Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Twenty-Two Chapter Reveal

 

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When Lucas Brooks was traded to the Nashville Assassins over a decade ago, he was a brash, brawling hothead without an anchor.

Well, four kids and a smokin’ hot wife will weigh you down real fast, but Lucas wouldn’t change a minute of his happily ever after.

During an epic, end-of-season quest for the Cup, changes appear on the horizon, and suddenly, there’s a plot twist in Lucas’s fairy tale.

The Brooks Family

“I want to watch SpongeBob!”

“No! Ariel!”

“Yeah! Mermaid! I wanna watch Ariel!”

Lucas Brooks covered his face with his hands before he yelled from his bedroom, “There are nine TVs in this house! Separate!”

“But she has the popcorn!”

“And he has the milk!”

“Daddy, I want to be with Asher!”

“Why are they eating popcorn at seven a.m.?”

Groaning, he looked over at his wife, who was cuddled deep into the bed, her dark brown hair covering her face as her thick, plump lips pursed out toward him. He almost leaned over and kissed her, but he was exhausted. “I don’t know. Where is Aiden?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the point of having an older kid if he isn’t going to care for the crazy little ones?”

“I don’t think that’s why we had them so far apart.”

Lucas scoffed. “Says you.”

Fallon giggled as she scooted over toward him, cuddling into his shoulder. Both of them knew the real reason for the big age gap between their children, though they never talked about it anymore. In their eyes, they did this on purpose and, really, it didn’t matter because they were happy.

“Mom! Asher won’t give me some milk!”

“Stella backwashes!”

“Mommy! I’m thirsty! Can I have some sweet tea?”

“Daddy, I want tea!”

“What in the hell?” Lucas muttered, staring at the ceiling as Fallon continued to giggle.

“Why are they up so early? The game was late.”

“Who knows? I’m exhausted.”

“So am I,” Lucas groaned, and he was. He felt the pain all over his body from the big win over St. Louis that advanced the Assassins to the second round. His whole body was aching. He wasn’t like his young self that bounced back after a hard-fought game. No, Lucas Brooks needed a good week after a game like the one the night before. It had gone into overtime, and the Blues had been playing desperate hockey. But by the grace of God, Jensen Monroe didn’t let any in, and Vaughn Johansson scored the winning goal. Vaughn had wanted to make his night even better since he had just proposed to his girlfriend and found out she was pregnant. So last night’s win was a biggie for everyone. Though, Lucas wished he had a solid month to recuperate before the next one. But he didn’t. He only had a few days of rest before the second round started.

“But, really, where is Aiden?”

“I have no clue.”

“Text him.”

“That means I have to move,” he complained, and she rolled her eyes before throwing her arm behind her to find her phone. Bringing it to her face, she dialed their son’s number, putting the call on speaker.

“Hello?”

 

Lucas closed his eyes. Aiden’s manly voice still was like a punch to the gut. His baby was growing, fast, and it was killing him slowly. “Baby, where are you?”

Aiden let out an exasperated breath. “Out front, where I always am. Where are you?”

Fallon looked to Lucas as he looked back at her. “Excuse me?”

“Oh my God, Mom, did you forget I had training for summer league this morning?”

Throwing the blankets off, she sat up. “Not at all. I’m running late.”

“You forgot!”

Lucas laughed as Fallon shot daggers from her eyes. “I did not! I’m coming.”

“If you would let me drive, this wouldn’t be a problem,” Aiden reminded her.

“If you cut your hair, maybe we’d buy you a car,” Lucas called out, and Aiden laughed.

“You’re just jealous I have hair!”

“Hush it, both of you. I’m coming,” she said, hanging up the phone and throwing on some sweat pants. “I can’t believe I forgot.”

“I can’t believe he went after not getting home until midnight last night.” She shot Lucas a deadpan expression. “Okay, I can. I would have.”

“Exactly. He’s his daddy’s son.”

Lucas grinned. “He is.” Then he glared, running his hands along his thinning hair. “I have good hair, right?”

She laughed. “Yes, baby, lots of great hair.”

“He has more.”

“He’s going through puberty.”

He raised a brow. “I think he’s past that.”

 

She shook her head. “I don’t know if we can wait till his birthday to give him a car, Lucas,” she said, pulling her hair up as she glanced back at him.

“That’s all you, babe. I told you to give him mine, and I’ll go get a new truck.”

“He wants a sports car.”

“And I don’t give two fucks. That kid isn’t going to be driving a better car than what I had. He can have a nice Ford and be happy, or he can walk—if his momma would let him.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’re overprotective as hell.”

“I am not.”

“You are.”

She glared. “But he is a good kid, Lucas.”

“The best, and he’ll be happy with my Ford.”

“Ugh, okay,” she groaned before leaning down and kissing his lips. He savored her for a moment, grabbing her butt.

“Can we make him wait a bit longer to be picked up?”

She chuckled, desire flashing in her eyes. “I doubt you can move.”

He looked sad. “I can’t.”

She laughed as she kissed him again. “Can we give the car to him today?”

“Tomorrow.”

Her brows rose. “Why tomorrow?”

“Because I can’t move, and I have to go buy a new car for me.”

She laughed, smacking his chest, which made him wince. “I’ll be back.”

 

“Be careful,” he called as she headed out of the room just as Emery ran right into her.

Picking up their youngest, Fallon kissed her loudly on the lips.

“Be good.”

“Me?” Emery asked.

“You.”

“Why?”

“Because you want cake at sissy’s birthday, don’t you?”

“Oh! I’ll be good!”

Fallon rolled her eyes, placing their daughter on her feet before waving back at Lucas.

Emery ran to him, jumping on the bed and breaking his bones further. He groaned out as Emery cuddled into him, and he closed his eyes. “Daddy.”

“Yes, love?”

“I love you.”

He smiled into her hair, kissing her temple as his arms came around her, holding her tight. He’d never known he could love any child as much as he loved Aiden. Lucas could still recall the first moment he saw his son. Outside of Fallon’s house, begging her for a chance to reconnect after seven years of separation, but then Aiden walked out, and Lucas knew. Aiden was his son, and boy, did he fall in love. Head over heels for the kid. Lucas never thought any kid could come close to his love for Aiden, but then Asher came.

His spunky, dry-humored little geek. The kid was always on his computer, always busy making something, and damn smart. Asher was great on the ice, though Lucas didn’t think he’d go far with it. He was too obsessed with computers and rebuilding them. His first love wasn’t the ice; it was making things tick. But Lucas was proud nonetheless, especially considering the fact that Aiden’s drive to make it to the NHL was enough for the whole family.

In all reality, Lucas had been set with two great boys. But then, by the grace of God, came Stella. His little diva. She looked just like Fallon, breathtakingly stunning with big brown eyes and thick brown hair. She had her momma’s looks, and God help him, her mouth too. Those two went at it daily, mostly about clothes and hair, but his little girl had his heart, and of course, he was wrapped around her finger.

That was it…until Emery came. She was a complete surprise, but in a way, she was the missing piece in their lives. Their family had been off-balance and needed her quirky little brand of badass. While Emery favored both Fallon and him physically, she had his demeanor with Fallon’s mouth. It was a bad combination because while she was ruining your life, she was making you feel right about it. Unlike her sister, Emery didn’t care about hair or clothes. She cared about being a fairy princess, which, for an almost four-year-old, he figured was logical.

But she was daddy’s princess.

Holding his sweet baby, he couldn’t help the grin on his lips, though he was aching in spots he hadn’t even thought he could ache. He had taken a hard hit into the boards, coming down and slamming his head on the ice. Thank God for a helmet because his brain would have been scrambled eggs if not. But he was feeling every bit of it now. Though, he couldn’t think of that. All he could think about was how much his life had changed. He used to be a lonely bachelor, living life in the fast lane and enjoying the NHL. But when he moved to Nashville, everything changed. Fallon happened. And now, Lucas couldn’t imagine his life without her and their kids. Between playing and being his kids’ biggest fan, he didn’t see any other point to life.

Oh, yeah, and loving Fallon.

 

But that came naturally.

That woman was his world.

Everything was great in the Brooks household. Now, if only his body could stop hurting and aching, things would be grand. Oh, and if his kids could stop growing. And he needed the Assassins to bring home the Cup.

Yup, then Lucas Brooks would be a happy man.

“I love you too, love bug.”

“Can I still have cake if I’m bad?”

“What did Momma say?”

She pouted. “Do you love cake, Daddy?”

“I do.”

“Me too.”

He smiled, kissing her head. “I know, love bug.”

“Can we watch Ariel?” She sat up, her eyes wide and gray like his. She had Fallon’s lips, though, and the shape of her face. Her hair was in pigtails with big pink bows in them that he was sure Stella had put in. “Please. You’re my favorite daddy.”

“I’m your only daddy.”

She nodded. “And my favorite.”

He smiled. “Do I have to move?”

She thought that over. “No.”

“Then, yes.”

***

 

Pulling up in front of Aiden’s private school, Fallon hit the brakes, slamming forward as she looked over to where Aiden was standing, shaking his head. Gone was her baby, replaced by a hormone-driven monster with long hair. Actually, he was the greatest kid in the world and she loved him more than anything, but God, she hated his hair. He looked like a damn fool, especially with that stupid man bun. But boy was he handsome. Just like his daddy, he had a strong bone structure, thick, dark brows, and dark gray eyes. He was beautiful, and if she didn’t know he was a good kid, she’d lock him up.

Opening the back, he threw in his bag. “Hey, Mom.”

“Hey, honey.”

“Hey, Aiden.”

Fallon about broke her neck trying to see who was calling her son’s name. She saw a pair of girls standing beside the stairs in what she felt were too short skirts. Sure, they were cheerleading skirts, but still. Fallon glared as Aiden turned, tipping his chin at them. “Hey.”

“Are you going to the dance on Friday?”

“Probably not, I’ve got a game.”

One of them puckered her lips. “Can’t you come after?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll let you know. Have a good practice.”

“Okay, I’ll save you a dance.”

When he flashed her a grin, his dimples shining in all their precious glory, Fallon shook her head.

There was Lucas Brooks reincarnated.

“Cool. See ya.”

 

Closing the back, Aiden walked around, and she swore he had grown another inch or so.

Opening the door, he climbed in and looked over at her. “You know, being the oldest, I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be forgotten. Emery is.”

Fallon glared. “Shut up. I’m exhausted. It was a late night. How did you even get here?”

“Brayden’s mom drove me, like you asked her to at practice.”

Fallon paused as she moved the shifter of her van into Drive. “I did, didn’t I?”

“You did,” he said dryly, throwing his legs up on the dash as he started to play on his phone.

“Hmm. Hey, at least I got that far,” she decided, hitting the gas.

“Thank God.”

“Practice was good?”

“Great. Coach is happy with me.”

“Good.”

“Heard Bellevue is looking at me.”

Fallon glanced over at him. “From whom?”

“Coach.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, he said I should talk to my counselor.”

“For what?”

“I have enough credits to graduate this summer and start over there if I wanted.”

Fallon’s heart stopped. “You just turned seventeen.”

“Yeah?”

“Do you want that?”

 

“Yeah,” he laughed, looking over at her. “Mom, I want to go to college so I can go into the draft. The Sinclair brothers all went to Bellevue. I need that exposure before I enter the draft.”

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Too much. This was her baby. Her firstborn and he was ready to go.

He was itching for the NHL. He wanted to play like his father. He wanted to live his hockey dreams, and all she wanted was for him to go back to fighting hippogriffs. “Talk to your father about this. You’re making my head hurt.”

Aiden laughed. “Mom, I’m getting older. I’m practically a m—”

“Shut your dirty mouth, Aiden James Brooks.”

He laughed harder as she turned down the main road. “Where we going?”

“Audrey’s.”

“Why?”

“I gotta get some donuts she made for your father for winning last night, and then I gotta approve the cake she’s making for Stella’s birthday next weekend.”

“Do I have to go to that?”

She flashed him a dirty look. “You mean your sister’s birthday?”

“Yeah.”

“Of course you do. You’re the damn crab, Sebastian.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No,” she said simply. “I hope the costume fits.”

“Oh my God.”

“I even hired a photographer. So when you’re in the NHL and they need those pictures of you growing up, I’ll have that one.”

 

“You’re horrible.”

“I try.”

He scoffed, and she grinned over at him before pulling onto the road that held Audrey Jane’s. “So, who were those girls?”

“Addy and Melissa.”

“Your fans?”

“Everyone is my fan,” he said, waggling his eyebrows, and she laughed. “I’m practically a hockey-playing god, Mom.”

“All right, pump the brakes there, mister. You’re no Vaughn Johansson.”

Aiden laughed. “JoJo is amazing.”

“He is, but he’s cocky as all hell,” she said simply, pulling into Audrey Jane’s and

parking beside her baby sister’s car. Getting out, they went inside just as Fallon’s niece, Penelope, hollered out, “Welcome to Audrey Jane’s!”

Fallon beamed as Aiden ran after Penny, gobbling her up and tickling her before Audrey came out of the back, a grin on her face. “Hey.”

“Hey, you,” Fallon said, kissing the back of Penny’s head.

“You’re here early.”

“Yeah, I forgot to pick my kid up after practice, so here I am. Where is Philippe?”

“With Tate. He didn’t want to come in.”

Fallon nodded. “How’s Tate feeling?”

Audrey exhaled loudly since the subject of her husband, the Assassins’ starting goalie, Tate Odder, was a touchy one. He had a serious groin injury and had had surgery about two months ago, but he still wasn’t recuperating from it well. An infection had spread and knocked him down some more, long after the doctors had assumed he would be back on the ice. So it was easy to say the Odder family was very tense. “Lots of pain, but I guess he’s getting better. He doesn’t talk about it. He mainly asks me to make cupcakes. He’s pissed he missed last night.

Thank God Jensen did great.”

“Right?” Fallon agreed with a nod. “Well, hopefully, he’ll be up and at it soon.”

“I don’t know, Fal, I just don’t know.”

“What does that mean?” Aiden asked. “Uncle Tate’s okay, isn’t he?”

Audrey faked a grin. “Of course. Come here. You want a cupcake?”

Aiden laughed. “You know, I’m seventeen, you can’t distract me— Whoa, are those cookie dough?”

Audrey smiled happily at Fallon as she shook her head, and Aiden took the cupcake.

“Come on, I’ll show you the cake for Stella, and your donuts are right there.”

Aiden looked at the donuts. “Can I have one?”

“Save one for your dad.”

“Okay,” he said with a mouthful as she followed Audrey to the back.

“Kid has a tapeworm, I swear. He’s always eating.”

Audrey laughed. “He’s always been an eater. It’s not fair.”

“Agreed.”

As Fallon followed her into the kitchen, Audrey looked back at her sister. “I think he might have to retire.”

“Who? What? Tate?” Fallon’s eyes widened. “Never.”

“Yeah, he is grief-stricken about it and things are bad, but he can’t seem to get better. I don’t know. I told him he needs to decide.”

 

“Wow.”

“Yeah, it’s not good. We’re fighting a lot, and he’s withdrawn because he feels like a failure. Shit’s so bad, he started to go see Wren Lemiere, the team’s therapist.”

“Good for him,” Fallon said, exhaling hard. “I hate that for him, though.”

Audrey nodded as she turned on her computer. “Me too. At least you don’t have to worry about that. Lucas’s got at least nine more years in him.”

Fallon shot her sister a wry smile. “He creaks when he walks. I’m waiting for him to tell me he’s done.”

“He won’t.”

“I know, which makes me nervous.”

“Yeah, but you know, Lucas would be okay. Tate…he’s not, and I just want my happy husband back. I’m worried he won’t be happy without hockey.”

“No, he has you guys. He loves you three. So much.”

“I know he does, and he is the best father ever. Sucky in the husband department right now, but I get it. We’ll be okay.”

“You will,” she said, wrapping her arms around her sister. “Don’t worry.”

“Thanks.” Audrey hugged Fallon back as the computer came on. “Okay, so here it is. The best Ariel cake for my niece.”

Fallon grinned as she took in the perfect seven tiers of Ariel-themed cake. “She’ll flip her shit.”

“That’s my goal.”

“It’s perfect.”

 

“Awesome,” she said, shutting her computer lid. “I’ll be over next Saturday morning to set everything up.”

“Cool.” Fallon leaned her hip to the counter as she met her sister’s gaze. Audrey had changed so much over the years. She used to be obsessed with her weight. Now, she stayed healthy, even if she was rounder than she used to be. Kids would do that, though. One thing was for sure. Even with all the shit going on, Audrey had a grin on her face that Tate and the kids had put there. Her sister was complete, and like she’d said, she would be okay. Fallon just knew it.

But Fallon was pretty sure she was going to have her own mini heart attack. “Aiden told me his coach said he could probably graduate early and that Bellevue might want him.”

Audrey’s jaw dropped. “What?”

“Yeah.”

“What did you say?”

“For him to talk to his father!”

Audrey laughed. “Fallon.”

“What?”

“It would be great.”

“He’s a baby.”

“He’s seventeen. He’s a great kid. Smart and talented as hell.”

“Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think I want him to do it.”

“If it’s going to be what’s best for his career, then he has to, you know?”

Biting her lip, Fallon nodded. “We’ll see what my husband says. If he can even move.”

Audrey smiled. “He’s sore today?”

“Yes, bless him. I don’t know if he’ll make through the whole series in one piece.”

 

“He is old now.”

“He isn’t a spring chicken, for sure.” Fallon grinned. “Except in the bedroom.”

“Ew!”

Fallow snorted as Audrey shook her head and then smiled. “I think they’re going to go the whole way. I feel it.”

Fallon nodded. “I do too. Rumor is, Elli was in the locker room crying last night. She’s so emotional.”

“Think she’s pregnant again?”

Fallon laughed. “Lord, I hope not!”

“Right? She’s already so damn busy.”

“I know.” Fallon shook her head. “Are you going to Lucy’s baby shower next Sunday?”

“Did you not check the group?”

Fallon just looked at her. “Obviously not, Audrey.”

“It’s been postponed until further notice.”

“Why?”

“Because of the play-offs.”

“That’s dumb. Why plan it around the play-offs, then?”

“I don’t have an answer for that, but they called me asking to hold off on the cake.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Which is good ’cause I can focus on Stella’s cake.”

“This is true. Ariel needs all your attention anyway.”

Audrey grinned as she leaned into her sister. “You know, you can come by more.”

“Same for you. Or come to the winery, and I’ll get you drunk.”

 

Audrey beamed. “That’s a plan.”

“Mom! Let’s go! Penny is going to make me fat.”

Penny’s giggles met them in the kitchen, and Fallon laughed. “Kid couldn’t get fat if he tried.”

“Right?” Audrey asked, shaking her head. “And what’s up with his hair?”

“I don’t know. I want to cut it, but he won’t let me.”

Audrey laughed as they went out of the kitchen to find Penny feeding Aiden cookie after cookie. “Mom,” he whined, and Fallon laughed.

“Hey, boogey butt—”

“Audrey!” Aiden complained, and they all laughed since he hated his nickname. “I told you about calling me that.”

She feigned hurt. “You are my baby, and I will call you that if I want. Even when you’re a big, hotshot hockey player, I’ll be in the stands hollering, ‘That’s my boogey butt!’”

“Mom,” he groaned, and Fallon just kept laughing.

“Anyway, if I throw gum in your hair, will you let me cut it?”

He glared. “Stay away from me.”

“It’s so long. And dirty,” Audrey said, coming toward him, and when Fallon saw the scissors in her hand, she tried to stifle her laughter.

“I washed it like ten minutes ago!” he said, slowly stepping back from his aunt.

“It’s ugly. Let me cut it.” She went for the bun, but he deked around her, running to Fallon and hiding behind her. Which was pointless since he was practically seven times her size.

“Leave me alone! Mom! Tell her to leave me alone.”

 

“We’re leaving.” Picking up the donuts…well, the three that were left, Fallon shook her head. “Bye, Penny loaf,” she called to Penelope.

“Bye, Auntie!”

“Bye,” Audrey sang. “I’ll get you later, Aiden James.”

Going outside, Aiden looked over at Fallon. “You won’t let her cut my hair, right?”

“I mean, if she gets to you before I do, I’m sorry for ya.”

“I look amazing!”

“You look like a damn fool,” she said, opening the door. “But I love you.”

He shot her an exasperated look. “Do I really have to be Sebastian next weekend?”

“No,” she laughed, shaking her head. “Asher is Sebastian. You’re Flounder.”

“Mom!”

With a grin on her lips, she got in the car.

But she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t worried about Aiden.

Or Tate.

Or even her dinosaur of a husband at home, who might or might not make it through the play-offs.

 

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

 

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Ride Rough Release Day

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Kaye brings you the second title in her Raven Riders Series, RIDE ROUGH, releasing today! A sexy romantic suspense, you might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series about a different kind of a motorcycle club with a protective mission stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! The Raven Riders Series takes you on a new adventure and kicks it into overdrive! Grab your copy of Ride Rough today!

 

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About Ride Rough (Raven Riders #2, 4/25/17)

Maverick Rylan won’t apologize for who he is—the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club Vice-President, a sought-after custom bike builder, and a man dedicated to protecting those he loves. So when he learns that the only woman who has ever held his heart is in trouble, he’ll move heaven and earth to save her.

Alexa Harmon thought she had it all—the security of a good job, a beautiful home, and a powerful, charming fiancé who offered the life she never had growing up. But when her dream quickly turns into a nightmare, Alexa realizes she’s fallen for a façade she can’t escape—until sexy, dangerous Maverick offers her a way out.

Forced together to keep Alexa safe, their powerful attraction reignites and Maverick determines to do whatever it takes to earn a second chance—one Alexa is tempted to give. But her ex-fiancé isn’t going to let her go without a fight, one that will threaten everything they both hold dear.

 

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And don’t miss all the books in the Raven Riders Series!

Hard As Steel now available
Ride Hard now available
Ride Rough coming April 25th, 2017
Ride Wild coming October 31st, 2017

 

 

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Order Ride Rough by May 1st, fill out this form, and receive an email with a bonus short story of more of Hard Ink’s Beckett after Release Week! Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!

 

 

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EXCERPT FROM RIDE ROUGH:

“What am I going to do? My entire life is wrapped up in him. My job. Where I live. My car. Where Mom lives. Everything. Oh, God. This is going to be a nightmare, isn’t it?”

Maverick grasped Alexa’s hands. “One thing at a time. You’re out. You can stay here as long as you need to. I have plenty of room. I’ll help you through it. That’ll give you time to figure out what it is you want. There’s no rush.”

“Okay,” she said. “Okay. God, thank you.” A shiver raced over her skin.

“You don’t have to thank me. I’m so relieved for you that I might fall the fuck over,” he said, his thumb rubbing over her knuckles. She almost managed a little smile. “Your hands are like ice, Al. I shouldn’t have made you stand her all this time when you’re soaking wet.”

Alexa shook her head. “It felt good to get it out, Maverick.”

“Glad to hear it. Would a hot shower make you feel better? I can find you a T-shirt and a pair of boxers to change into while your clothes dry.”

All the TLC and understanding he was giving her reached right inside her chest. When was the last time someone had taken care of her this way?

The last time you were with Maverick. The truth of that thought made her breath catch. “Yeah. I’d like that,” she managed.

He gave a tight nod and stepped back, and she missed his heat immediately. “Uh, good. That’s good. You remember your way around?”

“Of course,” she said. How much time had she spent here over the years? Even before they dated? At one point, Maverick’s place had practically been a second home.

“You okay?” he asked, watching her.

She pushed off the door. “I don’t know yet,” she said, coming to him. “But what I do know is how grateful I am to you. For everything. For being there when I told you not to. For listening. For just . . . being you.”

“Always.” He crossed his big arms and ducked his chin, like something about the exchange made him uncomfortable.

“I mean it,” she said, and then she pressed onto tiptoes and kissed his cheek, his stubble tickling her lips. “You saved me tonight.”

“No,” he said, eyes flashing, one brow arched. “You saved yourself, Al. I was just your getaway driver.”

Staring into one another’s eyes, the tender moment stretched out, morphed, suddenly flashed hot. Being so close to him set her body on fire, and finally she could actually consider acting on it. Need roared through her, a living, breathing thing. “Maverick,” she whispered.

“Fuck, Alexa, I think you better go take that shower,” he said, his jaw ticking. “Now.”

She released a shaky breath and nodded. He was right. Of course, he was.

So, showering. She could handle that. Afterward, God only knew what she was going to do.

 

 

Raven Riders Series Trailer:
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Laura Kaye - headshotAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and monster puppy, Schuyler, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

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The Hot Shot

 

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TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

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Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Review: Kristen Callihan usually hits it out of the park with her books and The Hot Shot is no exception! Finn and Chess have excellent chemistry and their relationship progresses from friends to roommates to much, much more. Once they hit the roommate stage, it is clear that Finn wants more from their relationship but he respects Chess and her hesitation. Both have personal issues from their past to overcome and with the support of each other, they work towards a future together. This book runs parallel to The Game Plan and does have some plot spoilers from that book. However, it could just as easily be read as a standalone. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for Kristen Callihan’s next book!

 

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Delayed Call

Delayed Call (Assassins #11)Delayed Call by Toni Aleo

Description: Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.

Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As usual, Toni Aleo knocks it out of the park! This was a true enemies-to-lovers story with scorching tension and attraction between Vaughn and Brie. Honestly, every fight they had felt like foreplay! However, underneath the attraction, the trust between them took a while to grow. Vaughn had to overcome the losses and betrayals in his past. Brie had to learn to trust Vaughn and depend on him. Overall, an excellent story and a good introduction to new Assassins’ players!

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*Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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TheHotShot Amazon-2

 

 

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

 

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Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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Mastering Her Senses

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Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

 

 

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About MASTERING HER SENSES (Blasphemy #2, 2/21/17):

12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

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Laura Kaye’s MASTERING HER SENSES – Review Tour Schedule:

February 27th

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March 1st

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Books in Series:

Hard to Serve #.5

Bound to Submit #1

Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17

Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17

 

 

Laura Kaye - headshotAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Review: 

Once again, Laura Kaye has proven that she can write erotic romance just as well as her romantic suspense series. Mastering Her Senses follows Quinton and Cassie as they navigate turning a casual BDSM relationship into something more. I especially liked the crossover with her Raven Riders series. The focus of the novel is Cassie overcoming her trauma from a cave-in during her job. With Quinton’s help and some extremely erotic scenes, she begins to overcome her fear of the dark. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and my only complaint is I wish it was longer!

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Royally Matched

RM-FB-on-sale-5

 

 

Royally-Matched-3D-bookSome men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

 

 

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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Review: 

This was one of the best books I’ve read this month! The relationship between Henry and Sarah was so sweet! I’ve always been a huge fan of the shy librarian heroine and I adored watching Sarah come out of her shell under Henry’s encouragement. And Henry, wow, just wow. He’s a prince who has suddenly been thrust into the role of heir and not dealing with it very well. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the “Royal Bachelor” plot, I did think it was an excellent way for Henry and Sarah to get to know each other. They both had fears to overcome and I loved how they worked through them together!

 

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Havoc

Falling in love with her cousin’s rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.

HAVOC
Mayhem #4
Jamie Shaw
Releasing February 21st, 2017
Avon Impulse
When Hailey Harper left her family farm to enroll in veterinary school, she had a plan: keep her head down, ace her classes, and most importantly… don’t upset the uncle paying her tuition. Translation? Don’t piss off his dramatic, self-absorbed daughter, Danica, even if she’s a nightmare to live with.Falling in love with her cousin’s rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.

As the drummer of a now-famous rock band, Mike Madden could have any girl he wants. He’s sweet, funny, romantic, talented–and the only guy that’s ever made Hailey’s heart do cartwheels in her chest. The more she gets to know him, the harder she falls, but Hailey knows they can never be more than friends… because Danica wants him back, and she’ll fight dirty to win.

Mike is falling for Hailey too, but Danica’s threats and his rock star life-music video shoots, international tours, obsessed fans-could tear them apart before they’ve even begun. Hailey isn’t sure she’s the one for him, but Mike’s waited years for a girl like her… and he’ll do anything to prove it.

 
HAVE YOU FALLEN FOR ALL 
THE MEN OF MAYHEM?
A resident of South Central Pennsylvania, JAMIE SHAW‘s two biggest dreams in life were to be a published author and to be a mom. Now, she’s living both of those dreams and loving every minute of it. When she’s not spending time with her husband and their young son, she’s writing novels with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy leading men. With her MS in Professional Writing and a passion for all things romance, her goal is always to make readers laugh, cry, squirm, curse, and swoon their pants off, all within the span of a single story. She loves interacting with readers, and she always aims to add new names to their book boyfriend lists.
 

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I got about 4 pages into this book before I realized I needed to go back and read the first three books. And boy was I glad I did because Mike’s character is cemented in the earlier books. In Havoc, we finally get to see him as the loving hero who escapes the ties of his past heartbreak. It was also nice to read about a rockstar who wasn’t a man-whore. Mike knew the perfect girl was out there for him and didn’t need to sleep with a bunch of groupies to try to find her.  Hailey was an excellent heroine for him. What I liked most about this book was watching Hailey true begin to step outside her comfort zone and take risks. While that was hard for her, with the threat of losing college hanging over her head, she truly grows as a character. Her cousin, Mike’s first love, is a perfect villain for the story with her selfishness portrayed in a believable manner. I was sad to realize this was the last book in the series. I really loved all the band members and don’t want their stories to end!

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Love Story

Over the course of one wild road trip, 

feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.

LOVE STORY

a Love Unexpectedly novel

Lauren Layne

Releasing February 14th, 2017

Loveswept

 

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

 

 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

 

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

 

 

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Hard Rhythm

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: HARD RHYTHM

Author: Cecilia Tan

Series: Secrets Of A Rock Star, #3

On Sale: January 31, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $12.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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Are they ready to go all the way?

Maddie Rofel has seen it all. Even the kinkiest games she witnesses working as a hostess in L.A.’s most exclusive private sex club fail to shock her, much less turn her on. Until the night she has a very personal encounter with drummer Chino Garcia, and the two discover an intimate connection neither can deny. Suddenly the jaded hostess is softening under Chino’s touch, and submitting in ways she never expected . . .

All his life, Chino has been running from something. Normally he beats back his demons by losing himself in his music. Now he’s losing himself in Maddie. And, while it drives Chino wild when Maddie bares her body to him, what he really wants is for Maddie to bare her soul. For that, Chino will have to push Maddie past her furthest limits-and share his own dark secrets.

 

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secrets-of-a-rock-starTHE SECRETS OF A ROCK STAR SERIES

TAKING THE LEAD, #1

WILD LICKS, #2

HARD RHYTHM, #3

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Cecilia TanABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cecilia Tan writes about her many passions, from erotic fantasy to baseball. Not only is she an author, but she has also edited more than fifty erotic anthologies and founded her own publishing house, Circlet Press. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and her nonfiction on baseball has been in Baseball Ink, Gotham Baseball magazine, Yankees magazine, Yankees Annual, and elsewhere. Cecilia currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Excerpt: 

The final house was another split-level, built into the hill. The top floor had a patio, most of the bedrooms were on the middle floors, and the garage sat at the bottom.

As we entered the foyer we ran into the real estate agent, another woman, this one middle-aged. Her suit was dove gray, her scarf a riot of pinks and yellows like an Easter basket. “Welcome,” she said, and held out her hand to shake ours. “Mr. and Mrs.…?”

“Jones,” Chino said with a broad smile before leading me away to explore the property.

One of the bedrooms was built into the hill and only had one tiny window. As we took a turn through the room I said, “Here’s where we’d build the private dungeon, don’t you think, Mr. Jones?”

He slid up behind me, his hands fitting around my hips. “Would we? What would we furnish it with?”

“With all this wall space you could have a St. Andrew’s Cross over there, hang all the floggers and whips here, a sling there—”

“A sling?”

“Definitely,” I said with a knowing nod.

He slid his hand up my body until two fingers were holding my chin. “I like your…taste in interior decoration,” he said as he turned my head to the side. His grip tightened suddenly and I realized he had my other arm by the wrist, effectively trapping me in his embrace while he took lush liberties with his tongue in my mouth. He tasted dark and sweet and fresh all at once, and as I sucked in a breath I could feel how tightly he held me, the heat of his skin soaking through his shirt and warming my back. I could imagine us in the room outfitted as a dungeon, getting ready to play in it for the first time, and all the unfulfilled desire from last night flooded me once again.

We separated quickly when the realtor brought another couple into the room. I was flushed, my breath heaving, my lips tingling, but the realtor just smiled and the male half of the couple gave Chino a wink.

“Picking out drapes is my kink,” Chino said to the guy, as he slipped his sunglasses on.

He led me back to the car by the hand. It took me an unsteady moment to climb into my seat.

He started the engine but didn’t pull away, turning to me instead and saying, “So. This sexual chemistry thing.”

“Yeah?” I said, still reeling in a happy, hormonal daze. “I mean, yeah.”

He smiled. “Not just me, then.”

“Fuck no.”

Tsk. You’re supposed to say fuck yes.”

“You’re the one who said no to fucking me last night.” I couldn’t resist needling him about it since I couldn’t outright complain. I knew he’d done the responsible thing, the right thing, but I wasn’t used to being strung along and hunger for him gnawed at me.

He looked at the beads and silver on his arm and I realized he had a watch on, too. “When I fuck, I like to take my time. And we’ve got to get you back to town before five o’clock.”

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Review:

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. The relationship between Chino and Maddie was enjoyable to watch develop. I really liked that Maddie was experienced in the BDSM lifestyle. So many BDSM books feature the hero teaching the heroine but I liked that both Maddie and Chino were on an equal level. As much as I liked both the characters and the plot, I did have an issue with the later part of the book. Maddie and Chino’s relationship delves into a level of BDSM I haven’t read before and discovered I was uncomfortable with. While I wasn’t a fan, I decided to not let that aspect of their relationship ruin the book for me.

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