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The last thing you hear before you die…Kaylee Cavanaugh, a high school junior who discovers she can predict impending death. Kaylee’s abilities pull her and her friends and family into the line of fire of hellions, reapers, and a host of other monsters native to the Netherworld, a warped reflection of our own world, inhabited by nightmarish creatures. Another great series by Rachel Vincent!
Book #.5 – My Soul To Lose
It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.
Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.
She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities….
She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.
So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.
The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.
Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…
Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.
Until something does.
Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends; one of whom is already hooked.
And so is someone else.
Book #3.5 – Reaper
Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him–and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod’s future wasn’t so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life… Death… or something Between….
Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can’t just pretend nothing happened. But “complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.
See, Sabine isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people’s fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.
And Sabine isn’t above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.
Book #4.1 – A Day In The Afterlife of Tod
A special treat from Rachel Vincent pre “If I Die”.
A Bonus Chapter from “Before I Wake”.
The entire school’s talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee’s no ordinary high-school junior. She’s a banshee—she screams when someone dies.
But the next scream might be for Kaylee.
Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee’s going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human, either.
But Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.
Book #5.5 – Never To Sleep
Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin’s strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she’s put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream–and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep…forever.
Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family…?
I died on a Thursday— killed by a monster intent on stealing my soul.
The good news? He didn’t get it.
The bad news? Turns out not even death will get you out of high school…
Covering up her own murder was one thing, but faking life is much harder than Kaylee Cavanaugh expected. After weeks spent “recovering,” she’s back in school, fighting to stay visible to the human world, struggling to fit in with her friends and planning time alone with her new reaper boyfriend.
But to earn her keep in the human world, Kaylee must reclaim stolen souls, and when her first assignment brings her face-to-face with an old foe, she knows the game has changed. Her immortal status won’t keep her safe. And this time Kaylee isn’t just gambling with her own life….
What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It’s time to kick some hellion butt…
After not really surviving her junior year (does “undead” count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She’s going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.
But then she meets Wrath and understands that she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can’t save everyone she loves without risking everything she has….
Author: Diana Palmer
Blurb: Stanton Rourke lives life on the edge. The steely mercenary is dangerous in every way…especially to Clarisse Carrington’s heart. She and Rourke were playmates as children, but she’s not the innocent girl he once knew. When tragedy robbed Clarisse of her entire family, her life was changed forever. Besides, she’s a grown woman now, and there are secrets that hold her back from succumbing to her pursuer. As she struggles to keep her distance, sparks as hot as a Texas summer fly between them. But danger is following Clarisse, leaving her no choice but to rely on Rourke, even as the old wounds lying dormant between them flare up again…
Thoughts: It’s been awhile since I read a Diana Palmer book. She is absolutely one of my favorite authors, but most of the newer books I read just didn’t have the same impact as most of the older books that I still find myself going back to occasionally. Not the case with Untamed. It’s reminiscent of some of the older stuff, and one of the most enjoyable I’ve read from her in awhile. It was such a joy to see again what I used to love so much in her books.
I only have a mild complaint….it seemed that quite a few things were repeated in the book. A lot of reminiscing the same memories over and then over again. It made me feel like words were just thrown in there to help with the length of the book. All in all though, a small thing overall that is easily overlooked.
A great book by a classic author!
The next two covers for the repackaging of Kresley Cole’s phenomenally popular
Immortals After Dark series
are ready, and what’s ours is yours!
The latest HOT OFF the Press new looks:
Each title will be available in eBook format at a special price of $1.99
starting August 31st – October 4th
Series: Hurricane Creek book #1
Author: Joelle Knox
After five years, tragedy brings Hannah Casey back to Hurricane Creek to bury what’s left of her family. She’s flunking out of college, haunted by scandal, and the only person who cares is Sean Whitlow, an irresistible bad boy with a soft spot for her. The problem? He’s her dead sister’s ex.
Sean doesn’t bleed red, he bleeds motor oil. During the week, he struggles to turn his auto repair shop into a profitable business. But when Saturday night rolls around, he’s the reigning stock-car king of the local race track. He doesn’t know how to lose–or how to walk away and leave Hannah alone with her grief.
Between her grades and her wealthy family’s dark secrets, Hannah’s barely holding her life together. And the last thing Sean needs is to get tangled up with another Casey girl. As the attraction between them spins out of control, they’ll either find a love with no limits–or go up in flames.
Anyone who has followed us here on The Book Reading Gals knows that we are huge Kit Rocha fans. I don’t read a lot of dystopia but when I see one of their dystopian books coming out I’ll pick it up every time! So when I got the email announcing a new pen name, Joelle Knox, which they would use to publish contemporary, new adult books, I immediately signed up!!
Side Note: I’ve learned over the last several months not to say that I don’t enjoy New Adult because I have had many instances where I have been proven wrong on that account… a prime example would be The Deal by Elle Kennedy (you MUST read this book if you haven’t already) and now I’ll add Anything But Broken to the “proved me wrong list”. At this point I will say, yes I like New Adult but I don’t like when new adult characters act immature-ishly.
Hannah has been alone for so long and forced to hide herself from the world that she really doesn’t even know who she is. Because she had been forced into a box, an expectation of what she should be and act like, I could feel her hesitancy to take the reins of her life. How is she to know where she wants to go in life when she has finally been given control for the first time in 20 years?
Sean is living life. A business owner, a stock car racer – he wasn’t looking for anything else in his life when Hannah walked back into it. But there is a connection between the two of them and despite what his friends and family may think, that connection has very little to do with her deceased sister, Cait.
Anything But Broken is angsty… But in the ways that make sense. Hannah hates her mom and beats herself up over the fact that she does but we learn as the story unfolds that she has every right to hate her… Hell, I hate her mom too and she’s a fictional character! Sean beats himself up over the conversation he had the last time he saw Cait alive… Lots of angst but it’s not over done or overwhelming to the story… in my opinion it’s just a way to explain that when these two get to their HEA they have earned it in every way possible!
It’s worth mentioning that there are some tough subjects covered in this story, alcoholism and mental illness to name a couple. Not only was the proper treatment touched on but this duo wrote about the ways that some families choose to deal, or not deal, with these issues. The tactful and sometimes harshly, realistic way that it was covered should be applauded.
FIND ME is the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED sequel to FREE ME
and the Conclusion of Gwen and JC’s Story
NOW AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING RETAILERS:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KOTZjc
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1M9P2St
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1IiBzUa
Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.
But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.
Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?
I grabbed my cell and checked the time. It was six-twenty-nine. I threw it in my purse and turned back to the mirror to give myself a pep talk. “We will not have sex. We will not have sex. We will not have sex.”
Jesus, I was so horny already, and I hadn’t even seen him yet. I’d thought about taking care of myself before JC got there but wasn’t sure if that would make things better or worse. By the time I’d decided it would make it better, Ben was there, and now JC was ringing my buzzer.
“You look incredible,” he said when I opened the door.
I blushed as I gave him a onceover. He was dressed in khakis with a fitted shirt and a lightweight jacket. Lots of buttons, I thought. Which was a good thing, considering how damn good he looked. Had he always been that buff? “You do, too.” My thighs felt hot. Good thing I’d changed out of my pants.
I really should have pulled out my vibrator earlier.
“You brought flowers?” I’d been so taken by him I hadn’t noticed the small bouquet in his hands. Three red roses dressed with some smaller white bell-shaped flowers I couldn’t identify were wrapped in a red ribbon. I hadn’t expected it. “I didn’t know you were the kind of guy who brought girls roses.”
He shrugged with one shoulder. “I’m trying to impress you. I have a feeling this date is a test of some kind, and I want to make sure I pass.”
“Not a test,” I said dismissively. Though, wasn’t that what this was? A test to see if we got along as well outside the bedroom as we did inside? “But thank you. You do impress.”
I shifted my weight to one hip and flitted my glance between JC, still standing on the other side of the threshold, and the flowers in my hand. “I should put these in water.” But I wasn’t sure I was ready to invite him in. Because in meant we’d be closer to my bed. And my couch. And my kitchen counter. All of which were locations that could be tempting.
Really, I just shouldn’t be anywhere alone with him.
Either JC felt the same way I did or he could read my mind. “You can do that later. The plastic containers on the stems should last until we get back. And we should get going.”
“Perfect.” I set them on the console table behind me, relieved and nervous all at once. I took a deep breath, grabbed my purse, and turned back to him. “Let’s go!”
In the hallway, he offered me his hand. I took it, then, there it was—the shock of his touch as his fingers weaved with mine. I let out an involuntary sigh, and with it bricks of tension fell from my body. Release. It shuddered through me as electricity sparked up my limb from where we were connected and spread throughout my body, and I wondered if this was what it felt like to melt. What it felt like to be frozen for so long and then, finally, to have the sun brush against cold ice, transforming it into something more fluid, something entirely different.
I glanced down to where we were joined, so overcome by how right it felt to be touching him in this simple way. When I looked back at him, I found his eyes pinned on me. His expression said he’d felt it too.
“You messed up, you know,” he said, as we started toward the elevator. “You were supposed to wear something that I didn’t want to rip off of you.”
My cheeks heated—actually, I wasn’t sure they’d ever cooled from the first blush he’d caused. “You said it would be impossible for me to wear anything that wouldn’t elicit that response. The only other choice was to go naked.”
“That would have been an excellent choice.”
“But not very practical.”
“I’ve never been a fan of practical.” He pushed the call button and the elevator doors opened immediately, the car likely still there from when he’d arrived.
We stepped inside, our hands still molded together. The doors closed, and I so badly wanted to turn and kiss him.
Instead I delivered the short speech I’d practiced since I’d woken up that afternoon. “I think I should tell you, I don’t have sex on first dates.”
“Wow. That’s…surprising. Considering we had sex before we’d ever even been on a date.” He squeezed my hand. “But, after you left me with blue balls this morning, I already figured out you’d turned into a prude.”
I laughed. “I’m not a prude. I’m cautious. And that’s nothing new. That’s always been me.”
“Yes, it has.” The short phrase was full of subtext, and I knew he was remembering how uptight I’d been when we’d first met. Icy. Frigid bitch.
“I’m better than I was,” I assured him.
He nodded. “I know. Otherwise you wouldn’t have given me even this much of you. And if you want to wait, then I can too.”
What I wanted was to push him against the wall and devour him.
But that was an in-the-moment want, and long-term, I wanted a relationship that was real and lasting. “Thank you. It means a lot.”
He leaned in close and, though we were alone, whispered in my ear. “I’m not going to say that I’m not dying to have you under me, Gwen. Because I am. But I’m dying to just be with you more.”
Despite the descent of the elevator, his words sent me floating. “You’re really good at that impressing thing.”
He gave me my favorite grin. “Who knew?”
Haven’t read this series yet, check out FREE ME at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1T12QNK
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BCH3cV
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1g6aSIH
About the Author:
Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.
In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master’s thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship?
To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother?
If my research was successful, I’d end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.
He studied the list for a moment before handing it back to me. “I know a few.”
Six eyes turned to Austin. “Who?” I asked.
“I know a rock star. Well, kind of. He sings for a local band, but they’ve got a great following. I know several businessmen, but not any CEOs. I might be able to hook you up with one, though. And I know a few bars around here where your bad boys hang out.”
My jaw dropped. Everyone has that one friend who knows everybody. Austin had lived in San Diego his entire life, so he knew the lay of the land.
“Take me to your bars!” I practically yelled, garnering a glare from students studying nearby. “Sorry,” I whispered.
“Wait a minute,” Shannon said. “I thought of a few you’re missing from your list.”
A few I was missing? I thought I’d pretty much covered all the bases. “Who?”
“You need a Fabio.” She stated it like it was obvious.
“Like a cover model?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Sure. Or like a historical romance guy.”
I laughed. Shannon could be a bit of an airhead sometimes. “Where am I going to find a historical romance guy? We’re in the present tense, Shannon.”
“Duh. Renaissance Festival. And Austin, you seem to know everybody else. Do you know any vampires?”
Laughter bubbled up from my chest. I couldn’t help when it spilled out, and when I looked over at Austin and Scott, I found a similar reaction. Shannon stared at us blankly.
“What?” she asked.
“Vampires?” I asked through my giggles.
“They’re in all the books,” she clarified, only spurring on our laughter. Her brows came together in anger.
My giggles turned into those silent quaking convulsions that I couldn’t possibly control. Scott was holding up his hand as if to tell Shannon to stop while he laughed, and Austin clutched his stomach from the hilarity.
We’d stop for a minute only to glance at one or the other, and then we’d start back up again, garnering more glares from students near us.
Our laughing had to have gone on for at least a full five minutes before we were composed enough to talk about it.
“What?” Shannon finally asked in frustration.
Austin gave Shannon a very serious look while I stifled another wave of giggles. Scott had to excuse himself after a less than flattering snort.
“Vampires aren’t real,” Austin finally said.
“Well, you need a paranormal,” Shannon said, her voice both irritated and completely serious. “How about a werewolf?”
Lisa Suzanne started handwriting her books on yellow legal pads after she took a creative writing class in high school. She still has those legal pads full of stories, but now one of them is published under the title How He Really Feels. She currently works as a full time high school English teacher, and her favorite part of the year is summer. She has been blessed with the world’s best dog, a supportive family, and a husband who encouraged her to publish after reading one of her novels. She likes the advice of Ernest Hemingway’s famous quote, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”
(Plus Bonus Free Read – A Curious Proposal )
Series: The Finn Factor book 3
Author: R.G. Alexander
Do you like it Dangerous?
Brady Finn has been a cop and a Marine, but he’s never been in a situation as dangerous as this one. Waking up naked in the bed of a man he’s wanted for months—with no memory of how he got there—was only the beginning.
Rope Dom Ken Tanaka knows kink isn’t Brady’s scene, but he still can’t resist the tall, redheaded Boy Scout. When their search for a missing person requires Brady to go above and beyond the call of duty, they’ll both do what needs to be done for the mission—and give in to the undeniable passion between them.
Will their explosive chemistry last once the job is over? Or will taking that chance be more dangerous than either man is willing to risk?
Warning: Explicit male/male sexy times. Voyeurism with a touch of noncon, role playing, rope. And, once again, very serious about the graphic gay sex. I’m not sure why you don’t believe me… Also? An Evil League of Evil! Good kink vs scary villain kink (you’ve been warned), Finn Club rules and the aftereffects of The Great Rumming of 2015. I SAID RUMMING. Dirty minds.
I think one of the things I love most about the cast of players and story lines in this series (current and potential) is how incredibly unique and yet real it all is! This feels like a real family and set of friends that I could meet out and have a drink or two with. The best friends who find they’re HEA… the unlikely friends with benefits who turn into forever… every time I finish a book in The Finn Factor series, I WANT MORE!
We saw Ken and Brady in book 2, Scandalous, and from their brief encounters we knew that their story was going to be smokin’ hot. And oh boy – I was not disappointed!
Brady is at loose ends, suffering from PTSD and is having a hard time finding his place in his family and life now that he’s no longer a Marine. “It was strange, but that was always how he’d seen himself – as pieces of other people. A Finn. One of Sol’s boys. A Marine. But now he was trying to see himself without them. To see himself through another man’s eyes.” Ken is a successful hacker with excellent connections but he’s a loner and not sure how to depend on anyone since he’s only ever had himself. “…Tanaka was good at everything because he has to be. When you don’t know what it’s like to have family to rely on and people you trust, you’re all you’ve got.”
I loved that there was a hint of intrigue and suspense in the story to. With the threads that were left hanging we know that this is not the end of the Evil League of Evil (referenced by RG in the synopsis) – makes the imagination run wild as to what R.G. Alexander might have in store for us next!
Such a fantastic HEA ending for Ken and Brady! Brady put his big boy pants on and lived up to his declaration “You’re a Finn. We go all in or not at all.”
And the bonus book… Sigh… Owen and Jeremy… Those boys are the start of this obsession for me and it’s so great to see them and where they are in their relationship . And the ending… the gathering and spectacle was the perfect showcase for these two guys and their love for each other!
The Lost by Cole McCade
Date of Publication: August 25, 2015
She’s known it her whole life. She knows it every time she spreads her legs. Every time she begs for the pain, the pleasure, the heat of a hard man driving deep inside. She’s a slave to her own twisted lusts–and it’s eating her alive. She loves it. She craves it. Sex is her drug, and she’s always chasing her next fix. But nothing can satisfy her addiction, not even the nameless men she uses and tosses aside. No one’s ever given her what she truly needs.
Until Gabriel Hart.
Cold. Controlled. Impenetrable. Ex-Marine Gabriel Hart isn’t the kind of man to come running when Leigh crooks her pretty little finger. She loathes him. She hungers for him. He’s the only one who understands how broken she is, and just what it takes to satisfy the emptiness inside. But Gabriel won’t settle for just one night. He wants to claim her, keep her, make her forever his. Together they are the lost, the ruined, the darkness at the heart of Crow City.
But Leigh has a darkness of her own. A predator stalking through her past–one she’ll do anything to escape.
Even if it means running from the one man who could love her…and leaving behind something more precious to her than life itself.
Note: This book contains material that may be triggering for some readers
“State your name.”
Cold, clipped words, blending into the noise of the police station. Leigh lifted her head from a fixed study of her clenched fingers. Colors whirled around her in a lurid carnival nightmare, too bright, too blurry. On a bench on the far side of the room, a wasted and broken scarecrow woman picked at a scab on her wrist with a certain habitual listlessness, oozing diseased red-brown blood over liver spots. Her tendons were rails under her skin, and the dull gleam of cuffs chained her to the bench. She raised her head and stared at Leigh with yellowed eyes that captured her with a sort of empty, terrifying promise.
Across the desk a policewoman waited, with that compassionate impatience only a half-step from pity and shoulder-to-shoulder with disgust. Her flat blue eyes said she’d been trained to care, but couldn’t be bothered anymore. Leigh swallowed and tugged her hoodie close against the tinny air-conditioned chill. Her mouth had dried to a tacky, sticky mess, gummy pills of lipstick beading on her lips, and her tongue was a bloated and useless organ, this swollen pink thing pushing pointlessly against her teeth.
“Leigh,” she ground out. “Clarissa Leigh…” Her married name scratched sandpaper syllables against her throat. “…van Zandt.”
“And Miss van Zandt, do you know why you’re here?”
She nodded, her neck a creaking wooden puppet-hinge. “I do.”
“Your family’s been worried about you.”
She knew what she should do here. Bow her head in shame and contrition, maybe even sniffle. But she looked for the emotions and they weren’t there; just scraps and tatters, clinging to the empty place where they belonged. She had no feeling left, hollowed out and lost and wondering how she’d ended up here. This didn’t feel real. Instead it was a dream where everyone leered in fisheye close-up, their smiles all teeth and stretched red lips and manic glee. She wanted to run, but somehow she’d gone too numb to do anything but sit here surrounded by the stink of fear-sweat, stale beer, and that particular police-station smell of urine soaked into concrete for decades on end.
“What happened to you?” the officer asked. Leigh didn’t answer, and the officer’s pen tapped against the forms on her desk, rat-tat-tat, rat-tat-tat, Morse code for I’d rather be anywhere but here with this spoiled little runaway princess. “It’s been four years. You were declared legally dead.”
“That’s all right.” She closed her eyes with a laugh that ripped her guts up into her mouth, and buried her face in her hands. Dead. Dead.
Yeah, that was about right.
“Miss van Zandt?”
Stop calling me that.
“Miss van Zandt. I need you to focus on my voice.”
Stop calling me that!
Leigh took a measured breath and opened her eyes. Her shoulders squared. The bolts on the back of the hard, ass-biting chair dug into her shoulder blades. “I am focused. I can hear you just fine.”
“Eyes are dilated.” The officer—her nametag read Maroni, could there be a more clichéd name for a Crow City cop—leaned across the desk, peering at her face. Then she beckoned to the aide hovering over them like a mannequin. “I’ve seen this too many times. Drugs and prostitution.” She talked about Leigh like she wasn’t even there. “We’ll have to clean her up before her husband gets here.”
“I’m not on drugs. I’ve never been on drugs.”
Maroni’s pen-clicking stopped. Her disbelief was a heavy thing, push-push-pushing until Leigh nearly laughed.
“You’re not on drugs.”
“Then what happened?”
There it was. The first hint of exasperation. Of frustration, stitched into knitted brows and the purse of lips in just the right shade of I can’t be a woman, I’m a cop mauve. Because like anyone normal, anyone who wasn’t fucking broken to pieces and liked being that way, Maroni needed to make sense of this. Needed to quantify it in a world where the rules worked as normal and everyone wanted to chase that dream of happiness that wasn’t anything but desperation painted over of a frantic tally of things. Things of plastic, things with value created by people whose upper lips curled when they looked down at little girls like Leigh, and demanded she account for herself in sane, rational ways that made proper sense.
Sorry, Officer Maroni.
I’m not the kind of thing that makes much sense.
Maroni pushed a harsh sound through her teeth. “You had a job, a husband, a newborn son. You had a life other people would kill for, and we find you here on the streets. Were you pressured? Kidnapped?”
“No. None of that.” Leigh shook her head.
“You’ll have to explain, then.”
“I left.” She trailed off, lips parted; no words came for long seconds, until she managed, “I…I was afraid.”
“Of what?” Maroni tried to catch her eye, but Leigh looked down at her hands, at her chipped pink fingernails dipped in the sparkles of shooting stars. “Miss van Zandt. If someone was hurting you, you need to tell us now so we can take appropriate steps to protect you.”
“No. No one hurt me. Not like that.”
“I’m afraid you’ll need to be more clear. What were you afraid of?”
She struggled for an answer. Struggled for something this woman would accept, something that would make her sigh with sympathy and pity and relieved disdain that said there, but for the Grace of God…
But again, she found nothing. Nothing but the truth, and Leigh shrugged as she looked up at the policewoman and wondered if she had daughters who might one day be like Leigh, daughters who would cut stark red lines of fingernails in the walls of flesh that caged her in the shape of pop culture’s perfect woman.
“Of the inevitable monotony of it all,” she said.
About Cole McCade
Corporate consultant by day, contemporary romance author by night.
Mid-thirties. Coffee addict. Cat lover. Bibliophile. Technophile. Definite sapiophile. Native Southerner. Runner. Country boy turned city suit. Shameless collector of guitar picks, vinyl records, and incense holders. Aficionado of late-night conversations over live music in seedy bars. Browncoat with a secret crush on Kaylee Frye.
Fascinated by human sociology, and particularly by the psychology of sex and gender – and their effect on relationship expectations, the culture of dating, and what it means to fall in love.
Non-smoker. The picture’s just a stock photo. A rather broody, dark one for someone who isn’t all that broody or dark, but sometimes forgets to smile even when he means to.
Find Cole McCade Online
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date: August 25, 2015
The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.
Beneath These Scars
Date of Publication: September 22, 2015
I’m the guy you love to hate.
In every story in my life, I seem to end up playing the villain—and I’ve got the scars to prove it.
That role works fine for me, because I’m sure as hell not anyone’s hero.
I run my life and my empire with an iron fist—until she knocks my tightly controlled world off its axis.
She’s nobody’s damsel in distress, but I can’t help but want to save her anyway.
I guess we’re about to find out if there’s a hero buried … beneath these scars.
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Meghan March is the author of contemporary and erotic romance novels.
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch Up on the Beneath Series:
He loves me, and he doesn’t even know my real name. The limelight that follows him could expose everything I’m hiding. But even knowing the risks, I can’t force myself to stay away. I’m going to break his heart, but mine will shatter right along with it. Will we lose it all when I reveal what’s beneath this mask?
I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her.
And then I finally had her for one night.
A night I don’t remember.
I figured I’d blown my shot.
But now she’s walked back into my life, and this time, I have the upper hand. I want my second chance.
Will she be able to see the man beneath this ink?
I was raised on the streets, so I know things are rarely as simple as they appear—especially this rich girl showing up at my pawnshop demanding a job.
She’s the most tempting thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ll be damned if I can make her leave.
Shit just got complicated … but when it comes to her—I want complicated.
We’re both fighting our own demons, and our only chance at a future is to let go of the past.
But will we be strong enough to break free from beneath these chains?
A couple of years ago I discovered Janet Chapman and this awesome world she’s created. If you’ve never read a Janet Chapman book I highly recommend that you do because her books are full of quirky characters and a spectacular part of the country.
Jesse Sinclair and his two brothers spent years dodging the women his grandfather threw in their path. But then the matchmaking old wolf died, and his brothers did the unthinkable: they ran off to Maine to get married.
Now Jesse wants to join them. Convinced the Pine Tree State must have another eligible woman to spare, he buys a small island just off Bear Harbor to build a home for his future family. But as he discovers, finding the woman of your dreams isn’t as easy as his brothers made it seem. First of all, the only woman capable of filling those wedding shoes is Cadi Glace—and unfortunately, she’s already engaged…
So imagine Jesse’s surprise when he finds the aforementioned Miss Glace hiding out in his camper, charmingly, adorably drunk. And apparently single….
Jesse crested yet another blind knoll and immediately slowed to a crawl when he spotted the car parked just off the pavement, its two right tires nearly touching the water of an encroaching bog. And even though flames were shooting above the raised hood of the late-model luxury sedan, he didn’t dare brake to a stop for fear of being rear-ended if someone should crest the knoll behind him. Read more
A sexy, inky, and kinky contemporary series set in Denver, Colorado that follows the Montgomery Family and their eight children. A must read!
Shepard Montgomery loves the feel of a needle in his hands, the ink that he lays on another, and the thrill he gets when his art is finished, appreciated, and loved. At least that’s the way it used to be. Now he’s struggling to figure out why he’s a tattoo artist at all as he wades through the college frat boys and tourists who just want a thrill, not a permanent reminder of their trip. Once he sees the Ice Princess walk through Midnight Ink’s doors though, he knows he might just have found the inspiration he needs.
Shea Little has spent her life listening to her family’s desires. She went to the best schools, participated in the most proper of social events, and almost married the man her family wanted for her. When she ran from that and found a job she actually likes, she thought she’d rebelled enough. Now though, she wants one more thing—only Shepard stands in the way. She’ll not only have to let him learn more about her in order to get inked, but find out what it means to be truly free.
From the streets of New Orleans and the heat of Midnight Ink, comes the happy ever after for a character whose story was begged to be told.
Sassy Bordeaux is the Midnight Ink receptionist, honorary godmother, best friend to many, and matchmaker expert. In the past two months, she’s watched eight couples fall in love, make mistakes, and find their happy endings. Though she might have had hand in each of those, she’s yet to find the peace she’s desired. When the men from her past come into Midnight Ink, she’s forced to face what she left behind and what could happen if she lets go of her pain and finds a future she deserves.
Rafe Chavez and Ian Steele remember their time with Sassy like it was yesterday, yet have worked hard to move on. Or at least try to. Now they’re both back in New Orleans for the woman they loved and for the connection they shared with each other. It will take more than the usual groveling, pleading and begging for these three to overcome their history, but once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.
On the wrong side of thirty, Austin Montgomery is ready to settle down. Unfortunately, his inked sleeves and scruffy beard isn’t the suave business appearance some women crave. Only finding a woman who can deal with his job, as a tattoo artist and owner of Montgomery Ink, his seven meddling siblings, and his own gruff attitude won’t be easy.
Finding a man is the last thing on Sierra Elder’s mind. A recent transplant to Denver, her focus is on opening her own boutique. Wanting to cover up scars that run deeper than her flesh, she finds in Austin a man that truly gets to her—in more ways than one.
Although wary, they embark on a slow, tempestuous burn of a relationship. When blasts from both their pasts intrude on their present, however, it will take more than a promise of what could be to keep them together.
Callie Masters loves ink. After finally getting her own chair in Montgomery Ink, she’s ready to start being a full time artist, rather than only an apprentice. When Austin, her former boss, gives her one very broody man as her first client, she jumps at the chance to make him hers—in and out of the shop.
Morgan McAllister is old money, old connections, and recently has been feeling just old. When he goes in to get his full back piece done after years of putting it off, the bright-eyed woman with the sly smile catches his eye. Between her age, attitude, and views on life, he knows she’s all wrong for him, but that doesn’t mean she’ll keep out of his thoughts.
When life throws them together after a few close calls, Morgan and Callie will have to trust in themselves and what their relationship will mean. Between conniving family members, blondes with too much time on their hands, and their own misgivings, trust in the bedroom and out of it won’t come easy.
Decker Kendrick knows it’s wrong to have feelings for his best friend’s little sister, but that doesn’t stop his thoughts from going down that path. No matter how hard he’s tried to stay away from Miranda, once she gets her sights on him, there’s no backing down.
Miranda Montgomery might be the youngest of the Montgomery clan, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what she wants. Namely—Decker. She’s loved him for as long as she can remember and won’t walk away until she gives it her all.
But once they give in, not all is at it seems. Decker’s father’s out of jail and someone from Miranda’s past isn’t happy with the new relationship. Even as they start to move on and overcome their pain, they’ll find that their inner obstacles are the ones they’ll have to face first.
Book #2.5 – Delicate Arrival
A look into the lives of Austin and Sierra as they welcome their baby to the world. They’ve been through hell together and now have one more trial to pass before they can keep going.
Meghan Montgomery-Warren thought she knew what love was when she’d married young and had two children. After years of being emotionally beaten down, her husband has finally left her and now she’s forced to find her way once again. Somehow she needs to find the person she used to be and figure that the strength she’d thought she’d lost was always there.
Luc Dodd left Denver and his best friend Meghan when he was forced to watch her walk down the aisle with another man. He might have only been her best friend, but he held his true emotions close to the vest. Now he’s back in town and in Meghan’s life. Only he needs to decide if that’s enough for him…and her.
Their journey from friends to lovers is a slow burn of seduction and pain. When Meghan’s past comes back to haunt them both, the two of them will have to stand closer together or be torn apart by their own misgivings forever.
There’s nothing worse for a writer than missing a deadline. For Griffin Montgomery, his failure to do what he loves comes at a blow. He didn’t understand how it was affecting his life until his well-meaning family intercedes. His sisters have hired him a new personal assistant and he’s outraged—that is, until he sees who it is.
Autumn Minor is light on her feet and a bare memory for most people she meets. She does her best to blend in everywhere she lives, even if it’s only for a short period of time. Making sure no one truly notices her is the only way she’s survived this long. Only when she meets Griffin and the rest of the Montgomerys, she’s afraid she won’t be able to let go when its time to run.
Though the two begin a tentative but explosive relationship, they know it can’t last forever. Neither of them are made for the long haul when it comes to love and romance. When the demons from Autumn’s past find her and put both their lives at risk, Griffin will stop at nothing to protect her. In the end, though, he’ll be the one who needs a second chance.
Title: Where We Belong
Series: Alabama Summer #4
Author: J. Daniels
Release Date: August 21, 2015
From NY Times and USA Today bestselling author, J. Daniels, an Alabama Summer series novella.
Ben and Mia Kelly can’t seem to catch a break.
Grueling night shift and opposing schedules have left the passionate couple geared up and ready for some much needed alone time. There’s only one thing standing in their way.
With two curious boys who have mastered the art of cock-blocking roaming the house, Ben and Mia, sexually frustrated beyond reason, quickly resort to surprise sexcapades and naughty little trysts whenever and however they can get them.
Who said anything about keeping things legal?
Assume the position. Things are about to heat up in the south.
Warning: This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to strong language and explicit sexual content.
Links to Buy
And once again I finish a J. Daniels book and my heart if full, I am excited about what I read, and the people that she brought to life for me (again). All I want is to read more and more and more!
3 years into their relationship, Mia and Ben are married with one kiddo on summer break from school and a 2 yr old and a demanding job that has Ben working the night shift. This was a truly realistic view of what life is like for a passionate couple who are constantly interrupted/cock blocked at every encounter! All you want is some one on one time but then a baby is sick and crying and the wakes up the other child… and man oh man I remember the days of the ‘family bed’. This book is also sprinkled with the humor and wit and banter that we have come to expect from Ms Daniels (when the lady hollered ‘stop thief’ during one particularly steamy scene I had to LOL).
What this story did is make me turn back to the first book Where I Belong and reread all the good parts! ie. the opening bar scene, the desperate separate car ride to get to each other… The story also set the scene for CJ and Riley’s story – cannot wait to see how Reed handles that hookup!
5 stars and Grade A+++
P.S. you can click HERE and see my love for all things Alabama Summer in my series review from May of this year!
#1 Where I Belong
#2 All I Want
#3 When I Fall
J. Daniels is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, and the Alabama Summer series. She loves curling up with a good book, drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, and writing stories her children will never read.
J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.
The Way We Rise is now available!
This is the sequel to The Way We Break, which is on sale right now for $2.99!
- Amazon US | Amazon UK
- Amazon CA | Amazon AU
- Apple iBooks
- B&N Nook (available soon!)
- Kobo Books
- Google Play
- Coming soon!
The highly anticipated conclusion to the USA Today bestselling Story of Us series.
With Liam’s fate no longer in the balance, Rory and Houston are poised on the precipice of a life-altering decision. When Rory’s father arrives in California to comfort Rory and make amends, Houston finds the decision becomes much easier to make.
When Houston suggests they take a break Rory thinks he must be joking. But he’s not. And his timing couldn’t be worse.
With Houston and Rory vowing to keep their new friendship strictly outside of the bedroom, their friends and family seize the opportunity to draw out the torture and surprises. Ensuring that Houston and Rory’s story has an ending they’ll never forget.
The Way We Fall Trailer:
The Way We Rise Playlist:
Almost all he’s ever seen of Liam were his worst traits: the jealousy and anger and duplicity.
He didn’t know that Liam was a good person with a good heart, and the worst taste in music. He never saw Liam fall asleep on the sofa with Sparky in the middle of the day. He never heard Liam talk about his older sister as if she were his idol. He never caught Liam taking selfies in a Santa suit.
I wash up quickly in the shower and put on the clean outfit I brought with me when we went to pick up Sparky at three in the morning from the house Liam and I shared for the past month and a half, until yesterday. I open the bathroom door and Houston is sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning forward with his elbows on his thighs as both dogs lie at his feet.
He looks up as I come out of the bathroom and manages a weak smile. “How are you feeling?”
I sniff loudly and let out a deep sigh. “Never better.”
“Don’t do that, Rory,” he says, beating me to the doorway before I can leave the bedroom. “Don’t shut me out.”
I stare at his chest and wonder what’s going on inside there. Does his heart ache even a tiny fraction as much as mine does right now? Does he feel even the slightest bit of remorse for what happened last night?
I swipe my hands down my face then wipe the moisture on the front of my jeans. “I can’t. I can’t talk to you about him. It’s just… It’s not right. I’m sorry.”
He reaches out slowly and gently takes me into his arms. “It’s okay.”
His shirt smells like yesterday.
I reach up and close my fist tightly around the fabric, bringing it to my nose. I inhale the scent slowly and deeply, aching to be transported back to last night. To the moment when I could have chosen to stay in my damn hotel room.
Then a pitiful, involuntary whimper leaks out of my mouth. Houston tightens his grip on me as he feels my body becoming heavy. In one swift motion, he swoops me up in his arms and carries me to the bed. Then he sits on the edge and waits for me to speak.
I pull the sheet up, use it to wipe my eyes, hoping to conceal my grief and my shame, but Houston won’t allow it. He pries the sheet out of my hands and pulls it down, away from my face, so he can see me.
“Look at me, Rory.”
I angle my face upward to look at him and the change in position sends two fat tears sliding down my cheeks.
He reaches for me, wiping one of them away. “I realized something when I woke up this morning and found you lying next to me for the first time in five and a half years.”
I want to ask him what he realized, but I can’t bring myself to speak.
He tucks my damp hair behind my ear. “The world looks and feels different when I’m with you. Better and easier.” His gaze wanders over my face and hair for a moment before he continues. “That’s how I know we’re going to get through this, because we’re better together.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading – sometimes both.
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You can also follow her blog at http://cassialeo.com to stay up to date on new releases and giveaways.