Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Spotlight: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

If she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .

Author Bio: 
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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“You want to come upstairs, Willa?”
What she wanted was to put her hands back on his chest now that she knew it was as hard as it looked. Instead she gripped either side of her seat with white knuckles. “Of course not.”
“I think you do. I think you want something else too.”
“What I want,” she said as coolly as she could, “is dinner as promised.”
“Liar,” he chided softly.
“Well that’s just rude, calling your date a liar.”
“So it is a date.” His tone was very male and very smug. It should’ve pissed her off but instead it did something hot and erotic to her insides.
Clearly knowing it, he smiled at her and then dragged his teeth over his lower lip as he contemplated her.
Gah. She wanted to do that. And she wanted to do more too. She wanted him shockingly badly and suddenly she couldn’t remember why she shouldn’t. She tried to access her thought processes on the subject but her brain hiccupped and froze. Which surely was the only reason she let go of the death grip on her seat, slid her fingers into his hair, and . . . brushed her mouth over his.
He didn’t move, not a single muscle, but when she pulled back, his eyes had gone dark as night, piercing her with their intensity.
“Don’t read that the wrong way,” she whispered.
“Is there a wrong way to take it when a beautiful woman kisses you?”

Monday, September 26, 2016

Excerpt Reveal: A Fool For You by Katee Robert

It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Foolproof Love #3
Katee Robert
Releasing Oct 3rd, 2016
Entangled: Brazen

It’s been thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can’t help seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.


 Chapter One

Hope Moore held her breath as she passed the sign declaring Welcome to Devil’s Falls. She hadn’t crossed the town boundary in thirteen years, not since she sat next to an open grave as they lowered her brother into the ground. Not since she turned her back on her entire life here, whisked away by her parents to the best medical facilities Texas had to offer.
She touched her knee. She’d never cheered again, never run track, never done any of the things she’d had planned when she was eighteen and had graduated high school with stars in her eyes.
Stars in her eyes, and love in her heart.
Neither had lasted past that car crash.
Oh, it had taken the love a lot longer to die than it had her knee, but Daniel Rodriguez made sure she knew where she stood with him.
She caught herself taking her foot off the gas and picked up speed again. There was no telling if she’d see him while she was here, but it couldn’t matter. She’d moved past what happened that night, moved past the disappointment that she’d almost let sour everything else about her life. It might not have happened like she planned, but she’d made the best of her college experience, and she’d gone on to create a successful little niche for herself, helping people and institutions with too much money on their hands create trusts and scholarships for those in need.
And now Hope was back in town to finally do that in her brother’s memory.
She pulled onto Main Street, heading for the only lodgings someone out of town with no relatives to stay with would consider—Sara Jane’s B&B. It was a nice little place, but Sara Jane was nosy to a criminal degree and gossiped more than anyone Hope had ever come across. The second she checked in and went up to her room, everyone with a phone would be getting a call letting them know that she was back in town.
It wasn’t that it was a secret, but she couldn’t help but feel that she’d always be John Moore’s little sister, the one who survived when her older brother—her better in a lot of ways—didn’t. She knew that was her own insecurity. She’d had too many years of therapy to believe anything else, except in her darkest heart of hearts, the place she didn’t let see the light any more than strictly necessary.
But it was hard to ignore that little voice when driving through Devil’s Falls. No, not through. To. This was her destination.
Her parents hadn’t been too thrilled about her coming back, even for a limited time, but even they couldn’t deny that this scholarship she was here to set up was a good thing—the right way to honor John. He’d been in the middle of a full ride at the University of Texas when he was killed, and it made sense to set it up to allow other kids the opportunity he’d never be able to realize.
She pressed a hand to her chest and pulled into the nearest parking spot against the curb. God, even after all this time, it still hurts. Most days it didn’t. He’d been gone long enough that she’d processed her grief as much as one person could process grief, and she was able to focus on the good memories.
Most days.
Her eyes focused on the sign she’d been staring blindly at, and she frowned. Cups and Kittens. That was new. In a town as mired in the past as Devil’s Falls, change was something of a novelty. Or maybe she was biased in a negative way, because the only thing this town held for her was memories. Some bad, mostly good, all dust now.
Pathetically grateful for something external to focus on, she climbed out of her car and looked at the cheery window painting depicting kittens frolicking in between flowers.
The B&B could wait a little while longer. Her meeting with the town board wasn’t until tomorrow, so there was no reason she couldn’t do a little poking around in the meantime. Thirteen years was a long time. If anyone had asked her, she would have joked that she hadn’t expected anything about Devil’s Falls to change while she was gone.
Apparently she’d been wrong.
She pushed through the door and froze in the face of a pair of cats staring at her from their perch on a table overlooking the big window in the front. The sight surprised a laugh out of her. “Cups and Kittens, indeed.”
“In the most literal sense.”
She glanced over at the woman behind the counter, a third cat lounging near the register. Familiarity rolled over Hope. “Jules Rodriguez.” Daniel’s little cousin. Not so little anymore. Last time she’d seen Jules, the girl had been lanky to an almost awkward degree and had braces with bright green bands. She’d grown up pretty, and there was more of Daniel about her now than there had been when she was a kid.
Or maybe I’m just back in Devil’s Falls and seeing Daniel wherever I look.
Jules’s dark eyes cleared. “Hope? What are you doing back in town?” She hesitated. “I don’t suppose you’re here to sweep my brooding cousin off his feet and shove him back into real life?”
Her mind tripped over itself trying to keep up with the other woman’s verbal gymnastics. Jules had always been like that, now that she thought about it—a bright and bubbly steamroller. She tried to weed her way through what the woman had just said, but there was only one thing she could focus on. Daniel. Always Daniel. “What do you mean, back into real life?”
“Well, you know.”
No, she really didn’t. She studied Jules’s face, the way she wouldn’t quite meet her eyes. “Is he okay?” She hadn’t missed the way Quinn Baldwyn had frozen up when she’d asked that same question a few weeks ago at his sister’s wedding, and worry had been simmering in the back of her mind ever since, no matter how many times she told herself it wasn’t any of her business. Daniel was a grown man, and he had always been more than capable of taking care of himself—and everyone else around him. Things changed, but she couldn’t see that changing.
Jules shifted, her hand darting out to pet the calico on the counter and then darting away when the cat swiped at her. “Define okay.”
It was none of her business. It stopped being her business a very long time ago.
But that didn’t stop her from clearing her throat and asking, “Is he…is he married?” Did he build the house we always talked about and have those two wild boys and one sweet girl? Does he bring his wife waffles for breakfast in bed on the weekends?
Oh my God, stop.
But Jules was already shaking her head, her mouth turning down. “Nope. No wife, no kids, no serious relationship in, well, thirteen years.”
Hope blinked. “You’re joking.”
“I wish I was.” A calculating look came into her eyes, but then she shook herself and it was all guileless enthusiasm. “What are you doing for dinner?” She rushed on without waiting for a response. “We’re having a little thing with Quinn and my friend Aubry, and, well, I kind of went and married Adam Meyers.”
Some things really do change. She remembered Adam, the wild-eyed boy who’d grown into a wild-eyed man, better than she remembered Jules. No one had expected him to come back to Devil’s Falls after he blew out of town that last time, let alone to settle here and…get married. “Wow. What’s Daniel have to say about that?”
“He was best man at our wedding.” Jules laughed. “Though he was pretty furious at the beginning. Here, sit down. You look like you could use a coffee, and I’ll tell you the story since we’re generally pretty dead Thursday nights. Then I’ll close up and we can go to dinner. The boys will love to see you. Quinn was just talking about you the other day.”
Hope wasn’t sure she actually agreed to any of it, but the next thing she knew, she was drinking coffee while a cat curled up in her lap and listening to Jules’s wild tale about a fake relationship that turned into a real relationship. Somehow in the middle of that, she was bundled up into Jules’s truck, and by then it was too late to change her mind.
She settled into her seat, consoling herself with the fact that Jules had very specifically not mentioned Daniel’s name. There was no reason to think he’d be there, but it would be nice to reconnect with some of her old friends. As much as it had hurt when things went south with Daniel, knowing that she’d lost Quinn and Adam, too, had just been salt in the wound. She’d chased them around since she could toddle after her big brother and his friends, and they’d turned into true friends over the years. She understood why they hadn’t reached out, but she wasn’t going to turn down a chance to catch up with them.
It would probably be the only nice thing about being back in Devil’s Falls.
“Not interested.”
“You haven’t even heard what I’m asking.”
“Don’t need to.” Daniel Rodriguez leaned down and unbuckled Rita’s saddle and hefted it off the horse’s back. They’d had a good run today, the hot sun making it impossible to think too hard about anything other than whether a human being could roast alive in Texas in August. He hadn’t yet, so that put the odds ever so slightly in his favor.
All he wanted was to finish here and head back to his place for a cold shower and an even colder beer.
It would just fucking figure that the universe had other ideas. He glanced up, but Aubry Kaiser hadn’t moved. In fact, with her arms crossed over her chest and her chin up, all signs pointed to this adding up to an argument he couldn’t possibly win.
Damn it.
She frowned harder. “It’s your birthday. You can’t just sit at home by yourself.”
“Since it’s my birthday, this is the one day a year I should be able to do exactly that with no one bitching at me.” He regretted the harsh words almost as soon as they were out of his mouth, but Aubry wasn’t like his little cousin. She was meaner than a rattler and twice as likely to bite.
She narrowed her amber eyes at him. “Your cousin misses you.”
That explained why she was out here when he knew for a fact she thought horses were akin to goats—as in, the devil’s own creatures. Hell, she was giving poor Rita a suspicious look even while guilt-tripping him using the one person in his life he couldn’t say no to.
Which doesn’t explain why Jules herself isn’t here.
“She sees me on a regular basis.”
“This is your birthday.” Aubry sighed and rolled her eyes, looking put-upon. “Look, it goes like this—Jules has worked really hard to put together a surprise birthday party for you, and if you don’t show up to be surprised, she’s going to be crushed.”
He stared. “I don’t want a surprise birthday party.” The fact that it was no longer a surprise said a whole lot about Aubry’s priorities, and he couldn’t blame her for that.
“Look at my face. This is the face of a woman who doesn’t give two fucks what you care about. What I care about is Jules, and that means you’re going to go shower off the smell of that animal and show up at their house in an hour, right on time.” She paused, her brows slanting down in an expression that was downright forbidding. “You helped me out not too long ago, so I’m going to do you a solid and give you the lowdown. Ready?”
Fuck, no. “Sure.”
“Jules is worried about you. Really worried. If you don’t show up tonight, she’s going to take that as a sign to go forward with plan B.”
He knew he was going to regret it, but he still asked, “What’s plan B?”
Aubry gave a tight smile. “A full-scale intervention with everyone in your life, including your parents. The kind where they sit you down in a circle and each speak their mind in the most uncomfortable way possible until you’re ready to beg the ground to swallow you whole.” Her smile dimmed. “She’s worried about you, Daniel.”
Everyone seemed worried about him, though they usually did him the courtesy of at least trying to hide the looks exchanged when they thought he wasn’t looking. The whispered conversations with his various cousins and his parents. The never-ending work that was only there because they were throwing him a goddamn bone. It didn’t seem to matter that he hadn’t done anything requiring an intervention. He’d just stopped enjoying the company of people, mostly because he was such shitty company these days. But try telling that to the family, and they acted like he had just confessed to being an ax murderer.
At least Jules had mostly stayed out of it. Up until today.
He grabbed the curry brush and went over Rita’s back. Aubry was right. Showing up to a party he didn’t want on a day he sure as fuck didn’t feel like celebrating was vastly preferable to the alternative. “Explain to me what the plan is.”
She gave a grin that did nothing to reassure him. “Dinner and drinks. It’ll be nice. Adam and Quinn miss you.”
“I see those assholes every day.” Kind of hard not to when they worked the ranch alongside him. It felt right to have Adam back, to have Quinn there, but at the same time it was a constant reminder that they were a man short.
And it was his fault.
“It’s different and you know it,” Aubry continued, obviously enjoying how miserable he was. She’d always been a mean one, which never failed to amuse him because Jules was her polar opposite—as bright and happy as a spring day. Rita shifted in her stall, and Aubry went even paler than she was normally. “Dinner starts at six. Don’t be late.” Then she was gone, moving at a clip fast enough that a less cautious man than Daniel would call it running.
He waited a good five minutes before he followed, hauling the saddle into the tack room and sorting out the bridle. He didn’t begrudge Quinn his happiness—or Adam, for that matter—but sometimes it sure as fuck was hard to be around them and their women. The fact that one of those women was his little cousin barely entered into it.
He headed for his truck and took the pitted dirt road leading around the edge of his parents’ property to the little house he’d built a few years ago. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it got the job done, and it was far enough outside town that most people thought twice before stopping by unannounced.
Most people not including his family.
The shower did nothing to ward off the feeling of pending doom. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Jules or Adam or Quinn or whoever the fuck else was going to be at this damn party, but he wasn’t in the partying sort of mood. Truth be told, he hadn’t been in that mood for over a decade. It was almost enough to make him call the whole thing off, but the knowledge that Jules would have no problem bringing the party to him got him moving again. Not to mention the potential intervention he needed like he needed a hole in the head.
At least if he went there, he could hang out for the appropriate amount of time, make his excuses, and slip out while everyone else was occupied. Two hours, tops.
Feeling significantly better, he pulled on a pair of his favorite old jeans and a T-shirt and grabbed his keys. It struck him as he walked out the door that he was thirty-fucking-four years old. How the hell did that happen? He shook his head. He knew damn well how that happened. One day turned into a week, a month, a year, a decade. All while he kept on keeping, the world changing around him, but never changing enough.
He glanced at his watch. “Two hours starts when I get there.”

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and they changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Start the Series Today

Cover Reveal: Black Swan Affair by K.L. Kreig

Title: Black Swan Affair
Author: K.L. Kreig
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 17, 2016


I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.

The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.

Killian Shepard.


We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into a woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.

He’d be back.

He was always meant to be mine.

He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.

So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.

I got my revenge.

I married his brother, Kael.

Now we’re one big happy fucking family.


Author Bio

I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out, I’m a raving bitch. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

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Spotlight: Marie Force's Sex Machine

Marie’s first standalone title in five years!

He’s good for one thing and one thing only—and she wants it bad.
Honey Carmichael has never had a decent orgasm, and she’s out to change that with the one man in town known for his superior skill between the sheets.

Blake Dempsey is happy to help Honey with her “problem” as long as she knows he’s only interested in sex. His heart was broken when his high school girlfriend was killed in the car he was driving, and he has nothing to offer other than more orgasms than Honey can handle.

Which is just fine with her—until fantastic orgasms aren’t enough anymore for either of them and unexpected feelings turn hot sex into messy entanglement—and that most definitely wasn’t in the plans.
But you know what they say about plans…

A sexy, dirty stand-alone romance intended for MATURE audiences. If you can’t take the heat in Blake’s bedroom, stay out or you might get burned. You’ve been warned!

Author Bio: 
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list on her website at marieforce.com for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor, on Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/marieforceauthor/.

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Chapter 1
“I want you to fuck me.” I’m proud of the fact that I never blink as I stare into the baby blues of the man I just blatantly propositioned. In public, no less.
Blake Dempsey chokes on a mouthful of beer, his eyes watering as beer meets lungs in an unholy alliance.
For the first time since I walked into the dark, dank bar, my resolve begins to waver as I question the wisdom of this mission. But if I don’t take the bull by the horns, literally, I might never know why everyone else makes such a big freaking deal about sex. My best friend, Lauren, has assured me that Blake Dempsey is the answer to my most pressing problem. And she speaks from experience.
Tentatively, I pat him on the back, hoping to get him breathing again so we can get back to our conversation, such as it is. Let’s face it—he’s no use to me dead.
As he continues to hack beer out of his airway, people begin to take notice of us, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted. I’d planned to come into the dive bar where Blake has his end-of-the-day beer at exactly six thirty every night before heading home—alone—make my proposition and walk out of there with him.
I hadn’t counted on him choking on his beer or having the eyes of every man in the place on me as I wait for him to recover and give me an answer. What if he says no? Men never say no to Honey Carmichael, which is part of my problem. I have a reputation for attracting them like bees to. . . well, honey. But I’ve never been tempted to keep one of them, thus my well-earned reputation as a love ’em and leave ’em kind of gal.
It’s not my fault that I’m blessed with thick honey-blonde hair, brown eyes that made the boys start simpering over me in fifth grade and a rack that’s been getting me in trouble since high school. Not to mention the long legs that somehow manage to stay tanned year round and an ass that Tommy Lonergan once referred to as a work of art. So I’ve had my share of men. So what? The one thing I’ve never had is a decent orgasm with a man, which is why I’m still alone at almost thirty and happy that way. Most of the time.
Blake finally quits sputtering long enough to look up at me with eyes still watery from coughing. “You wanna run that by me again?”
“You heard me right the first time.” I resist the urge to fidget and hold his steady gaze.
His steely blue eyes seem to look right through me, as if searching for the truth behind my blatant invitation. As he runs his fingers through a short crop of dirty blond hair, his entire torso ripples with muscles.
My mouth waters at the thought of all those muscles wrapped around me. I lick my lips as my nipples stand up to take notice and my pussy clenches in anticipation. From what I’m told by a reliable source named Lauren, Blake has the biggest cock in town and knows how to use it. That thought causes the throbbing between my legs to intensify. When desperate times call for desperate measures, I believe in hiring the best man for the job. And these are most definitely desperate times.
“What brought this on?” His sexy drawl and the relaxed way he occupies the bar stool belie the intensity of his stare. To look at him, filthy from a day of hard, physical labor, one might dismiss him as just another working man.
One would be mistaken.
Blake runs the most successful construction and renovation business in the area, and judging by his grimy appearance, he works as hard as the many men he employs. On him, the grime only makes him more appealing.
“Did you finally run out of guys to fuck in this town? No one left but me?”
I can’t deny that I’ve probably had too much sex, looking for the elusive something that has other women waxing poetic about the act. To me, it’s nothing special, two bodies coming together to expend some energy. Big deal. I’ve never understood what all the hoopla is about, a sentiment I recently shared with Lauren. After she finished laughing at me, Lauren had said, “If you want to know what the hoopla is about, you need to fuck Blake Dempsey.”
Lauren ought to know. She’d been Blake’s fuck buddy for a short time years ago and had declared him an absolute machine in bed. Lauren assures me that doing the deed with Blake will result in nonstop orgasms and pleasure unlike anything I can possibly imagine. “One night with him,” Lauren had said, “and you won’t wonder anymore.”
“You wouldn’t care?” I’d asked my friend.
Lauren had shrugged. “It was just sex between us. That’s all he’s capable of. Everyone knows that. A girl would be a fool to fall for him, so I took what I could get, and when it was over, it was over. It was a long time ago. Have at him and The Cock.”
Even though I’ve known Blake all my life and have never once considered him boyfriend material—mostly because my best friend dated him ages ago—I’m desperate enough to know what I’ve been missing out on to walk into a bar and utter a sentence that no doubt has my dear, sweet grandmother rolling in her grave.
I can’t think about what Gran would have to say about me unashamedly propositioning a man. All I can think about since the conversation with Lauren a week ago are the words “machine” and “nonstop orgasms.” The best orgasms I’ve ever had are the ones I’ve given myself, thus my need for Blake and his legendary cock.
“Are you gonna answer the question?” Blake drawls.
I snap out of the fog to realize I’ve been staring at him while he waits for me to answer him. “What was the question again?”
“Did you run out of other guys to fuck? Is it down to me?”
I hold back a wince at his judgmental tone. I’m not proud of the number of men I’ve test driven, seeking the hoopla. “What do you care?”
“I don’t.” It’s a well-known fact that Blake Dempsey doesn’t care much about anything other than his family, his business, the people who work for him and a few select friends. He shrugs as he drains the beer bottle and puts it on the bar next to a ten-dollar bill. “It’s your business, not mine.”
When he stands to his full six-foot three-inch height and looks down at me, I nearly swallow my tongue. My nipples stretch against the confines of my bra and tank top, as if they’re reaching for him. I hold my breath waiting to see what he will do.
He brings his head down close to my ear. “Follow me home.” His tone is gruff and sexy and authoritative.
I shiver as my heated core weeps in anticipation. My eyes travel from broad shoulders to lean hips and below where the outline of that legendary cock has me licking my lips once again. Soft faded denim hugs him in all the right places, and it’s all I can do to refrain from reaching for the button and giving it a tug to get things started.
My mouth waters as I pictured his big cock springing free of his clothes, ripe for my mouth, my pussy and anywhere else he chooses to put it.
Once again I shake off the sexual stupor and force myself to meet his gaze. If thinking about sex with him gets me this hot, I can’t imagine what the actual deed might entail.
“Are you coming?”
Even though Lauren had assured me he wouldn’t say no, I’m still insecure enough to be surprised that he accepted my offer. Oh my God, I’m really going to have sex with Blake Dempsey. Resting a hand on his sculpted chest, I say, “Oh yeah, I’ll be coming, and so will you, big boy.” The cocky statement, exactly what he expects from me, covers the quaking going on inside.
A throbbing pulse in his chiseled jaw is the only sign of emotion in his otherwise blank expression as he takes me by the hand and heads for the door.
Mindless of the prying eyes of the other customers, I scramble to keep up with his long-legged stride.
“Where’s your car?” he asks when we’re outside in the fading sunlight.
Heat from the long summer day rolls off the blacktop in scorching waves, but I shiver from the almost predatory way he looks at me. “There.” I point to my tiny silver car with the decal on the side hawking my photo studio.
“I’ll wait for you.” He drops my hand and stalks to his big black truck with his own company emblem on the side. His long strides eat up the pavement. I watch him go, fascinated, by the way his jeans hug his muscular ass. I can’t wait to see if his ass looks as good naked as it does in denim. Who am I kidding? It’ll look even better.
I order my quivering legs to move. They finally get the message, and I rush to my car, managing to drop my keys in the dusty dirt parking lot. I bend to get them and am scorched by awareness. As I stand up, I venture a glance at his truck and find him watching me intently, his entire focus on my ass. The quaking begins anew as I get into the car and fumble some more with the keys before managing to get the car started. At this rate, I’ll need an insane asylum before I ever get what I want from Blake.
His truck leaves a cloud of dust in its wake as he pulls out of the parking lot onto Highway 90, heading out of downtown Marfa, Texas. The sun is a ball of fire in the sky as I follow him at a safe distance. The last thing I need is to smash into his back end because I’m such a nervous fool. It’s not like I’ve never come on to a guy before. I have. Too many times, but this guy has always been so remote and off-limits that it took all my courage to walk into that bar and say the line that Lauren and I rehearsed until I got it just right. My hands are trembling and sweaty as I reach for my phone.
“What’d he say?” Lauren asks when she picks up on the first ring.
“I’m following him home.”
“To his house?”
“This is huge! He never takes women to his place.” Lauren lets out a shrill squeal. “I’m so jealous!”
Instantly alarmed, I swerve before I right the car. “You said you didn’t care!” I can’t lose Lauren, the closest thing to family I have left. “I’ll call it off right now if you don’t want me to go with him.”
“I’m not jealous about him. I’m jealous that you get to be with The Cock.”
I swallow hard. “It can’t be that different from all the others.”
Lauren’s dirty chuckle comes through the phone. “Oh, Honey. . . You have no idea what you’re in for. Tomorrow, when you’re walking bow-legged, remember I told you so.”
A bead of sweat slides down my backbone. Propping the phone between my ear and shoulder, I turn the AC on high and follow the black truck as it hangs a left onto Antelope Hills Road. “You always did exaggerate, Lo.”
Lauren snorts with laughter. “You’ll know soon enough that I’m not exaggerating. Call me in the morning. I want every, single detail. In fact, if you could take notes, that’d be great.”
“Shut up.”
“Honey. . .”
The unusual seriousness in Lauren’s voice has me immediately on guard. “What?”
“Ever since your Gran died, you’ve been looking for a place to call home again. It’s not going to be with him. No matter what happens, don’t forget that. Do you hear me?”
“I hear you.”
Blake’s story is well known around town. He blames himself for the car accident our senior year of high school that had claimed the life of his girlfriend, Jordan Pullman, who’d also been a friend of mine and Lauren’s. The loss of Jordan had rocked our entire class, but no one more so than Blake. Even after the police ruled that the accident was the fault of the other driver, Blake continued to blame himself. He’d kept his distance from people—especially women—ever since, throwing his considerable energy into his business. Occasionally, he took a lover, but he never kept her for long.
My story is equally well known. Abandoned at the church when I was days old, Nora Carmichael, who’d never married, took me in and raised me as her own. Because Nora was in her early sixties when I came to live with her, I always called her “Gran.” She died ten years ago when I was only twenty, leaving me to fend for myself in an unforgiving world. I’ve done okay, all things considered, but it’s been a struggle.
“Call me in the morning?” Lauren says.
“I will.”
“Remember: Only sex.”
“I gotcha.”
“Did you use the ‘I want you to fuck me’ line?” Lauren asks. We’d debated a number of ice-breaking lines and had settled on the most direct of the many choices.
“Sure did.”
“I need to try that one on Garrett.”
Poor Lauren has been lusting for years after Garrett McKinley, accountant to Blake’s company and most of the other businesses in town. “What’s stopping you?”
“Um, only the fact that he thinks I’m a brainless floozy.”
“You’re neither brainless nor a floozy. Look at what a booming business you’ve made of the flower shop. How can he think you’re brainless?”
“Maybe because I act that way any time he’s in the same zip code as me?”
“I still say you should hire him to do your books. Then he’ll find out how full of brains you really are.”
“Not happening. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.”
I watch Blake pull into a driveway a block in front of me. The door on a two-car garage goes up and Blake pulls in. “I gotta go. We’re at his house.”
“Just sex,” Lauren says one more time.
“I heard you the first ten times. Bye, Lo.” Ending the call, I repeat Lauren’s refrain. “Just sex.” The last place in the world I’m going to find my home is in the arms of the most remote man I know. Determined to take this one night, and only this one night, with him and “The Cock”—a thought that makes me giggle nervously—I follow Blake’s hand signal to pull into the empty half of the two-car garage.
By the time I make it out of my car and into the laundry room that adjoins the garage, he’s removed his work boots and stripped down to boxer briefs that hug his tight ass.
I stare at the muscles on his back that taper down to that most excellent butt—and wonder if we’re going to get busy right here. I clear my throat to remind him I’m here.
He seems in no particular rush as he tosses his clothes into a front-loading washer, adds detergent and starts the cycle. Then, as if I’m not there, he goes into the kitchen.
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to follow him, but I do it anyway.
He hands me a piece of paper. “Tell them to send my usual and get whatever you want.”
I somehow manage to tear my gaze from the most lickable male chest and ripped abs I’ve ever seen to glance at the red and green print on the paper. I recognize the logo of Pizza Foundation. “They don’t deliver.”
“They do for me. I pay extra.”
“I’m not hungry.”
He shoots me a meaningful look. “I worked all day, and if I’m going to be expected to work all night, too, I need fuel—and so do you.”
A burst of heat creeps from my chest to my face as the implications of his statement settle on me. All nightWhoa.
“Make the call. I’m going to grab a shower. There’re drinks in the fridge. Help yourself.”
For a long moment after he leaves the room, I stand motionless in the middle of a nicer-than-expected kitchen. What the hell am I doing here? Did I really go to the bar Blake Dempsey frequents and ask him to fuck me? “You’ve lost what’s left of your mind.”
I could cut my losses and leave while he’s in the shower. Sure, the few times a year that I run into Blake at the grocery store or post office or at the home of a mutual friend would be awkward from now on, but I can live with that if it means saving some face.
My cell phone chimes with a new text message that jostles me out of my temporary paralysis. Digging into my purse, I pull out my phone. From Lauren: No matter what, don’t chicken out. You’ll be sorry forever if you do. Trust me on that!
As always, Lauren’s timing is impeccable. Sucking in a deep breath and releasing it, I call in the pizza order and then take a beer from the fridge. If there’s ever been a time for liquid courage, this is surely it.
Copyright 2016. HTJB, Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sale: Red by Kate Serine

First in the Transplanted Tales series only .99 Cents

Transplanted Tales #1
Kate SeRine
Released Aug 2nd, 2012

"My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red."

Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess "Red" Little--a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood--has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned--she's not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red's new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters. . .

Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red's old flames. And if that wasn't bad enough, there's another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA's lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate's dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there's one thing Red knows for sure, it's that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences. . .

$0.99 CENTS
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Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) is a hopeless romantic who firmly believes in true love that lasts forever. So it's no surprise that when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed her characters would always have a happily ever after.

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project—probably while consuming way too much coffee.

Kate is also the author of the award-winning Transplanted Tales paranormal romance series and the Protect & Serve romantic suspense series.

Connect with Kate at www.kateserine.com, Facebook.com/kateserine, or on Twitter @KateSeRine.