SINGE is the first book in an ALL NEW smokin-hot standalone series by Aly Martinez releasing February 6th!
Add to your TBR:http://bit.ly/2izUumt
She was my nightmare. Every time I closed my eyes, I watched her fall into that inferno. Over and over, I failed to save her.
I hadn’t been able to reach her, and the guilt only burned hotter over time. Four years later, I was the unreachable one.
Heroes aren’t always saints. Sometimes, we’re nothing more than jaded sinners driven by sleepless nights and hearts full of darkness.
And then I met her. She was a dreamer who managed to soothe my scars and heal my wounds.
But, as the flames closed in around us, I feared I wasn’t the right man to save her. That is until I realized she was the one woman I’d burn the world down to protect.
About the Author
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five- including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
Title: To Have It All
Author: B.N. Toler
Release Date: Jan 18, 2017Add to your TBR
Liam had set up shop there.
After an accident left him injured and unable to work, it wasn’t long before he ended up on the street with his dreams in the gutter.
This was it.
This was his life.
Until the day he met Max Porter—a man who appeared to have it all. They didn’t meet so much as made eye contact as Max sneered at Liam, the bum occupying precious space on the sullied New York City street.
When Max stepped into oncoming traffic, a lesser man might’ve let him. But Liam risked his life to save Max only to be left to die without a second thought.
When Liam woke up days later, he wasn’t himself…at least he wasn’t in his body.
He was in Max’s.
And with Liam’s body on life support, there was only one logical conclusion: Max was trapped in Liam’s comatose body.
Somehow the twisted hands of fate had given Liam a second chance; a chance to have it all. But with all the perks of Max’s life also came his problems. Finding balance in his new identity was challenged more so once Liam fell for Waverly, Max’s beautiful ex.
Could Liam live out his life as another man or would he pull the plug and let fate decide?
Would he lose his chance at true love?
Would he lose the chance to have it all?
Scooting up, his body was gloved to mine, his mouth to my ear as he reached around me and pulled my left hand, placing it over the shifter, then he took my right hand and settled it over the throttle. “Think of this like a dance,” he instructed me, his voice husky. “Dance involves steps, coordination, knowing your partner. This isn’t much different.”
“Says you,” I griped. “This is hardly a dance partner. This is a death trap that could kill us.”
He chuckled, the sound low and deep, making my core clench. “You’re sitting on over five-hundred pounds of machinery here. Think about how much time and effort went into building this; the way someone had to know this bike so intricately to put it all together and make it move.”
“Just because they knew it doesn’t mean I do.” I appreciated the intricacy of the bike, but appreciating and driving it were very different things.
“I just mean there’s power here. You can make these 500 pounds of metal move if you want it to, if you trust yourself enough.”
He left my hands and softly ran his fingers up my arms to my shoulders. “It lives and moves so long as you let it, so long as you lead it, just like a good dance partner. Don’t think about the moves you need to make . . . feel them. Let the bike tell you when it’s time to shift.”
His fingers glided down my sides until they took a firm hold of my waist causing my breath to hitch as my back arched slightly. “It’s give and release, Waverly,” he went on, his voice deep and gravely. “You have to feel when it’s time to give and when it’s time to let go.”
Darting my tongue out, I wet my dry lips. How did he make shifting gears sound so hot? How in the heck was I supposed to manage this machine with Liam murmuring sexual innuendo in my ear? I wished I could somehow turn around and take him on the bike.
“You know, this would be an epic opening to a porn flick,” I announced causing him to burst into laughter.
“I hadn’t thought of that.” His body shook as he continued to laugh.
“I guess your mind isn’t as dirty as mine.” I shrugged.
“I guess not. What would the film title be?” he queried.
I twisted my mouth in thought. In my sexiest voice, I twisted my neck so he could see me as I pouted my mouth, “Shifting the Panhead. When good girls learn to ride.”
He choked he was laughing so hard. When he could form words again, he coughed out, “That does sound pretty dirty when you say it like that.”
“Anything can sound dirty when you say it the right way,” I quipped. “Sky,” I moaned. “Concrete,” I continued.
“Okay, okay,” he begged before clearing his throat. “Stop stalling your lesson with your dirty mind and your defiling of perfectly unperverted words.”
I wiggled my ass again. “You love how I defiled the word concrete. Admit it.”
“You keep shimmying your ass like that, this lesson is going to have to end while I go jump in the water.”
BN Toler lives in Virginia. When she's not reading and writing, she's thinking about reading and writing. Before she became a self-proclaimed writer, she worked as a real estate agent and as an orthodontic technician. **She will notice your teeth before your eyes or hair or anything.**
She enjoys shopping (way too much) and is on a first name basis with several employees at the local Target in her town.
She loves music,(bluegrass, country, 80's, actually she loves most music ~her favorite song is American Pie by Don McLean and she worships anything that is Elvis and Johnny Cash and Eric Church) dancing, (even though she sucks at it)reading, writing, eating (too much) sleeping late, (which she rarely gets to do) and laughing. If you can make her laugh, she will love you forever.
Random and insignificant facts:
She is addicted to Coca Cola
She hates onions
She loves thunderstorms
She wants to have Karen Marie Moning's babies
She curses....a lot...like way too much
She's immensely afraid of snakes
She fangirls over M.Pierce
She HATES reality television
She loves books and movies that make her cry
She cries over anything remotely sad
She LOVES Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale. (too much)She hopes she hasn't bored you to death.
HOT & Romantic: The F-Word by Sandra Marton is NOW AVAILABLE!!!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jRE0cS
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2jcEkSA
So let’s get this straight.
This is a story about romance.
Well, it’s not a story. I mean, it’s not something somebody made up. It’s about me. And yeah, in case you’re wondering, I’m a guy.
Surprised? Sure you are. You figure those words just don’t go together. Romance, with a capital R. Guy, with a capital G. You’re probably sitting there and smirking. What could a dude possibly know about romance? You figure we’re big on sex. But romance?
Romance is not a male thing.
And that’s exactly my problem.
The bottom line is that whatever you think you know about men and romance is pretty much correct. You figure we’re big on the F-word as long as it stands for Fuck and not Forever.
Matthew O’Malley is one hell of a catch. He’s rich, handsome, charming, smart—and every woman who’s slept with him says he’s fantastic in bed.
This is all true, but he’s also a guy who got where he is today by working hard and by hiring the best people.
Bailey Abram is one of those people. She’s Matthew’s PA. She’s loyal, efficient, brilliant—and she’s never been with a man in her life.
Suddenly, it’s crisis time. Bailey’s cousin is getting married and Bailey’s mother insists she come home for the wedding. Bailey refuses. She and her cousin have a long, unpleasant history. Bailey was the straight A student. Violet was the prom queen and she’s never let Bailey forget it. So Bailey tells a huge lie. She can’t come to the wedding, she says, because she’s going away for the weekend with a rich, gorgeous, sexy guy.
Matthew overhears this. And he sees her burst into tears when she ends the call to her mother. He hates to see Bailey so unhappy. After all, this is his PA. His dedicated paragon of efficiency. Impulsively, he offers to help. Why not go to the wedding with her? Play the part of her rich, gorgeous, sexy boyfriend?
So what if it means spending four intense days getting to know each other outside the office? So what if it means turning Bailey from a woman who dresses like somebody’s maiden aunt into a hot-looking babe? So what if it means teaching her how to touch him and be touched by him, kiss him and be kissed by him? There won’t be any real sex because it’s only a game.
That’s all it is.
Just a smoking-hot, set-fire-to-the-sheets game.
About the Author
Sandra Marton is a USA Today Bestselling Author with approximately 35,000,000 (and counting!) books in print in twenty-plus languages. Sandra’s Harlequin Presents novels all feature the sexy, gorgeous, complex, tough on the outside but tender on the inside Alpha heroes she loves to create. So do all her brand new single title novels: The Prince of Pleasure, Emily: Sex & Sensibility (The Wilde Sisters, book one), Jaimie: Fire & Ice (The Wilde Sisters, book two) and, coming soon, Lissa: Sugar & Spice (The Wilde Sister, book three).
Sandra has won the Holt Medallion. She’s been a finalist for the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award four times. She’s won eight Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards and was honored with their Career Achievement Award for Series Romance.
Sandra always dreamed of becoming a writer. She wrote poems when she was little, moved on to writing short stories by the time she was in university. She was graduated with Honors in English but, she says, life—a lovely one—intervened with her writing dream. She married, had a family, became active politically in the small town outside New York City where she and her husband lived. Then, one day, she paused long enough to realize her dream was getting away from her and decided to do something about it.
Sandra wrote her very first novel, a romance she called Rapture in the Sands. She sent a synopsis and one chapter to several publishers. A senior editor at Harlequin liked what she’d read and asked to see the rest. After revisions, Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd bought and published the book.
Today, Sandra is a full time author. She lives in northern Connecticut with her husband, who was her childhood sweetheart, in a sun-drenched house surrounded by woods.
She’s barely legal.
He’s more than twice her age.
None of it matters.
He’s about to show her why he’s nicknamed SHAFT.
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She’s barely legal. He’s more than twice her age.
None of it matters.
He’s about to show her why he’s nicknamed SHAFT.
Until Jax, I’ve never even had an interest in boys.
That’s just the thing though. Jax isn’t a boy.
He’s all man.
First, I gave him my innocence.
Second, I gave him my heart.
But when my family finds out about us…
I just hope I don’t get him killed.
She’s the granddaughter of a rival club’s President.
She’s barely legal and way too innocent for me.
I’m too old. Too hardened by life, but one taste of her and it’s too late.
I’ve claimed her as my own.
And I’ll die before I let anyone take her away from me.
Unfortunately, it might just come to that.
Bree says we’re soul mates.
Fated for each other.
When I’m staring down the barrel of a gun about to lose everything.
It seems like life fate might have given me the shaft.
“Fuck man,” I groan, all but falling down in the chair.
“Rough day old man?” Briar asks, and I flip him off. Bastard has a right to laugh. He and his old lady, Stephanie conveniently picked today to spend at Cumberland Falls. Conveniently, because today is the day the rest of the brothers and myself worked like fucking dogs, fixing up the outside of the club for BB and Diego’s birthdays. BB is a nickname for Torch and Katie’s little boy, and Diego is the president, Skull and his old lady Beth’s son. The two women are sisters and somehow managed to have kids on the exact same day just minutes apart. The Pres is going all out to make sure there’s a huge celebration for the boys’ second birthday.
It sure as hell don’t feel like they should be two already. Time flies fast, and damn if my body ain’t living proof of that today. I feel old all the way down to my bones. I’ve been a sworn in member of the Devil’s Blaze for the last two years, getting the nod from the other members during all that shit with Beth, Katie and the fucking Donahues.
It’s what I wanted, what I worked for, not even minding that I was serving as a pledge with men ten or more years younger than me. Now at forty, I’m probably one of the oldest members. It didn’t used to bother me, but lately I’m feeling like I missed out on something. Especially when men my age, or close to it have all settled down with old ladies, and here I am alone.
It’s not like I haven’t had relationships, I have. It’s just none of them are even slightly memorable. More often than not, I wish to hell I could forget them. I look through the room and it’s mostly quiet. The new prospects are partying with a few of the club girls. Even that—easy pussy, doesn’t interest me tonight and that is just fucking depressing. The club needs new women or something. Hell, maybe I need to get off my ass and get out and find a woman, a woman of my own. That just seems like too much fucking effort right now. Especially when I’ve been breaking up cement and shit all day to make way for the new patio that’s being poured tomorrow. My back hurts like a motherfucker.
“I think I’m crashing for the night brother,” I tell Briar, taking the last swig of my beer.
“Damn, you are getting old,” he says with a chuckle as he shakes his head.
“Nothing here seems to be holding my interest tonight. Club needs some new talent.”
“You need to settle down brother. Find you a good woman like my Steph,” he boasts.
“I think all the good ones are probably gone.”
“Nah, they’re still out there. Just hard to find,” Briar says.
I look around the room one last time. Just as I’m about to write the night off as a loss, she walks in.
He looks around the room. “Who?”
“The chick that just walked through the door,” I tell him without taking my eyes off her. She’s fucking beautiful, and I don’t mean that in a normal way. Hell no, this chick could have just walked off the pages of a magazine. She’s got hair that you can’t really call blonde. It’s like multiple colors, blonde on top then slowly shifting to darker locks on the bottom, and every now and then there’s a strand of almost white. It’s cut so it curves toward a perfect face reaching below her shoulders. She’s got red lips that could make any man beg—including me. She’s wearing a black jacket, not leather, it’s more polished, expensive, though the look is similar. Under that she has a white shirt that clings to tight, perky breasts that are easily a ‘C’ cup. Perfect size to fill my large hands. Tight blue jean shorts that cling to her curvy ass and show off long fucking legs, that’d I’d give my eye teeth to feel wrapped around me. She’s wearing flip flops and fuck, even her toes are sexy, painted clear with bright white tips. There’s a silver ring around one of her toes and even that looks sexy. She looks around like she’s searching for someone. Me baby. You’re definitely searching for me.
Almost as if she can hear me, she looks at me. Those sweet red lips give into a smile, and I need her closer, so I can tell exactly what color those eyes are. I can feel my dick hardening. I reach down under the table to adjust him. I’ll be letting him play tonight, that’s for damn sure. I stare straight at the woman of my dreams. Is it coincidence that her tongue comes out to brush against her top lip, or is she trying to drive me in- fucking –sane?
“Down boy.” Briar puts his hand on my chest as if to hold me back. “That’s not for you.”
“Why the fuck not?” I shove his hand away. “She been claimed by one of the other brothers?” Please say no. Briar laughs, and as much as I hate it, I pull my eyes away from my dream woman and look at him. “What the fuck do you find so funny?”
“The fact that you’re setting yourself up for a whole hell of a lot of trouble.”
“Quit talking in circles, Briar. I got more important shit to do.” Like her.
“Not with her you don’t.”
“You’re starting to piss me off man.”
“That girl is off limits.” His tone is hard and matter of fact.
His eyes harden. “Her family.”
“Give me a break. Do I look like I give a fuck?” What the fuck has he been moking?
“You might on this one.”
“I doubt it.”
“It’s your funeral.”
Standing up, I ignore the son of a bitch. My dick is so hard I could lay fucking bricks. I’ve got a much softer place in mind for him though.
“Something else might talk you out of it though.”
“I doubt it,” I repeat, walking toward my future.
“She’s jailbait,” he calls out after me.
Motherfucker. I stop mid-step, and I swear my dick would cry if he could.
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About the Author
From New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner comes a sensually seductive novella starring fan favorites Damien Stark and his wife, Nikki Fairchild.
Includes a special preview of Anchor Me, the highly anticipated fourth full-length novel featuring Nikki & Damien as they begin the next chapter in their life together.
I didn’t understand passion until I met Damien, the man who turned my world upside down and swept me off my feet.
And though our life together feels perfect, we can’t escape our secrets--and the danger that continually threatens to surface.
But for one night, I seek a respite. A birthday wish for my husband, my lover, my friend—one absolutely perfect night.
It is my most ardent wish.
And I only hope that it will come true…WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | YouTube | Amazon Author Page
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.
Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.
Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.
When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.
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“You’ve been awfully quiet tonight.”
The southern drawl was lighter than mine, more lyrical and smooth. The Blue Hills of Kentucky rolled thick and unmistakable in Asa Cross’s twang as he looked at me steadily from behind the massive oak bar he was currently in the middle of wiping down.
“I talk when I have something to say.” No one would ever accuse me of being the chatty type. When I did choose to speak the Mississippi Delta was deep and locked thickly around all my words. My drawl was much slower than the blond bartender’s and far less practiced. Asa used his inflection and his southern charm to work whoever was sitting on the other side of the bar like they were one of his marks in a long con. He turned up the south in his voice to make hearts flutter and to fool drunks into thinking he was far less sharp than he was. His Kentucky-flavored tone was nothing more than a tool he used to his advantage whenever he needed it, while my unhurried inflection reminded me of a home I hadn’t seen in far too long. That was one of the reasons I never had much to say. Every time I opened my mouth the sound of my voice, like molasses over gravel and deep as the Mississippi River, took me back to a place I had been actively avoiding for over a decade.
I’d spent a little over ten years serving my country in various capacities while enlisted in the army. I’d been around different types of men from a million different walks of life. In all that time I’d never met anyone as hard to unravel as the man standing across from me. He had eyes the exact same color as the aged whiskey on the shelf behind him, and they were picking me apart with a perceptiveness that made me uneasy. I wasn’t used to being so transparent. Whatever shield I had up, whatever ironclad curtains I had pulled around me, Asa Cross saw right through them.
“You are usually quiet, but tonight you didn’t say a single word. You look like you have something on your mind.” His eyebrows lifted and that smirk on his face turned into a grin that I wanted to put my fist in. He wouldn’t be half as pretty as he was with missing teeth and a bloody nose. “Dixie had a date tonight. I figure you were worried about her since she’s been spending time with those internet guys over the last few months, and the bar is never the same on her nights off.”
My back teeth clicked together in aggravation and a low growl escaped my throat. My hands curled into fists at my sides without me being aware they were doing it and I could feel a furious heat climb up the back of my neck.
The idea of Dixie, sweet, sunny Dixie, out there with God only knew what kind of troll she was going to find on the internet made me want to destroy everything. I wanted to break the bar top in half. I wanted to throw chairs through windows. I wanted to smash all the meticulously placed bottles displayed behind Asa into smithereens. I wanted to dropkick the remaining few stragglers nursing their last-call drinks out the door and I wanted to get my hands on whoever had taken Dixie out tonight and throttle him within an inch of his life.
Logically, I knew there were decent, normal individuals using the internet to find love and sex . . . the sex being more likely. There were millions of people online dating and while I thought that was okay for them I refused to think it was an option Dixie should be utilizing. I hated the idea of her dating at all, but there was something about her meeting strangers, meeting men that hadn’t had the opportunity to see her in person before taking her out, that really rubbed me the wrong way.
Dixie Carmichael was the nicest girl I had ever met. She didn’t have a mean bone in her perfectly curvy and petite body. She was always smiling, always laughing, and there wasn’t a moment spent in her company where it didn’t feel like the sun was shining directly on you. She embodied warmth and care. Someone behind a computer monitor would never understand that. They would never feel the way her innate ability to make everything seem like it would be okay made the world seem like it was worth saving. There was a lot of bad shoved at us all on a day-to-day basis but somehow Dixie was a filter for it, and when you were around her it seemed like the only thing you could focus on was the good she let through.
She needed someone that could appreciate that. She needed a man that shined as bright as she did and that would hold her above the shit that was always trying to drag everyone else down. I doubted that guy was on Tinder or Bumble. In fact, I doubted that guy existed at all.
“I don’t keep track of her comings and goings.” I rubbed a hand over my mouth and watched as Asa’s eyebrows shot up and his lips twitched. I was a damn good liar. I lied to myself for years and years about the kind of man I was in order to convince myself that the choices I made were the right ones. But I was currently trying to lie to a man that was a professional liar, so it was no surprise that he saw right through the bullshit I was laying down.
“Ahh . . . I see. You have no interest in the fact she might be out there with a serial killer that wants to turn her pretty hair into a coat for his pet hamster?”
I glowered at him and crossed my arms over my chest. I was a big guy. Years of doing PT and boredom in the desert had led to a strenuous fitness routine I still maintained, partly out of habit and partly because when my muscles burned and I made myself sweat I could shut off all the other stuff that was crowding my head. Some of it nagging, niggling regret from the past, a whole lot of it new nightmares and realizations from my present. I had a couple inches in height on the Kentucky charmer and a whole lot more brute strength. Yet none of that or the glower that I was sure was stamped across my face kept Asa from keeping his stupid, sound advice to himself.
“Dixie is a good girl, she deserves someone who can give her that kind of good back.” I could see the surprise on Asa’s face as I finally gave him something that was wholeheartedly true.
He pushed off the bar and hollered that it was time for the last few customers to finish up. There were some grumbles but everyone left was a regular and as soon as the clock hit one thirty they would move towards the door without any hassle. I liked nights like this, where there were no fights to break up, no crying girls to console, no puke to clean off the floor, no amorous couples to shoo out of the bathrooms. Typically on a night like this I would watch Dixie scamper around shutting the bar down while pretending I wasn’t looking at her. I couldn’t help myself. My eyes were pulled to her and when she laughed or smiled I felt it in my gut like a punch. She did things to me that no woman had ever done to me before.
She made me want to smile and that alone was enough to have my feet itching to hit the road before I did something stupid, like fall in love or take her up on her blatant invitation into her bed. I wanted to fuck her, but I knew if I did it would fuck us both. She was nothing but good and when I got good in my life it always went bad, so I didn’t allow myself, or her, to go there. She shone as bright as the sun every single day but I was a man that knew all too well that too much time in the sun could lead to some serious burns.
I’d spent the last few months biting my tongue until it bled while she dated men that weren’t me and I went to bed alone each night wondering why I didn’t just pick up one of the barflies that hung around making it known they were ripe for the picking.
I’d never been the kind of guy that burned through women. My mother, and subsequently the women that stepped in to raise me after my mom was gone, Elma Mae and Caroline, taught me to understand that women’s hearts were fragile and you had to be careful with them. They tried to teach me how to take care of the good when you had it, how to respect it and earn it. I kept the lessons close because they were some of the only things I had left of the women that shared them with me. I never played with a woman’s body if I didn’t know for sure her heart was kept in a separate box somewhere. I liked my hands on soft tits and full hips, and silky legs wrapped around my back as much as any other guy. What I didn’t like was wiping away tears, explaining myself, and dramatic good-byes when I didn’t stick around after a good time. I was picky about who I went to bed with and I made sure they understood all my hard and fast rules about not committing or sticking around before I ever put my hands on them.
“Denver was just a pit stop.” I rubbed my hand over the top of my buzzed head and looked down at the wooden floor under my boots. “With everything that happened with Brite and Avett a few weeks ago I think it’s about time I put some space between me and the Mile High.” A friend and his daughter had recently run afoul of some really nasty people. My old commanding officer and current boss and I had moved in to help in any way we could, which ended with bullets and blood and some seriously pissed-off drug dealers. Holding a weapon in my hand and kicking in doors was second nature to me. I missed the fire of combat in my blood and the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was made to fight, not to rest on my laurels. “Well past time I made my way home and tried to mend some fences.”
This was why Asa was such a good bartender. He pulled your story out of you whether you were planning on telling it or not, and he listened like he cared even if my story was told in fewer words than he was used to.
He nodded at me and pushed a rocks glass filled with amber liquor towards me. He typically drank Scotch at the end of the night, but I was a bourbon guy through and through. “I know all about mending fences, brother. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to dig a hole for a new post and string up some new wire.” He took a swig of his own drink and plastered that arrogant smirk back on his face. “Plus you might as well run before that girl you’ve been watching when she isn’t watching you fall in love with someone who ain’t you.”
I was going to hit him. My intent must have been clear because he put his glass down on the bar and lifted his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “My girlfriend is armed and she likes my pretty face the way it is. Keep that in mind, soldier.”
I slammed back the rest of the bourbon and let it burn its way down my throat. “Fuck you, Opie.”
He chuckled at me and turned to cash out the register behind him. “That’s why they say the truth hurts, Church.”
Before I had been Church I’d been Dash. And before I had been Dash I’d been Dashel. It was already hard enough being a kid with less than white skin and with parents in an interracial relationship, but having a name that was as uncommon as mine down in the Deep South was fuel on an already burning fire. I’d hated it growing up and even with shortening it to Dash I’d still struggled with it. But now I’d been Church for a long time, and he was a man that didn’t give any kind of shit what anyone else thought of his name. I’d earned that nickname through service and blood. It wasn’t a name that was given to me. It was one I had taken and made my own. Elma Mae was going to hate it and she was still going to call me Dashel even when I begged her not to but there was a part of me that couldn’t wait to hear the stubborn old woman tell me, I’ll call you by the name your mother picked out for you, son. That’s the name she wanted for you and you should respect it. I should, but there were a lot of things I should have done to make my mom proud that I didn’t do.
The truth Asa was laying down did hurt, because there was no hiding from him that part of the reason I was ready to bolt was because I really couldn’t stomach the idea of watching someone else take Dixie’s heart.
“Didn’t ask you for the truth.” I stuck my head out the front door and watched as the last two bar patrons climbed into their Uber. I locked the front door and shut off most of the lights and made my way back to the bar.
I liked the operation Rome had set up here. I liked the people, both the ones who worked for him and the ones he served, and I liked that the atmosphere was usually festive but pretty mellow. On the nights that heads needed to be cracked and tempers needed to be tamed I enjoyed the exertion and physicality of that as well, but I wasn’t meant to be a bouncer. I had too much training, too much experience, and frankly too many demons that needed an outlet, to babysit drunks and party girls for the long haul. It was time for me to stop drifting.
Asa finished up with the money and shot a glance at his phone. I could tell by the genuine smile that crossed his face and the way his gaze sparked that his gorgeous redheaded girlfriend was the one behind the message. Royal Hastings, the pretty Denver policewoman had recently moved in with the annoying southerner and it wouldn’t surprise me if she ended up with a ring on her finger before the year was out. The cop and the con had something special going on even if I firmly believed it was doomed to fail.
“Most folks don’t ask for the truth but that doesn’t stop me from giving it to them.” He gave me a look that told me if I was any kind of man I would take that truth he was so fond of and do something smart with it. I didn’t bother to tell him good and
I didn’t really see eye to eye. We made our way to the back door after a quick stop at the office to lock the money up in the safe. Asa scribbled a note to Rome and then quickly checked the security cameras. He typed out a message on his phone and by the time we hit the parking lot at the back of the bar a brand-new Toyota 4Runner was pulling in with a smiling redhead behind the wheel.
Asa clapped a hand on my shoulder and gave me a look that burned with understanding and seriousness. I felt like he was speaking directly into my soul when he told me quietly, “The real truth is, I let something good go, so I know how that feels. Got it back and would move heaven and earth to keep it by my side, so I know exactly what you’re walking away from, soldier. Be smarter than I was and don’t let all that goodness slip through your fingers.” He turned around and walked backwards for a second while flashing me that shit-eating grin of his. “It’s always better to be warm than it is to suffer the cold, Church.”
He moved towards the SUV and I had to look away when he leaned into the driver’s side window to kiss his girl. There was so much intimacy there, so much passion that it made everything I swore I knew about love and togetherness pull against the reins that held it tight.
I gave a halfhearted wave as Royal honked the horn at me and pulled out of the parking lot, then made my way over to my Harley. It was still nice enough weather to ride, another reason I needed to get my ass in gear and head south. In a few weeks it was going to be too cold to have the bike on the road and I wasn’t interested in putting the beauty on a trailer and driving her like some expensive piece of luggage back to Mississippi.
I was swinging my leg over the chrome-and-leather beast when my phone vibrated in my back pocket. It was after two in the morning so I knew anything buzzing through at this time of night couldn’t be good. Considering I’d recently shot Denver’s top drug supplier’s right-hand man and put down another one of his henchmen for good, I was dreading seeing what was waiting for me on the display.
It was almost as bad as I expected it to be. The number was one I’d been ignoring since I landed in Denver months ago. It was a number that belonged to a man that I owed more than some simple conversation or a handful of words. It was a call I would have continued to ignore if it hadn’t come in the middle of the night and on the heels of three other calls throughout the day that I had turned a blind eye to.
It was time to stop running from my past. It was time to man up.
It was time to be a better man, the man the person calling had tried his best to raise me to be.
“Hey, Julian.” I rested the Harley back on the kickstand and ran a hand over my face. I could practically feel the shock wafting across the phone line. He hadn’t expected me to answer and that made me a special kind of asshole.
“Dash.” His voice was even deeper and coarser than mine. People often told me I sounded like Johnny Cash but Julian Churchill really had the Man in Black’s rough growl embedded throughout his tone. “I didn’t think you were going to answer.” I sighed and felt like the wild five-year-old he had tried to wrangle all over again. “Been busy. Took a while to settle in and get used to sleeping without bombs going off overhead.”
He didn’t say anything for a long minute and when he spoke I could tell he was trying really hard to keep the hurt and censure out of his deep voice. “You have a perfectly good bed here and last I heard there weren’t any bombs in Lowry.” Lowry was the small town where I had been born and raised, just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. There weren’t bombs there but there was a bucket load of memories that blasted me with emotional shrapnel that hurt worse than the kind I’d had surgically removed from my skin.
“I needed time, Jules.”
“Had more than enough time, son. You need to come home.” I bristled just like I always did when he tried to tell me what to do. I thought I’d squashed that urge after we stood side by side and lowered my mom into the ground but there was something about him talking to me like I should know better that always made me feel like an unruly kid.
“Planning on it. Have to tie up a few loose ends around here, and I have to make sure I don’t leave my friend that helped me out in a lurch.” Rome would send me on my way with a pat on the back and a foot in my ass if he knew the real reason I was hiding in Colorado instead of hightailing it home. He was understanding, but the man was all about family first and he wouldn’t abide the way I’d been avoiding mine for the last decade or so. I was a coward and I didn’t want a man I’d been in the trenches with, a man I would die for and knew would die for me, to know just how deeply that weakness ran.
“Dash.” There was a sigh and then Julian cleared his throat, so I knew he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. “Elma Mae had an accident.”
I almost dropped the phone as I bolted up from my lounging position on the bike. “What do you mean she had an accident?” My fingers tightened around the phone to the point that my knuckles hurt and the blood rushing furiously between my ears made hearing his response difficult.
“She was carrying her laundry in off the line and tripped going up the stairs. She fell backwards and busted her hip. A neighbor heard the commotion and ran to help. They had to airlift her to the hospital in Tupelo. She’s also got a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist. She’s back in the Lowry hospital now recovering and she should be going home at the end of the week.”
“Jesus.” Elma Mae was chasing down eighty if she was a day. None of us knew her exact age and she refused to tell. She would just smile at us and tell us we kept her young. Those kinds of injuries were serious for someone in their prime. In a woman Elma’s age they were life threatening. “She gonna be all right?”
“Elma is a tough old bird. It’ll take more than a tumble to keep her down. She’s been asking about you.”
Well, if that wasn’t just a fucking red-hot poker right through the guts. It was also a slap across the face with the reality of everything I’d purposely been avoiding and denying for way too long.
“I bought a Harley. Gonna have to ride it home, so I’ll be there in a couple days.” My homecoming was happening sooner than I’d planned, but there was no way I couldn’t be there for the woman that had always been my true north. When nothing else in my life made sense there was Elma Mae. She was the only safe place I had ever known and if she needed me I was going to be there to return the favor. I owed the woman everything and the fact I’d waited so long to see her after years of deployment was a startlingly clear reminder of why I was correct and considerate in staying the hell away from Dixie.
She lived in the light and I was far more comfortable hiding in the dark.
“I’ll let her know. That will make her day.” He paused for a second, which made me brace for whatever was coming next. “She mentioned a girl. Elma told me the reason you weren’t in any hurry to come home from Denver was because of a girl. That true?”
Son of a bitch. The truth might hurt but the lies I told, and they were more gray than white, were going to outright kill me. “There’s a girl.” And there was, but she wasn’t entirely the reason I wasn’t ready to face Julian or anyone else back in Lowry. She had been one of my reasons for sticking around Denver longer than I’d planned. She was an excuse that would buy me time and one that wasn’t entirely untrue.
“Do me a favor and see if you can bring her with you. Elma would love nothing more than to see you happy, to know you’re finally settling down and moving past the things that happened with your mom and with Caroline. You bring your girl home with you and give all of us some peace of mind. Make an old woman happy, Dash. You owe Elma a few years where she doesn’t have to worry about you catching bullets or ending up alone.”
Shit. I rubbed my temples and kicked at the loose gravel under the soles of my boots. “I’ll see what I can do.” That was bullshit. Dixie would drop everything and come with me if I explained the situation. She was too nice and too sweet to tell me no. Elma Mae was going to goddamn love her after she gave her a ration of hell in order to make sure she was the right girl for her boy.
“If the girl cares about you then she’ll figure out a way to be here. If she can’t figure it out, she isn’t worth your time. Come home, son, we miss you.”
I missed home, too, but I could do without the memories and reminders that had kept me away since the day I signed my life away to my country.
It was my turn to sigh. “I’ll see you soon, Jules.” He hung up and I wanted to kick myself because after all these years and all the time and effort he put into raising me I still couldn’t call the man Dad. He deserved the title, after all it was his last name I carried around with me, not that of the man who had knocked my mom up and run. He had earned it much like I had earned my name, but whenever I tried to say it the word got stuck and I fell back on something that seemed less important. It felt like I was fooling God and everyone under the sun about just how important Julian was to me if I refused to call him the only thing he had ever been to me. I was trying to trick fate so Jules didn’t end up the way so many others I loved had.
I was also going home, and I was going to put some sunshine in my pocket and take it with me.
Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with Riveted, available February 14th, 2017
Give yourself a Valentine's Day gift in advance...Preorder and fill out the form here: https://a.pgtb.me/t0JkQX
Pre-order Riveted today and on February 14th, you'll also receive a glossy Saints of Denver poster and an exclusive first-look at Chapters 1 and 2 of Avenged, her forthcoming Mackenzie Family novella.
Avenged combines the grit of Saints of Denver series with the all-out heat of The Point series with a mind-blowing, mystery, yet-to-be-revealed, couple combining both of these worlds. Be one of the first to find out who it is, pre-order Riveted today.
Posters will be mailed the week of February 14th and Avenged chapters will arrive via email.About Jay Crownover: Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.
Offensive Rebound by MJ Fields is NOW AVAILABLE.
Meet Trae in this sports romance TODAY!
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It's a call that changes my life--and my little girl's. Years ago, playing for the NBA was the dream, but the Seattle Stallions suck. Worse than that, my old teammate is now the star center--not to mention my number one rival. There has to be a catch, some sort of agenda. Before I was injured, I was the best. Now? There's no way they want me.
But when I see the roster and salaries, it all comes together. It's a chance to get on the court again and change our lives. And I just can't wait for the opportunity to finally take him down. What I never counted on is Courtney Cohen being the game changer.
I inherited the Bad News Bears of the NBA. When I discovered the star center, my ex fiancé, cheating on me, all I want is to jump ship before the whole thing sinks. But with revenge on my mind, I exact a plan. Take down the dirty player and save my father's dream.
Suddenly twelve minutes is too little time, and a season is not long enough.
“You still afraid of me?” Courtney asks. I push her hair out of her face. “No.” “I’m afraid of you.” “No beer muscles tonight?” I ask, glancing at her empty glasses. She shakes her head. I scoot in closer to her. “Tell me what you’re afraid of.” “Liking you too much,” she says then takes a drink. I turn her in her seat so she’s facing me. “You’re gonna like me even more when I’m inside you.” Her body grows taut. “You can’t say stuff like that. It makes me uncomfortable.” “Well, now I’m going to have to do it more often to get you used to it; make you crave it, beg for it.”
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author MJ Fields love of writing was in full swing by age eight.
Together with her cousins, she wrote a newsletter and sold it for ten cents to family members.
She self-published her first contemporary, new adult romance in January 2013. Today she has completed seven self-published series, The Love series, The Wrapped series, The Burning Souls series, The Men of Steel series, Ties of Steel series, The Rockers of Steel series and The Norfolk series.
MJ is a hybrid author and publishes an Indie book almost every month, and is signed with a traditional publisher, Loveswept, Penguin Random House, for her co- written series The Caldwell Brothers. Hendrix, Morrison, and Jagger. All three books in the series are published. The Caldwell brothers don’t grow into alphas, when their mother passes away they become her legacy, her good in the world of bad.
MJ was a former small business owner, who closed shop so she could write full time. She lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she would have it no other way.
New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces Quinn, younger sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, in the latest novella in the series that began with Jared and Tate in Bully...
Quinn Caruthers has several problems.
Her father, Jason, and her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon.
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without them jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood captures her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man—experienced, sophisticated, and important. And knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.
But Lucas left town years ago and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.
But then a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn Quinn’s world upside down. She’s never asked about the tumultuous path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.
As she begins to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.
There's a prologue that Penelope had to delete from the book and she was kind enough to share it with all of us on her website. If you want to read it, and I highly recommend that that you do, you can check it out here.
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into ten languages and include the Fall Away Series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame), as well as Corrupt, Misconduct, and Punk 57. Next to Never (A Fall Away Novella) is coming in January 2017.
She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and shops at Target almost daily. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.
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Title: Dead in the Water
Series: Water Trilogy #2
Author: Britney King
Release Date: Jan 17, 2017
Add to TBR
THE PERFECT NEIGHBORS. THE PERFECT COVER.
A Gripping Romantic Suspense Thriller
He’s a contract killer. She likes to even the score. Smack dab in the middle of suburbia, few married couples are as competitive as Jude and Kate.
But then, most married couples don't keep score in the form of body counts. Each hell-bent on a silent pact to out-do the other, the games begin.
Who ends up on top is anyone’s guess. But with these two, one thing’s for sure— not everyone comes out alive.
After all, there are a few things they can agree on: All is fair in love and war. And if they can’t make it work— they’re dead in the water.
“Cheers,” I offer, but it sounds like ‘fuck you,’ which it is, and I hate that we haven’t touched glasses. It’s bad luck, and certainly we don’t need any of that. You don’t seem concerned with luck though, because in two short strides you are standing in front of me, and your eyes are dark. You swallow hard, and this intensity, it kills me. You don’t say anything, and I hate the silence between us. Maybe you’re trying to send a message. Maybe you’re into telepathy; I’m not sure. But I’m not afraid of this side of you, Jude. It’s always been the best part. And so when you push me against the wall, I go willingly. At least at first. Because I know you, and you’ve always enjoyed a bit of a fight.
Britney King writes modern love stories for mature audiences. She also enjoys suspense and often finds her sweet spot penning a good mixture of the two.
Britney is the author of eight novels and is currently at work on number nine.
She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Blurb:Includes "Crashing the Boards" novella as bonus material. Hockey star Cooper Black and professional party crasher Izzy Maxwell return in this sequel to Crashing the Boards. Jealous boyfriends and glitzy parties can be a recipe for disaster. When the gorgeous yet controlling Cooper interrupts a party Izzy was paid to crash and almost ruins her career as a professional party crasher, Izzy kicks him to the curb. She learned early in life not to count on anyone, and she will not relinquish her independence, not even to a sexy-as-sin pro athlete who can melt her heart with one wink. As the Sockeyes hockey team opens their inaugural season in Seattle, Cooper finds himself minus a girlfriend and plus a surly teenaged nephew. Cooper doesn't want to be a surrogate dad, he doesn't want to play in Seattle, and he doesn't want to be alone. He misses Izzy, but seeing her with other men at parties turns him every shade of green. Regardless, he wants her back, and he's willing to change, if only she'll give him a second chance. Aware of her precarious finances, Cooper makes an offer she can't refuse by hiring her to be responsible for his nephew when he's traveling with the team. Fearing Cooper isn't capable of changing his control-freak ways, Izzy resists his efforts to turn their financial arrangement into a personal relationship. He needs a sweet, docile girlfriend, and Izzy cannot be that woman. Yet, when tragedy strikes, Izzy is there when Cooper needs her the most, and love has a way of getting what it wants, no matter the circumstances.