Good Elf Gone Wrong
Knitting clutched in my hands, I turned to the bad boy sitting next to me.
“Do … um …” I cleared my throat. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
His finger paused on the page he was turning. He fixed those pale-silver eyes on me, a dusty gray like the winter sky.
“No. Why? Are you offering?”
“Sort of. See, I kind of need to break up my sister and her boyfriend. She’s dating my ex. He’s a jerk. It’s complicated. But I need you to be my boyfriend so I can ruin her wedding. I don’t know if you do that type of work?”
I smiled hopefully.
The book closed with a loud thud.
He looked angry.
“Er, never mind,” I squeaked and held up my knitting. “I’ll get started on those baby socks. Forget I said anything.”
But he didn’t go back to his book.
“So you want a fake boyfriend.”
“Um, yeah. I mean that was the plan. But plans change …”
Those ghostly eyes still locked on mine, he leaned over, his huge body crowding my space.
I scrunched against the window.
“You sure you can handle it?” he asked in a deep, gravelly voice. He smelled like leather and the winter wind.
No. No, I don’t think I can.
I swallowed. The empty Advent calendar was digging into my side.
“Yes,” I squawked.
“Prove it,” he said, his breath cool on my cheek.
He twisted out of his jacket, the ridges of muscle under the tight gray T-shirt flexing and rippling as he shrugged off the garment.
“Give me a hand job.” The baritone voice deepened. “I have my jacket on my lap. No one will know. Just go for it.”
My eyes were about as big and round as Pugnog’s and ready to pop out of my head.
“Unzip my fly,” he breathed against my mouth, “and stroke my cock.”
My stomach was flip-flopping. The air between us was supercharged, and my skin felt tight and prickly.
“I-I can’t,” I stammered.
He huffed out a laugh, smirked, and pulled his jacket back on, the leather creaking.
“Thought so.” He sat back in his seat and opened up his book. “You’re weak. You have an elaborate revenge plan all mapped out, yet you clearly can’t handle having a fake boyfriend.”
Babies in Twinkle Falls
(Kylee and Bridgette)
“I think all of this could be a product of your imagination working overtime.”
“It’s not made up, Bridgette, I swear. Mummy gave me the first photo years ago, and it’s the only one I had of my father until—”
“Quit saying that!” She huffs, “I don’t even know for sure if the man in that picture is my father. Though, let’s say it is. There’s no possible way you could be his daughter.”
“Why? Am I not good enough to be a Dupont?”
“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“Do I? We’re total opposites, Bridgette. You’re a successful baker who went to some prestigious culinary school, and I’m a struggling, knocked-up girl who takes any job she can to make ends meet.”
“Stop that. It sounds like you’re trying to play on my sympathy so I’ll change my mind about that photo.”
“Believe what you want.” I wince when my lower abdomen tightens. Reflexively rubbing it, I continue, “Like I said, she never talked about him. Mummy said they were only together a short time; however, he was in the Navy, and he died when I was just a baby.”
“There you go…that proves my father cannot be yours, because mine is very much alive.”
Still massaging my aching belly, I propose, “Well, maybe she lied about that part for some reason, I don’t know. Was your father ever in the Navy?”
“That means nothing—a lot of men have been in the Navy.”
“That sounds like a yes if you ask me.”
“Well, I didn’t ask you.” Her eyes flutter when she turns and takes a few steps.
“You’re avoiding the question.”
She turns back around. “He was, though only for a short time. I’ll have you know, my parents have been happily married for thirty-nine years, so there’s no way anything like you’re insinuating ever could’ve happened.”
Tricking Christmas: A Sweet Western Holiday Romance
Obviously insulted, two twin lines created furrows between his eyebrows. “I’m not doing this for the money, Jolee.” He scoffed at her and swirled the ice around in his tea glass.
“Then, why are you offering to save my bacon, so to speak, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Truitt shrugged. “Because you’re a good person, Jolee Judson, and you’ve worked hard to establish your act with a sterling reputation. You’ve always been the driving force behind it. Amy even said as much. It’s not fair that you’ve been put into a bind because your partner quit without any notice.”
“Amy had a good reason. She needs to be with her family.”
“She does, but I got the idea she’s had one foot out the door for a while. She mentioned last time we spoke about going back to school to become a veterinarian.”
Shock widened Jolee’s eyes. “I had no idea she was considering it. I think she’ll do great in that field, though. She loves animals.”
“She does.” Truitt took the last bacon tot from the bag. “Dibs on the last one.” He popped it in his mouth, drained his glass, and stood. Once again, the trailer felt cramped by his presence.
Jolee wondered if it was his large personality as much as his muscular physique that made the space seem smaller.
“I better get going. I promised Troy I’d help him with a few farrier jobs he’s got lined up. Do you want me to try to perform with you tonight or during this rodeo?”
“No. Let’s leave things as they are this week, although I wouldn’t mind if you had time to help set out props.”
“Sure. Troy and I are scheduled to rope in the slack tomorrow afternoon, but I can help you out during your performances. Just let me know what you need, honey.”
Jolee bristled as Truitt opened the door and stepped outside. When he turned to face her, his smile melted faster than the ice cream cone she’d attempted to eat the previous afternoon. She’d heard Truitt call babies in diapers, old women with walkers, and females of every size, shape, color, and age in between “honey.” And she didn’t like it. Not one bit.
“You will not ever, under any circumstance, call me ‘honey,’” she commanded in a tone dripping frost despite the heat already surging outside. “Understood?”
“Yes, ho—Yes, ma’am.” Truitt ducked his head, but she caught the hint of his smile.
Title: Lethal Vows
Author: T.L. Smith & Kia Carrington-Russell
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: December 29, 2023
Dear Miss Ricci
You don’t know this yet, but you will be my wife.
Your soon-to-be husband
He thought I was his—that’s what his emails indicated.
He thought that because our families signed on the dotted line many years ago, it was a done deal.
But I ran away from that life for a reason.
Little did I know, he would find me. And he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
Crue wanted me to be his wife.
And all I wanted was him in my bed.
USA Today Best Selling Author T.L. Smith loves to write her characters with flaws so beautiful and dark you can’t turn away. Her books have been translated into several languages. If you don’t catch up with her in her home state of Queensland, Australia you can usually find her travelling the world, either sitting on a beach in Bali or exploring Alcatraz in San Francisco or walking the streets of New York.
Obsessed with all things coffee, food and travel, Kia is always seeking out her next adventure internationally. Now back in her home country of Australia, she takes her Cavoodle, Sia along morning walks on beautiful coastline beaches, building worlds in the sea breezes and contemplating which deliciously haunting story to write next.
Title: Happy Ho, Ho, Holidays
Series: Chicago Steel Series
Author: Jessica Buss
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance; Off-limits/Boss Romance; Opposites Attract (novella)
Release Date: December 1, 2023
Cover Design: Karen Hulseman @ Feed Your Dreams Designs
Photographer: Eric Battershell
Cover Model: Drew Truckle
As soon as I see her, I’m bewitched by the bohemian beauty. One look from her and I’m done. Too bad after spending most of the evening together, I forget to get her number or her last name. As the owner of the Chicago Steel, the city’s professional hockey team, you’d think nothing is out of reach for me, but finding her has proved challenging. Months pass, and as my hope of ever finding her fades, she walks through my office door, hired to be my temporary PA.
He can’t be real. The summer heat must be getting to me, because everything about this man seems too good to be true. We spend most of the night together, talking and laughing. And guess what… he is the complete package. The one worthy of a trip home to meet the parents. If you ever visited home and hadn’t written it off years ago. But as soon as he appears, he’s gone without a way to contact him. Do I write it off as bad luck, or do I storm their headquarters demanding to be seen? But what if it’s all one-sided and he isn’t longing for me like I do him?
This book is a novella that is connected to the Chicago Steel series but not one of the 8 in the series. It can be read as a stand-alone. It's a contemporary sports romance, off-limits, boss romance, opposites attract.
Title: The Matchmaking Heirs
Series: Winter Harbor Heroes, Book 4
Authors: Whitley Cox & Ember Leigh
Genre: Christmas, holiday, winter, matchmaking, small town, mystery, family secrets, feel-good, inspirational, warm and fuzzy
Cover Design: EmCat Designs
Release Date: December 1, 2023
“I always love holiday themed books but when you pair it with an update for characters of a great series, now that’s a good read!” – Christina, Goodreads
“This book gave me all the giggles and warm hugs!” Goodreads reviewer
“This book was filled with wonderful interactions, heart warming holiday gifts and the true meaning of family and love in the season.” – Nicki, The Overflowing Bookcase
“Funny, sexy, steamy and a good time is to be have by all. It was fun returning to Oregon and I wished we could have more. A story you won't be able to put down, another winner for Whitley and Ember!” – Jo-Ann, Goodreads
They’ve reconciled, found love, found a purpose and are winning over the hearts of the townspeople. What more could they ask for?
Perhaps even an inkling of an idea what to get their better half for Christmas for starters.
And now they’ve been tasked with a matchmaking quest that seems downright impossible. Maribel has put it on the brothers and their lady loves to help widow Drucilla Crombie finally get the man she’s pined over for nearly sixty years. But old Mr. Gentry is oblivious and ornery and, according to Maribel, would need a map and a compass to find the nose on his own face, so he’s completely hopeless when it comes to love.
Now, it’s up to Callum, Carson, Colton and their women to help bring the two Winter Harborites together once and for all. But it won’t be easy. And if that’s not hard enough, there’s a journalist in Summer Hills hell-bent on dragging the Summers and Winters family names through the mud. So they need to figure out what his problem is and put a stop to it before things escalate and ruin Christmas for everyone.
Get ready for laughter, swoony moments, and one unforgettable Christmas in the quirky small coastal town of Winter Harbor, Oregon as the brothers and their loves unravel mysteries, play matchmakers and sneak moments under the mistletoe for the first time ever.
A Canadian West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have two beautiful daughters and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn't end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it's not quite wine o'clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.
A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With single dads, firefighters, Navy SEALs, mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role-playing, Whitley’s books have all the funny and fabulously filthy words you could hope for.
Ember Leigh has been writing erotic romance novels since she was far too young. A native of northern Ohio, she currently resides near Lake Erie with her Argentinean husband, where they run an Argentinian-American food truck and wrangle two wild boys.
MY NEIGHBOR’S SECRET
I hate him and I don’t even know his name.
The good news is my nemesis has made it abundantly clear the feeling is mutual. He did call me pretty, though, in the midst of a heated screaming match. Which would have been flattering, if I didn’t loathe him so much. But whatever. I don’t care how handsome he might be, or how charming the rest of the world probably finds him, guys who look like aged-out boy banders aren’t my type. Add to that, he’s got a knack for being in precisely the wrong place at the wrong time, and I was thrilled to march away from our angry skirmish and never see the b*stard with the piercing blue eyes, ever again.
It wasn’t meant to be, though. As it turns out, my sworn enemy is my new next-door neighbor. F*ck my life. Luckily, he’s got a big secret to keep, just like I do. He’s in a jam, and so am I. So, we’ve decided to put our differences aside long enough to resolve our respective predicaments. Of course, we’ve made it clear this is going to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A necessary means to an end. But when you’re forced to work closely with your sworn enemy, a guy who happens to be ridiculously attractive and surprisingly funny—when he actually starts to grow on you, much to your shock—keeping things strictly professional becomes easier said than done.
My Neighbor’s Secret is a funny, silly, zany, swoony, spicy, enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, standalone rom com that will keep you laughing, swooning, guessing, and fanning yourself, all the way to Charlotte and Auggie’s happily ever after.
Grab Your Copy! https://books2read.com/LRMNS
Meet Lauren Rowe:
Lauren Rowe is the USA Today and international #1 best-selling author of bestselling Standalone Smitten, The Reed Rivers Trilogy, as well as The Club Trilogy, The Josh & Kat Trilogy, The Morgan Brothers Series, Countdown to Killing Kurtis, and select standalone Misadventures.
Lauren's books are full of feels, humor, heat, and heart. Besides writing novels, Lauren is the singer in a party/wedding band in her hometown of San Diego, an audio book narrator, and award-winning songwriter. She is thrilled to connect with readers all over the world.
To find out about Lauren’s upcoming releases and giveaways, sign up for Lauren’s emails here!
To learn more about Lauren Rowe & her books, visit here!
Connect with Lauren Rowe: email@example.com
I was looking for a job, not a Romeo… because everyone knows how that story ends.
Broken Romeo, an all-new enemies to lovers, second chance romance, and the first book in the Shattered Hearts series from USA Today bestselling author Katana Collins is now available!
I’ve got three hundred bucks left in my bank account, two jobs, and one final chance to make it as an actress in New York City.
After years of being a chorus girl, I arrive at my first Broadway audition for a leading role thinking I finally have a shot at making it...until I come face to face with the director, Holden James—the rich quarterback from college who broke my heart and stabbed me in the back three years ago.
But I’m not the same girl I was in college. And unlike three years ago, I now know just what—and who—I’m dealing with. This time, I know how to play the game. In this cutthroat business, I need to remember the truest theatrical lesson of all:
For never was a story of more woe... than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
Keep reading for a look inside Broken Romeo!My shoulders go rigid. I have thirteen missed calls.
Most days, I get one or two calls tops… and they’re usually spam.
Not only do I have thirteen missed calls, but I have thirteen new voice messages. All from the same 516 area code.
I press play and hold the phone up to my ear.
Holden’s voice filters from the speaker. “Kate, it’s me. Look, we need to talk. I don’t want to have this conversation over the phone—”
She wasn’t exactly memorable back then. The echo of his voice roils my stomach, and I pull the phone away from my ear to look at the phone number he called from.
The same number as the other twelve messages—Holden’s number.
Holden called me thirteen times.
My breath catches. I haven’t known his number for years. I haven’t known how to reach him, despite the multiple pissed off speeches I’ve memorized through the years. Speeches I thought he’d never hear because I never had a way to contact him…
The power of that makes my heart patter against my ribcage with the speed of a hummingbird’s wings.
It’s a power I shouldn’t be trusted with.
I delete the messages and shove my phone back deep into my pocket as Jill gives me a questioning glance. “Who was that?”
My throat tightens. She’s the one person I can’t lie to. “It was him.”
Her eyes go wide, filling with hope. “Maybe—”
“No,” I cut her off.
“You don’t even know what I was going to say!”
Curt finishes taking an order and scribbles some initials onto a cup, then thrusts it at me to make the iced matcha latte. I bend, retrieving the green powder from its container, and toss a scoop in the bottom of the cup.
“Fine,” I concede, uncapping the almond milk.
“What were you going to say?”
“Maybe he’s calling to offer you the part—”
“No,” I answer again, shoving the ice scoop into the bin.
“But how do you know?”
“I just do.” I dump the ice into the tea shaker, then push the lid on top. Giving it a good shake, I speak over the clatter. “If you’re being offered a role, the director isn’t the one who calls you. The casting director calls your agent. Then your agent calls you with the contracts that you comb through before there’s any formal acceptance.”
I hate the deflated look on Jill’s face. In some ways, she’s taking this even harder than I am.
Or I’m just that good at shutting off my emotions.
Which is the exact reason I didn’t get the part. Because Holden knows me too well. He knows I have trouble connecting, exposing my vulnerable side. Especially with him.
“The only reason Holden would call me himself is if I didn’t get the part, and he thinks this somehow makes him the hero to tell me in person.” I stare into the frothy light green beverage and snap the lid on top, avoiding Jill’s pitying stare.
A deep voice speaks up, resonating over the ambient noise of the coffee shop. “Maybe if you returned my calls, you’d know what the hell I wanted.”
My breath stalls halfway out of my lungs, and I snap my gaze up.
For more information about Katana Collins and her books, visit her website: https://katanacollins.com
BEST SERVED COLD
Crimson Club - Book Three
by Willow Dixon
Release Date: November 29, 2023
Cover Design: Lori Jackson Design
Photographer: Michelle Lancaster
Model: AnthonyGenre: M/M Romance Standalone
Tropes: Animosity to lovers, double bi-awakening, workplace romance, demisexual rep., mental health rep., found family, sniping as a love language, possessive MC's, exhibitionism and public fun
When the guys at work dare me and the new guy to play a game of gay chicken, I figure I’ll get my first kiss and bragging rights for winning. What I don’t expect is for that game to awaken something in me. Something I’ve never felt before.