Archive | April 2017

💋Release Day Blitz 💋 Live Out Loud by Marie Meyer

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LIVE OUT LOUD by Marie Meyer (April 30, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99)

I thought I’d live in silence forever . . . and then I met him.

I’ll never be able to hear, but music has always been a source of comfort for me. Rather than listen to the rhythm, I can actually feel the beat pulsing through me. It’s pure bliss. So the moment I saw Thorin playing his guitar, I was mesmerized. I’d never seen anything more beautiful . . . or intimate. I couldn’t tell where his body ended and the song began. He’s everything I need in my life . . . I’m falling fast, hard, and deep.

I want him more than anything. But while I live in silence, Thor lives in secrets. He’s holding something back-something that’s keeping this intensity, this longing from being real. And the silence may be too loud to bear . . .

Buy the Book!

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💋Melena’s Review 💋

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This is the first I have read by Marie Meyer and in one word WOW. This may be a romance but I think it is much more of one woman finding her real self and a man who just wants one chance at being normal. These two are complete opposite of each other yet their love is beyond unique. I loved that Marie Meyer shows us a woman who in some ways has a disability but for Harper she is just like any other woman. She doesn’t see herself with an illness just wants to be normal. She is independent, strong and when it comes to Thorin she is just like any girl in love. I loved that these two deny the attraction but love doesn’t stop for anybody. Thorin now is a man who just wants to make things right for his mom and falling for Harper is not something he expected. Marie Meyer just rocked this book and wanted more of it from these two. Definitely an author I am going to keep up with for this one just shows how talented she is. Loved it.

About the Author

Marie Meyer is a teacher who spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt romances. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and bingeing on weeks of DVR’d television with her husband.

Social Media Links

http://www.mariemeyerbooks.com

http://www.facebook.com/mariemeyerbooks

Add Live Out Loud to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2muPJ1u

Giveaway

Enter to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Live Out Loud! http://bit.ly/2ol7lM5

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LIVE OUT LOUD by Marie Meyer

Excerpt:
Shit, sweetheart, where’s the fire?
“Hey, Red, hold up,” I say, trying to get her attention. I don’t want to startle her, but it’s no use, she can’t hear me over the noise of the club. If I don’t stop her now, she’ll leave and I won’t get her number. I drop my hand onto her shoulder and she goes rigid under my touch.
Smooth, Kline. Way to scare the poor girl.
Very slowly, she turns around, almost as if she’s expecting to see the Grim Reaper standing behind her. When our gazes meet, her shoulders relax and she lets out a deep breath. Up close, she’s even more beautiful. And Jesus…her eyes. When I caught her gaze for a few seconds on stage, I knew there was something special about her eyes; I just couldn’t see them clearly. Up close, they’re extraordinary. I’ve never seen eyes like hers before…the color of emerald sea glass. A long forgotten memory surfaces, one of my earliest…walking along the beach as a kid…with my dad…before everything went to hell.
I shake off the phantom thought and focus on the girl. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just…I…” I stumble over my words like I’m a thirteen-year-old boy. What the hell’s my problem? She’s not the first chick you’ve ever talked to. Spit the damn words out, Thor. “I saw you while I was up on stage, and I was hoping to get your number, I’d really like to take you out sometime.”
There. I said it. Not hard.
She smiles widely and nods. Lifting her hands between us, I notice her fingers move. Graceful and deliberate hand motions. Is she using sign language?
“She can read your lips.”
I glance to my right. A tall girl with long, half black, half blond hair flanks her side. Pretty, but pales in comparison to her friend.
“Read my lips?” I shake my head, not understanding. I point to the redheaded beauty and direct my question to her friend. “She’s deaf?”
There’s a tap on my shoulder and my eyes snap back to Red’s. Moving her hands again, she signs something, and I’m clueless. Her lips move, but she doesn’t speak. And apparently, I’m shit at lipreading. But at least her expression is playful. That’s a plus, right?
She lowers her arms and smiles. Damn, I love how the right side of her lips pulls up higher than the left.
I’ve never had to chase down a girl. For some reason, chicks dig guys in a band. They’ve always pursued me. But, the one time I see a girl so gorgeous, and take the time to run after her, she can’t even hear me.
I look at her friend. “What did she just say?”
Red’s friend folds her arms over her chest, wearing the same beatific smile she did when I stopped them. “She answered your question. Yes, she’s deaf. She also asked if you still want her number.”
I stare at the girl. With wild red curls framing her face and a mischievous smirk, she waits for my answer. Hell yeah, I do.

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💋Excerpt Reveal💋 Fraud by J.L. Berg

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We’re less than a week away from the release of USA Today Bestselling Author J.L. Berg’s FRAUD – and we have an excerpt for you! Check it out below and preorder your copy for a special price of just $2.99!

 

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About FRAUD

Available May 1st, 2017

From USA Today Bestselling author J.L. Berg comes a sexy standalone about love, lies and every dirty little thing in between.

It wasn’t just a job.
It was my way back to the top.
After losing my position as a journalist for one of the biggest news publications in the world, I knew I’d do anything to get it back.
Even if it meant breaking a few hearts to get there.
She was the hottest author in the country. Known only by a pen name, there wasn’t a person alive who wasn’t dying to discover her true identity.
And I’d figured it out.

Her real name was Kate O’Malley and not only did I plan on finding her, but I fully intended on learning every dirty secret she had and exploiting it for my own gain.
But I underestimated my prey.
I didn’t anticipate how her words would intoxicate me, or how the curves of her body would consume me.
I never meant to fall in love.
And now I had a choice to make.

Do I give up everything for the woman I set out to destroy, or walk away, making me the biggest fraud of all?

Add FRAUD to your to be read shelf on Goodreads!

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Read an excerpt from FRAUD

What had started as a fun little game to bring this timid beauty out of her shell somehow turned into a wrestling match.

And I was the one about to lose.

Katelyn O’Malley was nothing like I’d imagined.

What had I imagined?

I wasn’t sure exactly.

I’d diligently done my homework— reading Scandal not once, but twice— before I’d hopped on a plane to Oregon. I’d thought the novel would give me insight to this perplexing woman I was about to meet.

It hadn’t.

Not one bit.

If anything, it’d created a thousand more questions.

At first, cracking her ironclad shell seemed like a daunting task. She had come off dry and dull.

God-awful boring.

But boring women didn’t do tequila shots until two in the morning.

Boring women didn’t lie to waiters for free wine and dessert.

And boring women definitely didn’t make me feel this way.

Needy. Desperate. And fucking horny as hell.

Even the way she licked the chocolate off her fork was making me shift uncomfortably in my seat.

This was a job.  

Get your head in the game.

“You were pretty good at that,” I said, trying not to stare at the way her pink tongue darted out to grab the last bit of mousse from the tip of her finger.

“Good at what?” she asked.

“Lying.”

She let out a choking cough, patting her chest with her palm. “I’m not a good liar,” she argued.

“Really? You seemed to have everyone around us fooled, including that charming elderly couple who offered their congratulations on their way out.”

“That really was sweet.” She smiled, a touch of whimsy in her gaze. “Did you see the way they held hands? I’m pretty sure he even grabbed her ass when she walked past him to go to the restroom.”

I laughed. “My kind of guy.”

“I just wonder what it’s like— to be that in love after all that time,” she said, bending forward and resting the curve of her chin on her hand.

“How do you know it has been a long time?” I asked. “Maybe they got married late in life.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

“Why?” I asked, curious how she’d reached that conclusion.

“There was a familiarity in the way they touched. The way they leaned into one another, the way they walked. It was as if they’d been doing so forever.”

I studied her for a quiet moment, recalling the intensity of her words and the passion in her voice. It was the first time since meeting Katelyn O’Malley, I could actually see a sliver of Laura Stone, the author, somewhere inside.

“I do believe you are a bit of a romantic at heart,” I replied.

She smiled sweetly. “Maybe a hopeless one.”

My hand reached out to hers, a needless gesture since we’d already achieved our goal for the evening and sold everyone on our false marital status.

This time, I touched her because I wanted to.

“Definitely not hopeless,” I said softly, knowing that instant that I was crossing the line between business and pleasure.

And heading straight to the land of hell.

“So, tell me about technical editing,” she said, shifting topics. “How does one get into something like that?”

I suddenly felt like I’d been hit in the face with a bucket of ice water. Here I was, in a dimly lit room, romancing the hell out of a woman I’d just met, and then reality hit.

I was lying to her.

Flat-out lying.

I needed to remember that. “There’s not much to tell,” I said, straightening slightly in my chair. “Rather boring really.”

We continued to chat about our lives. She told me more about her work at the college. I rambled off more lies about mine until the check came around.

I was feeling quite good about myself as I led us outside.

My head was clear.

But then I saw the way the moonlight highlighted her golden-blonde hair. I became mesmerized by the sway of her hips and the soft curves of her body.

Katelyn O’Malley was casting a spell on me, and she didn’t even know it.

And I wasn’t sure I wanted her to stop.

 

 

About J.L. Berg

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series, The Walls Duet, and the Lost & Found Duet. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

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❤Release Day❤ Finding Eli by Jake Irons

 
Finding Eli by Jake Irons
RELEASE DAY BLITZ
April 27, 2017
 
When you have a thrice-a-day Starbucks addiction, a love affair with Louboutins, and an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world, the last thing you need is to lose your job. But that’s what happened to me—or what will, unless I can pull off the impossible: find Eli Murphy.
 
Eli, notorious playboy and New York City high roller, is the founder of the newzine where I work. He’s been MIA for three years. But I think I can find him. If I do, and I get his story, I can keep my job.
 
What could go wrong?
Ask me when I’m tangled in my lies—and his bed sheets.
Ask me when we’re running for our lives.
PURCHASE
 
 

Blog Tour for HIDDEN DEPTH by Brenda Rothert

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HIDDEN DEPTH by Brenda Rothert is LIVE!

Purchase now:
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I had it all.
Breaking into the entertainment business as a teenager wasn’t easy. I spent years of my childhood traveling, auditioning and hoping my big break would come. And when I did, I rose to a level I never imagined.
Elle Tyler: model, singer and actress. I couldn’t go anywhere without security anymore. It was everything I ever wanted and more – fame, fortune and worldwide recognition. At age twenty-four, I was living a dream.
But a single act of violence shattered my fairytale existence. In a matter of seconds, all the goodness in me was ripped to shreds. Overnight, the people around me dropped away, moving on to find the next big thing. I gave up on myself, becoming a woman so dark and forlorn I no longer recognized myself.
But the stranger who saved me that day, Justin Lockhart, never gave up on me. He still saw light through my darkness. And as we grew closer, I started to see it, too. And I also started to see that before that terrible day, maybe I didn’t really have it all. Maybe I was always missing the only thing that really matters.

Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32177418-hidden-depth

——

AUTHOR BIO:

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

Website: http://brendarothert.com/
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Release Blast for CAUGHT LOOKING by Jody Holford

Sometimes loving enough means letting go…

 

CAUGHT LOOKING

Jody Holford

Releasing April 25, 2017

Sometimes loving enough means letting go…

Major league baseball player, Ryan Walker, takes a mandatory leave of absence to escape the paparazzi and the false drug charges against him. All he wants is a little peace of mind out in the middle of nowhere.

Eager to rid herself of the empty socialite life, Frankie Vaughn moves to a rundown home in Minnesota that she inherited from her aunt. But Frankie is shocked at what she discovers inside: three young boys. When Ryan discovers that Frankie, his new neighbor, has taken on the three homeless kids as her own, he has a new hope for humanity.

Despite how easily and lovingly Ryan takes to Frankie and the boys, his past just might be the reason Frankie can’t adopt the boys. Now, Ryan must choose between loving them or letting them go. Can he walk away from what he’s been looking for all along?

 

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This is the first I have read by Jody Holford and boy there was so much emotions going through in this book. I fell for Ryan Walker for here is a guy who has loved only one thing, baseball and now it might all be over because of bad choices he made. Then we have young Frankie Vaughn who for the first time is actually living a life of her own. Two people who are opposite of each other yet are searching for the same thing, a life. Then we have three kids who just like Frankie and Ryan just want to be together no matter what happens. Jody Holford blew me away with how fun this story was between Frankie and Ryan the way they keep denying the attraction. Frankie was hilarious in her take charge attitude no needing a man to depend on just loved it. Jody Holford had a way with each character that made them special from the kids denying they want a family, Ryan to not sure what his life will be like now and then Frankie wanting to take over the world on her own. All in all it was a great book and will be on the lookout for more by Jody Holford.

Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.

 

 

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As he edged near the property line, he caught sight of toned, shapely legs swinging from the branch of a tree. His neighbor was doing pull-ups. On a tree.

“What the hell are you doing?” Ryan said the words to himself, his finger sliding off of the trigger. Frankie hadn’t heard him. Her earbuds’ cord was connected to the iPod strapped to her arm. He repeated his question, louder, and she startled, dropping from the limb she’d been holding. Pulling her earphones out, she smiled and gave a surprised laugh. Lust curled tight in his stomach at the sound. Which pissed him off since he didn’t need more complications in his life.

“Hey. Didn’t see you there, neighbor.”

She wiped the sweat off her brow with the back of her hand. Strands of hair were escaping the ponytail sitting high on her head. She put her hands on her hips, gulping in air, still smiling. His eyes roamed over the tone and definition of her arms. Arms weren’t supposed to be a turn on. They were just something to have wrapped around you. Along with legs. But legs were a turn on. Still, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her arms. They led up to sleek shoulders and a graceful collarbone. When his eyes met hers, she was grinning and he knew he’d been caught looking.

“You’re doing pull-ups on a goddamn tree?”

“Um, it’s my tree,” she said, looking back and forth between him and the tree. Small as she was, the tree didn’t look like it could hold its own branches, never mind a person’s weight.

“Actually, it’s smack in the middle of our property line. So stay the hell off it and get a pull-up bar.”

She rested a hand on the bark and smiled at him with something like fire flashing in those blue eyes. Her breath was a bit uneven, but firm. “I’ve never shared a tree with anyone. It feels like a big step.”

He bit back a smile. “Funny. This tree needs to be cut down. It’s rotted.” He kicked at the trunk to show her what he meant.

“Don’t kick our tree,” she said, not even trying to hide her smirk.

“It’s not safe.” Jesus. She was hard to be irritated with. Which, oddly, only irritated him more.

“And as much as I appreciate your neighborly concern, Ryan, I can take care of myself. And our tree. See, my home gym isn’t quite set up yet so I’m using what’s available. If you want, we can work out a schedule for tree use.”

There was as much sarcasm in her stance as in her tone. This time, the grin spread before he could stop it.

“You’re feisty.”

“You’re a jerk.”

“Yeah. But it’s still not safe. I have an extra pull-up bar in my garage. You put it in the frame of a doorway. I’ll grab it and bring it over,” he said, hoping the gesture served as an apology.

Which he was man enough to admit she deserved from him.

Frankie’s eyes widened and she took a step back, wariness overshadowing her amusement.

“No thanks. I’m not ready for visitors.”

He arched an eyebrow. “I wasn’t planning on coming for tea.”

She gave a rough laugh. “I don’t need anything from you, Ryan. I’ll pick another tree. Or do push-ups.”

She backed away, the unease in her eyes fascinating the hell out of him. She didn’t want him over. And not because he was a jerk. She waved one perfectly shaped arm over her head as she went back to her house.

He turned the weed trimmer back on, purposely turning his body in the other direction. He wasn’t going to stand around and watch her go, even across her yard. He’d never watch a woman leave again. Once was enough.

Release Day Blitz for the Mass Market release of DEADLY SILENCE by Rebecca Zanetti

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Title: DEADLY SILENCE

Author: Rebecca Zanetti

Series: Blood Brothers, #1

On Sale: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

**NOW AVAILABLE IN MASS MARKET**

The first book in a breathtaking new romantic suspense series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestsellers Maya Banks, Lisa Gardner, and Lisa Jackson.

Under siege. That’s how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can’t outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he’s been trying to keep at arm’s length is in danger…and he’ll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She’s making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There’s a lot Ryker isn’t telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn’t catch up to them first…

Full of twists and turns you won’t see coming, DEADLY SILENCE is New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti at her suspenseful best.

**THE PRINT EDITION CONTAINS EXTRA BONUS SCENES NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE!**

BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dqrb63

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Also available in-stores at Walmart!

THE BLOOD BROTHERS SERIES

Blood Brothers Series

DEADLY SILENCE, #1

LETHAL LIES, #2

TWISTED TRUTHS, #3

Series Page on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2dcQsPD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Zanetti CREDIT Dylan Patrick

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.

Author Website: http://bit.ly/2dh9aFd

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FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

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READ AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM LETHAL LIES, ON SALE MAY 16TH!

“All the more reason to get you out of town,” Heath said quietly.

She shook her head. “No. I’m staying.” Her words were brave, but her chest hurt. No way could she deal with a serial killer all on her own. She could train every day for the rest of her life and not end up as practiced or as deadly as Heath already was, and she knew it. “I understand you have other cases and people after you. So leave, and I’ll handle this myself.”

“Those are big words, baby,” he said softly.

Her lip quivered, and she bit down on it. “I know. I promised her, Heath. It’s all I have left to give to her.”

He paused, understanding crossing his expression. “Ah, sweetheart. Your sister wouldn’t want that for you.” His voice turned velvety and soft. Soothing.

Anya nodded. “I know. But she was my sister. We shared blood and part of a childhood. She took me trick-or-treating when I was five, and it’s one of my best memories. Then when I needed help as an adult, she didn’t hesitate. She came to me right away, like family. She was the first person I really cared about in far too long, and it hurts like hell that I got her killed.”

He breathed out, the emotion in his eyes deepening.

She swallowed. “I have to do this for her. Either you understand that or you don’t.”

“Why don’t you just let us handle it?”

She pressed her point. “I could, but you need me. I’m the bait.” Inwardly, she winced at the description. That wouldn’t help her to convince him. “Also, here’s the deal. This could be a long op. At some point, you have to leave and deal with whatever is haunting you from your past. When you do, I’ll just challenge him again, and next time you won’t be around to assist.”

“That’s extortion,” Heath said, amusement curving his lip.

She grinned. “Apparently I’m getting quite good at it.”

Heath shook his head. “You’re putting me in an untenable position, baby.”

“No, I’m not.” She shrugged out of his hold. Finally. “I’m not yours to protect, Heath. We’re not together, and we’re not responsible for each other.” The words sliced through her even as she said them. “You’ve been more than clear on that score.”

“There’s something here, Anya. Maybe something real and lasting, if I get everything done I need to do.”

She blinked. “What’s that?”

“The less you know the better. Believe me.”

“What a bunch of bullshit. Go back to your ‘This is fake’ proclamation,” she all but yelled. “Your position is one of work . . . and this is just work.”

His chin lifted. “You think this is just work?” The tone—low and filled with tension—zinged through her body.

Her legs trembled with the urge to take a step back. “Yes.”

“Want me to prove otherwise?” His eyes darkened to the color of the sky right before midnight hit.

As a threat, as a warning, it was damn good. But she’d gone too far to give in now. “You can’t.” Yeah, she’d just waved a red flag in front of a bull.

He didn’t move a muscle. His focus on her was so absolute, she wanted to squirm. “You’re into challenging dangerous men these days, aren’t you?”

She kept her stance. “You’re not all that dangerous, Heath.”

His smile stole her breath. Then he moved. Faster than she could track, he had her by the armpits and up in the air as he carried her toward the bedroom with such speed that her legs automatically wound around to clasp his rib cage. By the time she sucked in air to protest, her butt was on the bed, and he was flattening himself over her.

She struggled, her body on fire, fighting the urge to laugh out loud.

His mouth crushed hers, and she stilled.

Heat.

Fire.

True danger.

He held nothing back, kissing her hard, pressing her head into the comforter. His tongue worked hers, his powerful body plastered against hers, and his hands dug into her hair to hold her in place. Desire spun so quickly into need she couldn’t breathe, even when he wasn’t controlling her mouth.

She shifted against him, closing her eyes to kiss him back. This was what she’d wanted. All of this.

He nipped her lip, soothing the slight pain with another kiss. Then he traced along her jawline, kissing and nipping, finally reaching her earlobe, where he bit.

She arched against him, letting out a soft sigh.

“Anya.” His fingers tangled in her hair, and erotic pain tingled down her scalp. One of his strong arms slid around her waist and then down. His palm spread across her butt, and he ground her against his hard cock.

Pleasure swamped her, and mini explosions flew through her sex. The idea passed, somewhat fleetingly, that he wasn’t playing. Not at all.

Yet she couldn’t stop herself. Her knees widened, and she rubbed against him. “This feels real,” she whispered.

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~~Review & Excerpt Tour~~ Lost Rider Harper Sloan

 

lostrider1In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?

Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?

Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?

Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!

 

 

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~~Melena’s Review~~

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I have to say I love Harper Sloan and her cowboys. This is the first in the Coming Home series and boy it started off great. We have Maverick Davis who by all counts is well pissed. He’s worked hard all these years to be something his father detested and now it is because of his father he is back home. Family was never important to him but his brother and sister keep reminding him that home is actually where the heart is. Which in some cases was true because it had one annoying person in his opinion, Leighton James, the girl he never has forgotten. These two in their own ways have a love that has been simmering all these years and Harper Sloan makes their love explosive to the point you think they hate each other. The romance between these two were great and in a way that Harper Sloan makes them memorable even the funny parts and this is just the first one in the series. Cannot wait for the 2nd one and see whose is next the other brother or the tomboy sister who is searching for that true love. Loved it.

 

 

 

I should tell Quinn and Clay that he’s here. But one look at him and it’s like the last ten years have never passed and I’m back at the bonfire, the awkward high schooler uncomfortable in her own skin. Marching away from him in the woods. It was the last time I saw him. How is it possible that he can affect me this much after all this time?

He hasn’t noticed me, not with his head bowed, so I quickly turn around and focus on Pastor John as he finishes up his prayer. Him being here means nothing. I should be happy that I remember the pain from that night so well, it will make keeping my walls up around him so much easier.

“On behalf of the Davis family, I want to thank everyone for coming today. At this time, the family has asked for some time alone as they say their good-byes. They wanted me to remind everyone that the PieHole will be opening up for a few hours tonight starting at five for anyone that wishes to join them.”

I keep my arm around Quinn, not looking back to where I saw Maverick. I can hear the church slowly emptying and I feel a frown pull at my lips. I had hoped that when everyone started to leave that he would have come up front to be with his family, but so far, the pew we’re in is still empty save for the three of us. We sit and wait for everyone to leave, something that Clay had asked Pastor John to make arrangements for in place of the customary recessional, knowing that no one in this town would really mean a word of it anyway. Plus, I know Quinn is having a hard time. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t the closest with her father, she was really counting on this—Maverick home. She’s still shaking in my arms, but when I look over at Clay I realize his silence isn’t because of the heaviness of Buford’s death, but instead anger over his brother’s absence that has started to build to a boil. I fear that he’s seconds away from tipping over the edge.

I stand when Clay and Quinn do, but hang back at the edge of the row we had been sitting in as they meet Pastor John and gather their father’s ashes. I can’t wait to get out of these heels. If it would have been acceptable to wear my boots, I would have, but Quinn would have killed me. As it is, I feel like I can’t take a deep breath with how tight my dress is against my chest. I never wear tight shirts. I haven’t since my boobs became beasts of their own right. I’m too busy fiddling with the straps of my dress, trying desperately to get some of the pressure against my chest to ease up so I could take a deep breath, when I heard Quinn gasp.

“Mav!” Next thing I know she’s running past where I’m standing, her black hair streaming in the air behind her as she speeds forward right into her brother’s arms. Clay moves to stand next to me and I look up to meet his green eyes, the questions he isn’t vocalizing dancing in their emerald depths. He’s not stupid and I’m doing a crappy job at hiding the memories haunting me right now. He gives me a small smile, shifting his hold on the urn to wrap his free arm around me and pulls me into a strong hold.

“You’re shakin’,” he says against my temple and I just nod.

“I’m good, Clay. Go see your brother.”

“I’m fine right where I am, sugar.”

I keep my eyes to the ground, focusing on his worn boots instead of looking up, hating myself for making this moment about me when I should be focused on them. Like it or not, I can’t fight the feelings that being near him bring me. I’m that stupid, naive sixteen-year-old all over again. “Let’s get out of here,” he says after a few silent seconds. I look up and give him a smile, hoping that it looks a hell of a lot braver than I feel. Inside I feel like I might puke.

“You think I could have a second with my family?”

My head shoots up at the coldness I hadn’t anticipated in Maverick’s voice. He’s not focused on me, though, instead looking at his brother with a hard expression and one brow raised upward.

“Mav!” Quinn gasps and he moves his attention from his brother to her.

“Sorry, Quinn, but I’m thinkin’ that Clay’s lady friend would understand that this should be a moment for our family and give us time alone.”

“I’ll just—”

“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, sugar,” Clay all but spits through clenched teeth and drops his arm to take a step forward. “You’ve got something to say, Mav, then say it.”

“Nothing to say, Clayton, I just think it would be nice for your girlfriend to give us some space.”

“My girlfriend,” he parrots sarcastically, his deep voice vibrating in anger.

“Mav.” Quinn attempts to butt in, but stops when Maverick leaves her side and turns to stalk out of the church. I should find it comical that he obviously didn’t recognize me, or hell, maybe he did and he’s just picking up where he left off ten years ago in the middle of the dark woods. I take a deep breath. “It’s okay. He’s right. Y’all need some time as a family. I’ll head over to the PieHole and start settin’ up for tonight.”

Quinn brushes a tear from her cheek and just shakes her head. I look at Clay to see him staring in the direction that his brother just left.

“You’re family,” he finally says, not looking in my direction.

“Clay, really, it’s okay. It’s been a long time since y’all were back together and I don’t need to be there for that reunion. It sucks that it takes all of this to finally bring him home, but he’s here and y’all need to make up for a lot of time lost.”

“Shut up, Leighton.”

“Don’t, Clay.”

“Don’t what? You’ve got every right to be here. You’re just as much a part of our family as he is. Hell, maybe even more so than he is at this point. So just shut up, come with us, and ignore him.”

I shake my head, the fight instantly leaving my sails, knowing I would be arguing until the end of time if I

pressed this issue.

“I can’t believe he doesn’t even recognize you,” Quinn whispers.

 

 

 

 

harper1Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

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