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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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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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.

Grab Your Copy Here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Apple | Nook | Google Play

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.

 

Connect with Scarlett Cole

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | GoodreadsInstagram | Twitter | BookBub 

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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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Release Blitz: Stone Cold by Winter Renshaw ~ 5 stars

 

Amazon 

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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Excerpt Reveal: Playing Dane by Hannah Gray

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💗EXCERPT BLAST 💗

Take a peek inside 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐃𝐚𝐧𝐞 by Hannah Gray! This is a steamy, heartfelt, sports romance coming on June 1st!

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EXCERPT:

Leaning down, he grabs something between where my feet are parted. His hand brushes my ankle, making me suck in a breath. Standing up, he holds a debit card up. “You dropped this, Layla.”

I feel frozen as I stand here like a moron, tingling in places that should not be tingling. And not from the bourbon either.

Finally, I snap out of it and snatch the card away from him. “Uh … th-thanks.”

“No problem,” he says and takes a step back. “Have a good night.”

Turning slowly, he walks away. And judging by my body’s sharp reaction to him … hopefully out of my life. Dane Wade isn’t the type of guy you can kiss and forget.

And since I don’t do the whole relationship thing, there’s no point in becoming a prisoner to his touch.

I might not see marriage or children in my future, but if I see a prospect to have a little fun with? You’re damn right I’m going to take it. I won’t feel bad either. Men somehow look hotter if they get around campus. A girl sleeps with a handful of guys, and suddenly, she’s deemed a whore. We’re not in the olden days anymore, folks. Time to catch up with the times.

Now, that isn’t to say I sleep around on the regular. In fact, I’ve only had sex with a few different guys. But fooling around? Making out and allowing a bit of fondling? No harm there. As long as I don’t see myself getting attached to the guy, I’ll kiss him silly. If there’s a chance of one of us catching feelings, hell to the no. Kissing is far too personal. In my opinion anyway.

So, as I said before, Dane isn’t a guy I should be kissing. I know my weaknesses. And it turns out, guys who look like that, with sad eyes and a tortured soul … might just be one of them.

Blurb:

Dane Wade is a breath of fresh air. Sexy, charming, and with abs that could melt any woman’s panties. With my rules and boundaries in place, he is the perfect person to have fun with to pass the time. As long as he knows it will never amount to anything more. Which he does … I think.

But then boundaries get shattered. Lines get blurred. And I know it’s time to bolt before things get harder and I risk falling deeper. Running away is the only thing I know how to do. And in my twenty years on this earth, it’s worked for me.

They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. They’re wrong. I knew what I had all along. I just couldn’t accept it.

And now … he might be gone for good.

One thing is for sure: it’ll take more than an apology for him to want me back. But saying I’m sorry is a good place to start.

Pre-order the Florida East University series here: https://amzn.to/3Lk8vBn

Find more books by Hannah Gray: https://amzn.to/3ke0lyv

Excerpt Reveal: Fate After Fame by Amber Kelly

🎶💗 EXCERPT BLAST💗🎶

Take a peek inside 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐀𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐅𝐚𝐦𝐞 by Amber Kelly! This is a small town, second chance romance coming May 23rd! Pre-order yours today!

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EXCERPT:

“What are we doing?”

He grabs my hand and pulls me to the sidewalk that leads up to the door and stops in front of the impression in the pavement. The town had redone the front of the hall when we were in high school and one night after a bonfire we snuck up on the wet cement and sat down leaving a permanent stamp of our backsides.

“That’s our tushies. Forever cemented beside each other at town hall. If that doesn’t say fate I don’t know what does,” he tells me.

“It says idiots that’s what it says,” I disagree.

“That was a fun night. Admit it.”

I shrug.

“We were young and wild.”

“We’re still young,” I say as we continue on to Market Square.

“And one of us is still wild, but seriously, thank you for being such a good sport tonight. I know it wasn’t exactly the date night you had in mind, but the library means a lot to the community, and gregarious auction bids aside, your mere presence helped to raise an enormous amount of money tonight.”

“It was my pleasure. I love this town as much as anyone. Besides, there is one thing you can do to show me your appreciation,” he says as we approach the front of the cafe.

I narrow my eyes at him.

He lifts his hands in the air.

“Get your mind out of the gutter Miss Humphries. I just want a do-over date. You owe me that much,” he proposes.

I take my key from my clutch and unlock the door then I turn back to him.

One minute I’m about to answer him, and the next he has me backed against the door.

“Garrett,” I warn.

He brings his face to mine and circles my nose with his.

“Yes?”

“I have to go inside,” I whisper.

“I know.”

He doesn’t budge an inch as he lays his forehead against mine. His hands move from the small of my back and slide down my hips.

“Did I tell you how amazing you look in this dress?” he asks.

I shake my head.

“I swear, I didn’t think you could be any more beautiful than you were back in high school, but I was wrong. You’re a stunning woman, Ansley.”

I can feel my heartbeat start to race and the knot in my stomach grows tight.

This kiss is different than the one we shared in my closet the other night. This one is soft and sweet and somehow much scarier than the passionate one. One of his hands comes up to caress my cheek and I drop my purse to the ground and clutch the sides of his blazer.

Garrett pulls back and still holding my face he places a peck on my nose and steps back.

“Tomorrow?” he asks again.

“Okay,” I answer without thinking, my mind still whirling from the kiss.

Blurb:

After years of hard work and saving all my pennies while working as Balsam Ridge’s librarian, my dream of opening a combination book store and cafe is finally coming to fruition.

Everything is on track until my old high school flame, Nashville’s trouble-making superstar Garrett Tuttle, comes back to town. His wild ways and out-of-control behavior caused his label to send him home while the chatter dies down. Garrett doesn’t know how to lay low, and his arrival turns my world upside down.

But I’m not the same broken-hearted girl he left all those years ago, and I’m the only woman on earth who’s not affected by his playboy charm.

Can I stand firm or will Garrett’s sweet lyrics make my heart soar again?

Small Town, Musician, Second Chance Romance. Coming to you on May 23, 2022

Find more books by Amber Kelly here: www.authoramberkelly.com