Refrain by Kennedy Ryan

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S Y N O P S I S

People dream of a love that runs deep.
So deep it feels like it’s always been with you, just waiting for the person who’ll own your heart and soul forever. So few ever find it, but for Rhyson Gray and Kai Pearson, happily ever after was only the beginning…

One of the biggest rock stars in the world and one of the brightest rising stars make a life together. Sometimes it’s glamour-filled days and blissed out nights, but it’s mostly staying true in the too-bright glare of the spotlight. It’s long stretches where the road is lonely and the work is hard. It’s living in a love that’s the safest place you know even while danger lurks at your door.

Book 3 of The Soul series is an emotionally-charged epic conclusion that had to be told and should not be missed for fans of this series and this couple!

 

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E X C E R P T

She slides onto me, a scalding clasp of flesh. That first thrust steals our breath at the same time, pounds our hearts together, twines our souls into one accord. Rising, falling, she milks me with tight, shallow pumps, her movements barely perceptible, but rippling through me. She captivates me with the tiniest undulation of her hips and takes me so deep I’m sure I’ll come out on the other side of her.

Her nails claw into my scalp, stirring a sharp pain into the bliss. She digs her fingers into my shoulders, gripping to hold on as I thrust into this tight, slick fantasy. I piston up and into her with enough force to break her, but she clutches me. Clings to me.

I don’t want to come. I want to fuck her infinitely. If I could seal us in this moment, preserve it in amber, I would. I’m not just inside her body. We inhabit each other’s souls. And this thing watering her eyes, clogging my throat, clamping my chest, it’s more than emotion, more than a feeling that could fail or flee. It’s the most precious thing I’ve ever had. If this is light, it’s blinding until she is all I see. If this is sound, it’s music. We are the verse, we are the chorus. And as we come together, her cries harmonizing with mine, this love resounds. It’s loud; so deafeningly loud that all I hear is her. And all she hears is me. We are our own refrain.

Catch up on the Series!

Start with Book 1. Free in KU!

**Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Series**

Book 1, MY SOUL TO KEEP
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Book 2, DOWN TO MY SOUL
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*Join the MY SOUL TO KEEP read along that starts August 3!*

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G I V E A W A Y

Go to Kennedy’s Author Page for the chance to win one of (5) Amazon Gift Cards!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I just can’t write about myself in third person for one more bio! I’m a wife, a mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That’s me in a nutshell. Crack the nut, and you’ll find a Southern girl gone Southern California who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more television. You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY putting a dent in my ever-growing TBR. I love to hear from readers at kennedyryanwrites@gmail.com.

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Refrain (Soul Series Book 3) by Kennedy Ryan

No Offense, Darlin’ by S.J. Sawyer

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Title: No Offense, Darlin’
Series: Like A Lady #5
Author: S.J. Sawyer
Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: July 23, 2016

 

Blurb

 

Jake Roberson is nothing but a lying bastard. Every whisper that falls from his lips is a betrayal, but I can’t seem to convince myself to walk away. When he comes sauntering toward me, all those particulars go right out the window, and I cave. Every. Single. Time.

No more, though. I can’t. There’s too much at stake this time around, and I won’t have it.

Besides, one night with Beau, that’s all it took. I’m sunk. He was amazing in every way imaginable, and he still is. Why he likes someone like me, I can’t fathom. He’s such a good man, and he only ever sees the best in people, me included. It’s an amazing thing. The way he looks at the world, it’s like magic. Every bone, every muscle, every fiber of Beau Reed’s being is good, and he never stops proving that to me. He’s a good guy deep down in his core where it counts. I’ve always known that, even when I first met him. It’s something that radiates out from him like this big glowing light. Never have I ever met anyone like him.

But because he’s good, I have to make him go. ~Shelby

I can’t focus on anything else:

Soft, brown hair hanging in waves down to creamy skin that looks all too damned touchable.

Big eyes that could never be described with any justice, brown to green, maybe hazel, with so much vibrant light, etching them forever into memory.
Plump, smooth, kissable lips that are the stuff of fantasy, with the bottom one slightly fuller than the top, perfect.
Shelby.

It’s always Shelby, always been Shelby, and there doesn’t seem to be anything or anyone that can make that any different.

Except, now, there’s more at play than just her. For once, it’s not about Shelby Case, and despite my best efforts to save her, there’s things that I can’t rescue her from. ~Beau

NOTE: No Offense, Darlin’ is the first Like A Lady novel. While it could be read as a standalone, for the full effect of Beau and Shelby’s backstory, the Like A Lady serial should be read as a prequel to this novel. The first part of the serial, Big Girl Panties, is free.

 

 

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Excerpt

Chapter One: Beau

“If the heat hangs on any longer, I’m gonna move to Colorado,” I tell Preston. “I’m done with it.”

“Hell, it’s only the first of October. We got a couple more weeks of the heat, man, and you know it. Best get used to it.”

“Somethin’ hasta give.”

“Listen, you’re actin’ like a lil’-”

My radio goes off, scaring the daylights out of us both. Laughing, I turn the loud buzzing down a bit and listen to the dispatcher calling for me over at the bar. Of course, it’s for me. It couldn’t be the fire guys. Getting up from my seat, I groan, wanting to cuss, but I’ve been workin’ on that shi- stuff. I’ve been watching what I say because, now I have a little niece toddling around repeating everything, my mom is gonna end up beating my backside if I don’t. One tiny shit or hell slips off her sweet lips, and we’ll all get our mouths washed out with lye soap.

“I guess I gotta go,” I tell him, grabbing my takeout cup and cookies off the table between us. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Nothin’ good ever happens on college night out at Rowdy’s.”

“Alright. Let me know about fishing in the morning. I won’t wait around forever.”

Shaking my head, because I know he’ll wait as long as I dam- dang well please, I head out of Subway, with a groan for all the stupid people in this town. The only thing to do around here on a weekend night is go to the bar or party in a pasture. We don’t have a theater or bowling alley in town. Heck, we barely have a restaurant that stays open past nine. Thursdays start the weekend early, offering up dollar beer to the college kids. It wouldn’t be so bad except all the rednecks around this place, including my brother Carl, act like idiots, thinking they are twenty-one, again. They can’t handle their beer, dang sure not their liquor, and it ends up in a huge, messy brawl. The whole thing is like clockwork, every single weekend.

The Tahoe is parked right out in front of the restaurant for ease of access, not that much occurs around Freemont except traffic violations, the occasional wreck, and domestics. Getting inside, I buckle up before flipping on the lights. The blue and reds light up the night, and several high school kids get into their vehicles. Instead of racing out to Rowdy’s, I take my time, careful of all the sixteen year olds. They’ve been loitering about since before I got here for dinner. It’s not a school night, thanks to the county-wide teacher’s meeting tomorrow, but it’s the least of my issues, apparently. They know better, though, because the owner is gonna complain about it on Monday, and then, I’ll be forced to give them grief next weekend.

Same ole thing, different day.

Calling in to Liz, I laugh when she sighs, dramatically. “What’s goin’ on out there, tonight?” I ask.

“I’m not real sure. Domestic disturbance of some kind,” she tells me, boredom soaking her every word. “I figure some drunk asshole beat up his old lady.”

“I’m bettin’ bar fight over a pretty girl. What are we wagering?”

“Ten bucks. I’m broke ’til payday.”

“What the heck is the city payin’ you? I’m broke, like livin’ on some dang noodles broke, and here you are wagering ten? Five.”

“Fine. Five it is, but you’re doing this cause you know I’m going to win.”

“We’ll see,” I laugh. Pulling into the rough parking lot, I park up front, watching as people scatter to the four corners. “I’m here, now. Talk to ya in a bit.”

“Be safe,” she tells me, as always.

“Ten-four.”

She says it like I’m not always safe. I mean, when have I ever given anyone the idea I wouldn’t be a hundred and ten percent, vest-wearing careful? I’m always careful. Well, most of the time, I’m careful. Sometimes.

Getting out of the car, I slam the door. The owner, Jeff, comes running over to me before I can even take a step in his direction. All six foot, three hundred pounds of him is barreling toward me at a speed I wasn’t sure he possessed, and quite honestly, I’m scared for my freaking life. I take a step back, just in case, but he stops short, waving for me to follow him toward the bar’s front door.

“What’s goin’ on, tonight?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “I don’t know what got into the fool girl’s head. I tell ya, she’s off her rocker, Beau. Don’t know what she was thinking, bringing trouble like this around here.”

Ahh, there’s always a girl, usually a sorta pretty one. Why is it always over a dang girl? Men do the stupidest sh- stuff over them. It’s something that’s hard wired into us, imbedded inside our DNA.

“Slow down. What exactly happened?”

Roger, a regular out here, holds the door open for Jeff and me. We both walk in like we own the place, and looking around, I don’t see anything out of the ordinary. The lights are still mostly in place in their ancient fixtures, the bar stools are intact, and there doesn’t seem to be any broken glass or pool sticks. I worked the Halloween Brawl. It occurred my first week on the PD and was some scary sh- stuff. It was bad, real bad, but this…well, it doesn’t look like that at all. Inside Rowdy’s, it looks like an extremely slow night, but Jeff doesn’t stop inside. He walks straight through the bar, down the hall by his office, and out the back. I follow along, thoroughly confused.

“She’s out here, Beau. I dunno what you are gonna do about it.”

“What the he-”

There’s no need to finish the sentence. I know exactly what he’s talking about, and suddenly, I wish it were Mike, Cliff, Jared, or anyone’s night to work this except mine. Why did it hafta be me?

“What’s going on out here?” I ask, directing my question to Jake Roberson. “Jeff says we have a problem.”

“Damn right we have a problem, Beau! Goddamn!” he yells back. He’s pacing back and forth, as if there’s too much energy inside him to be contained. “The stupid cunt is out of her damned head! What the hell was she thinking? She took a fucking baseball bat to my brand new truck! My brand new truck! You have to do something. Haul her ass in!”

Now, here’s the story. I don’t like Jake Roberson, not even a little bit, not at all. The way I see it, he’s screwed over one too many people in his two decades on this planet, and I figure he deserves about anything he gets. Even as a kid, he was a brat. Spoiled to the core. I’ve never known him to have a bit of niceness in his body. His parents have raised him to feel entitled, but best I can tell, there’s nothing all too special about him. He’s a lazy son of a bi- jerk, lives off his daddy’s money, and has managed to skate through life on his family name.

“Now, slow down. What are we talkin’ about?”

“You might as well go ahead and arrest me, take me to a cell. There’s no arguing with the high and mighty Roberson family.”

Jake jumps toward the soft voice behind me, lunging. His buddy Grayson pulls him back by his shirttail. He’s yelling at him to keep his cool, telling him he needs to keep his nose clean, but Jake is pissed and it shows. Turning, I look into the semi-darkness behind me, hunting for the face I know is there. The poor lighting hides a beautiful set of hazel eyes, but the face is there, looking good and furious. It’s like she’s daring me to take her up on her words.

She should know I never back down from a challenge.

 

Also Available
Get part one in the Like A Lady series for FREE
AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA
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Author Bio
Twenty-something, Okie girl S.J. Sawyer enjoys creating the best book-boyfriends in a mix of romance, humor, and reality, loving her heroes swoon-worthy and stubborn. Author of the Sealed series and Like A Lady serial, writing new adult, romantic comedy, and contemporary romance. Mom of three; wife of one. Graduate of SOSU with a Bachelor’s degree in English Lit. Lover of books, young and old. Sucker for the happy ending.
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No Offense, Darlin’ by S.J. Sawyer

Man of Honor by Sarah O’Rourke

Title: Man of Honor
Series: Passion in Paradise
Author: Sarah O’Rourke
Genre: Erotic Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Sheriff Zeke Monroe loves one woman…Honor McKinnon. He is willing to stake his entire future on protecting her…no matter what the cost. 

Honor McKinnon knows she is broken. Her body and soul had been shattered by a violent attack years ago, and no one…not her sisters or anyone else in the tiny town of Paradise, especially the Sheriff…can change that. Rather than dealing with her wounds, she chooses to protect herself from any further damage, even if that means that she avoids the one chance at love. But Zeke is determined to break down Honor’s walls…and to find the persons responsible for hurting her and make them suffer. 

He’s already killed for her once…and is willing to do it again if it means she’ll know safety and happiness. 
What happens when Zeke refuses to allow Honor to ignore her past? Will Zeke’s love be passionate enough to break down her barriers? And can Zeke save Honor when her life is in danger once again? 

Join Sarah O’Rourke in this epic culmination of the Men of the McKinnon Sisters stories…and find out how the Passion in Paradise series is always scorching hot! Standalone, romantica suspense.

1. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

2. Right Here Waiting for You – Richard Marx

3. Never Saw Blue Like That – Shawn Colvin

4. People Like Us – Kelly Clarkson

5. Fix You – Coldplay

6. Til It Happens to You – Lady Gaga

7. Say Something – Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

8. You’re Beautiful James Bloun

9. Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland

10. Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor

11. Stand in the Rain – Superchick

12. Fight Song – Rachel Platten

13. My Church – Marren Morris

14. Roar – Katy Perry

15. God Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts

16. Tell the Devil – Jill Andrews

17. I Do – Paul Brandt

18. Can’t Help Falling in Love With You

19. Life is Beautiful – Vega4
20. From My Front Porch Looking In – Rascal Flatts
Man of Honor – Excerpt
“The bottom line – and once again, no pun intended – is I think you might have overstayed your welcome in my home, Ezekiel.  Much like the smell of fish, unwanted guests begin to stink after the third day and you’ve been smelling something fierce for a while now,” she informed him primly, clasping her hands in front of her waist as she stared innocently at him.
“Now, Honor,” Zeke chided, amused.  “What would your mother say right now about that most unwelcoming attitude you have?”
“Holy crap.  He brought Momma into it,” Faith whispered violently to Harmony.
“The fool’s clearly lost his mind,” Harmony returned uneasily.
“Moron,” Aunt Orla cackled.  “Harriet, God rest her soul, woulda cut your ding-a-ling off at the root for streakin’ in her kitchen.”
“True though that may be, Auntie, I think my mother would be impressed that I’ve managed to maintain my sanity for this long.  She raised me to be a good hostess, and heaven knows, I’ve tried.  But you, Ezekiel, could make a preacher cuss on Sunday.  You’ve been nothing but a demanding, domineering pain in my derriere since you took my house hostage.  I swear, you shadow me when I so much as wander toward the bathroom.  And when it’s not you, it’s one of your trained monkeys watching me like some kind of science experiment.  I’ve had enough!  I told you last night that I intended to come back to work and find some kind of normalcy again.  You chose to believe I’d cede to your will.  Your error in judgment doesn’t translate into being either my fault or my problem.”
“No, but willfully draining the air from my tires most certainly is,” Zeke roared.  “What if I’d gotten a call out?”
“The SUV Abel loaned me – but you STILL won’t allow me to drive – is parked in the garage.”  Seeing the look of shock on his face, Honor smiled.  “Forgot about that, didn’t you?”
“Don’t get cocky, Kitten.   I’m in no mood.  You know what this argument is really over just like I do.  You shouldn’t BE here!”
“This is EXACTLY where I need to be,” she growled back, matching his tone as the two combatants faced each other.  “It’s MY business, Zeke.  That back there,” she continued, waving a hand toward the back of the restaurant, “is MY kitchen where I do MY work.  Seriously, if somebody said, ‘Don’t go be a Sheriff today, it’s too dangerous,’ you’d tell them that it’s your job and to check themselves into the nearest mental hospital.  Why do you think I’d feel any less dedicated to my work?”
“At the moment, nobody is gunnin’ for me,” Zeke snapped, rapidly losing his patience with the infuriating woman standing across from him.
“I wouldn’t bet on THAT,” Honor returned purposefully, looking the lawman up and down.
“Is that a threat you’re making to a sworn officer of the law, Miss McKinnon?  Because it sure sounded like one.”
Smiling that gentle sweet smile of hers that never failed to simultaneously melt his heart and harden his dick, Honor shook her head.  “Of course not, Sheriff.  Don’t be silly.  A threat implies that I might not follow through on things.  This is a promise from me to you, Zeke.  So, listen up,” she announced, going from the sugar-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth tone he adored to the I-will-rip-off-your-dick-and-shove-it-where-the-sun-don’t-shine voice that never failed to get his blood pumping.  
“I’m all ears, darlin’,” he replied easily, propping one hand against the counter as he leaned over it toward her.  “I do love it when you make me promises.” Honor made a noise of disgust as she shot him a look that should have frozen his blood to ice, but somehow just managed to make him hotter for her.
“Get out of my café, Sheriff, and take your Redneck Gestapo with you!  And don’t forget Deputy Hightower who’s skulking back there in the corner tryin’ his best to be invisible,” she ordered, pointing at where his uncomfortable subordinate was trying to slump in a back booth.  It was kinda hard to do when a guy was over six feet tall.
“Or what?” Zeke dared her with an insolent grin.
“Otherwise, I’m gonna be forced to bring out the pressure washer and start hosing down all the unwanted pests around this place, and I promise I’ll start with you, Sheriff Monroe.”
He could tell by the set of her jaw that she was serious.  His little Kitten had become a Tigress at some point this morning.  And damn, if that didn’t turn him on, too.
 


Sarah O’Rourke is the alter ego of two best friends who have taken their passion for romantic fiction and erotica to the publishing world. Born and raised in the southern United States, one lives near Louisville, KY, while the other resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Neither is ever very far from a tall glass of sweet iced tea, their dog-eared copies of Gone With the Wind, or their Steel Magnolias DVDs!


Formerly an accountant and a chemist, they are now overworked, stay-at-home moms who adore their children, their husbands…and writing about love in every way possible!




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Man of Honor by Sarah O’Rourke

Provocative by Alex Lucian

PROVOCATIVE TOUR BANNER

Social Butterfly PR is proud to present the release of
Provocative by Alex Lucian

Series: Tempting #3
Release Date: July 21st
Cover Designer: Najla Quamber
Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography
Cover Model: Denise Emilia

Provocative.eBook

Synopsis:

Coming home to a quiet, dark house.

Meals by myself, because she was already done.

Excuses and apologies, they were never enough.

But even with that, when I touched her—when she arched under me and pulled me deeper— we couldn’t get back to where we needed to be.

Where we used to be.

It was all frustration.

Loneliness.

Loss.

Because even though she was no longer my student, the chemistry was always there.

Adele and I loved each other.

We thought we were unshakeable.

But love isn’t always enough.

It wasn’t enough when I constantly disappointed her.

It wasn’t enough when loss cleaved us in two.

And when she left me, love was not enough.

She didn’t know yet that I’d never stop fighting for her.

But she would.

**Author’s note- Let’s be real clear that this is BOOK TWO of a duet, and you’re going to want to read Tempting before you read this one. Adele and Nathan started their story in that book, and you’ll get the same sex, fighting, and cursing that you did in the first. But if you want it to make sense, read Tempting first. If any of that offends you, please avoid them both.**

 

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

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Buy Links:

Catch up on the series

Tempting, Tempting Book 1
Beguiling, Tempting Book 2

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About Alex:

Alex Lucian is an author living on the eastern coast of the United States who appreciates being anonymous, for personal and professional reasons. Tempting is Alex’s first novel, followed by Beguiling and Provocative.

Facebook / Website / Twitter / Amazon

 

Provocative by Alex Lucian

Layers of Smoke by Jacqueline Noir

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Title: Layer’s of Smoke

Author: Jacqueline Noir

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 21

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Synopsis

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire . . . and nothing but destruction comes in it’s wake.
Addilynn St. James has learned that loyalty is just another pretty word to cover the dirty things people do in the name of family.

They’re still watching.
And now he is too.

After her own family is broken beyond repair, she finds herself trading in her tennis lessons for tattoo time, and her college degree for an easel and oil paints.

They still want to control her.
While he wants to know everything about her.

Breaking out of her golden cage, Addilynn forces herself out of her bubble by going to a party for the first time since her life was pulled out from under her a year ago.

They want to crumble her world.
He would never let them.

Seeking normalcy in dating, going out, and discovering her own independence, she thought she had taken control and thought every decision she made was her own.

She couldn’t be more wrong.
He would burn down their whole fucking world for her.

But, will she let him?

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AMAZON * AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA * AMAZON AU

About the Author

Jacqueline

Jacqueline Noir lives in Phoenix, AZ with her loving husband, three pups, and her ‘small and tiny humans’.

She loves everything paranormal from the movies, television, books, and adventures to haunted places. When she isn’t dreaming of werewolves, witches, and all things that go bump in the night, she is busy creating hot and romantic stories that bring to life all these creatures in their most alpha form.

Her stories feature kick-butt female leads, hot dominate alphas and a whole lot of wicked trouble. Her love for books has taken from being an avid reader, to a book blogger and now an author.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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Smoke by Jacqueline Noir

Provocative by Alex Lucian

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Social Butterfly PR is proud to present the release of
Provocative by Alex Lucian

Series: Tempting #3
Release Date: July 21st
Cover Designer: Najla Quamber
Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography
Cover Model: Denise Emilia

Provocative.eBook

Synopsis:

Coming home to a quiet, dark house.
Meals by myself, because she was already done.
Excuses and apologies, they were never enough.
But even with that, when I touched her—when she arched under me and pulled me deeper— we couldn’t get back to where we needed to be.
Where we used to be.
It was all frustration.
Loneliness.
Loss.

Because even though she was no longer my student, the chemistry was always there.
Adele and I loved each other.
We thought we were unshakeable.

But love isn’t always enough.

It wasn’t enough when I constantly disappointed her.
It wasn’t enough when loss cleaved us in two.
And when she left me, love was not enough.

She didn’t know yet that I’d never stop fighting for her.
But she would.

**Author’s note- Let’s be real clear that this is BOOK TWO of a duet, and you’re going to want to read Tempting before you read this one. Adele and Nathan started their story in that book, and you’ll get the same sex, fighting, and cursing that you did in the first. But if you want it to make sense, read Tempting first. If any of that offends you, please avoid them both.**

 

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

AN (2)

Buy Links:

Catch up on the series.
Tempting is  FREE for a limited time only!

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Tempting, Tempting Book 1: http://amzn.to/29nIQZ6
Beguiling, Tempting Book 2: http://amzn.to/29zfLtA

About Alex:

Alex Lucian is an author living on the eastern coast of the United States who appreciates being anonymous, for personal and professional reasons. Tempting is Alex’s first novel, followed by Beguiling and Provocative.

Facebook / Website / Twitter / Amazon

 

Provocative by Alex Lucian

James Grey – Spotlight

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Emma Carling is just an ordinary girl. She works a stressful office job in London, her commute is hell and she hates her boss. Romance? The slender brunette may be stunning, but for the last couple of years she’s just been trying to survive. And she doesn’t do one-nighters. She’s English, she’s straight, and she’s a good girl.

Then comes a life-changing moment. She tells her manager exactly what she thinks, and storms out of her job. Is it a huge mistake? As the dust settles and the reality of a month without salary dawns, she’s full of doubt. Then a seriously wealthy friend of a friend hints that she’d make huge cash as a premium escort. Emma laughs it off at first. She’s so not that kind of girl.

But then she starts to wonder what it’s like to be so wanted, so wealthy, so powerful. And the rich Charles offers to pay for her to attend a secret, exclusive escort school in the English countryside…

Can Emma shake off the shackles of her conservative upbringing? What will she be asked to do at this unusual school? Will she get on with the select group of fellow trainees? Will she fall for the staff? The other girls? Can she live with her feisty peers…and can she live with herself?

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Synopsis-Unleashed

Emma Carling may have graduated from escort school with distinction – but her journey has only just begun. Now she must prove her seductive skills in the real world: the five-star hotels and lavish mansions of London. She must make the city’s most connected, powerful and wealthy men sit up and take notice of her. She must become a pedigree sex machine.

But will she really earn the life-changing money they spoke of during training? Will she die of shame or learn to love opening her legs for a living? Is she dominant, submissive or both? And what if her friends, or worse yet, her parents, find out about the crazy twist her career has taken?

As the heat in her new work rises, Emma crosses paths with a mystery man who pays to abuse her – both mentally and physically. She is never allowed to see him, but she hears his hot, threatening whispers loud and clear in her ear. She fears he is someone who knows her well, yet their encounters fill her with more passion than she cares to admit. And then there’s Charles, who paid for her schooling and worships every inch of her body as though she’s a work of art. He prefers prostitutes to marriage, but she stands on the brink of falling for him.

Will lust trump fear? Will romance conquer leather belts and metal chains? Can her faithful school friends and experienced agent help her? Find out the answers by joining Emma on her wickedly liberating ride through an exclusive world. A dark, sexy world of which nobody ever speaks…

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First and Last by Rachael Duncan

Title: First and Last
Author: Rachael Duncan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Cover Designer: Cover Me Darling
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography
Mia’s my best friend.

We’ve been inseparable since she moved next door when we were six years old. Then it all changed.

I don’t know when or why, but suddenly I want more. I want her. The problem was she didn’t.

At first.

But everything changes when you cross that line between friends and lovers.

I thought convincing her to give us a chance would be my biggest hurdle. Little did I know that was only the beginning.

Mia consumes all of my thoughts when we’re apart, and all of my senses when we’re together. There’s no going back to the way things were and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she isn’t just my first, but also my last.

Will we be able to hold on, or will our relationship go up in flames?
***This is a friends to lovers romance that is a complete standalone.***
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“This was the second book I’ve read by Rachael, and she found a fan for life in me.” -A.M. Madden, USA Today Bestselling author


“Duncan slayed this novel!”

“This story was AMAZING! I started it last night before bed and honestly, I could not put it down.”

“Rachael, I have to say, this is your best work to date. BRAVO!! Definitely a 5 star read with a major book hangover!”

Chapter 1

Present
Thwack…thwack…thwack…thwack…

The sound of the propellers is music to my ears. It’s the noise I live for and miss during the offseason in the winter months. For me, the blades cutting through the air signals excitement and adventure. Sitting in this small plane with four of my other colleagues, today is no different.
I’m a smokejumper, which means I’m the type of firefighter who parachutes into wildfires, stopping them before they spread. A small one has been spotted in the northern part of the forest here in Redmond. It’s far from posing any real threat to civilians, and it’s our job to keep it that way. But with the drought we’ve been having all over Oregon and the strong winds from today, this thing could go from small to completely uncontained real fucking quick.

“ETA five minutes,” Chief shouts to us, letting us know we’re almost to the drop zone. I give him a thumbs up in response.
Standing up, I walk to the side door, brace both of my hands on either side of it, and lean out the opening. A large, black cloud billows up from the trees and toward the sky, blanketing the ruthless flames I know are below. The wind bends the smoke, sending it south and providing the ammunition it needs to grow.

“What are the wind gusts?” I ask.
“Twenty miles per hour from the north, northeast. It’s tough out there, so make sure you stay above the ridge. You get too close in front of it, you’ll be fucked if it whips around.”
“Roger that.”
A few minutes later, we’re in position and jumping out of the plane. My arms fold over my reserve that’s strapped to the front of me as I free-fall, waiting for my parachute to catch me.
One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three—
My chute opens, jerking me in the process as it slows my descent. It’s always a good day when your parachute opens like it’s supposed to. Reaching up, I grab my risers and pull on the left one to steer me in the direction of my landing zone. There’s a really small opening in the trees that we’re all aiming for. As long as I don’t hit any crazy down drafts, I should make it. Otherwise, I’m landing in the trees, and that’ll suck balls.
When my feet hit the ground, I’m pumped as adrenaline courses through my veins. There’s no other high like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and I can’t believe someone pays me to do it. I’m quickly pulled back to the reason I’m here as my lungs take in oxygen and protest because of the ash and smoke that’s polluting the air.

We take off our jumpsuits, leaving us in a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt that’s flame retardant with cargo pants. After our supply boxes are dropped in for us, we grab our tools and hash out a plan.
“Alright, let’s get around on its west side, start clearing material and work from there,” my boss instructs.

With our tools in hand, we make the two-mile hike to where we need to be. The closer we get, the thicker the smell of burning wood gets. With each step, I get an ominous feeling that moves up my spine. I try my best to shake it off, to tell myself this is any other day at the office, but the thought won’t leave me alone.
“You alright there, Blake?” Sam asks me. We’ve been buddies ever since we went through the rookie course together.

“Yeah, just feeling weird, I guess.”

“What about?” he asks with pinched eyebrows.
“I don’t know.” I shake my head. “It’s nothing.” He slaps me on the back a few times and we keep trekking.
We’ve been chopping away at the small brush for about an hour now. It’s back breaking work, but we’re finally making progress.

I wipe the sweat off my brow with my sleeve before tilting my head back and looking up at the sky. The smoke looks like it’s blowing directly over us. If that’s the case, then it’s likely the fire will start to move toward us, and that’s not a good thing.
“Hey, Chick, you keeping tabs on the wind?” I ask our chief, using his nickname.
“Yeah, reports say it’s coming in from the northeast last I checked.”
“You sure? I’ve been watching and I think it’s shifted.” Both of us look upward through the trees.
“Okay, keep working and I’ll watch it. If it is coming this way, we need to have as much of this cleared as possible, anyway to slow the fire.”
With a simple nod, I get back to work, but this feels wrong. We need to move before we get boxed in.
“I got a bad feeling about this,” I tell Sam quietly as I swing my ax at some more brush. “We need to get out of here.”

“Relax, man. Chick’s watching the wind. He knows what he’s doing.” I try to repeat his words to convince myself, but this small voice inside my head won’t shut the hell up.

Thirty minutes later, we’re still working down the line, but the sound of the inferno is getting louder. I glance over at my boss every now and then to make sure he’s keeping tabs on this. It’s not even two minutes later that he’s telling us we need to move positions. Looking through the gaps in the trees, I see the flames flickering, taunting us, letting us know who’s in charge here.

Without delay, we head back down south to move around and get a better angle of attack on this expanding monster. Sweat runs down my face as the blast of the heat hits me from my left. When everything is this dry, it’s not uncommon for the fire to jump from one tree to the next instead of slowly crawling to it. That’s what’s making me nervous right now. With us being this close, one of these embers could float over and ignite on the other side of us and we’d be surrounded. Then we’d be fucked.
Right as this thought crosses my mind, I look ahead and see the worst-case scenario. Up in front of us is a wall of fire with a narrow path through the middle.
“Should we try to go around?” Sam asks.
“Who knows how far it goes. There’s a small opening. We need to hurry and get the hell out of here,” Chick tells us.
Crouching down low, we all start running through this tunnel of fury. The crackling of the burning forest and roar of the blaze is deafening. I feel it at my back, orange and red fingers clawing at me, trying to engulf me, but I keep pushing on.
A loud pop sounds to my left. I stop and look just in time to see a huge tree coming down.
“Watch out!” I shout. I dive out of the way, the tree narrowly missing me. “Son of a bitch,” I mutter to myself. Getting up, I look back and see the tree is blocking my way out of here. Worse, it’s now separating me from the rest of the team.
“You okay, Blake?” Chick yells.
“Yeah, you guys go. I’ll go around and meet up with you at the drop zone,” I say over the flames.
“Okay, watch your ass.”
“Roger that.”
Hurrying back the way I came, I get the hell out of this burning trap and head back west to try to move around this thing. With any luck, it hasn’t spread too far in that direction and I can get back on course soon.
I hike for forty-five minutes before I’m in the clear and can move south again. All looks good headed this way, and I’m thankful for that. The terrain is steep, with numerous cliffs around. It’s hell to traverse with all of my gear and I find myself stepping the wrong way on the loose gravel, losing my footing.
I fall back on my ass and tumble down the side of this hill with no control. My hands reach out for anything to grab hold of to stop myself, but I’m going too fast. When I see the ledge I’m quickly approaching, I go into panic mode. With every ounce of strength within me, I dig my heels and hands into the ground in a desperate attempt to stop. I slow down, but it’s not enough.
Right before I fall over the edge, there’s only one thing going through my mind.

Mia.

**copyright Rachael Duncan Author 2016**
Rachael Duncan is an Army wife and mother to two beautiful girls. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and went off to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in political science. With initial plans to work in politics, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill for a House Representative. After a short time, she realized it wasn’t for her and began pursuing other careers until she started writing. She’s the author of Tackled by Love, The Lies and Truth Series, and Hopeless Vows.

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First and Last by Rachael Duncan

Billionaire Blackmail by Alison Aimes

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Release Date: July 11, 2016

 

Synopsis

After a childhood spent on the streets, ruthless billionaire Nik Valenti has had his share of dealing with crooks. He thought that was behind him. Until the woman he’s been casually dating turns out to be the biggest con artist of them all. Now, with pride, money, and his company’s survival at stake, he won’t rest until she’s experienced his own brand of justice.

Sara Turner knows she’s no angel, but a few deliberate omissions…well, compared to the rest of her family, that’s choir girl behavior. But now the one man whose heart she’d hoped to steal is accusing her of embezzling from his company. Worse, he wants answers. And he’s come up with a foolproof way to ensure he gets them. One Sara must accept if she doesn’t want to end up in jail.

Nik might be trying to save his company, but he has a tough time ignoring the way Sara makes him burn. The passion between them is all-consuming, and each time he peels away a layer, he discovers there’s more to her than first meets the eye, but he can’t give in to his need. Nik will put everything on the line to find the truth…except his heart.

 

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About the Author

Alison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy sci-fi romance series the Condemned as well as the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaire’s Revenge series. A sci-fi fanatic with a PhD in Modern History, she’s an all-over-the-map kind of woman with a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, listening to a fabulous TED talk, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.

 

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Billionaire Blackmail by Alison Aimes

No Pants Required by Kim Karr

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No Pants Required by Kim Karr
Release Date: July 11th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Hang Le

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Synopsis:

I, Makayla Alexander, am on a mission to reinvent myself. So when a super hot guy boards the plane and flashes his rock hard abs, I pay attention. When he sits next to me and offers me his nuts, I can’t resist. But when I choke on them and he tells me I need to work on my gag reflex, I realize I might be in over my head.

Before I know it we’re in the lavatory and attempting to join the Mile High Club. Let me just say this…anyone who tells you it’s easy to get it on at 37,000 feet isn’t telling you the truth. After the flight attendant busts us for getting frisky in the air, the only thing that can ease my total and complete mortification is the simple fact that I am never going to see him again.

Hours later, I can’t help but wonder if fate will ever allow me to become a new version of myself.

Because Fate, she’s a fickle bitch.

Case in point…my seatmate is my new next-door neighbor.

Even with the whole fate thing we have going on, we are so not meant to be together. He’s all cool and sexy in that make love not war kind of way. Guys like him are dangerous. With that bring-you-to-your-knees body, that handsome-as-hell face, and that dirty, dirty mouth, I guarantee one glance from him wets every girl’s bikini bottoms.

And then there’s me…the quirky girl looking to find herself in California. All I want to do is learn to let loose. Say words like peace and groovy. Bury my toes in the sand. Who knows, maybe even have sex on the beach.

Unable to get him out of my head, I entertain the thought of being more than just friends. I know the idea is absurd. And yet, I go with it. You see Camden Waters gets me. Really gets me. Like no other guy has before.

On this 7-mile stretch of paradise, I decide to keep things simple and just have fun…that is until fate decides to screw with me, again.

Can two people hell-bent on finding themselves realize the search should have ended the day they met? Find out in No Pants Required—a sexy, funny, romantic stand-alone, that will have you hurrying to grab your bathing suit and rushing to the beach to check out every lifeguard on duty.

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About the Author:

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Reader * Writer * Coffeelover * Romantic

Kim is a daydreamer. So much so that if daydreaming could be a hobby it would be her favorite. It’s how her stories are born and how they take root. An imagination that runs wild is something to be thankful for, and she is very thankful. :)

She grew up in New York and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She’s always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and with the rest of her time embraces one of her biggest passions–writing.

Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read.

She likes to believe in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

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No Pants Required by Kim Karr