★ Book Tour ☆ Devious Minds by K.F. Germaine

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Title: Devious Minds
Author: K.F. Germaine
Release Date: April 23
Book Tour: April 27 – May 8
Genre: New Adult Comedy
Hosted by: SBB Promotions

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Synopsis

A New Adult Comedy

When Sydney Porter transfers to Northern University, she’s ready to put her past behind her. Landing a job on campus as an irreverent radio personality, she uses the anonymity to air all the campus dirty laundry—earning the infamous Sunday Lane more than a few enemies. But her true passion is spinning records, even if Drunk Earl is her biggest fan.

Sydney’s junior year kicks off with the promise to be amazing. Or at least it does until Gray Peters, hotshot quarterback, unexpectedly reenters the scene. His presence threatens to destroy everything she has going, as well as resurrecting a night Sydney never wants to remember or repeat. She’d run away like a coward, but this time she’s determined to stay and fight.

A twisted battle of wit and trickery ensues, with one common goal—vengeance. Sydney and Gray set out to make each other miserable. But misery loves company, and soon, walls are destroyed and truths are revealed that could change their future forever.

*** Due to mature sexual situations and language, this author recommends an 18+ reader ***

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Excerpt trans copy

 

I added another track, exploding the speaker with a fast beat, and danced around until I felt a pair of hands run up the sides of my thighs, slow and easy.

“What are you doing?” I yelled up at Peters. He was standing directly behind me and the top of my head landed just below his chin. His answer was to pull my backside into his hips.

“I’m dancing, Sinister.” He groaned into the back of my neck. “This is what you wanted, right? No inhibitions. I’m your bitch tonight, right? We can start flinging knives in the morning.”

I let out a cracked laugh, not quite understanding this one-eighty in his personality. “You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, Peters, but if you’re referencing your dick, I’d be shocked to receive a paper cut.”

He pressed even farther into me as I continued to mix.

Looking back on this now, I should have just elbowed him in the stomach and tripped him off the edge of the balcony, but I was drunk. Elated by the dancing crowd. Everything about this place screamed sex—the people, the lighting, the sweat dripping off bodies, and his husky breathing against my ear breaking down my protective dome. I tried to muster the strength to stop him, but with my mind half altered, my body took over completely.

As if he knew I was struggling, he gently lifted the back of my damp hair and planted his lips on my neck. His tongue swept across my skin, and he softly moaned over my fret board. I released a sharp breath into the microphone, and he laughed against the back of my ear.

“What… are… you—”

Before I could finish my pathetic plea to end this, his hands slid over my front, gliding down my stomach and stopping just before the waistband of my underwear.

“Peters,” I rasped.

His hand rolled over my shirt, and he pulled it deep between my legs. I let out a breathy groan into the microphone and tipped back my head until it rested against his shoulder. Peters dragged his tongue up the inside of my neck like I was a Popsicle—his favorite flavor—long and flat. He pulled my sweat into his mouth.

When the music rose to a sharp crescendo, so did my panting, right into the mic. It was hard to believe this six-foot-two behemoth could deliver such a delicate touch, but I didn’t have to turn around to know it was him. My body had a memory of its own.

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Author Bio Trans

KF Germaine is a Pacific Northwest native and part-time author. Besides reading too late into the night (4 AM is still considered night, right?), KF has several life pleasures which she won’t list because, well, it begins to read like an Oscar-winner acceptance speech and no one wants to hear about her hairdresser. Instead, KF believes one’s secret enjoyments are more telling. So to name a few: Circus Peanuts candy, watching country music videos on mute, and awkward/borderline-inappropriate conversations with grocery clerks.

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★ Release Day + First Chapter ☆ The Voyeur Next Door by Airicka Phoenix

Title: The Voyeur Next Door
Author: Airicka Phoenix    
Genre: NA Contemporary Erotic
*Warnings: Strong sexual content & language. (18+ Only)*
Release Date: April 27, 2015

Blurb:

He lived next door.Alison Eckrich was an expert at being invisible. Having been raised by a mother who saw only flaws, she had learned long ago to watch and never participate. Until him. He was gorgeous from what little she could make out through his bathroom window and he awakened things inside her she had always been told was wrong. But she didn’t care.

She was addicted.

Gabriel Madoc was no stranger to the cold sting of betrayal. His broken heart had left him hard and bitter and that was how he liked it. Until her. She was a vision in the soft twilight. Everything about her called to him. It didn’t even matter he couldn’t see her face.

He wanted her.

The rules were simple: No names. No faces. No attachments. They both had what the other needed so long as they never broke the rules. But what will happen when the mystery is unveiled and they both come face to face with the truth and each other? Is what they shared in the cloak of darkness enough to keep them together, or will reality tear them apart?

FB Release Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/808116989263187/




Chapter One

Ali
“God, baby, I need you inside me so bad…” My husky moan fogged the glass, obscuring my view of the deep fried and smothered in chocolate goodness just one creepy glass lick away from being all mine. “But I can’t let you control my life anymore.”
The pimply faced adolescent on the other side of the counter fidgeted uncomfortably, clearly disturbed by my affections, and possibly the drool marks I was leaving on his pristine display case.
“Ma’am?”
Giving the pastry one final glance of longing, I turned to him. “Just tea. Decaf because I apparently hate myself.”
Still looking nervous—maybe he was afraid I would start making out with the register next—he punched in my order, muttered off my total and then scurried off to grab me a pretty white cup and fill it with hot water. I set my money down and waited, all the while casting furtive peeks at the Boston cream pastry eyeing me back with a seductive, chocolaty glaze that all but whispered all the ways it could make me feel muy mucho goodo because that was how all my dirty fantasies started—with my food sounding like Antonio Banderas.
My water and teabag were set on the counter and nudged towards me the way lions were fed at the zoo—with a long stick poking their meals in under a steel cage door. Only the stick was his finger and the counter was the only thing keeping him safe from my all out crazy. My money was swept into a sweaty palm and tossed carelessly into the register. The drawer was slammed shut. Then there was nothing left for me to do but leave. Yet my weakness took that moment to nearly win; I started to open my mouth to order the pastry anyway, to portray that fuck it attitude I only pretended I possessed. But who was I kidding? It would never be just the one and my ass could do without the extra pounds.
Dejected, I took my disgusting drink and shuffled off to find a table somewhere within the air conditioned heaven. No one wanted to sit outside when it was hot enough to fry bacon. But most of the tables in the small café were full by drone-eyed squatters slumped over their laptops and cappuccinos.
Bastards.
Moving quickly down the line leading all the way to the door, I bee-lined for the only available table out on the shaded patio. My scalding water sloshed in the cup, but stayed stubbornly within the confines of the ceramic.
The moment I shouldered open the doors, I knew I’d made a mistake getting tea; it was just too damn hot.
I glanced back over my shoulder at the line. Nope. No way was I standing in that death trap a second time, not even for a Frappuccino with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, which was what I had originally gone in to get, except the beautifully athletic woman ahead of me had ordered a soy, low fat, no foam, something-something-something latte and the guilt had been too much. When the boy had fixed me with those judgy little eyes, I had balked and let myself be swayed by peer pressure and shame.
Resigned, I went to the table and sat. I stuffed my purse into the seat next to me and wondered how to drink my tea without sweating to death. I started by dropping my teabag into the water and watching as dark tendrils escaped and tainted the clear liquid. I adjusted my glasses as they began to slide down my sweaty nose and squinted at all the blinding brightness around me.
The café sat in the middle of a semi busy street catering mostly to restaurants and coffee shops and the occasional art studio. I wasn’t normally a coffee drinker and art made no sense to me, but I liked people. More importantly, I liked watching them … secretly … from a very great distance so as not to have to interact. People fascinated me. The things they did half the time made me question just how much chemicals and hormones really went into our food. But the problem with the artsy part of town was that it was very shiny. Everything gleamed. There were lights everywhere and everyone was dressed in bold, flashy colors that hurt the brain.
Me, in my long black skirt and baggy blouse melded with the décor. I could never pull off bold and sexy. Hell, I couldn’t even pull off one of those. Most days, my face would be lucky to see makeup, just because it was time taken away from something less pointless. No guy that didn’t require coke bottle glasses would ever look in my direction twice. Everything about me was all the things most men never noticed in a woman, unless they were into lobotomizing their dates. I just didn’t have the right looks to get men excited. It was a fact I had come to accept. Me and my lowly little decaf cup of tea.
“Rats!”
The exclamation was followed by the ripping sound of paper and the thud of things striking pavement. I twisted around in my seat just as an elderly man dropped down next to his torn bag of groceries. Pedestrians flocked around him, parting like the Red Sea to avoid stepping on him, or his things. But no one stopped to give him a hand as he scrambled to scoop items off the ground.
Abandoning my untouched drink, I hurried from my seat and dropped down next to him. My hands closed around a bag of apples, a tray of fresh chicken breasts and several cans of corn. I hugged them to my chest as he dumped his armload into the torn paper bag.
“Here,” I said, pulling the bag to me and emptying my things inside as well.
There was a stalk of celery and a carton of eggs that had upended on the sidewalk. I managed to salvage the celery. But the eggs had already begun to sizzle against the concrete.
“I think your eggs are toast,” I told him, stuffing the celery into the bag. “Or fried eggs, I guess.”
The man sighed. “Figures. That’s what I get for getting them free range eggs for about ten dollars more.”
It was a struggle not to laugh at the disgruntled huff.
“I think I have a plastic bag in my purse,” I said instead. “We might be able to fit all of this into it.”
Taking the bag from him, I walked back to my table and dragged my purse over. I opened the first pocket and rummaged inside.
The man shuffled up beside me and whistled. “Now, I’ve seen some crazy purses women carry around, but that right there is a doozy.”
My purse really was unique. When I first found it, it had only had the one big pocket and the one tiny pocket sewn into the inside. By the time I finished with it, it had about twenty pockets in various shapes and sizes and they all carried something. I had everything from a tiny sewing kit, to a paperback novel nestled inside. There were packets of tissue, gum, a small set of screw drivers, several zip ties, different sizes of Ziploc bags. and even a flashlight. I had everything a person could possibly need for just about any occasion. Because of all that, the bag was actually kind of heavy, which came in handy if I ever had to hit someone, which hadn’t happened yet, but I was hopeful.
“I like being prepared,” I told him. “Here we go!” Shaking out the plastic bag, I slid the paper one into it and held it out to the man. “There you are.”
The man squinted at me with one brown eye. The other one was screwed shut against the sun and he had to cup a gnarled hand over his brows to see me properly.
He had to be in his late seventies with big, child-like eyes and a kind face that immediately made a person like him. What little hair he had was combed over the wide bald patch on his head and looked as fine as a baby’s. His frail body was tucked into a pair of beige trousers and a checkered top that was buttoned all the way to his throat.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
Still holding the bag, I smiled. “Alison Eckrich.” I held out my free hand. “Everyone calls me Ali.”
He took it in a surprisingly firm handshake. “Earl Madoc.” He let my hand go and squinted some more. “Listen, Ali, you wouldn’t mind helping an old man get his groceries home, would you? My arthritis is just killing me today.” He rubbed his contorted hand, working the stiff muscles with a grimace deepening his wrinkles. “I live about a block down that way. I would pay you for your troubles.”
I waved away the offer. I was done with the whole fresh air thing and would have probably gone home anyway. Walking him would have been no skin off my nose, especially since he was walking in the same general direction.
I grabbed my purse, threw the strap around my shoulders, and took up his bag of groceries once more.
“Lead the way, Earl.”
Offering me a kind smile, he started forward at a shuffle-limp, like his right leg had been injured at some point and hadn’t recovered properly. I wasn’t sure if that was the case, or if it was just age, but I wondered why he didn’t walk with a cane if it hurt him as much as it seemed to. I didn’t ask. I figured whatever the reason was, it was his business.
We walked in silence for several steps and stopped at the lights.
“So what do you do, Ali Eckrich?” Earl asked as the lights changed and we started across.
“I am currently between jobs,” I replied around a tight curl of my lips. “I just moved here, so actually I’m kind of still looking.”
“No kidding.” He scratched his jaw dusted with a fine layer of white bristle. The sound reminded me of sandpaper. “Where did you move from?”
“Portland, Oregon,” I answered.
Earl’s eyes went wide. “An American!”
I laughed. “No, I was only there for school. I’m originally from Alberta.”
“What did you study?”
I pulled in a breath that smelled of fried hotdogs from the cart we passed and asphalt from the construction crew working on the roads a street down.
“I have my bachelor’s degree in business administration.”
Earl whistled through his teeth. “That’s fancy.”
“Four years,” I confessed.
“And they didn’t teach that here at the schools in Canada?”
I laughed at that. It was the same comment I got from my sister when I initially got accepted to the University of Portland. But at least she had known the real reason behind my need to get as far away from home as possible. Earl didn’t need to and I didn’t need to tell him.
“It was a growing experience,” I said, using my fall back response to most things.
“So you’re good with the books and things of a business.”
I shrugged. “Yes, and marketing and finances.”
“Interesting.” He scratched his jaw again. “Do you know anything about filing?”
“Filing?”
“Organizing,” he corrected.
I had to shrug at that. “I guess. Depends on what it is.”
We turned a corner and started down Pine Street. For a split second, I almost stopped, thinking I was inadvertently leading the poor guy back to my house. But Earl kept shuffling onward and I hurried to keep up.
“I just moved to this street,” I said. “My apartment is further down.”
“Yeah? My grandson did, too,” Earl said.
I started to ask where, when Earl veered left, hobbling his way towards a large, badly painted building that was impregnating the whole street with a powerful stench of motor grease, metal, and sweat. The rusty sign bolted over the trio of wide garage doors spelled, Madoc Auto Body Repair. The bay doors were all open to the bright afternoon. Two were empty. The middle one had a car hoisted on a lift. A man in a blue jumpsuit stood in the trench underneath with a handheld work light.
“It’s all right,” Earl called out to me when he realized I wasn’t following him. “This here has been in the family for near four generations.”
Curiosity perked, I knuckled my glasses back up the bridge of my nose and shuffled after him. Up close, the smell did not improve.
The man beneath the Pontiac banged on the underside of the car with a wrench; the sound swallowed the hum of jazz spilling from the boom box perched on the red toolbox next to the car. I watched him even as I followed Earl up a set of stairs built into the side of the garage, leading into what appeared to be an office cut out of gray stone slabs. It was impossible to tell what was hidden beneath the towers of paper that were layered over every available flat surface. There was another set of doors straight across, painted a harsh yellow that led to what looked like stairs going up. Earl stopped at the bottom, gripping the railing bolted into the side and leaned against the wall, his face flushed.
“The kitchen is straight up,” he panted slightly. “I’d show you, but that heat just about did me in and I can’t trust myself on them stairs right now.”
Concerned by the sheen of sweat glistening across his brow, I tossed a frantic glance over the room. I caught sight of a swiveling chair poking out from beneath the papers and hurried over to it. The wheels grated against the concrete as I shoved it to where Earl half slumped against the wall.
“Here.” I guided him into it. “Why don’t you sit down and I’ll get you some water?”
Earl smiled at me. “You are such a sweet little thing.”
“Will you be okay if I run up?”
He waved me away as he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
Not wanting to leave him alone for longer than I had to, I hurried up the stairs, grocery bag in tow. At the top, I paused as the loft-style space came into view. The layout was straightforward with a bedroom set in one corner beneath a grand, bay window. At the foot of it, was a sitting area equipped with a leather sofa, recliner and TV. Across from that was a kitchenette and a bathroom on my right. I moved towards the kitchen. I ran the tap and occupied myself by shoving the groceries into the fridge while I waited for the water to get cold.
“Who are you?”
The pack of chicken breasts slipped out of my hands with my undignified squeak of fright and hit the top of my sandaled foot. I whirled around to confront the sudden explosion of words from behind me. The booming voice was male, but it was the volume of it, the sheer weight behind the sound that prickled the skin along my spine. My hand trembled as I fidgeted with my glasses, shoving them back into place so the dark, blurry shadow looming mere feet away could come into focus.
I wasn’t blind. I could see most things without my glasses. They just weren’t very clear. Everything had a fuzzy hue around the edges. Kind of like a smudged pastel painting, exaggerating the shapes and size of people.
This guy was not exaggerated.
No less than seven feet with a frame that was clearly stolen from some lumberjack catalogue, he stood blocking my escape. I mean, I could have maybe done some crazy ninja lunge over the counter, but that probably wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I stood there, slack-jawed, staring at the mountain man glowering back at me with a suspicion one would normally reserve for diamond thieves and those bitches who steal all the bikes at the gym just to sit and talk to each other.
He wore flannel, which only made my lumberjack theory all the more plausible. It was undone over a white t-shirt and form fitting jeans that hugged his lean legs the way I kind of wanted to. The hems fell over battered and really ugly boots that needed an incinerator to put them out of their misery and were frayed around the cuffs. His chest strained beneath the thin material with every breath and my gaze was drawn to the hard squares cut of his breast plates and along the wide lengths of his shoulders. The sleeves on the flannel were rolled up his toned forearms and barely concealed the raw muscles underneath.
Definitely a lumberjack.
Shit the man was hot. Screw Boston cream pastries. I’ll take two of him.
“Hello?”
Blinking, my eyes shot up to the head attached to that delicious body and my steamy fantasy bubble popped.
Thick, black hair covered his jaw and mouth in a beard. His hair was the same shade of ebony and hung uncut around his ears and over the collar of his flannel. From amongst all that hair, I could just make out piercing, intense gray eyes.
“Really?” I blurted in clear disappointment, my brain and mouth having lost communication at some point.
It was his turn to blink in surprise. He leaned over and snapped the faucet off with a smack of his palm.
“What?”
There was no helping it. My whole day was officially ruined and it was his fault.
Okay, I had no problem with men with facial hair. Sometimes, it was even hot. But not when it looked like he was going for a yearlong expedition through the Himalayan Mountains, or planned to live with bears out in the wilderness. There was a reason trimmers and razors were invented. And … Goddamn it! The dude was too hot for that shit.
“Are you lost?” he demanded when I could only stand there and silently judge him.
“I don’t know! Maybe you could loan me a compass!” I shot back. “Or a hatchet.” So I was just being crazy and I almost couldn’t blame him for his confounded scowl. I took a deep breath. “I’m Ali,” I said calmly and rationally. “I—”
“Gabriel?” Earl limped up the stairs, clutching tight to the banister until he was at the top. He looked better, I noted. The flush was gone from his face and he wasn’t panting. “I didn’t know you were here.”
Gabriel turned to the other man.
“Really?” I was amazed at how much that single question sounded like mine, full of indignant disapproval. “She’s not even half your age.”
I had not seen that coming.
“Whoa! Wait. What?”
I was ignored.
“Why do they keep getting younger?” he demanded of Earl. “You’re going to break a damn hip … again, and I’m going to have to listen while you explain to the doctor how you broke the fucking thing … again! You’re eighty years old, Grandpa!” Gabriel then rounded on me. “He’s eighty years old!”
“Dude!” I began, putting both hands up to ward off the craziness he was spewing. “I am not tapping that.” I winced and shot Earl a sheepish smile. “No offense.” I went back to glowering at Lumberjack. “So his hip is perfectly safe with me.”
Gabriel looked me over. Actually looked me over with a disbelief that was astounding. Did I have old man hooker stamped to my forehead, or something? Like seriously? I was insulted … and then he added salt to my injuries.
“I guess,” he mumbled. “Did he forget to return a book, or something? I didn’t know the library did house calls.”
How. The. Fuck. Did I go from being a hooker, to a librarian in the span of two seconds?
“Ali was kind enough to help me with my groceries,” Earl piped in before I could kick his lovely grandson in the family jewels.
Swooping down, I hefted up the pack of chicken still lying at my feet and shoved it into his gut with all the force in me. His grunt of pain was only mildly satisfying.
“I accept apologizes in written form only,” I growled through my teeth. “I like to file them under Fuckhead.”
With that, I stomped around him and started for the stairs.
“Ali, wait.” Earl hurried after me, and I only stopped for him. Otherwise, I was ready to make my grand exit, stage left. “Don’t mind Gabriel. His mother drank while she was pregnant.”
“Grandpa!”
He ignored his grandson, which amused me. I was really beginning to like Earl. Enough to sleep with him? Uh, no. But definitely enough to want to give him a high five.
“I still owe you for helping me with my groceries.”
I shook my head. “Really it’s fine. I have to get home anyway and continue the job hunt. But it was wonderful to meet you.”
“Actually!” Earl grabbed my hand before I could leave. “That’s exactly what I want to do.”
I frowned. “You want to help me job hunt?”
“Yes and no,” he answered with a chuckle. “We need someone with your expertise here at the shop and you need a job. I think we can help each other out.”
“What are you doing, Grandpa?” Gabriel demanded.
“I’m getting this place an administrative assistant,” Earl retorted. “Someone who knows how to do the books and filing, because apparently you got my brains when it comes to paperwork.”
Gabriel scowled. The guy was a professional scowler. I could tell. He was very good at his job.
“We’re doing fine,” he grumbled.
“Have you seen the office, Gabriel?” Earl countered. “I found a form the other day dating back to when the shop was first opened. We need the help.”
Gabriel seemed to chew this bit of information over, possibly literally. His face-bush kept twitching. Either that, or some unsuspecting rodent had made a home beneath that jungle.
“Fine. I’ll call someone,” he replied. “There has to be an agency, or—”
“Why when Ali’s right here?” Earl said, waving a hand at me.
Those smolderingly gray eyes darted to me and narrowed even further if possible. “You met the girl two minutes ago. How do you know she’s any good? Besides, she barely looks old enough to be out of school.”
Yeah, this guy and I would never be friends. He made me want to stab him, repeatedly, with something pointy and rusty. That didn’t make for very good friendship.
“I graduated with my bachelors last year,” I informed him sharply. “And spent the last ten months interning at one of the biggest ad companies in Portland. Trust me, I am very good at what I do.”
“And I am a very good judge of character,” Earl added. “I like Ali and since this is still my shop, I’m hiring her.”
Gabriel stared hard at his grandfather. “That’s not how this works. You need references and—”
“I’m not an idiot, Gabriel!” Earl snapped. “I’ve been doing this since before you were born. But she’s the one I want.”
It didn’t even dawn on me that I had just accepted a job at a garage. At that moment, all I wanted was to rub it in Gabriel’s smug little face. Then it hit me.
“Wait, you’re giving me a job?”
Gabriel threw his hands up. “Observant.”
I opened my mouth to tell him I was ten different belts of crazy and not afraid to use all of them on him if he kept pushing me, but Earl touched my arm.
“If you want it,” he said kindly. “It might not be all fancy, but you can start tomorrow. Bring your papers and Gabriel will go over them.”
With that, and a pat on my shoulder, he shuffled back down the stairs, leaving me alone with Mountain Man.
“Are you sleeping with him?”
Unbelievable.
“I don’t sleep with men to get what I want, Jack,” I snapped. “I’m perfectly capable of getting through life without offering my taco to every man that walks my way.”
That seemed to silence him. He watched me like I was some endangered species that just made no sense. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I wasn’t there for his approval. I certainly didn’t want it.
But, at the same time, I did need a job. After three months of unemployment, my savings had begun to grow a happy family of dust bunnies and I didn’t know when I would get another offer like that. Besides, it would only be temporary. I could watch my mouth and temper for a few months.
Gabriel turned his full attention on me, which meant not just his eyes, or his head, but his entire body so we were facing off. I hated that he was taller than me. Pretending to be a bad ass took extra effort when you were stuck glowering at a beautiful man chest.
“My grandfather is eighty years old,” he told me again in a deep, quiet tone. “He’s trusting of pretty faces, but I’m not. I may not have any say in who he hires, but that sure as hell won’t stop me from booting you out of here if I smell even a hint of foul play.”
“What exactly do you think I’m after?” I wondered. “And what exactly does foul play smell like?”
His gaze roamed along my frame, taking in everything from the chipped, purple nail polish on my toes to the messy knot that was my hair bun. I wasn’t sure which of that irritated him more, because his frown never shifted. He seemed to disapprove of all of me.
“Look,” I said, struggling to keep my calm when all I wanted to do was throat punch the guy for making me feel about two inches tall with just a look. “I get it. You think a woman doesn’t belong in a garage.”
“You’re right,” he said evenly. “That’s exactly what I think.”
It took me a full second to peel my jaw off the floor.
“That is the most sexist thing I have ever—”
“Do you know what women are, Ali? A liability,” he went on, ignoring my irate sputtering. “They come into a place and destroy it with the two ton bag of drama they heave around. I don’t like drama. And I don’t like trouble, which is exactly what you are.”
Any other time, any other person and I would have taken that as a compliment. As it were, his condescending bullshit pissed me off.
“And how am I trouble?” I bite out with all the composure I could scrounge up. “Is it the glasses, because I can vouch for their character?” His eyes narrowed, but I didn’t give a shit. “You know, this is why women don’t feel comfortable bringing their cars in to get checked, because of assholes like you who treat them like they’re braindead and unworthy of a fair exchange. You think just because we’re women and may not know as much about vehicles as men that we’re somehow less superior to you. Well, you know what, Jack, you can keep your fucking job. I wouldn’t work for you, with you, near you if you paid me in gold bricks.”
Whirling on my heels, I left.
I walked out of the garage without running into Earl. I briefly wondered if I should find him and thank him for the generous offer that I needed to decline, but thought better of it. I needed to get away from that asshole before I did something I might not regret later.
My apartment was a two block walk from the garage, tucked behind a towering wall of spruce trees. It sat nestled on a slight incline surrounded by Victorian homes and other smaller apartments. Mine was one of the older structures. The red brick was faded and chipped in places and the windows were the enormous panes used in lofts, but the rent was cheap and I liked the view.
The building itself had originally been two separate structures with six stories each. At some point, someone had connected the pair by a wall on either end, leaving a narrow gap in between that opened into a courtyard that was never used because realistically, it was a squished alley someone spruced up with flowerboxes. I could easily leap from my balcony into the apartment across the way … if I was Cat Woman, or a burglar. As it were, I was neither and had no desire to leap into an empty apartment. But the thing I did like to do was occasionally stand by the terrace doors and watch the lives of the people in the other building. As a person who lived on the sixth floor, dead center, I had the perfect angle to see most of what was going on in the other suites. Call me crazy, or a pervert, but most people in my position would do the same, especially since there was nowhere else to look, except to maybe count the bricks on the building. My neighbors were much more interesting.
I have always liked watching. I like seeing how people interact and behave alone and in groups. I like wondering what they’re talking about and what they’re thinking. As a child, I was the lone kid on the playground, the one that said nothing, but stared at the others as they ran and played. I was okay with that. I never cared that I wasn’t picked for teams, or asked to play skip rope. While I wasn’t some creepy shut in that liked collecting strands of my classmate’s hairs to make dolls, I didn’t go out of my way to make friends either. I still don’t. Friends are great, except I never know what to do with them. I see other people and it all seems so natural. They laugh and talk and make plans to talk and laugh some more at a later date. I would probably throw a fry at them and hope they were distracted enough not to notice me running away.
So I stayed home. When I did have to interact, I did so cautiously and tried not to make any sudden movements. Occasionally, I could even have full on conversations with people without anyone getting hurt. But I liked my solitary life. I cherished it even.
My apartment was designed by someone with no concept of measurements. Everything was done in extremes. The living room was barely big enough for a sofa, while the only bedroom was enormous. The kitchen was small, but the single bathroom could fit an entire Russian circus. The closet in the hall could have doubled as a second bedroom if it hadn’t been so narrow, while the pantry in the kitchen could barely hold a stack of towels. I was only thankful no one ever came to visit me or it would have been hard to explain why my bedroom was in the living room and why my living room was in my bedroom, or why all my food was in the closet down the hall near the bathroom and my towels were in my kitchen. It all worked fine for me, but I knew it wasn’t normal.
Tossing my keys and purse onto the glass table I kept by the front door, I kicked off my sandals and made my way into the bedroom. It was a short walk down a minute hall that split off in three separate directions. Right to the kitchen. Left to the living room and bathroom, and straight for the bedroom. My toes curled in the plush carpet that extended from wall to wall. Underneath it was the scarred hardwood that came with the place. But after a week of waking up to use the bathroom and having to tiptoe on what felt like a sheet of ice, I said screw it and splurged on a carpet. Best investment ever.
My bedroom was my favorite spot in the whole place and it showed. It was designed for comfort and easy access to everything. My queen sized bed faced the TV I had mounted over a glass set of shelves holding my DVD player and surround sound. On one side of the bed was my mini fridge. The other held an end table with a lamp and the remotes to the TV. The terrace doors were on the other side of my bed, draped in sheer curtains. On the opposite side of the room, against the wall that separated the bedroom from the kitchen was my vanity. Everything was within reach.
I stripped. I rarely saw the point of being dressed at home. There was no one there to judge me for the way I looked, or what shape I was in. It was my place of sanctuary. Plus there was something liberating about eating a cup of pudding completely naked.
At a little after six, I drew on a robe, turned off the TV and wandered into the kitchen for a bowl of something. My pantry consisted mostly of things that could easily be warmed, cans of soup, microwavable dinners, the occasional canisters of squeeze cheese. I lived for one person. Me. If I wanted to cook a full meal, I had the luxury of running to the grocery store, grabbing the items and coming home. But those desires were rare. As it were, I grabbed a bowl of cereal and made my way to the terrace.
Seven o’clock was when my neighbors came home. It was when the dark windows lit up and life happened on the other side of the glass. I treated seven o’clock the way soap opera junkies treated their favorite sitcoms, with reverence and excitement.
The steel hoops embedded into the curtains hissed as I dragged the sheer drapes across the metal rod. I propped the glass doors open to the muggy evening and leaned a hip against the frame.
It was still fairly bright out. The sun was just making its final descent behind the buildings, but the narrow notch of space that I considered my little world had shadows slinking their way across the bricks. The lights from the other apartments were sharper, brighter, casting the figures inside into edgy silhouettes.
There were eighteen apartments. Each floor had three windows stamped into the side. I had given each one a name, which periodically changed as the occupants did. For example, in the three months I’d lived there, no one had ever rented the apartment adjacent to mine so that had come to be known as the Empty. Levels one, two, and three were impossible to see into from my sixth floor view. So that left me four, five and six. Four was iffy. I could only see about six feet into their apartments. But five and six were gold and that was where my favorite people lived.
Window one, top row: Old Man and Young Girl I had assumed for the first three weeks were father and daughter. So. Not. I learned that the hard way while eating spicy curry and nearly dying when he heaved the girl against the glass and started fucking her.
Window two, top row: Empty.
Window three, top row: Crazy Jungle Couple who fought like piranha’s over fresh meat and made love just as intensely. They were better to watch than WWE on pay per view. I always had popcorn ready for when they got home. It was impossible to tell how the night would end.
Window one, second row: an Asian Couple with Little Girl. Watching them made me nostalgic for my own family, but then the girl would cry and throw things and that feeling would go away.
Window two, second row: Slutty Blonde with copious number of lovers. That week, she was banging the occupant of window three, second row, Handsome Dark Haired Dude with a beer belly but a seriously massive cock.
Row three was full of families.
Window one, row three: Single Mother with Little Boy. I would occasionally see him sitting at the window with his hand held game, munching on carrot sticks.
Window two, row three: Man and Woman with Twin Ghost Daughters. I was convinced those two girls were from The Shining. Creepy little shits. Every so often, I would look down and they’d just be standing there … staring back. Not blinking. It made it even creepier that they were both extremely pale with dead eyes and long dark hair. I shuddered every time my gaze roamed over their window.
Window three, row three: Large, Hairy Man with a deeper love of microwavable food than me, who spent a large portion of his time in his recliner watching football. I had a feeling he was a gambler, simply from the fits he’d always have when his team lost. It was irrational. But then what did I know about men and sports? Maybe he just had rage issues. Yet that didn’t explain why he’d get on the phone immediately afterwards and shout at whoever was on the other end. But that also could be explained. Maybe he had a friend somewhere else equally pissed and the two were venting to each other.
The fun was always in the guessing.
That evening, only three of the windows lit up. Old Man and Hopefully Not His Daughter came home first. She sauntered into the living room, tossed her bright, pink purse down on the sofa and flopped down next to it. Old Man ambled his way into the kitchen and yanked open the fridge.
No fucking tonight, I thought, shifting my gaze to the other two windows.
The Ghost Girls were back in their lacy, purple dresses, white stockings and jet black hairs. They stood shoulder to shoulder with their backs to the window. Their dad was hanging up their matching red coats in the hallway closet. Mom wasn’t home yet. She was a secretary, or a lawyer. She didn’t get home until about eleven, stooped over like her briefcase was filled with bricks.
The third window gave me a start. The presence of the pale, golden glow took my brain a full minute to process and even it knew something wasn’t right.
Window two, top row: wasn’t empty. There was movement behind the curtains. There was light!
“Holy shit!”
Cereal bowl abandoned on the glass table next to the terrace doors, I stepped further onto the balcony. My fingers curled around the cool metal railing and I leaned in as far as I could without forgetting my not Cat woman notion and making the lunge over.
But as quickly as all the excitement had started, it sparked in surprise when the light flicked off and there was nothing. My gaze darted from the windows to the glass doors, waiting like an eager little puppy begging someone to throw the fucking ball already.
Nothing happened. The lights remained off. Stillness continued.
My gaze narrowed as I straightened. “All right,” I mumbled to the silence. “You win this round, but tomorrow…”
I let my promise linger into the night as I stepped back into my apartment.

Airicka Phoenix is a hopeless romantic with a dark imagination and an incurable addiction to chocolate. She is also the author of several novels written for young adult and new adult romance readers who like bad boys, hot kisses and a gritty plot. Airicka prides herself in producing quality material her readers can fall in love with again and again.

When she’s not hard at work bleeding words onto paper, Airicka can be found cuddling with her family, reading, watching TV shows, or just finding excuses to avoid doing chores.

To find out about upcoming books, teasers, giveaways and more, join her newsletter or check out her www.AirickaPhoenix.com!

 

Buy Links:
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B&N | iBooks | Smashwords | Scribd

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★ Release Day ☆ Devil on your Back: Butcher Boys #1 by Max Henry 

Devil on Your Back is Now Available! 


SYNOPSIS

When all you have left is choice, how do you ensure you make the right one?

I thought that losing my family was the linchpin to my suffering; the thing which would forever hold my head under the dark waters of regret.

But I was wrong … so wrong.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and what threatens us only serves to feed the beast.

My boy is in trouble, and it’s time this father stood up for what he should have a long time ago.

Only, after years of believing I deserved to spend my days alone, punishing myself for the mistakes I made, I’ve finally found the truth—her.

When she needs me as much as my son, how will I decide which path to take? Will I be doomed to forever make the wrong choice?

And will I, once again, lose everything I love and drown in my regret?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally born and bred in Canterbury, New Zealand, Max now resides with her family in beautiful and sunny Queensland, Australia.
Life with two young children can be hectic at times, and although she may not write as often as she would like, Max wouldn’t change a thing.

BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER AT

Twitter & Instagram: @maxhenryauthor

 JOIN THE MADHO– USE!

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★ Book Spotlight ☆ Deadly Obsession by Victoria Paige

Ella was his weakness.
She could shatter him into a million pieces. 
And she was the only glue that could put him back together again.

 

Title:  Deadly Obsession
Author:  Victoria Paige
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date:  April 16, 2015
Cover Designer:  Robin Ludwig Design
 Add to Goodreads

 

*Warning. Romantic suspense with dark themes. Extremely obsessive and jealous hero. Strong sexual content and language. 18 years+
The first time Jake sees Ella he is struck by her beauty.
He becomes obsessed.
His obsession becomes a deadly affair.
You see, Ella belongs to someone else.
Someone determined to keep her … or kill her.
Only 99 cents during the tour!
 
 

 

 

I work as a freelance database administrator, and when I’m not geeking out, I write romantic suspense novels. I live in Richmond, Va–less than two hours away from Washington DC–so most of the settings of my books are in the nation’s capital–of course, I’m not averse to creating fictional towns and cities. 😉

When I’m not arguing with the alpha male characters in my head, I love to watch high-octane action movies.

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★ Surprise Cover Reveal ☆ Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde

11149008_10152653981676685_604754912_nBlurb

He never meant to hurt her.

Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.

Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.

Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.

Reaper’s Fall is the newest standalone in the Reaper’s MC Series.
Painter & Melanie’s story will be available on November 10th and
is currently up for Pre-order!

Pre-order available at the following retailers:

Amazon US | UK
Nook | iBooks

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★ Release Day & Giveaway ☆ Healing Gabe: The Last Hangman MC #3 by Muriel Garcia

Title: Healing Gabe
Series: The Last Hangman MC #3
Author: Muriel Garcia
 Release Date: April 25, 2015
Synopsis

From the day he was 18, Gabe’s life changed drastically. He lost both of his parents in a tragic car accident and had to raise his 8 years old sister, Nicole. All he wanted to do was party and enjoy his teenage life and go to college. Instead, he had to mature really fast, find a job that would allow him time with his sister but also bring enough money to keep a roof above their heads, pay the bills, feed them and make her happy.

As if things weren’t bad enough, Gabe finds himself in the middle of two clubs at war. On one faithful night, he meets the one woman that will hold his heart forever, becomes the target of the most vicious MC around Louisiana and becomes a prospect for the Last Hangman.

What happens when the love of your life is taken from you and you have to witness her horrible demise?

Things aren’t always what they seem.

Vivian had to keep a low profile after running away from home twelve years ago. She lost everything that same night and has been left empty and feeling scared for years, but she’s done feeling scared. She wants to be happy again and for that, she comes back to New Orleans.

What happened when Gabe and Vivian see each other again?

Both of their past catches up with them, bringing down innocent people. Betrayal, new found family, love and hate.

Gabe never thought he could love again, Vivian only wants to heal him and make him feel whole again. Can they find their happiness together or will their past be too strong and tear them apart forever?

Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Available Now
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio

Muriel
Garcia grew up in Belgium. She loves music, tattoos, hot tattooed men,
travelling, and cooking. She always had an overly imaginative and creative mind
but never thought of writing a book up until a couple of months ago. Now she
couldn’t imagine not writing stories that are near and dear to her heart.

Author Links
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★ Release Day Blitz ☆ Complicated: A Tainted Love Novella by Ghiselle St. James

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Title: Complicated: A Tainted Love Novella

Author: Ghiselle St. James

Genre: Erotic Romance

Release Date: April 25th

Goodreads

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Seven years ago, a secret had torn them apart, but their love always pulled them back together. Things have taken a turn for the worse, and once again, circumstances have brought them together. Can Rachel continue to hide behind her past, or will she stop running from the one man she would love forever? Can Marshall get his girl back, or will it always be a complicated cycle of make ups and break ups?

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Amazon US

Amazon UK

Other Books in the series:

Tainted Love

The first in a new three book series from Ghiselle St. James:

This is not a fairytale. This is not a story of a woman who is perfect. This is not the story of a perfect couple that sails off into the sunset. This is gritty. This is frustrating. This is heartbreaking. This is my story, hard as it may be to tell.

**********

My name is Sullivan Beal – at least, that’s what I tell people – and I live life by my own rules. Most of my adult life has been spent hiding from my past. That is, until I meet HIM face-to-face.

Ben Hayes is the demanding C.O.O. who is hell-bent on having me for himself. But, I’m wrong for him. I know it, the universe knows it. If he ever found out who I really am, how utterly tainted I am, he wouldn’t waste his time wanting me.

There are things in my past that would destroy everyone in my wake. But Ben is relentless, trying to break down the walls around my heart that a messy past has caused me to construct. It’s a pity he doesn’t know…I am too tainted for love.

“Love isn’t for me, and my kind of love is too tainted, too blemished to share with anyone.”

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Broken Love (Tainted Love Book 2)


This isn’t a perfect story. It’s gritty, dark, frustrating but beautiful. Love isn’t all hearts and flowers and bullshit declarations that are hollow and empty. If you love someone, you have to PROVE you’re worth they’re love. The road to happily ever after is paved with mistakes and horrible decisions…don’t hold mine against me. The second in a three book series by Ghiselle St. James.

*******

Sullivan:

I have been captured by the only person I hate in this life; a person that I once foolishly loved. He is poison to me. Will I ever be free of him? Will I ever see Rachel again? Will I ever see my parents, my brother again? And Ben…will he ever know how I feel about him? So many wasted days I spent resisting him. A tear trickles down my face at that; because as I see Rick shaking that needle with a wicked gleam in his eye, I know this is the last time anyone will ever see me alive.

*****

Ben:

I’ve worked very hard to maintain this control I have, but in just a few weeks Sullivan Beal came into my life and toppled my carefully constructed walls, and for a moment I didn’t care. Now that she is out of my life, I should be happy…but all I can do is think about her; how I miss her smile and how she made me feel free. I have to get her back. The love I have for her may not be perfect, but our relationship scarcely is. And that’s what makes it perfect. She may be tainted with demons from her past that she holds close to her chest, but I will free her from them; because as frustrating as my sweet girl is…I’m in this for the long haul. She might be broken, but I love her anyway.

But one phone call…that dreaded phone call has me in a tailspin. Sullivan is kidnapped & it’s a race against time to find her before he hurts her…

Or worse…

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Ghiselle St. James is a Jamaican author who has a never-ending love for written thoughts: poetry, song lyrics and fiction. A songwriter by the age of 9, Ghiselle enjoys singing just as much as she loves writing. She has been writing erotic novels since she was 13 years old. Never mind that they went unpublished; she had something inside her that wanted to break free…and it helped that it made her popular with the boys (hehe). Writing has been her outlet for most of her life, and will continue to be.

Ghiselle lives in Jamaica with her husband, Chris, and her handsome baby, Panthro the cat. She works full time but always makes time for music, writing, reading and chatting on Goodreads.
Ugh, I hate talking about myself in the third person.

Anywho…
I went to the Jamaica Theological Seminary (haha, yes!) where I studied Social Work and graduated with honors in June 2010. Since then, the writer in me has reawakened and hasn’t gone to sleep. I completed my first novel in January of 2013 which led me into writing my debut novel South Row in March 2014.
I pray my passion brings you as much joy as it has brought me.

 

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Goodreads Author Page

 

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★ Cover Reveal ☆ Barren by Elizabeth Miceli

Title: Barren
Author: Elizabeth Miceli
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Cover Design: Swoon Romance
Release Date: Fall 2015
Synopsis

I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Clare and I baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was the damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When her significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless- and with an eating disorder- she turns to partying to cope. This only makes matters worse because at a party she is raped, which leaves her psyche at an all-time low. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to find herself. But if Stacey doesn't find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won't be able to pull her out.

Author Bio

 

Elizabethhails from the smallest state in the union with the biggest heart. She startedoff at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of RhodeIsland. She is a double major in both Psychology and Human Development andFamily Studies. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helpingothers which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couplescounselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing,eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” whichis probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance.When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for herprince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

 

Author Links

BLOGTWITTER

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★ Blog Tour ☆ Gabe by Maryann Jordan

MAGABEeBookMAGABEAlvarez Security Agency

Former Special Forces brothers-in-arms now working together to provide an elite security service in the southern city of Richland.
Gabe Malloy, dedicated to his brothers, spent his weekends with cheap booze and easy women. When some of his friends finally settled down, he wondered if he would ever find the woman of his dreams. He just never expected to encounter her in an alley.
Jennifer Lambert worked as a social worker for the city and would often take food to the elderly residents in her building. One night, in an alley behind a restaurant, she was startled by a tall, handsome man wanting to assist. Giving him the cold shoulder, she left…but dreams of him followed her long into the night.
Gabe knew the independent Jennifer was a woman worthy of knowing, but convincing the beauty that she needed him was the challenge. Raising her young brother plus the responsibilities of the elder center, had kept her from looking for love…but she took a chance on Gabe.
Now that he found her, can he keep her safe when someone threatens her and those she loves? Calling upon his brothers, Alvarez Security races to save her before it is too late.
****Due to scenes of an explicit sexual nature and language that some consider crude, please be warned – for 18+ only! If you do not like alphas with heart who fall instantly in love with strong female characters while dealing with real life issues…again be warned!!*****

Best seller in Military Romance and Mystery/Suspense categories!!

Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA

Full length novel, romantic suspense, military, hot sex and sweet romance!
Alvarez Security Agency
Former Special Forces brothers-in-arms now working together to provide an elite security service in the southern city of Richland.

Gabe-now-live-3

Early Reviews:

*****Maryann Jordan you have written another immaculate story, that will render your readers speechless. Gabe story is about love, loss, trust, survival, friendship, brotherhood and community. The main characters as well as the secondary characters will become family and will take residence in your heart.

*****Things one of those books that will not only knock your socks off, but also pretty much draw out most emotions you can name off the top of your head.
Yeas there are some super hot sex scenes but there are moments that will bring you to tears. You will feel fear for the characters and see how true love for someone can bring a grown man to his knees.

*****This new series is in my opinion Maryann’s best work! I fell in love with the characters and the story. There are many twists and turns and ups and downs. Gabe is a solid Alpha male working for Alvarez Security with his brothers in arms. Jennifer is a sweet little tiny woman who only puts others in front of herself. And Ross God Bless his little heart!! This story is an amazing journey of love and protection. About fighting for what you want. Highly recommended.
Gabe-6

Other Books by Maryann Jordan

The Fairfield Series: Emmas’ Home, Laurie’s Time, and Carol’s Image

Carol’s Image http://goo.gl/ZouoY4

Laurie’s Time http://goo.gl/PNSepu

Emma’s Home http://goo.gl/jYdHcY

boxed set Amazon: http://goo.gl/6EUvVk

The Love’s Series: Love’s Taming, Love’s Tempting, Love’s Trusting

Love’s Trusting: http://goo.gl/Rs1qT2 

Love’s Tempting: http://goo.gl/ngDoo9 

Love’s Taming: http://goo.gl/9Az033

Author’s contacts:

Webpage | Facebook

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★ New Release + $100 Giveaway ☆ Never Too Late: Willow Creek #2 by Micalea Smeltzer

Title: Never Too Late
Series: Willow Creek #2
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
 Release Date: April 21, 2015
Synopsis

I’d never met anyone quite like Mathias Wade.
 

He was brooding and arrogant, but I loved him anyway.

Together we were wild and uncontained—a hurricane raging.

Then I had to leave, and words were exchanged that could never be undone.

But now I was back, and Mathias better watch out, because this bitch wasn’t finished with him.

Game. Set. Match.

All is fair in love and war, right?

Mathias Wade, the lead
singer of Willow Creek, is used to getting everything he wants. Except for Remy
Parker—the one that got away. Childhood friends that grew into more, Remy was
the one constant in his life until she moved away. In anger, he lashed out and
broke the only girl he ever loved. With temptation around every corner Mathias
drowns his sorrow in women and alcohol. When the band returns to their hometown
for the holidays the last thing Mathias expects is to run into Remy—but she’s back,
and she’s not done with him.

Remy never forgot
Mathias or the pain he caused her. When she moves back to the place she grew up
to take care of her ailing grandma her heart is set on revenge. She’s
determined to make Mathias fall in love with her all over again—only this time
she’s going to break his heart.

But Mathias never
stopped loving Remy—and she soon discovers that her feelings haven’t
disappeared either.

Can two people too
stubborn for their own good overcome their own demons and find the love they
always deserved?

Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK
Also Available
Free
AMAZON US / UK

Excerpt

I jumped up on the counter and he
moved to stand in front of me, bracing his hands beside my hips. I kicked my
legs against the cabinets like a little kid as he stared down at me intensely.
I wasn’t sure what he was looking for in my eyes, but he must have found it,
because he cupped my cheek and leaned in.

“This feels like when we were
younger,” he whispered. “Like no time at all has passed.” His words echoed my
previous thoughts.

I closed my eyes, feeling his
breath fan across my lips.

God, I’d missed him.

It didn’t seem possible to miss
someone I’d grown to hate, but I did.

I was pretty sure that when
someone like Mathias came into your life they were impossible to forget.

He was like the sun, burning so
bright that even once he was gone I was still blinded.

“Did you ever miss me?” I asked.
“Even once?” I held my breath, waiting for him to explode—because that was
Mathias. He could be nice one minute and an asshole the next. I wouldn’t put it
past him to kick me out for my question.
Instead he surprised me by leaning in impossibly
closer and nuzzling my neck. “Always.”
Author Bio

Micalea
Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia.
She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to
read and spend time with her family.

Author Links
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