BOOK TOUR: REVIEW, EXCERPT, AND GIVEAWAY: Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan

anti stepbrother book tour

anti stepbrother now available

Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Anti-Stepbrother is NOW AVAILABLE!

Get Your Copy TODAY:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bH3TEZ

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bOSoib

iBooks: http://apple.co/1Yg47GW

Nook:  http://bit.ly/22Vj7dD

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/24CzWcI

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1WGmyFl

(September 12th delivery)

Add Anti-Stepbrother to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/1UCNF0f

anti stepbrother cover

Blurb

He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what would happen if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

anti stepbrother teaser 3

Review

First of all, can I just say how much I LOVE the title of this book! With all of the step-brother books out there, it was refreshing to divert from the norm and head towards a story that is so full of heart and emotions and 100% the antithesis of books involving step-siblings because even though a somewhat “romantic relationship” between stepbrother/stepsister is part of the story line, at the forefront of Anti-Stepbrother is the heroine finding a guy who is everything her stepbrother isn’t and also finding herself through that process.

Summer Stoltz may seem like an awkward, quiet, and invisible college freshman, but she’s not; she’s someone whose quirkiness is endearing and whose honesty proves how genuine and open of a person she is. Did I have a problem with her infatuation over a person who acts like a complete douchebag every time he’s in a scene? Absolutely! But Tijan shapes that plot line in a way that completely makes sense and shows exactly where those feelings came from and the void they filled for her at the time.

Caden Banks is definitely no stepbrother! Summer may have thought Caden was an asshole when they first met, but he proves himself time and time again that he’s anything but – he’s honest to a fault and despite the shitstorm that became of his life, he’s fought to stay on a certain path, one that protects those he loves and one that allows him the opportunity to open himself up to someone like Summer because she’s a healing balm of quirky and honest.

Anti-Stepbrother is so much more than I thought it would be; it’s actually quite a heavy read, in a sense, because there are some situations that Summer and Caden need to deal with that force them to face harsh realities and confront issues that they’ve allowed to simmer.

I love the slow burn that occurs between Summer and Caden; it’s clear that there’s an attraction there and maybe even feelings beyond lust, but there’s a variety of reasons why their relationship starts with friendship and then plays out the way that it does, and even though I would have loved more chapters in Caden’s point of view, Tijan allows her readers to see him through Summer’s lens and because Tijan has established Summer as an honest person we can accept what Summer presents to us and fall in love with the type of man, brother, and friend Caden is.

A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Poison Apples

Excerpt

He wasn’t looking at me any more. I wasn’t even sure he was really in the room.

I needed to leave this alone. He had given me the clues—looking away, his jaw clenching, pain like I’d never heard from him sounding loud and clear. My instincts were telling me to shut up, but I couldn’t. I had this burning need to know more about Caden. I needed to get in there, past his walls, and I wanted to understand him.

I wanted to help him.

Caden was hurting, and I wanted to take that away.

“What happened?”

Caden turned his gaze to me now, and I felt branded by the pain I saw. His eyes were stricken. “Does it matter?”

“No.” My breath caught and held in my chest. I wanted to go to him, but I also wanted to slink away. I was stirring up his pain, but I had to know. “What happened, Caden?”

“Why do you have to know?”

“Because it’s hurting you.”

I made a decision, though I had no idea what the ramifications were going to be. I stood, my legs going numb and my stomach clenching, and I moved to his side. He leaned back, his head falling to the couch, and he watched me.

The need to ease some of his hurt outweighed the fear of what would happen next. Swallowing tightly, I stepped over to straddle him and sat down.

“What are you doing?”

He asked that softly, still holding his beer. I took it from his hands and put it on the stand next to the couch. Then I just sat there. He had to do the rest. I’d already made the first move.

I glanced down at his hands, feeling like an idiot. “What happened?”

“Why are you pushing this?”

I looked back up to find confusion warring with need in his eyes. He wasn’t pushing me away, so I sank further into his lap.

“You haven’t told anyone else about this.” It wasn’t really a question, but I saw the confirmation in his eyes. My chest tightened, thinking about whatever secret he held. “Please tell me.”

“No.” He shifted forward, and I braced myself, expecting him to push me away. He didn’t. His hands grasped the backs of my legs and lifted me so I was more fully on his lap.

I could feel him between my legs, and my breasts almost pressed against his chest. I waited. I wanted to see what else he’d say

“But not because I don’t want you to know,” he added. “Because it’s not my secret to tell.”

I nodded, my stomach doing somersaults now. “That makes sense. I can respect that.”

And there we were. His hands cupped my ass, and the pain in his gaze became something darker, something I felt too, something that began to turn off all rational thought.

“What are we doing here?” he questioned, his voice like a caress in itself.

I leaned forward, my gaze lingering on his lips. “I didn’t really think it through.”

“And now?”

“Still not thinking it through.”

“You’re okay with that?”

In that moment, the truth exploded in me. I wanted him. I wanted this—but it was more. I needed this.

I didn’t answer.

I closed the distance between us.

anti - stepbrother teaser 1

GIVEAWAY

$50 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

tijanAbout the Author

I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

Stalk Her: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

COVER REVEAL: Dirty Player by Stacey Lynn

Title: Dirty Player
Author: Stacey Lynn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative 
 Release Date: September 13, 2016
Blurb

Shannon Hale knows what she wants in life. Or so she thought.

But one cheating fiancé and shredded wedding dress later, she skips town desperately needing a do-over. So she moves in with her brother, the new quarterback for the Raleigh Rough Riders, starts her own business, and vows to live by her own rules and no one else’s.

Oliver Powell is a man who always gets what he wants. As the sexy as sin MVP Tight End, he’s arrogant. He’s loaded. He’s also got a sizeable package below the belt that drives the women crazy.

And he’s focused. The prize—a Super Bowl ring on his finger.

His concentration on getting that ring is unwavering—until Shannon Hale shows up. Now the only game he wants to win involves her ending up in his bed. 

The problem? Shannon wants nothing to do with NFL’s resident playboy.

The solution? Play dirty.

GOODREADS LINK:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31144752-dirty-player

Author Bio

Stacey Lynn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and four children. When she’s not conquering mountains of laundry and fighting a war against dust bunnies and cracker crumbs, you can find her playing with her children, curled up on the couch with a good book, or on the boat with her family enjoying Minnesota’s beautiful, yet too short, summer. 

She lives off her daily pot of coffee, can only write with a bowlful of Skittles nearby, and has been in love with romance novels since before she could drive herself to the library. 

Author Links

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

EXCERPT REVEAL: Wide Open Spaces by Aurora Rose Reynolds

WIDE OPEN SPACES EXCERPT

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Shelby

Shutting off my car, I stare at the two-story house I used to call home. It looks the same as it did when I left. The deep blue is still vibrant, even more so now against the backdrop of the gray sky behind it. The white porch is still welcoming, with flowers hanging from the banister.

My grandmother and I would spend hours planting flowers in those boxes during the summer. When she passed away during my sophomore year of high school, I made sure to keep up the tradition in her memory. It looks like, in my absence over these last fifteen years, someone else had taken over the job.

Looking at the bright blooms growing wild, hanging over the sides of the boxes, I wonder if Granddad hired someone to plant them for him when he left to live in Florida. He never mentioned that he cared about the flowers we planted. Honesty, I don’t remember him mentioning them. Growing up, I didn’t even think he noticed, but now, looking at the blooming buds that are artfully arranged, I know they meant something to him after all.

“Mom?” Turning my head, I look at my son Hunter and force a smile as aching pain and regret slice through my chest.

“Sorry, honey. I spaced out. Do you want to unpack tonight, or do you want to wait until tomorrow, kiddo?”

Looking over his shoulder, he eyes the boxes and suitcases piled in the back then looks at me. I hate the sadness I see in his eyes. I hate I’m the cause of his pain. I know he misses his father already, and I know that at ten years old, he doesn’t understand why we’re no longer together even if it’s been over two years since we separated and divorced.

“Tomorrow,” he grumbles, and I feel that ache in my chest expand. He hates me for moving him across the country. Away from his friends, away from everything he knew. And I hate myself a little bit, too, for failing miserably at keeping my family together. I just hope this move will be a new start for us.

“Tomorrow,” I agree softly, unhooking my belt and opening the door.

Rounding the hood of the van, Hunter has already made it to the porch and is waiting at the top of the stairs, with his eyes pointed over my shoulder. Stopping, I look behind me as rain soaks through my clothes. I can’t believe how much the town has changed and grown. When I’d left home, you could see the sound from the front porch of my grandparents’ home. Now, the view is blocked by houses that have been built up side-by-side across the road. The street looks more like a New York City block, rather than a street in small-town Alaska.

“Is it always raining?” Hunter’s voice breaks into my thoughts, and I turn back toward him and take the steps slowly, noticing they are rotting out in a few spots. Something I will have to fix soon.

“Not always, but this is a rainforest, so I guess the answer in some ways is yes,” I tell him, when I make it up to the covered porch.

His brows draw together over his blue eyes, making him look like his father, as he asks, “This is a rainforest?”

“It is.” I want so badly to reach out and run my finger down his cheek, but I keep my hand locked at my side. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but some time ago, he stopped wanting my affection. Stopped being my little boy.

“Really?” he asks curiously, with wide eyes. “It doesn’t look like a rainforest,” he states, and he’s right; it doesn’t look like what you might imagine a rainforest would look like.

“It doesn’t look like one, but it is all the same.” I smile, and his eyes move over my face then to the view, and his face loses the curiosity it held a moment ago.

He turns, muttering, “Whatever.”

Biting my lip, I take the key the lawyer mailed me out of the front pocket of my jeans, put it in the lock, and turn. The door opens with a loud creak and dust rises up from the floors. A loud alarm sounds, making us both jump. Running into the house, I look frantically for some kind of alarm system, finally finding the small white box off the door in the kitchen. Flipping the panel open, I stare at the numbers.

“What’s the code?” Hunter yells over the siren, covering his ears.

“I don’t know,” I yell back, pressing in every single number combination I can think of, but none of them work.

“Is it in the papers in the car?”

“Maybe,” I yell, then run for the door and down the stairs to the van. Swinging open the back door, I shove three boxes out of the way before finding the one I’m looking for. Ripping off the tape, I shuffle through the contents and scan the papers the lawyer sent, searching for the code, but stop and look over the hood of the van when the alarm goes quiet. “What was the code?” I ask Hunter, when he steps out onto the porch.

“I don’t know.” He shrugs, looking over his shoulder into the house, like he’s waiting for someone to come out, which makes me frown.

“Did it just stop?” I question, slamming the van door. His eyes come back to me and he shakes his head then starts to open his mouth to say something else, but is cut off by a deep voice.

“I turned it off.”

It takes one breath to realize who just stepped out of my grandparents’ house. One breath for every moment I spent with the man standing before me to flash through my head. Two seconds for me to feel my world come to a stop.

The boy I once knew is gone. There’s nothing boyish about Zach Watters anymore. His jaw is now sharp, the stubble on it giving him a rugged look while accentuating his full lips. His dark hair has silvered around the edges, drawing attention to his expressive hazel eyes that look like they hold a thousand stories. His red and black plaid shirt is stretched tight across broad shoulders, giving a glimpse of the muscles it’s covering. He’s still every bit as beautiful as he once was, only more so now that time has aged him, taking him from a handsome boy to a gorgeous man.

Swallowing, I look at my son then back again. “Thanks,” I whisper, and Zach’s eyebrows pull together as he sweeps his gaze over me. I have no doubt that I too have changed, but unlike him, time hasn’t been good to me. I’ve gained a few too many pound from eating my feelings over the last year. My skin has lost its youthful glow, and my hair has grown out at the roots without my bi-monthly maintenance appointments.

“Shelby?” he asks, but all I can do is confirm with a nod, since my mouth has dried up and I can’t find my voice. “Jesus.” His eyes widen as he looks down at Hunter then back toward me. “What are you doing here?”

“My… my son Hunter and I are moving in,” I stutter, caught off guard by his presence. I wasn’t stupid enough to believe I wouldn’t see him when I moved home, but I had convinced myself that seeing him would be on my terms, or sporadic at best.

“What?” he whispers, leaning back on his boots, crossing his arms over his chest.

Ignoring his question, I start to move back toward the stairs, asking, “Do you mind giving me the code for the alarm? I’m sure it’s somewhere in the papers the lawyer sent, but…” I stop and look to the left when Zach’s name is called. Standing on the porch of the house next door is a woman I know he got with a few months after I left. A woman he married soon after she gave birth to their twins. A woman I used to call my friend.

A woman I now hate.

I absently hear him say something to her, but the nausea turning my stomach and the sadness prickling my skin have me moving quickly up the steps, focusing on not falling over as I move past him. “Never mind about the code. I’m sure I’ll find it. Thanks for shutting off the alarm,” I mumble, as I walk through the door.  

“Mom.”

“Come on, honey. Let’s have a look around, and then we need to get to the store.”

“Mom,” Hunter repeats, sounding confused. I plaster a fake smile on my face.

“The pizza place we drove past has the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. We could do that for dinner.”

“Mom.”

“Right here, honey.” I laugh, even though that laugh feels like glass edging down my windpipe.

Studying me for a long moment, he finally mutters, “Pizza sounds good. I’m gonna call Dad before we go, and tell him we’re here.”

“Sure,” I agree, watching him pull out his cell phone and walk toward the kitchen. I didn’t agree that he needed a cell phone at his age, but like all things with his dad, there was never any kind of conversation. He didn’t ask what I thought about it; he just did what he wanted to do.

I hear a familiar throat clear. “You’re back?” Zach asks from behind me, making my shoulders slump forward and my eyes slide closed briefly.

“Yeah.” I turn to face him and wrap my arms around my waist, feeling my stomach twist into knots. When I left town, we didn’t fight, didn’t yell at each other, didn’t say things we would end up regretting one day. I just knew there was too much pain between us to make what we had left work, and Zach, knowing the same, didn’t put up a fight when I told him my plans.

“You’re staying here?” he asks, and I nod. Running a hand over his head as his eyes move to the right, where Tina had been moments ago, before bringing his gaze back to mine. “The code for the alarm is one, two, three, four. I told Pat to change it, but you know Pat,” he mutters, and I nod, knowing exactly how stubborn Gramps was. Shoving his hands into the front pocket of his jeans, his voice drops. “I’m really sorry about Pat.”

“Thanks.” I hold myself a little tighter. His eyes drop to my arms around my waist and soften before moving up to meet mine once more.

“If you need anything, I’m next door.” He lifts his chin in that direction, and my world stops again.

“Pardon?” I breathe.

“I live next door.”

Okay, maybe I should have guessed that, since Tina was over there, but I didn’t, and this is not good… as in really not good. There is not one damn thing I can do about it, though, unless I want to load Hunter back into the van and live out of it for the next year or so, which I don’t think will win me any brownie points with my son.

“Cool,” I whisper pathetically, with nothing else to say. Something familiar-looking and soft slides through his features, making my stomachache twist again, but this time in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

“Well…” I pause, needing this encounter to be over. “Thanks again for turning off the alarm. I wish we had time to catch up,” I lie. “But I need to get to the store before it closes, and then I need to get Hunter some food. Growing boys don’t do well without food,” I ramble, as I put my hand to the door, wanting so badly to shove it closed.

“Sure.” He nods then looks over my shoulder, into the house. “Nice meeting you, Hunter.”

“You too—” Hunter looks between Zach and me.

“Mr. Watters, honey,” I mutter, answering his unspoken question, as he comes to stand at my side with his cell phone in his hand.

“You too, Mr. Watters.”

Zach’s eyes come to me and his face softens once more. “See you around, Shelby.”

“Yeah, see you around,” I lie again, since I plan to pretend he doesn’t exist from this moment forward. I wait, even though I don’t want to, until he is walking away to close the door then stand there for a moment, trying to process what just happened.

“How do you know him, Mom?” Hunter asks.

“When I was younger,” I say, turning to face him, “we were friends.” I shrug, looking toward the stairs. “My room used to be in the attic—it’s the best room in the house—and if you make it there before me, I’ll let you have it.” I raise my brows before taking off in a sprint up the stairs, listening to my son, who I haven’t heard laugh in weeks, giggle as he runs up the stairs behind me.

“Wow, this is awesome.”

Looking over my shoulder at Hunter I smile as he walks into the room with wide eyes. “I told you it’s the coolest room in the house.” I used to love hanging out up here when I was a teenager. The vastness of the space, with its angled ceilings and four large skylights, was a cool place to spend time. Looking at my son now, I can see the excitement in his eyes as he wanders around the room.

“Do you think I could get a telescope?” he asks, looking up at the cloud-covered sky through one of the skylights.

“Definitely.” I bump my shoulder with his as I walk past him toward the couch in the corner that’s covered with a sheet and pull it off. “We may also want to find a cover for this thing while we’re at it,” I say, looking from the floral-covered couch to his scrunched up face.

“Yeah.” He nods, moving to the bed, where he rips off the sheet that is covering the mattress. “I can’t wait to tell Dad about this. He’s going to think it’s so cool,” he mutters, and I bite my tongue to keep from saying, No, your dad will definitely not think it’s cool.

Max, Hunter’s father, grew up wealthy. He never owned anything that had been used. Even when we got married, he insisted I sell the Victorian house I bought when I graduated college, wanting instead for us to buy a newly built house in a cliché subdivision, where all of his friends lived. Shortly thereafter, he insisted I sell all of my old furniture, things I had bought secondhand and refurbished over the years. At the time, I was blinded by hope and love, so I didn’t think anything about it. But over time, I slowly realized I was no longer the person I used to be. I had turned into a trophy wife who lived in a show home and neither of us had any real character.

“Mom,” Hunter calls, bringing me out of my thoughts, and I turn to look at him and notice he has a stack of photos in his hand. “Who’s this?”

“That’s my mom,” I say softly, while walking over to where he’s sitting on the bed, holding out a picture of my mom and me. In the photo, we’re sitting outside on the porch, with our arms wrapped around each other, smiling at the camera.

“You look like her,” he says thoughtfully. “You have her eyes and hair.”

“You think so?” I ask, looking at my mom, who had to have been about my age when the photo was taken. She was beautiful, with long dark blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a smile that lit up the world.

“Yeah.” He nods then looks at me, and asks quietly, “Do you miss her?”

“Every day.” I nod, taking the photo from his hands. “She gave the best hugs,” I say, fighting back the tears I feel creeping up my throat. My mom and dad both died in a plane crash when I was fifteen. My father was the owner and pilot of a local adventure company, and he had taken my mom with him to drop off supplies to some men who were bear hunting out at one of the islands. On their way back into town, the weather shifted, and their plane went down on one of the mountains. Neither of them survived. That’s when I moved to Cordova to live with my dad’s parents.

“Do you have any pictures of your dad?”

I pause, trying to recall if I’ve ever really spoken to Hunter about my parents, if Max ever asked about them, but I can’t think of a single time. “There are a few downstairs on the wall. I’ll point them out to you.” I lean into him a little then stop when his arm wraps around my shoulders, surprising me. “I love you, kid,” I whisper, not surprised when he doesn’t say it back, but happy that his arm tightens ever so slightly.

“I’m starving.” He chuckles releasing me when his stomach growls loudly, breaking the moment.

“We can’t have that.” I laugh, standing from the bed. “Let’s go to Joe’s. Hopefully, the pizza is still awesome. If not, you’re gonna have to suffer and eat it anyway, ‘cause the store is probably closed by now.

“Is there such a thing as bad pizza?”

“I guess we’ll find out,” I murmur, and then head out of the room and down the stairs, grabbing my purse as we leave.

When we make it to Joe’s, I find nothing has changed in the years I’ve been gone. The owner Joe, an older Korean gentleman, is still in the back making the pizzas, and his wife Kim is still working the counter, gossiping about everything and everyone. While we wait for our pizza, Kim talks my ear off, telling me about the people in town, including Zach, who she informs me is not only a cop, but also the sheriff. She also tells me that Zach is single. He and Tina supposedly got divorced nine years ago, and Zach has had full custody of both his kids since then. I tell myself I don’t care that Zach is no longer with Tina, but I still feel some relief knowing I won’t have to witness seeing them together.

“Can I sleep in my room tonight?” Hunter asks, as I finish off my third slice of pizza and wipe my mouth with a paper towel.

“I don’t mind, but everything in the house needs to be washed. So if you want to sleep up there, we have to get your stuff from the van.”

“I’ll get it, and then we can bring in everything else too.”

“You want to clean out the van?” I ask, not at all excited about lugging stuff up three flights of stairs.

“Yeah.” He nods again, taking his half of the pizza box lid that he used as a plate to the trash bin.

“If that’s what you want,” I agree, regretting those words an hour later as I head out for the last box. My arms and legs are tired from carting everything inside and up the stairs. I haven’t worked out in the last year, and I can feel it now as every muscle in my body protest.

Stopping when I hear a door close, I hold the box in my hands closer to my chest and look toward the house next door. I spot a handsome blond boy, who looks a lot like Zach, hopping down the steps, with Tina following close behind. Ducking down, I hide and watch them as they get into an old pickup truck, only coming out of hiding when they drive off.

Having over fifteen years to deal with the adoption of Samuel should make it easier to see Zach’s other children, but it doesn’t. I still feel bitter about the situation. I know it’s the fact that Zach’s children were born a little over a year after Samuel, meaning Tina got pregnant not long after I left town. So not only did Zach have a relationship with Tina, but he built a family with her and kept the kids they had together.

Heading back into the house with the final box, I wonder how I’m going to do what I’ve been doing for the last fifteen years. It was easy to block out thoughts of Zach when I was gone, but now that I’m back and living next door to him, I wonder if it will be as easy to ignore the feeling in my chest that coincides with thoughts of him.

~*~*~

Grabbing my quilt from the end the my bed, I carefully balance my Kindle and glass of wine in one hand as I open the sliding glass door in my room and step out onto the balcony. Tonight is one of the first nights it hasn’t rained since we moved in, and I have been looking forward to sitting outside under the stars with a good book all day long. Grabbing my glass, I take a sip then look to the left when the sound of rock music starts up and light flutters across the back deck next door, making me wonder if Zach’s room is off the balcony like mine.

Pushing that thought away, I turn on my Kindle then proceed to get lost in someone else’s happily ever after.

“Shelby.” Jumping, some of the contents from the glass in my hand sloshes out over the side and runs down my fingers as I swing my head to the left, where Zach is leaning on the banister, his eyes on me. A short glass full of dark liquid is in his hands, and the light casts a glow behind him.

“You scared the crap out of me,” I gripe, holding my free hand over my rapidly beating heart.

“I’ve been standing here awhile,” he mutters, then takes a swig of his drink. “I thought you would have noticed.” He rolls the glass between his hands while looking at me intently, making me fight the urge to squirm in my chair.

“When I’m lost in a good book, the world could crash down around me and I wouldn’t notice.” I shrug, taking a sip of wine, using the moment of reprieve as an excuse to look away from him, but realizing for the first time that I don’t know the man standing across from me. Yes, he looks a little like the guy I dated years ago, but he also seems more intense, like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s definitely not the easygoing kid I dated in high school.

“How are you guys settling in?”

Pulling my legs out from under me, I rest my Kindle on the edge of my lap and turn to face him fully while adjusting the blanket.

“It’s going to take a little bit to get everything cleaned up. I didn’t know Gramps was such a hoarder until now. I think I’ve thrown out about ten thousand issues of National Geographic, along with a hundred empty boxes and every single item you can possibly buy from an infomercial,” I reply, then smile when he laughs a deep rumbling laugh and leans a little farther over the railing between us, causing another plaid shirt—this one blues and yellows—to tighten across his wide chest.

“You didn’t keep them? You never know when you might need an automatic potato peeler.”

“I thought about it, but if I did, I wouldn’t have anywhere to put my shoes, since all of it was stacked up on the floor in his closet, everything unopened.” I smile, watching him grin for a moment before the smile slides away and his eyes move beyond me to the forest that sits behind the house.

“I’m gonna miss him. I know he’s been gone from town for years, but I’ll miss our talks,” he mutters, then looks up at the sky for a moment before meeting my gaze once more. “Why’d you come back? Last time I talked to Pat, he told me you were planning on following him down to Florida.”

His words catch me off guard, since Gramps never told me he kept in contact with Zach. But then again, I never asked. I shouldn’t be surprised they kept in touch, since they we’re close when I was home, and were obviously neighbors before Gramps moved to Florida. Plus, Zach is the sheriff in town. Yet, it still feels strange that he knows about me, while I know nothing about him.

“I was.” I let out a breath, adjusting the blanket around my shoulders. “But I had to wait until…” I trail off, not wanting to talk about my divorce to anyone, especially not him. “Then when Gramps passed away, there was nothing for me in Florida, so I decided to come back here instead.”

“You didn’t want to stay in Seattle?”

“No, I needed something different, so when I found out Gramps left me his house, I just knew I needed to come back here,” I whisper the truth. Ever since I read the will and found out this house was mine to do with as I please, I had a feeling in my gut that I couldn’t get rid of. Something telling me that I needed to come back here.

“This is a good town,” he murmurs, but the look in his eyes is saying something I can’t quite figure out.

“This is the last place I remember being really happy. I hope that I can make it that way for Hunter,” I say quietly, and his face softens.

“He looks like you.” His words and tone catch me by surprise and I sit up a little taller. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be sitting on my granddad’s deck in the middle of the night talking to Zach about anything. Definitely not about my son.

“You wouldn’t say that if you saw his dad,” I return honestly. “When he was a baby, he looked like me, but not any more.”

“He has your eyes and your smile.” He pauses, taking a drink from his glass. “He seems like a good kid.”

“He’s the best kid.” I take a sip of wine, trying to keep whatever it is I’m feeling right now in check.

“I… I think I saw your son. Um, the other day. He looks like you,” I tell him, wanting to take the words back after I say them, because I don’t want him to think I was spying on him.

“He looks like his mom, but has my personality, which I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or not. My daughter, Aubrey, on the other hand, looks like me, but is sweet down to her core. Where she gets that sweetness, I have no fucking clue.”

“Oh.” I bite my lip, trying to figure out what to say to that. The Zach I knew was a good guy, sweet even. Tina, however, was mostly bitch, and I honestly don’t even know why we were friends. Then again, growing up here, there weren’t a hundred girls to choose from. My graduating class had five girls in it, and none of them liked Tina, which meant none of them really liked me either.

“I better go in,” he says abruptly, cutting into my thoughts, standing to his full height. “I need to be to the station early tomorrow.”

“Sure… uh… have a good night.” The urge to say something that will make him stay hits me hard, and it takes everything I have in me to keep my mouth shut.

“You too, Shelby. And be careful when you’re out here reading. Louie’s out and about around this time of night, searching for food.”

“Louie?” I question, scrunching up my nose. Cordova never had homeless people before, and I can’t imagine it would now.

“Louie’s a black bear. Normally, he sticks to the woods, but he’s been known to nap on the decks now and then.

“Oh, man.” I jump up, looking around for any sign of Louie, not sure how I could forget there are bears out here, since we are in Alaska. “What’s funny?” I frown, turning to face him when I hear his deep laughter.

“You’re in Alaska, babe. You lived here for years. You know there are bears out in those woods.” He nods to the trees.

Babe. Why, oh, why did that word make butterflies erupt in my stomach?

“I know that, but I forgot.” I shake my head and watch his face soften once again.

“Still sweet as pie,” I think I hear him say, but can’t be sure, because his voice dropped to a low rumble that I felt skid across my skin.

“Well, I’m gonna go in too,” I blurt, picking up my Kindle and wine glass. “Have a good night.” And with that, I duck my head and go back into my room. Closing the door I lock it behind me then hurry and get into bed where I try to forget once more about Zach Watters.  

~~**~~

“Hello?” I answer the phone, still half asleep, then look at the clock and notice that even though it’s light out, it’s barely 6:00 a.m.

“Shelby, I’ve called three times,” Max, my ex-husband, says into my ear, and I pull my pillow over my head with thoughts of suffocating myself with it.

“It’s only six, Max. I haven’t gotten out of bed,” I grumble, tossing the covers back and sitting up. “What’s going on?”

“I want to fly out there this weekend,” he states, and I fight the urge to toss my phone across the room or scream at the top of my lungs.

“This weekend?” I verify, rubbing my face. “We haven’t even been here a week.”

“I have a few days off and would like to see Hunter.”  

I sigh, considering him and his request. “Our stuff is going to be delivered in two days. Then I start my new job next week, and Hunter has swi—”

“You’re not keeping my boy from me,” he cuts me off, and I can tell by his tone that he’s mad and likely pulling at his ever-present tie in annoyance. Something I make him do often.

“I’m not saying you can’t see him, Max,” I clarify, wishing I had at least one cup of coffee before this conversation. “I’m just explaining to you that we’re trying to get settled in here. Can you wait a few weeks before you come out?”

“Such fucking bullshit. I can’t believe you moved to Alaska, of all goddamn places. A boy should have his dad in his life.” My heart stutters and I feel my pulse skyrocket. We didn’t have a custody battle, but I wouldn’t put it past Max to take me to court to gain custody of Hunter if I step out of line in his eyes.

“Max,” I soften my voice as I walk to the kitchen, “you know we talked about this. You can come see him anytime, and in a couple years, he can fly out to see you whenever he has a break,” I say, then drop my voice even lower. “We agreed on him living with me at least until he’s sixteen. After that, he can choose who he wants to live with.”

“I miss you both.” He sighs, making me roll my eyes. I know he doesn’t miss me. I know this, because he’s been dating woman after woman since I asked for a separation. For all I know, he was dating before that. Hell, the last year I spent under the same roof as him, he hardly spared me a glance. Hunter later suffered from his lack of attention, when we lived in the same town after our separation. With Max, it’s always about him getting his way.  

“Max, please just wait a few more weeks, and then you can come and stay as long as you like,” I offer, the words leaving a horrid taste in my mouth. I will do whatever I have to in order to keep my son, though, including putting up with his dad in my childhood home for more than a few days.

“Fine, when?”

Closing my eyes, I whisper, “Next month. Whenever you like. Just let me know, so I can make sure I don’t make plans for Hunter. I know there are a few camps here he’s interested in.”

“Fine. Where is he now? I called his cell phone, but he didn’t pick up.”

“Sleeping. Like I said, it’s only six here, and he was up late talking to his friends back in Seattle on Skype.”

“You really shouldn’t let him stay up so late, Shelby,” he scolds, sounding disapproving, and again, that’s not a surprise.

“It’s summer, Max, and his ‘late’ is ten, not three in the morning,” I mutter, wondering how the hell I put up with him for so many years. “I’ll have him call you when he gets up.”

“Don’t tell him I’m coming out. I want to tell him that myself.”

“Will do,” I grumble, looking at the coffee pot and begging it to hurry up.

“Talk to you later.”

“Talk to you later,” I agree, setting the phone down on the counter. I make myself a cup of coffee and take it out to the back deck, drinking it while the morning sun beats down on me.

WIDE OPEN SPACES COMING SOON

New from Aurora Rose Reynolds!

Wide Open Spaces releases August 2016!

Add to your TBR at: http://bit.ly/1PDVZsf

wide open spaces cover

Blurb

That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments when I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder, looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself that letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change and love is one of them.

wide open spaces banner

About the Author

aurora rose reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

DOUBLE COVER REVEAL: FULL PACKAGE AND JOY STICK by Lauren Blakely

From the NYT Bestselling author of BIG ROCK and MISTER O, comes two brand new, hot and hilarious standalone romantic comedies…

FULL PACKAGE and JOY STICK!

 

FPANDJSCOVERREVEAL

Readers will find witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments in these side-splitting romantic comedies, mixed with the dirty-talking, gifted heroes we’ve come to love from Lauren Blakely!

FULL PACKAGE is set to release on January 9, 2017, and JOY STICK is coming your way in May 2017!

Check out these fantastic covers designed by Helen Williams with photography by Rob Lang.

 Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

From the New York Times Bestselling author of MISTER O and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

 I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Surprise—neither one of us sleeps.

And even though we agree to return to roomies-without-benefits, I quickly realize I want more than someone to split the utilities with. Now all I want is to spend every night—and every day—with my gorgeous roommate.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?

 FINALFULLPACKAGEJACKETSMALLER

Pre-Order FULL PACKAGE (Releasing January 9, 2016)

iBooks http://tinyurl.com/FullPackageLB

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2b7fWxj

Amazon Paperback http://amzn.to/2avft4u

Kobo http://bit.ly/2aA43gp

GooglePlay https://goo.gl/U5ND2B

Goodreads http://bit.ly/2alCbfM

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

Let’s be honest, ladies.  A good man is a lot like the perfect car. You want a hot body, an engine that purrs, and superior performance under the hood. You probably also crave a ride that can go all night long.

I’m at your service. Come and ride on my Joy Stick…

That’s what I like to say to the ladies. Or I would if I were total pig. It’s far too easy in this world to strut around like a peacock when you’ve got all these other features in your favor. But just like the custom cars I build with class and sophistication, that’s how I treat my women.

Don’t worry. I absolutely do my best work dirty…both in the shop, and between the sheets. Work and play — that’s what my life has been, and I f&*king love it. I’m completely, 100% driven. Until one woman comes along and throws a wrench in my plans. The one woman I should absolutely, positively never take for a joy ride.

Now that’s all I want to do with her…she’s so far off-limits, but that’s exactly where I want to go with her.

Get ready for a wild ride…

JOYSTICKbyLaurenBlakelyJacket

Pre-Order JOY STICK (Coming May 2017)

Exclusive iBooks Pre-Order http://tinyurl.com/JoyStickLB

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30640850-joy-stick

MENOFROMCOM 

Don’t Miss All of Lauren’s Romantic Comedies written from the Male POV!

BIG ROCK (Now Available)

MISTER O (Now Available)

WELL HUNG (Releasing September 12, 2016)

KindleFiregiveaway

 

Lauren Blakely’s Romantic Comedy Celebration!

August 24-September 1, 2016*

Win a Kindle Fire loaded with Lauren Blakely’s complete collection* of currently released titles, as well as some of Lauren’s favorite romantic comedies!

*Does not include WELL HUNG, FULL PACKAGE or JOY STICK, Winner will be announced first week of September.

To enter to win, simply subscribe to Lauren’s newsletter here:

http://www.subscribepage.com/LaurenBlakely

 

DaisyWhitneyLaurenBlakelyheadshot_small

About Lauren Blakely

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter: laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

Links:

Website: http://www.laurenblakely.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenBlakelyBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurenBlakely3

Newsletter: http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter/

FULL PACKAGE Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30283662-full-package

JOY STICK Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30640850-joy-stick

Lauren Blakely Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860216.Lauren_Blakely

 

InkSlinger Blogger Final

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

EXCERPT REVEAL: The Hard Way by Katie Ashley

the hard way excpert reveal

Excerpt

Fuuuuuuuuuck! This seriously was not happening. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, apparently the universe didn’t just hate me. It fucking despised me. Not only was I stuck working forty hours a week at this shithole, but now I had the worst blast from my past standing before me. Avery Fucking Prescott.

In every “manwhore with seemingly no soul’s” world, there is one girl he regrets. One girl he thinks about from time to time. One girl he measures all the other ones against. One girl he even cries about when he’s shitfaced.

Mine was Avery Fucking Prescott.

I couldn’t help noticing that the Avery standing in front of me didn’t seem the same. Sure, she still had the same long, dark hair that she swept back in one of those ponytail things. Gone were the glasses, which made it a lot easier to see her green eyes that had flecks of gold in them. Of course, today there was pure and unadulterated hate burning in them directed at me where back in the day, there had been love.

But I had managed to kill that love by being a prick. Yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking that isn’t all too shocking based on the pure stupidity you’ve seen me exhibit so far. The thing is that Avery brought out the good that was buried deep down inside me. The good that you needed a fucking bulldozer to unearth.

While there were slight differences in her appearance, her entire personality seemed different, and no, I don’t mean just about how she hated me with a fiery passion. She wasn’t the wide-eyed, innocent farm girl who seemed so out of place at Harlington Prep. It was like she’d had a personality transplant. It reminded of me of what happened to my older sister, Catherine, the summer she turned fifteen, and my mother sent her off to some glamour school shit to detox the awkward out of her. When she came back a month later, it was like she had become a Stepford Kid. Catherine no longer took the time to play with me. She had “more important” things to do like contouring her brows or preparing for cotillions. Things were never the same between us after that.

My ego couldn’t help wondering if what had happened between us had caused the seismic shift in Avery. Like I’d broken the Old Avery with my actions, and this was what had been rebuilt in its place. But another voice rationalized that unlike me, Avery had probably gotten her shit together in the last three years. College had matured her.

After a few moments of a silent standoff, Avery said, “Hello again, Cade.” Her words might have been polite, but her voice was strained. I could tell it was taking everything within her not to go off on me.

“Oh, you two know each other?” Tammy or Theresa, or whatever the hell her name was, questioned.

Do we know each other? Oh yeah, we know each other. Like in the biblical sense. I can even tell you about the heart-shaped birthmark on the inside of her right thigh.

But I knew I would mortify the hell out of Avery if I said anything like that in front of her boss. So instead, I cocked my brows at Avery for her to take the lead on how she wanted us to respond to that question.

“A little. We went to high school together,” she replied diplomatically. The wounded look that momentarily flashed in her eyes told an entirely different story—the story where I played the villain.

But Tammy didn’t seem to pick up on it. “Well, isn’t it a small world?” she mused.

“Yeah,” Avery and I said in unison.

Tammy smiled at me. “I was just about to sing all of Avery’s praises to you, but since you know her, I don’t need to waste my breath, right?”

“Right,” I muttered.

“Well, then. I’ll leave you two alone to catch up, and for Avery to show you the ropes.”

“Thank you, Tamar,” Avery said politely.

Oh it was Tamar. Shit, I needed to remember that. “Yeah, thanks, Tamar.”

Tamar started out of the door and then stopped. She threw a grin over her shoulder. “Now, Avery, just because you know Cade, you can’t go easy on him. He has a debt to pay to Georgia Tech’s athletic department.”

Avery glared at me before flashing a fake smile at Tamar. “Oh, I promise to make him earn his keep.”

Apparently Tamar wasn’t picking up on the heavy tension between us. “Unfuckingbeliveable,” I muttered under my breath.

“Excuse me?” Avery demanded.

I held up my hands. “Nothing.”

Avery crossed her arms over her chest. “I never thought I’d have to see you again.” She shook her head at me, which caused her ponytail to swish back and forth like a whip. “Yet here you are standing before me. I guess, I must’ve done something epic to piss the universe off this much to put you back in my path.”

Whoa, that was sure as hell not what I was expecting. “I could say the same.”

Her green eyes narrowed to fury-filled slits. “Excuse me? You have some nerve to stand here in front of me and say that considering what you did.”

She was right. Only an epic tool would not immediately apologize for what I did to her. It should have been the first words out of my mouth. And not just to make things run smoothly here at The Ark, but because it was the right thing to do. After all, she had truly been an innocent in the whole fucked up situation of me being an emotionally crippled bastard. I’d let her be tortured by a psychotic chick who thought she belonged to me. I’d humiliated her with my deceptive words and cruel actions. But the greatest of my crimes was I had broken her heart.

But in this instance, I was being King Epic Tool because I couldn’t get those words to come out of my mouth. It wasn’t something I struggled with today. I’d had three years to stay those two words. Hell, I’d started off a hundred texts, but I’d never sent them. I’d even done a few stalkerish drives by her house to say how sorry I was in person, but being an emotional pansy ass, I had never gotten out of the car.

So instead of taking the emotional high road, I went slumming. “It’s been three years, Prescott. You really need to get over that.”

the hard way coming soon

Sports + Bad Boy + Second Chance

The Hard Way by Katie Ashley Releases on August 31st!

Add to your TBR at:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29638484-the-hard-way?from_search=true

the hard way cover

Blurb

Cade Hall has always been the golden boy of the gridiron. Because of his talent at football, coupled with his father’s wealth, he’s always gotten his way. But when a night of drunken debauchery lands him in hot water with the college athletic board, neither his influential father nor his charming grin can save him. He finds it a total buzz kill when he is sentenced to community service with troubled youth at an inner-city shelter. But his nightmare is only beginning when his greatest high school regret is the very one in charge of the program, and she has him by the balls in more ways than one.

For Avery Prescott, senior year was a nightmare of epic proportions, and Cade Hall played the lead villain. After she fled her small town for college in the bright lights of Atlanta, she thought she had escaped the painful memories of her past. She never could have imagined Cade would waltz through the door of the outreach program she presided over. But Avery has news for Cade–she isn’t the same shy, doormat of a girl she was in high school. Since she holds Cade’s football future in her hands, she’s more than ready to make payback a real bitch.

Will the two stay in the defensive zone or discover that sometimes life’s greatest lessons are learned the hard way?

the hard way teasers

About the Author

KATIE ASHLEY

Katie Ashley is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter, Olivia, and her two very spoiled dogs. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads   Amazon Page | Pinterest

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

RELEASE REVIEW: Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens

14054993_1068416559903534_8214717534666119693_n

Kindle: bit.ly/FuriousRushKindle
Paperback: bit.ly/FuriousRushPaperback
iBooks: bit.ly/FuriousRushiBooks
Kobo: bit.ly/FuriousRushKobo
Nook: bit.ly/FuriousRushNook
Google Play: bit.ly/FuriousRushGooglePlay

26097165

Blurb

For Mackenzie Cox, racing motorcycles is in her blood. Born into a family legacy, she’s determined to show the world that she has inherited her father’s talent in this male-dominated sport. The last thing Kenzie needs is to be antagonised by her rival team’s newest rider, Hayden Hayes. Hayden, exceedingly arrogant and outrageously attractive, immediately gets under Kenzie’s skin and she can’t help but be distracted.

As Kenzie and Hayden push each other on the track, the electric energy between them off the track shifts into an intense – and strictly forbidden – attraction. The only rule between their two ultra-competitive teams is zero contact. Kenzie needs a win, and she also needs to stay away from Hayden. Unfortunately for her though, one thing has become all too clear: she can’t.

Fuelled by passion, driven by desire, Hayden and Mackenzie both want to win more than anything else. Except for, maybe, each other. But anger, jealousy and extreme competitiveness aren’t their only obstacles . . .

14022136_1068415743236949_1161220077344368263_n

Review

Furious Rush is exactly the kind of sports romance story I like to read because the heroine is not the spectator, she’s actually a competitor in a racing world that is dominated by men, and her love interest is the bad boy racer for her team’s biggest enemy. So not only is there a huge risk in participating in the sport the characters love, but because there is incredibly bad blood between the two racing teams, a relationship between the hero and heroine is forbidden, and readers know that S.C. Stephens definitely knows how to craft a forbidden love story with a heavy amount of drama and angst.

Mackenzie Cox seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders – at least when it comes to her father’s business and racing legacy. In her rookie season for Cox Racing, the expectations and pressure is overwhelming; there are no second chances for her or her racing team, and so at the start of the season, Kenzie is filled with fear and doubt, but all it takes is one cocky competitor to help Kenzie focus on racing and chasing him until the final lap, and Hayden Hayes also turns straight-laced Kenzie into a bit of a rebel who takes risks and has the guts to go after what she wants and needs to not only help herself but also her father.

S.C. Stephens creates the perfect alpha racer in Hayden Hayes. He’s exactly the type of racer I picture to take part in road racing and take chances that others might not take. There are qualities about Hayden that readers get through Kenzie’s perspective, but he’s still quite a mystery at the end of their story. I understand that because the story is strictly told from Kenzie’s point of view that readers weren’t going to be able to truly understand everything about him, but I wanted to understand him and his relationships a bit better in order to form a stronger connection to what makes him who he is.

The racing aspect of the storyline is very well done. S.C. Stephens places her readers right in the middle of the action and that placement allows them to be more than spectators – the descriptions and sensory images that are used put readers almost on the back of Kenzie’s bike, maneuvering left and right with her and holding their breaths at every turn that takes them just a little bit too close to the cement.

Kenzie and Hayden’s story is definitely a slow burn racing romance because there are a number of obstacles standing in their way from the very beginning, and usually, I’m fine with a slow-moving storyline because in the end, I get a sense of closure, and even if their story is unfinished, I still get a sense of the couple’s connection, but the situations and lessons that seem most important are, at times, overshadowed by secondary characters and events that don’t seem to mesh well with everything else, and I’m left wondering after everything that has gone wrong, how Kenzie and Hayden move forward with their passions for racing and each other not tearing them apart.

A complimentary copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 Poison Apples

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

RELEASE PROMO: REVIEW AND EXCERPT: Unexpected Circumstances: The Devastation by Shay Savage

51v5uKGM51L

UNEXPECTED CIRCUMSTANCES by Shay Savage

Book 7 (Final book in the series): The Devastation

Synopsis 

Although Branford is broken and desperate, he finds himself with no choice: He must declare war against Hadebrand, or Edgar’s evil darkness will envelop the commonwealth. Silverhelm’s army is grossly outnumbered, but Branford underestimates the people’s love for their commoner queen. The people rise up in support of their beloved regent, and Branford sees a glimmer of hope for his wife. He becomes more determined than ever to make up for his previous failures and secure the future of his kingdom.
With their murderous intentions, the treacherous King Edgar and Princess Whitney must pay for what they have done. They must not be allowed to destroy everything the people hold dear.
With but faint hope in his heart, Branford gathers his people and marches toward the castle in Hadebrand, gathering allies along the way. With the support of other noble families, Branford will have to find the strength to fight for the very survival of his own family and the entire kingdom.
He sees only one path: the annihilation of his enemy.With their murderous intentions, the treacherous King Edgar and Princess Whitney must pay for what they have done. They must not be allowed to destroy everything the people hold dear.
With but faint hope in his heart, Branford gathers his people and marches toward the castle in Hadebrand, gathering allies along the way. With the support of other noble families, Branford will have to find the strength to fight for the very survival of his own.

He sees only one path: the annihilation of his enemy.

Add to Goodreads

Book 7: The Devastation

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bern4Y

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01J64JKTW

Canada: www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01J64JKTW

Australia: www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01J64JKTW

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-devastation

ibooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1138373705

Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devastation-shay-savage/1124203158

13962582_10209925269639177_5774781142635762795_n

Review

It was made perfectly clear at the end of book 6, The Apprehension, that action against Branford and his Queen had gone too far, sending Branford on a war path of death and destruction; his fury with being unable to protect Alexandra and his unborn child, once again, has driven Branford to the edge, and now there’s only one path for him, which is to reign down terror and devastation on those responsible for kidnapping Alexandra.

But that kind of payback comes at a price and the fact that Branford’s army is by far outnumbered by his enemy’s army lands him in a situation that he may not come back from, but he’s done being played a fool…he’s done feeling trapped in situations that are out of his control…he’s done allowing Alexandra’s kindness and generosity to be taken advantage of…she is his life and it’s time for him to do what needs to be done in order take care of the woman who changed him in so many ways for the better.

Alexandra is the Commoner Queen; she’s the voice of the people and she made sure their needs were met, and now it’s time for Branford and his kingdom to meet the needs of their Queen, and let me tell you, it’s one tale that readers of Shay Savage’s Unexpected Circumstances definitely don’t want to miss because The Devastation is told completely in Branford’s point of view, so that means readers feel his pain…his lack of emotional control…his grief…and his rage. But the one emotion that is felt the most is his undying love for the woman who taught him how to truly be a man and a King.

A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 Poison Apples

13920813_10209333012214867_8581587919392127934_n

Excerpt 

“Always so melodramatic!”  Whitney sighed.  I turned toward her and glared.

“If you know anything of this…”  I let my voice trail off.  There was something in her eyes I did not like—at all.  It was…knowledge.  “You know where she is.”

The princess merely shrugged.

“She knows nothing of the sort!” Margaret said, but the tone of her voice had changed.  She, too, was looking at her daughter, and I could see the doubt in her eyes.

“You will die if you have touched her,” I said to Whitney.  “Where is she?”

“What difference does it make?” Whitney asked.  “You do not need her; you never have.  I am here for you.”

I scoffed and shook my head, narrowing my eyes at her.  Could she be serious?  As many times as I had told her she would not be made my queen, could she still think there is a possibility of a union?

“Branford, be reasonable.”  Whitney cooed at me.  “We are meant to be, not you and some common trash—”

Whatever else she was going to say remained stuck in her throat as I backhanded her across the face.  She squealed like an animal and fell to the side before Parnell could right her again.

“Get your hands off my daughter!” Margaret screeched from across the room.

“Where is my wife?” I snarled again at Whitney.  I pulled back my hand to hit her a second time while her mother yelled at me.

“I said stay away from her!  Do you hear me?  She is my daughter and a princess!  You will not treat her so!”

I turned and eyed Margaret standing in front of one of my soldiers with her arms pinned behind her back.  I stalked slowly over to her and leaned down until my face was but inches from hers.

“Do you know where my wife is?” I asked her quietly.

“No, I do not,” she said in her haughty tone.  “And if I did, I would not—”

Margaret’s sentence ended in a choking gasp as my blade slid easily into her.  I placed my hand on her shoulder and pushed down at the same time I pulled up with my sword arm, impaling her further with a twist of the blade.

“Then I have no more use for you,” I told her lifeless eyes.

14055046_10209925269679178_4130957314327173975_n
 13920894_10209925333880783_8155460408481178883_n

 

shay savage
Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms – especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.

Stalk Shay Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized