Can’t Block My Love, an all-new sports romance by Xavier Neal is coming October 22nd!
From bestselling romance author Xavier Neal comes an all-new, rom-com sports romance featuring a gorgeous goalie who can block any shot — except Cupid’s…
Once upon a time, the Vlasta Vipers hockey team was so incredible — on and off the ice — they were almost mythical.
Every other university wanted their team to be them.
Every chick who crossed their paths wanted to bang them.
Their clout on the ice is questionable.
Their competition cutthroat.
Well, there will always be puck bunnies ready to keep them warm. After all, no matter how well they do or don’t do, they are the university’s most important athletes.
However, when Remington Ronald Rutledge the 3rd, lands himself on the new head coach’s bad side, which threatens his chances of playing for the season, he finds himself striking an unusual deal with a blast from his past he can barely remember.
Did she always wear these glasses?
Was her hair always this curly?
Has she always had a smile that makes him wanna smile?
What happens when the bad boy who makes all the rules is forced to play by someone else’s?
Can this good-looking goalie let love score, or will blocking it be the biggest mistake of his life?
“You look like you’re about to do a Christmas commercial for PetSmart.”
Her eyes dart down to the evergreen dress shirt.
“You don’t have anything else to wear?”
“I don’t think I look that bad…”
“You look like I should cover your ass in Tinsel and hang ornaments off your nipples.”
“That would hurt.”
“Not as much as having to stare at you in this shirt.”
Poppy’s eyes dart up to me and narrow. “Well, unless you wanna stop by Target-”
“We’ve got an account there.”
“This is what I’m wearing,” she defiantly grumps. “Deal with it.”
In one swift motion, I reach over and undo the top three buttons of the shirt. Her squeaks of objection fall on deaf ears as I mentally debate on unfastening one more. Currently, this gives just the smallest side shot of her tits, which should be enough to entice without giving her the skate chasing slut sensation I’m trying to avoid. I approve my handy work with a pleased nod. “Dealt with.”
“What about my hair?” Poppy instantly squeaks.
“You look like you don’t own a brush.” I tilt my head condescendingly to the side. “Do you?”
Her jaw plummets to her lap in my favorite way.
Unable to resist the urge to get under her skin, I scold, “Might wanna shut that before my dick finds its way into it.”
She snaps it closed so fast a chomp sound echoes around my SUV.
About Xavier Neal
Xavier Neal lives in Texas where she spends her time getting lost in writing, reading, or fandoms she recently discovered. Whether she is enjoying books or movies, she continues finding inspiration at every turn to bring more exciting stories to life.
One look into Everly Williams’s big brown eyes and I knew I’d do anything to protect her. And for eight years I did. She was my world. My best friend.
But afraid I’d lose her, I held on too tight. Became a dark cloud blocking her sun. So I did what I needed to, and walked away. I hurt us both.
Now I’m home, and need Everly back in my life. Only everything is different. We’re different. My body burns for her when she’s near. And after one explosive kiss, I know she feels it too. I’ll do whatever it takes to earn her trust again.
Because I don’t want what we had before. I want it all…for a lifetime.
We ate dinner, and I hung around for about an hour.
But all I could think about was Everly. So damn close.
I needed to leave before I did something I promised Cal I wouldn’t
I said my goodbyes and was at my bike when Everly walked right out of the barn, like I’d summoned her through the sheer force of my desperation to see her. I couldn’t take my eyes of her. Fuck, how I’d missed her. I’d missed my best friend.
Her auburn hair was down and wild, like it often was. She was wearing cut off denim shorts and a red tank top, both of which hugged her curves, curves she hadn’t had quite so much of before I moved away.
Everly was short, the top of her head fitting under my chin perfectly. She was kind of petite, and now she was also built. A small curvy package.
I clenched my teeth. Don’t go after her. Don’t do it.
I cleared my throat, because my vocal cords were suddenly tight as hell, and because I was a glutton for punishment. Goddammit, I wanted her to look at me.
She spun around, and as soon as her eyes hit me, they widened.
I lifted my hand, like I was preparing to approach a wild horse, my mouth opening, to say something, anything—
Everly took off, running,in the opposite direction.Fucking running.
I’d tried, Jesus, I’d tried to leave her alone, to give her time, but I couldn’t deal with this, the way it made me feel, the way she had to be feeling to fucking flee from me like I was a goddamn axe murderer.
It was like a gazelle running from a lion, instincts kicked in and there was no holding back. My feet were already moving, pounding across the field after her. “Stop, Everly.”
She veered left shooting down the side of the barn and I followed, chasing her around the barn like a damned fool until we ended up back where we started. She shoved the door open to the ranch hands quarters as I came flying around the corner.
She lifted her hand, saluted me with her middle finger, and slammed the door in my face—then locked it.
I stood there braced against the doorframe, breathing heavily, heart racing, but not from the impromptu run, not entirely, but from my desperation to talk to her, from being so close to her.
Being barred from her.
“Let me in, Eves. We need to talk…you know we do.”
There was nothing but silence from inside.
I’d been without her for a year and a half, and it had sucked, a lot. More than I could even put into words. I wanted her back. I wanted what we had back.
How the fuck was I going to make this right?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherilee Gray is a kiwi girl and lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband and their two children. When she isn’t writing sexy, edgy contemporary and paranormal romance, searching for her next alpha hero on Pinterest, or fueling her voracious book addiction, she can be found dreaming of far off places with a mug of tea in one hand and a bar of Cadburys Rocky Road chocolate in the other.
“An excellently written paranormal, engrossing and addicting.” #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken
War of Hearts, an all-new adult paranormal romance by New York Times bestselling author S. Young is LIVE!
Thea Quinn has no idea what she is. All she knows is that her abilities have been a plague upon her life since she was a child. After years of suffering at the hands of a megalomaniac, Thea escaped and has been on the run ever since.
The leadership and protection of his pack are of the utmost importance to Conall MacLennan, Alpha and Chief of Clan MacLennan, the last werewolf pack in Scotland. Which is why watching his sister slowly die of a lycanthropic disease is emotional torture. When Conall is approached by a businessman who offers a cure for his sister in exchange for the use of Conall’s rare tracking ability, Conall forges an unbreakable contract with him. He has to find and retrieve the key to the cure: dangerous murderer, Thea Quinn.
Thea’s attempts to evade the ruthless werewolf are not only thwarted by the Alpha, but by outside dangers. With no choice but to rely on one another for survival, truths are revealed, intensifying a passionate connection they both fight to resist. At war with themselves and each other, Conall and Thea’s journey to Scotland forces them to face a heartrending choice between love and betrayal.
Stepping back inside the motel room, Thea halted as Conall came out of the bathroom. His height caused a logistical problem for her next move.
Although his color hadn’t fully returned to normal, the wolf was looking much stronger. She didn’t know if she could take him in a fight when he was at full strength, which was more than a little concerning. As if he’d read her mind, he cut her an expressionless look. “You should have left me to die, lass.”
“Probably. I guess I’m just going to have to take the chance you were bluffing.”
He frowned and opened his mouth to question her, but Thea had already made her move.
Before he could comprehend it, she was on the bed behind him and reaching for his head before his weakened reflexes could catch up.
The crack of his neck echoed around the room, causing a sick lurch in Thea’s stomach.
For some reason, stupid tears stung her eyes as she watched his body hit the ground with an almighty thud. Why should she care? It wasn’t like he was dead. She’d knocked him out. For … however long he took to heal.
And he had stuck her with that goddamn injection.
Speaking of …
Thea jumped off the mattress, avoiding Conall’s body. Earlier when she’d been treating his wounds, she’d spied the syringes in the first aid kit. Grabbing them, Thea hurried out of the motel room and toward the fields beyond. Quickly she dug a hole with her bare hands and buried the syringes. Hurrying back, she avoided staring at Conall because he looked very much dead.
She grabbed his wallet and as she took his money, leaving him his credit cards, a folded-up photograph caught her attention. Curiosity got the better of her and she pulled it out. Smoothing her fingers across the picture, she spotted who she thought was Conall only to realize it wasn’t. The man who looked like him was standing next to a much younger Conall, and Thea deduced it was his father. The younger Conall had his arm around the waist of a small, redheaded girl buried into his side. And beside the man she’d mistaken for Conall was a beautiful redheaded woman.
Was this Conall and his family?
They were standing on a rocky beach, a beautiful lake and mountains behind them.
Thea wondered which one of them was sick. Which of these people was he willing to sacrifice her for?
Memories of her own parents swelled in her throat, burning and screaming to get out. But Thea shoved them back down as she shoved the photograph into his wallet.
There were times she pulled those memories out and let herself swim in the pain because it was worth it to remember the happy moments.
But now was not the time.
With a ruthless supernatural sure to wake up from a broken neck wanting to kill her, and some unknown entity out there hunting her too, now was very much the time to go.
About S. Young:
Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Fight or Flight. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.
“This is Penny Reid at her finest.” — L.B. Dunbar, author
Beard With Me, an epic and breathtaking story from New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!
No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.
Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.
No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.
Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.
‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.
Yes. That would be best, a wise voice said between my ears.
So of course I inhaled deeply and said as calmly as I could manage, “I thought we were going to go get firewood.”
“But then,” I blurted, flustered and irritated with myself for not speaking wisdom, “You should go. You can’t tell me carting firewood back and forth between your house and here is how you want to spend the last of your Thanksgiving weekend.”
“I didn’t say it was.” He began making his way up the incline.
“But you just said—”
“How about we make a deal.” Billy dropped the kindling next to my little woodpile, dusting his hands off on his pants. “I’ll cart the firewood, and you sing.”
“You want me to serenade you while we carry firewood?”
He smiled, slow and easy as he walked to me and reached out his hand. On autopilot, I accepted it and allowed him to help me up.
As soon as I was standing, his gaze moved from my hairline down to my nose, lips, and then chin, saying quietly, “I’ll take a serenade from you anytime.”
Thunk ka-thunk. That was my heart. It had been doing the thunk ka-thunk quite a lot around him. I ignored it, because what else could I do?
“And you’re not carrying the wood.” He tugged on my hand, pulling me out of my daze and past my tent.
“I will too carry wood.” Struggling to find my bearings, I stumbled after him. “I can carry logs just fine.”
“You’ll carry a log.” Billy fit his fingers between mine, pressing our palms together and grinning at me like he was waiting for me to argue and he couldn’t wait.
Snapping my mouth shut, I glared at him.
“Nothing to say?”
Maintaining my glare, I walked next to him. I wasn’t being led anywhere I didn’t wish to go. Not anymore. He wasn’t talking me into anything else.
“That’s an awfully mean look, Scarlet.” His grin grew, his brutally attractive eyes glowing happily as he peered down at me.
“Well, you deserve it. Always trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. I’m not arguing with you about this. I’m carrying as much wood as I want and you can take your stupid, chauvinistic opinions and shove them up your pretty-boy ass.”
Goodness. Where had that come from?
Billy’s steps faltered and his mouth fell open, his eyebrows rising high on his forehead. He stared at me, looking shocked as hell. And then in the next moment, he threw his head back and laughed. But he did not let go of me, instead bringing my knuckles to his chest as his deep, rumbly laughter filled the empty spaces between the trees, surrounding us.
Yes. I was well and truly crushed as I could only watch Billy Winston laugh, desperately basking in the image of him so delighted and relaxed. I had the odd sense that his laughter also filled the empty spaces inside of me, the neglected, vacant rooms, and even a few places that felt brand-new, like he’d created them.
All that noble honesty he carried around like a boulder abruptly lifted, revealing him. Just him. Carefree and young and happy. Someone he might’ve been if his burdens hadn’t been so heavy, his responsibilities so broad.
It lasted only a minute, maybe two, maybe less, but I had the sense of being caught afterward. Billy’s laughter had receded, but he’d spun a web while I’d been staring at him, holding his hand.
His grin became smaller and he bit his bottom lip, his gaze dropped to my mouth. “You think I’m pretty?”
“You know you’re pretty,” I said, bizarrely out of breath, rattled, needing to anchor my focus to a tree beyond him and waging war against the heat climbing up my neck to my cheeks. Oddly, my eyes stung. I blinked.
His attention was still on me. I felt it, but I didn’t dare look at him. I couldn’t handle one of Billy Winston’s intense stares right now. He’d probably use my scattered wits to his advantage, talk me into something I shouldn’t want to do, and then I’d be kicking myself later.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice deep with concern, all trace of his earlier humor gone.
I huffed, trying half-heartedly to steal my hand back from him. He didn’t let it go, instead taking my tugging as a signal to step closer, filling my vision.
“Are you ever going to teach me how to play the guitar?” I closed my eyes.
He didn’t answer right away, and I felt him hesitate, his mind work before he muttered, “It’s only been a week.”
A quality to his voice made me think he wasn’t answering the question I’d asked, but rather he was reminding himself that it had only been a week since we’d struck the deal.
Was that only last week? Why does it feel like so much has changed?
Then he said, “Don’t be angry.”
“I’m not angry.” I was muddled, my head and heart hurt, I was incredibly confused, but I wasn’t angry.
The air shifted and I felt him move closer. A second later, the fingers of his free hand were at my ear, tucking my hair behind it, his fingertips lingering at my neck, sending wave after wave of goose bumps every which way. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t think. Every nerve in my body strained toward him and I didn’t understand it. What is happening?
“Have you ever been kissed, Scarlet?”
Meet Penny Reid:
Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
“I have an idea.” Oliver is the first to break the silence.
“Well, what is it?” Banks asks impatiently.
“We could bring you to our father…” His voice trails off, and I wonder if he’s being serious or not.
“Your father would let you bring me to your house?” I ask, trying to hide the surprise from my voice.
Sullivan shrugs, “What’s the worst he could do? Tell us to leave? We can’t let you near your father right now, so the next best thing would be our father.”
“Maybe he can piece the missing pieces of your puzzle together?” Oliver adds.
“Or he could be a huge prick and make things ten times worse,” Banks mutters under his breath. Oliver and Sullivan look at him, their features hardening.
“You aren’t helping.”
Banks lifts his hands as if to say he’s innocent. “Look I’m not trying to be a negative nelly here. I want Harlow to get all the answers she needs just as much as you both do, but dad isn’t going to take well to us bringing a Lockwood home.” Our gazes meet as he says the next words, “Last names don’t mean shit to us, but dad still sees her as the enemy and I don’t want her caught in his crosshairs.”
To many I might be weak, but I am mighty, and if I want answers I may have to cross bridges that shouldn’t be crossed. I may have to do things that I shouldn’t do, but I’ll do what I need to do. No one is going to dictate what happens in my life anymore.
“Let’s do it.”
“Seriously?” Banks runs a hand through his hair as if he’s agitated. Was he not expecting me to go along with this?
“Yes, I want answers. Your dad has some. Let’s do it. What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Kay, I’ll make arrangements and tomorrow we’ll visit our parents,” Oliver announces as if it’s final to his brothers.
Banks leaves the room a moment later and Sullivan walks over to the bed and crawls into the vacant spot left beside me.
“Is he going to be okay? I ask. I kind of want to chase after him but know he needs the space.
“He’ll be fine. He’s just worried what our dad will say or try to do to you.”
I nod, understanding completely.
“Our father won’t touch you. Not if he wants to live.” Oliver’s words have a cold edge to them, and I shiver wondering if he really means that. Would he, and his brothers go against their parents for me? Would they risk it all for me?
I guess we’ll find out.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
J.L. Beck & C. Hallman are an author duo who love reading, writing, and coffee. After meeting by happenstance they decided to write a book together, which later turned into many, many more. When they aren’t writing or plotting their next book, they’re playing mom and wife. They both share a love for dark romance, and enjoy a happily ever after as much as the next reader.
Today we have the fantastic new release–Ember Leigh’s MAKE
ME FALL! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!
There’s one rule in
Stay away from the
We were raised to know them as
users. Manipulators. But I only ever saw Connor as the enigmatic senior hottie
who dropped into fifth period to teach us about the perils of drunk driving.
So when my first big girl job out of
college ends up with us working at the same company, it’s heart throb city all
over again. Except he’s way ahead of the game. Successful, talented, put
together. I’m just a frumpy twenty-something in a quarter life crisis who
doesn’t know a glue stick from a makeup highlighter.
He would never want me, even though
he’s all I ever wanted in secret. So when we cross paths one night at the bar
and one drink leads to another, he slaps me with an offer I can’t refuse.
Accompany him back to Bayshore,
Only stipulation? Pose as his
Our families will flip, but I’m not
strong enough to say no to those baby blues, especially if it means I’ll have a
chance to spend the next two weeks with my adolescent heart throb.
make it through dinner alive, even though my parents acted as if she wasn’t
there the entire time. I probably need to up her compensation for agreeing to
this. Even I couldn’t have predicted this brutally frigid reception. I thought
Dad would put on a forced friendly front and complain viciously to Mom behind
closed doors, like any normal American.
Once dinner is over and my brothers have
completed their jousting match over who gets which bedroom, I am feeling far
superior, since I have been the most laidback about the bedroom thing. I
grin my way up the staircase, Kinsley trailing behind me. We head for the last
bedroom, which has a sunrise-facing window I’ve always particularly liked. I
push open the door, and the cozy guest bedroom greets us.
front of us, the plush queen-size bed is neatly made, the head of the white
comforter pulled back. Beckoning us into its comfort.
is off, but I can’t tell what.
speaks. “I thought you said there were two twin beds?”
what it is. I roll our luggage into the bedroom and shut the door.
were.” I frown. “In my old room.”
gnawing at the inside of her lip, glancing between me and the bed.
this be okay?” I ask, suddenly worried I’ve overstepped our tenuous boundaries.
Clutching her hand in a vice grip for the duration of dinner? Fine. But sharing
a bed, even platonically? This could be the deal breaker. “I can sleep on top
of the covers, if you want, or bring a sleeping bag—”
be fine.” She waves her hand dismissively and heads for the bed. “I wouldn’t
want you to sleep on the floor on my account.”
smirk, unable to pass up the chance for a joke. “I didn’t mean I would
be sleeping on the floor.”
narrows her eyes, a laugh bursting out of her. “I can’t imagine you’d drag me
two thousand miles for that encounter with your parents and make me
sleep on the floor.”
laughter turns into a sigh. “Sorry about that. I didn’t think it would be that
shrugs again, picking at something on the comforter. “I know our parents always
had issues. I just didn’t think it would make them act like that.”
ease onto the bed next to her, even though I could have sat anywhere else in
the room: the other side of the bed, in the chair facing the bathroom, or hell,
even on the gray berber carpet. But being near Kinsley has already burrowed in
like a habit. Even though no eyes are watching us. “Do you think your parents
would act the same?”
don’t know. Maybe. It’s weird to think that we’re being the adults here.”
crashes through me. Am I being the adult here? My reasons for bringing
Kinsley are hardly noble. Sure, I bought her plane ticket. But also, I needed
her presence to get back at a small handful of people. And that seems like the
opposite of mature.
We’re gonna have a great time,” I say, channeling my hopes into words. “My
parents will loosen up. But we won’t even be here much. We can go do whatever
we want. This is vacay, baby.”
sends me a curious glance. “Whatever we want, huh?”
can’t help it. My mind goes straight to sex. I’m 100 percent man and 50 percent
beast. Which makes for some sort of mathematically impossible species. My gaze
drops to her lips. God, she’s got great lips. Maybe we can slightly expand the
list of Bayshore-relationship activities.
The side of my body closest to hers is getting hot from curiosity. She’s not my
type—not even a little. But I’m still wondering what it might be like to go
there with her.
know I brought twenty books with me, right?” she says. And like that, the fire
under my skin goes out. Not because books aren’t sexy—trust me, they are—but
because I realize she wasn’t heading down the same kiss-curious path I was. She
meant books. Because she is not a man beast who would already have her
half undressed if she’d allow it.
I said.” I push to my feet. More distance is probably wise. Sitting that close
to her is messing with my head. “We’re creating this vacay. And if that
includes starting your own book club, so be it.”
smiles up at me, and there is something so pure and innocent in her gaze that
my breath catches. The sunlight filtering into the room catches on her hair,
highlighting the strawberry undertones there. Between her glistening braid and
her sweet smiles, I decide in that moment that she is the definition of a
sunbeam with slightly-too-large ears.
already know that Kinsley is my humor and mental equal after one sad night at
the bar and an entire day of travel together. She can lob a joke as far as I
can. And I’m realizing that although we’re just pretending here in Bayshore, I
actually want to spend time with her.
About Ember Leigh:
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. In addition to romance novels, Ember also writes travel memoirs and occasionally updates a couple of blogs. In her free time, she practices Ashtanga yoga, hops around the world, and eats lots of vegetables.
“Rival families. Deep secrets. Exact opposites who can’t help but cross all the lines. Neat will leave you thirsty for more Becker Brothers!” — bestselling author Staci Hart
Neat, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by Kandi Steiner is LIVE!
My life is over.
I swore I would never work at the whiskey distillery with my last name on it, that I would never be a part of my father’s legacy. But when I graduated with my art degree and realized there were no jobs, the devil appeared, and I sold my soul, agreeing to work in the family business if he’d give me the art studioI’d always dreamed of.
It can’t be that bad, I thought.
Until I realized my new boss was Logan Becker.
The Becker brothers have a reputation for being trouble, and since I love trouble, it’s no surprise to me that I’m infatuated by that forbidden fruit the first day I walk into the distillery. That lean, whiskey-eyed, too-hot-for-his-own-good man hates me — and I can’t blame him. His family has been at war with mine for decades, and for good reason.
The Beckers and the Scooters are the Montagues and Capulets of Stratford, Tennessee.
But if he’s Romeo, and I’m Juliet? Well… we all know how that story ends — and for that reason, I tell myself to steer clear.
Because if my father finds out I’m falling for Logan Becker, my life actually will be over.
And Logan’s will be, too.
Neat is a stand-alone book in the Becker Brothers Series.
➔ Small town
➔ Romeo & Juliet vibes
➔ Angst paradise
➔ Holiday romance
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
“So… I guess we should just be…” Logan swallowed. “Friends?”
The way he asked it, the way his eyebrows bent together, his lips flattening — I knew it was a hollow offer.
I nodded. “Sure. Of course.” A smile that felt like a wave of nausea found my lips. “Friends.”
Logan watched me, and I watched him, both of us waiting for something more. It seemed like there were a million unborn words between us, floating in the air, waiting for us to reach out and grab them and bring them to life. When a long moment of silence had passed, Logan bit the inside of his cheek, picking up his highlighter he’d abandoned on the desk when I’d walked in like he was ready to get back to work.
“But,” I said, and his eyes snapped to mine, the highlighter frozen over the page. “I mean… there’s another option, isn’t there?”
Logan dropped the highlighter, leaning back again. “There is?”
“I’m just saying,” I said, voice shakier than I wanted it to be in that moment. I took a sip of my coffee, shrugging. “What if we kept things low key… casual… just between us?” My eyes found his again. “It is what it is, and it’s not what it’s not. Right? No need for anyone to know.”
“Low key,” Logan repeated, like he was tasting the words, checking them for poison with his tongue. “So, friends… with benefits.”
I snorted. “If you want to be twenty-one about it, sure.”
Logan nodded, over and over, just a slight movement of his chin up and down as he considered it. I watched him as he stood, and I expected him to start pacing the office, but instead, he crossed it, closing his door and turning to face me.
His eyes swept over me, sparking a fire low in my stomach.
He wet his lips.
He took a step.
And then I was out of my chair, meeting him in the middle, the two of us crashing together like magnets.
His hands weaved into my hair when he captured my mouth with his own, both of us sighing on an inhale, moaning on the exhale, leaning into each other like we could somehow melt together completely. All the electricity I’d felt that night came back like a tidal wave, and I surrendered to the waves, letting them drown me. I wanted him to fill my lungs, to conquer every breath, to imprison me.
It was a kiss that told me we were both lying. We both wanted more.
But if it was a choice between this, or nothing at all?
There wasn’t a decision to make — not where I was concerned. It had already been made for us, without either of us having a say, without either of us having an ounce of control to throw this story in another direction.
We were inevitable, me and him.
And maybe we knew it from the start.
Logan backed me up to the desk, and when my ass hit it, I hiked both legs up, wrapping them around his waist and squeezing. He hissed, sucking my bottom lip between his teeth and releasing it with a pop, his hips rolling against mine. I broke the kiss to let out a gasp, and his mouth was on my neck in an instant, sucking and biting, my eyes rolling back at the contact.
He paused with his lips by my ear, breathing heavy. “I think this could work for me,” he whispered, running his tongue over my ear lobe. “This… friends agreement.” His hands squeezed where they held my hips, and the familiar pressure sent flashes of Saturday night barreling through my memory. I gasped, mouth still hanging open when he kissed my neck over to the opposite ear to whisper again. “What do you think?”
Against the voice inside me warning me not to, I ran my fingers through his hair, gripping those dark strands and pulling his lips back to mine.
That kiss was an answer.
That kiss was a lie.
And distantly, I realized that kiss might be the biggest mistake of my life.
Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.
Back in Bliss, an all-new sexy romance in the Nights in Bliss, Colorado Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak is available now!
Logan Green is back in Bliss, but only for a few weeks to help out at the sheriff’s office.
Everything changes when Seth Stark strolls into town with Georgia Dawson on his arm.
Seth’s arrival is anything but a happy accident. He always dreamed of a big house on the river and a wife he could share with his best friend, Logan. After building a software empire, his only goal has been to make that dream come true. He just needed the perfect woman.
Georgia is still haunted by the dark, troubled man who saved her life. She can’t get Logan out of her head. Her boss brought her to Bliss to help him decorate his new summer home, but when Logan Green walks through the door she discovers Seth has something different in mind.
Seth has a plan for their mutual happily ever after, but he never dreamed that coming home would put all their lives in danger.
“Holy shit.” Logan practically beamed at the thing that looked like it could eat her. “Seth! Seth, get in here!”
He went to the door and yelled for Seth again.
Seth ran in, his eyes wide and his body covered only in a towel. A little towel. A tiny white towel that contrasted with his tan skin and had been wrapped over ridiculously muscled hips. He had those notches, the ones she’d always been sure some artist Photoshopped onto male models because no one could be that perfect. His dark hair was wet, curling above his shoulders. Moisture clung to his every muscle and, holy hell, he had a lot of them. They hid underneath his perfectly tailored suits.
Georgia forgot about the crazy-ass creature that had come straight out of some danger-in-the-wild documentary and watched the two gorgeous predators who had invaded her room.
She pulled the covers up to her neck, aware that she didn’t look anything like they did.
“Maurice.” Seth took a step forward. “Wow. How the hell long do moose live, man? It’s totally Maurice. You can see where Hiram tried to take him down. There’s a scar on his nose.”
Logan moved in, too, and she could see the easy way the two men related. For a moment she saw the kids they had been, friends forever. God, she’d never had a friend like that.
Logan opened the window and she heard a loud chuffing noise. “He kicked Hiram in the groin. It was a damn lucky thing the man already had three kids because I heard nothing worked the same after. Hey, boy. You remember me?”
Another huff and she was about to believe the thing knew how to communicate.
Seth looked over at her, his eyes glinting. “We don’t get a ton of moose around here. Maurice is a legend. The people of Bliss say that if he shows up at your place, you’re blessed. Meant to be here. He’s the welcoming committee.”
Logan laughed. “What no one will tell you is he’s a total snack whore. If you leave a Snickers bar on the porch, he will show up lickety-split. When Laura finally got comfy, I snuck some chocolate onto her porch so she would feel welcome.”
“I’m glad she stayed. I heard she got married,” Seth said.
Logan nodded. “Got a kid now. That’s why I’m here. Her husbands need some paternity leave. I heard it’s a girl.”
Their shared history was right there, a palpable thing between them. It was almost as though she could reach out and touch it, feel the warmth of it. Logan and Seth felt like a family.
What was she doing here?
Once again, like most of her life, she was the outsider. Even among her brothers, she’d felt it. Chase and Ben had each other. Mark and Dare had been tight. And she and Win had been so far apart in age that they couldn’t connect on a brother-sister
level. She’d been alone. The only child whose mother wasn’t up to snuff. The only one without money when the tide had turned.
Logan looked down at her, his eyes softening. “Georgia, I’m sorry about last night. I didn’t mean a word of what I said. To either of you.”
She nodded, feeling awkward. They were here in her bedroom. It was a bit surreal. She turned her attention back to the moose.
“So it’s not something that’s going to attack?” She kept the blanket around her neck. Yeah, that was another way she was different. She wasn’t gorgeously perfect like them. She’d tried the whole diet thing, and she wasn’t cut out for it.
“Maurice is a sweetie, but I won’t lie. The first time I saw him, I peed my own damned pants and ran screaming for my mommas,” Logan said on a laugh. He reached a hand out, pressing it against the screen, his eyes misting like he was reaching for his past. “He won’t hurt you. He wants to say hello. And he probably smelled the bacon. Shit. My bacon.”
Logan turned and took off at a dead run for the kitchen.
Seth touched the screen, too. “Hey, Maurice. Thanks for the welcome.”
When he turned back to Georgia, he sported the sweetest smile. He jumped onto her bed, not a hint of self-consciousness on his face as he settled in beside her. “How did you sleep? My bed’s better, by the way. It’s huge. Built for three.”
“Good for you and whatever ménage you choose to invite. Could you go away so I can get dressed?” Last night seemed like a dream, and more than a little like a nightmare. God, what had she been thinking? Seth wanted her to tempt Logan into a ménage? He was insane. She was insane for not immediately walking out of the cabin and hoofing it to Malibu and the safety of Win’s minicastle where she could make like Rapunzel. She would barricade herself in and then keep her hair cut because she was done with men.
He smiled, an intimate thing that threatened to curl her toes. “I thought we settled that last night.”
She sighed and wished she was strong enough to not look at that towel, praying it would flop open and she would get a good view of what Seth had down under. Maybe it was small. Like tiny.
Did it matter? He was the sweetest man she’d ever met. He was kind and good. She wasn’t about to reject him because he had a small penis. It wasn’t like sex was all that awesome anyway.
Logan had a big penis. She’d felt it rubbing against her when he’d kissed her like there was no tomorrow. She thought about Logan’s penis a lot. More than a lot.
Nope. She wasn’t going to reject anyone based on penis size. She was going to reject them because she wasn’t about to get her heart broken again.
About Lexi Blake
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.
Today we have the cover reveal for Truce? Hating Elijah Monroe by Amelia Kingston! Check it out and be sure to pre-order your copy today!
Title: Truce? Hating Elijah Monroe Author: Amelia Kingston Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Day: October 1st
About Truce? Hating Elijah Monroe:
A small town
enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy.
Harper Delaney is a newly certified elementary
school teacher with the mountain of student loan debt to prove it. Moving back
to her claustrophobically small hometown is about as tempting as two week old
sushi, but the allure of free rent and a guaranteed summer teaching job are
On the hunt for her dream job in San Francisco,
Harper just needs to survive the summer without murdering Elijah Monroe. He may
have grown into a scorchingly hot fireman, but he’s still her nemesis. Harper
gave Elijah her heart when she was sixteen, and never forgave the jerk for not
wanting it. Probably for the best, since he’s also her stepbrother.
Elijah still makes Harper’s blood boil and heart
race. And he knows it. She’ll wipe that smug smirk off his gorgeous face before
leaving town. The only question is if she wants to do it with a kiss or a slap.
I know it’s been too long since I’ve had a date when my
first thought at seeing a firetruck pull up outside the school isn’t “Oh, no.
Where’s the fire?” but “Oh, yes. Where are the firemen!” I’m practically
drooling when I see him step out of the truck. His tall frame is broad and
solid. Every inch of his more than six-foot body is carved from stone. This guy
is cut. Ripped. Hot. If I faint, will he give me mouth to mouth?
My heart drops into my stomach and a weird little squeak
leaves my throat when I realize who it is. I might legit need CPR. He was cute
as a boy, but he’s drop dead gorgeous as a man.
He’s not a man. He’s the devil. The bane of my adolescent
existence. My stepbrother.
I drag my eyes up to Elijah’s face. He looks put together
and mature in a way that I’m not prepared for. His hair is the same warm brown,
but now it’s cut short and tidy. He’s clean shaven, making those full lips pop.
Lips which are curved up into a familiar smug smirk as his bright green eyes
sparkle with devious satisfaction. He caught me checking him out and he wants
me to know it. He struts across the parking lot, shoulders back and chest
puffed up. He’s the same pompous jerk I remember from high school, breaking
hearts and causing trouble.
I look around the school yard and everyone has turned to
watch the spectacle. The kids are all ogling the firetruck. The teachers and
assistants are all ogling Elijah. I can’t control my groan. I cross my arms and
scowl at him.
He’s still a few feet away when I snap, “What are you
doing here?” I’m loud enough half the playground can hear me. My happy teacher
persona is a distant memory. I’m an angry, frustrated sixteen-year-old again,
fighting the magnetic pull drawing me to him. Was it always this strong?
Doesn’t matter. I’ll never give in to it.
“Nice to see you too, Short Stack,” he quips, crossing his
arms to match me.
“Enough with that stupid nickname already. It’s been almost
a decade. Grow up, Elijah,” I fume. “Plus, it doesn’t even make sense.”
He looks down at the ground, trying to hide his smile. He
loves winding me up. And I fell for it. Now I’m more annoyed than ever.
Connect with Amelia:
Amelia Kingston is many
things, the most interesting of which are probably California girl, writer,
traveler, and dog mom. She survives on chocolate, coffee, wine, and sarcasm.
Not necessarily in that order.
She’s been blessed with
a patient husband who’s embraced her nomad ways and traveled with her to over
30 countries across 5 continents (I’m coming for you next, Antarctica!). She’s
also been cursed with an impatient (although admittedly adorable) terrier who
pouts when her dinner is 5 minutes late.
She writes about strong,
stubborn, flawed women and the men who can’t help but love them. Her irreverent
books aim to be silly and fun with the occasional storm cloud to remind us to
appreciate the sunny days. As a hopeless romantic, her favorite stories are the
ones that remind us all that while love is rarely perfect, it’s always worth
I Hate You, an all-new enemies to lovers sports romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills, is available now!
Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.
She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.
Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Dumped her in front of her friends.
At her own party.
So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class.
He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please.She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.
Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.
So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?
Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life
I’m on my tiptoes when the question comes, trying to reach a book on the top shelf in the bookstore at the student center.
My heart does a nosedive off a cliff as that familiar gruff voice washes over me, his accent a smooth drawl that’s reminiscent of hot summer nights and slow kisses—kisses we never had…well, except for that one time freshman year.
I ignore him and try to grab the book.
“You’re too short. Let me,” Blaze says, this time closer, his voice soft.
I ease back on my feet and whip around, internally wishing I’d worn something more I hate you and don’t you wish you still had me, but sadly, I’m not in my kickass shoes and itchy dress. Today it’s flat-soled red Converse, black joggers, and a Yankees sweatshirt. I blow at a piece of hair in my face. Shit.
Of course, he looks magnificent in a tight long-sleeved black shirt that clings to his broad chest and tapered jeans molded to those leg muscles. His face is unshaven, the darkness on his jawline adding a broody look.
Curse him and his hotness.
I stare at him a little too long, until I snap out of it.
“I don’t need help,” My voice is strangled as I move to brush past him—forget the textbooks—but he reaches out and takes my elbow.
His fingers are a hot brand on my skin—it’s the first time we’ve touched in three months—and I pull away. A tremble starts in my legs. How dare he?It was one thing to see him in a social setting and pretend I was fine, but when we’re face to face without people watching… “Don’t put your hands on me. I’m not your hookup anymore, football player.”
His face reddens, and he drops his arms. “I didn’t mean—” he stops, not finishing as he studies my face.
I wonder what he sees. You know what he sees, Charisma—someone who wasn’t up to his usual standards.
Everything I didn’t say last night rushes out. “Didn’t mean to what? Dump me in the middle of my own sorority’s party in front of all my friends and half of campus? And you know, that’s totally fine. We both knew I wasn’t enough to keep your attention.”
His jaw clenches and he frowns, his brow furrowing. “I didn’t plan for things to happen that way.”
“How did you want to break up with me? Over candlelight? A text would have worked just fine,” I bite out.
The silence builds between us, and he watches me intently, as if trying to figure me out. He starts at my hair and works his way down to my feet, then comes back to my face. Just when I think I might combust from the intensity of his eyes, he looks away.
“What?” I cock my hip. “You look like you want to say something.”
He taps his hand against his leg. Ice-blue eyes, ones I used to stare into and get butterflies from, glitter down at me. “You just can’t handle that ended things, sweetheart.”
“Not your sweetheart.”
Shit…shit…my heart feels like an anvil just landed on it, heavy and hard, and I can’t breathe for a second at his words, part of me pissed, the other part devastated. I wanted to be his sweetheart, I did, but he…
You’re not my type.
“Thanks for the reminder,” I say quietly, my anger folding away piece by piece and slipping into that horrible self-pity I despise.
He closes his eyes and scrubs his face with those talented hands, strong and big and capable, skillful with a football.
He steps in front of me, much like he did last night, and I tilt my head back to take him in. At my height of five feet, three inches, it’s hard to glare at a guy who towers over you and not look ridiculous, but I manage—until his eyes flicker with lingering emotion.
I dart my eyes around the store, searching for a way out, but I’m stuck between him and a bookshelf. “You’re blocking my path.” I focus on his legs. No sexiness there—well, except for the tight muscles under that denim.
“This is what I know,” he says in a low voice, ignoring my statement. “You told me we were just messing around. You set all the rules. Isn’t that how you operate? So why does me ending things with you even matter?”
“You never asked for more. You could have.” The revealing words fall around us, tinged with hurt, and I want to pull them back.
The silence between us crackles, yet I’m aware of other people around us. There are a few girls on another aisle, and I glance over as one of them pulls out her phone. No doubt she’s taking a picture of him. Part of me retreats, anxious she’ll get me in that photo—a girl who clearly doesn’t belong. He doesn’t notice. Everyone knows who he is, and they’re probably wondering why he’s talking to me.
“No, I didn’t,” he finally says, the words taut as if pulled from him unwillingly. He taps his leg, his tell that he’s anxious or angry. We weren’t together long, but every moment we spent together, I studied him like a wine connoisseur given a glass of rare cabernet. I know what makes him laugh, usually random things that make no sense. I know that groan he makes deep in this throat when he slides inside me, like he’s home. I know the feel of his hand when he cups my face and stares at me, a hesitant expression on his face—
“You can’t even look at me anymore. I wonder why,” he says, his voice a challenge.
Steeling myself, I face those baby blues. “You know why. I wish we’d never met up last fall. I wish you’d never flirted with me. I wish I’d never fucked you that first time in the library—”
“Same page. Same fucking page, Charisma.” And then he’s walking away, broad shoulders swaying as he stalks down the aisle…
About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.
Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.
A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.
She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.