Tag Archives: contemporary romance books

New Romance Book Release!!! ~ Lost to Us (The President’s Daughters Series) by Kathryn Shay

Title: Lost to Us
Series: The President’s Daughters #5
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 8, 2022


Why is this woman a look-alike of one of the president’s daughters?

Set in a beautiful island country in Italy, Bianca Lucchese and her husband Joe work hard at their veterinarian practice, raise their kids and keep their marriage vibrant. But two interfering mothers bring them to the brink of separation. When Bianca meets Andraya Manwaring, her life falls apart and Joe isn’t there for her. He’s left her at the worst possible time in her life—when she discovers she’s the long-lost daughter of a US president.





The end of August  

“We have to talk.” Joe made the statement in the office of their veterinarian practice before their workday began. It was a light, airy space, with carefully chosen wooden desks, file cabinets and a long couch on the far wall. She’d brought in fresh flowers so the scent of calla lilies surrounded them.

Bianca’s eyes narrowed in feigned anger. “Is it about those secret meetings and phone calls you’ve been having? I swear Giuseppe Nicoli Lucchese, if you have a woman on the side, I’ll castrate you.”

“As if, Tesoro.” For a moment, his dark eyes danced. “I haven’t looked at another woman since you fell into my arms coming down the steps of the administration building at college.” 

Bianca knew that was true. The same thing happened to her. Love at first sight. And lots of lust, too. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other and were together every minute they could manage. “All right. Tell me.”

He got that shadowed expression on his face that usually meant he had bad news. “I accepted a request from Veterinari All’estero to inoculate wildlife in Africa.”

What?”

“I’m going to work with the vets over there.”

She frowned. “We were planning to do that together, sometime later, when the kids were older.”

“I have to go now. Running our home and practice throws us together too much.”

Merda, this was so unlike the past where they skipped classes to make love and he moved out of the dorm and rented an apartment for privacy and convenience.

She stared at him. She loved him. But… “So you’re going to run away from our problems?”

He stood, came around his desk, leaned against the edge and jammed his hands into his jeans pockets. Damn him for looking so good. “You’re not listening, amore mio. We need a break from each other. I know I need a break from the pressure our Mammas put on us. We fight all the time about them.”

It was painful to hear what he was saying. There had been a lot of pressure and it had affected their relationship. Her voice was hoarse when she answered, “So I get to stay here and deal with them all by myself?”

Joe’s brows knitted. “Mamma will leave you alone if I’m not here. Maybe me being gone will make her listen to me about interfering in our lives. But, yes, you’ll have to deal with your mother.”

Carlotta Ricci was a force to be reckoned with. Since Bianca’s papà was never in the picture, she and her mother had been close. Very close. Too close. And Carlotta never liked Joe, but down deep Bianca knew she wouldn’t approve of any man her daughter had chosen.  

She made herself sound strong. “I’ll handle Mamma. What about the practice?”

“Christopher will take on more responsibility.” The fresh-faced, sweet man, Christopher Messina was just out of vet school when they asked him to join their team and had been a joy to work with.

“We hired him so we could open a second office.”

“That can wait.”

Her eyes filled. “I can’t believe you’d do this to me, Joey.” 

“Bianca, cara, we need time away from each other!”

“At least you do.”

“You do, too. And this way, we won’t have to explain a separation to the kids.”

“And you won’t look bad.” She stilled as another awful truth came to her. “You were thinking of a separation?”

“No, no, that came out wrong.” He took in a deep breath. Stared at her with midnight eyes that made her weak in the knees. “I’m going, for three months, starting in September.”

She tried to calm herself. “Not with my support.”

“Cazzo! You don’t give an inch anymore. What happened to the girl I married?”

“She was deliriously happy when she met you. You promised life would stay that way for us. We opened a successful practice, had two kids we raised together. Then you got distant.”

“Things change, Bianca.”

“Apparently.”

“Please do this for me. I need it.”

She loved this man above all else. She often consented to what he wanted to do in their life together. But she was mad! “All right, Joey, go ahead. Leave the three of us alone.” Even to her own ears, she sounded totally rejected. In the past that would have killed him.

“Will you give me your blessing?”

“What do you think?”

#

Joe couldn’t concentrate all day. Even though he’d had several wellness checks, two sick puppies and a consultation about surgery, he was distracted. Not only had he hurt the only woman he ever loved, he’d sounded like a selfish bastard. 

I need to get away…I want to go…

But deep inside he knew that his marriage was heading for disaster if he didn’t shake things up. And he wasn’t sure he could live without Bianca in his life. 

The fights had been epic. 

First Carlotta…

“You are subservient to him, figlia mia. I warned you against this.” Still tall, imposing and statuesque at sixty-plus, her silvery gaze was cold.

“I am not, Mamma. We compromise.”

“He always gets what he wants.”

“Because I want it too.”

Her mother stared her down. Bianca knew an ace in the hole was coming. “Did you want another child?”

“I wanted to talk about it.” And Joe didn’t. So the idea got dismissed.

“Not that I thought having another was the right thing for you, but you had no choice when he objected. He takes that away from you.”

“Joe likes our life as it is.”

“I do.” His comment came from the doorway. “And Carlotta, I don’t appreciate how you hound your daughter. I’ve told you this before.”

“Do not speak to me like that.”

“This is my home. I’ll speak however I want in order to keep you from hurting your daughter.”

Bianca said, “Joe, I can stand up for myself.”

Angry, he’d whirled on her. His eyes burned. “Then why don’t you?”

Then there was his mother, Rosalina…

“You work too hard, Joey, and afterward, you run around with i figli. Your wife should stay home and take care of them and the house.”

He’d crossed to the woman who’d raised him. Who he loved dearly. “Mamma, I know that’s how you did things in your marriage, but that’s not us. Not most people in Italy these days.”

She touched his face and he could see the veins of age in her hand. Small in stature, a bit overweight, she had the same dark eyes and hair as Joe, though hers was graying. “You need more sleep. More relaxation. If she quit, you’d have peace.”

It was as if he hadn’t spoken. “Santa Maria, you don’t listen to me. Bianca’s not going to give up her career. I don’t want her to. Now, I won’t talk about this again.”

But they had. And more than once he’d found her pressuring Bianca. His wife didn’t cower in front of his mother, but Rosalina triggered something in Bianca that made her not fight back very hard. That probably had to do with her own mother’s strong personality. He and his wife became more and more estranged.

A breaking point came for him the night before he was leaving…

They were getting ready for sleep. He noticed lately she’d been changing in the bathroom. He was stretched out on the bed, with his hands linked behind his head, wearing only his boxers, watching the overhead fan whir around. She came out in a nightgown buttoned up to her neck.

He said simply, “I want to make love.”

“I don’t feel like it.”

“You haven’t felt like it in weeks.” Even now after nearly twenty years of marriage, sex had been frequent and imaginative. 

“I know I haven’t.” She walked to a dressing table, sat down and began to brush her blond hair. She saw him in the mirror when he came up behind her. Put his hands on her shoulders. “You won’t make love with me because I’m going to work with Veterinari All’estero.”

She held his gaze in the glass. “That’s right, Joe. This chasm between us opened up when you said you were abandoning us.”

Fury rose inside him. “You always said you hated when women used sex to manipulate men.”

She turned around forcing him to step back. Her gaze narrowed on him. “I know. And I never thought I’d feel this way about you.”

“What are you saying, that I killed our sex life?”

“Harsh, but probably true.” She stood and didn’t meet his height by six inches. “It’s not my fault that I no longer want you. It’s yours.”

He was so angry he didn’t know what he’d do if he stayed. He stalked to the hamper, redressed in his clothes from the day, and stormed out of the room. He walked over to the street where his childhood friend, Tommaso Galati, lived and slept on his couch on the porch. He left the next day when he and his wife weren’t speaking to each other.




 

A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction. One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Readers call her work heartwarming.


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COVER REVEAL!!! ~ Win My Heart by Lauren Helms

Join us for the cover reveal of Win My Heart by Lauren Helms. Fans who love Nerdy Romances will sink their teeth into this steamy, secret relationship, best friend’s sibling, game girl romance. Keep scrolling for more details about this sexy cover. 

Title: Win My Heart 
Author: Lauren Helms
Release Date: 7/7/2022
Genres:  Contemporary Romance
Trope: Secret Relationship Romance, Best Friend’s Sibling, Nerdy Romance

Bernie

When it comes to gaming,
I’m a pro.
When it comes to my love life?
That’s a different story.
I’ve been crushing on my best friend’s older brother forever.
In return, he’s kept me in the friend zone for way too long.
Then things change between us.
And I get to see a whole new,
And incredibly sexy side to him.
But, he wants to keep things between us a secret.

Wade

I made a promise to my brother.
One I refused to break.
Until now.
I’ve ignored my feelings for the girl for way too long.
And the more time we spend together,
The harder I find myself falling.
There’s just one problem,
I can’t let anyone know that I’ve made her mine.
Can I win her heart before its game-over for us both?

Win My Heart by Lauren Helms cover reveal



Pre-Order on Amazon
Amazon https://amzn.to/3xRfyMF

Add to Goodreads Here! 

Goodreads https://bit.ly/3x9sC0o 

About Lauren Helms

Lauren Helms is a romance author her nerdy and flirty contemporary words. Lauren has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and write her first novel, Level Me Up. Several published novels later, Lauren created PR company, Indie Pen PR, to help other authors promote their books.

Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three young kid nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the love of things that united Lauren and her husband on their own happily ever after.

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New Release & Book Review!! ~ Wrapped Up with a Ranger by Kait Nolan

ABOUT:

Can a grumpy former Ranger find lasting happiness in a marriage of convenience with a sunny single mom?

After losing his leg, former Army Ranger Holt Steele is building a new life and a new business with his friends. Sure, he never expected to put small-town baker on his resume, but he finds he likes the quiet, simple life. If only he didn’t like the sunny single mom who works across the street–or her adorable kid–quite so much.

After escaping a controlling husband, event planner Cayla Black has one focus–growing her business and maintaining a safe, happy home for her daughter. She has no time or interest in a man. Not even one who charms her child with Disney songs and keeps turning up like a mind-reader to help without being asked.

But when her ex’s conviction is overturned on a technicality, and he shows up intending to reclaim his wife and child, Holt intervenes with an outrageous lie. The only way to fix it is to make his falsehood the truth. As they struggle to convince everyone that their marriage of protection is real, these two reluctant hearts fall deeper, until the lines between the fiction and the dream begin to blur, and they have to risk it all to protect the family they didn’t know they wanted.

Kait Nolan Bad Boy Bakers book 2

Cayla and Holt…where do I begin? He’s hot and noble and she is a fierce single mother. Together they are hotter than sin and so adorable that I can’t even.

What I loved most was Holt. Period. He was attracted to Cayla and there was no doubt about it, but he kept his distance because he believed she deserved better…as if there’s something better than a hot former servicemember who jumps in to be the hero with no questions asked. I mean, seriously. He did what needed doing which we all know is super hot in a man, and he didn’t pressure her for the benefits of marriage.

If I wasn’t already married I would’ve taken Holt for myself!

He’s great with her kid, relieves some of her stress and burdens and then rocks her world? Um, yeah, where do I sign up?

The sexual tension was off the charts and it definitely satisfied and I’m very glad that the whole ex-husband thing didn’t take over the story. I thoroughly enjoyed Wrapped Up with a Ranger, the second book in the Bad Boy Bakers series.

Kait…keep it up honey!

Get your copy today!

Amazon ~ https://amzn.to/3NW9BV8

Kait Nolan ~ https://kaitnolan.com/wrapped-up-with-a-ranger/

Cover Reveal ~ The Wine Down by Louise Lennox

We are so excited to share the cover reveal for The Wine Down, by Louise Lennox, the first book in the Meet Cute Book Club Series. Keep reading for more details about this sexy, friends to lovers romance.

Title: The Wine Down

Author: Louise Lennox

Release Date: 6/16/2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Trope: Friends to Lovers Romance, Diverse Romance

Environmental lawyer Brandi Armstrong is one of Abbott Ridge’s favorite hometown residents. From the take-no-prisoners attitude she employs in the courtroom for local farmers to her ability to maintain control in every situation, she leads a life with no room for error—or romance, for that matter. When her ex-boyfriend tries to take her family’s farm, she fights like hell and renews her vow to never fall in love again. When Restaurateur Riddick Kruger left his native South Africa to attend college in Abbot Ridge, NC, he was lonely and couldn’t wait to get back home. Then through a crazy mishap, he became best friends with the brilliant Brandi Armstrong. Sixteen years later, he’s built a dazzling life in America, but he’s also formed a passionate love for Brandi – she just has no idea. Once Riddick realizes he’s kept his feelings to himself for far too long; he creates the perfect moment to tell Brandi how he feels. His actions changes their friendship forever. And sends Brandi running scared. Until she runs back to Riddick in order to save her family’s farm. Will Riddick save the day and give Brandi the happily ever after she reads about in her book club every month? Find out in this steamy friends-to-lovers romance from Louise Lennox!

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club, where meet-cutes don’t happen only between the pages of romance novels, and one by one, all the members find their own happily ever afters.

Pre-Order on Amazon Add to Goodreads Here!

About Louise Lennox Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!

To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website http://www.lovelouiselennox.com.

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About The Meet Cute Book Club SeriesEscape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters. Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy. These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

This promotional event is brought to you by The Indie Pen PR

Release Blitz for Our Best Shot by A.M. Williams

Our Best Shot Release Blitz

My life seemed perfect until he came back to town. With his sights set on me, he’s
ready to settle down and face any challenge. Fans of Briar U by Elle Kennedy will
devour Our Best Shot by A.M. Williams, a small-town, forced proximity, hockey
romance.


Blurb


Rory
On the outside, my life seems perfect. I have my friends, family, and quirky small town to keep me
satisfied plus my secret writing career that’s done better than I ever dreamed. What’s not to love?
There’s just one thing missing. But I don’t know what it is.
At least until he comes back to town. The man I crushed on so hard in high school, I couldn’t talk in
full sentences around him.
He’s back, he’s ready to settle down, and he’s set his sights on me, the wallflower.
Every time I turn around, there he is. He wants to know about me. And no matter how hard I try to
ignore him…I can’t. He’s everything I wanted as a teenager.
And as an adult? I’m discovering that he’s the total package and is ready to sweep me off my feet.
Alex
Deciding to retire from my professional hockey career was easy. I miss my family, friends, and
hometown. I crave a slower lifestyle so I can finally settle down.
What isn’t easy? Figuring out how to coach teenaged boys in how to play hockey and win over the
woman I can’t stop thinking about.
I think about her constantly and am constantly finding ways to run into her ‘by accident’. I want to
know everything about her, but she’s hesitant and I have my work cut out for me to convince her to
step outside her comfort zone and date me.
But I’m up for the challenge. I’m ready to show her what being with me could be like and that she
doesn’t need to be scared.
With outside forces working against us, can we get it together for our best shot at a happily
ever after?

Add to Goodreads Here!

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Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon → https://amzn.to/3vKMRBl

Excerpt


Copyright 2022 @A.M. Williams
“What do you think about dinner again next weekend?”
Alex’s words brought me out of my mind and I quickly processed what he was saying.
“You want to go out again?” I couldn’t keep the surprise out of my voice.
He slanted a look my way, then quickly looked back at the road before grinning. “Yeah, I want to
go out again. I had a lot of fun and don’t want to stop.”
A large smile spread across my face. Oh my, God! I wanted to squeal and do a dance at him
asking me out again. But considering I was sitting next to him in the front seat of his car, I’d
have to wait.
We were just passing the “Welcome to Evergreen Ridge” sign when I asked, “Has your dog run
away from you anymore?”
Alex chuckled, and I grinned.
“Nah, he hasn’t seen any other women he wants to accost on the ice. We’ll have to plan a day
for you to go out so we can make it happen.”
I laughed. “I’m sure I can find time in my schedule.”
My phone buzzed in my jacket pocket, reminding me of the email I had sitting in my inbox that I
needed to deal with.
I stiffened at the reminder.
“Here we are,” Alex said, pulling into my driveway. “You stay there.”
I grinned as I watched him lever out of the car and jog around to my side, pulling the door open.

I smiled as I accepted his hand, gasping when he threaded his fingers through mine and walked
me to my door.
My face heated as we climbed the steps.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

About A.M. Williams
A.M. Williams is just a simple girl from the south that found herself living abroad. When she’s not annoying her cat or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and traveling as much as possible.
She has a serious case of wanderlust and wants to go as many places as possible while she can. She loves Cheerwine, sweet tea, and North Carolina (eastern style) BBQ as well as those crystal clear waters
on the North Carolina coast.

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NEW RELEASE!!! ~ Big Slick by Giulia Lagomarsino

Title: Big Slick
Series: A Good Run of Bad Luck #6
Author: Giulia Lagomarsino
Release: February 7, 2022
Genre: Small Town Romance
Cover Design by T.E. Black Designs
Photography by Golden Czermak- Furious Fotog
Model: Andrew James

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58925048-big-slick

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/big-slick-a-small-town-romance-a-good-run-of-bad-luck-book-7-by-giulia-lagomarsino

Universal: http://mybook.to/BigSlick
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3B823Jz
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3GCBrCv
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3nxmwSv
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3Gv4Tu1

Blurb:

​Jake

I’ve been searching for Mrs. Plaid Man my whole life, but I always miss out. I’m the Big Slick, so close to winning, but another hand always wins. I’m too slow to react. That’s how I missed out on a relationship with Lindsey, and part of the reason I had to move to this small town. But now I think I’ve finally found her. But she doesn’t seem to remember me, no matter how many times I talk to her. And let me tell you, there’s only so many times a man can get his ass kicked by a woman.

In the Series:

Dead Man’s Hands

Universal: getbook.at/DeadMansHandAGROBL

Drawing Dead

Universal: getbook.at/DrawingDead

The Dirty

Universal: http://getbook.at/TheDirty

Ace Magnets

Universal: http://mybook.to/AceMagnets

Four Horsemen

Universal: http://getbook.at/4Horsemen

The Nut Low

Universal:  http://getbook.at/NutLow

Author Bio:

I’m a stay at home mom that loves to read. Some of my favorite titles are Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Horatio Hornblower. I started writing when I was trying to come up with suggestions on ways I could help bring in some extra money. I came up with the idea that I could donate plasma because you could earn an extra $500/month. My husband responded with, “No. Find something else. Write a blog. Write a book.” I didn’t think I had anything to share on blog that a thousand other mothers hadn’t already thought of. I decided to take his challenge seriously and sat down to write my first book, Jack. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed writing. From there, the stories continued to flow and I haven’t been able to stop. I hope my readers enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. Between reading, writing, and taking care of three small kids, my days are quite full.

Social Media Links: 

Website: https://giulialagomarsinoauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crazybookladylover/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17110361.Giulia_Lagomarsino

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/crzybookladyluv

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/giulia-lagomarsino

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Giulia-Lagomarsino/e/B0779R1L7C

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giulialagomarsino2414/Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1hJvcaUsEG5wQH_K_QDonQ

RELEASE DAY! —> Staying in Vegas by Sam Mariano

Title: Staying in Vegas
Series: Vegas Morelli Trilogy Book 1
Author: Sam Mariano
Genre: Mafia Romance
Release Date: April 4, 2018
Cover Designer: Covers by Combs
When I met Rafe Morelli, he didn’t look like the biggest mistake I’d ever make; he seemed closer to the crime family version of Prince Charming. Charismatic, beautiful, and attentive—with an intoxicating air of power—Rafe was the stuff of my darkest fantasies.
It should have been a simple fling, no-strings-attached. My hot weekend with the sexy, dominant Vegas boss—a harmless memory to replay once I returned to my quiet, predictable life.

One tiny hitch in that plan: a panty-melting memory isn’t all he left behind. Now the stakes have changed, and I’m faced with a potentially life-altering decision. Do I stay away and enjoy my status as the only woman in known history who has played in the Morelli flames without getting burned, or do I risk stepping back into the fire?
BOOK 1 OF 3 IN THE VEGAS MORELLI TRILOGY

Sam Mariano loves to write edgy, twisty romantic reads with complicated characters you’re left thinking about long after you turn the last page. Her favorite thing about indie publishing is the ability to play by your own rules! If she isn’t reading one of the thousands of books on her to-read list, writing her next book, or playing with her adorable daughter… actually, that’s about all she has time for these days.

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COVER REVEAL ~ To Fall for Winter by Kelsey Kingsley

Title: To Fall for Winter
Series: Kinney Brothers #2
Author: Kelsey Kingsley
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance

Release Date: March 19, 2018

 

“You think I’m ready to ruin you forever?”
“Oh, Ireland… You’ve already ruined me forever.” 

I’ve been called the Black Sheep. Troublemaker. And probably a dozen other words that are nowhere near that nice. My past is checkered. Full of questionable choices and even worse outcomes. But I’ve put it behind me. I’m on the straight and narrow now.

For two years, I’ve towed the line. Stayed out of trouble. Kept my head above water. And have not made even one reckless decision.

But then Snow came to River Canyon on the first day of winter.

Inked, pierced, and unafraid of speaking her mind, and going after what she wants, she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Together, I knew we would make a mess. 

I just couldn’t keep myself from getting dirty.

When I was seventeen, my older brother Patrick had a momentary lapse of judgment with a girl he couldn’t stand, and as luck would have it, he had gotten the chick pregnant. 

The night he was told about the pregnancy, he came home and with his head in his hands, he gave our parents the wonderful news. I walked in on that cheerful little conversation, coming in from a night of partying with my friends. I had looked at him, ghost-white and panicked. Then, I looked at my parents, fuming, and also panicked. The three of them had acted for a time as though they were the only ones being affected by it all, but in truth, it was a defining moment in all of our lives.

For our parents, it was the shock of being handed their Grandparent Card before they felt they were ready. It was the reality that their oldest son, their first baby, was having a baby of his own and embarking on a journey of life that would take him places they weren’t permitted. 

For Patrick, it was the rusty—albeit temporary—nail in the coffin that held his relationship with his childhood sweetheart. It was the consequence to trump all others. And, well, I also like to think it was one of the best things to ever happen to him, because I know now that he sees his daughter as anything but a mistake. 

For my twin brother Sean, it was the encouragement he needed to continue being the perfect son. It was the pressure to get good grades, keep his head above water, and although he never said it, it stressed the shite out of him. I could see it in the lines that had formed between his brows. 

For me? Well … 

On that night, after sneaking up to the bedroom I still shared with Sean, all I can remember thinking was, “Well, nothing I do can ever be as disappointing as this. That guy has set the bar, and I will never see myself over it.” And that would have been fine, except that, for me, it wasn’t a warning—it became a dare, and I tested it a little too much. I managed to pass over that bar by the time I was twenty, and I just kept on climbing. 

And it wasn’t that I was a bad guy, keep in mind. I just couldn’t seem to help myself. I just found trouble, or maybe it found me. Who the hell knows. 

Still, by some miracle, I had never knocked a girl up. 

Maybe things would have been better if I had. 

And this was what I thought about while we did the cliché bullshite of having a smoke after sex.


 

Kelsey Kingsley lives in New York with her family and a cat named Ethel.

She believes there is nothing better than a good doughnut and a cup of tea, and that there is a song for everything.


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Dixie Covington is a redheaded spitfire with a sultry southern drawl. She loves her family, her small piece of the world and her art. But what Dixie desires more than anything is the freedom to fall in love with a man of her own choosing. So when her parents announce her engagement to a man she’s not even dating, Dixie and her closest friends pack their bags and head to The Big Easy for summer of fun and who knows what else.

Taz Nicorescu is another born and bred in New Orleans artist. With his exotic good looks and skills with a tattoo gun, he has no trouble finding female companionship when he wants it. Taz loves his life just the way it is, living with his best friend and running his well known Ink by Taz tattoo shop. He couldn’t have known a simple neighborly request would change everything he thought he knew about love and attraction.

What starts out as summer romance just might be true love!

EXCERPT:

“I’m spendin’ the summer in New Orleans.” Dixie sat at one of her delicate wooden chairs with the yellow, pink and green striped cushions and smiled at her one of her best friends and cousin Pepper.

“What? You can’t go away for the summer, Mama’s countin’ on you,” Pepper pouted. She was a beautiful woman, with dark brown skin and eyes so light brown they were almost golden. Her mama had married one of Dixie’s uncles and ran the only art gallery in Rock Hill.

Dixie waved a dismissive hand at Pepper. “I’ve already talked to Aunt Sarah about it and she urged me to go. Her only condition was that I send her one painting each week to make sure I’m still focused.” She smiled and lifted her bare shoulders in a shrug. “So, who wants to go with me?”

Marilyn chose that moment to breeze through the front door, arms full with two cloth sacks and her giant designer handbag. “Alright, I’ve got bourbon and mint, water, ice and tequila.” She kicked the door shut with one killer red stiletto and rushed to set the bags down. “I also brought butter pecan ice cream, shortbread cookies and a rib dinner from Dante’s.”

“Jeez girl, did you leave anything for the rest of Rock Hill?” Pepper teased her and plucked the tequila bottle from the bag. “But I approve and that’s why you’re my favorite cousin.”

Marilyn ignored Pepper’s phony smile and dropped into the seat in front of her. “You’re full of it, Pepper but I’ll take it. I could use it.”

Dixie sat on her cousin’s lap and wrapped her arms around Marilyn’s shoulders. “What’s wrong sugar?”

“I’m just tired and frustrated.” It was more than that but she didn’t want to get into it.

Dixie’s blue eyes widened and she stood, walking around the table until she faced her best friends. “I’ve got it! You should come with me to New Orleans, both of you! We can have a fun summer away from our stuffy, controlling parents, no offense Pepper, and enjoy being ourselves!” Before either woman could answer, Dixie turned and took advantage of the open floor plan, grabbing her cocktail shaker, muddler and ice. She didn’t notice the wide eyed stares until she began to muddle the mint and sugar. “What?”

“Are you out of your mind, Dixie Mae Covington?” Marilyn removed her blond locks from the loose bun at the base of her neck. “I can’t just pick up and leave for three months.”

Her auburn brows crinkled in confusion. “Why not? You can write anywhere there’s a power outlet and Wi-Fi.”

“Well I’m in,” Pepper said, grabbing the cocktail shaker and adding a few glugs of tequila. “Texas style,” she grinned and filled three tall glasses.

“Not that I’m not happy you’re comin’ sugar, but why?”

She shrugged and took a long, satisfying sip. “Duvall is a lying, cheating, no good son of a bitch?” Her harsh words were contradicted by her casual tone.

Dixie wrapped an arm around Pepper, “I always thought you were too good for him, doll. Good riddance.”

Marilyn glared, green eyes glittering outrage. “And what about your plans to find a job?”

“I’ve decided I’m going to do it. I’m going to design my own video game.”

Both women squealed and swallowed her up in a heap of enthusiastic hugs and kisses. “That’s so fantastic, Pepper! I’m so happy for you.”

Two pleading gazes turn on Marilyn. “Dang, don’t put it all on me.” They said nothing, just looked at her with stares that grew more pitiful by the second. “Oh fine, looks like we’re all going to the Big Easy this summer.”

 

 

Two

“Come on ladies, move your booties!” Dixie was up at the crack of dawn to pack up her giant SUV and had to wait for Marilyn and Pepper to get their acts together. She felt at ease now that she had a few suitcases worth of clothes, her paints, canvases and easel packed. She was determined that this summer would be transformative for her. She would sleep late if she felt like it, paint all day and maybe even try to sell a few while she was at it. Maybe after a few weeks she would look for a job.

Dixie punched her horn several times to motivate her cousins. When Pepper finally emerged from her family home, she signed. “Finally! Did you pack up your worldly possessions or what?” She watched her cousins lug several suitcases, computers and all manner of must-haves to the car.

Pepper frowned and blew a stray curl out of her face. “It’s a good thing Uncle Clive bought you this gas guzzler or one of us would have to ride on the roof.” She struggled to shove her high powered gaming computer in place.

“Oh for heaven’s sake, girl! Move aside.” Dixie climbed into the back and let the seat down. “There we go, now hand it all in.” Fifteen minutes later Pepper was all packed and slumped in the passenger seat, not bothering with the sweat on her brow. Dixie laughed at her cousin. “How are you tired when I did all the hard work?”

“You’ve got strong arms from hours of painting. I only have strong hands,” she held up her slender brown hands with pink nails. “Thank you for helping Dixie.”

“No problem, sugar. Now tell me about this game of yours.”

Pepper sighed. “I’m not ready to talk about it yet. Ask me again in a month.” She pasted on a smile that Dixie saw right through.

“I’ll let that go for now Pepper, but we’re responsible for each other this summer. You make sure I’m painting and I’ll make sure you are developing or whatever.”

“Deal. Now let’s get going because you know it’ll be like pulling teeth to get Marilyn away from her parents.”

“Don’t worry. We’re going either way. She’s either coming or she’s not, we’re not debating with Aunt Sula about this.” Marilyn’s parents were entirely too protective and they were insistent that she marry Kyle Swanson even though they’d broken up last year. “I’m thinkin’ of doing a series of paintings on each of us and our journey this summer.” She’d spent all night thinking about it. “I’m seeing lots of intense reds and oranges for Marilyn so that has to mean something.” They pulled into the grand old mansion Marilyn’s daddy bought her mama for their wedding.

Dixie laid on the horn. “I refuse to get out of this car and get sucked into their drama. By dinner we’ll be eating gumbo at some restaurant in the French Quarter.”

“That sounds divine! We have to go to that place famous for the beignets!” Pepper squealed and a smile lit up her beautiful face.

“Oh, most definitely! I swear I had powdered sugar on my lips when I woke up this morning!” They began talking over each other about all the food they would try in New Orleans. “Here comes Mar.”

She pulled two large suitcases behind her, a laptop bag draped across her body and a bright red purse hooked through her elbow. She yanked open the door behind Pepper. “Help out ladies so we can get the hell outta here!”


  

BLOG TOUR ~ Midnight Rain by Kathleen Maree

Title: Midnight Rain
Series: Lake Shore University #2
Author: Kathleen Mareé
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: February 8, 2018
They say it’s as easy as following your heart. Just listen to it, and let it guide you…

 

It’s so simple isn’t it?
Even if half belongs to one best friend, and the other half literally beats for the other…
It doesn’t matter how much time passes or how angry I am at the world, because I know without a doubt that I needed both of them.
More than I needed to breathe.

 

From the earliest age I was a born storyteller.

 

Ask my parents and they will tell you I had a gift for making a simple event seem like an elaborate one. Purposely? No. Innocently? Yes. It was my imaginary world that initially led me to believe I wanted to be an actor. All of that role playing and living in fantasy… it was an obvious direction for me. However, becoming quite uncomfortable with the limelight quickly saw that dream diminish.
Over the years I turned my world of fantasy into stories, and eventually began writing them down. Before I knew it, ‘Cut’ had been completed.
When I am not busy writing my next story, I am a working mum, housewife and sometimes hockey wag 🙂 In other words, probably some kind of circus act who specialises in juggling 😉
I hope you enjoy my blog, where I will be posting thoughts, other books I am currently reading and even sneak peeks of my novels. I encourage any feedback, comments or direct messages via my contact page should anyone wish to get in touch.
I am so thrilled to be sharing my journey and hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.
Dream often. Believe always.

 

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