Spotlight on Contemporary #Romance: To Score Or Not To Score by @AngelaQuarles

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Dear Readers!
Award-winning author Angela Quarles has a new release for you today, her first ever contemporary romance! Read on for details and two excerpts!

Book cover, To Score Or Not to Score by Angela Quarles

Title: To Score Or Not To Score, part of boxed set, Some Like It Geek
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Length: Novella (40,000 words), Boxed Set 7 Novels/Novellas (300k words)
Ebook Price: $0.99
ISBN: 978-1-944469-02-3
Other Authors: Zoe York, Sidney Bristol, C Jordan, Clara Leigh, Ally Decker, and Olivia Devon
Content advisory: Adult language, explicit sex

About To Score Or Not To Score

One blind date. One case of mistaken identity. One Navy SEAL faced with his high school crush. What could go wrong?

To Score…

Holy cow, my blind date is rawr-hot. Everything in me aches to explore more with this man, but I can’t. I’ve got too much on the line professionally, with me starting at my new medical practice on shaky ground. But I can’t deny that I want the sex. A fling is perfect. Bonus—I will prove my idiot ex-boyfriend wrong. I’m not cold.

Or Not to Score…

Once she mistakes me for her blind date, my plan is clear. Be this Rick the Lawyer she thinks I am. And for the space of this coffee date, talk to the only woman who’s ever made me feel any spark outside of combat. Best case scenario, I get to be outside my skin—free to be whatever the hell I want. Worst case—she recognizes me as we chat. She’ll be pissed, call me an asshole, but it won’t be anything she hasn’t called me in the past, so… Win/Win?

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google | GoodReads

Pullquote, To Score Or Not to Score by Angela Quarles

EXCERPTS

***Excerpt 1, Chapter 1 – Pepper meets the hero

ur 2 cold

I glare at the four-month-old text, barely glancing at the bearded hipster bumping past me on the sidewalk. The sender? That’d be my ex. The hockey goalie who slapped away our year-long relationship with a text. Well, a series of texts over a five-minute span.

I’m killing time, and like someone who keeps picking, picking, picking at a scab, I’d pulled up those texts to stare at that last one. Cold?

Ambitious. Driven. Yes.

But cold?

I shove the phone into its pocket in my purse. I am not my parents. Thinking of those two fills me with a familiar but fuzzy unease.

A searing wave of fuck-that-asshole follows. He’s still infecting my life—what I need is closure. I can’t let that infection spill into my new life here in my old hometown. I yank the phone back out, resigned at this point to looking like an idiot to anyone who might be watching.

An article on Facebook from yesterday waves at me—hello, perfect revenge!

Tap, tap, tap. A quick search, a phone call, and… Yes.

I mash the end call icon on my Samsung and do a tee-hee dance on the sunny sidewalk. I sheepishly glance around to see who witnessed my little bout of enthusiasm on Sarasota’s Main Street, but the locals and the few meandering tourists are preoccupied with their own lives this morning. Why should I care anyway, right?

Because thanks to my vengeance-driven donation, there’s now a Madagascar hissing cockroach at the Bronx Zoo graced with the name Phil Stoddart.

It might be a placebo, but damn, it feels fantastic.

That task hasn’t wasted enough time, so I pop under the barely cooler shade of one of the pin oaks lining the street and enter today’s tasks in my app. It’s my last day for errands before I start work with my new medical practice. Ha—look at me being all casual. My new medical practice.

Try first. Yesterday, seeing the nameplate next to my door—Dr. Rodgers—had brought goose bumps along my arms, making everything terrifyingly and excitingly real. I’m finally starting my career as a sports medicine doc. See, it’s that life I can’t wait to start after twelve grueling years of schooling, but instead, I’m five minutes early for a coffee date I’d rather not go on, much less be early to. So yeah, I’m stalling.

My high school best friend set me up with a colleague at her law firm. A lawyer? No, thanks—got enough of them growing up. (Read: my parents.) But since she’s the only old friend I still want to hang with here, I succumbed. What’s one morning?

All right. That’s as much as I can reasonably stall. Now to face Rick the Lawyer, make small talk, and sip overpriced coffee. Maybe he’ll surprise me. With the fresh reminder of Phil’s opinion of me, maybe it’ll be good to swim in the dating pool again. Live a little.

I dodge the sidewalk amblers and push through the door of the Mocha Cabana exactly one minute early. The rich scent of coffee and sweet pastries envelops me. Customers of all ages are bunched around the café-style tables. The population has definitely skewed younger since childhood. When I moved away, the realization that not everyone was seventy-plus years old was an eye-opener.

I do a quick scan—all I have to go on is that he’s my age, he’s got dark hair, and his name is Rick. And he’s a lawyer.

I paste on a smile.

My gaze latches onto the man by the corner window, whose unnervingly masculine face is bisected by the fluctuating shadow of a nodding palm frond outside. The table in front of him is practically Lilliputian, he’s so huge. He’s the only man in the place matching Rick’s description, though, and my heart does a tee-hee dance of its own. And I can tell, in that odd way that happens sometimes, that he knows I’ve arrived and is aware of me viscerally. That he’s watching without watching, because the air between us has that crackly, weighty anticipation that triggers my sixth sense. This guy will have significance in my life, it says.

Combined with a rush of attraction? Not the reaction I want for a lawyer—or for anyone right now.

Shit.

But Lordy, he must work out in his off hours. He’s fit in a way you rarely see outside of movies and comic books. His hair is midnight black, and if it wasn’t just past his ears, I’d totally peg him for active military—but not in the way you might think. He doesn’t have those all-American good looks honed into sharp cheekbones and jaw like you associate with Marines. No. It’s in the posture, the confidence, the strength. He owns—dominates—the space around him.

He has sharp cheekbones, but they’re not part of an overall shiny, do-gooder package. Instead, they’re combined with an olive skin tone, shadowed eyes, and a commanding nose that all adds up to Devastating.

Yipes, this easily-six-foot-two stack of hunky muscle is a lawyer and—I swallow—my blind date.
Pulse stupidly racing and that weighty awareness tingling up my back, I shuffle into line to order my café mocha. Deep breath. Live a little, I remind myself.

Swim in the dating pool? Now I want to splash in it, and I can’t tell if it’s because I want to cause a distraction or revel in the sheer fun.

One thing I do know—this reaction is so not like me.

# # #

***Excerpt Two – In Honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the hero hurling…***

Everything changes in the third quarter. Normally the game is played in thirty-five minute halves, not quarters, but we made a concession to the Irish players from New York who aren’t used to the heat and humidity down here. New players with fresh legs and lungs replenish their ranks. As the quarter wears on, it’s becoming clear—these aren’t just new players, they’re the first string. We’ve been playing against their second string this whole time.

Mark’s already sporting a broken finger, but he’s still playing. However, Romy got sidelined with a pulled hamstring, so we’re playing one down.

At the end of the third quarter, one of their forwards catches a wicked-fast pass. I could hear the smack from here as it hit his palm. He deftly tosses it to his hurley and starts a solo drive down the center of the field. Paolo shoulder charges him, but the forward recovers and nimbly bats it to another of their men. Mark flies off the ground—arms at full stretch—in a diving block but narrowly misses. He lands with an oof and bounces back to his feet. I’m soaking up all of it—the trajectories, the layout—and assimilating it with how they’ve played off each other in previous drives.

I know my teammates—I trust them. And that might give us an edge too, depending on the cohesiveness of their team. With trust, we can take risks. When you don’t have that? You play it safe, only doing what’s expected.

So I’m ready when their forward tries to get past. I twist and block him, but hear and feel a slight pop in my knee. We’re all shoulders and footwork, the scent of fresh churned grass and dirt filling the air, along with the crack of our hurleys meeting, but I use my height and size and steal the sliotar from him. With a decisive thwack, I send it straight down the field out of our territory. Fuck yeah. Winning means squat if you’re not competing against the best. Plus it feels good to take New York by surprise.

I’m feeling great, my muscles are warm and thrumming, and my cardio is handling the sprints on the field. I flex my knee and feel a twinge of pain, but it’s not bothering me much. Nothing to take me out of the game. The whistle blows for the end of the quarter, and we jog to our side of the pitch. It’s hot as Hades in the Florida sun, and we all beeline for the water jugs lined up on a table.

Our setup feels a little Bad News Bears compared to the kind of field and bleachers New York is used to, but I can’t seem to care. I pull off my helmet, sip my water, and dump another cup over my head.
And because I can’t help it, I make my way over to Pepper, even though I must stink with sweat.

“You guys are looking great out there.” She grins at me from where she’s sprawled back on that blue blanket of hers. Our blue blanket, a little known sappy part of me pipes.

Seeing her deliciously laid out below me has me thinking all kinds of thoughts about what we can get up to after the match. “What do you think of the game?”

“It’s hard sometimes to get the hang of what’s going on. Sometimes I’m expecting a hockey move, and then someone does something only allowed in rugby or volleyball. I have no clue who’s winning. So you can score by putting the ball through the goal posts and also into the net?”

“Yeah. Through the posts is a point, and in the net is a goal, which is worth three points.”

“Conor’s scored three goals, and New York one, but I wasn’t paying attention at first to the ones through the posts. Are you winning?”

“Nope. Tied, Galway 1-8 to us, with 3-2. The first number in those scores are the number of goals, the second are the points. We’re only keeping up because Conor is a machine the few times we can get near the net.”

Bonus: On Youtube – Americans watch hurling for the first time –>

 

Some Like It Geek, box set image

About Angela Quarles

Angela Quarles, author photoAngela Quarles is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of time travel and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combined it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

Connect with Angela Quarles

Website | Blog |Mailing List | Twitter |Facebook | Pinterest

Champagne Books – Romance #Facebook Party, 2/25/17

Champagne Books Facebook Party, Feb 25, 2017

Hi Everyone!

You’re cordially invited to “A Champagne Love Affair” Facebook party tomorrow – Saturday, February 25 – sponsored by Champagne Books! Meet and chat with romance authors, including me. Enjoy games, trivia, chitchat, and of course, chances to win free reads and more! I’ll be there at 3 PM Pacific (aka 5 PM CT, 6 PM ET) with my Tranquilli Bloodline vampires.

Haven by Celia Breslin book cover Vampire Code by Celia Breslin book cover Destiny by Celia Breslin book cover

Visit A Champagne Love Affair’s Facebook event page and click “going” to join the party!

See you tomorrow!

xo,

Celia

Love Matters #Facebook Blog Hop 2/14/17 – 2/18/17

Love Matters blog hop graphic, Feb 14 to Feb 18, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers!

I have another fun hop for you to enjoy today. This one is on Facebook. Over 70 authors have banded together to bring you fun giveaways at every FB stop! Plus, visit the main event page on FB for author takeovers and more.

Start here:

Celia’s Rafflecopter Giveaway and the Love Matters Grand Prize Giveaway are open until midnight on February 18, 2017. Facebook is not responsible or liable for any aspect of this hop.

Have a wonderful day and happy hopping!

xo,

Celia

Valentine’s Day Blog Hop & #Giveaway 2/12/17 – 2/18/17

Hello Dear Readers and a Happy Valentine’s Week to you!

Valentine's Day blog hop graphic, Feb 12 to Feb 18, 2017

It’s time for another fun blog hop for Valentine’s Day! Over 15 authors have banded together to bring you fun reads and prezzies at every stop, including mine. Plus, be sure to enter our fabulous grand prize giveaway for an Amazon Echo Dot!

In keeping with the hop’s romantic theme, here are three romantic snippets from DIAMOND MOON, UNDER A MATING MOON, and JASMINE MOON, my paranormal romance trilogy within the Black Hills Wolves universe.

New to the Black Hills? It’s a multi-author, shared world created by Decadent Publishing. All books in the series are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Feel free to start here. 🙂

Diamond Moon Book cover Under A Mating Moon Book cover JASMINE MOON BOOK COVER

DIAMOND MOON

…he peppered her skin with slow, gentle kisses. He needed to take this slow. Mustn’t scare his mate.

When she reached out and stroked his hair, she made him the happiest man in all of Los Lobos.

Her breath left her in a sexy rush. “It’s as silky as it looks.” She bit her lip, her brow furrowing as if she hadn’t meant to say those words out loud.

He smiled. “Play away, Moonbeam.”

A shudder rolled through her. […] His control broke. To hell with this.

He burst to his feet. “Don’t move, Moonbeam.”

He strode around the table. She watched him come, hands clutched against her breasts, eyes wide, cheeks flushed a pretty pink.

He shifted her chair so she faced him then knelt before her. His gaze met hers at this level, an intimacy he fucking loved. He gripped her wrists and moved her unresisting hands to rest on his shoulders.

Her fingers curled, nails scraping his skin through his T-shirt, sending jolts of lust to his groin. “Why do you call me that?”

He gripped her knees and inched them apart, pleased when she didn’t object. She felt it, too, he was sure of it, the need for closeness created by the call of their Wolf-mate bond. “Call you what?”

She slid her hands to his biceps. “Moonbeam.”

He pressed in close, closer. “Your skin. Pale as moonlight.” He glided his hands along her outer thighs, over her hips, to circle her waist.

“Oh.” She let out a delightful shudder and stared at him, her parted lips tempting him closer.

A growl escaped his throat. He closed the distance and kissed her.

 

UNDER A MATING MOON

Wow, oh wow—J-Bird could kiss. Like melt her clothes clean off her body, kiss. Lexi moaned and parted her lips for Jake’s sexy, demanding mouth. He slipped his tongue inside, darting everywhere at once, exploring her so thoroughly her knees shook and she sagged in his iron embrace. God, his body was hard, nothing like the skinny kid from her memory. But his scent, that was the same. Musky man and smoky oak, like the white oak trees in the Hoosier National Forest where they used to hang when they were kids. Plus that sweet touch of maple. Delicious.

She let her tongue tangle with his, tasting the mint of his toothpaste mixed with the beer he’d obviously consumed before entering the house. Sparks of pleasure darted down her body all the way to her toes. Her boring ex, Dean, had never made her feel like this.

In fact, no one had ever kissed her like this, as if the zombie apocalypse had descended upon them and this was their last chance at happiness before doom struck them dead and ate their brains. Desperation, need, hunger, deep longing…it was all there in the way his hands clamped her tight to his torso, there in the way his mouth claimed hers, owning it.

 

JASMINE MOON

The passenger door slammed shut. The driver snarled. “Luparell.” He said Evan’s last name like a curse, or a warning.

Shivers shot down Mina’s spine. Evan tightened his hold on her, his energy intensifying. He growled. The sound vibrated through her body, his energy lighting her up like a sparking fuse, damn near pulling a whimper of submission from her. She melted against him, his arms the only thing keeping her from a seat on the snowy ground.

The pickup truck sped off and disappeared in the worsening storm. Mina closed her eyes and let Evan’s warmth and strength soothe her frayed nerves. Were these truck-driving lowlifes the kind of wolves awaiting them in Los Lobos? If so, how on earth could her take-no-prisoners pal Lexi stand living there?

She cleared her too-dry throat. “Well, that was certainly interesting.” Silence greeted her comment. She wiggled in his grasp. “You can let go now.” A feral sound rumbled from his chest, bathing her body in goose bumps. Needy, lusty goosies. “Evan?”

He spun her around. Wild amber eyes gazed down at her, his hands squeezing the heck out of her upper arms. His chest heaved with his rapid breathing. Whoa, he looked so angry and worried and so crazy cute, her core clenched and spasmed with want. “Easy, Wolf Man. We’re okay.”

“The hell we are.” He kissed her.

Valentine's Day blog hop graphic, Feb 12 to Feb 18, 2017

Celia’s Valentine Hop Giveaway

Enjoy the excerpts? Enter my international rafflecopter giveaway for (1) e-book copy (.epub or .mobi) of Diamond Moon, Under A Mating Moon, -or- Jasmine Moon (winner’s choice).

Celia’s Valentine Hop Giveaway Ends 12:00AM PST, Sunday, February 19, 2017. Celia’s e-book giveaway winner chosen by EOD Monday, February 20 via Rafflecopter/random.org, and announced here on the blog by EOD Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

Valentine Hop Grand Prize Giveaway

An Amazon Echo Dot is up for grabs! Visit our Valentine Hop Rafflecopter giveaway page –> .

Keep Hopping!

More posts and prezzies await you from the participating authors! Visit Now! –>

Celia’s Winner

Rafflecopter/random.org has spoken. The winner of an e-book from my published works is: Brandi Dagwan, congrats!

Happy Valentine’s Week!

xoxo,
Celia

Spotlight on #Romance: Merryn Dexter’s The Boss of Me

Hello, Dear Readers!
It’s Valentine’s month and this means romance, romance, and more romance! If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enter herding cats & burning soup’s awesome Valentine giveaway. And check out this hot new romance release from Merryn Dexter, part of Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand Series

Boss of Me by Merryn Dexter

Title: The Boss of Me
Author: Merryn Dexter
Genre: Romance
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Series: 1Night Stand
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-68361-142-4
Word Count: 20,700
Cover Art: Fiona Jayde

Dear Madame Evangeline…
Lou Jones loves her job, but she can’t ignore the attraction she feels for her boss, Daniel Smith. She contacts the 1Night Stand dating service hoping a little fantasy role play will help her get over her crush.

I want to see you in my office…
Daniel can’t believe his eyes, or his luck, when a misplaced letter gives him a shocking insight into the erotic thoughts of his personal assistant. The chance to satisfy her fantasies and make his own dreams come true is too tempting to resist.

This is fantasy, nothing more…
As they explore their every desire, Lou and Daniel find keeping reality at bay is harder than they thought. Will their 1Night Stand deliver the satisfaction Madame Eve prides herself upon, or are they just too close for comfort?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Smashwords | iTunes | Bookstrand | Goodreads

Boss Of Me, pullquote by Merryn Dexter

EXCERPT

“Bring the file here and place it on my desk.” He settled more comfortably into his chair, steepled his fingers beneath his chin, and admired the sway of her lush hips. She placed the file down as instructed then folded her hands in front of her, eyes still averted. Schooling his need with an iron control, Daniel waited.

Her chest rose and fell, the slight hitch in her breath pressing her breasts against the thin silk of her blouse. The tip of her tongue peeked out, dampening her coral-pink lips, and a bolt of lust drove him from the chair. Ignoring Lou, he strode to the door and locked it. He doubted there were many people left in the building at that time of day on a Friday, but he wouldn’t risk anyone interrupting them.

Pacing back to the center of the room, he stopped to admire the hourglass lines of her figure. The heels looked even better from the back. Balancing on their slender points gave extra definition to her calf muscles.

“Do you know why I summoned you, Ms. Jones?”

Her breath seemed to catch in her throat. Her voice barely above a whisper, she said, “No, Mr. Smith.”

“You will call me Daniel.” The visceral need for her to know who was about to touch her surprised him. He wanted to hear his name on her lips as she sighed, moaned, and fell apart at his command. Her head bobbed in acquiescence, and he spoke again. “I summoned you because you canceled our appointment this evening.”

She half-turned, seemed to catch herself, and straightened to face the front again. A thrill of satisfaction curled in his gut. Each little act of submission from her proved sexy as hell. “Did you do as I requested?” he asked. Her skirt clung to her hips and ass with no hint of a panty line, but he couldn’t be sure.

“Yes,” she murmured.

A bolt of lust rocked him on his heels. He wanted to crawl on his hands and knees and fawn at her feet, but she had been very specific in her email—her fantasy required him to be the boss, to take control and dictate his desires upon her.

“Show me.” The rasp in his voice couldn’t be helped; his body tingled with anticipation. Her hands gripped the hem of her skirt and began to raise it, inch by tantalizing inch. The material cleared the back of her knees, gliding higher to reveal the lacy tops of her thigh-high stockings, the soft expanse of her tanned thighs.

About Merryn Dexter

Merryn Dexter is a military spouse who, after a varied employment career (from selling sandals to old ladies with bunions to being a health and safety coordinator for a construction company), is thrilled to be pursuing her dream career as a romance writer. She likes The Winchesters, Spike, Hotch, Loki and watching complicated European Noir. Her hobbies include crying at books, crying at movies, crying at tv serials (there’s a theme!) and believes all stories should have a Happy Ending.

Connect with Merryn Dexter

Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Pinterest | Blog | Amazon Author Page

Valentine’s Day #Giveaway, 2/1 – 2/14

Hi Everyone,

The folks at herding cats & burning soup are here today with a special Valentine’s treat for you! Read on to participate and enter their Valentine’s giveaway!
xo,
Celia


We’re spreading some Valentine’s Day love with a giveaway full of chocolate, books, and pretty things! 

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter then hit the comments and tell us about something YOU love. Your favorite author, book, or blog. Tell us about your true love, your kids, your best friend or your pets. Anything you love. We want to hear about what makes your heart full or just makes you smile.

 
 

Bewitching Facebook Author Party, 1/25 – 1/26

Happy New Year Dear Readers,

I’m starting off 2017 with a Facebook party!

BEWITCHING BOOK TOURS FACEBOOK AUTHOR PARTY JAN 25 TO JAN 26

Fun & Free Reads

Join me and 11 other authors for games, trivia, contests, and giveaways this Wednesday and Thursday at the Bewitching Book Tours Multi-Author Facebook Party.

Chat with Celia: 12-2 PM PT, Wed. 1/25

I’ll be there with my books and giveaways from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Pacific Time (aka 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern Time) on Wednesday 1/25. I hope to see you during my two hours, but don’t worry: If you can’t make it until later, my giveaways will be open until Friday, 1/27 (12:00AM PT)! All you have to do is JOIN and VISIT when you’re able!

See you soon!

xoxo,
Celia

New Release in Contemporary #Romance: Breathless

Happy New Year Dear Readers!

I hope your holiday season was fabulous! Ours was filled with family visitors, my kiddo’s performances, holiday parties, and alas, a few bouts of colds and flus. We’re all healthy now, hurrah, and I’m excited to ring in the new year with a book release from my author pal, Georgia Lyn Hunter.

Read on for details and two excellent excerpts!

book cover

Title: Breathless
Author: Georgia Lyn Hunter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Special release price: $0.99!

When the fairy tale life you believed in falls apart, there is nothing else left…

Or so I believed, until Trouble, wrapped in one hunky body and a sinful smile promising untold pleasure of the carnal kind, lands on my doorstep. Despite what my body demands or the fact that I’m irresistibly drawn to him, I’d been burned too deeply to dare try again. Besides, Max Meade-Sinclair is my younger sister’s best friend—and totally off-limits.

Ila Logan’s coolly dismissive manner captures and challenges me from the moment our paths cross. What I want, I usually get. A little thing like age isn’t going to stop me. Neither are the men who disappear into her secluded room. However, she proves a difficult opponent who leaves me falling for her a little more at each encounter.

This tempestuous woman is mine, but to win her, I must dig deeper, and show her that beneath my brawling, player facade exists a man who would go to the ends of the earth to make her happy.
But surviving my own dark past may just destroy the fragile bond growing between us…

Available from:
Amazon | iBooks |Smashwords |Nook |Kobo

EXCERPTS

from the opening chapter

Bile crept up my throat as pain churned in my head. Yet it didn’t stop me from chugging back more of my beer, searching for oblivion. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at the bottom of the bottle. The din of the place grew, competing with the pounding in my skull. I squeezed my eyes shut.

“Lights off!” someone shouted.

Christ. I winced, the yell reverberating in my head as total darkness enclosed me in its stifling hold. Slouching lower in the armchair, I opened my eyes and squinted at the tiny, flickering flames casting an eerie glow over several grinning faces.

Damn idiots! Just how many candles had they stuck on the cake? Because it sure looked like it could light up a small town.

“Happy twenty-first, Max!”

My head protested the loud chorus viciously. Twenty-one, and I felt a hundred. As if I’d lived a lifetime.

“Blow ‘em out. Make a wish.” Jack, the bastard—and my best friend since the crib—gave me a crooked grin. Near him, War, our other buddy, lifted his beer in cheers, then guzzled the thing down.

Jack just had to use my birthday as a reason to party and celebrate my return to civilization after my hiatus in the “wilds” as he called Peru.

Feeling as if my body weighed a ton, I pushed to my feet and crossed to the table in the dining room of the house I shared with Jack, each step jarring my throbbing head. I blew the candles once, twice…three friggin’ times before the flames hissed out.

The noise in the room ratcheted up with whoops and cheers. Slaps resounded, pelting my back, accompanied by well wishes as I headed to where I’d dropped my tote near the front door when I’d walked in a few hours earlier. I needed the relief it held. A blonde lunged at me, and I hit the wall like a bumbling drunk.

“Happy birthday, Max.” She hiccupped, her hands wandering over my chest. Her mouth slid over mine. She tasted of liquor and pizza.

My stomach revolted violently. The beer I’d swallowed backtracked up my throat. “Get off me—”

She flashed me a drunken grin. I shoved away before I hurled on her and lurched in the opposite direction toward the bathroom. I slammed inside, just in time to embrace the porcelain god for several long minutes.

Feeling as if I’d puked my guts, along with the contents of my stomach, I collapsed against the wall, mouth vile and my brain looking for ways to escape the pressure in my skull. I rubbed my temples and prayed for nothingness.

Christ, I hated these fucking headaches.

“Damn, Max, I didn’t realize you were so shit-faced.” Jack’s voice came from a distance. I ignored him, didn’t care what he thought or bother to correct him, really wishing I were drunk.

“Come on, man, let’s get you out of here.” He grabbed me. I was no lightweight. At six foot three, I stood an inch taller than him, but he hauled me up with little effort.

I pushed him away and shuffled for the basin, rinsed my mouth, and caught a glimpse of my reflection. Red-rimmed eyes, waxy-looking skin, and a bisected left eyebrow, the scar giving me a sinister air. For the rest of my life, the latter would serve as a reminder of the horror I was responsible for, the blood on my hands.

 

Footsteps sounded. I didn’t want company and hoped whomever it was would just fuck off. I took another drag, filling my lungs with more smoke.

“Max?”

At her voice, everything in me tensed. I glanced at her. “What do you want?”

She drew closer. “Are you all right?”

A harsh laugh caught in my throat. All right? God, I was so fucked in the head over this woman, I had no idea which way was up or down. It surprised me that she’d come after me.

Deliberately, I let my gaze sweep over her as I took a longer pull on my cigarette, wanting some reaction out of her instead of this frigid wall she presented me with daily.

Her face flushed, and she crossed her arms beneath her chest, dragging my gaze to her tempting breasts. Her short, unpainted, ragged nails dug into the flesh of her upper arms, but her fingers were messed with the tan and cream oils she’d used painting the fucker. “Why are you here? Don’t you have a client to see to?”

A sigh escaped her. “Max, this isn’t working. Kate, my boss, has a place available. It’s not very expensive—”

“Of course,” I drawled and took another pull from my smoke. “Easier to get rid of me than face the truth, isn’t it, Ila? Be honest with yourself for once. You want me, too, and you’re too fucking scared to admit it.”

Her gaze shifted away from mine and then came back—a hint of desperation in her gaze. “I’m not scared.”
“Really?” Anger edged my cold tone. “Then why so anxious to get rid of me? Running, Ila?”

“I’m not running—don’t you want a decent bed to sleep on instead of a couch? And stop calling me that!”
She didn’t like me calling her Ila? Satisfaction welled. I’d rattled her. “It’s your name, isn’t it?”

Her mouth tightened. “Not the way you say it.”

“It’s odd. My sleeping arrangements never came up until I wanted to rearrange your client’s face.”

“You can’t be comfortable there.”

I ignored that. “Just how do I say your name, Logan?” I lowered my tone to a sensual purr. “And I don’t care where I sleep so long as it’s near you.”

The mouth I was dying to taste again opened then closed. I’d never hidden the fact that I wanted her.

“Stop it.” A whisper.

I took another pull on my smoke. “Why?”

“God, Max, must I spell this out for you—”

“That you’re older?”

A deep sigh left her. “Yes, that’s part of it.”

What? I was too young to even consider the type of relationship she’d probably want?
Grasping her hand, I pressed it against my chest. “Whatever is happening inside here tells me differently. When I think of him naked around you, I want to kill him.”

Her lips trembled. She eased her hand from under mine. “Max, don’t make this any harder than it is—”
Her eyes widened. Bet she hadn’t meant to let that slip.

Hell, I could be a nice guy and let it go. I could even take up the offer of whatever poky box of an apartment she’d so sweetly offered. But I wasn’t nice. I always walked where I shouldn’t. And when it came to this gorgeous and insecure girl who thought she was too old for me, I had no qualms about not being fucking nice.

“So you think it’s wrong, me wanting you?”

“Yes.”

The fact that she said it without hesitation twisted my stomach.

“And I have a date. Tomorrow,” she added.

Irritation surged through me. No more, I was done playing.

“I see.” I eyed her for a second. “Okay, then. One kiss. Can’t hurt, right, with you dating someone else?” I killed the end bit of my smoke on a nearby wrought iron table and tossed it away. “And I want it all, Logan, since it’s probably the only thing I’ll get from you.” Sliding my hands into my pockets, I rocked on my heels and waited.

“You’re crazy!” She spun and headed back for the stairs.

“Scared?” My soft word floated in the night. Accusing.

She stopped dead. A low growl escaping her, she pivoted and stomped back to me. Grabbing my tee, she yanked me down to her and slammed her mouth on mine.

It wasn’t the kiss I wanted, but it pierced me all the way to my hardened heart.

Before she pulled away, I slid my arms around her waist. “Not so fast. That’s not the kiss I want—this is.”

author photo

About Georgia Lyn:

“I’ve been creating stories from the moment I could string two words together. No matter the tale, it always has romance woven through them. Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic. When I’m not writing or plotting new books, I like to read, travel, painting, or troll flea markets where I usually buy things I might never actually use because they’re so pretty. After working in a few jobs all art related, a chosen career as a fashion designer, then an art teacher, I finally found my passion four years ago: writing. There really is no other job I’d rather do. Oh, and I hail from the beautiful country of South Africa, and currently live in the Middle East.”

Connect with Georgia Lyn Hunter
Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Instagram

Cover Reveal in Contemporary #Romance: Breathless by Georgia Lyn Hunter

Hi Everyone!

My writing pal, author Georgia Lyn Hunter, has a new release coming up in January 2017, to add to your New Year’s reading list. In the meantime, check out her Awesome Sauce cover! 🙂

book cover

Title: Breathless
Author: Georgia Lyn Hunter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 17, 2017

When the fairy tale life you believed in falls apart, there is nothing else left…

Or so I believed, until Trouble, wrapped in one hunky body and a sinful smile promising untold pleasure of the carnal kind, lands on my doorstep. Despite what my body demands or the fact that I’m irresistibly drawn to him, I’d been burned too deeply to dare try again. Besides, Max Meade-Sinclair is my younger sister’s best friend—and totally off-limits.

Ila Logan’s coolly dismissive manner captures and challenges me from the moment our paths cross. What I want, I usually get. A little thing like age isn’t going to stop me. Neither are the men who disappear into her secluded room. However, she proves a difficult opponent who leaves me falling for her a little more at each encounter.

This tempestuous woman is mine, but to win her, I must dig deeper, and show her that beneath my brawling, player facade exists a man who would go to the ends of the earth to make her happy.
But surviving my own dark past may just destroy the fragile bond growing between us…

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon

author photo

About Georgia Lyn:

Georgia Lyn Hunter hails from the tropical climes of South Africa and currently lives in the Middle East.She’s been creating stories from the moment she could string two words together. And no matter the tale, they always have romance woven through them. When not writing or plotting her next book, she can be found reading, travelling, painting, or trolling flea markets where she loves to buy things she might never actually use because they’re so pretty. After working in a few jobs, all Art related, she’s finally found her passion: writing.
There really is no other job she’d rather be doing.

Connect with Georgia Lyn Hunter
Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Instagram

Cover Reveal in #fantasy #western: The Pact by @Brantwijn Serrah

Hi Everyone! The fabulous Brantwijn Serrah is here today with a cover reveal for her upcoming release in paranormal fiction, The Pact! Enjoy!

The Pact book cover by Brantwijn Serrah

The Pact by Brantwijn Serrah

On November 7th, walk in the land of the Reaper…

Is vengeance worth the price of body and soul? A journey of a hundred thousand miles begins with one dangerous gamble…

Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him.

Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive…but she won’t face it alone.

As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her.

The Pact, a new paranormal western adventure. Pre-order Links

Amazon | Champagne Books

About Brantwijn Serrah

Brantwijn writes paranormal and supernatural fiction, both romantic/erotic and non-erotic. Her influences include authors such as Stephen King, JK Rowling, Jennifer Roberson, Jim Butcher, Kresley Cole and Charlaine Harris. Almost everything she writes also takes a strong influence from music, particularly Florence +The Machine, Lady Gaga, Sarah Brightman and Nightwish. She’s a fur-mommy to four cat children and one dog too smart for his own good, and is happily married to a wonderfully supportive husband.

Connect With Brantwijn

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | GoodReads | Amazon Author Page