Cover Reveal: HOOPS Shorts by Kennedy Ryan

HOOPS Shorts, a collection of novellas featuring two sexy and poignant sports romances in the critically-acclaimed HOOPS series from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kennedy Ryan is coming June 23rd, and we have the gorgeous cover!

Preorder your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PYUk7E

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/hoopsshorts

Audiobook (Narrated by Mari, Jacob Morgan, Andi Arndt, Connor Crais): https://adbl.co/3Qbx7PH

Listen to an audio sample here:  https://youtu.be/KCotyzq9wC0

Paperback: Coming Soon!

Release Tour: Hard Count by S.R. Grey ~ 3 stars

Title: Hard Count
Series: A Men of Fall Novel
Author: S.R. Grey
Genre: Sports Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 24, 2022
 
Pro footballer Mike Vinceton desperately wants to get away before the Comets’ new season begins.
Lucky for him the tropical destination he chooses turns out to be perfect.
Not only does he find himself rested and refreshed, but he just met the most tantalizing woman. Her name is Lexi, and their connection is insane.
Too bad their time is cut short—before Mike can learn her last name . . . or where she lives.
Alas, such is life.
Resigned that he’ll never see Lexi again, Mike returns to Ohio to head off to training camp. But what he doesn’t know is he’s about to run into her again, in a most unexpected place.
See, Lexi is the Comets’ owner’s daughter. And though her dad would love for her to take more of an interest in the team, that definitely doesn’t include her dating a player.
Hell no!
Cue the sneaking around . . . and Mike and Lexi praying her dad doesn’t find out.
Hard Count is the fifth novel in the bestselling Men of Fall football romance series and can be read as a standalone.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodreads Review – “I was riveted from the first to the last chapter….”
Goodreads Review – “It was a true love story.”
Thelma and Louise Book Blog – “This is a captivating read with wonderful characters and it will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”
Review Graphic
Mike & Lexi meet, and awed by their connection spend a few hours together, never expecting to see each other again… Until Lexi & Mike realise that their worlds collide in the best way possible. But their reconnection isn’t without its obstacles.

While it had a decent plot, I found the book a bit rushed, especially near the end. Fans of insta-love, low-drama romances will totally enjoy this.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

 
 
 
 

S.R. Grey is a USA Today Bestselling Author of the popular Boys of Winter hockey books and Men of Fall football novels. Both series can be read in any order or as standalones. Other New Adult and Romantic Suspense works of hers include the Judge Me Not books, the Promises series, the Inevitability duology, A Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy, and the Laid Bare series of novellas.
When not writing Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams. Sometimes all at the same time!

 
 

 

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Release Blitz: The Project by R.L. Mathewson ~ 4 stars

Release Date: May 20

From New York Time’s bestselling author of the Neighbor from Hell series comes a heartwarming romantic comedy about the only thing that matters when you’re about to lose everything that you’ve ever wanted. 
The one person that you can’t live without.
She should probably mention that she had no idea what she was doing, but since that would probably result in her new boss, Devyn MacGregor, CEO of Carta Hotels and the incredibly handsome man that didn’t look like he knew how to smile, firing her, Andi Dawson decided that it would be in her best interest to keep that fact to herself. After years of doing a job that had slowly destroyed her will to live, she needed a change, something different, something that gave her a clue about what she was supposed to do with her life, but more importantly, she needed to figure out how she was supposed to keep a secret that could destroy the only thing that mattered to her.
Just. One. More. Time.
Devyn was so close to having everything that he’d ever wanted when everything suddenly went to hell. He should have seen this coming, should have stayed focused, and he really should stop thinking about the small woman that he should probably fire. He had four months to fix this and he had no idea how he was going to do it, but he knew that he was about to make the biggest mistake of his life.

Grab Your Copy Here:

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

Review

This rom-com was a refreshing read.

Andi has an affinity for numbers, but is tired of being stuck in accounting jobs. She fudges her resume so she can be hired in any other position except one dealing with figures. When she successfully “interviews” with Devyn MacGregor for the position of his assistant, she figures she’s on the road to finally figuring out her life without being surrounded by numbers. But little does she know!

Devyn is stressed – and the little – and very quirky – woman he hired on a whim is both exacerbating and soothing his stress. She can’t assist very well, but she’s been one of the best things to happen to his professional life lately. She rarely ever does what he tells her to, but he’s falling fast for her and all her eccentricities.

I liked Andi & Devyn’s story. It was fun, and had lots of characters that I would definitely like reading about in the future. The suspense angle was pretty good, too, even though I had figured out the main villain almost immediately.

This is my first R.L. Mathewson read, as she’s new to me, but I will definitely be reading more of her work in the future.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Meet R.L. Mathewson

New York Times Bestselling author, R.L. Mathewson was born in Massachusetts. She’s known for her humor, quick wit, and ability to write relatable characters. She currently has several paranormal and contemporary romance series published including the Neighbor from Hell series.

Growing up, R.L. Mathewson was a painfully shy bookworm. After high school she attended college, worked as a bellhop, fast food cook, and a museum worker until she decided to take an EMT course. Working as an EMT helped her get over her shyness as well as left her with some fond memories and some rather disturbing ones that from time to time show up in one of her books. 

 

Today, R.L. Mathewson is the single mother of two children that keep her on her toes. She has a bit of a romance novel addiction as well as a major hot chocolate addiction and on a perfect day, she combines the two.

Connect with R.L. Mathewson

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads 

 
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Review Blitz: On the Edge by Julia Connors ~ 5 stars

Release Date: May 18

A steamy second-chance romance set in the world of competitive skiing…

 
Once upon a time I had it all: an Olympic gold medal, a career as a professional ski racer, and a happily ever after so close I could almost touch it. Then my perfect life imploded in one tragic weekend. 
 
Five years later I’ve rebuilt my life with the best girlfriends, the perfect new boyfriend, and a new career. Now my ex—the one who wrecked everything five years earlier—is back as the newest member of the National Ski Team and I’m forced to be his physical therapist. 
 
My days are filled with him. He’s constantly shirtless and sweaty and sexy as sin, and trying to make me fall in love with him again. 
 
But I built these walls around my heart for a reason—and his presence is threatening to undo everything I’ve created without him. With the stakes this high and the sexual tension this hot, this could all go so very wrong. 
 
Or, maybe we’re on the edge of getting everything we ever wanted.

Grab Your Copy Here!

Review

“Without love, there’s little purpose to life.”

Jackson has spent the last 5 years getting over her ex, Nate. He left her when she needed him most, breaking every single promise he’d made to her. When she finds out that she has to work with him as he trains to race on the National Ski Team, she is livid. She’s sure she’s moved on, but whenever he’s near, her body and heart become traitorous. When she finds out that things didn’t go down the way she thought they had, will she make the necessary moves to ensure their HEA? Her heart says they belong together, but her mind has other ideas.

Nate knows he did Jackson wrong when he left her 5 years ago, but he’s hoping that this time around, they have a fighting chance to right all the wrongs that happened in the past. But has he left things too long? Will his past and his budding career work against him, too?

This second chance romance was moving. A slow-burn that burned just the right amount with a healthy dose of push-and-pull, pain and angst, it was a pretty good read.

“I promised you a long time ago that even though you weren’t my first, you’d be my last.”

I really liked the cast of characters introduced here, and I definitely look forward to more from Julia Connors.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Meet Julia Connors

Julia Connors grew up on the warm and sunny West Coast, but her first decision as an adult was to trade her flip-flops for snow boots and move to Boston. 

She’s been enjoying everything that New England has to offer for over two decades, and now that she’s acclimated to the snowy winters and finally found all the places to get good sushi and tacos, she has zero regrets. 

 

You can usually find her in front of her computer, but when she stops writing she’s most likely to be found outdoors, preferably with a pair of skis or snowshoes strapped to her feet in winter, or on a paddleboard in the summer. 

 

To learn more about Julia Connors and her books, please visit here

 

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Release Blitz: Adoring Alejandro by Eve Black ~ 4 stars

Title: Adoring Alejandro
Series: Falling Down #3
Author: Eve Black
Genre: Unrequited Love/Curvy Girl Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2022
BLURB
Maeve Thomas has always been the one in the background; easily ignored, easily overlooked, easily forgotten. And she hasn’t minded, really. It helps keep the attention off her not-so-attractive attributes. She’s happy hiding…until she comes face to face with a man who makes her wish to finally be seen.
Alejandro Mendez, the sexy co-owner of the company where she works, is looking to kick his playboy ways and finally settle down, but he’s looking everywhere but right in front of him. How do you make the man of your dreams take notice when everything about you is forgettable?
When a clandestine encounter heats things up between them, Maeve is hopeful AJ will see they are perfect together, that his heart should belong to her.
Too bad he gives it to someone else.
Adoring Alejandro is a sexy unrequited love, workplace, BBW romance, and the third book in the steamy, emotional Falling Down series. No cliffhangers, no cheating, and a deliciously gratifying HEA.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

Review

Alejandro is in a relationship with a faceless woman. She stirs his heart and mind in immeasurable ways, but she is hesitant to meet face-to-face. Inexplicably, he has just begun to take notice of his shy, usually withdrawn but competent office manager, Maeve, seeing her with new eyes. How can two women affect him so strongly?

This book’s premise intrigued me and held me captive from the start. I also loved the way the author represented & celebrated Maeve’s curviness. However, I was a bit disappointed with the way the plot flowed in some parts. For instance, in one part of the book, I got a heavy dose of steam when I was expecting a little more warmth and intimacy.

Overall, it’s a book I did enjoy for the most part. I definitely would love to read the preceding books, too.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AUTHOR BIO
Eve Black is the sexy contemporary romance-loving alter-ego of a sweet historical romance author…who also writes dark, sexy medieval romance under another name. Eve is one of several personalities in one crazy package. When Eve isn’t writing books, she is editing other people’s books, freelance writing marketing content, or wrangling her children. For fun, Eve loves to read (obviously) sexy contemporary and historical romance books, binge-watch old Supernatural, Burn Notice, Leverage, and Lucifer episodes on Netflix, and play mind-numbing games on her tablet.
Eve lives in an untidy house on a little over an acre in rural Northeast Pennsylvania with her husband of 17 years and their four children, two cats, and one chicken.
AUTHOR LINKS

Cover Reveal: Last on the List by Amy Daws

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Last On The List-wrap copy

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Title: LAST ON THE LIST
Author: Amy Daws
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 16, 2022
Cover Designer: Amy Daws
Cover Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Model:
Tanner Hueter

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Last On The List-front copy

Only a bad nanny knows what it’s like to kiss the boss.

CEO millionaire, Max Fletcher is a single dad in desperate need of a nanny.

Cozy Barlow is in the middle of her self-appointed “gap year” and doing everything she can to detach from her past.

But when her sister begs her to interview for the nanny position of a high maintenance client, she doesn’t have a good enough reason to say no.

And when Max locks eyes on the twenty-something in a tie-dye sweatsuit who pitches the idea of daydreaming all summer—he prepares to give this bad nanny the boot.

One problem: Max’s little girl thinks this plus-sized in body and spirit nanny might be her new bestie, so she hires her on the spot.

Now Max is stuck with this bizarre woman who hates everything he represents—corporate greed, money, status, power.

But one stormy night when the power goes out, he discovers Cozy doesn’t hate him. In fact, he’s the leading role in her fantasies.

Fantasies, he would very much like to make a reality.

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Preorder Now

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“So that’s really your proposal as the nanny to my daughter for the summer? To do nothing?” I ask dryly, hoping this Cassandra person has a backup response that she’s going to pull out of her back pocket at any moment to save this horrible interview.

Cassandra nods proudly. “We’ll also do a lot of sitting. I’m an expert at sitting,” she deadpans.

“Okay…I think we’ve heard enough, Cassandra.” I move to stand, but she reaches out and touches my arm, halting me in my tracks.

“I said to call me Cozy,” she corrects with a wink.

The teasing look in her eyes causes my skin to tighten. I do my best to shake it off as she refocuses on my daughter to share with her the last book that made her cry. Her hand slides off my arm, and my eyes lock on the way her index finger trails off the fabric of my suit.

I’m left struggling to shake this silvery feeling her delicate touch has left on my arm, so I take a moment to inspect Cassandra a bit closer now that her focus is off me. Her facial features are round, a faint dimple appearing in her cheek as she talks animatedly to my daughter. Her alabaster skin is a stunning contrast to her nearly black hair cropped bluntly just above her shoulders. She has shockingly plump lips slathered in a pale pink gloss that thankfully doesn’t match the orange jumpsuit that looks like something a teenager would wear. Her ample curves indicate she’s very much not a child.

“How old are you?” I blurt out in the middle of my interview with this bizarre potential nanny. I blanch at how unprofessional of a question that is and curse under my breath. “I’m sorry, you don’t have to answer that.”

“I’m twenty-six, Big Daddy,” Cassandra replies with another wink and then immediately dives back into conversation with my daughter.

Big Daddy? I frown at that very unpleasant label. Jesus Christ, she is so unprofessional. No fucking way…over my dead body. This will not work. I click my tongue and bring out my CEO voice. “Cassandra…I thank you for coming in, but I’m afraid—”

“You’re hired!” my daughter bursts out, standing up so she’s eye level with me. She thrusts her hand across my face and reaches for Cassandra’s, mimicking me to a T how I’ve handled many successful boardroom transactions.

My mouth hangs open as I sit frozen, watching Cassandra stand in what feels like slow motion to take Everly’s hand and accept the offer.

“This is so awesome!” Cassandra shakes Everly’s hand so hard, she starts to giggle. “This summer is going to be GOAT!”

“Goats?” I exclaim, finally breaking free of my stunned-stupid response to my daughter taking over this meeting. How is Everly so charmed by this…this…I don’t even know what to call a person like Cassandra. “No one said anything about farm animals.”

Cassandra and Everly burst out laughing like they’ve been buddies their entire life. Everly places her slender fingers on my shoulder in a way that makes me feel like the eleven-year-old in the room. “Dad, GOAT means greatest of all time.”

My shoulders slump. “Oh.”

Everly leans over to Cassandra and whispers loudly, “I’m so glad this worked out. If we didn’t hire someone today, my dad was totally going to get a case of his stress poops again.”

“Everly!” My eyes fly wide when Cassandra turns her green gaze at me. I push a nervous hand through my hair and quickly rush out, “I don’t get stress poops. I don’t know what that kid’s talking about.”

Cassandra reaches out and pats me on the other shoulder. “Hey Mr. Fletcher, no judgment here. Maybe you should try some of that kombucha in the waiting room that you won’t let your staff have? It’s really good for the digestive system.”

I groan and pinch the bridge of my nose. This summer is going to be a disaster.

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If you’re looking for laughs…this series of waiting room meet cutes is the perfect escape. Binge these standalones in Kindle Unlimited in preparation for April 9 release!

Wait With Me
(optioned for film by Passionflix)

When romance novelist, Kate Smith, finds her long lost writing mojo in the customer waiting area of a tire store, the complimentary coffee isn’t the only things that’s hot. But sexy mechanic, Miles Hudson, is just up for a friendly test-drive of her new book idea. At least, that was the agreement… Read Now: https://geni.us/WaitWithMe

Next In Line

What happens when the cute mountain man you made out with in an ice fishing shack turns out to be your brother’s best friend? Read Now: https://geni.us/NextInLine

One Moment Please

That awkward moment when your doctor informs you that you’re pregnant…with his baby. Read Now: https://geni.us/OneMomentPlease

Take A Number

Fake dating the cute owner of a bakery Dean is an investor in sounds kind of messy…but messy can be fun. Read Now: https://geni.us/TakeANumber

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Check out Amy’s Facebook page for an awesome giveaway!

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Amy Daws Head Shot-sizedown

Number 1 Amazon Bestselling author Amy Daws writes spicy love stories that take place in America, as well as across the pond. She’s most known for her footy-playing Harris Brothers and writing in a tire shop waiting room. When Amy is not writing, she’s likely making charcuterie boards from her home in South Dakota where she lives with her daughter and husband.

Follow Amy on all social media channels, including Tik Tok under @amydawsauthor

For more of Amy’s work, visit: http://www.amydawsauthor.com

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Sneak Peek: He’s A Keeper by Stacy Travis

Drunk-texting a grumpy soccer star?
Best worst decision of my life.

He’s a Keeper, a grumpy sunshine sports romance from Stacy Travis is coming May 24th, and we have your first look inside!

Especially when the player is the sinfully handsome, foul-mouthed Holden Sanders… my new library assistant.

The benched bad boy needed an image makeover, I needed to save my job, and his star status was just what the library ordered to raise awareness for our fundraising campaign. The press can’t get enough of Mr. Growly reading to kids.

It’s win-win and completely platonic.

Until I need a shoulder to cry on after drowning my heartbreak in too many margaritas. I only typed that invitation to his brawny biceps and perfect pectorals for fun–I never meant to hit send. Holden isn’t the kind of guy to care about tears and feelings, least of all mine. He’s made it clear good girls aren’t his type.

But he shows up–with his strapping shoulder, a box of tissues and a supersized bag of Doritos.

That’s when I realize there’s more to him than meets the eye.

One soulful, smoldering mistake of a kiss has me craving more, and the heat between us quickly builds to a blaze neither of us can control.

But I’m not the only one guarding secrets, and Holden’s might push us to the breaking point.

Even if I’m surrounded by books, I know better than to believe in storybook endings.

And yet, I want to believe… Because I know he’s a keeper.

He’s a Keeper is a standalone sports romance in the San Francisco Strikers series with a HEA.

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uLFmcv
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/hesakeeper
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3jLdoqY
Nook: https://bit.ly/3KOpjAm
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3vpIqdq
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3kDHsoU

Keep reading for a sneak peek inside He’s a Keeper!

Molly

When I reach the glass doors, I expect to see the irritable man outside scrolling on his phone or, if he really doesn’t understand the rules, walking to his car.
But he’s nowhere. Glancing back, I see Seth dutifully walking toward the story area, his shoulders hunched like I’ve sent him to the gallows. Still, he’s going. That gives me a couple minutes to track this man down. I should’ve asked his daughter for his name so I could yell it.
The library is a one-story building on a corner. A small square of grass sits on each side of the front walkway, which leads to the sidewalk where the city hasn’t trimmed the overgrown trees in years. The result is patchy brown areas where the grass doesn’t get enough sun and trees that block out the sky in places.
I head around the side of the building to where the tiny parking lot only has room for a handful of cars. My fugitive stands with a pair of preteen boys each holding a skateboard under one arm. All three stare up at one of the trees.
From my vantage point, I can’t see much except a whisp of what looks like orange fur on a high branch. The boys are doing their best to mask their nerves with a façade of bravado.
“Dude, you do it. I have a basketball tourney this weekend and my dad’ll kill me if I get injured,” one of the boys says, dropping his skateboard and stepping on one end so it flips back into his hand.
The other boy, who has a shock of blond hair, tosses his board onto the grass and cranes his neck toward the ball of fur in the tree. “Nah, he’s really high up. Dude, if he falls and dies, it’s totally your fault for letting him out.”
“I didn’t let him out. He ran out before I saw him.”
“Whatever. You were the one who opened the door.”
“You’re the one with a cat who’s too dumb to stay in the house.”
“Not. Helping,” the man scolds, turning his baseball cap around so the brim hangs over the back of his hair. Now I can see his eyes, though with the way he’s squinting at the tree, I can’t tell their color, just that they sit under aggravated brows.
It’s also crystal clear that my initial take on him was spot on—he’s so good-looking that he uses it as a hall pass to be a jerk. Even his stance, with his arms folded so his biceps pop and his shoulders pull at the fabric of his shirt, shows anyone within viewing distance that he knows what to do with hundred-pound barbells. And he does it.
“I don’t want him to die.” The blond boy wipes his sweaty palms on his jeans and takes a few steps closer to the tree, surveying the climb.
“He’s not going to die. Cats are ninety-five percent tiger. They have eighteen toes. They’re built for climbing,” the man says. “Plus, they have double the neurons in their cerebral cortex as dogs. They’re smart. Your cat’s only climbing as high as it’s safe.”
It’s like dinner theater seeing this brawny dude with the bad attitude rhapsodize about cats. I can’t tear myself away.
Suddenly, he jumps up and grabs the lowest tree branch and executes the most manly pullup, biceps rippling, as he hurls himself vertically, ending up in a squat on top of the fat horizontal branch. The legs of his jeans stretch taut over his thighs, and he balances like some kind of ninja. From there, he reaches for another branch overhead and does the same.
It’s like Tarzan with a zoology degree.
I inch a little closer to get a better view. The boys are fixated on him and don’t notice me until I whisper a question. “Do you know that man?”
“Nah, he’s just some dude who walked out here,” says the blond boy. “I hope he’s got extra toes too.”
“You know an awful lot about cats,” I call up to him.
From the way he flinches, he had no idea I was there. Holding on to a tree branch, he stuffs his other hand into his pocket and looks back at the cat, who’s taken the momentary distraction to scramble higher up the branch. “I almost fucking had it.”
“Hey. Children are present.” I put my hands over my ears to demonstrate, stuck in my library lady persona because, as I said, I’m bad with kids.
“Are you one of them, Mary?” He smirks. It’s not a bad look on him because it slightly looks like a smile. Except that the upturned corner of his mouth makes me want to punch it. And why’s he calling me Mary when I introduced myself to the group right before he left?
“Hardly.” I square my shoulders as though I need to prove to him that I’m not a child, which seems childish and makes me want to punch him again. “Anyhow, you can’t be out here.”
“I have no idea what that means,” he growls, stepping further along the branch, which looks flimsy under his weight.
He’s nearly twenty feet in the air and pretty close to the orange and white cat, which is no bigger than a grapefruit. It sits perched on a high branch meowing like it’s singing opera. Cute little thing.
I don’t have pets. It kind of goes along with my fear-of-kids thing. I worry the responsibility of caring for a pet might be more than I can handle. What if I forget to feed it for a week? What if I let it escape and it ends up in a tree?
But this cat has fate on its side because Tarzan scoops the small thing into his hand and tucks it into his chest. From the way his head is bent toward the cat, I can tell he’s talking to it.
Using his free hand, he deftly slips down to a lower branch and balances on it while he surveys the best path down. Lowering into a squat, he calls out to the boys. “You said you play basketball, yeah?”
“Sure,” one of the boys says.
“You’re going to catch this kitten like it’s a buzzer beater from downtown. You miss, you lose. Ready?”
The boys ready themselves, hands open, squatting like the ballers they want to be. “Ready. I’m open!” the blond boy yells, instantly in game mode.
The man drops the furry, striped body to where the boy grasps it surely in his hands. He scruffs it under the collar and tucks it under one arm while he and his buddy grab their skateboards.
“Thanks, man. You saved my bacon,” the blond one says.
As he swings from the lowest branch and lands in front of the boys, the man is already brushing off their appreciation. “You never have to worry about cats. They’re climbers. He’d have come down on his own, so if he does it again, wait him out. Don’t break a bone. Speaking of that, cats have more bones than people. They’re just small.” He spouts all this information sounding irritable and inconvenienced, as if anyone asked for an encyclopedia entry on cats.
“Cool, good to know.” The boys mount their skateboards and thank him again as he brushes some stray pieces of bark from the sleeves of his shirt.
Then his gaze locks on mine, and I notice the hardness in his steely gray eyes which have dark rims that look like they were drawn with charcoal pencil. They’re pretty but unyielding.
He stares at me like I’m the one who isn’t where I’m supposed to be.
“I need you to come back inside,” I say again. His eyes roam over me from head to toe and back again. He makes no attempt to hide his slow perusal of my form, and I feel a flutter in my belly that irritates me because I don’t want to react to him. I fold my arms over my C-cup chest.
“I’m sorry?” He cocks his head to the side like a dog who only hears words but doesn’t know what they mean.
“You need to stay in the library.”
“I don’t think there’s a law about leaving the library. Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to be inside? Who’s reading to the kids, Mare?”
The kids—as though he isn’t the biggest child among them.
“My name’s not Mary.”
He shrugs.
What he doesn’t know is that I wrangle headstrong, hormonal teenage girls for a living, and if I can get them to work quietly, I can handle one unpleasant man-child. He doesn’t intimidate me. He does, however, beg me to spend a little more time staring at his strong jaw, even though he glares like he’s weighing the odds of murdering me and getting away with it.
I exhale a long breath, prepared to explain the rules, but my mind drifts to a subject that’s more intriguing. It’s not a problem when I’m alone, but when I’m having a conversation with someone, it can lead people to think I have focus issues.
Maybe I have focus issues.
Drifting back, I point at the man accusingly. “How do you know so much about cats? Are you a vet?”
He huffs a disbelieving breath, stuffing his hands deep into his pockets. “I have a cat.” His icy stare makes it seem like he’s unhappy about it.
“You have a cat?”
“I just said I did.”
I shake my head as if to knock the errant words from my ears because I can’t have heard him correctly. In no world does this tightly-wound grump take care of animals, unless he’s skinning them for their pelts. Which makes me worry for the safety of his cat. “You have a cat. As a pet?”
He squints his eyes, which causes the corners of them to crinkle, which seems strange until I realize they’re laugh lines that accompany another smirk. He observes me with his hands on his hips. “As opposed to…?”
“I don’t know, like maybe you’re planning to feed it to some larger animal. Do you also raise coyotes and watch them devour cats for sport?”
He mirrors my stance, and I can’t help but notice the bulge of his biceps when he crosses his arms. He looks sightly menacing, and I worry for a second that I’m poking a beast that’s best left alone. He shakes his head.
“I don’t know what kind of weird shit you’re snacking on behind the reference desk, but no, I’m not into torturing animals. Any other questions about my cat?”
“What’s its name?”
“Greta.”
“Huh.” Is it wrong that I expected him to have a male cat? I picture him with a surly tomcat who hunts for mice with him in the dark. “Greta,” I confirm.
“Garbo. She’s a European Shorthair. Swedish. I like old movies.”
A Tetris block drops into place. “The DVDs. You were renting oldies?” It happens that our branch has a big collection of classic films on DVD, and some people come from across the city for them.
His brow furrows. “What?”
“A couple weeks ago. I ran into you?” What’s the use of pointing out that it wasn’t memorable? “Never mind. But if you’re a Garbo fan, I feel compelled to admit I always liked Romance better than Camille. I know that’s controversial.” I glance to the side, thinking about the two movies. When my attention drifts back, he’s studying me like I’m an oddity.
I’m used to that look. Yes, I’m the library lady who likes books—and even movies—more than people.
It’s why I get a perverse thrill at hiding details about my life and letting people assume what they want. If I admitted to a one-night stand here or there, there’d be questions. Assumptions. Maybe even invitations to hang out after work with some of the male faculty at school. Easier to let people assume I’m a sunshiny little hermit on my way to becoming a spinster.
What people think is irrelevant, which is why it surprises me when this guy picks up my conversational tangent like it’s normal. “Camille might be a tad overrated. I agree there. But Romance isn’t my favorite.”
“Which is your favorite?” I’m here for the talk about old movies. I kind of love it.
“The Kiss.” His gray eyes boring into mine until I can’t take the weight of his stare any longer and look away. I feel the heat rise in my cheeks and prickles of warmth crawl up the back of my neck. Must be hot out here.
When I recover my composure and look at him, he’s smirking like he knows the effect he has on me. “Anyhow, I gotta go.” He starts walking toward the parking lot, forcing me to move quickly to keep pace with his long stride.
“Oh. No. No, no, no. We have to go back. You need to stay inside the library.”
“Why?”
“Because it’s a rule. Parents stay.”
We reach the parking lot and he stops by the door of a sleek-looking Porsche. I half expect him to speed away without finishing the conversation, but he doesn’t pop the locks. “I’m not a parent. I’m here with my niece. We’re bonding.” His grimace and the irritated tone of his voice makes bonding sound as much fun as being stapled naked to a tree.
“It doesn’t matter. You’re her guardian. Parents, guardians, nannies, babysitters, uncles—all of those people need to stay if they bring a kid to the library. It’s not daycare.”
“Not my rule.”
Pressing his lips together, he glares at me like I’m a gnat he’d like to flick away. I offer him my most meaningful stare, which is challenging as my traitorous body cranks up the heat again when he looks at me – to say nothing about my pounding heart.
Stop it. He’s just a man. A normal human man.
Okay, he’s not normal. He’s spectacular, gorgeous, stunning—all the adjectives. But still, just a man. The wind chooses this moment to kick up behind me, pushing a bunch of flyaway strands out of my ponytail and into my face like runaway tumbleweeds, so for a moment, I can’t see if he’s decided to make a break for the fancy, fast car.
“Be a better guy than that.”
Something in his eyes shifts, softens, if only slightly. “Fine,” he says, turning back toward the library. “Not like I have any place to be.” I catch the sarcasm in his tone and the view of his broad shoulders as he swaggers back toward the door.
“It’s one hour. I’m sure you’ll manage. It’ll give you more bonding time, and if you really can’t stand it, the place is full of books. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite author.” I can’t help the brightness of my tone. I love books.
“I said it was fine,” he says over his shoulder, but his fierce, sweeping stride makes it clear he dislikes my terms. He walks ahead of me, so I’m forced to keep pace if I want to see his face, which is marked by a resigned lack of enthusiasm.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Holden.”
I extend my hand, which he grips firmly before dropping it. I swallow hard when I feel an electric zing of pleasure erupt over my skin at his touch. Infuriating, traitorous skin.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Molly.” It’s not particularly nice, but I’m not about to alienate one of the few people at the library. I need about twenty more of him.
“Molly, huh? Given your whole spoonful of sugar vibe, I could’ve sworn it was Mary.”
“Nope, Molly.” I ignore the Mary Poppins reference. He thinks he’s so original.
He stares me down. “Okay, Mare. I mean, Molly.” He says my name slowly like it sticks in his throat. Charmer.

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About Stacy Travis
It’s a rough world out there, and we all sometimes need a good, romantic beach read, even if we can’t make it to the beach. I’ve spent many lazy days walking the streets of Paris and other gorgeous European cities, and if I’m doing it right, I’m bringing you a dash of romance and a vacay fantasy.
I can’t sit still, so when I’m not hiking, biking or running, I’m playing a very average game of tennis. Background music for writing undoubtedly features some U2, Lizzo, Billy Joel, Pink, Taylor Swift, and Led Zeppelin. Not necessarily in that order. And if I could only eat one food group, it would be cheese. Or wine. Or bread. Are those food groups? Whatever.

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Website: https://stacytravis.com

Release Blitz: Love You Like That by Scarlett Cole ~ 4 stars

 Release Date: May 17

Zoe Atkins wanted exactly one thing. To be the world’s greatest percussionist. Instead, she’s on a tour bus engaged in a stupid bet with rock star, Alex King, trying to fill the hole left behind when her dream gave up on her.
The prickly former percussionist wasn’t supposed to steal his heart. With her distrust of lipstick and love of men’s pyjamas, she was everything playboy, Alex, didn’t want in a lover. At least, that’s what he thought when he bet her he could find her a hook up during their tour. Until he’s forced to watch the woman he’s come to desire leave the bar with her perfect guy, taking a piece of his already bruised and battered heart with her.
Now it’s up to the Sad Fridays’ rocker to use his passionate powers of persuasion to convince Zoe he’s more than her wingman. He’s her everything.

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Review

Alex King has everything professionally made – he’s finally playing in sold out venues around London in a band made up of his best friends and family. But he’s lonely; he wants someone to love, but someone who will also understand and love him for who he is – a pansexual. He proposes a bet to Zoe to get her a little out of her shell, but Alex soon realises he wants her for himself.

Zoe is deaf, and has been struggling with the loss of her hearing and what it could mean for her career in music. She’s also fighting against the well-intentioned but suffocating attempts of her loved ones to get her to go back to playing percussion again. A bet with Alex King takes on dimensions she never imagined, as she falls for the man and the rock star. For the first time since her diagnosis, she has someone who sees her, and gives her the space to decide what she’s doing with the rest of her life, while cheering her on.

This book has a high level of emotional depth and feeling that’s packed into it. The dialogue is as real and honest as it could possibly get, in a way that makes you feel as though you’re right there in the room. You can’t help but get swept up in the way that Zoe & Alex get together, especially the way they put each other first.

It was a bit difficult keeping all the names and couples straight, seeing as I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series. However, this book is a very good read. I also loved that it had no over-the-top, unnecessary drama. It was just two people working out their lives together.

I recommend this book.

Meet Scarlett Cole

The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. 

Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada where I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.

 

I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Now I’m getting the chance to follow that dream.

 

I am represented by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, NY.

 

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Release Blitz: Stone Cold by Winter Renshaw ~ 5 stars

 

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From #1 Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Winter Renshaw comes a scorching hot forbidden romance …
 
 
The most humiliating moment of my life begins with an early morning message from my ex’s notoriously heartless best friend.
Jovie—
In no way does this mean my opinion of you has changed.
I’m reaching out because sometime in the middle of last night you tagged yourself in Jude and Stassi’s engagement photo.
I don’t care if you were drunk or it was unintentional. I suggest you remove it immediately since the wedding is in two months (which I’m sure you know since you were clearly FB stalking them). The damage is done, but no reason to make things more awkward.
You’re welcome.
Stone
I waste no time removing my accidental tag before the sharp-tongued novelist in me fires off a response to the man who harbored extreme and inexplicable hatred of me during the three years I dated his best friend in college.
Only I didn’t expect him to respond.
And nothing could have prepared me for what he would say …
… or for all the ways this gorgeous villain with cruel icy blues would become the biggest plot twist my life had ever known.

Stone

The Hannaford Supermarket is packed on this Friday afternoon. I imagine we’re all doing the same thing; ditching work a couple of hours early, grabbing some dinner items, and heading home to kick off our weekend. I wonder if this is what Paul meant when he told me there’s no such thing as a unique experience.

I tuck a six pack of Heineken beneath my arm and head for the meat counter to grab a porterhouse and half a pound of stuffed mushrooms.

“I mean, what would you feed a dog if you had one?” A pony-tailed blonde in neon blue yoga pants asks a pimple-faced butcher.

“I don’t have a dog, ma’am,” he says, his Adam’s apple bobbing.

“But if you did though,” she says.

“I’d probably feed him kibble, ma’am.” His eyes shift toward the long line forming behind her.

“I guess I’ll just take two sirloins,” she says. “The eight ounce, not the five.”

The young man wraps the steak in brown paper for her before sealing it with a sticker.

“Anything else?” he asks.

“That’ll be all, thank you,” she says before taking the package, turning on her heel—and walking right into me. “Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you there.”

In her defense, I was probably standing a little too closer, but the little old lady behind me kept inching closer to me, which made me inch closer to her and it became a big circle jerk of inching.

“Jesus,” I mutter under my breath when our eyes catch.

I’d know those Pacific ocean blues anywhere, the ones so effervescent they almost make me forget it’s been about a week and a half since I ignored her last message.

“Jovie,” I say.

“Stone?” She squints, as if she doesn’t believe her eyes. Then again, I imagine I look slightly different than I did five years ago. Shorter hair. More muscles. Dressier clothes. Bigger big dick energy …

“What are you doing here?” I ask.

The little old lady behind me clears her throat, and I motion for her to go around me.

“I’m watching my neighbor’s dog and he’s refusing to eat. I think he’s depressed. I thought maybe if I got him a steak …” she shrugs. “What are you doing here? I thought you were in Baltimore?”

She remembered …

Our senior year in college, I was accepted into the University of Maryland School of Law that upcoming fall.

“Yeah,” I say. “I was offered a position up here from one of my law professors who was opening a practice here.”

Her lips inch into a wistful yet friendly smile. I’m sure it’s strange seeing me here—of all people. Or maybe she’s looking at me but thinking about Jude. It’s hard to tell. I imagine seeing me all these years later rustles up some old memories she wasn’t prepared to think about at the grocery store on a Friday afternoon.

The last time I hung out with Jovie was before the ill-fated Tulum trip. We were sitting around eating burnt frozen pizza from the campus convenience mart and downing cheap beer. And if that weren’t enough, Jovie forced us to play some God-awful card game where we had to shout certain phrases and clap and make fools of ourselves, but by the end of the night I was drunk enough to actually enjoy it.

The last thing I remember before passing out on the living room couch that evening was Jovie covering me with a blanket before adjusting my pillow so I wouldn’t have a kink in my neck.

I mumbled something to her about not being half bad.

She replied with a coy, “Yeah, I know.”

Everything turned black after that.

Who’d have ever thought that would’ve been the last time we’d hang out, the three of us?

Certainly not me.

I doubt Jude did either.

“You know, I’m still waiting for you to reply to that last message,” she winks and crinkles her nose. “You left me on a cliffhanger.”

“I didn’t feel like answering it.” And it’s the truth.

“That’s your prerogative, I guess.”

I’ll admit, I debated sending her another clever deflection last week, but then I got busy with work and decided it was best just to leave it alone. Besides, some things are better left unsaid.

“You know Jude lives here too,” I say, leaving out any mention of Stassi because it goes without saying.

She lifts her brows. “Okay …”

“You haven’t run into him yet?” I swear he’s never home. Stassi’s always got him running to this festival or that concert or this new restaurant.

She shakes her head, her ponytail flicking over her shoulders.

“I’ve only been here about a year,” she says. “I moved here with my ex … and I guess I haven’t gotten around to leaving yet.”

My chest tightens at the idea of Jovie being with someone new, some faceless pencil dick who probably doesn’t deserve her. From the second time we met, I knew she could never be mine. But even after Jude left her, I never once stopped to picture her with someone new. No need to torture myself.

We linger in silence for a beat, as if neither of us wants to go, yet there’s nothing more to be said.

Her full mouth curls at the sides, flanked by two perfect dimples as she stares up at me through a fringe of curled lashes. I’ve known far too many people who let themselves go after college. The stress of a corporate gig, a robust travel schedule, and a social life that revolves around drinking on the weekends tends to do that to a person. But Jovie looks even more beautiful than she did the night I first saw her.

There’s a calmness about her, as if these last several years in the real world have given her the kind of education she couldn’t get from a four-year institution.

Jovie waves her package of steaks. “I should probably get home and feed Domino.”

“Right.” I rake my hand along my jaw, taking her in for what very well might be the last time.

“It was nice seeing you though.”

Most of the time, when people say that, they never mean it.

“You too,” I say.

She walks away, turning back once more. “You should really think about answering my question …”

“Not a chance.”

She laughs before spinning on her heel and heading to the front of the store to check out.

A moment later, I realize I’m standing there wearing a dopey grin. I’m sure I look like a damn lunatic.

I wipe the expression off my face, get back in line, and order my filet mignon.

Years ago, I used to wonder what would be worse: Jude and Jovie getting married and me having to spend the rest of my life watching my best friend live happily ever after with her? Or Jude sending Jovie packing and me never having to see her again.

It never occurred to me that there could ever be anything in between.

Now I know.

Only I don’t know how I feel about it.

None of these scenarios end with me getting the girl.

Review

This book pulled me in and wrapped me up in it pages.

This forbidden, ex’s best friend romance will surprise you with not only its plot, but its sweetness. The flashbacks, the tension and conclusion make for amazing reading.

You will alternately groan at the what-could-have-beens and cheer while Stone & Jovie navigate the newness of their relationship. I definitely recommend this read!

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.
And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j

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Release Blitz: Killer Moves by Tawna Fenske ~ 5 stars

He’s a hacker. A high-tech hitman. And now…a daddy?

When Matteo skips prison with a clean record, his conscience is anything but. Guilt hits him like a sack of marbles when he spots the woman he jilted. The clincher? A child who looks like him.

Renee’s son may have Matteo’s eyes, but she won’t say who fathered AJ. She’s also mum on what sent her into hiding or why guys with guns are after her. But when Matteo blocks an attack, he persuades Renee to appoint him their protector.

Keeping them safe means faking they’re a normal family road tripping with s’mores and snuggles and possibly a sniper rifle. Toss in a potty-training toddler and temptation from the woman he still craves, and it’s officially Matteo’s toughest mission.

But with danger nipping their heels, the only way to save his family may be to leave their lives for good.

Review

I enjoyed this book, and am more eager for the next in the series.

Matteo has just been released from jail after being framed by a dirty police officer. Though he’s been accustomed to hunting bad guys and doing not-so-nice things in the name of justice, he’s now at a crossroads in his life where he must decide what he should do next with his life. But when he meets up with his sisters, he’s surprised to find the one woman he never forgot – and her son who resembles him. Matteo soon finds himself protecting his new family and falling in love again.

I just loved this romance. In-between all the action, Matteo, AJ & Renee’s insta-family unit had me swooning. Matteo knew he had done Renee wrong and made sure she knew how sorry he was. I liked that Renee was strong, but knew when to ask for help.

Though this can absolutely be read as a standalone, I recommend that the series be read in order, so you get a good idea of the sequence of events, as well as the recurring characters.

I recommend Killer Moves unreservedly.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

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