, the motion is faster.

My air escapes with my thrust, my body something mechanical now, parts working in unison until I’m able to do it all on my own.

“Keep going,” Memphis says as he steps away. My eyes flit open, and I imagine everything that has ever hurt me. I see their faces—my parents, Enoch, the angry crowds at trials, reporters.

Memphis picks up one of the pads and steps closer as I swing, bending down to hand lift one of my abandoned gloves, eventually holding his palm out for me to pause.

“Put it on, and I want you to hit me now…not like before. Hit me with what you know. Hit me with what you feel, but always there is balance. You can’t give that away. It’s not theirs to have.”

My eyes lock on his as he slides the glove over my knuckles and I form a raw fist with my other hand. He takes two small steps back and readies himself before nodding.

I clear my lungs and consider his words and everything he just led my body through. I was so strong. I’m stronger than I think I am.

My feet shift to find the perfect fit against the mat, and I bring my hands in, fists raised and ready.

“He’s going to swing now,” Memphis says, and I react just as he taught me.

I dodge. The motion so swift and natural I barely remember doing it before my legs steady themselves, my middle twists and my arm swings forward, fist landing in the same spot as it did before only this time my body doesn’t stumble. Memphis does. Inches, but there is reaction to my action.

“Ha,” I breathe out in disbelief. My eyes lift from the fist-shaped dent in the pad to Memphis, and my lips part in awe.

“Yeah,” he says, glancing around to the front of the pad. “You did that by yourself.”

Giddiness takes over my face, my mouth stretching wide with parted lips. Memphis lets the pad fall again, and the physical proof from my force disappears as the padding evens out. It was there, though. I fought back, and left a mark. More than seeing it, I felt it. I still feel it.

“I want to do that again,” I say, blinking as my vision slides from the pad to Memphis’s proud smile.

“Baby steps, Champ. Let me show you a few drills, and then maybe you can punch me one more time before we’re done,” he says, chuckling.

“I wasn’t hitting you,” I say, handing him the glove.

He holds it in both of his hands before bending down to pick up the other glove, pairing them together. His gaze hits mine.

“I know who you were hitting.” Silence settles in for a long second. I don’t have to respond; Memphis doesn’t expect it.

About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, A Boy Like You and A Girl Like Me.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor

Twitter: @TheGingerScott

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Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

 

Excerpt Reveal · Pre-Order · S&SR Review Soon

Mr. All Wrong by R.C. Stephens

Elegant man in suit. looking away

What if the one person who’s all wrong for you turns out to be exactly who you need?
Mr. All Wrong by R.C. Stephens is coming December 4th!

iBooks, Kobo, and Nook readers can PRE-ORDER NOW!
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Kobo → http://bit.ly/2hzEIZ7

MAW_ER_1

CHECK OUT THE SIZZLING EXCERPT:

“What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?” he asks and presses his nose to mine briefly causing my breath to hitch before he pulls away.
“Your suit reminds me that you are the governor,” I say and I know it sounds weird, but somehow in my head on the last few dates, I tried to convince myself that he was just a regular guy.
He chuckles, and again I wish I knew the sound of his laughter. “I’m still the same guy whether I’m in a suit and tie or a pair of jeans,” he replies. I want to tell him that he looks hot as sin in his suit but something tells me that his ego is inflated enough.
“Isn’t the governor’s mansion in Springfield? Why are you always in Chicago?” I ask, knowing this because I also teach history and the governor’s mansion has been in use since 1855.
“Yes, the governor’s mansion is in Springfield, and I do occupy it in a way, but I hate it there. It’s big and empty. I much prefer my apartment here in the city. Truth is since I met you I’ve been spending more time in Chicago than I have in Springfield,” he says, and his blue eyes blaze as he makes the admission. My chest turns warm and saliva pools in the back of my throat. Fuck! I am so turned on by him.
“Oh,” is the only word I can formulate right now.
He walks toward me at such a slow pace, and I feel like someone has pressed a slow-motion button. I take a large gulp as he closes the distance between us. He pushes a stray strand of hair off my face. “I’ve been thinking about kissing the hell out of you all day,” he says. My knees buckle, at least they feel like they do because the next thing I know his lips are on mine, hot and wanting. He kisses softly at first before his tongue begs entrance into my mouth. His taste is as intoxicating as I remembered. Our lips meshed together in a way that tells me, we fit. This is more than perfect. This kiss is everything.

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MAW_ER_2

About R.C. Stephens:

R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a master’s Degree in Political Science.

 

R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.

Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.

Find R.C. Stephens Online!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xDa9MK
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Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ylUdNJ
Website: http://www.rcstephens.com

 

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True Abandon by Jeannine Colette

 

 


 

True Abandon by Jeannine Colette


RELEASING NOVEMBER 13, 2017
 

BLURB

CAN THE SINS OF THE PAST BE FORGIVEN WITH THE ACTIONS OF TODAY?
 
Trish Hogan’s life was destroyed when she gave her trust to her high school boyfriend, Jackson, and he ripped it away, changing the course of her life.
A decade later she’s living in Manhattan — she has a roommate, a steady boyfriend and a career. When a hurricane puts the city on lock down, Trish gets a message she never thought she’d receive: Jackson is dying and alone.
 
In a city of millions, she is the only person who can sit by his side.   
Jackson Davis was once the golden child of a senator who went against his father’s plans and became a musician. Tatted up and broken, he wakes up in a hospital only to see Trish — the one person he needs to atone his sins to — standing before him. He will recover from his injuries, but not from the pain he caused in the past.
Trapped by the storm, they embark on a night of reckoning that has one running away to Hawaii and the other following in her steps. As the victim becomes the villain, the two are forced to face the past, live in the present and find a way to navigate into the future.
True Abandon is a second chance romance and the fifth installment in the Abandon Collection – a series of STAND ALONE novels about dynamic heroines who abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way. Each book contains a new couple, exciting new city and rose of a different color.

Add to Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2fEIEL2

 

PRE-ORDER TODAY

 
EXCERPT
 

 

“I want you to get to know me now, as a man.”
I hold a finger up to him. “No.”
“Yes.”
Shaking my head, I state, “You can’t force me to spend time with you.”
“Yes, I can,” he retorts with a wink. He flicks a gaze around the room—the fourteen-hundred-square-foot Pele suite with two king-size master bedrooms, a living room, lanai looking out to the Pacific Ocean, and—
Realization strikes.
“Oh, no.” I put both hands up in the air and start to back away. “No, no, no, no, no.”
He smiles. 
“You’re sick,” I state. 
He strides toward me, each step more purposeful than the last. “Eight days and seven nights of personal concierge service.”
I continue to back up. “You’re insane.”
Sit back and relax at our five-star luxury resort while your every need is met,” he recites the words from the hotel’s website.
My heels continue to retreat backward. “I don’t know what you think this service includes, but it’s not—” My back hits the wall. 
“Not what?” His palms are pressed flat against the wall by my head, his body pinning me in.
I gasp at the proximity. 
The buttons of his shirt are level with my eyes. The fire of the dragon peeks over the top of his collar. His strong legs encase me. The well-defined upper half of a man who clearly treats his body like a piece of art paired with the intoxicating smell of warm honey radiating off his skin trap me. I’m consumed by the power of this man, yet not one single part of his body is touching me. Not one tiny inch.
I look up and am a breath away from lips whose kisses are still ones I dream about. I dare myself not to, but I find myself glancing further up, and my heart stops at the look he’s giving me—the heated one of a man who is fixated on the one thing he wants. The determined yet yearning gaze of someone who has been deprived for years. The look of someone who is staring at what he needs
My body ignites. 
From the tips of my fingers to the swell of my chest and right down to the simmering of my core, I’m reacting to having this hard, powerful body so close. It’s so intense, so direly missed—and so very, very dangerous.
I tilt my head to the side, causing Jax to lean in and whisper into my ear, his breath hot against my skin, “There once was a time when you looked at me like I was your savior. Now, your eyes scream in disgust. Where you once melted, now, you flinch. I did that to you, and it kills me.” 
He pushes off the wall and stalks back to the middle of the room with his chest heaving. I was so concerned about my physical reaction, I didn’t even notice he had one of his own.
“I’m not the monster you think I am.”
It takes me a moment to process the words. I must take too long to respond because he adds, “Tomorrow is a new day.”
Jax walks into the master bedroom, closing the door behind him.
Part of me wants to follow him, knock on the door, and yell at him to finish what he started. The other part wants to run away and hop on the next flight back to New York.
I don’t do either. Instead, I stand here, confused and frightened as hell.
Confused because I still don’t fully comprehend what Jackson Davis is doing here, back in my life.
And frightened because, despite the past, I can’t help the way he makes me feel in the present.

 

Check out Jeannine Colette’s other novels!


About Jeannine Colette


Jeannine Colette is the author of the ABANDON COLLECTION – A series of
stand-alone novels featuring dynamic heroines who have to abandon their reality
in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way.
A graduate of Wagner
College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment
Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She is now a full-time author who
spends her days at Starbucks, writing and listening to way too much Snow
Patrol. She lives in New York with her husband, the three tiny people she
adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.


Follow Jeannine Colette

 

Instagram: @JeannineColette

 

Excerpt Reveal · Pre-Order · S&SR Review Soon

A LITTLE TOO LATE by Staci Hart

SBPRBanner-ALTL-ER

A Little Too Late, an all-new romantic standalone from Staci Hart is coming October 24th!

ALTL-wrap.jpg

A Little Too Late by Staci Hart

Publishing Date: October 24th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with the nanny.

When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I’ve been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I’ve been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.

For nine long months, I’ve been failing.

When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I’d found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I’ve been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I’d packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.

She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she’s so much more.

The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn’t. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.

Excerpt:

Hannah

The first time I saw Charlie Parker, I didn’t see one thing at a time; I saw all of him. It was an assault on my senses, an overwhelming tide of awareness, and for a moment, the details came to me in flashes over what was probably only a few seconds but felt so much longer.

His hair was blond and gently mussed, his face long and nose elegant. I could smell him, clean and fresh with just a touch of spice I couldn’t place. I tipped my chin up—he was tall, taller than me, and I hovered just at six feet—and met his eyes, earthy and brown and so deep. So very deep.

And then he smiled.

He was handsome when he wasn’t smiling. He was stunning when he was.

I was so lost in that smile, I didn’t register the flying gob until it whapped against my sweater. Tiny splatters of something cold speckled my neck.

This was the moment the clock started again, and the sweet serenity slipped directly into chaos.

A blond little boy looked up at me from his father’s side with a devilish gleam in his dark eyes. The spoon in his hand was covered in blood-red jam and aimed at me like an empty catapult.

Several things happened at once. Charlie’s face morphed into embarrassed frustration as he reached for who I presumed to be his son. The boy—Sam, I guessed from the names I’d been given by the agency—spun around lightning fast and took off down the hallway, giggling. Another child began to cry from somewhere back in the house, and a bowl clattered to the ground, followed by a hissed swear from what sounded like an older woman.

I glanced down at the sliding, sticky mess against my white sweater and started to laugh.

Charlie’s head swiveled back to me, his face first colored with confusion, then in horror as he looked at the Pollock painting on my sweater.

“Oh my God,” he breathed, his apologetic, wide eyes dragging down my body. “Jesus, I am so sorry.”

I was still laughing, almost a little hysterical. I couldn’t even tell you why.

I waved a hand at Charlie, and he took my elbow, guiding me into the house as I caught my breath. Another crash came from the kitchen, and a little girl came toddling out into the entry, leaving powdery footprints on the hardwood.

Charlie’s face screwed up. “Sam!” he called, stretching the word, a drawn-out promise of consequences.

A riot of giggling broke out in the kitchen.

We both snapped into motion. I followed him as he scooped up his crying daughter and stormed toward the kitchen. The little girl watched me over his shoulder with big brown eyes, her breath hitching in little shudders and her small finger hooked in her mouth.

Charlie stopped so abruptly, I almost ran into him.

When I looked around him and into the kitchen, my mouth opened. I covered it with my fingers as laughter bubbled up my throat.

A bag of flour sat in the middle of the floor, the white powder thrown in bursts against the surrounding surfaces and hanging in the air like smoke. The floor next to the bag was the only clean spot, shaped like a small bottom—the little girl’s, I supposed. A bowl lay upside down, its contents oozing from under the rim and slung in a ring from ceiling to cabinet to floor, as if it had completed a masterful flip on its way to its demise. And in the center of the madness stood an older woman with flour in her dark hair and dusted down the front of her. Clutched under her arm was a wriggling Sam, offending spoon still in hand.

Her face was kind but tight with exasperation. “Please tell me this is the new nanny,” she said flatly.

“I doubt we could convince her to stay at this point,” he said with equal flatness.

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Preorder Today!

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Amazon will be live October 24th, sign up here to get an email reminder: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

AuthorPics.jpg

Connect with Staci:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hv5OA5

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imaquirkybird

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Newsletter: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

 

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Her Secret Bodyguard by Amanda Adams

Today we have the teaser reveal for Her Secret Bodyguard by Amanda Adams! Check it out and preorder your copy today!

Title: Her Secret Bodyguard

Author: Amanda Adams

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 10th

About Her Secret Bodyguard:

I watch over her from the sidelines.

She’s beautiful.

Famous.

Hot as f&ck.

My need for her pumps through my veins and heads straight south.

Someone is following her.

Why? I have no idea—she has too many damned secrets—but I’m a former SEAL.

I’ll protect her whether she wants me to or not.

From everything and everyone…but me.

 

Preorder Your Copy Today:

Amazon | iBooks| Kobo |

Exclusive Excerpt:

I made my way across the room and leaned on the wall next to the window, looking at her as I crossed my arms. “Angelina.”

She turned her gaze to me, and the sadness in her eyes almost broke me apart.

“You care about all of these people. But who takes care of you?

Her bottom lip trembled; I’d clearly hit a nerve. Hatred spread inside me for all those people—her uncle most of all—who only looked at her like a paycheck or an opportunity and nothing else. Had they forgotten she was a human being, too? Did they not realize that no person could keep doing what she did without burning out?

Angelina just shook her head. I didn’t even think about what I did next; I was going on total instinct. Taking her hands, I moved her arms down from where she held them crossed over her stomach and put mine around her. She inhaled a sharply, but to my relief, she didn’t push me away.

Trembling, she leaned into me, pulled me a bit tighter and nestled her head against my chest.

“You should have somebody who cares about you. For you.” I caressed her cheek, where a blush was blooming.

When her lashes fluttered, I couldn’t help myself any longer. Leaning down, I pressed my mouth to hers, and the touch of her silky sweet lips against my own sent fire raging through my blood. I wrapped her tighter in my embrace as she clutched at my shirt and moaned against me.

Within seconds, I was shaking as well. I hadn’t planned on kissing her—and I sure as hell hadn’t planned on kissing her like I wanted to claim her as my own. But it happened, and my head started spinning.

This was madness. Stupid. She was rich. Famous. Gorgeous. She dated race car drivers and movie stars. She was so far above my pay grade I shouldn’t even be breathing the same air. I was a former SEAL, a bodyguard sworn to protect her, not seduce her.

But my body seemed to have a mind of its own.

My fingers brushed against her jaw, urging her to open it for me. When she parted her lips, I exalted. Our tongues tangled, and I drank from her lips like a man needing water in the dessert. Whatever I’d felt with her before was long gone, replaced by something even stronger, wilder. More possessive. Instinctive. Needy—and I didn’t need anyone.

This was dangerous.

Focusing on her sweet lips, I ran a hand down her spine while she played with the hair at the nape of my neck. I was about to suggest we move to the bed, but a sharp knock on the door made her jump. I raised my head, and gently pushed her behind me just before the door burst open.

Immediately, I was in go mode, ready to take on anyone coming for her. As I turned to face the intruder, I was greeted with a familiar face standing in the door. I didn’t know her personally, but I recognized her from the entourage looming over Angelina every night at the arena.

“Angelina!” the woman cried out, her expression unreadable. I couldn’t tell if she was relieved or pissed. She gave a heavy, exaggerated sigh before hurrying over to Angelina to embrace her.

I moved toward the corner of the room, keeping out of the way on the sidelines. Back where I belonged. Lord knew I had no place among those land piranha. We had been lucky for sure. Her reflexes had been just as sharp as mine, allowing us to jump back from one another before the door had even fully clicked open.

But even as the rest of her leeches crowded around her, all I could think about was the softness of her lips. The more I reminisced about that kiss, the more I could still feel her lips on my own. The taste of her; her body curved against mine. Though I knew better, I found myself hoping that tonight wouldn’t be my only shot at those lips. I couldn’t help wanting more—she was perfect.

Another familiar voice echoed through the room, and my body stiffened. “Jesus Christ, that took forever.” Angelina’s uncle pushed through the crowd of people, but he didn’t hug his niece. Instead, he stood there, hands on his hips, narrowing his eyes as he looked down at her like she was a child. “Really, Angelina? You couldn’t have waited for us? You’re always so selfish.”

Angelina was at a loss for words—but I wasn’t. I had several on my tongue waiting for him. But—I managed to keep my mouth shut as she said, “I didn’t know—”

“Of course, you didn’t! You never think, Angie.” Her uncle tapped her on the temple, and she blushed in humiliation. “Never. Like I said… you’re selfish.”

I was going to take that fat rodent’s finger and twist it off if he touched her again. Slowly.

Breathe… just breathe. I gritted my teeth and told myself to behave. That maiming her uncle or punching him in the face wouldn’t help the situation. That this mess, this woman, Angelina, famous pop music star and her too beautiful to be real persona, was none of my business.

But she was. Like it or not, I was already involved—especially after that kiss.

Angelina needed someone to protect her. There was no walking away. Not for me.

As I watched her smile her fake smile and try to appease everyone around her, I made a shockingly easy decision.

She was mine. She just didn’t know it yet.

 

About the Author:

Amanda Adams writes super-sexy, new adult and contemporary romance. A full time author, Amanda spends her days trying to walk more and type less. If she eats a salad for lunch, she makes sure to reward herself with chocolate after (as any reasonable woman would do.) Amanda believes in true love, love at first sight, and every other cliché because lightning struck her in high school and she’s been happily married to her sweetheart ever since. However, she also knows, from personal experience, that life can big one great big, painful mess as well. Amanda believes in keeping things real. Her books are free of cheating–with a guaranteed HEA–but hold on tight…it’s going to be one hell of a bumpy ride.
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Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn’t counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she’s finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

 

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AN EXCERPT FROM COWBOY UP

 

I push my hands from his shoulders and palm his jaw as his stubble prickles against my fingers while my hands wander up to his hair. His hat falls to the ground with a thud and I know he’s just as lost in me as I am in him, because he doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. He lets out a deep grunt when I mold myself against his body, seeking some sort of friction. The next thing I know, my back is against the door and he’s gripping my bottom. His mouth hits my jaw with a bite of his teeth, making a squeak of pleasure shoot up my throat, and his deep rumble of laughter reaches my ears as he presses me harder into the door with his hips. The heavy bulge of his erection against that spot makes me so desperate for him that I whimper in relief when his mouth finally closes over mine in a wet tangle of tongues.

I’ve never been kissed so thoroughly.

This is the kind of kiss that sets the bar for any that might follow.

The kind that shows you everything you’ve been missing and everything you never knew you wanted. I’m going to be comparing every kiss I ever have to my dark cowboy’s, even though I know there’s a good chance no one will ever compare. The sounds coming from my mouth, the ones being swallowed by his, are nothing short of needy. My hips move in tandem with the thrusts of his, and even though we’re both fully clothed, I know it won’t take much more of this for me to go off like the town’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.

“Fuck, you taste just like apple pie,” he whispers against my lips, breaking away with a gasp.

“Huh?”

“Goddamn, I love apple pie,” he says before his mouth is back on mine, this time with a whole new kind of hunger deepening his kisses.

I’m held captive, enraptured. Then his hands move from my bottom to glide up my torso. He lifts his hard chest off mine and suddenly those delicious fingers are at my breasts. Even if I had big boobs his hands would dwarf them, I’m sure, but as it is he covers both with a firm grasp before adjusting his hold with a deft twist of the wrists. His mouth continues to feast on mine while his huge hands learn my body with slow movements. I tear my mouth from his with a breathy moan when he pushes my shirt up and slips his fingers into the cups of my bra to tweak my nipples.

“Oh, God,” I moan when he does it again.

“I can’t get enough of you,” he rumbles.

“Please,” I beg, not with the slightest clue as to what I’m begging for.

His hips dig even harder into mine as he leans back, supporting me against the door with that connection alone as he pulls my shirt off. The darkness makes me feel more confident than I normally would be, almost half naked with a man—no, a stranger.

“Yours too,” I tell him as his fingers move to unclasp my bra. “I want to feel your skin on mine,” I breathe, taking over the task so he’ll hopefully give me what I want.

I fumble in my haste to feel more of this dangerous arousal he’s creating in my body, but the second my bra is free and dangling toward the floor, his naked chest collides against mine, pushing me into the door with a force that sends the air rushing out of my lungs.

His mouth hits my collarbone at the same time his hands grasp my bottom, sliding me up the door until I feel the wet heat of his breath against my breast.

Then he stops.

 

 

 

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

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