Are you ready for Austin and Thatch 

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Cheater’s Regret, an all-new sexy standalone from #1 New York Times Bestseller Rachel Van Dyken is available now on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!!

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Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: May 23rd

Genre: Contemporary Romance

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken returns with a smoking-hot story about the satisfaction of plotting revenge on your ex—until he turns your world upside down again.

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…

Excerpt:

“You want to do this right now?” He was still whispering as he slowly extended his large perfect surgeon’s hands out to the spider, and suddenly, I realized how this would end.

The spider would bite him.

Thatch’s bite would get infected.

And he wouldn’t be able to do his job.

Or pay off his student loans.

Leaving him in debt.

On the street.

Naked.

Dead.

Thatch was going to die.

“Wait!” I slowly lowered my body to the floor. Fear pounded in my ears as I held out my hands and Charlie lumbered onto my palms. It tickled. It would be nice if I weren’t so terrified of spiders.

Shaking, I walked over to the bucket and gently set him inside, this time, right side up so Thatch could transport him later. Just as I pulled my hands away, something sharp dug into my skin.

“Mother fu—”

Thatch grabbed me just before I collapsed against the floor, hands shaking and pain searing through my right thumb.

Before I knew what was happening, Thatch was carrying me over to the couch. Soft pillows met my back as he grabbed my thumb and held it close to his face.

“Am I going to die?” I whimpered. “Because the Discovery Channel [PS1] said tarantula bites feel like bee stings—they’re liars from the pit of hell!”

Thatch narrowed his eyes at the puffy red mark and then slowly dropped my hand to my side. “You’ll live.”

“Well, that’s encouraging. Don’t I at least get a sticker? A sucker? For saving your life?”

“You?” He chuckled and joined me on the couch. “Saved my life by getting bit by a tarantula?”

“Keep up!” Talking was at least distracting me from the throbbing pain. At least it had dulled a bit, though the fact that I had spider venom in my hand made me cringe. “If it bit you, you wouldn’t be able to do your job.”

He seemed thoughtful. “You mean I’d finally get a vacation where I’m allowed to sleep for longer than three hours?”

“Well, when you put it that way,” I grumbled, and tried to cross my arm, then hissed as pain exploded down my hand.

He grabbed it again. “At least the venom is weak, it’s really just the puncture wound from the spider’s fangs that causes the swelling.”

“Well, that’s disappointing on so many levels. I save your life and I don’t even get to turn into Spider-Man.”

“Tough luck, maybe next time.” He winked.

It was nice.

Sitting with him on the couch.

My legs on his lap.

My eyes focused on his mouth.

Abort! Abort!

I quickly looked away but not fast enough—he caught me staring where I shouldn’t have been staring, and I felt like a complete loser for still lusting after him the way I was.

What was it about Thatch?

Other than everything?

He was brilliant. Hardworking. Gorgeous. And he fought spiders on behalf of a girl he’d dumped.

Damn it.

“This leads nowhere,” he said in a hollow voice. “You understand that, right?”

It was like he’d just handed me the world’s happiest balloon and then popped it with a giant needle.

I was utterly defeated and deflated.

Even though I knew going into this there was no hope of us getting back together, I’d officially turned into that sad, pathetic clinger.

I’d always made fun of “those girls.”

And now “that girl” stared back at me in my own stupid mirror.

I let out a long sigh and nodded slowly. “This is strictly business, Thatch. You know how important this class is to me, how important getting my MBA is to me.”

He looked away, his jaw clenched. “Parents still MIA for the most part?”

I nodded.

“And the reelection, I imagine your dad wants you to join his mayoral campaign again?”

A sick feeling grew in the pit of my stomach.

To my parents, I was a trophy. Something shiny and pretty they could trot out to gain votes from families who appreciated their having taken time out of their busy lives to sire a child.

Granted, I knew my parents loved me.

They just loved me in their own way—the only way they knew how.

“I have to graduate,” I stressed again. “The job market’s fierce out there, and an MBA will help with that. The sooner I graduate, the sooner I can start my own life away from all of this.” I lifted my hands into the air.

This just happened to be a mansion.

A huge mansion.

With three interconnected swimming pools.

A tennis court.

Two movie rooms.

And a bowling alley.

I think I’d prefer anything but this. If I could choose to live in a dump with my parents and we’d be a family or I could have a mansion and scarcely see them.

I’d choose the dump every time.

“I’ll do my best to help you.” He lifted my legs off his lap. “But first, we ride.”

I blushed. I couldn’t help it.

“You can’t do that anymore,” he whispered, his blue eyes piercing. “You can’t blush when I say things like that.”

“Sorry.”

He muttered a curse and walked away. I could have sworn he adjusted himself near the door, but I was too busy hiding behind the couch to fully commit to ogling him.

“Where’s your bike?” he called over his shoulder before turning around.

“In the garage. It’s kind of dark now, though, let’s ride tomorrow after work.” I totally said it without stuttering or blushing.

“Fine.” He looked exhausted.

“Don’t forget the spider.” I pointed at the bucket. “And don’t let it loose in nature. We can’t have that bastard procreating with another, smaller spider and creating zombie spider babies that take over the world.”

He just stared at me like I’d lost my mind.

And then shook his head as a smile played across his face. “You’re entertaining, I’ll give you that.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you.”

“It was meant to be one.”

We froze, both of us smiling at each other.

“Sleep,” I whispered. “You’ve got a busy day tomorrow.”

“Yup.” He gripped the bucket in one hand; the muscles in his forearm flexed. “Take some ibuprofen and ice the spider bite. If you feel any muscle weakness or tightness in your chest, let me know and I’ll prescribe you something.”

“Ah, the power of the pen.”

He rolled his eyes and waved with his free hand. “See you tomorrow morning at eight, Austin.” He hesitated in the doorway. “Be sure to wear something work-appropriate.”

“Oh, so you want me to wear a bike uniform?”

He flipped me off and quietly shut the door against my laughter.

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Now Available on Amazon & Free in Kindle Unlimited!

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Meet the Author:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

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Connect with the Author:

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

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Cassy Maria’s Review of Cheater’s Regret 

Rachel Van Dyken has done it again; Cheater’s Regret is non-stop laughs and brings on the feels. We first met Thatch and Austin in the first book of the series Cheater and I was so happy when I found out that Thatch and Austin would get their own story, let me tell you Cheater’s Regret did not disappoint. Rachel Van Dyken has created two power house characters in Austin and Thatch, Austin has such spunk and determination and I mean you can’t help but fall in love with Thatch. Cheater’s Regret has such a great storyline that will keep you hooked from the very first words; I could not put it down. I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s work and you will love this fun and witty romantic comedy.

Get Ready for Brie and JoHo

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Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.

Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.

 

 

When Tricksie started to bark more frantically as he put his hat on, he looked down at her. “Two seconds, baby.”
She continued to bark as he grabbed his keys before reaching for the door, which she took off out of. He went to tell her to calm down, but before he could, he heard a woman’s voice, “Oh, my goodness! Hello!”
Peeking his head out the door, he found Brie on the ground. On her back, her arms around Tricksie as she jumped and licked her to death. “Oh, my God! Hello. My name is Brie. You are the cutest little dog I’ve ever seen in my whole life. Yes, you are. What is your name? Tricksie? Oh, my goodness, I just love you, I do. Is that your name because you are a three-legged baby and your daddy thinks he’s awesome at scoring hat tricks? I bet so.”
“For your information, yes.”
Brie just grinned as she continued to kiss and love on Tricksie. Which Tricksie was eating up like mad. “Do you want a treat? Treat? Ah, come on.”
Then she yanked the leash out of Vaughn’s hand before picking Tricksie up and kissing her head. “Hey, that’s my dog.”
“I know,” was all she said before pushing her door open and taking his dog into her apartment.
“Can I have her back?” Peeking his head in her door, he watched as she went to the kitchen, grabbing a treat bag before putting Tricksie on the counter and feeding her.
“Don’t worry, they’re all-natural treats. The guys across the hall in my last building had four French Bulldogs, and I used to give them treats until they went into food comas.”
Tricksie was going crazy, obviously falling for the blond-haired beauty who stood before her. Like the day before when they had moved Rodney in, she was wearing jeans and a shirt that he assumed said something witty. He couldn’t see because she was still cuddling Tricksie as she fed her. “You shouldn’t give treats to other people’s dogs.”
She looked up from Tricksie, her lips still curved in the most beautiful grin he had ever seen on her face. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Is it okay if I continue to feed her?”
Why did he find her so lovely at that moment? Her hair was a mess, tucked into a knit cap, yet she looked like someone he could cuddle with. If he cuddled. Not that he cuddled. Unsure of his feelings, he shrugged. “She needs to pee.”
“Okay, one more,” she said sweetly before feeding Tricksie and then kissing her hard on the head. “You can come in.”
He didn’t like how she was making him feel. It was weird. Like he wanted to go behind her, bury his nose in her hair, and just hold her. She looked so damn gorgeous, snuggling his dog and making her feel like the princess she was. Vaughn’s hands itched to touch Brie, and he didn’t understand that. He never itched for anything. He fucked women and moved on, but watching Brie as she acted a fool with his dog, he wanted to…cuddle.
Why did he keep thinking that?
Grumbling at his stupidity, he entered, shutting the door but staying right by it. “She really does need to pee.”
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” she said, kissing Tricksie again. “I really love dogs. I never got to have one growing up. Rodney is allergic to them.”
He nodded. “Yeah, Jensen said he had to put her up when Rod came over the other day.”
“It sucks, but I love them so much. They’re so much fun, and bless her, she’s gorgeous. What happened to her leg?”
“Hit by a car. I adopted her like that. She came in hurt, and they fixed her up.”
Her eyes lit up. “That’s sweet you adopted her. She looks happy as all get-out.”
“She’s spoiled, that’s for sure.”

 

 

Watch the trailer HERE
   

 

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?
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Cassy Maria’s Review of Delayed Call
Never did I ever think that Toni Aleo would create a couple who would be able to top my all time favourite Shea and Elli…Enter Vaughn and Brie. I’m not even sure as to where to start with my review on how much I fell in love with Vaughn and Brie’s story, I don’t want to give anything away!
Delayed Call has its all the witty banter between the Brie and Vaughn characters and priceless one liners that will have you on the floor laughing and…the tears, yes readers tears! Get ready for an emotional read that will have you grabbing for Kleenex! Let’s not also forget to mention the steam up your kindle sexiness in this book!
Toni also did an amazing job with Jensen and Rodney these two characters are just adorable and loved them both and I seriously cannot wait to get Jensen’s story!
 Delayed call has been hands down one of my favourites out Toni Aleo’s Assassins series, Toni created such powerful and memorable characters that will stay with you for a very long time!

Get Ready to fall in love with JoHo

 

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Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.

Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.

 

“I need help with a couch.”
“A couch?” Vaughn asked, sliding his feet into his tennis shoes as Jensen did the same.
“Yeah,” Shea said as they both followed him out. “Brie Soledad was telling Elli she wasn’t sure how she was going to get her couch up into her apartment because it won’t fit in the elevator, and I said I’d come help. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, the doorman can help or something. But apparently, he’s on restriction from lifting shit, so that brings you two into this. Plus, this couch isn’t cheap, and it’s heavy.”
Hearing Brie’s name, Vaughn stopped, glaring. But Jensen pulled him along, shaking his head to keep him from saying anything. Which was probably the right call. Shea didn’t need to hear his drama, and also, there was the possibility of dropping the couch on her.
He didn’t mean that.
Okay, he did, but he didn’t want to kill her. Maybe just break her toe.
No one needs all their toes.
Well, she would if she wore those naughty red peep toe boots she had…
Rolling his eyes at his pathetic obsession with her, he looked at the ground as they rode the elevator down as Jensen said, “I don’t know why she didn’t hire someone to move her.”
Shea shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“I don’t think she has the money,” Vaughn found himself saying, and Jensen looked back at him.
“Don’t be a douche.”
“What? I meant that nicely,” he tried as the doors opened. His eyes landed on Brie, who was standing by a big-ass sofa, her arms crossed over her chest and her little chin up in the air. She didn’t want this, it was written on her face, but then, no one said no to Shea Adler.
Well, except Elli Adler.
And his daughters.
“Nothing you say is ever nice,” Jensen shot back as they got out, and Vaughn’s eyes met Brie’s. Heading toward her, Jensen called out, “Brie, I told you that you could call me to help.”
“I don’t ask for help very well. Elli had to ask Shea,” she admitted with a shrug. “Sorry about this.”
“Don’t be sorry. It’s fine.”
“Yeah, it’s only six floors worth of stairs, but who’s counting?” Vaughn joked.
Brie’s gaze cut to Vaughn’s. “I didn’t ask you to help.”
“Technically, you didn’t ask anyone, but here we all are.”
She glared, and he glared back as Jensen rolled his eyes. “They fight a lot.”
“Are they dating?” Shea asked.
“God, no,” Brie yelled, which made Vaughn scoff.
“She wishes.”
“Please.”
“No, thank you.”
“No? No, thank you, what?”
“No, I won’t date you,” he said calmly, which only made her face turn bright red as the rage settled in her eyes.
“You asshole, I was saying please because I wouldn’t date you if you were the last man on earth and I hadn’t been laid in years!”
Vaughn paused as Jensen shook his head and Shea looked on excitedly. “Well, that’s not nice. How dare you not want to help the world make a comeback? Do you not care for humankind? It would be our job to bring back the human race.”
“No, and I’d probably kill you just to make my point.”
Feigning shock, Vaughn held in his laughter as he accused, “You’re ruthless, Ms. Soledad.”
“You have no idea, JoHo.”

 

 

Watch the trailer HERE
   

 

 

 

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.
I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?
Author Links

 

 

 

☀️☀️Southern Desire is here!!!☀️☀️

Title: Southern Desire
Series: Southern Heart #2
Author: Kaylee Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Blurb

After experiencing heartache and loss, Whitney decides it’s time to move on and leave the past behind, while keeping the pain with her. Finding her way to Kentucky to be with family, she’s finally settling and feeling some happiness. She meets Aaron and he’s slowly showing her how to live again. But, what Aaron doesn’t know, is the deep secret she’s keeping from him.

Aaron doesn’t believe in spending time with women he doesn’t see a future with. Love, to him was black and white, until found her way into his life.

She’s his one and he’s her strength.

The overshadowing secret plaguing Whitney’s mind drivers her away, leaving Aaron and everyone she met behind.

Will Aaron find his way to Whitney again?

Or was their love something that most people desired and never found?

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio

Kaylee
Ryan has had a passion for reading since she was a little girl. That passion
has slowly led to spinning romantic tales, and a one-click addiction. When she
doesn’t have her nose stuck in her kindle or fingers glued to the keyboard, you
can find Kaylee hanging out with friends and family. She loves all genres of
music, and enjoys scrapbooking. She lives in Ohio with her husband (her real life
happily ever after) and their rambunctious little boy.

Author Links
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Cassy Maria’s Review of Southern Desire https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Kaylee Ryan releases an emotional roller coaster with Southern Desire.


Whitney has suffered a great loss, knowing that she has to try and move on she moves in with her cousin. A new change of life and being with family is what Whitney needs the most. Whitney is thrown for a loop when she meets Aaron, he’s her new boss’ brother; he’s sweet and sexy all rolled into one! 

Aaron has always been taught when the one comes you’ll know, and Whitney just might be the one. Aaron can feel the connection between himself and Whitney but after the loss she has suffered will Whitney be ready?


Grab your keleenex boxes people, this book brought on massive tears!! It’s beautiful and heartbreaking with a ray of sunshine mixed in one. Southern Desire just might be my favourite book of Kaylee Ryan so far. I loved the chemistry and banter between Whitney and Aaron, it was also nice to catch up with some of Kaylee Ryan’s past character who make an appearance. Southern Desire is a must read!

🔥🔥🔥 Double Cover Reveal from Penelope Douglas 🔥🔥🔥

NEXT TO NEVER is a digital novella that releases on January 17th and THE NEXT FLAME is the print edition of Next to Never, and the previously published novella, Aflame, into one book that releases on May 2nd. 

About NEXT TO NEVER


Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn Caruthers has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood still holds her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man, and knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.


But years ago, Lucas left town and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore. 


Until a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn her world upside down. She’s never asked about the path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start. 


As she starts to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Are You Ready to Meet Ball Peen Hammer?

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Blurb

Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter–at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.

Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.

Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”–which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.

Not. At. All.

No freakin’ way.

Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.

Which I did.

Hard.

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Excerpt

Keane looks around the small motel room while I sit in a rickety chair, watching him. He seems nervous, though I can’t imagine why. Isn’t this what he does for a living?

“There isn’t a lot of room to maneuver in here,” Keane says, biting the inside of his cheek. “I’m not gonna be able to do most of my usual moves.”

            “No judgment here,” I say. “Just jiggle a little bit and I’m sure I’ll be duly impressed.”

            Keane rolls his eyes. “I don’t jiggle, Maddy. I dance.”

“Okay, gyrate. Writhe. Shake your booty. Whatever. I’m just saying I’m easy to please.”

Keane twists his mouth, still surveying the small space. “I can’t do any of my acrobatics or flips in here. This is gonna be pretty lame, actually.” He sighs. “And I’ll definitely have to use the bed for some stuff. Okay? Otherwise, there’s no place to maneuver.”

            I bite my lip, trying not to smile. “Do whatever you think is best,” I say. “I won’t know the difference. It’s my first lap dance, remember?”

            Keane furrows his eyebrows adorably. “Okay. But just so you know I’m usually way more exciting than what you’re about to see.”

            I purse my lips and flare my nostrils, trying to keep a huge smile at bay. Why the heckity-heck does Keane seem so freaking nervous? “Don’t worry,” I say. “I’ll mention the cramped performing space when I write my Yelp review.”

“Hang on.” Without warning, he leans over me, giving me a whiff of his delicious, soapy scent, grabs ahold of either side of my chair, and rotates me a quarter turn so I’m facing the length of the narrow “alley” between the beds and the dresser. “Okay, that’s better,” Keane says. “Gives me a little more room to work with.” He grabs a shirt from his duffel bag and throws it over the lamp on the nightstand, further dimming the already low lighting in the room. “Can I use your laptop to play some music?”

“Sure.” I motion to my computer on the bed and tell him the password.

After calling up something on my computer, Keane places the laptop onto the dresser to my left. “Press play on the song when I cue you,” he says.

“Yes, sir.”

Keane positions himself a few feet in front of me, his head bowed, his hands clasped in front of his crotch, his legs spread into an athletic stance, but before he can do anything else, I burst into a manic giggle.

Keane looks up. “You okay?”

“Yeah. Sorry. I just realized I’ve paid a male stripper for a private lap dance in a motel room.” I snicker. “Okay. I’m good now. Proceed.” I exhale and shake out my arms.

After a beat, Keane puts his head down again, but then immediately raises his face to look at me again. “Picture colorful lights swirling around the room, okay?”

“Ooooh. Aaaaaaah. Pretty.”

Keane levels me with the most hilariously annoyed expression he’s ever flashed at me (which is saying a lot). “Are you gonna be sardonic this entire time, or can you at least try to act like a normal pickle with a dollar bill?”

“Sorry. I will most definitely relax and act like a normal pickle with a dollar bill, starting now.”

“Thank you.” He takes a deep breath, shakes out his arms, clasps his hands in front of his crotch again, and lowers his head. “Cue music,” he says.

I dutifully reach over to my computer and press play on the song Keane’s got cued up on YouTube: “Pony” by Ginuwine, of course.

The song begins blaring in the small room. But Keane doesn’t move. To the contrary, through the first familiar chords of the iconic song, Keane remains stock-still, apparently letting anticipation build the same way Channing Tatum did when he danced to this song in Magic Mike. And I must say his tactic is working like a charm: I’m transfixed.

But, still, Keane doesn’t move, other than to subtly flex the muscles on his forearms.

Finally, after a few bars of the song, Keane begins moving his hips and slowly touching his chest over the fabric of his tight black T-shirt—an understated move that most definitely piques my interest—and when the song reaches Ginuwine’s vocals, Keane’s magnificent body finally springs to animated life, jerking and gyrating to the beat of the music.

            Whoa. Hotness. I had no idea Keane could move like this. He’s as fluid as mercury.

            “Woohoo!” I scream. “Yeah, baby! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout!”  

            Keane smirks at me, as if to say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” He thrusts his pelvis in rapid succession and then glides back a step, his body shuddering.

            “Channing’s got nothing on you, baby!” I shout.

            Keane’s body is bending and twisting now, undulating like an upright worm along with the song.

“Yeah, baby!” I shout.

In one easy motion, Keane leans completely back, touches the ground with his fingertips, and then pops back up to standing.

            “Wow!” I scream.

            Keane’s suddenly on his hands in the tight space and then back on his feet, and then he’s dry humping the floor with jaw-dropping thrusts, much to my shrieking delight. Then he’s back on his feet, peeling off his T-shirt while thrusting his pelvis into the air like he’s in the throes of extremely rough sex. Holy hell, Keane’s sweatpants are riding so low on his hips, it’s a wonder they’re not falling off when he’s moving like that.

            “Woohoo!” I shriek, laughing gleefully.

            Keane throws his T-shirt onto the bed and shoots me a smolder so intense, my breathing hitches.

            “Sexy,” I whisper, my voice barely audible, though I’d intended to scream the word.

            In a flash, Keane’s standing over me as I sit in my chair, his body heat wafting over me. Right in time with the music, he picks my chair up off the ground with me in it, making me shriek, and then quickly releases my seat to the ground while holding my body up by my ass.

            I open my mouth to say, “Hey, I remember that from the movie,” but before I can get the words out, Keane’s got my thighs on his shoulders and my crotch in his face.

“Oh my . . .” is all I can manage to eek out as Keane shakes his head into my crotch like a voracious dog with a bone. But before I can say anything more, Keane’s strong arms are cradling my back and lowering me confidently onto the bed.

“Oh my God,” I gasp. “Wow.”

In a flash, Keane’s on top of me, his forearms resting on either side of my head, his pelvis dry-humping me to the beat of the song.

“Whoa. At least buy me a drink first, big guy,” I say.

Keane flips me onto my stomach and, an instant later, his pelvis is driving into my ass in cadence with the sexy music.

            “Okay, now I’m gonna need dinner and dessert,” I say.

            Keane exhales from behind me and stops moving. After a beat, he flips me over onto my back and straddles me with his strong thighs, his knees on either side of my hips, his sweatpants riding low. “Are you not feeling this at all?” he asks, his breathing labored.

“Oh,” I say, taken aback. I feel my cheeks blush a deep crimson. “Am I supposed to be reacting differently? I’m sorry.”

“No, I just mean . . .” He stares down at me for a long beat, his blue eyes blazing, his muscles tensing. “This isn’t turning you on at all?”

Oh. Um. Of course, it is. I mean, you’re gorgeous. Look at you. And your smoove mooves are amazing. I especially liked that back-door-action simulation.”

            There’s a long beat of silence as Keane stares at me, apparently rendered speechless.

Damn. I feel like I’m saying exactly the wrong thing here. “And, hey, you did that oral-sex simulation from the movie even better than Channing Tatum,” I add, filling the awkward silence.

Keane’s eyes are burning. Wordlessly, he grabs my hands and places them above my head on the bed, his eyes boring holes into my face like laser beams. But he doesn’t speak.

“Um,” I say. I swallow hard. Whoa, this is kinda hot all of a sudden. “And, um, when you ripped off your shirt,” I whisper, my heartbeat suddenly raging in my ears, “that part was really . . . ” I trail off, too flustered to finish my sentence. Wow, this is suddenly really, really hot.

Keane lets out a shaky breath but, still, he doesn’t speak. He slides his palms into mine and clasps my fingers. “That part was really what?” he finally asks softly, his eyes flickering with heat.

“Cool?”

Keane smirks. He releases my fingers and slides his palms out of mine, down past my wrists and forearms, over my armpits, all the way down to my ribcage, where he finally lets his hands come to a rest mere inches from my breasts.

I open my mouth to speak, thinking I should fill the silence between us, but I’m suddenly too overcome to form words. Every inch of the flesh Keane just touched is tingling like crazy. And I’m hyper-aware of the placement of his warm, strong hands on my body. If he moved them a mere inch, he’d be touching my breasts.

“Did I do anything at all to get your motor running?” Keane asks softly, his eyes locked with mine, his pelvis heavy on top of me.

I let out a long exhale to steady myself. I’m really not sure how to answer Keane’s question. Honestly, this thing he’s doing to me right now is getting my motor running ten times more than the actual “lap dance” he performed a few minutes ago.

When I don’t reply to his question, Keane slides his hands up from my ribcage—over my armpits, past the sensitive undersides of my arms, across my forearms and wrists—and into my palms again.

But he remains quiet.

Good God, what’s he doing to me? He’s wreaking havoc on my body with the simplest of touches.

Keane leans over me, his eyes burning like coals, his fingers intertwined in mine. “You weren’t feeling it at all?” he whispers.

 “Oh, no, I totally was,” I sputter. “It’s just that . . . um . . .” I begin. I take a deep breath, gathering myself. “When you did your whole stripper-thing, it felt like you were doing a Channing Tatum impression—like you were playing a character, rather than just being Keane.” I swallow hard. “And . . . um.” I shut my mouth. Keane’s begun gliding his hands from my palms down toward my torso again, and I’m too overcome with tingles to speak further.

“And . . ?” Keane coaxes as he runs his hands down and then back up my arms, his body hulking over mine.

My heart is pounding like a freakin’ jackhammer. And so is my crotch. What the heck is this shirtless boy doing to me, pinning me here on the bed and caressing my bare flesh like that? He’s turning me into a freakin’ pile of goo. “And . . .” I swallow hard again.

“Tell me,” Keane says.

Shoot. I really don’t think I should say the words on the tip of my tongue. Once I say them, I won’t be able to stuff them back in again, after all—and, as sexy as Keane is—and, damn, he’s most definitely sexy—I have no intention of nudging this friendship of ours outside the friend zone.

Or do I?

 “And . . ?” Keane prompts again, his face on fire.

I exhale a long, shaky breath. “And I think,” I begin, my tongue thick and clumsy in my mouth. “Um. It turns out . . . I think Keane Morgan is . . . much . . . sexier . . . than Ball Peen Hammer.” I take a deep breath. “Much, much sexier.”

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Ball Peen Hammer is a sexy romantic comedy about a stripper who will make you swoon!

Meet Keane in this STANDALONE Romance

Releasing on July 25th!

(No Prior reading required)

Add it to your TBR: http://bit.ly/1WOAJbg

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About the Author

Lauren Rowe

USA Today and international bestselling author Lauren Rowe lives in San Diego, California, where, in addition to writing books, she performs with her dance/party band at events all over Southern California, writes songs, takes embarrassing photos of her Boston terrier, Buster, spends time with her family, and narrates audiobooks. Much to Lauren’s thrill, her books have been translated all over the world in multiple languages and hit multiple domestic and international bestseller lists. To find out about Lauren’s upcoming releases and giveaways, sign up for Lauren’s emails atwww.LaurenRoweBooks.com or say hi to her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (@laurenrowebooks).

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Empire Book Tour

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EMPIRE

BY Rachel Van Dyken

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Must Read ELUDE prior to Empire

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SYNOPSIS:

I have lost everything.

My purpose

My love

My soul

Death knocks on my door, I want to answer, but every time I reach for the handle — the promise I made her brings me back.

So I breathe.

I live.

I hate.

And I allow the anger to boil beneath the surface of a perfectly indifferent facade. I am broken, I don’t want to be fixed.

But the Empire is crumbling and it’s my job to fix it.

My job to mend the pieces that were scattered over thirty years ago.

A trip to New York, only one chance to redeem a lost part of our mafia family.

The only issue is, the only way to fix it, is to do something I swore I’d never do again.

An arranged marriage.

Only this time,

I won’t fall.

Or so help me God, I will kill her myself.

My name is Sergio Abandonoto, you think you know my pain, my suffering, my anger, my hate?

You have no idea.

I am the mafia.

I am the darkness.

Blood in. No out.

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BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1THQlqC

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1TQ63n3

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Rl9LAj

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1QqTxJE

B&N: http://bit.ly/1MF17K8

iBooks: http://apple.co/1SkQ283

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1moewkq

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About Rachel Van Dyken:

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. 
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers! 
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866! 

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.

LINKS:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882127.Rachel_Van_Dyken?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Van-Dyken/e/B0054TW5AA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407369649&sr=8-2-ent

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/8l7hP

portrait of a beautiful brown with a turtleneck on a black background
portrait of a beautiful brown with a turtleneck on a black background

Get the beginning of Sergio’s story in Elude on sale now. 

Twenty-Four hours before we were to be married–I offered to shoot her.

Ten hours before our wedding–I made a mockery of her dying wish.

Five hours before we were going to say our vows–I promised I’d never love her.

One hour before I said I do–I vowed I’d never shed a tear over her death.

But the minute we were pronounced man and wife–I knew.

I’d only use my gun to protect her.

I’d give my life for hers.

I’d cry.

And I would, most definitely, lose my heart, to a dying girl—a girl who by all accounts should have never been mine in the first place.

I always believed the mafia would be my end game–where I’d lose my heart, while it claimed my soul. I could have never imagined. It would be my redemption.

Or the beginning of something beautiful.

The beginning of her.

The end of us.

Amazon http://amzn.to/1JTAvrk
iBooks: http://apple.co/1DZlP2S
Nook: http://bit.ly/1FWBCpi

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EXCERPT:

“Taxi.” I held up my hand. “It’s too cold to walk.”

“Is it?”

“For those of us who have hearts,” I said under my breath.

He paused and then burst out laughing. “Holy shit, was that a dig at me?”

I shrugged as the taxi pulled up.

“Damn, and you’re not even apologizing.”

“It was more of a passing comment under my breath…” I got into the taxi and slid across the cold, worn vinyl seat. “But true.”

Sergio slammed the door after him. “And here I thought I was making a good impression.”

“You offered to kill me if I kissed you.”

The taxi driver frowned into the rearview mirror.

“She’s kidding,” Sergio reassured him.

I refused to let him get off that easy. “You also look at me like you want to throw up.”

Mr. Taxi Driver’s nostrils flared.

“Uh.” Sergio laughed uncomfortably. “I just have a lot on my mind.”

“The wife.”

Taxi Driver’s eyes looked like they were going to bug out of his head. Yeah, this was probably the best entertainment he’d had all day.

“I don’t talk about it,” Sergio said in a drop-the-subject voice.

“Maybe you should.”

“I have enough money to afford a therapist, thank you,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Money doesn’t buy happiness,” I fired back.

Sergio released a string of pithy curses. “Did someone spike your milk this morning during show and tell?”

“Lactose intolerant.”

“Sorry. Your Kool-Aid.” His eyes narrowed. “It’s like you’re trying to piss me off.”

Bingo. I smiled. “Funny, that’s what Dante says to me all the time. Just think of all the things you get to look forward to. Isn’t that what you said you wanted?”

Sergio looked ready to strangle me. “No. I don’t believe I asked for an annoying little sister, but if that’s what you’re offering, please don’t let me stop you. Just know, I won’t hesitate to put you over my knee if you get out of hand.”

The minute the words left his mouth. I froze.

He froze.

The taxi driver stared little laser-like holes into the rearview mirror.

And Sergio leaned toward me.

I swallowed as tension swirled around us.

He gripped me by the chin and turned my head to the side, his lips brushing my ear. “It’s like you have a death wish.”

“You wouldn’t do it.”

He pulled back as both of his eyebrows shot up, and then he looked down, like something had caught his eye.

I followed the direction of his gaze and let out a little gasp as a gun dug into my stomach.

“It’s been directed at you for the last four minutes,” Sergio said through a practiced smile. “I meant what I said. Listen well. I keep my word. Kiss me, and blood will be spilled.”

“Y-you’re a crazy person!” I hissed, shoving at his chest. “And I wasn’t going to kiss you!”

“Sure you weren’t.” He put the gun away. “Good talk though, right? Oh look, the movie theater.”

To say that I scrambled out of the car like a kid running away from her kidnapper would be a gross understatement, but the minute my feet hit the pavement, I paused.

My body told me to run.

The guy had pulled a gun.

On me.

I didn’t even watch violent movies, I’d just panicked and said the first thing that popped into my head!

And I was about to go to the theater with a guy who probably showered in blood on a daily basis and by the looks of it — got off on it.

Shivering, I forced myself to take a deep breath and wrapped my jacket tighter around my body.

That was the thing about men like Sergio, or maybe just loyalty in general. He’d promised he would keep me safe, but I wondered if that promise was only extended until I was more trouble than I was worth.

I was safe, not because of what I was to him.

But because of who my dad had been to him.

I was nothing.

And yet, a part of me still yearned to be… something.

Anything really.

Pathetic.

“Change your mind?” Sergio’s smooth voice interrupted my thoughts. He was the type of man you felt even when he wasn’t speaking. His presence was impossible to ignore, kind of like his ridiculous good looks.

Weren’t mafia guys supposed to be old?

Fat?

Chain smokers who bought Cuban cigars and sat behind large desks while counting money and ordering hits on people who pissed them off?

“No.” I finally found my voice. “I was just thinking….”

“About?” His hand touched my back, ushering me forward, but not pushing, almost as if he was giving me the option of still saying no.

I increased my pace so that I couldn’t feel the warmth of his fingertips. “Popcorn.” I turned and winked, hoping it would hide the fact that my body was shaking.

Maybe I was the crazy one.

Because he was armed.

The man was armed.

And he had no qualms about pointing his weapon at me whenever I got too close.

Huh, we’d have a happy marriage.

I guess we’d never argue, since I liked living.

And, you know, breathing.

It would suck not to make my twenty-first birthday because I didn’t fold the towels just right.

And again, I froze.

Was he that neurotic? Or was it just the closeness?

“On a scale of one to ten…” I was proud of the way I kept the shaking out of my voice. Why was I so scared? Oh right, because he’d pointed a gun, no, shoved a freaking gun into my stomach and done it with a smile on his face. “How OCD are you?”

An easy laugh escaped him as he glanced around the movie theater lobby and then back at me. “What makes you think I’m OCD?”

“Things.” I gulped then forced a smile that I didn’t feel. How was I supposed to go through an entire movie knowing he was one uncomfortable conversation away from losing it? “So?”

“What can I get you?” A teen boy looked at Sergio then smiled wider when his eyes fell to me.

Immediately, Sergio wrapped a protective arm around me, basically forcing my body to curve into his warmth. “My wife and I will have two buckets of popcorn, two packs of Sour Patch Kids, and a bottled water.”

I didn’t correct him about the water.

“Wait.” Sergio held up his hand. “Sorry, Dr. Pepper mixed with Coke.”

The teen scrunched up his face then rung us up. His eyes fell to me again then back at the register, like he was trying not to look but couldn’t help it, which was comical, since I didn’t really think I was anything to look at.

When he handed Sergio back his change I could have sworn I heard a growl from my “husband.”

As it was, he jerked the candy so hard out of the kid’s hands that I was surprised he didn’t do a front flip over the counter.

“He’s a boy,” I whispered under my breath. “No need to shoot him too.”

Sergio glanced down at me, muttered a curse. “He was staring.”

“He looked about one science project away from solving world hunger via his mom’s basement… hardly the type of guy that I’d date.”

“Date?” Sergio said it so loudly the people in front of us waiting to show the attendant their tickets jumped and then turned around. “What the hell do you mean date?”

Crap. I’d messed up again.

My palms went sweaty while my face felt numb with fear. Regardless of how pretty he was to look at — I was finally fully aware of how dangerous he was to me.

To everyone around me.

Sweat trickled down my lower back as I gulped down more soda and shrugged. “I just mean, he’s not my type.”

“No shit he isn’t, because you don’t get a type anymore.”

“Right.” I licked my lower lip, pretending not to be scared, pretending to be the brave person I wasn’t was wearing on me.

By the time we made it into the theater I was dizzy.

It was too much all at once.

“So…” Sergio’s voice was in my ear. I jumped a foot. He frowned as if he couldn’t figure out why I’d be so jumpy. “Dante sits behind you, right?”

“Right.” I exhaled in relief. I forgot. It wasn’t a date. It was a challenge. He’d called me his sister, so therefore he was my brother, right? Hah. I relaxed a bit as I pointed to a seat a few rows back and quickly stole the goodies out of his hands then made my way to my own seat before he could object.

The credits started rolling.

And I found myself ducking in the chair.

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end.

As if I was being watched — because I was.

Ten minutes into the movie, I was so stressed out, I almost burst into tears. My back was to him.

Wasn’t that a big no-no? My back was to the dude with the gun.

Even though he was supposed to protect me with the gun, all bets were off now.

Sweat pooled in the palms of my hands.

The music rose as one of the actresses ran down the stairs screaming.

I couldn’t take it.

And then, a body sat down next to me.

Sergio gave me a suspicious look then put a seat between us.

I exhaled.

But it wasn’t relief.

At least I knew where he was.

And where the gun was, he was right handed, so there was that.

I finally allowed myself to relax enough to watch the movie when I saw Sergio’s right hand duck into his jacket.

I gripped the plastic arm rests, my fingers digging into the cheap sticky plastic material as he slowly pulled something out.

He turned.

And I flinched so hard that there was no mistaking what I thought he was doing.

Even though he had grabbed a black cell phone.

The damage was done.

My entire body shook as a big fat tear escaped, I tried to wipe it away but I wasn’t fast enough.

“S-sorry.” I shoved past him and ran.

But my body was too scared.

Too tired

To make it very far.

Cassy Maria’s Review of Empire

Rachel Van Dyken is an evil genius! I have no words as to how much I loved Empire (well obviously yes I do or I wouldn’t be writing this). Empire begins where Elude left us, Sobbing and heartbroken. After suffering the greatest loss Sergio must fulfill his destiny and keep with what the family has planned for him, he must marry. After bring raised by three over protective uncles and her twin brother, Valentina has led a sheltered life. When strangers show up revealing secrets from the past, Valentina is shocked to learn that she and her family are part of the mafia. When the tall dark and dangerously handsome Sergio claims that he is Valentina’s fiancé, she’s left with no choice by to marry him to honor her family. When Valentina’s feeling for Sergio start to grow will she be able to live in a loveless marriage? Sergio feels the attraction to Valentina but fights it not wanting to tarnish the love and memory of Andi. Will Sergio be able to find happiness? Will these two be able to overcome the ghost in the room? Grab your Kleenex people Empire is one hell of an emotional read. It will leave you laughing once second and crying your eyes out the next. Empire is beautifully written and will leave you with one massive book hangover! I’m a huge fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s work and Empire has been my favourite one so far! I cannot wait for more from this crazy and lovable mafia family.

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The loving couple kissing in the rain on a turquoise background