Tag Archives: Excerpt

Excerpt Reveal: The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity, and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again. Don’t miss THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US releasing June 27, 2017, and get a sneak peek of the book below!

 

 

About THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US:

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…

 

 

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EXCERPT:

 

When Hayley arrived I got into the car without a word and we drove home to the apartment in silence. Once inside, Hayley finally spoke.

“I thought we could do takeout tonight.”

We couldn’t afford to do take-out nights all the time. Take-out nights were reserved for birthdays and the last night of school summer vacation. Sometimes even Thanksgiving.

Something was up. “Aren’t you supposed to be on a flight somewhere right about now?”

She shrugged, avoiding my gaze as she wandered into the kitchen.

I followed her, watching as she pulled take-out menus out of our kitchen drawer.

“What do you want? Chinese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese?”

“I want to get this ‘talk’ over with.”

Hayley regarded me, taking in my tension and the hard look in my eyes. Finally she sighed. “This is good news, India. Truly it is.”

“Just say it.”

“Theo proposed. I said yes. And we don’t want to wait. We’re getting married this December.”

My mouth dropped open. “I haven’t even met him.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose at my shout. “And that would be a concern if you were younger. But you’re starting junior year. You’re sixteen. Before we know it, you’ll be going off to college.” She stepped toward me and grabbed my hand. I let her squeeze it. “And, sweetheart, you can go to any college you want now.”

“How?”

“Theo is…well, he’s wealthy. And he’s already made it perfectly clear that he wants the very best for me, and that means the very best for you.”

“Are you trying to buy my acceptance of this whole ridiculous thing? You are aware that this isn’t normal, right?”

Hayley dropped my hand. “Don’t be melodramatic. I just want you to know that yes, or course it will be difficult to leave behind school and your friends here and move to Massachusetts, but the upside is that we’ll never have another financial worry in our lives. Ever.”

Jesus, how wealthy was this guy?

As if she read the question on my face, Hayley smiled dreamily. “He’s an incredibly well-respected attorney from a wealthy family. Boston’s elite.”

“And he’s marrying you?”

“Nice,” she snapped. “Very nice.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.” I shrugged. “I just…I thought those people stuck to their own.”

“Usually. But Theo doesn’t care about that stuff. He just wants to marry the woman he loves.” She waved away my negativity with a shake of her hair over her shoulders. “He married a well-to-do woman, and they had a daughter, Eloise, before she died of cancer a few years ago. He hasn’t been serious about another woman since, until me.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head in disgust. “You think you’re living in a fairy tale.”

“Don’t talk to me like that.”

“You’re hauling me across the country to move in with some guy I’ve never met!” I heard the hysteria creep into my voice, but couldn’t seem to stop it. “Let’s remember the last guy you chose that I had to live with. Or have you already forgotten?”

Understanding dawned on Hayley’s face. It was shocking that I even had to say it out loud. A good mother would have known exactly why I was taking this so hard. “Oh, sweetheart.” She moved toward me but stopped when I flinched back. “Theo is not like him. Not anything like him. I’m not a stupid kid anymore. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.”

I stared at the floor, trying to will my heart rate to slow. I could barely hear anything over the whooshing of blood in my ears.

I started at Hayley’s touch and looked up. She’d decided to ignore my body language and cross the room to take hold of my arms. She ducked her face to stare into my eyes.

“No one,” she whispered fiercely, “no one will hurt you. I promise.”

Liar.

LIAR.

LIAR!

The scream rang out inside of me but somehow I swallowed it.

This was happening.

 

 

 

About Samantha Young:

Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today  and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

 

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Cover Reveal: Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Title: Revelry
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017

From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

I stared at the piles of bags, debating which to tackle first before slowly loading them onto each arm one by one. Once I was red-faced and struggling and decided there was, in fact, no way I’d get them all in one trip, I turned to make my way inside the cabin. But I stopped short.

There was a man at the end of my driveway.

He was just standing there, staring at me, a large, rusted toolbox in one hand and rolled up sheet of paper in the other. Everything about him was hard — the bend in his brows, the edge of his jaw, the line of scruff that framed it. And because I was me, of course I noticed what he was wearing, and it was the first time in a long time that I’d seen someone who dressed for efficiency, not for style. His jeans were worn, but not dirty, with plenty of pockets that I could tell were each used in their own way. He donned a simple, deep red thermal with sleeves pushed up to his elbows and slight stains that ran down his chest and abdomen, and a charcoal gray hat sat low over his eyes, shielding them from the sun.

He was tan, and even from the distance his eyes sparked against the warm hue of his skin. They were bright — blue, maybe? Or green? I couldn’t be sure, and I let his potent appearance mesmerize me for just a moment more before I shifted, hoisting the bags in my right hand up enough for me to attempt a half wave.

If possible, his brow lowered further, and he simply stalked off, clearing the view of my driveway in seconds.

I frowned.

“Well, hello to you, too.”

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

 

Excerpt Reveal: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

 

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pwmackdaddybookcover5x8_bw_high-fixedFrom New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy.

I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.

 

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MACK DADDY EXCERPT

Copyright © 2016 by

Penelope Ward

 

 

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.

 

 

 

Jeans Teaser

 

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

 

Connect with Penelope Ward

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Review Tour: Being Brooke by Emma Hart

 

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]

My name is Brooke Barker…

And I’m a freaking disaster.

No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.

Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.

The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.

The second problem? He’s my best friend.

My shut-up-and-put-harry-potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampon, kinda best friend.

And that’s all he can be, right?

Right.

Being Brooke is a standalone romantic comedy. Hilarious, super-sexy, and possibly highly inappropriate at times, this is the perfect feel-good read!

iBOOKS / B&N /

beingbrooke-availablenow99c

 

 

Cain’s phone begins to buzz on the table. The screen lights up, and the short name on the screen makes me have to fight a frown.
I know it’s Nina. It always is. It’s like she has a Brooke-dar. She can sense whenever Cain and I are alone and hanging out.
My heart sinks, slowly but heavily, and I school my expression into one of not caring. I refuse to look away from the TV now.
Cain hands me his pizza box, which I take, begrudgingly, then he leans forward and grabs his phone. He waits for the buzzing to stop, then unlocks it and turns it off vibrate.
Then? Then he shoves it under the table, screen down.
Ho. Lee. Shit.
I gape at him. I can’t help it.
A piece of pepperoni drops off the slice of pizza in my hand—the same one that’s frozen halfway to my mouth as I stare at him in total disbelief. Did he really just do it?
“What?” Cain shrugs and takes his box back, grabbing a piece of half-eaten, meaty pizza and shoving the end in his mouth. The crust crunches as he bites down.
I swallow and glance at the coffee table. “I don’t think you’ve ever not taken a call from her.” I can’t help the derogatory way I say ’her’. It’s not intentional—honest. It’s ingrained in me to be vicious to other women. I think it’s a female thing. Self-preservation and all that.
“I don’t think I ever haven’t either.” Cain tilts his head to the side and meets my gaze, a suspicious glint in his green eyes. “But the point is, we haven’t done this in weeks, and I’m having too much fun to leave. Besides, we have all this junk food. If I don’t help you eat it, you’ll eat it all, then it’ll be my fault when your pants don’t fit.”
Oh my god.
“Does she know you’re here?” I smirk slyly and raise my eyebrows.
He shifts uncomfortably. With a cough, he puts his pizza down and grabs his beer bottle to swig from it.
Oh. My. Shitty. Life.
“She doesn’t, does she?” I sit up straight, throwing my half-slice back into my box and shoving his shoulder. “Cain!”
“No,” he mumbles, scratching the back of his ear. “She doesn’t know.”
I laugh. I can’t help it. It’s totally immature of me to delight in the fact he hasn’t told the Prissy Princess where is he and he’s ignoring her calls, but I do. It’s hilarious.
And, okay. I’m smug. Totally smug. There’s only one reason he hasn’t told her, and that’s because she hates me too.
Bitchy Best Friend Mission: Level Up!
“And tell me.” I snicker, just about holding back the volcano of laughter threatening to erupt. “Where does Nina think you are?”
“She thinks I’m at Mom’s.” He looks at me, his lips flattening into a thin line. “Stop laughing, B. No, don’t shake your damn head. I fucking mean it. She’s a little insecure over my friendship with you and Carly, that’s all. Sometimes it’s easier to just tell a… little white lie.”
“A little white lie? She thinks you’re at your mom’s!” I laugh harder and wipe at my eyes because they feel a little too wet.
“I just want the best of both worlds right now, all right?”
“What is the best of both worlds? Pizza with me and blow jobs from her?”
“She chooses not to eat gluten. Until she finds a gluten-free recipe she likes, I can’t eat pizza when she’s around.”
Which is a lot.
I raise my eyebrows again. “Your girlfriend won’t eat gluten but she’ll happily put your dick in her mouth?”
“Brooke. Don’t be a bitch.” He chucks a piece of chicken from his pizza at me, his eyes narrowing.
I’m dying. I think this is it—this is how I die, laughing at Cain’s lame excuses for lying to his girlfriend about spending time with me.
“Oh my fuck. This is hilarious. Seriously. Someone call Comedy Central.”
“Brooke.” He says my name again, this time quieter.
I stop laughing. Just about.
“I’m sorry. I just think it’s funny. You want me to be nice to her but you lie to her about spending time with me.” I shrug a shoulder and peel a piece of pepperoni off my pizza. I’m not even that hungry anymore.
He sighs, putting the top down on his box, and sits back. “She thinks there’s something going on between us.”
I laugh even harder because I might cry if I don’t.
Hi, breaking heart. Grab the tissues, yo.
There’s an awkward silence hanging between us now. It’s not the first time someone has thought that, but given that the more time I spend with Cain, the more I seem to fall for him, it’s awkward. Especially since he’s lying to her just to hang out with me.
I clear my throat and look up at him. “That’s ridiculous. You’re my best friend. Like anything would ever happen between us. I can’t put up with your shit taste in music, for a start.”
“Exactly,” he replies in a quieter voice, scratching behind his ear again. “It’s fucking stupid. I can’t stand your taste in music either. Who the fuck likes Justin Bieber?”
“People who think Kanye West should retire.”

beingbrooke-lifetip5

❤ MY REVIEW ❤

5 stars!

OMGEEE! I LOVED this one!! Friends to lovers is one of my absolute favorite tropes and I loved everything about this one. Being Brooke was hilarious, witty, and just so damn good! This is no doubt my favorite Emma Hart book to date!

 

emma-hart

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Home Tears by Tijan

 

 

Title: Home Tears
Author: Tijan
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 2016

 

Blurb

Dani’s survived a lot of sh*t storms.Her mother died. Her two sisters loathed her. One aunt hated her. The other was strangely distant, but the worst storm—being dumped by her childhood best friend/high school boyfriend/first love for her younger sister.

There went the one person who was hers and with that, the main reason she stuck around. So, she left for ten years. But now she’s back, and nothing’s the same.

With help from Jonah Bannon, a reformed—kind of—bad boy she remembers from high school, Dani uncovers family secrets that have spanned generations. And along with those, she’s about to face the biggest sh*t storm of her life.

Only this time, she may not survive.

 

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Excerpt
“Why’d you push me earlier?”“It’s not important.”

But it was. She felt it in her chest. It was so important, and she needed him to say it again. She was salivating for the chance. She wanted to reassure him, and this time she felt it in her heart. She knew she wasn’t going anywhere. She wanted him to see it in her eyes, that she meant every single word.

She whispered now, “Ask me. Ask me again.”

His eyes met hers, narrowing slightly. He was looking into her, reading her.

She was letting him. There was no wall, no hesitation this time. She wanted him to know her, not just her body. All of her. A second passed. He was still searching in her. Another second. More. He waited a full thirty before asking, his voice so soft and tender, “What would you do if you found out another person cared about you? If you mattered to one more person?”

“Nothing.” She was trying to convey her feelings through her eyes. She wanted him to know so badly. “I wouldn’t run. I wouldn’t walk. I wouldn’t hide. I’d do nothing except stand and embrace it.”

His eyes darkened, an emotion passed in them, one that had her heart beating so fast again. “Yeah?” He let go of her hand, but touched the side of her face. He held her in the palm of his hand, and his thumb rubbed over her cheek. It was like he was smoothing away any lingering worries she might have. “What if I was that person?”

She leaned toward him, her eyes going from his lips back to his gaze. Both were pulling her in, making her yearn for more. “Then I’d say, I feel the same.” Her breath held in her throat. They were talking in code, but it was out now. She was telling him how she felt, and a second later, his lips were on hers.

This. She turned, wound her arms around his neck. This was everything.

Author Bio
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Six (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.
To find what to read next of hers, go to http://www.tijansbooks.com/ 
WALLSTREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Author Links

 

Review & Excerpt Tour: Managed by Kristen Callihan

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managed-amazonIt started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat down next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

 

Let the battle begin…

 

AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO  | Paperback

 

 

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In all this time, I had yet to see Gabriel without a shirt. He hides his body like a pious Victorian, never letting me see anything other than him fully dressed and polished. Now I know why. Had he let me get a glimpse, I might never have been able to form a coherent thought around him.

This man’s chest is a work of art. It’s every fantasy I’ve had about a man’s body made real. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I’m not about to complain. God, he looks touchable. Olive skin, tight little brownish nipples, a smattering of dark chest hair over the most incredibly honed—

“You’re staring.” His tone is dry.

“Yes, I am.” I drag my eyes up and find his expression bemused.

A thick brow lifts. I try to mimic the look and fail when both of my brows lift as one. His lips twitch in amusement.

He shifts his weight, causing his abs to clench. Good Lord. He’s not some overdeveloped gym worshiper, just solid and strong, that perfect balance between defined musculature and healthy male—

“You’re still staring, Sophie.”

“You think it’s easy looking away from all this splendor?” I ask his belly button, licking my lips when he huffs out a laugh and just a little bit more of his lower abs are revealed, slanting toward the thick bulge of his cock, which is lamentably hidden behind his slacks.

“You’re impossible,” he mutters, though there is humor in his voice. He strolls farther into the room and then practically kills me when he sits in one of the low-slung armchairs. That body, sprawled out on display, those thick, long thighs braced as if to take me in his lap—it’s too much.

I want to straddle him and lick my way from the hollow of his throat to the tip of his cock.

He eyes me as if he knows what I’m thinking, and the air thickens. So many things we left unsaid. I’m remembering his lips now, surprisingly soft, but strong with purpose.

From the way his lids lower, I wonder if he’s remembering things as well. But he doesn’t move. Tension glides over his body and snakes around the room. I feel it in my throat and down my spine. We’re closing up again, retreating.

Slowly, I toe off my shoes and set my gear down, never breaking eye contact. “I was being completely honest,” I tell him. “I see you like this and I want to stare forever.”

He snorts, shaking his head even as he rests his temple on his knuckles. “What do you mean ‘like this’?”

“Undone.”

He tenses. It does lovely things to that chest. I focus on his face, mainly to maintain some semblance of decorum.

“You think this is me undone?” he asks quietly.

“It’s a start.” I reach for my camera bag. “Will you let me photograph you?”

There is safety to be found with the camera between us. A way for both of us to hide until we’re comfortable around each other again.

“You’re serious?”

“You sound surprised.” Holding my camera, I sit in the sofa opposite him. “Don’t tell me no one has asked to take your picture before.”

“They’ve asked. I never saw the point.” He shrugs. “I’m not the story.”

You’re my story. You always were.

“This is just for me,” I say instead. “No one else.”

His shrewd gaze pins me. “Why do you want this?”

So I can have a bit of you forever. “Pictures capture moments in time. I want this one—when you finally let me see a sliver of the man behind the clothes.”

His nostrils flare on an indrawn breath, and he slowly lets it out. When he speaks, his voice is a rasp. “Take the pictures.”

 

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❤ MY REVIEW ❤

4.5 stars!

I absolutely loved this one! I’ve been ready for Scottie’s story ever since I finished Idol and it did not disappoint. I was so ready for a woman to finally bring him to his knees and Sophie was the perfect one to do it. I would consider this an opposites attract story mixed with a little friends-to-lovers

I LOVED their first meeting! Sophie was sassy and a little too “chatty” for the cold and calculated Scottie’s liking. 😉 She was hilarious! I loved watching their relationship develop. These two seem like complete opposites in every way with the way they both act and dress. I LOVE it. The banter was off the charts in this one.

Managed was a sexy, sweet, humorous, emotional read that I devoured within a day! This is my favorite Kristen Callihan book to date.

KCauthor

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

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Book Tour: The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

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Blurb

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

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Excerpt:  Chapter Four

Jane was pressed so tightly against the wall she would have sworn her body was starting to blend into the wallpaper. Most people didn’t give her a second glance. Then again, she wouldn’t give herself a second glance either.

Women with fake boobs and injected lips mocked her while rich men in three-piece suits completely ignored her.

She self-consciously tugged at hem of the short black dress. In a last ditch effort to modernize the dress, or at least add a bit of spice, she’d grabbed her mother’s long pearls, wrapped them around her neck twice and called it good.

But the minute they’d arrived at the party she’d wanted to disappear. Her sisters were already semi-drunk, thanks to the vodka they’d had in the car. Against Jane’s protests they’d taken shots while she drove. And then she’d paid for parking only to hear them whine that she had parked too far away.

They’d been here for twenty minutes and already she wanted to leave, or at least sit down, but most of the available space was taken by couples talking, eating…kissing.

She was surrounded by the beautiful and rich.

The only reason her sisters had even been invited was because they were complete and total social climbers, and had managed to gain an invitation from a friend who was an heiress to some french fry company.

A waiter passed by with champagne.

She grabbed a glass and downed the entire thing. It didn’t help her nerves, but at least the bubbles semi-calmed her stomach.

Her sweaty feet slid in her too-big red pumps as she pressed harder against the wall to alleviate the ache in her toes.

The music shifted to a loud techno song as the lights went from red to a bright white, and with a gasp she covered her eyes and then blinked a few times to clear her line of vision.

The jumbled sweaty bodies moved aside as the music changed to a slow song. There was just enough of a break for her to see across the room.

“Oh.” It was all she could utter, really the only word she was capable of as her breathing picked up. Without thinking, she grabbed another glass of champagne from a passing waiter, suddenly awkward. What was she supposed to do with her hands?

Thick wavy auburn hair fell in disarray over his forehead. It was lush, shiny, perfect. Were guys born with hair like that? Or was his somehow chemically engineered? His full lips pressed together in a secret smile as the equally handsome man next to him said something, then erupted in laughter.

The first man stiffened, then shook his head. His broad shoulders seemed to grow tight as a drum. A slight tic in his jaw was the only clue that he was irritated or maybe outright angry.

And then his shoulders slumped as he was handed another drink and then another.

Nervous. He must be nervous. But what could a man like that possibly have to be nervous about?

He easily towered over most of the men in attendance. Suddenly his posture changed, then he smiled.

Jane felt her mouth drop open in shock.

Dazzling.

He was…like a duke or a lord or a prince from a storybook. Clearly, she read too many romance novels, but his entire presence demanded attention; screamed authority, importance, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Yes, his virility was a tangible thing, as if she could reach out and grasp it with her fingertips.

“What are you doing?” Esmeralda yelled in her right ear, interrupting her blatant sexual fantasy about a complete stranger. Great. That’s what her life had come to. And sadly? It was the most fun she’d had all night.

Jane turned to Esmeralda, prayed for patience, and answered. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“You’re so boring.” Esmeralda rolled her eyes. “No wonder you got dumped.”

Another fun fact? Esmeralda was mean when she was drunk.

The reminder of the breakup burned like acid.

It had been a year ago, not that it mattered. It still hurt that the last guy she’d dated had told her that although she was cute, she wasn’t really doing it for him anymore.

Right. Doing it.

Maybe that was because she hadn’t done anything for him or with him, and he found that lacking. But they’d only dated for a few weeks. Did normal girls do that? Put out after a few weeks? Apparently.

She wasn’t normal.

But if that was normal, maybe she was better off being strange.

“Jane, are you even listening to me?” Esmeralda whined. “Essence needs you to dance next to her for a bit. I’m tired and tipsy. I want to sit. Plus your dress blends in enough that it won’t take attention away from her.”

No way. What? What had she just said?

Jane wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m sorry, what?”

Without warning, Esmeralda grabbed Jane’s hand and jerked her toward the dance floor, causing Jane to lose her footing and crash directly into Esmeralda’s back. Then, like a domino, she slammed back into Essence.

Jane opened her mouth to shout out an apology, but Esmeralda was already too drunk to listen to reason. With determination in her eyes, she reached for the pearls at Jane’s neck but grabbed the fabric of the dress instead.

Her poorly sewn dress ripped instantly, causing the fabric to slink past her strapless bra. A diagonal slit split up her thigh almost all the way to her hip. In an  effort to cover herself, she took a step and tripped, thanks to her clunky shoes.

And then she fell to the floor.

Hard.

Her sisters watched in horror—but neither of them offered a hand. They were probably kicking themselves for forcing her to come. Esmeralda leaned over but missed Jane’s shoulder by a mile, grabbing her hair and giving it a tug, which only made Jane wince harder.

Both sisters were completely tanked.

And she was less than two minutes away from being trampled by the other sweaty bodies around her.

She glanced up.

And into the eyes of the man she’d just been lusting after.

Oh God, the humiliation was complete.

That one glance told her he’d seen it all. She swallowed back the thickness building in her throat. Of course the only time he’d notice her would be when she’d ripped her dress and nearly took out a few guests on her way down to the dance floor.

The crowd gathered around her.

And the sexy man disappeared—probably off in search of a girl with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect clothes.

She really should have stayed home.

Tears filled her eyes as a heel pressed into her right hand. With a jerk she tugged her hand free, struggling to get up to stand on her wobbly feet, when suddenly she was pulled to a standing position and then swept up in strong arms.

Jane’s eyes were still so blurry from unshed tears she couldn’t make out the man’s face as he carried her out of the crowd.

He smelled like heaven.

She fought the insane urge to press her face against his chest and just…close her eyes.

Because he felt safe.

Pathetic, when a stranger’s arms provided more safety than her own family. And yet he felt…right.

In a world where things for the past ten years had felt so wrong.

He felt right.

Maybe she’d had too much champagne.

“Are you all right?” he whispered in a deep voice with a hint of a southern drawl. He’d brought her into a private room where the music wasn’t quite so deafening.

He set her on one of the black leather couches and shut the door, muffling the music on the other side.

Blinking, Jane glanced up and gawked, like a starry-eyed teenager. He was the same man she’d seen earlier, the one she’d been captivated by. “Yes.”

“Yes?” He looked confused. His amazing eyebrows drew together, and a small line creased the center of his forehead. Even the line was gorgeous, just as gorgeous as the rest of him.

His thickly muscled body screamed power. Her hands slid down the front of his chest. Even his shirt was smooth. She didn’t realize she’d been basically petting him until his muscles tensed beneath her palm. Oh crap.

“I mean, yes, I’m fine.” She tried to stand then fell back down; her stupid heel was broken. “Or I was fine, until I got trampled.”

The line in his forehead deepened. “You’re not hurt, are you?”

Jane shook her head then pressed her hand to her chest and gasped out, “My pearls!”

“Wait here.” He held out his hands. “I’ll get the necklace, I’m sure it’s where you fell and—”

“No.” Jane slumped, defeated. “They broke off when my sis—” She corrected herself, not wanting to claim the crazies in the other room. “They broke apart when I fell.”

The man sighed loudly and ran his fingers through his perfect hair. “I’ll talk to the club manager and see if anyone turns them in.”

It was on the tip of her tongue to give him all the many reasons why they were irreplaceable, but instead she settled with, “That’s really not necessary. It’s not your fault I was a victim of the techno craze.”

His upper lip curled. “I hate techno.”

“Me too.”

“Is there something I can do? Anything? You promise you aren’t hurt?”

“Careful or you’re going to have me believe you got me trampled on purpose in order to trap me in a private room,” she joked as a smile tugged at her lips.

“Had I known you were willing, I wouldn’t have had to go to such extremes to orchestrate it.”

He appeared stunned by his own answer.

Her breath hitched. Was he flirting with her?

His crystal blue eyes twinkled with amusement.

“So…” Her voice was hoarse, like an old woman’s. Great. “I should probably get back to the party.” Why did she need to go back again? All the reasons seemed to disappear as he maneuvered around the couch and popped a bottle of champagne that had been chilling in a nearby crystal bucket.

“Why don’t you and I have a drink first?” He peered around the table. “I’ll need to send for some shoes. It’s the least I can do.” His gaze heated. “Shoes are appropriate to purchase for a stranger. A dress, I’m afraid…” The corners of his mouth tilted into a sultry smile as his eyes slowly raked over the scraps of fabric barely covering her breasts. “Not so much.”

Did people do that these days? Just send for shoes? Who was this guy? “Really, it’s not necessary. I’ll just stick to the shadows so I don’t scare anyone with my limp and I’ll be okay.” She sounded more confident than she felt, and her lower lip trembled a bit. Next time she was going to hold her ground, stay home, read a book, and be plain boring Jane. This wasn’t her scene. Not by a long shot.

He leaned in close, so close she could smell his aftershave again. “A woman like you doesn’t belong in the shadows.”

Uncomfortable, she tried to make light of the situation again. “Wow, a hero and good with words. I bet you’re just a regular handful, aren’t you?”

“Me?” He laughed as if the thought was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. “No, that would be my twin brothers. They’re the handfuls. I’m…” He seemed to think about it. “Just Brock.”

“Well, Just Brock…” Jane held out her hand. “I’m Just Jane.”

His hand completely engulfed hers as their palms pressed against one another. He was so warm. And big.

Huge.

Huge hands. That meant something, right?

Crap, she was still shaking his hand, and he was grinning at her as if it was the funniest thing that had ever happened to him. And he was looking at her. At her eyes, not at the fact that she was half-naked on a couch, with a broken shoe.

With a jerk, she pulled her hand back and nervously reached to tuck a stray piece of hair behind her ear.

“So, Brock.” Jane looked down at his shoes. That was safe. Shoes. Nothing sexy about a man’s feet, right? Except his were inside shoes that she ventured probably cost more than she’d ever see in a lifetime. “About those shoes.”

“Shoes.” He repeated the word and then quickly stood. “Right, just wait here.”

He disappeared, giving her the breathing room she absolutely positively needed, only to re-appear a few seconds later.

Without shoes.

She frowned; then again, what had she expected? That he’d bang some plastic Barbie over the head with his cell phone, steal her shoes, and then toss them to Jane?

Brock studied her. “Your shoes should be here within the next fifteen minutes. I just sent my degenerate brother across the street. Saks is still open. The night is young.”

Saks?

Shoes from Saks?

She’d never owned anything from Saks. Ever. But she knew the store; didn’t every woman? Still, the most expensive thing she’d ever owned had been the pearls.

“That’s really…” She waved her hand in the air and stood. “Not necessary…you can tell him that—”

Brock reached for her hand and lightly tugged her back. “Sit. It is necessary. And although I typically wait until the third date to buy a woman gifts, I think your nearly getting trampled allows me to break that rule.”

Still tense, Jane nodded and took a shaky look around the small, private room.

“To new shoes?” Brock grabbed his drink and lifted it in the air toward her.

She lifted her glass and clinked it against his then took a small sip. The champagne was pink and sweet, with a tart aftertaste. “It’s good.”

“You sound surprised.” Brock’s lips lifted in a smile.

She scrunched up her nose. “I’m not much of a drinker, and I typically don’t like drinks that are the same color as my underwear.”

The minute the words were out of her mouth, she froze, barely managing to suppress the urge to clap a hand over her mouth. She wanted someone to run her over with a car.

With a choke, Brock nearly spit out the sip he’d just taken. Face flushed, he stared her down and then whispered, “You’re making me regret my decision to send out for boring black shoes.”

“I didn’t…I mean, pink is fine.” Stop talking, stop talking. “Not all of my underwear is pink. I have black, too.”

Brock’s lips parted with a greedy exhale, and he downed the rest of his drink. “Oh?”

Hell in a handbasket.

Why was she giving him a rundown of her lingerie drawer? As if he were a naughty Santa with a checklist in front of him, putting down little marks on the little boxes that read “red lacy thong”? Check. “Black boyshorts”? Double check.

“I’m more of a boxer brief sort of guy,” he said smoothly, bringing her back to the present.

“Huh?”

“Too far?” He chuckled. “I figured if I knew the color of yours…I should at least show you mine.” He leaned forward.

Had he said show?

Just how drunk was he? Maybe that was the reason his eyes were zeroing in on her mouth. He blinked, and then seemed to sway a bit.

Was he okay? And why was he still staring at her mouth? Did she have something on her face?

Self-consciously, she pressed her fingertips to her lips only to have him suck in a breath and lift his right hand from his thigh as if wanting to touch the place where her fingers had just been.

“Got the shoes!” a male voice yelled as Jane jerked away from Brock.

What had just happened?

“Holy shit, you’re hot.”

She recognized the man from before. He was about an inch shorter than Brock, but had the same perfect auburn hair. “I’m Bentley, and since this one’s about to get married, I feel like it’s only fair to let you know that out of the two of us, I’m the single, available one, who’s also—lucky for you—been given a higher rating in the sack.”

Married?

He was getting married?

And hitting on her?

Or was she hitting on him? After all, she was the one who’d mentioned underwear. Ugh, she wanted to crawl under the table and die.

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❤ MY REVIEW ❤

4.5 stars!

Such a cute, sweet, and swoony story! The Bachelor Auction was a modern spin on the Disney classic, Cinderella, and it was such a fun read. Rachel Van Dyken has written some of my favorite romances—and while this was a bit different from her other ones—I still loved it all the same.

I loved how the relationship between Brock and Jane played out. They might be opposites on the social spectrum, but they even each other out perfectly. Even from the first meeting you can feel the attraction between these two. In true RVD fashion, there’s plenty of humor and romance in this adorable re-telling. I LOVED Brock’s brothers and I seriously can’t wait to see what Rachel has in store for them!!


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About the Author:

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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