The Reminisce by H.L. Cherryholmes

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The Reminisce
H.L. Cherryholmes
Genre: Paranormal
Date of Publication: June 7, 2017
ISBN: 1545307628
ASIN: B072QL4S46
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 122,743
Cover Artist: Keri Knutson
Tagline: A detour down memory lane wakes up the ghosts.
Book Description:
Curtis Aisling has literally dodged a bullet. At least he thinks he has. But he wonders whether that bullet still has it out for him when he leaves his ex-fiancé and Los Angeles behind for Coronado, New Mexico to borrow some much-needed money from his sister.
The small dilapidated desert town of Coronado has exactly one mansion, belonging to 92-year-old Veronica Meeks. Curtis’s sister, Dia, and her partner, Araceli, are Veronica’s live-in caretakers and while they are delighted to have a visitor, Veronica doesn’t even know he’s there.
In the final stages of what the locals call “the reminisce,” she is no longer aware of her surroundings. But when Curtis starts seeing things that no one else does, he’s not convinced that the old, unresponsive woman is as disconnected as everyone thinks. At times what should be empty rooms within the huge house appear filled with furniture, and music emanates from a dusty radio that has been packed away for ages. Tales of Veronica’s associations and connections with the occult lead Curtis to believe she is causing the ghostly occurrences.
But when people begin to appear in those phantom rooms—people from her past including Veronica herself—he’s no longer certain it is her doing. Each vision pulls Curtis further and further back, each one detailing a consequential moment in Veronica’s long life, until he begins to fear he could become lost in her past. And then there’s that bullet…
Amazon      BN
Excerpt:
Dia returned her
attention to the old woman and took her bony, veiny hand. “Veronica, honey,
this is my brother Curtis. You’ve seen his picture in our bedroom, remember? He
came for a visit.” She looked up at Curtis. “Veronica was quite smitten with
you the first time she saw your picture. Couldn’t take her eyes off it and she
would just smile and smile.”
Curtis knelt
next to his sister. Greeting the old woman seemed pointless, since it was
obvious by her vacant stare that she wasn’t aware of her surroundings. But his
sister was right; introducing himself was the proper way to behave regardless
of her condition. “Hello, Miss Meeks. I’m Curtis Aisling.”
The old woman’s
wispy gray hair was short and pulled back by small butterfly barrettes. Her
thin face was pinkish-white, wrinkled, and haloed with brown age spots. The
eyes that seemed to be looking at something no one else could see were a cloudy
gray-blue. Her small frame was covered in a clean pink nightgown and she wore
blue slippers.
“How old is
she?” Curtis asked.
Dia stood up to
help Araceli gather the tray with Veronica’s barely touched lunch on it.
“Ninety-two.”
Remaining
crouched before her, Curtis continued to look at the old woman. He found it
difficult to imagine that the slack face in front of him had once been young,
but he searched for signs of it anyhow. If there was life in her dull gaze,
Curtis was sure he would find it there. A strong hot breeze rattling the palm
fronds behind the gazebo hit him in the back. That’s when Veronica blinked and
looked right at him.
“Finally,” she
whispered.

 

About the Author:
H.L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen Series, The Reminisce, Come Back for Me, and A Slight Touch was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his adult life in California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in SoCal with his husband, Ron Cogan.

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Review: Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

Review:

28117964

 

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy. Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

***Disclosure: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***

 

What’s Good: How about the opening line for starters- “Blood. The blood of my enemies drips down my forearms, fleeing the confines of the spaces between my fingers, traveling toward freedom on the cold, stone floor.” Got your attention, yet?

 

This is a very imaginative twist on the fairytale. Everything old is new again in this one. There’s a few homages to the classic version of the tale, but ain’t no fairy godmothers floating around here. Nope- what comes to Ella’s aid is far more disturbing and best left undisturbed. Author F.M. Boughan cites researching historical texts and grimoires on necromancy, and it shows. Well done!

 

The necromancy comes into play as part of the struggle between Heaven and Hell, the forces of Good vs the armies of Evil. Ella’s struggles with what she’s doing and why are valid and believable. As her power grows, she thinks she’s come to terms with the price of it, but then she realizes that price is greater than she’s willing to pay. But will she be strong enough to do so anyway?

 

There’s several twists on the tale that’ll keep you involved; it’s like a full-on rendering of the original Brothers Grimm version- you know, with the sisters cutting off parts of their feet in order to fit the glass slipper and whatnot. Often gory and gruesome, this one ain’t for the faint of heart.

 

What’s Bad: Ella’s also a bit of a dunce. The author does a good job of putting you inside Ella’s head and making her feel like a vibrant, three-dimensional character, but too many times in the story she never bothered to question anything or stop to consider the consequences of her actions. She’s got a book of demonology/necromancy in her hands, but never bothers to read any further than what she needs to get what she wants yet always wonders about the dangers of abusing such power… maybe ya ought to flip a few pages ahead and find out???

 

She’s constantly skulking about the house trying to sneak around her new stepmother and siblings trying to learn things, only to bump, bang into or trip over something, leading to another Steve Erkel moment, “…oh, did *I* do that?!?” After a while you can pretty much see when they’re coming up.

 

There’s a few WTF moments in the plot that threaten to derail things. The night Ella’s father disappears he gives her something before he leaves- literally placing it in her hand. Does she look at it right away?- no. When does she look at it? Right after she sneaks out of the house in the dead of night, crawls under the locked main gate, runs all the way through the village to her mother’s grave, calls out to her mother’s spirit, meets a mysterious stranger who protects her from some Things That Go Bump In The Night, and sees her back to the village. Only after she’s safely home again after all that does she actually OPEN HER HAND to see what it was her father gave her. *facepalm*

 

The disappearance of Ella’s father made almost as much sense as all that did. For storytelling purposes he had to be out of the picture, sure, but… his reasons made no sense. It’s the usual “I had to leave to protect you” nonsense, except that he’s the one who created the problem in the first place by marrying Celia and knew full well what was going on, so clearly the best solution was to leave a bunch of people- including his own children- who’ve no idea about any of it at the tender mercies of some seriously malicious individuals and hope for the best. *double facepalm*

 

What’s Left: an entertaining, if flawed, work that you’ll enjoy reading. If all the Fairy Tale Re-imaginings are starting to get stale to you, this one’ll be a bit of fresh air.

Original post:
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Review: Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

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, , , , , , ,

28117964

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

***Disclosure: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.***

What’s Good: How about the opening line for starters- “Blood.  The blood of my enemies drips down my forearms, fleeing the confines of the spaces between my fingers, traveling toward freedom on the cold, stone floor.”  Got your attention, yet?

This is a very imaginative twist on the fairytale.  Everything old is new again in this one.  There’s a few homages to the classic version of the tale, but ain’t no fairy godmothers floating around here.  Nope- what comes to Ella’s aid is far more disturbing and best left undisturbed.   Author F.M. Boughan cites researching historical texts and grimoires on necromancy, and it shows.  Well done!

The necromancy comes into play as part of the struggle between Heaven and Hell, the forces of Good vs the armies of Evil.  Ella’s struggles with what she’s doing and why are valid and believable.  As her power grows, she thinks she’s come to terms with the price of it, but then she realizes that price is greater than she’s willing to pay.  But will she be strong enough to do so anyway?

There’s several twists on the tale that’ll keep you involved; it’s like a full-on rendering of the original Brothers Grimm version- you know, with the sisters cutting off parts of their feet in order to fit the glass slipper and whatnot.  Often gory and gruesome, this one ain’t for the faint of heart.

What’s Bad: Ella’s also a bit of a dunce.  The author does a good job of putting you inside Ella’s head and making her feel like a vibrant, three-dimensional character, but too many times in the story she never bothered to question anything or stop to consider the consequences of her actions.  She’s got a book of demonology/necromancy in her hands, but never bothers to read any further than what she needs to get what she wants yet always wonders about the dangers of abusing such power… maybe ya ought to flip a few pages ahead and find out???  She’s constantly skulking about the house trying to sneak around her new stepmother and siblings trying to learn things, only to bump, bang into or trip over something, leading to another Steve Erkel moment, “…oh, did *I* do that?!?”  After a while you can pretty much see when they’re coming up.

There’s a few WTF moments in the plot that threaten to derail things.  The night Ella’s father disappears he gives her something before he leaves- literally placing it in her hand.  Does she look at it right away?- no.  When does she look at it?  Right after she sneaks out of the house in the dead of night, crawls under the locked main gate, runs all the way through the village to her mother’s grave, calls out to her mother’s spirit, meets a mysterious stranger who protects her from some Things That Go Bump In The Night, and sees her back to the village.  Only after she’s safely home again after all that does she actually OPEN HER HAND to see what it was her father gave her.  *facepalm*

The disappearance of Ella’s father made almost as much sense as all that did.  For storytelling purposes he had to be out of the picture, sure, but… his reasons made no sense.  It’s the usual “I had to leave to protect you” nonsense, except that he’s the one who created the problem in the first place by marrying Celia and knew full well what was going on, so clearly the best solution was to leave a bunch of people- including his own children- who’ve no idea about any of it at the tender mercies of some seriously malicious individuals and hope for the best.  *double facepalm*

What’s Left: an entertaining, if flawed, work that you’ll enjoy reading.  If all the Fairy Tale Re-imaginings are starting to get stale to you, this one’ll be a bit of fresh air.

4/5 stars

Release Day Celebration: The Missing by Jerico Lenk with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

The Missing by Jerico Lenk

presented by Month9Books!

Make sure you grab your copy today!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Jerico!

 

Dark proclivities, excess, and outlandish curiosities prevail in 1890’s London. Around the city, a battle rages between the living and the dead. The Black Cross, tasked to keep the peace, are quickly losing ground.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Winchester, lives life as a boy called “Will” in his father’s house of distinguished ladies, all but invisible to the wealthy Londoners who frequent. It’s an easy ruse since his mother’s death left his father’s attention to fall upon business matters. But this isn’t his only secret.

When Will unwittingly becomes involved in a Black Cross ghost hunt, his uncanny ability to sense supernatural beings comes to light and the Black Cross wants him in their service. Suddenly, Will’s free to be himself.

But such freedom will come with a price, as Will fights for the acceptance of the only father he’s ever known.

Now, part of a team of misfits and unlikely allies, Will finds he isn’t the only one keeping secrets. Someone does not want him to uncover the truth about those who aren’t just missing from the world of the living, but missing from history itself.

Can he find the Missing before he ends up becoming one of them?

The Missing by Jerico Lenk
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

 Amazon

 

 

Undergraduate studying Creative Writing, Classics, Russian and Western European History. Unabashed weeb probably burning incense and drinking too much coffee at this very moment.Out for queer representation and great sex hair. Beyond ready for the upcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series.

Lenk writes Young Adult/New Adult, spec fiction, poetry, and screenplays. He is currently unagented.

His poems have appeared at/in USF Tampa’s Thread Literary Inquiry, biannual 6×6 creative writing showcase, and placed second in National Poetry Month 2015; Tethered By Letters’ F(r)iction Spring 2016 poetry contest finalist; winner of the 2017 Bettye Newman Poetry award.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

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Wrong by Jana Aston

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Wrong
Jana Aston
Publication date: October 7th 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.

Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor. Shoot. Me.

But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?

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FREE on September 19th only!

EXCERPT:

“Sophie, he’s going to be back for more. Trust me.”

I load a tray of cupcakes and slide them into the bakery case. “I don’t know, Everly. He’s really sophisticated and clearly lives a lifestyle a long ways from Cowbell Lane,” I say, referencing my grandparents’ home in Willow Grove.

“Bitch, please. The guy is pushing forty and you’re a hot co-ed with a brand-new tight, shiny pussy. He’ll be back.”

My eyes widen. “Everly, Jesus!”

“Just saying.” She holds her hands up in mock defense before breaking into a huge grin.

“You don’t really think he’s forty, do you?”

“He just turned thirty-six in August.”

“How do you know that?”

“Google.”

“You Googled him?”

“You didn’t?” Everly looks aghast.

“Uh, no.” Truthfully I thought about it, but I didn’t want to get any more invested in him than I already am.

“Well, look what the pussy dragged in.” Everly is smirking.

“Everly, that’s not the saying. It’s ‘cat.’ ‘Look what the cat dragged in.’”

“Oh, I think I’ve got the saying right. He’s here.”

My stomach explodes in nerves as I glance towards the door. Luke is here. I wondered if he’d stick to his normal Tuesday routine and stop here for coffee. I’ve figured out this Grind Me location is between his Rittenhouse Square condo and the student clinic, but it’s hardly the only route he could take or stop he could make.

My heart is beating so fast as I take him in. Is he going to speak to me or go back to just ordering coffee and leaving like he has the last several weeks?

He’s in a navy suit today, crisp white shirt and a silvery blue tie. And then my heart stops beating so fast. There’s a hand on his arm. I follow that hand to the redhead from Saturday night.

Author Bio:

Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana’s novels have appeared on the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, some multiple times. She likes multiples.

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Waxing Moon (Calling the Moon #2) by Sarah Stevens

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Waxing Moon
Calling the Moon
Book Two
Sarah E. Stevens
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 8/18/2017
ISBN: 978-1-5092-1586-7
ISBN: 978-1-5092-1587-4 Digital
ASIN: B073MPTK1Z
Number of pages: paperback 308,
Word Count:  ~76k
Cover Artist: Deborah Turner
Tagline:  Paranormal arson, rogue wolves, and torn loyalties. How can a mere human mother protect her Werewolf baby?
Book Description:
Julie Hall thinks she has the hang of mothering her Werewolf baby Carson, until the night she wakes to frantic barking and finds her house on fire. Arson. Paranormal fire creatures want to kill Carson—and an unknown Were may be helping them.
As if fire-spawning Salamanders and a mysterious Werewolf aren’t dangerous enough, Julie soon faces even closer threats. Her trusted friend Eliza harbors a secret and Julie’s new understanding of Werewolves threatens to tear apart her team. Meanwhile, her relentless enemies will burn everything in their path, if they can’t get to Carson.
Will Julie’s efforts to protect Carson do more harm than good?
Amazon         The Wild Rose Press
Dark Moon Wolf
Book One of Calling the Moon
Available on Amazon
Excerpt
1: 
            I
jolted awake because of the barking—deep barks that sounded right next to me
even though I slept alone in my bedroom. I sat up before I opened my eyes and
even then, my brain lagged behind. For the first few seconds, I stared at the
flames before understanding my house was on fire.
            My
house was on fire.
            Carson!
            The
curtains at my window burned, flames shooting up toward the ceiling. I stared
at them and almost forgot to move. Then panic poured through me and I jumped
up. I felt disoriented: the blackness, the flames, the smoke beginning to fill
the room, the roar. My heart raced in terror.
            My
baby was in this fire.
            With
a high-pitched crash, my bedroom windows exploded from the heat, and a shower
of hot glass flew into the room. I reflexively turned away, arms raised to
cover my face. Some of the glass hit me, hot stings against my arms and side,
but I barely felt the pain. Below the thunder of the fire, I heard the smoke
alarm sound a futile warning.
            I
didn’t think to drop to my knees, to detour into the bathroom for a wet cloth,
to crawl to Carson’s bedroom. Instead, I ran through the house, breathed in the
choking smoke, felt my hands and feet start to numb from panic.
            Fire
filled the hallway to Carson’s room, and I skidded to a frantic stop, unable to
reach him.      
            Carson!
            My
throat so raw from the smoke I couldn’t even scream his name. Heat pounded down
the hallway, along with thick black smoke, and flames blocked his door.
            The
window! Maybe I could get to him from his window, from outside.
            I
whirled, stumbled, and ran back down the hallway. The fire seemed to chase me
until my numb feet tripped on the edge of the area rug and I fell hard, sending
a stab of pain into my arm where some glass stuck.
            Landing,
I remembered I should stay on the floor. The air was slightly clearer down
there, and I crawled the last feet to the front door, lined by small paned windows
shattered by heat. Glass pieces bit into my knees as I reached the door, the
doorknob hot in my hand as I turned it.  
            I
launched myself onto the front stoop, then forced myself off the ground to run
around the side of the house. Flames snaked upward toward the roof; the siding
below was a mass of char. How did the fire erupt so quickly?
I ran to Carson’s window, now a
gaping wound in the siding framed by jagged pieces of glass. The eaves above
sang with rising flame and sheets of smoke poured off the lower walls. My bare
feet sank into mud, deep mud, and I paused for a second, confused because the
water didn’t make sense.
I shook my head to clear it.
Carson. I had to get to Carson.
            I
tried to knock out the rest of the glass on the window frame, before I pulled
myself up and over the window. My eyes searched for my baby against in the
darkness—thank all the gods! Somehow, there was no fire in his room. I landed
heavily on the carpet. The floor was wet and cold shocked my skin. I didn’t
have sprinklers—what the hell? I sloshed through inches of water and finally
reached Carson’s crib.
            He
cried, which meant he was alive, and my heart leapt. Tears streamed down his
face and his mouth opened in a howl. I grabbed him, held him fiercely and maybe
a little too tight, but he grabbed me right back with arms and legs, burrowed
into my body, rubbed his face into my shoulder. He was soaking wet from tears.
            Or—
            Something
cracked overhead and I leapt back toward the window, swung my legs up and over
the sill, and dropped down into the mud. I landed heavily on one side with
Carson cradled against me and pain stabbed through my hip. Holding Carson to me
with one arm, I crawled as far as I could—which wasn’t far—then collapsed onto
the ground.
            I
looked back at my house. Fire blazed on the roof. Carson still cried; I cried.
We both gasped for air. We were black with soot, with ash, with mud. We were
soaked. I was suddenly freezing. Nothing made sense.
            Then
a growl came out of the darkness and chills raced up my spine. I sat up and
turned to see what my body already knew. A huge, black wolf. A Werewolf—it had
to be. Only Weres were that big. But who was he? Why was he here? The wolf
stood mere feet from me with hackles raised and mouth half-open. Red light from
the fire reflected off his teeth. He crouched, muscles taut, ready to spring.
            “No!”
I shouted and clutched Carson to me, a surge of anger giving me strength.
Why would a Were attack us?

 

About the Author:
Sarah’s love of reading, writing, and all things fantasy started with her childhood explorations of Narnia, Middle Earth, and Pern. She’s a huge enthusiast of all fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. She’s a board game geek, an artist, and a dabbler in making chainmaille jewelry. She loves to write about strong women and their friendships–combined with magic and love, of course.
Sarah, her husband Gary, their three kids, and three cats live in Evansville, Indiana.
PS. None of her kids are actually Werewolves.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16276590.Sarah_E_Stevens


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Karina’s Silver Shoes by Denise Marques Leitao

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Karina’s
Silver Shoes    
Denise
Marques Leitao
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Sparkly Wave
Date of Publication: September
18th, 2017
ISBN:  9781775063711
ASIN: B074T8RFWX
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 70k
Tagline: She’s got the fate of a
kingdom in her hands—or rather, in her shoes.
Book Description:
When two princesses ask Karina to
go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy her fascinating
and potentially evil silver shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a
free trip to an alternate world?
Advised by a wise master and threatened
by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a
powerful witch. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself
stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before
saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.
From
Brazilian / Canadian writer Denise Marques Leitao comes Karina’s Silver Shoes,
a teen parody of fantasy and fairy-tale tropes with many female characters,
friendships between girls and women, and some subtle romance.
 
If
you like to read about strong girls and women, you’ve found your book.
Excerpt 3
Nia raised her
eyebrows. “Well, do you think you can just sneak into her fortress?”
“No. I mean… Wait.
Fortress?”
Nia put her
hands on her waist. “Where do you think she lives?”
“A… house?”
“Right, a little
house in the woods, without any protection.”
In reality that
was exactly what Karina had imagined. “And that’s not it?”
Nia got closer
to Karina and stared at her. “It’s a fortress, better protected than any castle
on Earth.”
“We’re still on
Earth?”
“Don’t change
the subject.”
Karina stepped
back and waived her hands. “It’s not my fault. I didn’t plan anything. I was
sleeping, the girls woke me up, they asked for help and I came. That’s it.”
Nia pointed her
index finger towards Karina. “That’s exactly it. They are only going because
you are going.”

About
the Author:

Denise Marques Leitao was born
and raised in Brazil. When she’s not creating worlds and characters, she’s
discussing the meaning of the Universe with her son, writing unintellectual
poetry, podcasting about popular culture, or teaching. She lives in Montreal, Canada,
and has a Master’s in English Literature.
To learn more about Denise, get
news, bonus materials and preview chapters, visit http://denisemarquesleitao.com

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Boys of Brighton Series by M. Tasla

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Gabe
The Boys of Brighton
Book One
M. Tasia
Genre: m/m romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 8 September 2016,
ISBN: 9781944262365  
ISBN: 9781537594163
ASIN: B01LVXE24H
Number of pages: Print – 123
Word Count: 41,410
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Book Description:
Fifth-generation firefighter Gabe Mason saves Johnny from the flames of an office building fire, and Johnny will save Gabe from himself.
Boroughs    Createspace    Amazon    Smashwords    BN    Kobo    iTunes
Excerpt Gabe:
The building was coming down, Gabe knew it. After the last explosion, he and his partner, Lee, were able to grab one of the women huddled by the window and carry her down the ladder. There were two more people in that room, and he would be damned if he’d leave them behind. Seeing his cousin Josie hanging from the window had almost paralyzed him with fear, but thanks to his years of training Gabe didn’t miss a beat. He grabbed her out of the air from one of her coworkers who held onto her, saving Josie from a three-story fall headfirst.
Another explosion rocked the back of the building and Gabe raced back up the ladder. He didn’t stop at the top. He jumped through the window instead, desperate to find the trapped people. His turnout gear and oxygen tank protected him from the worst of the heat and the thick black smoke that filled the room, obstructing his vision as he scanned for anyone, hoping he wasn’t too late.
He heard a loud scraping noise from the back corner. Easing his way closer, he was finally able to make out the same shorter man that saved Josie trying to leverage a filing cabinet off a trapped woman.
“Got the last two, Lee. One trapped,” Gabe called into his radio.
“The building’s coming down!” Lee answered. “I’m almost at the top of the ladder. Get them out here now!”
Gabe reached the man just as a loud whoosh sounded through the room and flames waved across the ceiling. Time to go. The man with the pole looked up at the flames…but instead of making a run for the window as Gabe had expected, he began to desperately push on the cabinet.
Maybe I’m jaded after all these years.
Gabe grabbed the man’s shoulder. The guy cried out in pain before he turned to face him. The smoke was so thick that it was difficult to make out his features, but the burn marks on the guy’s shoulder from the steel pole he was using were easy to see.
“You have to get out!” Gabe called. “The ladder is outside the window. GO!”
“No! I won’t leave her! She’s unconscious. I’ll pull her out”—cough, cough—“if you can lift this damn thing.”
Gabe could tell the man was serious about not leaving without the woman. He figured it must be his wife or someone he loved.
To have someone love you that much… You would never be left behind. He longed for just that.
He put both hands under the edge of the cabinet while the other man dropped the pole and grabbed onto the woman’s arms. With one great heave, the cabinet was raised. The man screamed in pain but managed to pull the woman out before falling to the ground himself and coughing violently.
Gabe quickly lifted the woman into his arms and carried her to the window, handing her off to Lee before turning to pick up the last survivor who was still coughing on the floor. Gabe removed his oxygen mask and placed it over the man’s face before stepping onto the ladder and heading down to the waiting EMTs. Now that they were away from the smoke, Gabe looked down at the man in his arms to find stunning moss-green eyes staring up at him.
Wow…just wow.
Desperate for something to clear away the sucker punch that one look had delivered, Gabe could only come up with the other woman in the fire. “Your wife is going to be okay. We got her out thanks to your help.”
Gabe gently placed the man down on the waiting gurney. Within moments, one of the EMTs removed the oxygen mask Gabe had given him and replaced it with one from a tank in their rig. Gabe noticed more burns on the man’s hands and chest as well as bleeding across his abdomen.
The green-eyed man quickly pushed the mask away from his face. “Wife?”
“Building’s clear, Gabe. Now we just need to keep it contained,” Lee stated through Gabe’s headset.
“Copy, on my way.”
“Wife?” the man asked again, looking adorably confused, eyes squinting, leaving a cute little wrinkle between his eyebrows.
“Yes, the lady under the cabinet is already being transported to the hospital,” Gabe replied, doing his best to not look into those beautiful eyes or at the tempting bottom lip that was currently between the other man’s teeth. The man looked confused for a moment, and then his face lit up in happiness. It was like the clouds parted with just that one look.
Where the hell did that cliché come from?
“Janice? She’s safe?”
“Yes, she’s on her way to the hospital. You can meet her there when you’re transported.” Gabe began to back a few feet away; he had to get back to the fire and stop staring at the poor man.
Damn, I’ve been alone too long when I’m lusting after a married, heterosexual man.
Being a gay firefighter, it wasn’t easy for Gabe to find the right partner. Sure, easy sex was always available, but he wanted a commitment. Men might think it was hot to date a fireman, but they soon found the hours he worked and the dangers he faced to be too much, and they would eventually leave.
“Wait, wife? Janice? No…I’m gay. She’s my friend—” The man began coughing so violently he was gagging over the side of the gurney.
“We’re outta here, Gabe,” said Royce, his friend and one of the EMTs, before replacing the oxygen mask.
Gabe ran back over, catching the gurney before it went into the rear of the ambulance.
“Wait, what’s your name?”
“Johnny Jeffrey.”
Gabe and Royce shared a look before Royce gave a slight nod and smiled. Then the doors closed and the ambulance sped away, leaving Gabe and the rest of the firefighters to battle the blaze into the late afternoon. Royce would keep an eye on the guy for Gabe as best he could. After all, the man had saved his young cousin’s life, and he couldn’t just ignore these intense feelings of attraction, could he?
Sam’s Soldiers,
Boys of Brighton
Book Two
M. Tasia    
Genre: m/m romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 30 December 2016
ISBN: 9781944262549
ISBN: 9781541370593
ASIN: B01N0W22AQ
Number of pages:  Print – 116
Word Count: 40,560
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Book Description:
Emergency room nurse Samuel Mason is offered a ménage a trois with two ex-miltary men and discovers a love more dangerous—and more exquisite—than he anticipated.
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Excerpt Sam’s Soldiers:
As soon as Spider heard the water running in the shower, he turned to Dante. “We shouldn’t do this. We can’t leave him.”
Dante came forward and wrapped his arms around Spider. “It was part of the deal we made, Jack. We can’t back out now.”
“It just doesn’t feel right to me, it’s Sam.” Spider knew it was part of their initial arrangement with Sam, but things had changed, hadn’t they?
“We’ve got another mission. We have to head a security detail in two days. Besides, Sam hasn’t asked us to stay. We can’t make that decision for him.” Dante backed away and returned to preparing their final meal together. Spider’s heart raced, knowing this was the wrong decision.
“But I know he cares about us. I can feel it. He was meant to be a part of our team,” Spider said, trying to explain what he felt to his core, he knew Sam loved them on some level. They’d spent the last five weeks living together, acting every bit like a family, and it had been plain to see how each of them felt, or maybe he was simply seeing what he wanted. The two went on to work silently on supper for several minutes until they both heard the water turn off in the shower.
“Sweetheart, look at me,” Dante said, and Spider finally met Dante’s eyes. Spider knew he was the one more likely to show emotions out of the two of them, but the pain he saw in Dante’s eyes confirmed he felt the same way about Sam. “We have to carry on with our lives and let Sam carry on with his. It’s selfish to force ourselves on him.”
“But, Major, I don’t believe we are. Do we really have to leave like this?” Spider still fell back on his military training when stressed.
“Leave?” Sam spoke softly from the doorway, a towel hanging low on his hips. His beautiful tattoos stood in vibrant contrast against his creamy white skin and lean muscle. His red hair was wet and standing up in odd angles and his beautiful brown eyes shone slightly.
“Leave?” Sam repeated, his face becoming a mask, showing nothing. “Is it time for the two of you to go back already?”
Dante released Spider, who stepped forward and held out his hand. Sam immediately took it, and Spider pulled him in close so both he and Dante could surround him. “Yes, Sam, we have another assignment.” Spider thought the words seemed like a physical blow to Sam even as he tried to hide his response from them.
“When?” Sam asked in a strangled voice.
“Tomorrow morning.”
“So this is my farewell supper?” Sam stepped back out of their reach and took a deep breath. “I should have guessed with all my favorites on the menu.”
Sam was smiling now, but it didn’t reach his eyes. Spider was desperate to touch him again, but didn’t know if Sam would allow it. “We wanted to make the night special.”
Sam looked around at the table set with wineglasses and his grandmother’s good china. “It looks beautiful, thank you. I’ll go finish getting dressed and we can start our last evening together.” Sam stepped forward, gave both Spider and Dante a quick kiss on their cheeks, and went back to their master bedroom.
“Dante?”
Dante stood straighter and squared his shoulders, the same stance he always took when the hard decisions needed to be made. “We have to go, Jack. We both knew this couldn’t last forever, and all three of us went into this knowing it would eventually have to end. Now is that time.”
“Don’t you feel it? The pull to him, the need to keep him with us?” Spider couldn’t understand why Dante was fighting so hard to not allow himself to fall in love with Sam.
“Of course I do. But again, soldier, that’s not our decision to make.”
Rick’s Bear
Boys of Brighton
Book Three
M. Tasia
Genre: m/m romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication:  3 March 2017
ISBN:  9781944262631  
ISBN:  9781544220789
ASIN: B06XDSSHMR
Number of pages: Print – 117
Word Count: 40,060
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Book Description:
Two reclusive gay men—Brighton’s local librarian and its grumpy bear, former motorcycle gang member turned diner owner—find each other and love.
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Excerpt Rick’s Bear:
Rick just knew he was going to ruin this evening somehow. Heck, he’d already started by causing those three men to notice him. He’d planned to stand behind them, hopefully going unseen, until Bear had called his name and he had to walk through the group. Now his anxiety level was rising like a toxic tide.
“Easy. Look at me. Breathe…” When Rick looked up, everything looked fuzzy, and he noticed they were in Bear’s office instead of at the table. “Breathe in and out. That’s it.”
After several minutes, Bear’s handsome face came into focus, and Rick could finally speak. “S-s-sorry” was all he could manage to say.
“No, that was my fault. I should have never called their attention to you or made you walk through them with your anxiety. I’m the one who’s sorry,” Bear replied with a guilty look on his handsome face. “I won’t ever do that again unless it’s an emergency. I’ll come to you instead, I swear.”
Rick realized a while ago that Bear was aware of Rick’s “little quirks” but had never brought them up so openly before. He felt a bit embarrassed and found himself unable to meet Bear’s eyes. “It’s okay, and it’s not your fault that I’m this way.” That responsibility belonged to someone else entirely, a man so vicious it had taken four officers to take him down.
“This way?” Bear gently cupped both of Rick’s cheeks so he couldn’t look away again. “The way you are is perfect to me, never doubt that.”
He looked so serious that Rick had no other choice but to nod his head in agreement.
“Okay, now are we ready to have dinner and apple pie?” Bear’s smile brought out that one dimple he had on his left cheek.
“Oh yeah,” Rick replied. “Did you know an average nine-inch pie holds roughly six medium apples?” He hung his head so quickly that Rick was surprised he hadn’t given himself whiplash. Damn nervous useless information, he’ll think I’m a freak.
“Yeah, we use around five or six depending on the size of the apple,” Bear answered and carried on toward the front without one word of censure or even a strange look for Rick’s “info drop” as he liked to call his freaky behavior. It wasn’t like he could namedrop, but boy he could spit out useless information like a pro. Maybe for a little while, Rick would be able to act as if his idiosyncrasies didn’t matter and not have to worry about how he appeared to others.
Bear led Rick to their table by keeping a possessive hand on the small of Rick’s back, and Rick had no idea why it felt so good there. How can I be attracted to another giant of a man? Didn’t I learn my lesson the last time? Rick honestly didn’t quite understand why Bear wanted to spend time with him, but Rick wasn’t going to complain. He felt safe when he was with Bear, which was an odd feeling for him to begin with.
Over the next hour, Rick learned more about the man that occupied every dream he’d had over the past year. He knew Bear had been in a motorcycle club back in Chicago but had left it to “find a new life,” as Bear put it, but he wouldn’t elaborate further. What he did know still amazed Rick, who’d never left Brighton. All the places Bear had seen were a world away from Rick’s reality.
“Here you go, sweetie, your apple pie.” Rick looked up and smiled at Sarah. The older woman was an absolute angel to everyone.
“Thank you, Sarah. I absolutely love your apple pie,” Rick stated as his mouth watered for a bite.
“We know, honey,” Sarah responded.
“Hey! What the hell? You told me you didn’t have any more apple pie, you old crone,” yelled one of the three men who’d made Rick feel nervous when he’d come in. “What do I have to do, go in the back and give the boss a blowjob like little Mr. Bookworm here did?”
Rick immediately pulled his messenger bag off the table and placed it safely on the bench seat—Bear’s gift was in that bag after all. He slid across the bench, putting some distance between himself and the irate man. The man’s two friends were desperately clawing at the third man’s jacket, trying to pull him back.
Rick’s anxiety began to rise, and of course, he knew what was coming next. “In a recent survey, it was found that four out of ten people have dated someone from work. But in this case, you are completely mistaken. We’re friends.”
The drunk man stopped and just stared at Rick like he’d grown a second head. “What do I care? Are you some kind of idiot?”
Rick witnessed the change in Bear and sat fascinated as he went from attentive, charming dinner date to a hulking man who, with one look, could make most people shake. But the truly bizarre thing was that, instead of feeling fear, Rick felt excited.
What’s wrong with me?
Jesse
Boys of Brighton
Book Four
M. Tasia    
Genre: m/m romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 2 June 2017
ISBN: ebook – 9781944262785   
ISBN: 9781547110209
ASIN: B071SKB8XZ
Number of pages:  Print – 120
Word Count: 40,810
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Book Description:
A widower and a man who fled his past find love in Brighton, TX, despite the violence of one’s homophobic family.
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Excerpt Jesse:
Royce heard the deep rumbling and knew his hopes that they could work this out had disappeared. The roar of Jesse’s bike as it pulled out of the driveway and away from their house felt like a stab to his chest. Was it still “their” house? Was he coming back? Was he safe? Royce didn’t have the answers and a sick feeling began to spread through his body. Jesse had left him. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hard on him. But Jesse was keeping things from him and Royce was frustrated. He’d spent the last few weeks afraid Jesse would be hurt or leave. Well, he left.
The pain was starting to set in. Jesse left. The realization hit home like a sledgehammer. He left me. Royce couldn’t understand why Jesse hadn’t taken his things with him. Maybe he’s coming back? Royce didn’t know what to think. He never thought Jesse would just take off like this because they’d always found it easy to talk things out up until now.
Royce wandered through his empty house room by room…rooms he’d hoped and prayed would be filled with children someday. He’d always dreamt of giving children with special needs a good home and viewed adoption as the option for him. But when Daniel had died, so had that dream, until Jesse came along. Now Royce’s pain was becoming intense, and he knew unless you’d suffered through the loss of the person you love, there was no way of properly describing it. But the closest he could imagine was paralyzing, painful emptiness creeping into his heart and soul.
Should he go look for Jesse or wait here? What would Royce do if Jesse didn’t come back? That one thought alone kept Royce pacing the floors. He stopped by the kitchen and grabbed himself a beer before continuing with his silent vigil. The more he thought about everything that had happened, the more worked up he got. Hell, he’d already lost one man he’d loved. Royce couldn’t help but wonder how he’d pissed off fate so badly that this was happening to him again.
Hours crawled by and Royce sat waiting. At two in the morning he surrendered to the fact that Jesse wasn’t likely to be coming back. He’d been gone over twelve hours. Royce had already called Dante, one of the leaders of the Sentinels, to let him know Jesse had left. That had been hours ago, and Royce wondered if the Sentinels were still out looking for Jesse. Royce would still pay to have Jesse safe even if it was without Royce at his side.
He walked slowly to their bedroom, taking his shirt off and dropping it on the floor in the hallway, not caring where it landed. He continued on, leaving his pants at the bedroom door, boxers at the foot of the bed. By the time he crawled up onto the mattress, he couldn’t hold back his sorrow and loss any longer. The last time he’d cried was at Daniel’s graveside. Royce had thought he’d be impervious to that kind of pain again, but he’d been sorely mistaken.
Royce laid his head down, praying sleep would take him away into blissful nothingness. He hoped against all odds that this had all just been some sort of cruel nightmare and he would wake up at any moment with Jesse in his arms. But all the while knowing full well his reality had changed yet again and his future was uncertain.
Royce awoke hours later. He hadn’t even realized he’d fallen asleep and had no idea what woke him, but something was different. Slowly, he opened his eyes; the room was dark but he could make out the outline of a large figure standing in the doorway. There was just enough light coming down the hallway to confirm that it was indeed Jesse. Royce sat up in bed, conflicting emotions running through his mind and heart. He was overjoyed that Jesse came back but Royce felt betrayed at being left in the first place. Those two emotions kept him on the bed, silent. If Jesse came back for his things, Royce wasn’t about to beg. No matter how much he wanted Jesse to stay, the man had to want to stay first.
About the Author:
M. Tasia is a paralegal and author who lives in Ontario, Canada. A member of the RWA and its chapter RRW, she is a dedicated people watcher, and a lover of romance, 80’s rock, and happy endings. Mother of two wonderful girls, she is also a servant to two spoiled furry children.

 

 

 

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Addiction (Addiction to You #1) by Vivian Wood

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Addiction
Vivian Wood
(Addicted To You, #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

It started innocently enough. Beautiful Harper gave Sean those eyes… those eyes that meant, yes, take me. But Harper didn’t know Sean’s secrets… She didn’t know that he liked it rough.

More than rough. He liked to dominate. To punish. To degrade. It was the only way that the black hole in his soul wouldn’t swallow him up.

He would push her a little too far, and she would run. They all ran, eventually.

But that’s not what happened… when he put his hands around her throat and squeezed, Harper moaned. When he told her to stay away, she didn’t listen, misbehaving until she got spanked. When he took out the handcuffs, there was excitement in her eyes, mixed with a little fear.

The doe-eyed redhead liked it. More than that, she wanted it. She said so, time and again.

That’s the thing about sexy strangers, though… you never know what they’re hiding. And Harper is carrying a burden so heavy that even Sean’s secrets pale in comparison.

This book is Book 1 out of 2 in the Addicted To You duet. At approximately 50,000 words, it ends in a cliffhanger. As a dark romance, it touches several sensitive topics, but contains no cheating. Book 2 will end in a happily ever after.

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EXCERPT:

Sean paused. “Are you certain you want to go in?” he asked.

He turned to look at her to see her swallow. Harper nodded. He couldn’t get a read on her.

“Speak up,” he said. “Was that a ‘yes, sir’?”

Harper fluttered her lashes and looked down. “Y—yes. Yes, sir,” she said obediently. Quietly.

Fuck, the things she could do. “You make me so fucking hard,” he said. Her eyes shot open.

Sean took her hand and led her through the heavy wooden door. It closed behind them with a loud click. He removed his bowtie and watched her survey the room. “Get undressed.”

Without a pause, she started to kick off her shoes.

“Leave them on,” he instructed. Sean sat back in a black leather seat. Harper peeled off the dress and let it fall to the floor.

As she stepped out of the fallen latex, in just a lace thong and matching bra, he couldn’t believe her dimensions. She had a tiny waist, a wasp’s waist, as if she’d been in waist-training for years. Her hip bones jutted out like fins before angling down to slender thighs and shapely calves.

“Right now, right here in this room, you exist solely for my pleasure,” he said. “You’re here to please me in whatever way I see fit.” He stopped himself, aware of his quickened breath. Sean raised a brow. “Get on with it.”

Author Bio:

Get a FREE Vivian Wood secret office romance by copying and pasting this into your browser window: http://vivian-wood.com/get-news.

Vivian likes to write about troubled, deeply flawed alpha males and the fiery, kick-ass women who bring them to their knees.

Vivian’s lasting motto in romance is a quote from a favorite song: “Soulmates never die.”

Be sure to follow Vivian through her Vivian’s Vixens mailing list or Facebook group to keep up with all the awesome giveaways, author videos, ARC opportunities, and more!

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The Downfall of Catie Bloom (Bloom Sisters #3) by Brooke Stanton

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The Downfall of Catie Bloom
Brooke Stanton
(Bloom Sisters #3)
Publication date: September 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Catie’s little white lies have finally caught up to her…

The award-winning Catie Bloom is back! And she’s still got it all—a husband, a successful career, and she’s America’s #1 Domestic Goddess. Except, it’s a big fat lie. She can’t cook, she’s a slob, and her husband left her years ago. But she’s trying to leave the lies behind and become an honest woman. Too bad someone already knows her secrets…

Catie’s life comes crumbling down when she’s outed on national TV by a person she trusted. And in that instant, she loses everything—her job, her sister, and the man she loves, Sam Harding. So much for “the one.” When Catie needs Sam the most, he disappears…with his ex. Then two miracles happen: a new man steps into the picture, eager to help Catie, and a New York socialite hires her to do the one thing she’s truly talented at: interior design. The great news: the multimillion-dollar loft Catie’s designing will be featured in all the top design magazines. The bad news: Catie has to keep her involvement a secret.

As she tries to find a way back into the design world without revealing her secret project, Sam returns. And with him comes a twist she never saw coming.

Will Catie find her happily ever after, or will her past lies ruin her future forever?

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EXCERPT:

In the back corner of the bar, there’s a woman tucked away from the revelry. Something about her makes me stop. At first, it looks like she’s laughing, but she wipes her eyes and I see she’s crying. Then she lifts her head, and I feel like one of the skis above the bar has kicked me in the gut. I suck in air, but I can’t seem to get any down. The room is spinning, and for a moment, I feel like I might pass out.

How can she be here? I step closer but keep hidden behind a group of older men, devouring pizza and beer, their faces chapped from the slopes.

It’s definitely her. Liv.

Why is she here and not in Manhattan with her husband? Is she on assignment? But she doesn’t write for the sports section. She’s a metro reporter and only writes about local news. There’s nothing local about this comp.

The air escapes my lungs in a rush when I spot Sam standing above the table where Liv sits. He’s been here a day, but he already has a touch of Raccoon face—white half-moons down his cheeks under his eyes, the bottom of his face pinkish from the sun and wind.

He slides into the booth next to Liv and puts his arm around her and pulls her in tight, comforting her. He kisses her head, and the love on his face is unmistakable. So is the pain. The pain of seeing her in pain.

His eyes glance up and widen in surprise when he sees me. I step back, bumping into a young man, his beer spilling down the inside of my sweater, the liquid cold against my skin.

I hurry out of the bar and rush back toward the lodge, but as I turn the corner, I hear Sam’s voice calling my name. A few moments later, his hand grabs hold of my arm, turning me around as his bright-blue eyes capture mine, as they always do, making my rapid breathing stop short.

“You’re early. You’re supposed to be coming in tonight,” Sam says. His voice sounds surprised but not upset. “Where’s your luggage?”

“At the hotel.” I step back, and he drops my arm. “What is she doing here?”

“Oh, she…” Sam rubs his hand over his face, considering something. “It’s…I don’t think she’d want me to say. She needs to escape her life for a while. She got some bad news.”

“Well that’s not your problem.” The words sound harsh, especially after I saw how upset she was. But what the hell is she doing seeking comfort from Sam? In Tahoe?! She has her own damn family. “You shouldn’t have to comfort her.”

“Catie, show a little compassion. Look, if I told you what was going on, you’d understand, but I promised her I wouldn’t say anything.”

“Compassion?!” I spit out, shocked at his words. “My whole life was flipped on its head and beaten to a pulp. My career is over, and I’m hanging on by a string here. I don’t have many people I can count on right now, but you should be one of them.”

“If I told you what’s going on, you’d understand.”

“Then tell me.”

His forehead crinkles, and worry sits on his face, showing his internal struggle. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe he’s standing there acting as if she has any right to him and his loyalty. He was going to propose, and she cheated on him. With his friend.

Unless…seeing her the other night sparked all the old feelings in him. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened. Doesn’t everyone have the-one-that-got-away somewhere in their past? Well, maybe not everyone, but lots of people do. And maybe Liv is the one. Not just the one that got away, but the one.

 

Author Bio:

After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in sunny South Florida. She’s an award-winning author who has contributed to Natural Awakenings Magazine, wrote a column for Examiner.com, and is the author of The Bloom Sisters series. Visit her website brookestantonbooks.com.

Get a FREE copy of the prequel, IGNITE, here: http://ilovemyfans.info/ignite-download/

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