Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Magnate by Joanna Shupe

This week my "Waiting on Wednesday" pick is Magnate by Joanna Shupe!

Synopsis:

New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one millionaire, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers–but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

Magnate releases April 26, 2015!

Why I'm waiting:

While the only book by Joanna Shupe that I have read so far is The Courtesan Duchess, I really liked the way Joanna tells a story so when I found out about this new series by her I got really excited. But what has me really excited about this new book and series by Joanna is the setting. Almost all of the historical romance books I read are set in Regency England so the fact that this book is set in New York City during the Gilded Age has really piqued my interest so I can't wait to dive into this new world and story by Joanna Shupe next year!

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Monday, August 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Just Say Yes by Alyssa Goodnight


Just Say Yes by the lovely Alyssa Goodnight released today! Ever since I first learned about this book and its author about a month ago it has been one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I can't wait until I have the time to sit and read the book. I am 100% positive that it will become a new favorite!

Synopsis:

Single mom Jade Moran isn’t ready for any big changes in either her horrible ’70s kitchen or her romantic life. Her ex did a number on her, and she isn’t interested in getting hurt again. But when she meets a super-hot contractor, she wonders if avocado appliances are on the way out and romance is on the way in.

Max Gianopoulis doesn’t have a clue why he’s so enchanted by Jade. She’s almost as big a mess as her kitchen, and he’s a guy who likes to keep things simple. He let himself get involved with a previous client, and he’s not interested in repeating the experience. But Jade has turned up the flirty heat—and he can’t keep his hands off her.

With everything moving too fast and coming too easy, Jade’s insecurities kick into high gear. She’s not sure she can trust another man again—and she definitely doesn’t believe in magic.

About the Author:

Alyssa is a Texas girl who dreams of British accents. She currently lives between Houston and Galveston with her husband, two sons, and their adventure dogs, Indiana Jones and Short Round. She does her writing with an ice-cold can of Dr. Pepper, or when she's feeling spicy, a handful of Hot Tamales. She fangirls over Masterpiece Mystery, good Tex-Mex, and boxed chocolates. And, of course, books.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Note About Reviews

If any of y'all have been wondering why I haven't posted any book reviews on this blog yet here's the deal.

When I started this blog early last month my goal was to write reviews and post them almost immediately after reading a book. That way all of my feelings and thoughts about a book would still be fresh in my mind, but then I started my new job at Target and all the time I had set aside for blogging pretty much disappeared. As a result, I sadly haven't been able to write any gushing reviews about all the books I have read and loved over the last several weeks. Fortunately I have finally managed to settle into a routine with my new job and now have more time to dedicate to blogging.

Originally I was going to try and catch up on reviews but in the past two months I have read A LOT of books and it would take at least a month to write them all and that is not even including the books I will most likely read from this point forward. So I have decided not write reviews for the books I've read recently for this blog and instead I'm just going to just write quick reviews for them over on my Goodreads account sporadically over the next few months. This way I can focus on writing and keeping up reviews for the books I read from this point forward.

Sound good? Good. I can't wait to finally start sharing some reviews with y'all!


Waiting on Wednesday: To Win Her Trust by Mackenzie Crowne

This week I'm waiting on To Win Her Trust by Mackenzie Crowne!

Synopsis:

Can she trust this player with her heart?

Ever since experiencing a childhood trauma, reclusive artist CC Calhoun has suffered from panic attacks. But when a fateful kiss from handsome wide receiver, Kevin “Tuck” Tucker, is enough to stop one of those episodes cold, she wonders if guarding her heart has been the right choice. Will going on a test date with Tuck open her to trusting someone for the first time in years? Or will she wind up being just another notch in the football player’s bedpost?

Tuck has a reputation for charming women into bed, but after his kiss with CC, he’s left aching for more. When he proposes a second date, his attraction to the sexy blonde looks like the makings of true love—something he’s never quite believed in—until now. But when Tuck discovers CC’s childhood secrets, will the pro athlete be tough enough to stay by her side—or will he betray her hard-earned trust?

To Win Her Trust releases January 5, 2015!

Why I'm waiting:

Last week I read To Win Her Love, the first book in this series, and completely fell in love with the characters especially Tuck so naturally I'm super excited for this book so that I can read more about him. But even if the book wasn't about Tuck it would still be a must-read for me because Mac has outdone herself with this fun, cute, romance series and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.

What are your pick for WOW this week?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Cover Reveal: Delicious Complication by Sabrina Sol

So for those who follow me on Twitter you may have noticed me gushing about Delicious Temptation by Sabrina Sol the other day. Seriously, it was the best book I have read in a long time that featured Latino characters. And for that reason, I am really happy that today I get the chance to help reveal the cover of the second book in the Delicious Desires series, Delicious Complication releasing September 28, 2015!


Synopsis:

Event planner Daisy Robles can't remember a time when celebrity restaurateur―and celebrated playboy―Brandon Montoya didn't make her nuts. His infuriating arrogance, his hotness...his undeniable sexual energy. One night and a whole lot of expensive tequila later, Daisy's self-control is AWOL. And Brandon's making her crazy in all the right ways.

When their tequila-fueled make-out session hits the tabloids, Brandon is furious. At least until he realizes his “relationship” with Daisy is his chance to get his ill mother to Los Angeles for treatment. All he has to do is convince Daisy to be his pretend fiancée for two weeks...

The deal? No sex and no falling in love. But all it takes is a little heat to find themselves in a deliciously compromising position...

Excerpt:

Brandon laughed even harder. So hard that she could see tears in his eyes. As much as she liked seeing his mood lift, she hated to be the source of his amusement. Familiar pricks of annoyance stabbed at the back of her neck. “I don’t see what’s so funny.”

“It’s just…you try to act like you’re this tough, independent woman, and it turns out you’re not so tough after all. It’s…satisfying.”

Her irritation shot to threat level orange. “Whatever. You’re not perfect either.”

“I never said I was.”

Daisy slapped a hand on the bar. “Are you kidding me? Your whole life is about projecting perfection. Your hair, this suit, your car…the women you date. I’d be careful if I were you, Brandon. If you date any more Barbies, the tabloids are going to start calling you Ken. And we all know what poor Ken was missing.”

She lowered her eyes to his crotch and Brandon followed them. Then his head snapped back up and his laser stare went straight to her lips. “Trust me. The Barbies have no complaints. But if you don’t believe me, I’m happy to prove it to you, since I know you’ve been wondering.”

Invisible flames rushed up her face, burning her with both embarrassment and lust. She knew it had been a bad idea to drink with Brandon. She’d become too loose, too comfortable. And—before they started talking about his mom—she had started to become a little turned on. Damn alcohol.

Still, there was no way in hell she would ever admit he’d come close to the truth. He’d make fun of her again. Or worse, he’d sleep with her and then in the morning do whatever he could to make the situation go away.

Daisy had been tossed aside by enough people in her life. She wasn’t about to add a celebrity restaurant owner to the list. “Sorry, buddy. But there’s not enough tequila in this world.”

She watched his jaw muscle tense and knew she hit a nerve. Then his expression relaxed. “Suit yourself,” he said with a shrug before finally downing his shot. “Anyway, we both know you’re not my type. I like my women a little less bossy.”

Angry, mortified, and tipsy, Daisy jumped off the stool and bent to pick up her shoes. She tried to think of one last snarky comeback to toss at him before storming out of the bar. But when she stood back up, she couldn’t even form the words. It wasn’t her temper that left her speechless—it was the sight, just beyond Brandon’s shoulder, of her ex and that bruja Ginger snuggling in a corner booth. 

Brandon noticed her still standing there and waved his hand. “Hello? I thought you were leaving?” 

Daisy dropped her shoes and quickly slid her stool out of the way so she could reach to pull his hand down. That’s when Luis caught her eye and waved. “Great. Just great,” she muttered. “Now he knows I’m here.”

“Who knows?” Brandon moved as if to turn his head to see who Daisy was staring at.
“No. Don’t look.”

But it was too late. Brandon looked and then Luis awkwardly waved at him, too. He whispered something in Ginger’s ear and she nodded. Daisy watched as her ex called the waitress over. Her stomach sank. They were going to come over for a chat. She knew it. It had been awful enough to have to fake a smile every time she ran into them during the reception. But now, with a few tequila shots in her, Daisy doubted she could playact one more time. She was fired up from the last rumble with Brandon, in more ways than one.

There was no telling what she’d do if that witch waved her gaudy ring in front of her again. It would be bad for her to make a scene, or worse, get thrown out for making a scene. How could she hope to plan another wedding at the hotel if the owners had a restraining order against her?

She needed a buffer. Something or someone to make sure that she didn’t make a complete ass of herself.

That’s when the most ridiculous idea popped into Daisy’s head. So ridiculous she had to cover her mouth to stifle the giggle threatening to erupt. The man was dealing with the news that his mom had cancer. He’d probably never go for it. But as she watched Luis pay his tab, her ridiculous idea started sounding better and better.

“Kiss me,” she blurted to Brandon as Luis and Ginger stood up from their table.

Brandon choked on the drink he’d just taken. “Excuse me?”

“Look, I hate being that girl but, screw it, I am. So kiss me.”

“You just said there wasn’t enough tequila in the world.”

“Yeah, well. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Kiss my lips. Now.”

“Desperate? Forget it. You’re crazy if you think I’m going to kiss you after you just insulted me.”

“Oh my God. Would you do something useful with that tongue of yours for once and kiss—”

Brandon pulled her toward him and kissed her—hard—and his mouth swallowed up the rest of her sentence. At first, she was too shocked to kiss him back. Her eyes had been focused on Luis and Ginger walking toward them. But as Brandon’s warm tongue pressed forward, seeking entry, she no longer saw anything or anyone. She opened to him and he released a low groan that weakened her knees. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her further into his chest. Her heart thumped madly as the rest of her body hummed with desire.

Holy hell. She wanted Brandon. Bad.

The sound of someone clearing his throat jerked her back into consciousness and she pulled her tongue of Brandon’s mouth. Their eyes met briefly and the desire reflected in his gaze sent another blast of heat through her. She turned away so as to not melt into his arms one more time, and faced an uncomfortable-looking Luis and an open-mouthed Ginger.

“Oh, hey guys. Are you heading home now?” She tried to sound nonchalant despite the fact Brandon had pulled her backward until she stood between his legs and hooked one of his arms around her waist.

“Yeah. We decided to have one last nightcap,” Luis said. He smiled at her but his eyes fell on Brandon.

The two couples stood there in silence for a few seconds before Luis reached out his hand to Brandon. “I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Luis Arroyo and this is my fiancée Ginger Soto.”

Brandon uncurled his arm from Daisy and shook Luis’s hand. “Good to meet you. I’m Brandon Montoya, Daisy’s boyfriend.”

About the Author:

Sabrina Sol is the chica who loves love. She writes steamy romance stories featuring smart and sexy Latinas in search of their Happily Ever Afters. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three kids, two Beagles and one Bulldog, and is part of a larger, extended Mexican family whose members are NOT the source of inspiration for her characters. Or so she tells them.

Author Links:

Buy Links:
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Giveaway:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn

Yesterday USA Today released the cover for the third book in Caisey Quinn's Neon Dreams series Missing Dixie! In case you missed it check out this beauty!


Synopsis:

Fighting for redemption…

I’ve lived most of my life in darkness, beneath the shadows of secrets and addictions. The last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt the only girl I’d ever loved—the one who brought me into the light. In my entire life I’d made one promise—a promise I’d intended to keep. I’ve broken that promise and now I have to live with the fallout. Dixie Lark hates me, and I have to tell her that I love her. I also have to tell her a truth that might destroy us forever.

Can she love me even if she can’t forgive me?

Learning to move on…

Gavin Garrison broke his promise to my brother and he broke my heart in the process. I may never love anyone the way I’ve loved him, but at least I won’t spend my life wondering what if. We had our one night and he walked away. I’m finally beginning to move on when my brother’s wedding and a battle of the bands brings us back together.

Our band is getting a second chance, but I don’t know if I can give him one. How do you hand your heart back to the person who set it on fire once already?


About the Author:

Caisey Quinn lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her daughter and other assorted animals. She is the bestselling author of the Kylie Ryans series as well as several New Adult and Contemporary Romance novels featuring southern girls finding love in unexpected places.

Author Links:

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Giveaway:


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Legend by Katy Evans

So this week I'm waiting on Legend by Katy Evans!

Synopsis:

Can love really conquer all? – Book 6 in Katy Evan’s breakout New York Times bestselling series that began with REAL.

Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he’s known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s one and only Remington “Riptide” Tate.

As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town–and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who’s supposed to root against him and a girl he’s supposed to stay away from.

But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND.

Legend releases February 9, 2016

Why I'm waiting:

I'm a huge Katy Evans fan. Ever since I first read Real in the fall of 2013, I have been absolutely obsessed with Katy's heroes. Remy, Greyson, and Mackenna were all swoonworthy and I can't wait to meet Mav because he sounds just as intense. I'm also super excited about the fact that the heroine in this book is Brooke's cousin because potentially that means we are going to get a little more Remy in this book and I really miss him. Lol.

What are your "Waiting on Wednesday" picks this week?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Release Week Blitz: The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski (Q&A + Excerpt + Giveaway)


The Moment of Letting Go by the lovely J.A. Redmerski is finally out today and I'm so excited! I love Jessica's books more than life and I am absolutely positive that this new release is going to blow me away just like her other books! I can't wait to buy it this weekend in paperback and read it!

Synopsis:

You can follow the rules or you can follow your heart...

Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she'd always craved-until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.


Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he's convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can't deny the deep connection he feels. But there's a reason Luke doesn't do long-term. He can't promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .

Excerpt:

Then he gets up and grabs my hands from the tops of my bare knees, pulling me to my feet.

“We’re going swimming,” he says. “And we’ll talk more about this later…like on the day your vacation is over and you’re standing at the gate in the airport about to kiss me goodbye.”

“Wow, you really think highly of yourself, don’t you?” I can’t keep the laughter from my voice.

“Damn straight!” he says and pulls me along beside him. “Before these two weeks are over, I can guarantee you three things.” He holds up three fingers as we continue onward toward the water. “One”—he holds up one finger—“you’ll never want to go back to San Diego once Hawaii is done with you.” He holds up two fingers. “Two—that photography love of yours will start to take the place of everything else in your life. And three”—he wiggles three fingers and we stop on the beach where the water can pool around our feet—“you’ll kiss me at least once before you go home.”

I blush hard and it feels like my eyes are bugging out of my head. “I might peck you on the cheek or something, but—”

“No,” he says, smiling and quite serious, “it’ll be a full-on, tongue-dancing kind of kiss.”

I smack him playfully on the arm—something is fluttering around inside my belly.

“Geez!”

Luke grabs my hand and pulls me out to the water with him, where we swim and hang out on the cliffs until late in the afternoon. People come and go throughout the hours, sometimes leaving us with Alicia, Braedon, and a few of their close friends to have the area to ourselves for a while before more people show up in intervals.

“Backflip!” someone says just before Luke jumps into the water for probably the twentieth time.

And every time he does it, it ties my stomach up in knots. But there’s something about him that I can’t quite figure out when I watch him leap off the edge of that cliff; it’s not overconfidence or showing off or recklessness, but something deeper, more profound. Maybe it’s a sense of freedom, or a natural high that consumes him while he’s in the air, as if he had been born with a pair of wings that only he can see. But the more time I spend with him, the more intrigued I become. Sure, he’s gorgeous and funny and polite and all the kinds of things—so far—that would make my mom love him to death. But what intrigues and excites me more is how he kind of makes me want to jump off that stupid cliff regardless of how scared I am of it.

Author Q&A:

What scene from THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO was the most fun to write?
I loved writing the scene with the bug, where Sienna falls down the steps into the mud.

What are three things you can’t write without?
Grande Iced Vanilla Latte from Starbucks; writing laptop that never connects to the internet and has stickers all over it; and my favorite lounge chair.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?
My long-awaited throw-everything-in-the-Jeep-and-go drive to the Grand Canyon – though it’s beginning to look like I’ll be putting that off until the fall, or next summer.

Which do you love more, beginning to write a book or finishing one? Please explain why.
A few years ago my answer would’ve been that I loved starting a new book because I loved the journey I went through to get to the end. But I think over time I’ve grown to enjoy the finish line more because it means I get to start on something new - I have so many stories to tell! But I guess that’s the same thing as saying I love the beginning?

About the Author:

J. A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries.

Author Links:

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Tour-Wide Giveaway:

Blog Tour: Make Me by Tessa Bailey (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Make Me by Tessa Bailey, my favorite romance author in the world, is finally out today! I have been anxiously awaiting this book since Chase Me and then Need Me came out earlier this year and now Russell and Abby's story has arrived and I can't wait to spend my night reading it!

Synopsis:

In the final Broke and Beautiful novel from bestselling author Tessa Bailey, a blue collar construction worker and a quiet uptown girl are about to discover that the friendzone can sometimes be excellent foreplay.

Construction worker Russell Hart has been head-over-work boots for Abby Sullivan since the moment he laid eyes on her. But he knows a classy, uptown virgin like her could never be truly happy with a rough, blue-collar guy like him. If only she’d stop treating him like her personal hero—a role he craves more than oxygen—maybe he could accept it.

With the future of her family’s hedge fund on her shoulders, Abby barely has time to sleep, let alone find love. And her best friend Russell acting like a sexy, overprotective hulk any time their Super Group goes out in public definitely isn’t helping her single status. But after a near-tragedy lands Russell in her bed for the night, Abby’s suddenly fantasizing about what he looks like shirtless. Chest hair and tattoos—who knew?

As Russell struggles to keep Abby at a safe distance, she begins to see through his tough-talking exterior—and acknowledge her own feelings. Now she’s ready to turn the friend-zone into foreplay…and make him lose control.

Excerpt:

Chapter One 

Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations. 

Russell Hart stifled a groan when Abby twisted on his lap to call out a drink order to the passing waiter, adding a smile that would no doubt earn her a martini on the house. Every time their six person “super group” hung out, which was starting to become a nightly affair, Russell advanced into a newer, more vicious circle of hell. Tonight, however, he was pretty sure he’d meet the devil himself. 

They were at the Longshoreman, celebrating the Fourth of July, which presented more than one precious little clusterfuck. One, the holiday meant the bar was packed full of tipsy Manhattanites, creating a shortage of chairs, hence Abby parking herself right on top of his dick. Two, it put the usually conservative Abby in ass-hugging shorts and one of those tops that tied at the back of her neck. Six months ago, he would have called it a shirt, but his two best friends had fallen down the relationship rabbit hole, putting him in the vicinity of excessive chick talk. So, now it was a halter-top. What he wouldn’t give to erase that knowledge. 

During their first round of drinks, he’d become a believer in breathing exercises. Until he’d noticed these tiny, blond curls at Abby’s nape, curls he’d never seen before. And some-fucking-how, those sun-kissed curls were what had nudged him from semi-erect to full-scale Washington monument status. The hair on the rest of her head was like a…a warm milk chocolate color, so where did those little curls come from? Those detrimental musings had lead to Russell questioning what else he didn’t know about Abby. What color was everything else? Did she have freckles? Where? 

Russell would not be finding out – ever – and not just because he was sitting in the friend zone with his dick wedged against his stomach – not an easy maneuver – so she wouldn’t feel it. No, there was more to it. His friends, Ben and Louis, were well aware of those reasons, which accounted for the half-sympathetic, half-needling looks they were sending him from across the table, respective girlfriends perched on their laps. The jerks. 

Abby was off-limits. Not because she was taken – thank Christ – or because someone had verbally forbidden him from pursuing her. That wasn’t it. Russell had taken a long time trying to find a suitable explanation for why he didn’t just get the girl alone one night and make his move. Explain to her that men like him weren’t suitable friends for wide-eyes debutantes and give her a demonstration of the alternative. 

It went like this. Abby was like an expensive package that had been delivered to him by mistake. Someone at the post office had screwed the pooch and dropped off the shiniest, most beautiful creation on his Queens doorstep and driven away, laughing manically. Russell wasn’t falling for the trick, though. Someone would claim the package, eventually. They would chuckle over the obvious mistake and take Abby away from him, because really, he had no business being the one who’s lap she chose to sit on. No business, whatsoever. 

 But while he was in possession of the package – as much as he’d allow himself to be in possession, anyway – he would guard her with his life. He would make sure that when someone realized the cosmic error that had occurred – the one that had made him Abby’s friend and confidant – she would be sweet and undamaged, just as she’d been on arrival. 

Unfortunately, the package didn’t seem content to let him stand guard from a distance. She innocently beckoned him back every time he managed to put an inch of space between them. Russell had lost count of the times Abby had fallen asleep on him while the super group watched a movie, drank margaritas on the girls’ building rooftop, driven home in cabs. She was entirely too comfortable around him, considering he saluted against his fly every time they were in the same room. 

“Why so quiet, Russell?” Louis asked, his grin turning to a wince as his actress girlfriend, Roxy, elbowed him in the ribs. Yeah. Everyone at the damn table knew he had a major thing for the beautiful, unassuming number whiz on his lap. Everyone but Abby. And that’s how he planned to keep it. 

“I know why,” Ben said, causing Russell’s stomach to catapult itself across the bar. Before he could change the subject, Ben pulled his student-turned-main squeeze closer and continued. “He doesn’t need to give us advice on girls anymore. His powers have been diminished.”

“We’ve slain the beast.”

Ben and Louis toasted their plastic beer cups without a single glance at one other. Why was he friends with these two again? Oh right. The power of beer had brought them together. Praise be to Heineken. Smug as they were, though, Russell knew humor was their way of showing support. If it wasn’t humor, it would be sympathy, aka dude kryptonite. 

“What kind of advice did he give you about us?” Roxy wanted to know, shooting Louis and Ben stern glances. 

“Uh-uh.” Russell shook his head. “I’m calling bro confidentiality on you both. That includes pillow talk and supersedes any and all forms of sexual coercion.”

Ben adjusted his glasses. “That reasoning, however, should lend some insight into what you ladies missed.”

Honey leaned across the table and patted Russell’s arm. “It all worked out in the end, big guy. Who knows? You might have had something to do with it after all.”

Russell opened his mouth to respond, but whatever he planned to say withered in its inception because Abby spun in his lap again, sending the world around him into slow motion. A left jab of her scent – which after careful consideration he’d termed white grape sunlight – caught him in the chin and he barely restrained the urge to shout oh, come on, at the top of his lungs. Her big hazel eyes were indignant on his behalf, mouth pursed in a way that shouldn’t have been sexy, but damn-well was. She’d snapped her spine straight, hip bumping his erection in the process. 

Please, almighty God, just kill me now. 

“Russell gives great advice,” Abby protested and Russell would have smiled if he wasn’t busy earning his master’s degree in boner-soothing meditation. She really had no idea her outrage only made her sweeter because it looked so unnatural on her. “Remember the man on the first floor of our building? The one who used to clear his throat loudly every time we walked by?” She waited for Honey and Roxy to nod. “Russell told me the next time it happened, I should just shout TROUBLE at his door. I did. And it hasn’t happened since.”

When Louis and Ben started laughing into their beers, Russell flipped them off behind Abby’s back. What his friends knew that Abby didn’t? As soon as she’d told him the problem, he’d paid a visit to their downstairs neighbor and explained that trouble would find him if he so much as breathed in Abby – or any of her roommates’ – direction again. Hence, the single word being so effective. Russell was trouble. 

But as Abby turned a bright, encouraging smile on him, swelling his heart like an inflating balloon, he recognized that his brand of trouble had nothing on Abby’s. She didn’t even know how dangerous she was to his health. Because while Abby was the package that had been delivered by mistake, he’d gone and fallen for her, despite his attempts to simply be her friend. 

And maybe it was his imagination, but the loss of her seemed to loom a little closer each day. Like any minute now, she would peer a little closer and realize he was in imposter. Loss was something with which Russell was familiar. Loss had cut him off at the knees at a young age, made him hyper aware of how fast it could happen. Whoosh. Chopped off at the knees. So he was already in damage control mode, hoping to limit the fallout when she inevitably headed for a younger version of Gordon Gekko.  For now, it was all about keeping a comfortable gap between him and Abby. 

She scooted back on his lap to make room for the waitress who had returned with a round of drinks, and Russell gritted his teeth. 

Okay. Comfortable definitely wasn’t the right word.  

***

I have friends. I have friends now and it’s glorious.

Six months ago, when Abby Sullivan had placed the ad on Craigslist, seeking two roommates to share her Chelsea apartment, her highest hope had been for noise. Maybe it sounded silly, but apart from the Ninth Avenue traffic trundling past and the occasional shouting match on the street, her life had been so quiet before Honey and Roxy showed up. She’d been hoping for hair dryers in the morning, dishes being tossed in the sink, singing in the shower. Anything but the void of sound she’d been living with, alone in the massive space. 

Then, oh then, she’d gone and done something even more impulsive than placing an advertisement for massively discounted rent in cyberspace. She’d blurted upon meeting them for the first time that she didn’t need help paying the rent; she merely wanted friends. Unbelievably, it hadn’t felt like a mistake to reveal such a pitiful secret to a couple of strangers. There had been a feeling when all three of them first stood in the same room that it would work out, like a complicated math equation that would prove itself worth the work.  

Now? She couldn’t imagine a day passing without them. The guys had been an unexpected bonus she hadn’t counted on. Especially Russell. 

As they walked crosstown toward the Hudson River where they planned to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, Abby smiled up at Russell where he towered over her. She received a suspicious look in response. Suspicious! Ha! It made her want to laugh like a lunatic. All the way back to her furthest memory, she’d been reliable, gullible, sugar-filled Abby to everyone and their mother. Even Honey and Roxy, to a degree, handled her carefully around subjects that might offend her or hurt her feelings. She was too grateful for their presence to call them on it, though. Sometimes she opened her mouth, the words I’m not made of spun glass hovering right on the tip of her tongue, but she always swallowed them. They meant well. She knew that with her whole heart. Maybe someday, when she was positive they wouldn’t vanish at a rare show of temper—the way people always did when she bared a flaw—she’d tell them. Until she worked up the courage however, she would stay quiet, and appreciate her new best friends for the colorful positivity they’d brought into her life. 

But Russell? She appreciated him even more for getting mad at her. 

Such occurrences were her favorite part of the week. Russell stomping into the apartment, grumbling about her not checking the peep hole. Refusing to go out on a Saturday night until she changed into more comfortable shoes. Giving her that daunting frown when she revealed they’d had a leak in the bathroom for three weeks and hadn’t yet called the super to repair it. He’d had it fixed within the hour, but he hadn’t spoken to her the entire time. 

It was awesome. 

Because he kept coming back. Every time. No matter what—no matter what she said or did—he never washed his hands of her. Never got so fed up with her admittedly flighty behavior that he skipped a hang out. Or didn’t respond to a text. He was the steadfast presence in her life she’d never had. 

No one spoke to Abby at her job. She’d been hired after graduating at the top of her Yale class and placed in a silent power position at a hedge fund. Her father’s hedge fund. So she could understand her co-workers’ reticence to invite her for happy hour. Or even give her a polite nod in the hallway. At first, she’d been prepared to try anyway. Force them to acknowledge her in some small way, even if it was just passing the stapler in the conference room. Then she remembered. When she forced her opinion on people, or had an outburst, they went away, and didn’t come back for a long time. 

Her coworkers assumed she sat in her air-conditioned office all day playing Minecraft or buying dresses online. And why wouldn’t they? She’d done nothing to sway that notion. In reality, however, she worked hard. Showed up before the lights came on and stayed later than everyone else. Brought work home with her and often, didn’t get to sleep. She had no choice. 

Stress tightened like a shoelace around Abby’s stomach, but she breathed through it. Tonight was for fun with her friends. Tomorrow morning would be soon enough to face her responsibilities. 

“It’s the shoes, isn’t it?” Russell demanded, encompassing Abby, Roxy and Honey with a dark look. “This always happens in the eleventh hour. You girls started limping around and we just have to watch it.”

Ben sighed. “Here we go again.”

“No, really. I think I’ve finally figured it out.” Russell swiped impatient fingers over his shaved head. “You ever heard of sympathy pains? When my sister-in-law gave birth, my brother swore someone was firing a nail gun into his stomach. To this day, the guy has never been the same.” He pointed at Abby’s electric blue pumps. “Women wear these evil creations around to confuse us. Sure, they make a girl’s legs look good, but that’s the black magic, my friends. They want us to feel their pain and not understand why.”

Louis turned, walking backwards on the sidewalk so he could face them. “I have to admit, I’m with Russell on this one.” He smiled at Roxy’s outrage. “You could go barefoot and it wouldn’t make a difference to me.”

“I’ll round it out with a third agreement,” Ben chimed in. “I like Honey in her Chucks.”

That statement earned Ben a kiss from Honey and a groan from Russell. “I’m thrilled you assholes have found a way to use my amazing logic to earn points.”

Abby loved the familiar argument simply because it was familiar—a routine she had in common with others—but she had to admit her feet were throbbing. After a night of dancing, the crosstown walk was giving her blisters. She wore heels all day at the office, but they were sensible and low-heeled. Nothing like the stilettos she’d borrowed from Roxy. In fact, now that she’d acknowledged her tired feet, every part of her seemed to sag with exhaustion, as if she’d finally given her bones permission. “I can end this argument right here,” Abby interrupted with a weary, but determined smile. The group stopped to watch as she slipped off her shoes and placed her bare feet back onto the cool sidewalk with a hearty sigh. For some reason, everyone’s gazes swung to Russell who – God love him – was frowning at her like she’d just crashed his beloved truck. 

“A new tactic, gentlemen. Take note.” Their four friends laughed at Russell’s ominous tone, but Abby stayed pinned under his scowl. Although now, his scowl had a hint of uncertainty behind it. “Put them back on, Abby. You’re going to step on something. Broken glass, or—”

Abby breezed past Russell. Honestly, he worried constantly for no reason. They were only a few blocks away from the river and the streets were well lit. What was the worst that could—

Her feet left the ground, her gasp cutting off as she was cradled against Russell’s big chest. His expression was hidden, thanks to the streetlights shining blindingly above his head, but Abby knew from experience, he would be annoyed. She couldn’t prevent the smile from spreading like wildfire across her face, feeling as if it reached as far as her chest. It seemed impossible, but somehow she’d earned a place among these people who cared about her. Friends. Good friends. The kind you can’t live without. 

Especially Russell. Her favorite. 

“You were put on this earth to make me crazy, Abby. You know that?”

“I’m not sorry about it,” she whispered. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“No. It makes you a woman.”

She muffled her laugh with the use of Russell’s shoulder. “Men make women crazy, too. It’s not a one-sided affair.”

He frowned down at her. “What would you know about it?”

That question coming from anyone else might have embarrassed Abby, but for all Russell’s bluster, he never judged her. Not for her lack of a love life, anyway. Shoes were another matter altogether. “I know things.”

“Things, huh? Maybe Louis and Ben should spend more time at their own apartments.” His arms flexed as he hefted her higher, with minimal effort. “Do you actually like watching the fireworks or is this just a patriotic custom we’re upholding?”

“No, I love fireworks.” She tilted her head back and looked at the sky. “Everyone forgets over the course of the year how incredible fireworks are. You know? They forget until they’re standing beneath them again. You don’t like them?”

He stared ahead as he answered. “I like that you like them.” 

Abby smiled, knowing Russell would have to be extra gruff for the remainder of the night to make up for that slip. And needing to torture him a little over it. “That’s how I feel when you make me watch the Yankees.” She laid a hand against his cheek. “It’s worth it just to see your adorable man eyes light up.”

His sigh was sharp, but she caught the corner of his mouth kicking up. “All this time, I thought you were enjoying it.”

“The blooper reel is my favorite.” Drowsiness settled more firmly over her and she stifled a yawn against his shoulder. “Also, I love when kids in the audience catch foul balls.”

“Crowd. It’s called a crowd.” 

She hummed in her throat, eyelids beginning to weigh down. “I knew that. Just seeing if you were paying attention,” she murmured. 

Russell chewed his bottom lip a moment, worry marring his features. “You’re so tired lately, Abby. Everything okay?”

“Totally fine,” she lied. “Just going to rest my eyes a minute.”

Positive he would wake her up when they reached the Hudson, she wound her arms around his neck and dozed off. It was the first time she’d slept in three days.

About the Author:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives on Long Island with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.






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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski AND Nuts by Alice Clayton

So I missed last week's "Waiting on Wednesday" because I was busy getting everything ready to start my new job as a Sales Floor Team Member at my local Target. The job is not much but my bi-weekly paycheck is going to be funding my book buying from here on out so I'm not complaining. Anywho, since I missed last week I've decided that I'll do another double pick this week!

The first book I decided to spotlight this week is The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski!

Synopsis:

You can follow the rules or you can follow your heart...

THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO

Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she'd always craved-until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.

Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he's convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can't deny the deep connection he feels. But there's a reason Luke doesn't do long-term. He can't promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .

The Moment of Letting Go releases August 11, 2015!

Why I'm waiting:

When I first read The Edge of Never a couple of years ago, J.A Redmerski quickly became one of my favorite authors and since then I have read and loved her other Forever releases The Edge of Always and Song of the Fireflies. I'm sure that I'm going to love The Moment of Letting Go just as much because so far Redmerski has yet to disappoint me so I'm super excited for the release of this book next week!

And my second pick this week is Nuts by Alice Clayton!

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed is back with Nuts, the first in a brand new series set in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.

Nuts releases October 20, 2015!

Why I'm waiting:

While Wallbanger is the only book by Clayton that I have read so far it is one of my all-time favorite books in the world and I have re-read it many many times. Therefore, I'm super excited to jump into a new world by this author. The blurb sounds like the perfect book for me plus I tend to be partial to books set in my home state, New York.

Now that you've seen what I'm waiting on this Wednesday what are some of your picks?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Virtual Tour: Right Wrong Guy by Lia Riley (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Anyone who knows even a little bit about me knows that ever since I read Upside Down for the first time last year that I have been absolutely in love with Lia Riley and her books. So when Last First Kiss, the first book in the Brightwater series, was released in June I quickly devoured it and fell in love with Sawyer and Annie, then spent the past month essentially counting down the days to see if Archer and Edie could make me love them just as much!

And now today is the day!!! Right Wrong Guy is finally live and even though I have to wait until this weekend to read it because of my work schedule I couldn't be happier!

Synopsis:

The fun and flirty second installment in Lia Riley’s fantastic Brightwater series.

Sometimes two wrongs can make a right...

Bad boy wrangler, Archer Kane, lives fast and loose. Words like responsibility and commitment send him running in the opposite direction. Until a wild Vegas weekend puts him on a collision course with Eden Bankcroft-Kew, a New York heiress running away from her blackmailing fiancé…the morning of her wedding.

Eden has never understood the big attraction to cowboys. Give her a guy in a tailored suit any day of the week. But now all she can think about is Mr. Rugged Handsome, six-feet of sinfully sexy country charm with a pair of green eyes that keeps her tossing and turning all night long.


Archer might be the wrong guy for a woman like her, but she's not right in thinking he'll walk away without fighting for her heart. And maybe, just maybe, two wrongs can make a right.

Excerpt:

Whatever. Archer had it good, made great tips as a wrangler at a dude ranch. His middle brother took life seriously enough and he hadn’t seen his oldest one in years. Wilder worked as a smoke jumper in Montana. Sometimes Archer wondered what would happen if he cruised to Big Sky Country and paid him a surprise visit—maybe he had multiple sister wives or was a secret war lord.

Growing up after their parents died in a freak house fire, they all slipped into roles. Wilder withdrew, brooding and angry, Sawyer became Mr. Nice Guy, always the teacher’s pet or offering to do chores. Archer rounded things out by going for laughs and practical jokes and causing trouble because someone had to remind everyone else not to take life so seriously. None of them were getting out alive.

He kept marching down the flights of stairs, tucking in his shirt. Grandma’s words played on a loop in his mind. “Using women like disposable silverware.”

Lord knew—those women used him right back. It was fun, didn’t mean anything.

Meaningless.

He ground his jaw so tight his teeth hurt. Casual sex on pool tables, washing machines, countertops, and lawn chairs filled his physical needs, but these random hookups were starting to make him feel more and more alone.

On the ground floor, he slammed open the stairwell door. There were two corridors ahead. He turned left for no reason other than that’s the hand he favored. Seemed like he chose wisely because a side entrance gave him a quick exit. He walked out, wincing at the morning sun even as he gulped fresh air, fresh for the Vegas Strip, but a far cry from the Eastern Sierras’s clean mountain breeze. His heart stirred. He’d have some breakfast and hit the road. As much as he liked leaving Brightwater, he always missed home.

Archer reached to adjust his hat and grabbed a handful of wet hair instead. Twelve stories above, a stripping magician had found herself a mighty fine Stetson.

He stepped onto the street, jumping back on the curb when a city bus turned, the side plastered with a shoe ad sporting the slogan, “Can You Run Forever?”

Hell, he’d been running from accountability, stability, and boring routines his whole life.

Another thought crept in and sank its roots deep. Was he really running from those things, or was he letting his fears of commitment and responsibility run him instead?

About the Author:

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukrainian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

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Follow the rest of the tour here: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/07/right-wrong-guy-brightwater-2-by-lia.html