Thursday, February 20, 2020




Did you #OneClick Just Friends by Charity Ferrell yet?! Don’t miss Rex and Carolina’s story!



Someone should have warned me about falling in love with my best friend.



Little did I know when Rex came to my locker attempting to bribe me, that he’d turn into my everything.

We’d become best friends. I’d steal his heart. He’d steal mine.

Nothing has changed in the years of our friendship.

Not our connection, not our feelings, or that we still hold each other’s hearts.

But his heart isn’t the only thing I’ve kept.

The secret I’m hiding could shatter the only man I’ve ever loved.



I’ve loved Carolina since the day she called my bluff.

Our friendship always came first.

She believed in me when no one else did.

I tucked away my feelings because I couldn’t survive a life without her.

We crossed the line once, and I swore it’d never happen again.

As time passes, the harder it becomes to live up to that promise.

Until finally, there’s no holding back.


Cover Designer: L.J. with Mayhem Cover Creations

Cover Photography: Wander Aguiar Photography


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Rex shifts the car into park and steals my attention from the home when he clears his throat. “That sure was a fun ride. I’ve never been checked out by a preacher’s daughter before.”

My eyes widen.

Oh dear God.

Was I that obvious?

“That’s it. Take me home,” I demand. “I don’t check out guys. I was simply observing the guy I’m going to be stuck with for the next few hours.”

“Too late. We have a paper to write, Lina babe.”

He kills the engine to the car, circles it, and opens my door as I’m debating my next move.

Go in or leave.

I smack away his waiting hand, and he moves out of the way. With a scoff, I follow him into the house. As soon as we make it through the front door, he captures my hand in his, and I nearly fall on my face when he starts pulling me up the stairs.

“My bedroom is up here,” he says.

I jerk back, causing him to stop. “I’m not going into your bedroom.”

He glances back at me, blinking. “Yes, you are.”

“No, I’m—”

I’m cut off when he grabs my hand again, tightening his grip, and stupidly, I don’t fight him this time. He steers us down a long hallway and into a bedroom.

It’s a spacious room, larger than my parents’ master, and surprisingly clean. Three of the walls are painted a dark red, and the other is black. Against the black wall is a sleek metal bed with a black comforter on top. It’s different than any guy’s room I’ve seen before.

Granted, I normally don’t hang out in guys’ bedrooms.

There’s a mini fridge in the corner, a massive desk with three monitors on top, and a TV above a black console. A collection of gaming devices and games clutters the stand.

I lose his hold when he shuts the door behind us.

“Seriously?” I snap, crossing my arms. “You have no boundaries.”

He grins, showing off his bright white teeth. “My mom said that can be a great trait in life.”

“For who? Serial killers?”

“For guys asking girls to do their homework.”

He walks around me to the mini fridge, opens it, and peeks up at me. “What’s your drink of choice, Lina? Water? Pepsi? Tequila?”

I roll my eyes, pushing my black-rimmed glasses up my nose. “You don’t have tequila in there.” This calling-his-bluff game is fun.

“I beg to differ.” He clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “It’s in a Gatorade bottle, tucked into the very back so no one sees it.”

Yeah, right.

Today, I’m feeling gutsy.

“Give me a tequila shot then.”

He squints in my direction. “You’re fucking with me.”

I shake my head. “I’ll need it to get through an afternoon of hanging out with you.”

He grins, pushing his arm into the fridge, and pulls out a bottle.

Maybe calling his bluff wasn’t the smartest idea.

We’re not at school where he can be expelled for doing something like this.

We’re in his bedroom.

I gulp when I see the bottle, focusing on the amber-tinted liquid inside that’s most definitely not Gatorade.

Way to call his bluff, Carolina.

Now, he’s calling yours.

Time to gear up and taste tequila for the first time.

The room is quiet as he stands. His eyes are fastened on me while he slowly unscrews the orange cap and holds the bottle out to me.

I’ll be damned if I let him win this … game? Whatever it is.

Nausea cartwheels in my stomach, and I haven’t even taken a drink. Lord knows how it’ll feel after I do. I inhale a deep, determined breath.

I got this.

I’ve never drunk tequila, but I’ve had wine.

It can’t be that different, right?

Deciding it’s done doing gymnastics, my stomach tightens, as if it’s preparing itself, when I snatch the bottle from him. I grip it and drag it to my lips. Right before I do anything drastic, my back stiffens, and I frown at the same time.

“How many people have taken a drink from this bottle?” I question. “I’m not about to contract some STD.”

He chuckles, signaling to the bottle. “The only person who’s drunk from that bottle is me.” He pauses, snaps his fingers, and points at me. “And you, in a minute.”

I narrow my eyes at him. “You better not be lying.”

His hands go to his chest, feigning offense. “Lina, my sweet Lina, I’m heartbroken you don’t trust me.”

I gulp again.

Here goes nothing.

I can do this.

Before I chicken out, I take a quick swig of the tequila. My eyes slam shut, blocking me from witnessing his reaction, and my teeth clench as I swallow down the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. There’s no stopping my body from shuddering. I hold in a deep breath out of fear of puking it up.

When I open my eyes, I immediately roll them.

A huge grin is spread across Rex’s shocked face.

He whistles and leans back on his heels. “Damn, Lina. Either you have a secret wild side, which I’d fucking love, or I’m bringing it out of you, which I’d also fucking love.”

I shrug. “You’ll never know.”

I inhale a deep breath, dragging up as much nerve as I can, and take another sip to prove myself. My throat burns as if it were on fire, and I smile with pride as soon as I swallow it down.

“It’s your turn, Needle Dick.” I extend the bottle back to him.

“Look at me, corrupting you.” He grabs it, cheers me, and takes a gulp. “I can’t wait to do it more.”

Little do I know, walking into Rex’s bedroom will change everything.

Rex Lane will take over my life.

He’ll steal my heart.

I’ll steal his.

Only we won’t know what to do with what we’ve taken.







#1 Just a Fling (previously titled Just Her Bodyguard)

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#2 Just One Night

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#3 Just Exes

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#4 Just Neighbors - FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME!!

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#5 Just Roommates

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Charity resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. She grew up riding her bicycle to the town's public library, and reading anything she could get her hands on. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with her family, or caving into her online shopping addiction.


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Beautifully Scarred by H.P. Davenport is LIVE! Don’t miss this emotional read which tells a story of two people destined to be more!



With her past firmly behind her where it belongs, Juliette has made a career out of turning her scars into art. She uses her skills to help others cover the evidence of their pain, too.


But some scars are too deep, too painful for anyone to hide completely.


Juliette has everything she could ever need--great parents, her dream job, the best friend a girl could ask for, and a new body to warm her bed whenever she wants. With her focus firmly on the here and now, she never expects a kiss from a stranger to throw a bomb in the middle of her carefully constructed life.


Every wound leaves a scar.


Every scar tells a story.


Her story left her beautifully scarred.


Cover Designed by: Shower of Schmidt Designs


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To celebrate BEAUTIFULLY SCARRED being LIVE, H.P. Davenport is giving away a signed paperback Beautifully Scarred and a KINDLE FIRE to one lucky winner. Head on over to her Facebook page and to Instagram for a chance at winning. Just tag a reading friend who loves a good romance book with all the feels.






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Paralegal by day, romance genius by night! When she's not tending to her furry children and her handsome husband, H.P. DAVENPORT is seamlessly carving beautiful stories from her mind in her comfy PJs in New Jersey.









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πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ COVER REVEAL πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Unrequited by Julia Wolf is releasing #March12th!! Don’t miss this sexy rock star romance about a curvy, badass drummer and the bassist she loves to hate. Pre-order today!


My proper southern belle mama might disagree, but I say I was born to be a rebel. From the second I got my hands on a pair of drumsticks, my future was sealed. I never fit in anyway, not with my rocker soul and curves that never take a day off.

But what’s a drummer without a band? Oh, that’s right. A cocktail waitress.

That is, until the chance of a lifetime falls into my lap—Unrequited needs a drummer, and I happen to have an ‘in’ with the band.

The only trouble is, Santiago Garza, Unrequited’s broody, scowly bassist, doesn’t want me in his band, which is kind of funny, considering he was the one who took my heart and stomped all over it five years ago.

My career is far more important than hurt feelings though, so Santiago can suck it up and deal. That’s what I’m doing, no matter how many times I remember the feel of his lips on mine. I won’t fall for him this time. I’m done being anyone’s second choice.


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Julia Wolf is a lover of all things romance. From steamy, to sweet, to funny, to so dirty you’ll be blushing for days, she loves it all.

Formerly a hair stylist, she spent years collecting stories her clients couldn’t wait to spill. And now that she’s writing full time, she’s putting those stories to use, although all identifying characteristics have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent!

Julia lives in Maryland with her three crazy, beautiful kids and her patient husband who she’s slowly converting to a romance reader, one book at a time.







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πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ COVER REVEAL πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Even brooding…

He’s sexier than sin.

The HOT cover for The Pretend Prince by Kim Karr is here! #ComingMarch18th

Cover designed by: Hang Le:

Photographer: Wong Sim

Model: John Tagliaferro

Not her. No way. Never again.

But I need a fake girlfriend…fast.

I’m about to lose everything.

And I know just the person who can help.

The little liar that she is.

Lia Heart and I share a past.

Not just the dirty, sweaty, get tangled between-the-sheets kind.

Getting over her wasn’t easy.

But convincing her to help should be.

She owes me.

First I have to suck it up and pretend she didn’t rip my heart from my chest.

Easier said than done.

I can’t forgive or forget.

Then again, this is just business.

Nothing more.

Turns out my ‘girlfriend’ is as sweet and delicious as ever.

Temptation and chaos wrapped in a nice little package.

She’s my heaven and hell.

When resisting her proves impossible, I tell myself it’s only sex.

That a hate f-ck is just that.


I can’t possibly be falling.

Can I?

No way. Not for her. Never again.

Famous last words.


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Ever so slowly, the doors begin to open despite my best attempts to stop them from doing so by punching the CLOSE button.

The woman boarding moves so fast, she nearly rams me against the back wall in her haste. The scent of vanilla and the contact sends such a rush of adrenaline through my body, I don’t even need to glance down to know who it is.

Only one person has ever affected me like this.

Lia Heart.




And a liar.

“I’m so sorry,” she says, and her tone is just as sweet as I remember. Anger roils in my gut at the memory of her sweetness, and I glare down. She’s busy staring at the folder in her hand and must not realize who she’s run into.

“You should be,” I snap.

Dropping the folder at the sound of my voice, she looks up, startled. “Julius?” Her quick intake of breath is enough to remind me of just how potent our chemistry had once been.




Not any longer, I remind myself. Too bad my body doesn’t get the message because it reacts in a way I despise.

The author is doing a giveaway on her FB page. Please go here to enter:

Reader * Chocolate Lover * Writer * Coffee Lover * Romantic * Beach Lover * Yoga Beginner

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels. Best known for writing sexy contemporary love stories, she enjoys bringing flawed characters to life.

Her romances are raw, real, and explosive.

Her characters will make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel.

And her happily-ever-afters are always swoon worthy.

From the brooding rock star to the arrogant millionaire. From the witty damsel-in-distress to the sassy high-powered business woman. No two storylines are ever alike.

Get ready to fall in love.

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Creeping Beautiful by JA Huss is LIVE!! Don’t miss it! #OneClick today!




I wasn’t the one who broke her but I played my part.

She came to us when she was ten. I raised her. I loved her.

I taught her how to survive in a world of evil men.

But it wasn’t enough.



I wasn’t the one who saved her but I did my best.

She needed me as much as I needed her.

Bought and paid for on the auction block.

But not for the reasons you think.

She was my weapon.



I wasn’t the one who lied to her but I hid her truth.

She was broken before I got there.

Wild and angry. Defiant and bratty.

But she trusted me most.

She loved me best.
So I set her free.

Indie Anna Accorsi is a woman lost in her past.
A pretty little nightmare.

A gorgeous piece of misery.
A mess of lovely darkness.

She is creeping beautiful.

And now we want her back.

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To celebrate the release of Creeping Beautiful, JA Huss is giving away your choice of a signed hard copy, regular edition or special edition. Giveaway ends March 16, 2020. Open International.

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“Did you have a best friend when you were a kid, Adam?”

He didn’t look at me right away, just kept watching the football game. We had barbecued that afternoon. Hot dogs. I was still full from eating three.

But eventually his eyes found mine. “What do you mean? Like… McKay?”

“No. Did you have a girl like me when you were growing up here at Old Home? Or were you all alone?”

It came out sadder than I meant it to. Because I didn’t want to imagine Adam all alone. It made my heart hurt.

“I didn’t have a girl like you. Not until you came along. You’re one of a kind, Indie.”

I chuckled. Because I knew he was saying it to make me chuckle. But there was a stab of pain in my chest when he said that.

“I’m sorry, you know. For hitting you that day. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

His eyes went sad then. And I wanted to take it back. But I didn’t take it back. I couldn’t take it back. I had been wanting to tell him that since he woke up on Nate’s living room floor covered in blood.

Finally, he sighed. “It’s just who you are, Indie.”

His reply hurt me more than it soothed me. Because… was that girl who hit him in the head with a candlestick who I was?

I gave him a brain injury. He almost died. And sure, by this time I had killed my share of people on different jobs. I had hurt more than that too. But I never wanted to hurt Adam. If McKay had not insisted on taking him to the emergency room, he would’ve died, or at the very least gone unconscious and never woken up again. His brain was swelling up and cutting off his oxygen flow. And even though he recovered, and by this time he was mostly back to normal physically, he had to have therapy for months afterward. And learn to say a few words all over again because his mouth didn’t quite work right.

I did that to him. And I was very, very sorry.

But the truth was… I didn’t actually remember doing it. I didn’t know how that candlestick got in my hand. I didn’t know how it struck Adam on the side of the head. I didn’t remember any of it. And that scared me. Really bad. And I wanted to tell this to Adam but I didn’t want him to worry about me or think I was losing it. Because I had heard Donovan talking to McKay and Adam over the years. He was always worried that one day I would ‘lose it’ and that’s why he’d been coming to talk to me since I was a little girl. So I didn’t lose it. So I could hold everything together in a tight, tight ball and never go insane.

But I didn’t know how to say that. I should’ve started with this train of thought instead of ‘I’m sorry’. Because now it felt like the conversation was over.

So I got up from my swing, walked over to Adam, and sat in his lap. And I hugged him. And then I was just… more sad than afraid. Because I had hugged McKay millions of times by this point in my life. And Donovan, a couple dozen, at least.

But I had never, ever, not once, hugged Adam. Or thanked him for saving me from that snake. Or giving me this home. Or making sure I was taken care of by McKay. For saving my life in the early days of those jobs. Or anything else that he’d done for me since I first became his more than seven years ago.

It took him almost a full minute to relax and put his arms around me, and hug me back. But when he did, something changed between us.

We both felt it.

And then his head turned and he kissed me on the cheek and pulled my face into his neck and whispered so softly, I could barely hear his words, “I love you, Indie. No matter what you do, I’m on your side, kid. Always and forever.”

I stayed in his lap. Enjoying this new closeness between us. But then he slapped my leg and said, “Get up. I gotta go inside. Got some work to do before I go to sleep.”

And I got up, and sat back down on my swing, and watched him walk away.






"I was so hooked by this book. This is 6 stars all the way!!! I think I need a physical copy of this one for my shelves." - Goodreads Reviewer Micheala


"Bravo, my mind is well and truly blown! A Brilliant, Mind-Bending Romantic Suspense!" - Goodreads Reviewer MissPetiteBrunetteBookBlog


"An exceptionally well-crafted story, beautifully well-written, with compelling characters, an incredible world-building, and twists and turns that will leave you in awe." - Goodreads Reviewer Avephoenix


"Creeping Beautiful is not the kind of book you simply read. You experience it. You live it. This story and these characters will burrow under your skin and embed themselves in your soul… and you will welcome it." - Goodreads Reviewer Jammie Bebout


"I loved loved loved this book. Right up through the epilogue, she was dropping bombs on me. I cannot wait for more!!" - Goodreads Reviewer Meow Meow


"*boom* Mind. Blown. This book is freaking AH-Mazing! This is a romantic suspense with tons of twists and turns, you never know what to expect! That ending ya'll. I didn't see it coming!" - Goodreads Reviewer A



JA Huss is the New York Times Bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today Bestseller's list 21 times in the past five years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.

Her new sexy sci-fi romance and paranormal romance pen name is KC Cross and she writes novels and teleplays collaboratively with actor and screenwriter, Johnathan McClain.

Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017. Her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018. Five of her book were optioned for a TV series by MGM television in 2018. And her book, Total Exposure, was nominated for a RITA Award in 2019.

She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.










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Thursday, February 13, 2020


πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ COVER REVEAL πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Check out Dr. Rebecca Sharp’s amazing cover! Ready to Run is releasing February 29th! This Runaway Bride meets Father Of The Bride novel is a swoony rom com that you don’t want to miss!

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Runaway Bride meets Father of the Bride in this new, steamy romantic comedy from bestselling author, Dr. Rebecca Sharp, that will have you laughing and swooning all the way down the aisle...


Dixie Dorothea Winston cannot get married.


After leaving three grooms at the altar, she fled her small-town infamy for the big city, hiding her past in plain sight: Winston Weddings by Thea Winston - because those who can’t wed, plan.


Now, she’s the most sought-after wedding planner in Manhattan. Though she’s handled many bridezillas and momsters, Thea’s never dealt with a man like Oliver Kingsley - the father of the bride.


Wealthy. Demanding. Divorced. Oliver’s determined to give his daughter the perfect wedding with Thea’s help. But the fiery, gorgeous businesswoman isn’t what he expected - and neither is the attraction between them.


From cake tastings to dress fittings, Oliver’s daughter misses one event after another, giving Thea more time with the brooding billionaire than she bargained for. And it’s not long before the lines begin to blur around the roles they’re supposed to play.


But Thea knows too-well how this works… First comes love, then comes marriage.


She needs to keep her heart in check because when it comes to walking down the aisle herself, the only thing she’s ready to do is run…


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Dr. Rebecca Sharp, while using a pen name, is actually a doctor living in Pennsylvania with her husband - the love of her life.

She enjoys working in her practice with her father as well as letting her creativity run free as an author. Growing up she's always loved a good love story and finally decided to give writing one of her own a go.

After graduating with her doctoral degree, she now enjoys spending that thing called free time traveling with her husband, cooking, and knitting.




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The Affair by J.L Berg is LIVE!! #OneClick today!!



There are some paths in your life you’re never meant to take.

Yet, by some twist of fate, you find yourself on the forbidden road all the same.


Those are the words I stumble upon when I unearth a hidden journal that once belonged to my grandmother.


A hidden journal that details a heartbreaking affair with her husband’s brother. It’s a family secret I’m unprepared to deal with, especially when my own life begins to parallel hers.


Sawyer Gallagher was never on my radar. The moment I met his younger brother, I was taken. Done for. Love-drunk.


But, some things aren't meant to last and at the age of thirty-three, I find myself divorced, penniless and living with my parents. When Sawyer stops by our family’s antique store, asking for a job, I figure: Why the heck not? Life can’t get much worse.


It doesn’t take long to realize just how different the Gallagher brothers are. Sawyer is kind, supportive, and, oh, did I mention sexy as hell?


In a small town like ours, I can’t help but ask myself…

Can I fall for my former brother-in-law?

Or is this just history repeating itself?





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[caption id="attachment_32524" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Paper cup with coffee and a laptop on a white background. Flat lay[/caption]



Option #1


It had been ages since my feet graced the concrete of this street.

A year ago, I used to walk this familiar path several times a day. I could count the steps between our front door and the antique store and the cafΓ©. It was the perfect little house, right in the middle of town.

My parents’ house, on the other hand, was on the outskirts, and in order to get anywhere, you had to drive. I hated that, especially as a kid. When you were little, you wanted instant gratification, and being even ten minutes from friends and fun was too much. I hadn’t lost that feeling when I got older, so being able to walk to the market for a head of lettuce or walk hand in hand with my husband to the cafΓ© for an impromptu brunch, that was my idea of bliss.

Or at least, it had been.

Now, the little white house was a stark reminder of everything I’d had. And lost.

My heart began to race when I got within eyesight of it. I saw the mailbox first—the royal blue I’d chosen that first year of marriage. I’d agonized for days over the perfect shade. Reed had laughed, not understanding the difference between any of them.

My stomach turned as I thought of it now.

Look straight ahead, Elle.

Don’t think about the mailbox.

Or the young, blonde woman walking out of the house … wait, what?

My feet faltered, and I nearly tripped.

There was a woman in my house.

It’s not your house anymore, I reminded myself.

I tried not to look, but I couldn’t help but notice how familiar she seemed with it all. The way she stepped off the threshold and locked the door with ease, tucking the set of keys into her purse without thought. She waved to Mr. Flannigan next door, who was watering his award-winning roses. I watched in horror as he smiled and gave a friendly wave back.

My throat burned, and my eyes stung.

I thought back to that moment at the funeral when Reed’s lips parted, and those unspoken words sat frozen in time.

I’d always assumed he was waiting for the perfect time to say I’m sorry or I’ll never stop loving you, but in reality, perhaps he was just trying to muster the courage to tell me the truth.

He’d met someone.

He’d moved on. It seemed there’d been a lot of that going on lately.

Suddenly not in the mood for coffee, my stomach turning more sour by the second, I turned and bolted for the antique store. I didn’t bother checking to see if the mystery woman saw me.

There was a reason I never walked down this street.

Too many memories.

Too much pain.

And right now, I’d had enough of both.


Option #2


As I rounded the corner though, I heard voices, which, at first, wasn’t unheard of. The church was packed with nearly half the town.

But it was the tone of the voices that made me stop in my tracks.

Hushed whispers in a place like this could only mean one thing …


“It’s just so sad,” the first female voice uttered.

“I know,” said the second woman in a tone that suggested she was feigning empathy more than feeling it. “To first lose your husband and then your father, all in the same year. It’s a wonder she can even get up in the morning.”

Oh, good. It was gossip. About me.

The first female took back the reins. “We all thought she and Reed were like the golden couple too. But I guess it’s true what they say—”

I couldn’t take any more.

The mascara that had barely been clinging to my eyelashes was now wet as I bit my bottom lip, trying to will away the tears. With my arms wrapped around my chest like a protective blanket, I tried to speed past them, hoping that I’d somehow develop special powers and zap them away with my death stare.

But I was never that lucky.

Instead, all I managed to do was summon my evil foe—or as others liked to call him, my ex, Reed Gallagher.

“Elle?” he called out, seeing the distress written all over my face. He always was good at the knight-in-shining-armor bit.

And I had always been his favorite damsel, growing up.

“You okay?” he asked, his gaze moving over my shoulder to the flock of gossiping women I was desperately trying to flee.

I didn’t need to stick around to see who they were. I’d recognized them the minute I blazed past. Just two rivals from high school I couldn’t ever seem to get rid of, even now, fifteen years later.

One of the many benefits of never leaving your hometown.

“Um,” Macy blurted out, hoping to save face in front of Reed. She’d had a thing for him since he moved here in middle school.

“I’m really sorry,” Sarah finally added. “We didn’t mean for you to hear that.”

“Yeah,” Macy agreed. “We’re really sorry about your dad.”

I thought about attempting some witty comeback, but it wasn’t worth it. They weren’t worth it.

And I wouldn’t ruin the memory of my dad for it.

Reed seemed satisfied with their halfhearted apology as they both made a quick exit. At least one of us was. I just wanted to get away, but unfortunately, the big beast of a man was still standing in my way.

“What do you want, Reed?” I asked, trying not to make eye contact with those dark blue eyes or the subtle curve of his jaw.

“I wanted to see how you were,” he said, sounding genuinely concerned. His voice still had the power to make my stomach clench and my knees wobble, and I hated that.

“My dad died, Reed. How do you think I’m doing?”

He ran his hands through his dark brown hair. “Yeah, sorry. That was a stupid question. I just meant—”

“Why are you here?” I asked, my question instantly making his face blanch.

“He meant a lot to me, Elle,” he answered, sounding incredulous. “I wish I could have seen him before—”

“He asked about you.”

“He did? But I thought—”

I shook my head. “He never knew.”

His eyes widened. “How? But—”

“The man had cancer. Do you think I wanted to break his heart, too, by telling him what you did to me? What you did to us?”

Finally, the shame came pouring back. “No, I guess not.” Reed could only nod, his head lowered, obviously upset.

I wanted to feel bad for him, I did. Growing up, he’d been a part of our family. Ever since he’d nearly run over me with his BMX bike, I had known Reed Gallagher was the one for me.

Like some moronic fairy tale come to life.

“I need to go find my mom,” I said, unwilling to go down any more memory lanes today, especially with him.

“Right. Of course. Will you tell her I said hello?” he asked before realizing what he was saying.

My mom had once loved Reed like a son.

When she’d found out he’d cheated on me with some barely legal waitress at the local bar just a week after my father had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, she’d told me she’d never felt so betrayed in her life.

That made two of us.

I didn’t even have to respond before he did.

“Never mind,” he said. “Take care, Elle.”

I could tell he wanted to say more. Whenever we met like this, whether it was between the aisles of the grocery store or picking up takeout at one of the local restaurants, there was always something more waiting on the tip of his tongue. Maybe it was another apology. Perhaps it was a plea for me to come back home and pretend like nothing had happened, or maybe he just wanted to say he still loved me.

All I knew was, I wanted to hear none of it.

Not a goddamn word.

Because there was nothing he could say that could take back what he had done, and he knew it, which was why he kept quiet and I walked away.



Option #3


You know the expression, sweating like a whore in church?

That was me exactly ten minutes after arriving home when it finally dawned on me that I was going on a real, legit date. My chest began to heave. Every inch of me was damp, and my mouth was dryer than the Sahara Desert.

This was it.

A date.

Sawyer wasn’t just casually popping over to bombard me with a flurry of questions or to help me with my grandmother’s journal. There would be no couches and blankets to hide behind, no dinner preparation to occupy us.


Just the two of us. In a restaurant. With actual people.

“Holy crap on a cracker, what was I thinking?” I asked the dead plant in my living room.

It had no answers. Mostly because it was plant. And it was dead.

Okay, I just needed to keep calm.

I needed to keep calm and make a list.

To-do lists always kept me cool under pressure.

So, first things first.

What did one do to prepare for a date? It had been ages since I’d actually been on one, so my knowledge was rusty at best, but thanks to my heavy dose of Netflix bingeing, I’d watched just about every romantic comedy known to man in the last few months.

And if there was one thing rom-coms were known for, it was a glow-up montage—an opportunity for the heroine to go from zero to hottie in under a minute, making her downright irresistible to her potential mate.

The upside to this cheesy clichΓ© was that it gave this rusty heroine the refresher she needed.

And the first thing I needed was makeup.

Lots of makeup. My dress was obviously already picked out. Hopefully, the weeks of pizza-eating wouldn’t cause me to bust the zipper. I guessed we’d soon find out.

Taking the steps two at a time, I marched my butt into the bathroom and turned on the shower. I wasn’t sure why; I didn’t particularly need a shower. I’d taken one that morning, and to be honest, I wasn’t that sweaty from my mini freak-out, but the idea of hot, running water soothed me.

And I needed some soothing.

Of course, I didn’t think about the fact that hot water on top of my hair would also constitute me having to restyle it.

“Shit!” I yelled the moment the water hit my nearly perfect curls.

Well, too late now. I guessed I should add a blow-dry and a curling session to my list of things to do.

Now that I’d basically doubled my to-do list, the soothing feeling of the shower did little for my stress relief. Finishing up quickly, I dried up, threw my now-sopping-wet hair into a towel, and found my way into my bedroom.

Plopping down on the bed, I let out a heavy sigh.

Why did people do this?

Was it worth it to get all dressed up, put on a crap-ton of makeup, and spend a fortune on dinner, only to have a few hours alone with someone?

Thinking about those few brief moments with Sawyer today—the way his eyes had lit up when we spoke, the heavenly feeling of his hands on my body—I couldn’t help but smile.

Yeah, it was worth it.

It was definitely worth it.




To celebrate the release of The Affair, J.L. Berg is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Head to her Facebook page to enter:



J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready series, the Walls series, the Lost & Found series and more. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls and two pups. When she's not writing, you will find her cuddled up, watching a movie with her family, obsessing over fandoms or devouring anything chocolate! J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.



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