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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Release Blitz: Lovebug by Erin Mallon

Lovebug, an all-new witty and emotional standalone romance from bestselling author Erin Mallon is available now!

My name is Mabel, the girl who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Of course I wouldn’t.
I’m an entomologist for goodness’ sake.
I work in a nature center.
Bugs are my jam.

It’s the humans in my life who are starting to get me down. I’m used to them calling me sweet and innocent. I can even handle them calling me naive. But when they lie and keep secrets from me? That's when my proverbial pincers want to come out.

Trouble is, I'm not the girl who fights back.

Not until a handsome groundskeeper with a dirty mouth and secrets of his own shows up and lights all sorts of fires in me.

In the bug world, the female is always the fiercest. The praying mantis doesn’t worry about being a “good girl.” Nope, she follows her instincts no matter how crass or crude they may seem to others.

Turns out I could learn a thing or two from her.

I’m not necessarily looking to tear anyone’s head off, but after decades of being nice, it's high time for me to return to nature and unleash my wild side.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3meccva
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Lovebug
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2NjIysQ
Nook: https://bit.ly/3aR8HHw
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3rHz2i0
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3bp1H4U
Audiobook: https://amzn.to/3s86Www

Add Lovebug to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3oSKnKu

Meet Erin

Erin Mallon's debut romantic comedy novel, Flirtasaurus, releases in July 2020. She is an award-winning narrator of over 450 books and an accomplished playwright and producer in New York City. She has written over 40 plays, which have been produced Off-Broadway and all over the country, including These Walls Can Talk, a raucous theatrical love letter to the romance audiobook community. She lives in a little yellow house on the outskirts of NYC with her husband and Three J's.

Connect with Erin
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2XKvu2t
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3f0xYPY
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3eYTzrP
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2UkbMZ6
Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2Ab8Abo
Stay up-to-date with Erin, sign up for her mailing list:
http://eepurl.com/b_Ym75
Website: https://bit.ly/37akDBZ

Review: One Year Gone - Avery Bishop






One Year Gone


Review: One Year Gone - Avery Bishop - August 2021

One of my favourite things about being a book reviewer is that we get the chance to read books before they are out in the public's view and I was in the mood for a bit of an edgy mystery read after reading a handful of chick-lit/ romances lately. One Year Gone by Avery Bishop isn't one of those happy-go-lucky mystery reads that end in sunshine and roses, so if you pick this one up expecting a happy reunion at the end - then put it back down. One Year Gone is a rocky road type of reading which will have you feeling like you just jumped on a rollercoaster filled with twists and turns and loopy-loos. The book starts with Jess receiving text messages one night from her daughter asking for help. This would have been an ordinary night but for Jess - this is the first time she has heard from her daughter in one year. A year ago, her daughter Bronwyn vanished into thin air and no-one has heard or seen her since. The texts claim that she has been kidnapped by someone in law enforcement. As the book goes along, Jess doesn't know who to trust which as the story progresses and comes to an end we can see why and the ending of this book shocked the heck out of me. I didn't see this ending coming at all as secrets and lies all unravelled. The story is told in multiple POVs from Jess and Bronwyn's - before the incident and after the incident. This was the first book I had read from Avery Bishop, so I am looking forward to checking out her other title "Girl Gone Mad". If readers are looking for a good edgy NA thriller that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat, then One Year Gone by Avery Bishop is the book for you. One Year Gone by Avery Bishop is going into my knowledge bank for one of those books as one of the best OMFG endings.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uHg4Kv


















Shadowspeak book blitz! Raven Eckman

 

Cover Reveal - A Shadow in the Light by Keary Taylor.

A Shadow in the Light
Keary Taylor
(Parallel Verse Guardians, #1)
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

“You went and fell in love with an ultralight? That’s like a spider falling in love with a butterfly. They’re both arachnids, but the entire universe knows they don’t belong together.”

I needed an out. I needed to be someone who wasn’t trapped in Las Vegas. I went to that club looking for nothing and everything, and there he was. Jaxon’s hands on my hips were just what I was looking for, and for just one night, it was easy to be someone I wasn’t.

Then our signals went haywire. We’ve been looking for the gatekeeper for a long, long time so we can go home, and a new possibility just came up. It was my job to bring them in.

Only it was him. Jaxon Gray. Turns out, he comes from one of the most dangerous crime families in Sin City. But I’m not the only one after him. There are others who want him just as bad, and they’ll kill me to get to him.

Now we’re on the run together. He should be scared. He’s seen me shift, and it’s not sparkly or pretty. But he doesn’t cower when he sees the other side of me—my shadows, my claws, my fangs. With a curious gleam in his eyes, he asks to know more.

This is dangerous. He’s about to manifest. And as soon as he does, his biggest impulse will be to kill me. But it’s too late for my heart, I can’t walk away. So, the million-dollar question is: will what’s happened between us be enough for him to overcome his instincts?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / Kobo


Author Bio:

Keary Taylor is the USA TODAY bestselling author of over twenty novels. She grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now splits her time between a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest and Utah, with her husband and their two children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.

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Cover Reveal - The Mix-Up by Melanie Munton.

The Mix-Up
Melanie Munton
(Southern Hearts Club, #3)
Publication date: April 6th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

She thought she accidentally slept with her boss…
Then she met his twin brother.

Real talk: I slept with my boss. Back before he even was my boss. Back when I had no clue who he was.

Real talk: My boss is an arrogant jerk. I hate him. If we didn’t work so well together, I would have told him exactly where he could shove his pompous attitude a long time ago.

Turns out…my boss has a twin. Identical twin.

Now I know why he’s always acted like our one night together never happened. Why he acted like he’d never met me before when I started working for him.

It wasn’t him that night. It was his brother.

A brother who’s just as gorgeous as my boss and a hell of a lot nicer.

Real talk: I’m kind of…bothered that it wasn’t my boss that night.

But that’s before certain revelations about that night come to light.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

A thin manila file is dropped on top of my French fade manicure, halting my progress in the email I’m furiously typing. My fingers pause as I suck in a much-needed breath. Because only one person in this entire office would have the balls to do such a thing. And unfortunately, he signs my frigging paycheck.

I hear a muffled male voice and know he’s probably telling me to “turn off the squabbling, men-bashing drivel” and pay attention. That’s exactly what he called Kennedy’s podcast one day when he’d been curious to know what I was always listening to and had swiped up one of my earbuds before I could stop him.

I tap my Bluetooth earpiece, turning it off. But I don’t look at him. Why? People not making eye contact when they speak to him is one of his biggest pet peeves.

Heh. Take that, prick.

“Gee, sorry, boss man. Didn’t quite catch that.”

He pauses for a moment, probably to grind his teeth together hard enough to give himself a migraine. “Spec sheet for prospective client,” he grates in a low voice, referring to the file still balanced on my hands as I resume typing. “Look over their queries and come up with an approximate quote, as well as a realistic timeline for each individual project.”

My eyebrow notches up, though I keep my focus trained ahead. “I guess saying ‘please’ is too much of a time waster?”

“Yes. Since I know you’re going to do it regardless, that one syllable would have been a waste of my time and breath.”

I slowly nod at my computer screen. “Yep. Better save all that hot air for the next ass you have to blow smoke up.”

“Better than kissing those asses.”

I click my tongue against my teeth. “If I were you, I’d start puckering up because your personality is severely lacking in both charm and tact.”

“From the horse’s mouth, huh, duchess?”

Now, now, I look up at him.

Did I mention that Ryder Colson is a brutally beautiful man?

Because of course he would be.

His hair color is somewhere between dark blond and light brown, complementing his golden skin tone. It’s slightly longer on top and cut shorter at the sides. He always somehow manages to get that floppy part to sweep across his forehead at just the right angle to look suave. A small strand perpetually hangs over his left eyebrow, no matter how many times he shoves it back. His eyes are a soulful blue, his nose is long and straight, and day-old stubble claims permanent residency on his square jawline.

Worst of all, his bottom lip has this full, rounder thing going on that pisses off my neglected libido to the point that I want to dig my teeth into that flesh until I draw blood.

Easy, girl. Your momma didn’t raise no psycho.

Despite the casual leniencies that he affords his employees, Ryder never dons anything other than crisp, immaculately tailored suits. Hellaciously expensive ones that I’m pretty sure he has shipped in from London. As the owner and CEO, he frequently meets with clients, in and out of the office, so he always has to look professional. And flaming hot.

Damn him.

Hey, I’m human. He’s sex on two legs. There’s nothing criminal about noticing it.

I dagger him with a look that would eviscerate a lesser man. And as much as it galls me to admit, Ryder here could never be categorized as lesser in any aspect of his life. “You could have just emailed this to me, you know. No need for these precious heart-to-hearts of ours.”

His navy eyes dance with something resembling amusement. “Now, what kind of person would that make me when I can clearly see how cutting me down at every opportunity brings you such joy?”

I narrow my eyes. “A prospect you’re more than familiar with.”

He smirks. “I don’t cut you down, duchess. I vex you. There’s a big difference.”

“The end result is the same no matter what verb you use,” I say through clenched teeth. “I can only assume your overall goal is to piss me off.”

He shrugs, like the apathetic jerkoff he is. “You do your best work when you’re exasperated. Part of my job as boss is to keep my employees motivated.”

“You’re confusing infuriation with motivation.”

He slides his hands in his pockets, far too casually. “And yet I know you’ll have that to me by the end of the day. Seems my methods are effective. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?”

My teeth clamp down on my tongue to silence the instinctual vitriol.

I’ll do a swan dive into a river of boiling lava before I ever admit that he’s right.

I can’t resist a challenge. He knows I’m going to bust my ass every day at work, no matter how acerbic our conversations get. Something about Ryder’s demeanor toward me, his work ethic, and his general expectations of his employees have always lit a fire inside me, making me want to rise to the occasion. It’s irrational—and just plain idiotic—how much I’ve wanted to impress him from day one. Ever since I found out that my boss has absolutely no memory of sleeping with me, I’ve been determined to prove myself.

So help me Mary Magdalene, I will make him remember me.


Author Bio:

Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.
Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Until Tomorrow Comes by Adelaide Forrest blitz with Xpresso Book Tours.

Until Tomorrow Comes
Adelaide Forrest
(Beauty in Lies, #1)
Publication date: February 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Dark Romance, Romance

Rafael

I came for war. I left with an obsession.
With one look, Isa captivated me. She consumed me, drawing me into her world without ever knowing the dangers of mine.
I intend to make her mine, no matter what lies I need to tell to manipulate her into falling in love with El Diablo. It should be simple enough, but secrets lurk in the depths of her multicolored eyes, and I’ll do anything to understand what broke her before I had the chance.
Because she’s mine to break.

Isa

Rafael Ibarra tore through my life like a raging inferno.
Consuming every part of me he touches, he promises to show me passion and the real Ibiza. Though our tryst can never be anything but temporary, I never want to leave the man who makes me wish things were different. But there’s a nightmare hiding within his multicolored gaze, a phantom rattling at the cages who wants to devour me, to take me and claim me as his.
He’s temptation, pushing me toward sin with his wicked touch. But the sins of the flesh are different from the sins of the mind, and as much as I hate his secrets…
I will never tell him my own.

Until Tomorrow Comes is the first book in the Beauty in Lies series and ends on a cliffhanger. This is a DARK mafia romance and contains graphic violence, mature content, and elements that may be triggering. Please read at your own discretion and see the specific content warnings at the front.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

He quirked a brow, that intense gaze of his turning unsettling as he stared down at me. “No,” he said, his lip twisting with the words. My pulse quickened, sensing that small hint of something that lurked beneath the surface. With a glance at the man standing next to the walkway up to and around the falls, I looked back to Rafael with a flare of my nostrils and purse of my lips.

I huffed in disbelief as I shook my head and fought back the surge of emotions within me. I’d been so fucking stupid to think he understood that my fear came from a place of trauma. From something not so easily overcome. Leaning into his space, I laid down the challenge I knew probably wasn’t my smartest move.

But something in the cruel set of his eyes made me want to defy him.

Something in the excited parting of his lips told me he wanted that too.

“Fuck this,” I snarled, turning on my heel and yanking my wrist out of his grip. Hiking my purse up on my shoulder, I strode down the road we’d entered in on and made for the main street. Once I had enough distance and found a safe place to settle, I’d call Hugo to come and get me.

But I’d be damned if I would get in that water with him.

“You don’t want to walk away from me, Princesa,” Rafael murmured at my back. The words crawled up my spine, insidious and menacing enough to halt me in my tracks, and I turned back to glare at him.

I swallowed my nerves, pushing down the budding fear that he brought with his carefully crafted words. Rafe could be terrifying when he wanted to be.

I just wasn’t sure if the frightening face was the mask, or if it was what really waited beneath the charming demeanor he gave me in all the other moments.

“And why is that?” I asked, pressing my lips together and turning back around to hide the slight tremble in them. He was the kind of man my grandmother warned me about with her stories. The temptation and lure of evil spirits, as they resided in people who looked just like us.

But evil couldn’t look like beauty carved in stone, could it? Even if it did explain why I burned when he touched me.

He stepped closer, until I felt the heat of his body at my back. He reached around me to grab my face and tilt it, so that I stared him in the eye with one of mine. “Because I’ll chase you,” he murmured, leaning down to touch his lips to my cheek in a slow brush of heat against my skin. His mouth slid up until his nose touched my hair, breathing me in deeply. He hummed just above my ear. “I think the real question is, what will I do when I catch you?”

I swallowed down the saliva in my mouth, clenching my eyes shut as I tried to think of an appropriate response to words like that.

What did one say, when the man she was falling head over heels in love with showed signs of being a monster?

“That isn’t funny, Rafe,” I whispered, stumbling over my own feet as he turned my body to face him. His hand gripped my hair harshly, tipping my head back until I met his unyielding gaze.

“Am I laughing, Princesa?” I shook my head slightly, wincing when his grip didn’t relent. “I promise you, I am far scarier than whatever you think lurks in that fucking water.”

He released me as suddenly as he’d grabbed me, taking a few steps away before he paused and looked back at where I stood, rooted to my spot and staring at him in horror. I looked to the road, watching as the man who stood guard puffed up his chest and stood a little taller.

It felt like I’d walked into a trap, and still didn’t understand even the basics of what it would mean for me.

A cage without walls. A pressing force on my chest.

“Don’t do it,” Rafael warned me, drawing my attention back to him. He held out a hand, waiting for me to take it. It was a test, I realized, as he forced me to decide my next move then and there. “I like it when you tell me no,” he murmured, making my breath freeze in my lungs as he tilted his head to the side and studied me. “I think I’ll like it when you fight me, too.”

Author Bio:

Adelaide always had a love for reading and writing that she cultivated with years of passion and growth before finally publishing earlier this year.
You can count on intoxicating alpha males with a twist of darkness who are captivated by the light of their women. Her romance typically involves dark romance themes, colorful language, plenty of steam, and graphic violence.
Adelaide lives in her tiny house with her husband and two rambunctious hellions who she adores. When she's not chasing all three of them around the house, she spends all her free time writing and adding to the hoard of plots stored on her bookshelf and hard-drive.

You can find more information on her website at www.adelaideforrest.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram


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The First Man by Alex Kelly blitz with Xpresso Book Tours

The First Man
Alex Kelly
(From Connemara With Love #2)
Publication date: February 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

Shane

Do you want to know what it means to live like me?
It means being forced not to look at him, not to touch him, not to be left alone in the same room as him.
Not to seek him out. Not to want him.
Not to love him.
Do you know how it feels to spend your entire life pretending to be someone else? Do you know what it’s like to love someone who doesn’t want to be loved?
I’ll tell you how it feels.
It feels as if you’re living in constant torment: you know which path you should follow, but you also know that, if you follow that path, you can never turn back.
And I can’t do that to him.
Every day I come back, because I know that he’s waiting for me.
Every day I promise him that he will never have to live without me.

Andy

Do you know what it means to live like me?
It means being forced not to touch him, not to kiss him, not to be able to leave the room while he’s still in it.
Not to breathe him in, not to lust after him.
Not to love him.
Do you know how it feels to spend your entire life pretending to be someone else? Do you know what it’s like to love the only person you’re not allowed to love?
I’ll tell you how it works.
You can’t seem to feel anything other than him; when you walk away, you know that you’re turning your back on the only thing that’s good in your life.
Yet you still walk away.
Every day I leave, knowing that he will be standing there, watching.
Every day I ask him to promise me that I will never have to live without him.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

He turns towards me, and I immediately regret getting so close to him, in the darkness, the roads around us almost deserted. No one can see us. I regret even coming here tonight, having watched him for three hours with my stomach in flames. I can’t believe I thought I could do this.

I can’t believe I told him that we couldn’t do this.

Not that it’s easy every day, seeing him in a crowd, always surrounded by friends, or with his family. Paddling around in a kayak, or playing a gig, talking, laughing.

Pretending.

He moves quickly, grabbing my face between his hands and bringing it closer to his, until our foreheads are touching. I can’t feel anything, can’t think, can’t speak; his hands are touching me, holding me against him. His large, warm hands are against my skin. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed them until I felt their heat again. I didn’t think that wanting them on me, all over me, would be so painful.

And then, Andy kisses me, stripping me of my anger and making me forget why it was even there in the first place.

I grab hold of his wrists as he pushes against my mouth, breathing into me, reminding me of the reason I could never want anyone else.

Andy’s kisses aren’t easy to handle: they’re strong and powerful, fuelled by impatience and uncontrollable desire.

Andy’s kisses are laced with bitterness and silence. They taste of lost nights and bad timing.

Andy’s kisses taste of lies, of shortness of breath. They taste of mistakes and decisions we never made.

Andy’s kisses are pain and regret; they’re anxiety and frustration; they’re darkness and desperation.

I hate Andy’s kisses. I hate them so much that I can’t help but love them.

Author Bio:

Alex Kelly writes uplifting, emotional and heartwarming Romantic Fiction and Family Sagas.

She's a bibliophile, a Yogi, a lover of English literature and a baking enthusiast.

She was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named Oscar.

Also writes as A. S. Kelly.

More at: www.authoralexkelly.com

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RELEASE BLITZ - The Crush by Penelope Ward




Title: The Crush
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2021


BLURB

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love… 

It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace. 

He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had. 

Fast forward a decade. 

We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died. 

It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic. 

Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever. 

But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated. 

I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven. 

And he was torn. 

The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away. 

Still, I assumed he would never…go there. 

Nathan would kill us. 

The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though. 

Eventually our slow burn exploded. 

But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection. 

We just couldn’t get caught, right? 

That sounded simple. 

Until it wasn’t. 

This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.







PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






AUTHOR BIO


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.


AUTHOR LINKS



OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD



AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY / AUDIOBOOK




RELEASE BOOST - False Start by Casey Hagen




Title: False Start
Series: Beautifully Brutal #1
Author: Casey Hagen
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: February 16


BLURB

I'm used to being an outsider, full of self-doubt, pain, and a longing to belong.
Until I found this family, my own band of derby sisters.
But when the most notorious coach in roller derby sets his sights on me, my life is thrust into chaos.
He’s a perceptive, cocky hard-ass, who's made me his enemy, and his student.
Despite being my adversary, he’s the only man I can trust when faced with insurmountable odds, even if I hate every second he tries to bend me to his will.
Our proximity brings with it a forbidden attraction.
One that can destroy everything my team has built.
One that threatens to break me down, piece by piece
I won't let Cain Bishop break me...at least not on the track.
But maybe...I’ll let him break my bed.

One night home and I’m obsessed with the track.
Maybe not the track itself, but her. The most compelling player I’ve ever seen.
The way she maneuvers through the pack, I can’t take my eyes off her.
She’s a fighter, battling head to head for everything she believes in.
When the odds turn against her, I’m the key to her salvation.
Getting too close could cost me everything.
But there’s no chance in hell I’ll stay away.
Not even when redemption is on the line.
Maisy Flynn is mine, even if neither one of us wants it.
Only...keeping her might mean she loses everything she holds dear.
After all I’ve done, the Devil himself would sooner see me burning on my knees at his feet than let me keep my prize.






PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





EXCERPT

I slammed down a stack of cash, snatched my jacket, and stomped out of Banked Track, leaving Mayhem on her hands and knees on the bar.
I figured I had about ten seconds tops before she scrambled off and chased me down.
Ten seconds to get to the parking lot, get in my truck, and get the fuck out of here.
And never come to town again.
My breath billowed before me, illuminated by the dull glow of streetlamps in the inky darkness of the frigid night. I pounded down the sidewalk, the image of her voracious eyes combing over Patti’s pictures playing through my head.
My amusement at her climbing clean up on the counter swept away by an avalanche of bitterness for what they asked of me even without saying the words.
The bitterness of what I couldn’t give them.
But damn, I wanted to.
Too much.
I’d stay at the farm. I’d pay whoever I had to pay for grocery delivery. We’d survive, we could just call it quality time…so much quality, Lilith would be ready to murder me, but then my nephew would be born, Jordan would get home, and I’d be on my way out of town.
“Hey!”
Six damn seconds.
I kept my pace as I whipped around, only to find her chasing me down in that sweater.
That. Fucking. Sweater.
My pulse pounded in my ears. My nostrils flared with the ragged breath I sucked into my lungs.
It didn’t even cover her shoulders and the temperature had mercilessly dropped into the low twenties the minute the sun disappeared over the horizon. By now, we’d plummeted to the teens.
I jabbed a finger in the direction of the bar. “Get your ass inside.”
She skidded to a stop, propped her hands on her hips, and arched an eyebrow. I knew that look. Every man on the planet knew that look and all the variations whether it be aimed with stunning precision at them from a girlfriend, a sister, a mother, or a grandmother. “Excuse me?”
“You don’t have a jacket,” I said, marching back to her, my hands curled into fists because fuck if I didn’t want to haul her ass off somewhere warm and private.
Only I couldn’t trust myself alone with her. Warm and private meant giving in and tearing off every last shred of clothing so I could fuck her until neither of us could stand.
Glowering down at her, I put every bit of anger and frustration into the force of my words, not caring if they hurt her, because they were the only way to save us from absolute disaster. “Get. Your. Ass. Inside.”
Better to hurt her now before the stakes got higher.
Before feelings got involved.
Look at me pretending like they hadn’t already.
We’d been nothing but feelings since our eyes met during her bout. We’d been adding good old-fashioned dry logs to that flame ever since, building the kind of heat that didn’t flash and die, but simmered, building a base of coals so damn hot it reached into the shadowed recesses of our lives.
“Not until you agree to help us.” Her chin wobbled as she shivered before me. She clamped down her teeth, but the telltale tremble of her teeth trying to chatter in the blistering cold was there.
“Goddammit.” I yanked my jacket off, wrapped it around her, and held it together so she couldn’t shrug it off. “I’ll walk you home. Which way?”
She tried to yank away from me. “I don’t need you to walk me home; I need you to train us on your track.”
I curled my fists tighter into the soft leather, shaking her with every bit of resentment coursing through me, making her rock on her heels before holding her steady. “No.”
“Why not?”
“You damn well know why not.” I growled. There’s no way she didn’t know.
And the fact that she did made it damn near impossible to look her in the eye at times.
“You didn’t do it,” she said quietly. “What they say about you. You didn’t do it.”
The calm confidence of her words only fueled a dormant rage, now burgeoning inside me again since waking up the minute I rolled into Galloway Bay. I wouldn’t stand here while she looked at me with softness, caring, the hushed tone of her voice reverent, like I was some kind of hero.
Not when all I had was a legacy of mistakes that brought others pain.
I tugged her against me. “You don’t know a damn thing about what I did or didn’t do,” I said, seething with the fine edge of anguish cutting through me. “What I’ve cost the people I love.”
My gaze dropped to her full pink lips and I closed my eyes. Her mouth wasn’t mine to taste, should never be mine to taste, and if I took, it would only prove what a selfish bastard I really was. “You’d do good to trust your instincts about me, Mayhem.”
She turned her face up to mine. Unflinching, she stared me straight in the eye without so much as a blink. Full of stubbornness and ready for confrontation, she took me head-on. “The funny thing is, I do,” she said with quiet finality.
Her eyes dropped to my mouth and I fought the urge to waver. I hung my head and turned away from her, away from temptation.
How many more times would I scour my soul and find scraps of shredded honor before I ran out completely?
“You didn’t do it. I don’t know why you don’t shout it from the damn rooftops. I don’t know why you didn’t defend yourself, maybe it’s time to—”
I pierced her with a scowl. “Leave it alone,” I bit out the words in harsh warning. Fury pounded in time with the ripple of my beating heart.






False Start features cross over characters from
April Canavan's Balls to the Wall, also releasing today!


AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


COMING SOON


Releasing March 30

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
GOOGLE PLAY




Releasing May 4

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



Releasing July 6

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



Releasing September 7

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Releasing November 2

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU






AUTHOR BIO


Casey Hagen pens her snarky, passionate stories from the salty air of Kennebunk, Maine. She’s a born and raised Vermont native, a New England girl to the core, with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins. 

She’s the proud mother of three girls and a new, first-time grandma with an insatiable addiction to Fall Out Boy, and a new, rather concerning obsession with tattoos and piercings. Can you say “cool grandma?” 

The inked and pierced grandma spends her time tucked away in her office, coated in cat hair, alternating between tearing her hair out trying to find the perfect words and being one step ahead of her three scheming fur babies she is positive are plotting her demise with every swirl around her ankles at the top of her office stairs. 
She loves writing stories about real people, with complicated histories, relatable everyday problems, and giving them the hard-won happily-ever-afters they deserve. 

And she thanks every last one of you who picks up one of her stories. 

Casey is done talking about herself in the third person. 

*Casey out*


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