Series: Politics of Love #1
Author: Sienna Snow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2018
Iâm Samina Kumar.
Celebrity attorney, disinherited daughter of a technology billionaire, and the former dirty secret of a federal judge with conservative ties.
I never wanted to be famous. I prefer life out of the spotlight.
Now, thanks to my new client, I am surrounded by the media, and my face is on the cover of every magazine.
To top it off, the man who kept me hidden and shattered my heart is determined to get me back, and nothing will stop him.
What does a girl do when sheâs had enough of others dictating her life?
She takes back control.
I have a new plan for the future, one that will use my newfound fame to lead me to Washington D.C. and the halls of Congress.
I am Samina Kumar.
Candidate for Senate and CELEBRITY.
Releasing August 2, 2018
Author Sienna Snow is a writer, mom, and world traveler, who plans to visit all seven continents within the next ten years.
Her romantic fiction aims to shatter the stereotypes associated with weak female characters pervasive in romantic and erotic fiction today. Inspired by her years working in corporate America as a management consultant, Sienna has created a narrative around strong, successful women who know what they want and exactly how to get it, in and out of the bedroom. In fact, the heroines in her books are billionaires.
From diverse backgrounds, the heroines are smart, well-educated women who choose to find love through atypical circumstances.
Title: Hard Love
Series: Guns & Ink
Author: Shana Vanterpool
Genre: N/A Contemporary Romance Standalone
Release Date: May 22, 2018
When two people in pain collide, there is something intoxicating about drowning in the chaos of hard love.
Brando Hawkins is a detective with the Denver Police Department. The world should be his to take. He’s a dedicated officer with a promising career. But Brando’s got secrets. Dark, ruthless secrets. At twenty-six, he’s burned-out, and the sight of another body, one more unhappy ending, might just do him in.
Catherine Abbott is a woman who wars with her demons and guards her heart. Immersed in a world where people ink their lives on their skin, Catherine trusts only that which she can see. And, as a rape survivor, she finds comfort in control.
But Brando’s demons start to tangle with hers. They’re dangerous, like hers. But they’re beautiful too.
A spray of bullets brings them together, and the pain of their pasts collide with the lure of their futures. Cat wants to mend his heart and his wounds, but Brando’s secrets lay tucked away in a vault so tightly sealed, she can’t get through.
Everything around them is covered in the confusion of love and the burn of revenge, but no one ever said love was easy.
Hard Love is the next standalone installment in the Guns & Ink series by Shana Vanterpool, a world of tattoos, love, and redemption from Swoon Romance.
Romance author, coffee drinker, and bad boy aficionado. Every second not spent breathing is an opportunity to write and read. I live in Northern California with my family and actress dog, Halle Bella. (Just Bella when she decides to cut the crap.) Escaping with a good book is something I live for and I write so others can do the same.
ACE OF HEARTS
by J.C. Valentine
Blind Jacks MC, #3
Publication Date: May 24, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MC Romance, Biker, Standalone
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vyqUIs
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2HOrK6s
Amazon AUS: https://amzn.to/2F01mn3
Being granted a second chance at life and a first time at love was every man’s dream, but for Ace it came with a price.
By all rights, he should be dead. Serving ten years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit had affected him in ways he couldn’t begin to understand. He’d rolled out of the slammer and into a revenge plot that almost got him killed. By the grace of God, when he’d hit rock bottom, one person reached out a helping hand.
A beautiful redhead with a penchant for mischief took a shine to him and then disappeared, leaving behind only her number scribbled recklessly on his arm. Assuming he can make out all the numbers, he just might have a chance at something amazing.
Finally divorcing her narcissistic husband was the best choice Barbara ever made. After living under his control for seven long years, she might have gone a little wild for a minute, what with jumping the hot biker and all. None of that mattered, though, because today was the day she got herself back on track.
After being given the opportunity to excavate a small cache of fossils in a remote area, Barbara is horrified to discover she’s inadvertently led a small team of her archeology students into danger. When they stumble on a secret dumping site of a vicious serial killer, Ace, the big, handsome biker takes charge. But she may have gotten herself and her students into more danger than even he can handle.
*NOTE* Although a part of the Blind Jacks MC series, ACE OF HEARTS can be read as a STANDALONE and features a new couple!
Climbing into bed behind his lovely professor seemed different. At the clubhouse, neither of them felt particularly at home. It was clear that Barbara felt totally comfortable in her own home, though. The strange part was that Ace felt very much at home there, too.
“This is all kinds of weird for me.”
“My house must seem like a tiny doll house to you.”
“It feels more like a warm, safe nest that’s been made enticing by the addition of a beautiful and accommodating woman. I’m feeling a bit like the world’s last dodo bird or something.”
“In that case, we had better start making babies before you go extinct.”
“The last time you said something like that it triggered a little episode of self-loathing.” Pulling the blanket up around them, he murmured reassuringly, “Don’t worry, this time I have my head screwed on straight. I’m intentionally not using a condom and will be trying my best to make ugly little dodo babies with you.”
“You’re so funny.”
Ace frowned. “Why do you want to get pregnant?”
“Fertility stays relatively stable until around age thirty in women. After that, it begins to drop off slightly. Since I gave my marriage a dirt nap, I suppose I’ve been worried about missing my window.” Eyeing him with heated admiration, she continued, “You’re a big, strapping biker. You look like you could get the job done with some swimmers to spare.”
Moving closer, he grinned. “This is like a whole new side of your personality that I’ve never seen.”
Running her hand over his chest, she laughed. “It’s the neurotic and slightly panicking side.”
Jerking his chin for her to give him a kiss, he murmured, “It looks good on you.”
Rather than following his nonverbal communication, she asked softly, “So do you have baby-related secrets to share?”
Reaching out, he wrapped one arm around her and dragged her close. “Sure, but I don’t think you wanna hear them.”
“I do, so cough it up.”
Spanning her stomach with his hand, he said, “I’ve thought about how nice it would be to see my child growing inside you. You’d look really sexy with a baby bump. I’d be one of those obsessed dads who listened to your stomach and told our little princess stories so she’d get used to my voice. Since I don’t know any stories fit to tell a baby, we’d have to go to one of those fancy bookstores and buy some. Maybe we’d get one of those fancy coffees you like so much.”
Her eyes damn near sparkled. “That’s about the sweetest baby secret I ever heard.”
Looking down at his hand on her stomach, he whispered, “I’d have to be really careful, ‘cause I wouldn’t want her to be scared when she saw me for the first time.”
ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.
Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.
Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB
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I moved to the mountains to get away from everyone and everything. All I want is peace and quiet and it’s worked well for me over the last decade. But then she moves in next door and disrupts my solitude.
Kylie—my new neighbor—with her smartass mouth and destructive dog. It’s obvious she doesn’t belong here with her designer boots and city girl attitude but she’s stubborn and won’t listen to reason. Despite all that, there’s no denying I want her. Her sass and defiance get under my skin and admittingly turn me on. It’s a love/hate relationship in the most inconvenient way possible.
When a snowstorm comes barreling through, it’s Kylie who’s at my doorstep needing heat and food because she’s completely unprepared. Although I warned her, she finally admits I was right. Between my hatred for her dog and her distaste for me, things are bound to get complicated.
Secluded in my cabin together means the temperature rises, the gloves come off—but most of all—the arousal and chemistry moving between us reaches its breaking point.
The wind and snow slam against the windows and front door, sounding like it could break right through the glass. Rosie shivers and whimpers beside me, as Kozmo growls. He’s my protector, even if he doesn’t listen to me worth a shit.
“It’s okay, Kozmo.” I reach out and grab his collar, gently pulling him toward me. He lays down by my feet and I stroke his head, trying not to show that I’m pretty damn terrified of the storm raging outside. It’s not even about the weather per se, but the fact I’m so not prepared for this crap.
The fire crackles, and I turn and look at the hearth, the flames a lot less intense than what they were an hour ago. The firewood stacked up in the corner of the room makes me nervous, seeing as there are only a few logs left. They’d been here when I first moved in, and I hadn’t even thought about replenishing the stock so soon, not when I’d been busy unpacking and cleaning.
I grit my teeth as I think about Luke—Mr. Ruthless—next door and his warning. There’s no way in hell I was going to admit he’s right—that I’m unprepared and out of my element. Fuck him and his arrogant attitude.
I bring the blanket around me a little higher just as the lights start to flicker. Tilting my head back and looking up, I stare at the ceiling and say a silent prayer that the power doesn’t go out. I may have enough food stocked to weather out this bitch of a storm, but that doesn’t mean I can cook any of it without a fire or electricity.
The wind howls outside, and I curse the weatherman and his shitty forecast. “This weekend my ass,” I mutter. And then it’s like Mother Nature says a big “fuck you” as the lights go off. Rosie whimpers even louder, so I lift her into my lap, trying to calm her. She’s not used to this insane weather.
“Shh. It’s okay, girl. It’ll come back on, and everything will be okay. The storm will pass soon.” I know why I’m saying this—trying to reassure myself and feel better about the situation—but it’s grossly clear that I’m not at all prepared for a storm like this. I didn’t check the generator, and my wood stockpile is nonexistent.
The longer I sit here, the lower the flames get, and the colder it becomes. I set Rosie aside and get up to toss the remaining logs in, stoking them and walking over to grab a blanket. I move down in front of the fire to keep warm and call the dogs over.
“Come here,” I call for Kozmo and Rosie. Both of them shuffle over and lay beside me, curling around my body. I glance at the front window, the sheer curtains not hiding the pellets that are assaulting the glass like tiny bullets. I only hope it’s strong enough to withstand it and not break.
Mr. Ruthless was not right. He was not right.
He might be a little right.
An hour later and I’m still in front of the now dwindled fire, the embers the only thing alive in the damn hearth. The electricity shows no signs of coming back to life. The blanket is wrapped tightly around me, but it’s not helping keep the chill out of my bones. And the storm—the fucking storm is still going stronger than ever outside.
No way this is ending anytime soon.
I stand and head to the kitchen. Because I’m trying to stay positive, I check the stove. Nothing. I walk over to the fridge and open it. Nada. Because I have nothing better to do, I try the light switch. Zilch.
Dammit. When this storm is done, and the weather isn’t shitty, I’m investing in a crap load of fuel and a gas stove.
I glance at the front door, thinking over my options. No…no way in hell am I going to entertain the idea of asking him for help. Nope. No way in hell.
Another hour passes, and I’m visibly shaking, the cold too much for the pups and me to handle. I have no idea how long the storm is going to rage or when the power will come back. Thinking about my options, I could stay here and freeze to death, my dogs having to survive by eating my frozen body. I snort and shake my head at the ludicrous thought. Perhaps this is where I start going crazy, talking to myself and hallucinating.
Rosie burrows under the blanket farther, pressing against my body for heat. Kozmo is only halfway under the blanket, his head poking out as he stares at the front door, still on guard duty.
The fire has since died, the embers a distant memory.
“Fuck this,” I say and walk over to put my boots and jacket on. “If he wants to start shit or even have an ‘I told you so’ attitude, I’ll give him a piece of my mind,” I say to Rosie and Kozmo as if they can understand me. “Come on, guys. We aren’t staying here and freezing to death.”
Kozmo is by my side a second later, but Rosie takes a little coercing to get out from under the warmth of the blanket. She hobbles over to me, and I scoop her up but walk over and grab the blanket to wrap her up. I have no doubt Kozmo will be fine walking in this weather. He’s a tank on the best of days. Taking a deep breath, I reach for the handle.
I stay like that for a moment, afraid to open the door and no doubt get an onslaught from the weather. “Ready, boy?” I look down at Kozmo. He tips his head back and makes a whiny noise. Exhaling deeply, I pull it open.
Immediately the wind pushes back, the frigid air enough to take my breath away. I duck my head and step outside, Kozmo following right behind me. Once the door is shut, I haul ass down the porch, around the side, and make my way up the hill. The snow is violent as it slams against me, pushing me forward then back again. What pisses me off more than this weather is the fact I have to force myself to go ask him for help.
I slip more times than I want to admit, but I keep going until I’m finally standing at his front door and see his lights. He has power, which doesn’t surprise me when I hear his generator roaring. I know he’s going to rub that shit in my face. I bring my frozen knuckles down on the wood three times and take a small step back.
A moment later the door flies open, and Luke stands in front of me. His plaid flannel is unbuttoned and showing off the white T-shirt beneath that’s stretched across his hard chest. His broad shoulders block out everything behind him but I ignore the smug as hell smile he’s wearing, and instead focus on the heat seeping from the inside of the cabin and washing over me.
He says nothing as he steps aside and allows me and the dogs to enter. I’m biting my tongue fiercely right now, but I swear to everything that is holy, if he says one thing about being right, I’ll unleash the She-Bitch on his ass.
Jenika Snow, a USA Today bestselling author, lives in the northeast with her husband and their children.
She prefers gloomy days, eats the topping off of her pizza first, and prefers to wear socks year round.
Kelsey King loves hot coffee, wearing her hair up in a messy top knot, and writing possessive alpha males. Reading and writing has been apart of her life as long as she can remember. For the last few years, Kelsey has been writing short stories that have been stored away on her hard drive collecting dust. With a little courage and a push from friends to release them, she decided to finally share them with the world. She only writes happily-ever-afters with a good amount of humor and steam, so make sure to subscribe to her mailing list to stay updated on all upcoming releases!
Title: Whatever it Takes
Series: Healing Hearts #3
Author: Laura Farr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2018
When Quinn Montgomery leaves the horrors of her past behind her, she never expects to run straight into the arms of a blue-eyed cowboy. Sneaking into the stables and getting caught in a life-threatening fire was never part of the plan. And neither was falling in love with the man who saved her life, Brody Parker.
The two share an undeniable connection, and slowly Quinn begins to open up about her past. Putting her trust in the wrong person has burned her before, so when Brody asks her to stay at the ranch, she can't help but wonder if sheâs about to make another bad decision by staying. A decision that could hurt everyone sheâs come to care for.
Will Quinn choose to run from the past that threatens to catch up with her? Or will she stay and fight, sacrificing whatever it takes for the man who sets her heart on fire?
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Laura Farr lives in Shropshire with her husband and two children. When she isnât working, or being a Mummy she is pursuing her dream of writing.
She is a romantic at heart and loves nothing more than writing stories with a happy ever after, even if there is the odd chapter of angst thrown in! Her desire to write came from her love of reading and when she isnât writing you will find her attached to her kindle or spending time with her family.
Release Date: June 21 2018
Cover design: Letitia Hasser / RBA Designs
Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Travis Bendall & Ali Abela
Genre: College Romance
Parker Kent . . .
Complete and utter jerk
I made a vow—a vow to steer clear of guys like Parker. But when he shows up every Monday night at my workplace, that vow is torn to shreds. As much as I’d like, to I can’t ignore a customer.
At some point, a friendship forms. It’s not what I expected; he’s not what I expected. Those walls I put up are being torn down piece by piece, allowing Parker into my heart. Am I setting myself up for disaster, or is my Monday-night guy just the antidote my wounded heart needs?
I race back to the dorm, quickly change, and grab the basketball from my cupboard, along with a water bottle. I take off to the basketball court to clear my head.
I enter the basketball building. It’s quiet. Lights fill the arena. I look around; it appears no one is here. Fantastic! Placing my water bottle down, I bounce the ball, and it echoes around the room. I stand at the three-pointer line and shoot. Shot after shot go in.
“Why didn’t you try out for the girls’ team?”
I spin around. Parker stands there with a ball tucked under his arm.
I shrug, turning back toward the ring and taking another shot. Damn it. This time I miss. “Basketball isn’t my life. When I was younger, Dad and I would mess around a fair bit, and it was good because Devon, my brother, became attached to the game and he’s even better than me.” I remember Devon trying again and again to get the ball in the hoop. His determination’s phenomenal. I’m sure he could easily get into college and play basketball.
Parker stands across from me on the line, taking shots and, of course, not missing any. I can’t help myself; I watch him. The muscles in his arms flex, and when he goes to take the shot, he jumps a little. Even though it’s a small jump, when he lands his muscles tense, defining his physique.
“Want a game of one-on-one?” he asks as he releases another shot.
Already knowing he’s going to win, I figure, why not? “Sure. First to five wins?”
“Yeah, but I have other stipulations.”
This isn’t going to end well for me. “What are they?”
He’s silent for a moment. “If I win, you have to be nice to me. Stop assuming I’m some jackass—”
“I thought that was what you were?” I cut in. Innocence chimes in my tone.
Parker chuckles and holds his hand up to stop me from continuing. “I wasn’t finished, little mouse.”
“Go on, hot shot.”
“Now, as I was saying, you have to be nice to me, and you have to let me take you out.”
I eye him skeptically. Is this some joke or trick to get back at Stacey or Hayden? I’m not in the market for revengeful dating. In fact, I should stick to my decision not to date guys like him. “Sorry, I can’t do the date. I’ve decided to refrain from the dating scene.”
“Well, don’t look at it as a date then. It’ll just be two friends heading out.” The last part of his sentence causes my stomach to plummet. Friends. He takes another shot, then holds the ball. His stare grips me, and somehow, I find myself nodding in agreement to his terms.
“What if I win?”
Parker erupts with laughter. “Don’t worry, little mouse. I’ll be sure to at least let you get one shot in,” he teases.
“Bring it on.” I place my ball down beside my water. I can feel the smile on my face—it’s one I haven’t worn in a long time. It’s as if there’s a brightness coming from within me. I love sports, but I’ve never really done anything with it, never joined a team. I know I’m sure to lose against the basketball captain, but what’s a bit of fun?
Parker tosses the ball to me. “Here, you can start. It might be the only shot I allow you to have. I’ll take it easy on you.”
“Not too easy, I hope,” I respond playfully. A smile that I’m sure mimics my own sits on Parker’s face.
“Stop stalling,” he says. I take a sneaky advantage.
I dribble the ball to the hoop. Parker comes toward me. I balk him to go one way, and instead, I go the other. He’s back on me within seconds. I hit the three-point line and take the shot. I don’t miss.
I toss the ball to him. He takes it back out to halfway then comes driving back in, only he’s coming right at me. I don’t move. Instead, I hold my arms out, and when he comes near I manage a sneaky tap on the ball and collect it from him. “Watch out there, Parker. You might just lose to a girl.” I laugh before running in, dribbling the ball.
Parker wraps his arms around me, stealing the ball. I become warm. My body craves his touch. He’s lit it up, and now my stupid body is betraying me. Yet again.
Parker releases me and dribbles the ball away, I say, “You can’t do that. I call foul ball.” Before I register what’s happening, Parker’s taken a shot, and through the hoop it goes.
“I’ll give you two foul shots then. Here,” he says.
I catch the ball he tosses me. I align myself on the foul shot line. Parker comes around from behind me. He’s stripped his jersey off. It appears the gods decided they would give him a body like theirs—one of pure perfection. He won’t get to me, I chant in my mind. I give my head a shake and keep my focus on the job at hand: kicking his ass.
Parker’s heat hits my back. My senses light up like a Christmas tree. A finger slides down my arm. I swallow the hard lump in my throat. Each and every part of me wants to turn and plant a kiss on his lips. I must refrain. It’s like the devil tempting Eve all over again. Parker’s lips are the most forbidden fruit.
I bounce the ball twice, bending slightly to take one of my two free shots. My ass hits his crotch. Parker’s hands land on my hips seconds later.
Oh, he’s so good at this. What a tease.
But two can play at this game.
One of Five ARC's for Monday Night Guy
About the Author
Liz Lovelock is from bright sunny Queensland in Australia. She is the mother of three little monsters, a wife to an amazing husband and very much a lover of everything books and reading. Liz has always loved books and, from a very young age she began reading comic books and then in high school her passion grew. She was given Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden for an assignment but, when that was done she continued to discover new books to fall in love with.
Liz always has a book she is currently enjoying and, a notebook beside her bed for in her hand bag for when inspiration hits at those crazy times. She is a stationary addict and will buy more notebooks and pens then what she needs. Her one click finger likes to go crazy as well.
Connect with Liz
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Series: Guarding Her #2
Author: Anna Brooks
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 23, 2018
I could tell this girl was lost.
She was also scared and alone. This life was going to destroy herâ¦ If I let it.
She refuses my help and protection until she realizes the audition sheâs attending isnât an audition at all.
Itâs an auction. And sheâs about to be sold to the highest bidder.
Iâve got the money to buy her, but better than that, Iâve got the power to save her.
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Releasing July 11, 2018
Releasing August 29, 2018
Releasing October 17, 2018
Anna began writing when she thought the world would want to hear her sick lyrics through song. Since then, she's realized her childhood dream wasn't so far-fetched, just misguided. Now she writes romance with real emotions and happy endings. If Anna isn't writing or reading, she can be found by a space heater painting her nails and drinking a ridiculous amount of Diet Dr Pepper. She also likes to hang out with her husband and two boys. If it wasn't for them, she wouldn't ever leave the house. Anna was born in Wisconsin but now lives in the Evergreen State.
Release Date: May 23, 2018
Cover Design: MadHat Books
As far as Kat’s concerned, if you have too much goodness in your life it will always turn bad. Except for Brad. Because nothing bad ever happened to Brad until Kat. She’s Brad’s bad. Even if her reckless behavior doesn’t hurt him, the timeline on her life will. It’s why they’re apart. And if she has anything to do with it, they’ll stay that way.For Brad, life with Kat is hi-definition Technicolor on a crazy beautiful display. Everything else before and after her is just grayscale. Which is why he’s going after her and letting nothing get in his way.
As soon as they catch the guy stalking her. And he finds a way to break it off with his current girlfriend.
$25 Amazon Gift Card
About the Author
There's not much to know about me. I'm a simple girl. I think.I can't live without nail polish, the darker the better.
I drink a glass of wine every day, but if I could get away with it, I’d drink a bottle. My favorite things to eat are chips with salsa. But red vines and popcorn are a close runner-up.
I currently reside with four dogs, two cats, and one husband. Three of my dogs are Siberian Huskies, so my clothes always have fur on them. Always.
Given the opportunity, I would read books all day long. So far my record for a single day is five full-length books.
Hoodies are my favorite item of clothing, bras are my least. Hats are my second favorite. They look good on my head. I’m lucky that way.
When I’m writing well, I’m barely reading. And vice-versa. I’m a terrible dancer and have no rhythm. Like zero. Just ask my husband.
Sometimes I’ll go three days without washing my hair. Hence the hats.
I started an underground literary magazine in college, which I credit for really launching my narcissistic tendencies via writing. If I couldn’t be a writer, I would be a rockstar. Someone from Journey, preferably the Steve Perry years.
Connect with Denise
Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2JGnuWe
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☆¸.•*¨*★☆★ NEW RELEASE! NOW LIVE! ★☆★¸.•*¨*☆
A sexy silver fox might be the perfect solution to a midlife crisis.
Another romance for the over 40
Cover Design: Shanoff Designs
Cover Model: Tom Ernsting
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2rZRo1b
Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/CAMidlifeCrisis
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/UKMidlifeCrisis
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/AUMidlifeCrisis
I'm forty-one today.
It's my birthday,
And I'm crying over burnt toast.
That's not some euphemism.
Literally, I'm sobbing over stupid bread,
so I call a crisis center.
I just need someone to talk to about life.
Only I recognize the smoky voice of the man on the line.
In the name of all things, don't let it be...
As a former rock star,
I once had it all.
Fame. Fortune. Females.
Except for the one thing I wanted most.
Now, I fix cars and restore other people's dreams.
I just want to be somebody's someone.
And there's a certain woman with captivating eyes,
I want to fulfill my dreams.
For the love of all things, please let it be her...
In the midst of questioning everything,
could love be the resolution to a midlife crisis?
+ o +
If you loved Tommy Carrigan in After Care meet his best friend and former drummer, Hank, as he discovers romance in his forties.
Book 2 of the silver fox, former rock stars can be read as a standalone.
4 Star Review by Ashley
It's not a secret that I adore L.B. Dunbar's words. She has the ability to write romance across may sub genres but I think she has really found her stride with her romance for the over 40 books. I liked catching up with Tommy and Edie, from After Care (which you do not have to read to follow along here).
There was just something so charming and endearing about both Hank and Midge. Both a bit lost and trying to find their way again. Both doing it in different ways. Midge by immersing herself in her kids and Hank in hiding under hoods. It was a random stroke of fate that brought these two together for the first time and they both walked away feeling unsettled by the encounter. However, it was Hank- and a little scheming- that brought them back together.
For as shy as she was, Midge was the one who mostly took the reins while Hank was left playing catch-up. To be fair, he had a hard past. One that still haunted him and being around Midge and her recently acquired friends, stirred up feelings he didn't quite have a handle on. I gave a silent cheer, even if it did make me a bit sad, when Midge took her stand and refused to compete with the ghost of Kit. And when Midge's sons stepped up and defended their mom I was like yessss boys- way to act like men!
The tension, the push and pull, the back and forth, the anticipation it all had me hanging on the edge of my book to see what Hank and Midge would do (or not). Midlife Crisis was as heartwarming as it was sexy. There was friendship, laughter, family, struggle, music and steam. And seriously, who doesn't love a sexy silver fox? I know I do and I can not wait for the addition to this over 40 collection.
About the Author
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June 19th 2018
Fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han will delight as the fireworks spark and the secrets fly in this delicious summer romance from a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.
When Jade decided to spend the summer with her aunt in California, she thought she knew what she was getting into. But nothing could have prepared her for Quentin. Jade hasn't been in suburbia long and even she knows her annoying (and annoyingly cute) next-door neighbor spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
And when Quentin learns Jade plans to spend her first American summer hiding out reading books, he refuses to be ignored. Sneaking out, staying up, and even a midnight swim, Quentin is determined to give Jade days--and nights--worth remembering.
But despite their storybook-perfect romance, every time Jade moves closer, Quentin pulls away. And when rumors of a jilted ex-girlfriend come to light, Jade knows Quentin is hiding a secret--and she's determined to find out what it is.
Anything was possible. At least that’s what it felt like.
Summer seventeen was going to be one for the record books. I already knew it. I could feel it—from the nervous-excited swirl in my stomach to the buzz in the air around me. This was going to be the summer—my summer.
“Last chance to cry uncle or forever hold your peace,” Mom sang beside me in the backseat of the cab we’d caught at the airport. Her hand managed to tighten around mine even more, cutting off the last bit of my circulation. If there
was any left.
I tried to look the precise amount of unsure before answering. “So long, last chance,” I said, waving out the window.
Mom sighed, squeezing my hand harder still. It was starting to go numb now. Summer seventeen might find me one hand short if Mom didn’t ease up on the death grip.
She and her band, the Shrinking Violets, were going to be touring internationally after finally hitting it big, but she was moping because this was the first summer we wouldn't be together. Actually, it would be the first time we’d been apart ever.
I’d sold her on the idea of me staying in the States with her sister and family by going on about how badly I wanted to experience one summer as a normal, everyday American teenager before graduating from high school. One chance to
see what it was like to stay in the same place, with the same people, before I left for college. One last chance to see what life as an American teen was really like.
She bought it . . . eventually.
She’d have her bandmates and tens of thousands of adoring fans to keep her company—she could do without me for a couple of months. I hoped.
It had always been just Mom and me from day one. She had me when she was young—like young young—and even though her boyfriend pretty much bailed before the line turned pink, she’d done just fine on her own.
We’d both kind of grown up together, and I knew she’d missed out on a lot by raising me. I wanted this to be a summer for the record books for her, too. One she could really live up, not having to worry about taking care of her teenage
daughter. Plus, I wanted to give her a chance to experience what life without me would be like. Soon I’d be off to college somewhere, and I figured easing her into the empty-nester phase was a better approach than going cold turkey.
“You packed sunscreen, right?” Mom’s bracelets jingled as she leaned to look out her window, staring at the bright blue sky like it was suspect.
“SPF seventy for hot days, fifty for warm days, and thirty for overcast ones.” I toed the trusty duffel resting at my feet.It had traveled the globe with me for the past decade and had the wear to prove it.
“That’s my fair-skinned girl.” When Mom looked over at me, the crease between her eyebrows carved deeper with worry.
“You might want to check into SPF yourself. You’re not going to be in your mid thirties forever, you know?”
Mom groaned. “Don’t remind me. But I’m already beyond SPF’s help at this point. Unless it can help fix a saggy butt and crow’s-feet.” She pinched invisible wrinkles and wiggled her butt against the seat.
It was my turn to groan. It was annoying enough that people mistook us for sisters all the time, but it was worse that she could (and did) wear the same jeans as me. There should be some rule that moms aren’t allowed to takes clothes from the closets of their teenage daughters.
When the cab turned down Providence Avenue, I felt a sudden streak of panic. Not for myself, but for my mom.
Could she survive a summer when I wasn’t at her side, reminding her when the cell phone bill was due or updating her calendar so she knew where to be and when to be there? Would she be okay without me reminding her that fruits and vegetables were part of the food pyramid for a reason and
making sure everything was all set backstage?
“Hey.” Mom gave me a look, her eyes suggesting she could read my thoughts. “I’ll be okay. I’m a strong, empowered thirty-four-year-old woman.”
“Cell phone charger.” I yanked the one dangling from her oversized, metal-studded purse, which I’d wrapped in hot pink tape so it stood out. “I’ve packed you two extras to get you through the summer. When you get down to your last
one, make sure to pick up two more so you’re covered—”
“Jade, please,” she interrupted. “I’ve only lost a few. It’s not like I’ve misplaced . . .”
“Thirty-two phone chargers in the past five years?” When she opened her mouth to protest, I added, “I’ve got the receipts to prove it, too.”
Her mouth clamped closed as the cab rolled up to my aunt’s house.
“What am I going to do without you?” Mom swallowed, dropping her big black retro sunglasses over her eyes to hide the tears starting to form, to my surprise.
I was better at keeping my emotions hidden, so I didn’t dig around in my purse for sunglasses. “Um, I don’t know? Maybe rock a sold-out international tour? Six continents in three months? Fifty concerts in ninety days? That kind of
Mom started to smile. She loved music—writing it, listening to it, playing it—and was a true musician. She hadn’t gotten into it to become famous or make the Top 40 or anything like that; she’d done it because it was who she was. She was the same person playing to a dozen people in a crowded café as she was now, the lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the world playing to an arena of thousands.
“Sounds pretty killer. All of those countries. All of that adventure.” Mom’s hand was on the door handle, but it looked more like she was trying to keep the taxi door closed than to open it. “Sure you don’t want to be a part of it?”
I smiled thinly back at my mom, her wild brown hair spilling over giant glasses. She had this boundless sense of adventure—always had and always would—so it was hard for her to comprehend how her own offspring could feel any different.
“Promise to call me every day and send me pictures?” I said, feeling the driver lingering outside my door with luggage in hand. This was it. Mom exhaled, lifting her pinkie toward me. “Promise.”
I curled my pinkie around hers and forced a smile. “Love
Her finger wound around mine as tightly as she had clenched my other hand on the ride here. “Love you no matter what.” Then she shoved her door open and crawled out, but not before I noticed one tiny tear escape her sunglasses.
By the time I’d stepped out of the cab, all signs of that tear or any others were gone. Mom did tears as often as she wrote moving love songs. In other words, never.
As she dug around in her purse for her wallet to pay the driver, I took a minute to inspect the house in front of me.
The last time we’d been here was for Thanksgiving three years ago. Or was it four? I couldn’t remember, but it was long enough to have forgotten how bright white my aunt and uncle’s house was, how the windows glowed from being so
clean and the landscaping looked almost fake it was so well kept.
It was pretty much the total opposite of the tour buses and extended-stay hotels I’d spent most of my life in. My mother, Meg Abbott, did not do tidy.
“Back zipper pocket,” I said as she struggled to find the money in her wallet.
“Aha,” she announced, freeing a few bills to hand to the driver, whose patience was wilting. After taking her luggage, she shouldered up beside me.
“So the neat-freak thing gets worse with time.” Mom gaped at the walkway leading up to the cobalt-blue front door, where a Davenport nameplate sparkled in the sunlight.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say most of the surfaces I’d eaten off of weren’t as clean as the stretch of concrete in front of me.
“Mom . . . ,” I warned, when she shuddered after she roamed to inspect the window boxes bursting with scarlet geraniums.
“I’m not being mean,” she replied as we started down the walkway. “I’m appreciating my sister’s and my differences.
Right then, the front door whisked open and my aunt seemed to float from it, a measured smile in place, not a single hair out of place.
“Appreciating our differences,” Mom muttered under her breath as we moved closer.
I bit my lip to keep from laughing as the two sisters embraced.
Mom had long dark hair and fell just under the average-height bar like me. Aunt Julie, conversely, had light hair she kept swishing above her shoulders, and she was tall and thin. Her eyes were almost as light blue as mine, compared to Mom’s, which were almost as dark as her hair. It wasn’t only their physical differences that set them apart; it was everything. From the way they dressed Mom in some shade of dark, whereas the darkest color I’d ever seen Aunt Julie wear was periwinkle—to their taste in food, Mom was on the spicy end of the spectrum and Aunt Julie was on the mild.
Mom stared at Aunt Julie.
Aunt Julie stared back at Mom.
This went on for twenty-one seconds. I counted. The last stare-down four years ago had gone forty-nine. So this was progress.
Finally, Aunt Julie folded her hands together, her rounded nails shining from a fresh manicure. “Hello, Jade. Hello, Megan.”
Mom’s back went ramrod straight when Aunt Julie referred to her by her given name. Aunt Julie was eight years older but acted more like her mother than her sister.
“How’s it hangin’, Jules?”
Aunt Julie’s lips pursed hearing her little sister’s nickname for her. Then she stepped back and motioned inside. “Well?”
That was my cue to pick up my luggage and follow after Mom, who was tromping up the front steps. “Are we done already? Really?” she asked, nudging Aunt Julie as she passed.
“I’m taking the higher road,” Aunt Julie replied.
“What you call taking the higher road I call getting soft in your old age.” Mom hustled through the door after that, like she was afraid Aunt Julie would kick her butt or something.
The image of Aunt Julie kicking anything made me giggle to myself.
“Jade.” Aunt Julie’s smile was of the real variety this time as she took my duffel from me. “You were a girl the last time we saw you, and look at you now. All grown up.”
“Hey, Aunt Julie. Thanks again for letting me spend the summer with you guys,” I said, pausing beside her, not sure whether to hug her or keep moving. A moment of awkwardness passed before she made the decision for me by reaching out and patting my back. I continued on after that.
Aunt Julie wasn’t cold or removed; she just showed her affection differently. But I knew she cared about me and my mom. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t pick up the phone on the first ring whenever we did call every few months. She also wouldn’t have immediately said yes when Mom asked her a few months ago if I could spend the summer here.
“Let me show you to your room.” She pulled the door shut behind her and led us through the living room. “Paul and I had the guest room redone to make it more fitting for a teenage girl.”
“Instead of an eighty-year-old nun who had a thing for quilts and angel figurines?” Mom said, biting at her chipped black nail polish.
“I wouldn’t expect someone whose idea of a feng shui living space is kicking the dirty clothes under their bed to appreciate my sense of style,” Aunt Julie fired back, like she’d been anticipating Mom’s dig.
I cut in before they could get into it. “You didn’t have to do that, Aunt Julie. The guest room exactly the way it was would have been great.”
“Speaking of the saint also known as my brother-in-law, where is Paul?” Mom spun around, moving down the hall backward.
“At work.” Aunt Julie stopped outside of a room. “He wanted to be here, but his job’s been crazy lately.”
Aunt Julie snatched the porcelain angel Mom had picked up from the hall table. She carefully returned it to the exact same spot, adjusting it a hair after a moment’s consideration.
“Where are the twins?” I asked, scanning the hallway for Hannah and Hailey. The last time I’d seen them, they were in preschool but acted like they were in grad school or something. They were nice kids, just kind of freakishly well
behaved and brainy.
“At Chinese camp,” Aunt Julie answered.
“Getting to eat dim sum and make paper dragons?” Mom asked, sounding almost surprised.
Aunt Julie sighed. “Learning the Chinese language.” Aunt Julie opened a door and motioned me inside. I’d barely set one foot into the room before my eyes almost crossed from what I found.
Hot pink, light pink, glittery pink, Pepto-Bismol pink—every shade, texture, and variety of pink seemed to be represented inside this square of space.
“What do you think?” Aunt Julie gushed, moving up
beside me with a giant smile.
“I love it,” I said, working up a smile. “It’s great. So great.
And so . . . pink.”
“I know, right?” Aunt Julie practically squealed. I didn’t know she was capable of anything close to that high-pitched.
“We hired a designer and everything. I told her you were a girly seventeen-year-old and let her do the rest.”
Glancing over at the full-length mirror framed in, you bet, fuchsia rhinestones, I wondered what about me led my aunt to classify me as “girly.” I shopped at vintage thrift stores, lived in faded denim and colors found in nature, not ones manufactured in the land of Oz. I was wearing sneakers, cut-offs, and a flowy olive-colored blouse, pretty much the other end of the spectrum. The last girly thing I’d done was wear makeup on Halloween. I was a zombie.
Beside me, Mom was gaping at the room like she’d walked in on a crime scene. A gruesome crime scene.
“What the . . . pink?” she edited after I dug an elbow
“You shouldn’t have.” I smiled at Aunt Julie when she turned toward me, still beaming.
“Yeah, Jules. You really shouldn’t have.” Mom shook her head, flinching when she noticed the furry pink stool tucked beneath the vanity that was resting beneath a huge cotton-candy-pink chandelier.
“It’s the first real bedroom this girl’s ever had. Of course I should have. I couldn’t not.” Aunt Julie moved toward the bed, fixing the smallest fold in the comforter.
“Jade’s had plenty of bedrooms.” Mom nudged me, glancing at the window. She was giving me an out. She had no idea how much more it would take than a horrendously pink room for me to want to take it.
“Oh, please. Harry Potter had a more suitable bedroom in that closet under the stairs than Jade’s ever had. You can’t consider something that either rolls down a highway or is bolted to a hotel floor an appropriate room for a young
woman.” Aunt Julie wasn’t in dig mode; she was in honest mode.
That put Mom in unleash-the-beast mode.
Her face flashed red, but before she could spew whatever
comeback she had stewing inside, I cut in front of her. “Aunt Julie, would you mind if Mom and I had a few minutes alone?
You know, to say good-bye and everything?”
As infrequently as we visited the house on Providence Avenue, I fell into my role of referee like it was second nature.
“Of course not. We’ll have lots of time to catch up.” Aunt Julie gave me another pat on the shoulder as she headed for the door. “We’ll have all summer.” She’d just disappeared when her head popped back in the doorway. “Meg, can I get you anything to drink before you have to dash?”
“Whiskey,” Mom answered intently.
Aunt Julie chuckled like she’d made a joke, continuing down the hall.
I dropped my duffel on the pink zebra-striped throw rug.
“You grew up seeing the world. Experiencing things most people will never get to in their whole lives.” Her voice was getting louder with every word. “You’ve got a million times the perspective of kids your age. A billion times more compassion and an understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Who is she to make me out to be some inadequate parent when all she cares about is raising obedient, genius robots? She doesn’t know what it was like for me. How hard it was.”
“Mom,” I repeated, dropping my hands onto her shoulders as I looked her in the eye. “You did great.”
It took a minute for the red to fade from her face, then another for her posture to relax. “You’re great. I just tried not to get in the way too much and screw all that greatness up.”
“And if you must know, I’d take any of the hundreds of rooms we’ve shared over this pinktastrophe.” So it was kind of a lie, the littlest of ones. Sure, pink was on my offensive list, but the room was clean and had a door, and I would get to stay in the same place at least for the next few months. After living out of suitcases and overnight bags for most of my life, I was looking forward to discovering what drawer-and-closet living was like.
Mom threw her arms around me, pulling me in for one of those final-feeling hugs. Except this time, it kind of wasa final one. Realizing that made me feel like someone had stuffed a tennis ball down my throat.
“I love you no matter what,” she whispered into my ear again, the same words she’d sang, said, or on occasion shouted at me. Mom never just said I love you. She had something
against those three words on their own. They were too open,
too loosely defined, too easy to take back when something
I love you no matter what had always been her way of telling me she loved me forever and for always. Unconditionally. She said that, before me, she’d never felt that type of love for anyone. What I’d picked up along the way on my own
was that I was the only one she felt loved her back in the
Squeezing my arms around my mom a little harder, I returned her final kind of hug. “I love you no matter what, too.”
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.