Posts in the Contemporary genre

Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: The Story of Us by Tara Sivec

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How much can a man take before he breaks?

1,843 days. That’s how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I’ll do anything to get back to her.

Only Shelby Eubanks isn’t the girl I left behind all those years ago. She’s someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother’s ambitions. But I won’t give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.

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Check our our exclusive excerpt below! 


I just need a moment alone, to remember how to breathe and to remember how to push the hurt away so I can go back out there and do my job. Hold my head high with a smile on my face and pretend like dancing with Eli, being close to Eli, and letting him rain insults down on me, didn’t cut me in half.

As soon as I turn the handle and push open the office door, I feel something solid slam into me from behind, moving me faster into the dark room. I trip over my feet and an arm slides around my waist to steady me before whirling me around. I smell his soap and recognize his firm hold on me before the moonlight shining in the floor-to-ceiling windows behind me illuminates the shadow of his face, but that doesn’t stop the rapid thumping of my heart as the door is kicked shut with a slam and my body is turned and pushed roughly against the wall next to it. With the first touch of his hands, the first feel of the heat from his skin against me, I’m lost. I’m drowning in a pool of desire I’ve only ever felt with him, and I never want to come up for air. Every inch of my body is on fire, begging for more, needing everything I’ve been missing, but knowing everything about this moment is wrong. This can’t happen. I can’t want this and I certainly can’t act on what I’m feeling.

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance! Check out our exclusive excerpt below! 

“Stupid, stupid, stupid.” The clipped words matched her pace as she hurried to the Jeep. Honestly, she wouldn’t have minded Owen walking with her, but then he’d see what she was trying to hide.

Another painting of him.

What is wrong with me? She admonished herself. Twice in the last several weeks—and the only times she’d picked up a paint brush—and she’d ended up painting Owen. Today she painted him with the canyon as a backdrop as he looked through the telescope. She stopped and looked at the canvas and sighed.

It captured him perfectly.

Again.

“Ugh…I have to stop doing this!” At the Jeep, she placed her supplies in the trunk and locked it up and quickly headed back toward the campsite. The sun was setting fast and she wasn’t up for walking alone in the dark. As she walked by the public restroom, she stopped in to use it before going back to their site and when she got there, she smiled at the scene before her.

Owen had a fire going and had spread a blanket over the nearby bench and set their dinner up on it. All in all it looked very romantic and if she pushed her unease aside, she could allow herself to enjoy the moment and the effort Owen put in to it.

“It looks like dinner is served,” she said lightly as she walked over and sat down.

His smile was genuine and Brooke was sorry she’d run off a few minutes ago. Maybe he’d be flattered that she’d painted him…it was possible. The problem was that she was trying to wrap her own brain around why it was this man who took her out of every comfort zone she had and why.

They ate in silence for a few minutes. There was just the two of them and the sounds of nature all around. The campground was relatively empty and she wasn’t sure if it was a blessing or a curse just yet.

“So are we going to see anything amazing in the sky tonight?” she asked.

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Up All Night by Amanda Adams

Up All Night
Check out our exclusive excerpt of UP ALL NIGHT by Amanda Adams! 

Jessica was going to rip that surgeon a new asshole when she saw him. That was what she was going to do!

She plopped down in the recliner next to Tyler’s bed and tapped her foot on the floor at mach three.

Asshole. Jerk. Over-bearing, over-protective, know-it-all surgeon. So what if she had a different last name? So what if she was a reporter? Tyler was her twin, and Gabriel was her stepbrother from her mom’s second husband. He’d been her brother since she was twelve. Different last name? Yeah. But so fucking what? Gabriel and his brother and sister had a different dad, and Tyler had elected to keep their biological father’s name. Jessica preferred to think of her father as the sperm donor and had assumed her mother’s maiden name of Finley when she turned eighteen.

Dr. Walker probably wouldn’t understand any of that. He probably grew up in a house with a white picket fence, two parents who actually loved each other and stayed together forever, and a golden retriever named Max who played fetch and slept at the foot of his bed every night to chase the monsters away.

“Jerk.”

“What are you so mad about, Jess? I can feel the rage from over here.” Tyler’s hoarse voice brought her back from the land of imagining ways to torture Dr. Walker, some of which were beginning to distract her. She’d imagined stringing him up naked, but the whole naked thing had ruined it for her. Completely distracting thought. He was supposed to be old, and ugly, and annoying. Not young, gorgeous, and annoying.

“Oh, the jerk who operated on you got me kicked out of recovery. I told him I was a reporter and since we don’t have the same last name, he didn’t believe I was your sister.”

“Well, you’re here now.”

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Giveaway, Recommendations

GIVEAWAY: Summer Must-Reads by Mira Lyn Kelly

CVR The Wedding Date Bargain
I am so ready for my summer reads! I’m a huge reader and normally get some quality book snuggle every night—but this last month has been CRAZY and I’ve hardly had time to read at all. But we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m about to have my normal routine restored. In anticipation of the coming book binge, I’ve selected a handful of sexy summer reads guaranteed get my grin on.

Keep reading for giveaway details! 

 

51VKil6jC8LI KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE by Lauren Layne

Seriously, Lauren gives good RomCom. Her books are light and fresh and sexy and sizzly, and I always tell myself I’m going to try and make them last, but then end up devouring them in one sitting because they’re impossible to put down.

 

 

51aRAQ21SzLWICKED ABYSS by Kresley Cole

Meet my all time favorite author, Kresley. I use her first name like we’re best friends. We’ve never OFFICIALLY met, but I’m guessing after all the fan mail, she feels like we have. Like we’re sisters maybe. I bet she’s hoping we’ll get stuck in an elevator for eleven or twelve hours together too some day. She’d tell me stories and I’d give her the bottle of water from my bottomless purse. We’d bond while I recounted all my favorite parts of the books she wrote. It would NOT be creepy.

Anyhoo, this one’s the latest in her crack addictive series IMMORTALS AFTER DARK. But if you’ve already burned through that one, try the ARCANA CHRONICLES. Or if you’re feeling naughty… THE GAME MAKER series.

 

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: House Rules by Cathryn Fox

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What happens in London, doesn’t have to stay there…

 

The last thing I expected to find in my dossier was sexy stockings, a plane voucher to London and an invitation to dance at a gentleman’s club. I’m a quiet museum curator for God’s sake. No way, no how am I going to slide down a pole for a bunch of over privileged, narcissistic men—until I see Sean Fraser, my childhood crush, enter the establishment. Since I’m no longer that overweight teen with braces and mousey hair, there is no way he’ll recognize me. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll give him a fake name—and a private dance. That ought to make him finally notice me, right?

What the hell is Kennedy Lane doing sliding down a pole in a private Gentlemen’s club? I’m not sure, and while I know she’s hands off, I want her. I’ve always wanted her. She might have been too young for me back in the day. Now, not so much. Hands off leads to hands on after a private dance, and while Kennedy spends the weekend pretending to be someone she isn’t, I know full well who she is. And I’m not quite ready to let her hang up her stockings when the show is over.

Check out an exclusive excerpt of HOUSE RULES below!


Oh. My. God.

I’ve heard the term fucked silly before, but until last night, I had no idea what it meant. Now, I do, because instead of putting sugar in my coffee, I grabbed the salt packet and added it. But I don’t care that Sean fucked me senseless and I’m messing up the most menial task. Zero brain cells this morning is a small price for the three orgasms he gave me last night. Talk about epic sex. If only I could wipe the stupid smile off my face.

Honestly, I can’t freaking believe he tied my hands—spanked me, even. I never expected that. But holy hell, it was hot.

I’d sneaked out in the middle of the night after he fell asleep. If I know what’s good for me, I’ll jump on a plane today and get the hell out of London while the getting’s good. Any more time with him and it’s quite possible I could want more. But heck, we agreed to a one-night affair, and he doesn’t know who I am, anyway.

I gesture to the waiter for a fresh cup of coffee and peruse the brochures I’d grabbed from the front lobby. But in my peripheral vision, I spot Sean and the man he was with the day I arrived entering the hotel’s dining room. Heat moves through me as his gaze slides over mine, and when his mouth quirks in a smile and he runs his hand down his tie, I quiver deep between my legs.

Oh, God, who do you think you’re kidding, Kennedy? You do want more.

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Guest Post

Thirty-Seven Foster Dogs, Kids and a Suicidal Fish by Hayson Manning

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To save her family’s business, fledging CEO Daisy Cater must win the bid on a resort on St. Maarten. There’s a small catch, though. The seller insists all bidders visit the island and experience the singles retreat firsthand. This wouldn’t be so bad…if only rule-maker Daisy weren’t paired with her bitter rival, the hot and broody Alexander Gillard. Keeping her enemy close just became a whole lot harder.

Alexander “Zan” Gillard didn’t expect to be partnered with gorgeous Daisy at the idyllic singles retreat. A challenge that has them cuffed together ignites an explosive chemistry, and soon Zan wants more than four days with this bewitching woman who is nothing like he expected her to be.

But their families are at odds and reality awaits them at home, along with a betrayal that threatens to blow their newfound trust apart…


Thirty-Seven Foster Dogs, Kids and a Suicidal Fish.

Daisy in Taming the CEO has a cat, Virgil who is a serial stealer and I based Virgil on our cat Bob who has hauled a mousetrap still with the cheese in, a cooked pork chop, a man’s shoe, banana, and underwear – he has no preference, male and female.

We here in Casa Manning love animals, and we’ve had our share.

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Recommendations

Heroines Rocking Tattoos by Roan Parrish

Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.

Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.

When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.

Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.


Heroines Rocking Tattoos

In my new romance, Small Change (Small Change #1), Ginger Holtzman is a tattoo artist and the owner of a tattoo shop. No surprise: she’s covered in tattoos. I’m a huge fan of the art form, and I also love to give myself stick and poke tattoos for fun wink. So, to celebrate the beauty of tattoos, here are five awesome tattooed heroines!

51P7h-ZjQwL._SY346_Allie Beckstrom, Allie Beckstrom series, by Devon Monk

In this urban fantasy set in a Portland bursting with unevenly distributed magic, Allie is a Hound—she uses magic to track the casters of spells. Allie’s father is rich, powerful, and (you guessed it!) evil. And when Allie finds out how evil, she knows she needs to go it on her own. She’s talented, impulsive, and stubborn as hell, which leads to her making life pretty damn hard for herself, not just because she’s leery of trusting anyone, but because when she meets hottie, Zayvion, she’s convinced that there’s far more to him than meets the eye.

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Exclusive Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE CHAPTER EXCERPT: Caught Up In Raine by LG O’Connor

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“DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER MODEL”

Forty-two and widowed, romance writer Jillian Grant believes hospitals equal death. Plagued by loss and convinced more is imminent when her aunt ends up in critical condition after heart surgery; she has come to equate the absence of pain with happiness. When she spots a hot, young landscaper working on the hospital grounds with an eerie resemblance to the male lead in her next novel, she convinces him to pose as her cover model.

Working multiple jobs to put himself through college, twenty-four-year-old Raine MacDonald is no stranger to loss. Behind his handsome face and rockin’ body lies family tragedy and agonizing secrets. When circumstances put him back in the path of his abusive father, fate delivers Jillian as his unwitting savior. Thing is, when he thinks of her, his thoughts are far from platonic.

Despite their age difference, Jillian and Raine discover they’re more alike than they could ever imagine. But torn between facing her own fears and grasping a chance at happiness, Jillian makes a soul-shattering decision that threatens to blow their world apart.

Check out our exclusive excerpt of the first chapter below! 


Exclusive Excerpt: Chapter 1

Jillian

BEEP . . . BEEP . . . BEEP . . .

Unable to keep my hands still, I entwine my ringless fingers so tightly the bones grind together and almost cut off my circulation. The steady rhythm of the heart monitor should be reassuring. But it’s not. To me, it’s a harbinger of death. Counterintuitive, I know, but then again, all I’ve ever experienced here is death.

I lost my husband Robert two years ago, Dad two before that, Mom thirty years ago, and Drew, my first love, in between. Granted, a lot of time has passed since Mom and Drew died, but those four times were my only experiences in a hospital before today.

The antiseptic smell only intensifies my despair. It might seem strange, but I’d rather be hit by a bus and die instantly than end up in this place.

“Jillian?”

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Uncategorized

Top 5 Reasons Emma and Julian Need To Be Together

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  1. They have a secret language.They trace letters on each other’s skin and can actually communicate. Have you ever tried that in real life? When I was a kid, my friends and I would try to write messages on each other’s backs and, let me tell you, it is

    H
    I or wait is it an A

    H
    A
    P actually make than an R

    H
    A
    R
    D.
  2. They’re already parabatai.

    The Clave’s got it all wrong here that the fact they’re already bound together as parabatai is a curse. (Even though the reason why romantic love between parabatai is forbidden is still a secret at the time of this post so I really don’t know what I’m talking about.)

    Of course, parabatai should be together. They know they can make a serious commitment to each other, because they’ve already done it.

    Somebody make me a member of the Clave, already. I need some voting power. *Bangs gavel* 
  3. They already know that they would be good parents. At this point, Julian is less of an older brother and more of a father figure to his siblings. Emma already fits into Julian’s family perfectly. Bringing someone else into the mix would just be weird. 
  4. Their names sound nice together. (Is anyone else really hung up on names? Let me know in the comments!)
  5. Because of quotes like these:

    LOS_banner“We are bound together, Emma, bound together—I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”

    “You’ll fix me, because we’re parabatai. We’re forever.”

    “How long have you been drawing me?”
    He sighed. A moment later his hand came to rest in her hair. His fingers twined in the strands. “My whole life.”
Guest Post

Getting to Know Oneself as a Contemporary YA Romance Writer by Lizzy Charles

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I have a confession to make: I’m that author who is writing outside of the genre she originally intended to dominate. Some may call me a quitter, but I prefer to think I’m quick to know myself.

Before writing, my reading tastes gravitate toward fantasy and dystopian novels. Just let me escape this world, you know? So when I decided to write my first book, obviously it’d be a bout a troll, a pirate, and a cursed princess (yes the story was as horrible as it sounds). It’s funny how you think you are made for something but then when you really sit down and give it a go, you realize you were so wrong. Pretty sure I only made it through four or five paragraphs before I realized I’d die of boredom from my own world building before I’d ever type “the end.”

So I scratched that approach and revisited an old, favorite novel of mine, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and found exactly what I was looking for. The conversations she wrote drove the story. I opened my laptop and plopped myself in the middle of a conversation between two kids and it felt like I was a wild horse running along the coast. I was made to write conversation driven contemporary romance!

The more I learned while writing contemporary romance, the more addicted I became to the genre. Rainbow Rowell’s novel Eleanor and Park became my cornerstone for the genre and the ultimate level I hope to aspire to.  That woman knows how to write like no one else I know! Anytime I’m feeling stuck or discourage, I’ll open her book up and breathe in the authenticity of her characters and their relationship. It’s that exact authenticity I knew I had to capture while writing my newest novel, It had to be You.

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