Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Exclusive Excerpt, Giveaway

Exclusive Excerpt: Nacho Figueras Presents: RIDE FREE by Jessica Whitman

Ride Free Nacho Figueras

Do I even need to introduce this book when Nacho Figueras’ face is benevolently smoldering right on the cover? We’ve got a deliciously tantalizing excerpt of Nacho Figueras Presents: Ride Free by Jessica Whitman right here! And if you love polo playing Lotharios, you’re in luck! Ride Free is out today!

When Sunny started crow-hopping, Enzo Rivas didn’t worry. The big mare had always been hot, and it wasn’t out of character for her to occasionally get a little bored and try to test her rider.

But when Sunny started to buck, Enzo knew something was seriously wrong.

The pony threw her head down, kicked out her legs, and whinnied fearfully, almost sending Enzo out of the saddle. He pressed his knees against the saddle, grabbed the reins, and battled to pull her head back up. She fought him, flinging her head down again and heaving her back legs into the air.

For a moment, he thought he was going to be thrown, and his body automatically tensed, preparing to hit the ground, hard.

It wouldn’t have been the first time Enzo lost his seat to an unruly horse. It was part of his job, after all. Nobody trained horses and didn’t occasionally get thrown. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t fight it.

Sunny came back down onto all four legs again, and Enzo, sensing a split second of opportunity, yanked the reins sharply to the right, forcing the pony’s head so far over that her nose touched his knee. She screamed in outrage and spun in a circle, but she was powerless to kick her hind legs from this position.

Enzo kept her in that stance, letting her spin as many times as she wanted, speaking to her softly in Spanish, until he could feel her temper start to ebb and her muscles soften, one by one, under him.

He relaxed the reins and let the pony’s head back up. As they cantered forward, he noticed a large, bald-faced hornet floating away from them.

“Ah. Poor girl,” he said, “you got stung.”

Sunny snorted complacently as if in agreement, then reared up, threw Enzo backward into the grass, and bolted, riderless, down the pitch.

Enzo lay there for a moment, the breath knocked out of him, staring at the cloudless Florida sky. It had not been a bad fall, as falls went, and he knew that once he could breathe again, he’d be fine. But he was also pissed, and he knew it would be better to get his temper under control before he chased down the errant horse. It never helped to be mad when dealing with ponies.

“Rivas?” came a distant voice that made him close his eyes and smile ruefully. Of course she would find him like this.

“Enzo, are you okay?”

She was closer.

He struggled to a sitting position, still a little winded but determined not to be on his back when she reached him.

“I’m fine,” he said, and then almost fell over again, he was so dizzy. Damn that horse. He bent his head to his knees and closed his eyes.

“You don’t look fine. You look like you got knocked on your ass.”

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Unbreakable Hope Sami Lee

You know what, Erotic Romance fans? We don’t do nearly enough for you! So as a treat to you (totally not a selfish gift to ourselves, why are you looking at us like that?) we’ve got an amazing Q&A with Sami Lee, author of Unbreakable Hope, out now!

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

Hope’s story has been kicking around in my head ever since her character was introduced in her sister Emily’s story, Eternal Brand. I had strong ideas who the characters would be—Dylan Wakefield first appeared in book 2 of the series—but no idea how I was going to bring the three together. That I had to work out as I got into writing the story.


Where do you find your inspiration? 

All around me. In stories I hear on the news, in movies, in real life. I think I’m a writer because I’m always curious about what life would be like through someone else’s viewpoint. I’m always asking myself ‘what would I do if that happened to me? If my childhood had been like this instead of that?’. Asking the questions is what makes the stories form in my head.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Ah, all of it? LOL. Finding the time, staying motivated, plotting. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants but that doesn’t always work when I have deadlines, so sometimes I do have to plot and still after almost 20 published works, I struggle with that.

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster

Q&A: Patricia Eimer of OUT OF THIS WORLD

Out of This World Patricia Eimer

We’re here with the brilliant Patricia Eimer, author of Out of This World, out now! We’re not just geeking out over such a great sci-fi Romance author, we’re mentally high-fiving because we discovered Romance the exact. Same. Way. (And it took us nearly as long to come back to it).

Curious? Check out the Q&A below and don’t miss Out of This World!



What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

 Just so you know I do completely realize what a cliché I am with these.

  • Pride and Prejudice (and if you’re watching at my house there is just 1 version and that is the Colin Firth version ‘kay? We take our Darcy seriously here.)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Love, Actually (Are you sensing I have a thing for Colin Firth? Because I have a serious thing for Colin Firth).
  • North and South (it’s television but Richard Armitage in a cravat is worth letting the medium slide because this man could seriously unseat my Colin Firth Darcy love with the way he smolders in a cravat).

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn

Q&A: Libby Bishop of SON OF THUNDER

Son of Thunder Libby Bishop

Libby Bishop, one of the most exciting paranormal/erotic Romance authors out there has done us a kindness and answered some of our burning questions (Hey, don’t look at us like that. “Cake or pie?” is a very important question for some people.) and it’s fantastic! Her newest book, Son of Thunder, is out today!



What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

A Good Year (with Russell Crowe)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Romancing the Stone

Baby Boom

The Princess Bride


Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).

A Good Year

A Good Year: this photo is from one of my favorite scenes. Funny, but romantic and witty. This really showed the chemistry between these two characters.

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Guest Post

Kendra C. Highley’s Top Ten Reason The Princess Bride Is the Best Date Movie Ever

Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley

As one astute reader already pointed out, I have a couple of pretty significant Princess Bride references in Defying Gravity. The movie came out when I was in high school, and I’ve loved it ever since. To explain a little more, here are my top ten reasons why I think it’s the best date movie ever:


  1. It’s a love story, through and through. Wesley and Buttercup have “true love” and it’s there in everything he does for her.
  2. “As you wish” is practically akin to “I love you.” And seriously, who wouldn’t love to hear that from the guy/girl of your dreams?
  3. The. Giant. He’s a sweetheart who proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Besides, “Anybody Want a Peanut” gets laughs no matter how many times I watch it. But when you watch the movie next time, watch how often Fezzik chooses the path of friendship and love, even though everyone sees him as a brute.
  4. “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife! And after what you just said, I’m not sure I want to be that anymore!” The best talking down ever to a cynical, unromantic realist, by a wife who still believes in true love.
  5. The Dread Pirate Roberts—who doesn’t love a man in black? (As an aside, for my fellow Once Upon a Time fans…Killian Jones. Am I right?)
  6. But it’s more than the sexy pirate thing—it’s what Wesley goes through to rescue his true love from kidnappers: a climb up the “cliffs of insanity,” a sword fight, a wrestling match with a giant, a battle of wits (and poison) with a genius, a fall down a very long hill, a trip through a deadly forest, ROUSes, the pit of despair, and finally a rescue from an evil prince. I’m tired just thinking about it.
  7. How about the silly games you can play while you watch? Anyone else try to hold their breath as long as Buttercup during her descent into the lightning quicksand? Or seeing who can quote along with the movie for the longest? Yep, me, too.
  8. It’s funny. Dates don’t always have to be about wine and candles—sometimes a good laugh, while snuggled with your sweetheart under a blanket, can be just want you need.
  9. Four white horses—like any good romance, there’s an HEA. Our heroes ride off into the sunset on four gorgeous white horses (courtesy of Fezzik) and Wesley and Buttercup finally share their…
  10. “This is a kissing book?” The grandson’s change of heart about the kissing scenes in the story by the time his grandpa gets to the end of the book is one of the sweetest ways to end it—along with Peter Falk’s twinkle-eyed, “As you wish.”

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Q&A: Linda Winfree of ALL I NEED

All I Need Linda Winfree

Author of some of the steamiest and most riveting Romantic Suspense stories, Linda Winfree, has been so kind as to answer a few of our burning questions! Check out our interview below and don’t miss All I Need, out now!



What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

  1. Open Range
  2. Independence Day
  3. The Mummy
  4. Jurassic World
  5. Grease


Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).


  1. In Open Range, it’s so hard to choose only one scene – I adore the small scene where Sue is changing and Charley is cleaning mud from the carpet and catches a glimpse. My favorite though is the “I love you” scene where Charley tells Sue he won’t be one of her disappointments.
  2. Independence Day gives you not one, but three romances. Although it doesn’t end happily ever after, I adore the entire relationship between the President and First Lady.
  3. In The Mummy, I am in love with the obvious attraction and push-pull between O’Connell and Evie. It’s hard to pick a favorite scene because every scene with them is amazing.
  4. Jurassic World has some of this same romantic push pull between Owen and Claire. They want each other, are complete opposites, and don’t really want to want one another. I love how Claire, without being stupid, refuses to let Owen go it alone. Favorite scenes – atop the water fall, when Claire prepares herself for going into the wild and after the pterodactyl attack, when Claire saves Owen and they finally kiss.
  5. I know – you’re thinking my Grease couple is Danny and Sandy. Nope. Rizzo and Kenickie. They are amazing together, even when they are breaking one another’s hearts. Favorite scene? The Ferris Wheel.

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Daughters of the Bride Susan Mallery

We get to pick the brain of a Women’s Fiction legend and author of some of our favorite books to curl up with after a hard day, Susan Mallery! Check out our Q&A (and, by the way, we have never agreed more wholeheartedly to anything than her stance on jeans) for some really fun answers! Susan’s latest book, Daughters of the Bride, is out right now!



What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?


I’m going to change this question to “five of your favorites,” because I don’t really have five specific favorites. These are a few of the movies I’ve watched recently that made my heart sigh.


  • Love, Actually
  • Terminator (not kidding)
  • 16 Candles
  • Crazy, Stupid Love
  • Juno


Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).


Love, Actually

My husband and I watch Love, Actually every year during the Christmas season, and it gets me every time. Like with my latest book, Daughters of the Bride, it has several intertwining storylines that all come together to one beautiful, happy ending.

One scene that immediately springs to mind is when Colin Firth, a writer, sees his Portuguese housekeeper in a romantic light for the first time. They don’t speak the same language, but in this scene, they have a conversation that transcends the language barrier. He’s writing outside, the old-fashioned way, with a typewriter and a stack of pages, and when she brings him coffee, half of his pages blow into the lake. (A reminder to every writer: back up, back up, back up!) They both jump into the water, and what ensues is one of the funniest, most touching scenes of the movie.

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: L.A. Witt’s HIATUS

Hiatus L.A. Witt

Fans of M/M Romance, we’ve got a  taste of something special just for you! We fell in love with this emotional little sneak peek into L.A. Witt’s Hiatus the minute we jumped in. And now? You get to too! (Congrats!)

I couldn’t decide if I should take off my wedding ring or leave it on.

Lying in a small, borderline shitty hotel off the interstate in Amarillo, waiting for Nate to text me, I turned the gold band over and over between my fingers.

Cam had stopped wearing his almost immediately. No one asked him questions if he showed up without it. His clients were used to him not wearing one—he never wore his ring or his watch while he was working.

I worked in one of those offices where people noticed. A coworker had come in without his wedding ring once, and the whispers had started flying before he’d even reached his desk. Turned out he’d smashed his hand on something over the weekend. He’d wisely removed the ring before his finger had swelled up too much. A week later, the ring was back on, and when he brought his wife to the Christmas party a few months later, people finally stopped speculating about trouble in paradise.

If I didn’t wear mine, people would notice. And I really, really didn’t want to talk about it.

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Gatlinburg Getaway Crystal Jordan

Guess who has a Romance blog, several cups of tea, and a Q&A with the amazing Crystal Jordan? Us! We’re excited for so many reasons. Check out our Q&A below and don’t miss out on Gatlinburg Getaway, out right now!



What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?

The Fifth Element

Sweet Home Alabama

The Princess Bride

Pride and Prejudice (2005 film)

Four Weddings and a Funeral


Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).

The Fifth Element: Diva Song/fight scene:

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Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: Em Petrova’s KICKIN’ UP DUST

Kickin' Up Dust Em Petrova

Western Romance fans, we have something special just for you! When Danica loses her brother and Brodie loses his best friend, they consider a piece of themselves lost forever. Until they find each other. Two childhood friends come together in the wake of war and loss. The amazing Em Patrova is heating things up in this exclusive excerpt of Kickin’ Up Dust, out now!

Danica could almost feel her ovaries exploding as she drank in the image of Sergeant Brodie Bell. He must have packed on fifty pounds of solid muscle since going off to war with her brother. His arms were roped, his biceps bursting from his T-shirt sleeves. And mother of pearl, the way his jeans hung on his hips could make a girl go a little crazy.

Her nipples were two tight buds, and she feared he could see them distending her top, since she hadn’t bothered with a bra after her shower. All day long the torture device had dug into her shoulders and chafed her sides. Someday maybe she’d fabricate and patent a bra made for cowgirls. One a girl could rope and ride in without discomfort.

She watched Brodie’s face change as they stared at each other.

“You lost the braces.”

Oh hell. Was that all he saw when he looked at her? That she no longer had buck teeth? In school they’d called her Easter, because someone said her teeth resembled the Easter Bunny’s.

“Yeah, Pup. What of it?” She shot him a grin, quite aware of how perfect her problem area was now.

A ghost of a smile tipped the corner of his lips but he didn’t let it reach his eyes. Those were the deepest brown, nearly black. Cool, calculating almost. She could easily see how battle and probably the latest events had changed him.

“That nickname can’t rile me anymore. What do you think they called me in boot camp?” He extended his forearm, where a cute little black puppy was tattooed. Its jaws were wide open, and blood dripped off its fangs.

She noted the veins snaking over his arm and felt her nipples tighten further. What was the matter with her? This wasn’t the time for lust or the person to lust over. Matt was dead, and Brodie had the horrifying job of delivering his belongings to her parents.

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