Monday, August 3, 2015

RUTHLESS by MICHELLE ST. JAMES --> RELEASE DAY LAUNCH & GIVEAWAY

It’s release day for Ruthless by Michelle St. James. We’re so excited for this sexy mafia romance! Michelle is sharing an excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so be sure to check out all the festivities! Ruthless RDL ban


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About Ruthless:

Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

 

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake —until she meets Nico Vitale.

 

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence —while always an option —isn’t the only way to get what you want.

 

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

 

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.

 

Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

 

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.

 

Blurbs

 

"From page one you're hooked and sucked into this corrupt thrilling world. A masterful romance of deep dark suspense, complicated emotions, and exciting action." - New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose

 

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Exclusive Excerpt

Nico Vitale was kneeling in one of the pews at St. Monica’s, praying for his mother and father. They’d been gone two years, but the pain of losing them still lingered. He had only been twenty-eight when they’d been killed, and he’d expected to have them for many more years, to give them the daughter-in-law and grandchildren they had wanted.

Their future had been stolen. From all of them.

He forced down the fury that had become all too familiar. Anger was good. Productive. It’s what drove him to seek justice, to right the wrong perpetrated against his family, against the honor code that had survived decades under the rule of some of history’s most violent men.

But this wasn’t the place for anger. This was the place for peace. Repentance. He took a deep breath and tired to calm himself.

His mother had always gone to St. Patrick’s, but Nico made a point of moving around the city, sitting in any church with an open door. He liked the anonymity of it. Liked knowing that no one would know him or remember his parents.

His faith was only a shadow of the belief that had sustained them. Nico didn’t believe in the edicts of the Church. It had been organized by man to benefit man. He worshipped his own god, and his god didn’t turn the other cheek. He might forgive, but that forgiveness didn’t preclude a punishment justly earned. Still, he liked to sit in silence and remember, to send love to his parents, wherever they were, and to stand on the side of any god who believed in vengeance.

He was reciting the Lord’s Prayer when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He instinctively shook off the hand. When he turned to see who had interrupted him, he was even less pleased.

“What is it, Dante?”He forced his voice even as he took in the leather jacket and jeans worn by the man in front of him. A dress code was part of Nico’s organizational reboot, but keeping cool was a point of pride, part of his mission to remake his father’s business for the twenty-first century. And having a reputation for being calm only made him more formidable when the situation called for his wrath.

Dante shifted in his seat, his face flushed, eyes feverish with excitement. “We got her,”he said. “We got the girl.”

Nico looked around before tipping his head at the church’s massive double doors. “Not here.”

Dante stood, hurrying down the aisle. Nico followed slowly, letting the peace of the church wash over him as he made his way out the door.

He took his time following Dante down the steps of the church. When they reached the sidewalk, they stepped back to stand near an adjacent building.

“Any trouble?”Nico asked.

Dante shook his head. “She didn’t see it coming.”

Nico didn’t like the note of excitement in Dante’s voice. Nico’s father had ingrained old-fashioned chivalry in his bones, and Nico never sanctioned hurting women. These kinds of things were a necessary part of doing business, not something he enjoyed.

“You didn’t hurt her.”It wasn’t a question.

Dante sighed, and Nico caught a hint of annoyance in the other man’s face before he could hide it. “We did it just like you said. Knocked her out, put her in the van, took her to the basement. She’s fine.”

Nico nodded. “Good. Make sure she’s comfortable.”

“Comfortable?”Dante’s laugh was bitter. “Why do we care if that bitch is comfortable?”

Nico clamped a hand on Dante’s shoulder and squeezed until he flinched. “We don’t call women bitches in this organization. Ever. Understand?”

Dante nodded, his eyes lit with the fire of indignation.

“Good.”Nico released his grip. “Now go make the pick-up.”

“Will do.”Dante rolled his shoulders, like doing so would free him of Nico’s grip when they both knew only death or dishonor would do that. “Want a ride back to the office?”

“No.”He didn’t owe Dante an explanation.

Dante nodded and headed for the car double parked at the curb. Nico watched him get in and drive away. He waited for the car to disappear into traffic before he started walking.

Dante was a problem. Nico understood it, but he was still trying to settle on a strategy for dealing with it. He knew Dante resented him. That Dante believed his father, Gabriel Santoro, should have been Underboss to Nico’s father before his death. If that had been the case, Dante’s father would be Boss now, and Dante himself would be the crown prince of the New York territory.

Instead, a year before his death Nico’s father had inexplicably turned to Nico, pleading with him to step in as Underboss. Only twenty-seven at the time, Nico wasn’t ready to take on the mantel of responsibility held by his father. He didn’t even believe in the mob. Not the way it was then; stealing and killing and raping in the name of money. In the name of power.

But his father had been unsettled. Even Nico, as young and wrapped up in himself as he’d been at the time, could see that. And his father -- his family -- meant everything to him. So he’d gotten his act together and joined the business, learning it from the inside out. He was just beginning to feel like he had a handle on the basic operations when his parents were murdered, execution style, outside the restaurant where they’d met over three decades ago. They had been celebrating their thirty-second anniversary.

Nico had spent the two years since remaking his father’s legacy. Raneiro Donati, head of the Syndicate that acted as governing body to criminal organizations all over the world, had stepped in as a mentor and father figure, guiding Nico through the early stages of grief and the rage that threatened to undo him. Gradually, Nico had found a focus for his fury, and he’d poured every ounce of his energy into targeting that focus and reimagining his father’s legacy.

Some of Nico’s soldiers embraced the change. Others, like Dante, clung to the old ways. Nico understood, but the reorganization wasn’t optional. They would comply or they would be gone.

Nico didn’t like taking the girl. A decade ago, something like that would be off the table, a blatant breaking of rules that had been in place since before the Syndicate formally existed. But nothing could be rebuilt without first dismantling the rotting foundation of what had come before.

And unfortunately, the girl was part of that foundation.

He checked for traffic on 2nd Avenue and crossed just before a taxi barreled through the intersection. He felt liberated by his time at the church. Lighter on his feet. Maybe he would call one of the women who acted as a physical companion when he felt the urge.

After all, he wasn’t a saint.

 

Michelle St. James Bio:

Michelle ZinkMichelle St. James aka Michelle Zink is the author of seven published books and six novellas. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters (YA), was one of Booklist's Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best. Her character, Alice, won the Teen Read Awards for Best Villain against Harry Potter's Lord Voldemort.

 

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RED BLOODED by CAITLIN SINEAD --> RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY

redblooded-release

Caitlin Sinead's RED BLOODED is available now! We're obsessed with RED BLOODED - there's a cute campaign intern, political drama, family drama, a fake relationship for the press, not to mention a bit of mystery. What's not to love? Join the campaign trail with Peyton and Dylan now!

 

Red_Blooded_final_cover (1)About RED BLOODED

Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she's ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he's been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she's also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it's not just her past on the line anymore. It's her heart.

Add it to Goodreads HERE!

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Excerpt from RED BLOODED

With the flood of more people outside of the Wawa, and even more phones attached to Instagram and Pinterest and god knows what else, there isn’t time to think. There’s only time to act.

I brush against Dylan, fear gurgling in my stomach. What if he doesn’t get it? What if he doesn’t want to play along?

“Dylan, promise me you’ll keep looking at me as I say this.”

His eyes dart up. “What?”

“Just, don’t look anywhere else,” I say, as I approach him, our bodies almost touching. “People recognized me.”

He jitters, about to look around, but he stops himself. His attention is all on me. “Yeah,” he says, voice low.

“Remember how you told me that in politics we need to make the story our own. Make it something positive?” I close the gap between us, my body pressing against his. He stiffens, but only at first, then his breaths grow deep.

He nods. “Yeah.”

“This is me making my own story.”

My palms glide over his knuckles. I press down on his wrists to help leverage myself up as I stand on my tiptoes. I bring my face closer and closer to his, until our lips touch. I move, but barely, running my mouth along his. His mouth opens, and together, our breaths connect.

We stay there, not moving past the lip-touching, until he lowers his head. His hands fly around my hips. He pulls at me, pressing my belly into his pelvis as his lips come down hard. His tongue slips into my mouth, tender and curious. I reach my hands around his neck, pressing my breasts against him. His right hand reaches just under the back of my shirt, and his fingers press against my lower spine as his left hand scoops my neck, ensuring my mouth stays with him. Ensuring our tongues and lips can stay together, caressing and connecting. His thumb rubs against the sensitive part under my ear. I arch my back as he holds me close. I’m ready to relinquish everything to him.

Just as I’m wanting his hands to skid all over me, just as I’m wanting his mouth to never leave mine again, he draws back. He looks down and swallows. I hold on tighter as his hands glide to my upper arms. We’re both catching our breath as we stare at each other.

Then he looks to the crowd that I realize, belatedly, has been joyously catcalling from the Wawa doors. He leans to the side of me that they can’t see. His warm breath blows against my ear.

“That was just for show?” he asks.

I mumble something and try to nod my head. Up. Down.

“Okay.” He lets me go and climbs into the driver’s seat faster than I thought possible. Especially now. My legs feel like Jell-O, my mind feels like something even less solid than Jell-O. I look up in a haze. He opens the door a sliver. The familiar, gruff, Dylan voice is back. “You coming?”

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Giveaway

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About Caitlin Sinead

Caitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, is available now from Carina Press. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master's degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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THE JOURNEY HOME by KELLY ELLIOTT --> SALE & COVER RE-REVEAL







Fate
has a way of stepping in and righting itself when we least expect it.

Maddison
Powers has been regretting the biggest mistake of her life when she walked away
from the only man who has ever sparked something deep inside her. After
comparing every guy she dates to Cale Blackwood, she finally gives up all hope
of ever finding him.

One
dare by Maddison throws Cale back into her life...and into the arms of her best
friend.

Cale
Blackwood thought he had found the woman of his dreams, until she walked away
from him one night and didn't look back. Attempting to find love again, Cale
finds himself in a relationship built on one lie after another. Forced to take
on the biggest challenge of his life, Cale must seek help from the woman who
walked away from him and broke his heart.



Sometimes
it takes more than one journey in life to truly be home.









EXCERPT:



Maddie's POV

“Cale, you need to go
home.”
He closed his eyes and
shook his head. “You’re doing it again. You’re pushing me away. I’m tired of
it, Maddie. I’m so tired of it.”
I swallowed hard and
turned to find my phone. I needed Jack to come pick up Cale.
I was about to dial my
phone when Cale grabbed me. He turned me around and backed me up until I hit
the living room wall.
His eyes were filled
with lust. That look had my panties soaked in seconds.
He lifted up my dress
and, in one quick movement, he ripped my panties from my body. I wanted to cry
out yes. I wanted to let him take me, but I couldn’t.
“Cale,” I said. “Don’t
do this.”
He kissed my neck and
I started to give in. When his hand touched my inner thigh, I startled. His
lips moved to mine and I moaned, desperately, into his mouth as he lifted my
leg.
“Oh God,” I whispered.
I tried to come to my senses. “Cale, please don’t do this. We can’t do this.”
He moved his lips to
my jaw line as he kissed around to my ear. “Are you turned on by me? Or by
him?”
The moment he asked, I
felt like a whore. I dropped my leg and pushed him back.
I wiped the tears from
my eyes.
“Jesus. I didn’t mean
that Maddie. I just—”
“Get out,” I said. “Get out of my house and
don’t you dare set foot near me again. I hate you, Cale.”




Copyright 2014 The Journey Home Kelly Elliott













Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has
a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and
dreams for some unknown reason...he claims it's because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly
asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone
sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner
overlooking the Texas hill country and write.


One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her
property with Gus....her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose,
her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush,
move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find
her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.









 Brought To You by:





Saturday, August 1, 2015

IMPOSSIBLE PROMISE by SYBIL BARTEL



Impossible Promise Synopsis:
Three years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.

Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior façade is a man on the verge of breaking.

Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.

Book one of two

Sybil Bartel Bio:

I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you really want to know about me.
I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband


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Buy Links:
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Friday, July 31, 2015

GETTING HOT by MIA STORM --> PROMO --> CHAPTER REVEAL






Rules of
engagement:
1) You have
the right to use force to defend yourself.
2) Fire may
be returned to stop a hostile attack.
3) You may
not seize the property of others to accomplish your mission.
4) Detention
of civilians is authorized in self-defense.

Delilah Morgan and her older sister Destiny have been on
their own for two years, since their parents burned down the family home and
went to jail for cooking meth. She’s street smart and tough. Nothing about her
says sixteen, and she’s not about to tell anyone, especially Bran, the hot
ex-marine bartender Destiny has her eye on. He’s stable and successful and
everything her sister needs to keep them off the street. The only problem,
something about Bran inspires her and suddenly she’s writing the best music she
ever has. About him.

Branson Silo knows what it means to be in the line of fire.
Home for a year from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, he thinks he’s
safe…until he meets Delilah. Despite her sharp tongue that makes him want to
take cover, he can’t deny the attraction. But when he hires her to play
weekends at his family’s saloon, he finds out she’s more than he can
handle…which is saying something considering he used to blow things up for a
living.
When the grenade finally explodes and the shrapnel flies,
will Bran be left standing? Or has he survived years at war only to be taken
down by Jail Bait?

ADD TO GOODREADS



Chapter 1

Bran



I shouldn’t have fucked her last week. That was my mistake, and I feel like a douche—something I’m not used to.

I watch Destiny tuck a long strand of platinum hair behind her ear with her pen as she finishes taking drink orders at the table near the door. She shoots me a secret smile when she turns and makes her way over, and I mentally shoot myself for getting caught looking. This train’s already careening down the track, barely holding onto the rails, and when I pull shit like this, it only picks up momentum.

“We got Hendricks?” she asks, slapping her order on the ancient mahogany bar between us.

I look over the order. “Closest thing I got is Tanqueray.”

The smile falls off her face and she blows out a sigh. “I’ll ask him.”

I follow the curve where her tiny waist blooms into a killer ass as she turns and heads back to the table.

She’s hot. That’s what it boils down to. When I took her home last week, it was after her first training shift with Carol. We’d sat at the bar and knocked back a few after closing and I got caught up in everything she had going on. I totally missed the signs. I didn’t see that she was looking for more than a hookup until after it was too late—until she didn’t leave after we’d done the deed.

The only guy at the table with three women—some total wannabe with a dark suit jacket over a turtleneck and pressed jeans—scowls and gives Destiny some lip. I can’t hear what he says over the piped in Kat Country, but she shrugs and says something back, then offers me an apologetic squint when the guy pushes up from his seat. He starts my direction on polished loafers, but his eyes widen slightly and he pulls up short when he sees me.

The reaction’s not unusual. When I left for boot camp six years ago, I was already in decent shape. I was Oak Crest High’s first ever (and only, as far as I know) four sport athlete all for years—football in the fall, wrestling in the winter, and baseball and track in the spring. Which is probably a big part of the reason my grades weren’t good enough to do anything but enlist. But the Marines made all that training look like fucking Romper Room, and it was only a matter of weeks before my bulk didn’t fit into any of my old clothes anymore. Since Pop owns the local gym and my sister Brenda runs it, when I’m not working behind Mom’s bar at the Sam Hill Saloon, I spend most of my time lifting weights. I’ve managed to stay in pretty decent shape…which means guys like this pansy ass are generally intimidated. Course, the tattooed six-foot-three thing doesn’t hurt the intimidation factor. Since I let my dark flattop grow out, I look more like a biker than an ex-Marine.

After a beat, his shiny shoes start moving again but he stops three feet short of the bar, out of my wingspan. “Tanqueray or Tanqueray number ten?” he demands, putting on a “big man” show for the women he’s here with.

I step aside to show him the rack behind me and he flinches a little at my movement. “For top shelf gin, Tanqueray’s what I got.”

He closes his eyes for a moment and exhales his disappointment, then scans my top shelf again. “Tanqueray isn’t even in the same league as Hendricks.”

I shrug. “You want the citrus, I’d go with the Seagrams. Something drier, I’ve got Beefeaters.”

He rolls his eyes toward the ceiling as if my suggestions are all so far below him he’s afraid of getting a nosebleed if he has to look all the way down at them. “Just give me the Tanqueray. Make it a Tom Collins so I don’t have to taste it.”

He stalks back to his table and drops into his seat as I start on their order.

Destiny comes over and watches me mix. “That guy’s a jerk,” she say with a flick of her eyes back toward the wannabe professor. “Thank God he’s Carol’s to deal with in fifteen.”

“You’re giving Carol the tip?” I say with raised eyebrows.

Her lip curls. “Guys like that don’t tip.”

I lift my eyes to him as I shake his Tom Collins. “He give you a hard time?”

“He thought I should’ve known what kind of Tanqueray we have.” Her face scrunches. “I didn’t even know there were different kinds.”

I glance at the table again. City folk for sure. Probably up here in the foothills for something at the college. “Guess he didn’t realize he’d wandered out of his natural habitat.”

She busts out a laugh as I pour his drink into the highball. “So, I was thinking…” she says when her laugh dies. “I could swing by your place when you get off. If you want.”

“Listen…” I start, setting the drink on her tray. But just as I open my mouth to tell her I don’t do relationships, Mom shoves through the swinging door from the kitchen. Five years in the Marines and two tours in Afghanistan, and I’ve yet to come across another single person who intimidates me…except my mom. She makes some of my Marine COs look like kindergarten teachers.

“Hey Vicky,” Destiny says. “Has Carol punched in yet?” She tosses her eyes at Mr. Hendrick’s. “I’m giving her that table as soon as she does.”

“She just clocked in,” Mom answers, glancing suspiciously at the table. “What’s the issue?”

Destiny shrugs a shoulder and picks up the tray of drinks I slide across the bar to her. “That guy needs to get over himself. Carol’s better at dealing with people like that.”

It’s the “take no crap” chromosome in the Silo family gene pool. My cousin is almost as intimidating as Mom. She has a way of putting pricks like that in their place without them even realizing how it happened.

Just as I’m thinking it, I see her pass by the porthole in the wooden door to the kitchen, pulling her dark curls back into a ponytail. A second later, she pushes through the door.

She looks at the three of us and her eyes narrow as she slings her short, black apron under her bulging belly and ties it. “You guys do know that when everyone clams up and stares at you when you walk into a room, that’s a dead giveaway they were talking about you, right?”

“All good, cuz,” I say, lifting one hand in surrender while picking up my bar rag with the other.

She gives us a glare that could fry bacon. “I’m not fat.”

“No, you’re not,” Destiny says, handing her the tray of drinks. “But I’m punching out and I need you to take that table.”

Carol’s gaze shifts to the table in question. “What’s wrong with them?”

“The guy’s a sanctimonious prick,” I say wiping down the bar. “He needs to be reminded his shit still stinks in the way only you can.”

A slow smile pulls at her mouth and she takes the drink tray.

“He’s the Tom Collins,” Destiny says. “The chardonnay is for the girl on his right and the Cosmos are for the other two.”

She bats her eyelashes and starts toward the table. “Coming right up,” she says, all breathy and sweet.

Mom turns to me once she’s gone, her frown deepening. “I came out here to remind you to put a note in the drawer if you pull petty cash, Bran.”

I give her a dubious smirk. “Really, Ma? I’ve been doing this for almost a year. Think I’ve got the drill down by now.”

“Well, the drawer came up exactly sixty short last night. So how else do you explain that?”

I feel my brows lift. My drawer’s never off by anything more than a few pennies. “You sure you didn’t pull it for the wine order?”

She scowls at me and crow’s feet crease the corners of her eyes. “I might be old, but I’m not senile yet.”

For her age, I have to say Mom looks pretty damn amazing. She met Dad sometime in the stone ages, when she used to dance at a strip club in San Francisco, and even still, I can see why he picked her out of the crowd. She’s got a deep worry line at the inside corner of her right eyebrow, but otherwise her face is deceptively youthful. The only thing that gives her age away is the skunk stripe that starts on the left side of her forehead and winds through the sea of dark hair pinned onto the back of her head like a the first swirl of cream into black coffee.

“I didn’t take any cash, Ma. Seriously.”

She sighs wearily and rubs her eyes. “It’s been a long day. I’ll check the numbers again tomorrow morning when I can think.”

I lean down and give her a peck on the cheek. “’Night, Ma.”

She hooks her elbow around my neck and yanks me in for a hug. “See you tomorrow, baby boy.”

She’s the only one I’d ever let call me baby or honey or any shit like that because, like I said, I’m a little scared of her. I watch her disappear through the kitchen door.

And then it’s just Destiny, waiting for an answer.

I take a deep breath and blow it out slowly as I turn to her. “Listen, Destiny. There’s no question you are fucking amazing, and I had an awesome time the other night…but I feel like you might have gotten the wrong idea about what this is.” I drop the bar rag and splay my hands on the bar between us, holding her gaze. I may be a dick, but I’ve got a moral compass that points in the right general direction most of the time. She deserves to be told straight up. “I’m not the kind of guy that does relationships, and even if I were, you wouldn’t want one with me.”

It’s not like I expect her to whine or beg. I’ve only known her for a week, since Mom hired her for day shifts, but she seems generally more together than that.

What I also don’t expect is a shameless smile to spread over her face as she leans closer. “So, are you saying that pounding me until I scream your name is too much of a commitment?”

I blow out a laugh and give my head a slow shake. “This isn’t how I pictured this conversation going.”

She pushes away from the bar and unties her apron. “I’ll be back before closing. Maybe have a drink or two. And when you leave, if you take me with you, you won’t be sorry. If not…” She shrugs. “…no harm no foul.”

I watch as she disappears through the kitchen door behind Mom to punch out. Carol drops another drink order on the bar on her way to the kitchen and I go back to work.

The Friday evening crowd picks up and it’s not long before all the tables are full and patrons start lining the bar. I dim the lights—the closest we come to ambiance.

The Sam Hill Saloon has been here since the gold rush, when the town of Oak Crest was established as a mining camp. After they got married, Dad brought Mom out here and bought her this bar to keep her “busy,” since he didn’t want her taking off her clothes for horny men anymore. She got it in the divorce and has run it for the last thirty years, but the truth is, almost nothing here has changed for nearly three quarters of a century. There are pictures on the walls of grimy gold miners lined up at this very bar. Even most of the chunky wooden barstools and tables have survived. At some point, some owner lined the front wall under the windows with three booths, and Mom added a big-screen TV, but other than that, it looks exactly like the pictures. And there’s the faint stench of stale beer emanating from the floor planking that no amount of bleach will ever get out.

But it’s a landmark, and the only bar in town, so we’re usually busy.

I’m blending a pair of frozen daiquiris with one hand and shaking a martini with the other when out of the corner of my eye, I see a solo blonde slide onto the barstool at the end, near the beer taps. I finish what I’m doing and prepare the tray for Carol to pick up before glancing over and seeing its Destiny.

A guy in the middle of the bar makes eye contact and nods at his empty beer mug. I grab it and start filling without really looking up at her. “Didn’t think I’d see you again till closer to closing.”

“Sorry?” she says. “Are you talking to me?”

The voice is off—slightly raspy and a pitch lower than her usual. I look up again and squint at her, wondering if she’s already started drinking. She’s taken her straight hair down from the ponytail she always wears it in and it’s not as long as I remember it from the other night—the only other time I’ve seen it down. There’s also a fading blue stripe cutting through the platinum over her right ear that I’ve never noticed before.

“What can I get you?” I ask her instead of pushing it.

I’m already reaching for the vodka and cranberry to start on a Madras, her drink of choice last week, when she answers, “Rum and Coke.”

“That’s different,” I mutter, shooting her another glance.

She gives me a puzzled look. “Look, I really just wanted to find out if you hire entertainment.”

My face mirrors her puzzlement, I’m sure, as I try to process her statement. “Why?”

She hunches to the side and pulls something up from her feet. I see it’s a battered black guitar case when the narrow end peeks over the top of the bar. “Because I need a gig.”

“Didn’t know you played,” I say, pushing her drink across the bar to her.

That baffled look is back as she pulls it toward her and takes a swallow. I can’t help following the curve of her long neck downward toward a pair of large round tits perfectly outlined by her snug, low-cut T-shirt. She is definitely hot, and if we’re on the same page, then I’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. She wants me to fuck her till she screams? I’m perfectly capable of that. She sets her drink down and catches me staring. She cuts me that wicked smile again, causing my cock to stir. I return the smile, sending the innuendo right back at her.

She props her elbows onto the bar and leans forward, giving me a clear look down her shirt. “Considering that we’ve never met before, I don’t find that surprising.”

I’m so absorbed in images of my face buried in those magnificent tits that it takes me a second to process what she said.

My eyes snap to hers. “Wait…what?”

She reaches across the bar, offering me a hand. “Lilah.”

There’s a full second all I can do is stare, wondering if this is one of those split personality things you hear about sometimes. And in that second, through the dim lighting, I take in all the tiny details—a dark mole at the outer corner of her right eye; her eyes, silver instead of blue; the missing white crescent-shaped scar above Destiny’s right eyebrow; and lips, a little fuller than I remember—which are smirking at me now.

“You’re not Destiny,” I say as it all clicks.

It’s not a question, but she shakes her head. “No. I am most definitely not Destiny.”

“Twins?” I ask.

She cocks her head playfully. “What do you think?”

“You’ve got to be. You’re fucking identical except for the eyes.” I tap my forehead. “And you’re missing a scar.”

Her perfect blond eyebrow raises in amusement. “She’s the pretty one and I’m the smart one.”

I bark out a laugh as I reach across and shake her hand. “Bran Silo. Good to meet you.”

She doesn’t let go of my hand for a second after we’re done shaking—just long enough to send a clear message that she’s interested.

A knot forms in my gut, and I realize it’s guilt. Destiny and I have an understanding, but regardless, I’m pretty sure fucking her sister would be way outside the bounds of gentlemanly behavior. Not that anyone would ever mistake me for a gentleman. “Destiny never mentioned she had a sister.”

“Doesn’t surprise me.” She takes another drink, nearly polishing it off in a few big gulps.

I tip my head at it her glass. “Another?”

“My limit is one,” she says, pushing her glass toward me. “Just Coke this time, thanks.”

Carol sweeps by on her way to the kitchen, dropping an order on my bar. “Thought you left,” she says to Lilah without slowing down. “Careful or your favorite customer might ask for you,” she adds, jerking her head at Mr. Hendricks as she disappears through the swinging door.

I bark out a laugh as I scoop ice into Lilah’s glass and fill it with Coke. “Good to know I’m not the only one.”

Lilah shrugs. “Happens all the time.” She slides out of her chair, lifting the guitar case. “So do you want to hear me play or what?”

I look around the crowded room, loud with chatter, drowning out the background music. “We don’t generally have live entertainment,” I say, which is really an understatement. We’ve never had live entertainment. But for some reason, I’m not willing to shut Lilah down so fast.

When my eyes find her again, annoyed impatience shines loud and clear out of her gaze. “So that’s a no?”

I feel my mouth pull into a cocky half-smile. “I didn’t say that.”

She opens her case and pulls out her guitar, unabashedly climbing through the window I left ajar for her. I watch as she sets herself up on the stool and rests the guitar in her lap, gripping it softly but confidently. She starts strumming, and I expect her to be discrete, since this is basically an audition, but there’s not a shred of self-consciousness or embarrassment anywhere in her disposition as she begins to belt out lyrics—an old No Doubt song that I can’t remember the name of.

The way she plays, as if on instinct; the passion in her voice, and the fact that she’s really fucking good, starts to turn heads at the tables closest to us. As they quiet and listen, more tables still, and soon the only thing she’s competing to be heard over is the Kat Country on the speakers. But she doesn’t decrease her volume. If anything, as eyes find her, she becomes louder, feeding off the attention.

I reach under the bar and click off the stereo, then lean onto the back counter and cross my arms, listening as she finishes one song and launches into the next.

A guy at the bar pulls a five from his pocket and flags me down with it. I grab his beer mug, but he shakes his head. “Is there a tip jar?” he asks with a nod toward Lilah.

I pull a fresh mug from under the bar and he slips the five inside, then I set it at the end of the bar near Lilah. She cuts me a smile and her eyes slide down my body as she sings.

And fuck me. I lean my hands on the bar and press against the lower counter when my dick won’t yield to my will. Without a doubt, everything Destiny has going on, Lilah’s got that and more.






















EACH BOOK CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE




About the
Mia Storm:



Mia Storm is a hopeless romantic who is always searching for
her happy ending. Sometimes she’s forced to make one up. When that happens,
she’s thrilled to be able to share those stories with her readers. She lives in
California and spends much of her time in the sun with a book in one hand and a
mug of black coffee in the other, or hiking the trails in Yosemite. Connect
with her online at MiaStormAuthor.blogspot.com , on Twitter at @MiaStormAuthor,
and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MiaStormAuthor

SCREWED by KENDALL RYAN --> CHAPTER REVEAL

We are very excited for this brand new standalone from Kendall Ryan. 

Releasing on September 15 we get a peek at a sexy romantic comedy from the NYT Bestselling author. 








I have one rule: Don’t shit where
you eat.




Several of the women in the condo complex I own
would love some one-on-one playtime, and why wouldn’t they? I’m young, fit,
attractive, and loaded. Not to mention I’m packing a sizable bulge below the
belt. It’s a combination that drops panties on a regular basis. 




Yay, me, right?



But my cock, troublemaker that he is, has been
confined to my trousers by my business partner. A concession I agreed to, and
one that’s never been hard to enforce until Emery moves in across the hall.
She’s smart, young, determined, and sexy as hell. I want a taste. I won’t stop
until I’m buried deep inside the succulent new-in-town brunette.




After being warned about my past, she does her
best to steer clear, but I’m about to show her that underneath it all, I’m a
guy with a heart of gold and a cock of steel.




My name is Hayden Oliver, and this is my story.



SCREWED is standalone romantic
comedy by New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author
Kendall Ryan.










Chapter One
Hayden

Goddamn. This is going to be harder than I thought.
My eyes swing over to admire the most perfect pear-shaped ass I’ve
ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on while my business partner Hudson
continues lecturing me. I think it’s something important, but there’s nothing
more urgent than my body’s reaction to this shapely brunette. Jesus.
Those tits are definitely real.
“I mean it. Your cock is cut off this time,” Hudson says roughly,
his tone biting.
Tearing my gaze away from the succulent new brunette moving into
unit 4B, I face him. “Not literally cut off. I’m sort of attached to him. You
realize that, right?”
“Well it’s on lock down then. No more of this bullshit. I had
three calls this week alone from hysterical women – our tenants – who you, how
do I put this delicately? You fucked and then left before their pussies were
even dry.”
I smirk at him, but I can’t deny the accusation. We’re like the
real life Melrose Place. Sexy young twenty-somethings all living in close
proximity. There’s bound to be a little drama now and again. Together, Hudson
and I own thirty buildings in the greater Los Angeles area. And some of our
buildings have very fuckable tenants. Up until this point, I’d considered that
a nice bonus, and a perk of the job. Hudson has apparently viewed it
differently.
“Who’s that?” I ask, tipping my head toward the bombshell who’s
responsible for all the blood rushing to my groin. Fuck. I should have a
word with her about that, that’s not cool.
Hudson’s eyes swing to the left to see what, or rather, who has
captured my attention. And who’s given me this semi-chub, which I hope he
hasn’t noticed. We’re close, but we’re not that close.
“No, no, no. Don’t get any ideas. You’re not tagging that.”
She’s not close enough to overhear us, but I shoot him a scowl
anyway. “Show some class, man. Tagging is such a juvenile word. I’d take my
time, get her hot and ready first, until she was begging for me to fill her
tight, little cunt.”
“I’m fucking serious. You’re not to even think about her tight
cunt.”
“So you acknowledge she’s got a tight cunt?” I smile, proud of
myself.
He wipes sweat from his brow, looking worried. “Hayden, I’m
serious this time.” His voice has taken on a somber tone, and for once, I try
to be serious and focus.
Watching the way the vein throbs in his neck, my smile fades.
We’re standing outside of one of our nicest buildings just outside of downtown,
and the mid-afternoon sun is beating down on us. Suddenly I want to get away from
him, and away from this entire conversation and into the cool air conditioning
inside. Shit has gotten a little too real for me.
“You know me,” I grin at him, trying to lighten the mood. “I just
wanted to have some casual fun.” And if that meant sleeping my way through the
LA singles scene, so be it. I’m not looking for something deeper. I have a
luxury condo in the heart of the Hollywood Hills, drive a new model BMW and
possess a nine-inch cock. Translation: Life is good. Or it was, until Hudson
decided to get a bug up his ass and lay down the law today.
“Did you hear a word I just said? One of your latest conquests
threatened to report our company to the Better Business Bureau for unethical
business practices. This isn’t just about you. This affects me too. And I’ll be
damned if I watch everything we’ve built go down in flames because you can’t
keep your dick in your pants.”
“Point taken.” Hudson is pretty much the best friend, and best
business partner you could ask for. He’s smart as hell, dedicated, works like a
dog day and night. And not to mention when we began our real estate investment
company five years ago, he single-handedly fronted all the start-up capital
from his own savings and trust fund. It took me years to pay him back as the
profits rolled in, and he never once made me feel lesser, or like I was in debt
to him. Not to mention, he’s funny, well-off, and good looking. He’s an
excellent wing-man. Plus he knows the best taco joints.
Unable to help myself, my eyes drift over to her again. 4B fills
out a pair of yoga pants in ways that I doubt are even legal in most countries.
I needed to know what was underneath those curve-hugging black athletic pants.
Simple cotton panties, or a naughty g-string? Either way, I wanted to bury my
fingers inside the waistband of those pants, peel them down her hips and find
out. Perhaps it was because Hudson just made her forbidden fruit, but I wanted
a taste. My damn mouth was practically watering.
She looked smart, and put together, despite her casual attire, including
a tank top and tennis shoes. With a clipboard in one hand, and her trusty
number two pencil in the other, she ticked items off of her list, and
instructed the movers who were unloading and carrying boxes up to her new place
– which just so happened to be directly underneath mine.
“You’re not going to last three minutes let alone three days.” Hudson
grimaces, glancing over again at our newest resident.
“What do you know about her?”
He rolls his eyes, but humors me. “Emery Elaine Winters. She’s an attorney.
Excellent references. Even better credit score, and she signed a one year
lease. And she’s to remain in pristine condition, or so help me God …”
When I glance up at her again, I see Roxy, another of our residents
has joined Emery on the sidewalk, and they appear to be making small talk.
Shaking hands, exchanging words, and smiling at each other. There’s something I
strongly dislike about these two women talking. Roxy is an exotic dancer, and
she I have a bit of a rocky past. Which is a huge fucking understatement, but
not something I care to dwell on now. Hudson mentions something about fourth
quarter taxes, and I tune him out, sure I just heard my name on Roxy’s
over-glossed lips.
“Excuse me, I’ve got business to attend to.” I step around him,
heading straight toward my new prize. Roxy spots me, and takes off for the
parking area.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Hudson calls after me.
“Just being neighborly. Someone’s got to properly welcome Miss
Winters.”
“Dammit, Hayden,” I hear him shout.
“I’ve got this, buddy,” I shout back over my shoulder.
I can control myself around her. I have to, according to Hudson. I
don’t like being told what to do, especially where my cock was concerned, and
hell, it’ll probably only make me want her more, but as I close the distance
between Emery and me, I make a plan.
Friends.
I would become friends with the
so-hot-I-wanted-to-bend-her-over-and-fuck-her-in-broad-daylight new girl.
 
This was either the best plan I’d ever had, or would end with me
sporting a black eye, courtesy of my best friend.
It’s go time.














Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.



She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.
Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com  for the latest book news, and fun extras