It Started with a Dance

It Started with a Dance
Tinia Montford
(Pacific Grove University, #2)
Publication date: July 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


WILL THEY PULL OFF THE PERFECT PERFORMANCE?

It’s double time for Cami Clinton…

Dance is in Cami’s blood, but a bombshell diagnosis puts her on the sidelines. Now returning for her senior year of college, she’s determined to prove she is the dancer she once was. Each year, at the end of the semester, the campus hosts a dance festival. Cami knows this is her shot at redemption, but while at a party, things go horribly wrong and Cami suddenly has a new boyfriend: Marsh Lincoln.

Marsh Lincoln has two left feet…

He doesn’t dance. A nasty accident haunts Marsh and he’s just ready to graduate. Until he’s told he’s missing credits. The only class left to fill his missing credits? Ballroom dancing. To make matters worse, his girlfriend breaks-up with him in front of everyone at a party, leaving him with a new girlfriend he’s never met before…

It takes two to tango…

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy when you’ve just met. When the lines between what’s real and pretend blurs, they have to ask themselves: Can you catch feelings for something that’s all pretend?


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EXCERPT:

Girl, don’t do it; it’s not worth it. Don’t do it… Don’t do it, Cami. Last time was supposed to be it! Don’t…

Paper crinkled under Cami as she shifted on the exam table, facing the cabinet on the wall. It held a box of gloves, a thermometer, an otoscope, and the little disposable thingies that went with it. She exhaled shakily and squeezed her eyes shut. I swear I’m just thinking about stealing the doctor’s glove; I’m not gonna do it. Last time was it… They are good for cleaning. It would be awful if Devin had to bail me out of jail for stealing gloves in a doctor’s office. I’ll get expelled from school and be forced onto the mean streets of the Tenderloin. I’ll have to fight cats for chicken bones and steal cough syrup to stay high.

Cami’s karma was shot to hell based on her last six months of existence. She didn’t want the big man upstairs to send a bolt of lightning down to obliterate her.

She would be good…

Pushing herself up, she strained to hear any footsteps in the hall. The doctor wouldn’t notice a few missing gloves, would she?

Her phone dinged twice with a text message. It was her best friend, Deja. Saved by the bell.

Where are you?? I thought we were getting lunch? Winter and I are in the restaurant.

Cami slapped her forehead. How could she forget? It was their annual back-to-school tradition. Lunch in Japantown and mochi ice cream afterward. A staple in their friendship since freshmen year and even more important since last semester.

I had to meet with my adviser. Let’s meet for dinner?

Deja’s reply was instant.

Fine. Take a sneak pic of your adviser. Clark is foine.

Cami hung her head. Why did I lie? Deja and Winter, her best friends, knew about her hospital stint. They visited her every day until they had to go home for summer break, right before she finally received her diagnosis. Cami still couldn’t utter the words chronic disease…

She told herself she would confess to them, but when the moment came, she found herself saying viral infection instead. Each time after that, the lie flowed easier and it became harder and harder for her to backpedal. She told herself lying was for a good reason. Cami was tired of being the one people needed to look after. She was reinventing herself after this setback, presenting herself as independent and poised. Even if it was a façade.

Anxiety churned in her stomach, and she hoped her doctor would come back with the results she wanted. A glance at her phone let her know the time.

12:04 PM.

How long had she been sitting here? Twenty or thirty minutes? It was the first day of the semester, and Cami wasn’t letting it slip through her fingers. It was late August and freezing in San Francisco because of the coastal fog and wind. She tugged at the pink chunky sweater she’d paired with a skirt and combat boots. She pulled her knotless braids over her shoulder, biting her lip with a glance at the door before she pushed herself off the exam table.

“I’m just gonna take one. I’ve been through a lot,” she muttered, justifying the petty theft.

Cami plucked a glove from the box and held her breath as if alarms would sound. Once the coast was clear, she took another. Then another. Her hands were full as someone knocked at the door. She squealed, dropping some contraband as she darted across the room and shoved the gloves into her book bag, and plopped her butt back on the exam table, winded from that simple yet covert act.

“Y-yes?”

She tried placing a neutral expression on her face, hoping it didn’t reveal how fast her heart was beating, or her fear that a minor sprint consumed most of her energy.

The door opened, and her doctor’s head appeared. “Camille?”

“Dr. Aguilar.”

The last time Cami was in a hospital, besides her own illness, she found out her father had died. Of course, she didn’t remember this. She had been a toddler; her mother and brother recounted the story solemnly to her years later. It was a good enough excuse to avoid hospitals ever since.

Dr. Aguilar almost changed her mind about hospitals. The older woman’s aura of calmness and matronly appearance never failed to put her at ease. Bracelets adorning both arms and rings on all fingers. Plump. Graying hair. She smiled and her eyes went to the blue glove lying on the floor.

“The gloves fell out of the box…” That was a lame excuse.

Author Bio:

Tinia (TUH-NIA) Montford is a Pisces who’s a sap for romance, especially when there’s (tons of) kissing. Loves eighties sitcoms and will consume anything with chocolate. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in English and Graphic Design.

She is a world traveler having climbed a volcano in Nicaragua, scaled Angkor Wat in the blistering sun, and roamed the Acropolis of Athens. Oh, she also dabbles in short stories occasionally.

If you can’t catch her writing, you can bet she’s overindulging on poke bowls, listening to the same four songs, or chilling with her adorbs doggie. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest


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Catching Quinn – Blitz

Catching Quinn
Jennifer Bonds
(Waverly Wildcats, #2)
Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports


What’s a girl have to do to lose her virginity around here?

When I decided to ditch my V-card, I figured Greek Row was a sure thing.

I didn’t count on Cooper-the-cockblocking-jockhole-DeLaurentis or his misguided sense of bro code putting an embarrassing end to my hookup. After all, Waverly’s star wide receiver is the most notorious player on campus.

He’s arrogant. Infuriating. Sexy as hell.

Just ask him.

Worse? He’s made it his personal mission to scare off every guy who shows an interest in me. But I’m not about to be outwitted by a hypocritical baller with more ego than sense. I may be a hot mess, but I’m no pushover.

Two can play this game, and I’m playing to win.


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EXCERPT:

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Quinn demands, pulling herself up to her full height. Maybe that shit works on her brother, but I spent the afternoon staring down guys three times her size. “Are you drunk?”

“No.” I point to her half-empty cup. “But if you finish that drink, you will be.”

Her brows furrow in confusion. “What’s wrong with my drink?”

Is she for real?

“Other than the fact that it’s got five kinds of liquor in it?”

“Five? Really?” She lifts the cup up and stares at it like she’s seeing it for the first time. “Huh. Who’d have guessed?”

“Why do you think it’s called Adiós, Motherfucker? It’s meant to get you shitfaced.” She giggles, probably at the name, and I scrub a hand over my face. “If you don’t know what’s in it, why are you drinking it?”

She cocks a hip. “Mike bought it for me.”

Of course he did. “The asshole was probably trying to get you drunk and take advantage of you.”

“Maybe I was trying to get him drunk and take advantage of him,” she says, poking me in the chest. Heat radiates from the spot where her finger landed, which is ridiculous because it wasn’t even skin-to-skin contact. Probably just leftover energy from the game. She pokes me again. “Did you ever think of that?”

“No.” It’s bullshit, but I’m not trying to picture Quinn seducing some random creeper at a bar. “It did, however, occur to me he might’ve slipped something in your drink.”

Quinn rolls those big green eyes. “I’m a virgin, not a moron. I took the drink directly from the bartender.”

Thank Christ.

Relief surges through my veins. How the fuck does Noah deal with having his little sister on campus? On Greek Row?

For the first time in my life, I’m glad to be an only child. If I saw some dude playing grab-ass with my sister, I’d break his fucking hands.

Quinn’s not your sister, so what do you care?

I don’t.

Okay, fine. I care. But only because I’m not a trash human being.

“I can’t believe you chased Mike off.” Quinn’s bottom lip juts out, forming a sexy little pout. “It was rude.”

“Serves the fucker right.” I plant my hands on my hips. If she thinks she can guilt me over Doctor Octopus, she’s got another thing coming. “Thirty seconds ago, he was dry humping you like a dog in heat.”

“Eww.” She squeals, doing that cute nose scrunching thing again. “Gross.”

I flash her a wicked grin. “Tell me about it.”

“Did you just—” She tilts her head and looks up at me from under her lashes. “Did you just call me gross?

“Sweetheart, there’s nothing gross about you.” That’s half the problem. If she’s really going through with this whole losing her virginity to a stranger thing, she’ll have no trouble finding dudes to volunteer as tribute. “From the looks of it, I arrived just in time.”

“If by just in time, you mean just in time to cockblock me again, then yes.” She lifts the blue drink to her lips and takes a hearty gulp. “You can move along now.” She makes a shooing motion with her other hand. “Go wreck some other virgin’s night.”

“Are you sure I didn’t save your night?” I cross my arms over my chest, and damn if her attention doesn’t lock on my biceps. Not gonna lie, I’m flattered. I figured her type was more studious. “That guy probably doesn’t even know what a G-spot is, let alone how to find it.”

Her gaze shifts to my face, a challenge burning in her eyes. “I suppose you think you could do better?”


Author Bio:

Jennifer Bonds is the USA Today bestselling author of sizzling contemporary romance with sassy heroines, sexy alphas, and a whole lot of mischief. She’s a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories, laugh-out-loud banter, and over-the-top grand gestures. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania, where her overactive imagination and weakness for reality TV keep life interesting. She’s lucky enough to live with her own real-life hero, two adorable (and sometimes crazy) children, and one rambunctious K9. Loves Buffy, Mexican food, a solid Netflix binge, the Winchester brothers, cupcakes, and all things zombie. Sings off-key.

To connect with Jen—and get a FREE book—visit http://www.jenniferbonds.com!

You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram @jbondswrites.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon


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Raiden – Blitz

Raiden
Ali Lucia Sky
(Somnolence, #1)
Publication date: June 6th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance


I never expected to see my favorite rock band standing in the office of my high school getting their schedules. Kids my age aren’t known for touring the world and making music for the masses, but Somnolence is.

They welcome me. Raiden takes me in, loves me… it’s like a dream. Until darker forces, nightmares, and their own dark appetites come for me.


Goodreads / Amazon

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Raiden walks out and slowly makes it my way, grinning. “I missed you.” He frames my face in his hands and kisses my lips softly. But his tenderness lasts only a moment before he lets his hunger bleed through. Our tongues stroke one another like it’s been forever since we were last together.

I hear everyone leave and Raiden delicately trails his hands down my arms to my hands and entwines his fingers with mine. He pulls them behind his back, so I’m embracing him.

“Fuck, little Lilac, your lips are delicious. I thought you tasted like strawberries, but you are sweeter.” He nibbles on my lower lip, licks my upper lip and I moan. His thigh slips between mine, and I rock into him. It feels so good. His head drops to my throat. “Can I leave my own mark right here? Something on you that isn’t from pain and punishment? Something from worship and adoration?”

I nod.

“Mmmm.” He hums. “Such a perfect flower.” He licks my throat and presses a chain of kisses down my collarbone before pressing his thigh between mine and sucks. I moan at how good it feels.

When he lifts his head, he brushes his lips over it once, twice and a third time. “I dream of you. I dream of having you under me. Our bare flesh together. You go off for me like a firework and light up my night. One day, I’m going to save you from your monsters and deliver you from the hell you live in. All my songs will be yours, a million lullabies, for my queen. Then I’m going to spread your thighs, crawl between them and fuck every care you have away.”

He presses his lips to mine again, as if sealing his words with a kiss.

“Enough, Raiden. There is probably paparazzi taking photos of you two right now, you dumb fucker. Do you want them to see Layla’s face looking soft and loved up like that? Protect her, do that shit inside!” Jonah scolds from the door to the house.

The fog of passion passes.

But I have my confirmation. Real Raiden can kiss like dream Raiden.

I’m falling fast.

I’m falling hard.

This is happening way too soon.


Author Bio:

Ali Lucia Sky is the author of The Powers That Be series. She lives in Southern California with her husband and a house full of kitty cats and a yard full of crows.

She loves laughing, drinking good coffee, vegan food, and supporting animal rescues.

When she isn’t writing or dreaming of new stories, she can be found planning her next vacation because traveling is life.

If you encounter her in the wild, don’t be offended if she should run away. She’s timid with strangers, but can be plied with shiny things and pictures of your cat or dog.

She’s a weirdo like that.

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Rebel One – Blitz

Rebel One
J.S. Christine
(Melkin Series, #1)
Publication date: May 13th 2022
Genres: New Adult, Romance


Lacey Carson dreams of experiencing the world outside of the mundane town her father limits her to. “Go big or go home”? Lacey is already wrapped up in her comforter before that question can be finished. Her fight or flight instinct falls hard in one direction only.

Insert Travis Miller. He’s a little too loud, a little too violent, a little too focused on Lacey. He only knows how to go big.

When the opportunity presents itself for more adventure, Lacey jumps in head first before Travis can say no. It may be a little more than she bargained for as she learns about the ups and downs of independence, her own strength, and the crime world she quickly becomes immersed into.


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I looked behind us. There was a large van with guns poking out of it.

“Oh my God,” I cried, clasping a hand to my mouth. I turned back facing forward and slouched down to keep out of the way if they shot the back window.

“Don’t go that way. Keep away from our new place,” Cameron ordered Travis as he flew past cars. He took a sharp turn, pulling up the emergency brake to make the turn before releasing it and continuing down with no regard towards the speed limit.

“What new place?” Travis shot back.

“Left. Don’t go straight. I said left,” Cameron said, pointing with his hand that had a gun in it.

I swallowed. I had no idea what they were talking about but I didn’t care. I was not going to live much longer anyway. I held my head in my hands, massaging my temple with my fingertips.

“I don’t know where I’m going,” Travis shouted as we skidded around a sharp turn.

My body rammed against the side of Finn’s from the force.

“Let me drive,” Ben said from next to me in the backseat at the same time Cameron yelled for them to switch.

I racked my brain for how that was going to happen. We were going more than a safe amount above the speed limit. Stopping to switch would only slow us down and even though I was a firm believer in speed limits, that option wasn’t looking too great right now.

“Take it, Cam,” Travis said as he moved back from the steering wheel.

Cameron scooted over slightly. He put one hand on the wheel and I watched in horror as he moved one leg down to where the gas pedal would be. From the speed, it felt like it was being floored. My eyes bulged.

Ben hopped in front of me at the same time Travis flicked a switch underneath his seat, causing it to move back as far as it would go. The two boys fit in the seat awkwardly as they moved around each other; Ben taking Travis’ seat and Travis crouching to climb back.

“Hey gorgeous,” Travis said as he faced me while in between the drivers and passenger’s seat. He flashed a cheeky smile before climbing to where Ben was previously seated next to me.

The whole exchange happened in the span of maybe seven seconds. I blinked. There was no way I was living to see the age of eighteen at this rate.

Ben made the seat go to the right distance away from the pedals and Cameron moved back over to his seat. The speed, if anything, went faster now that Ben was driving. Cameron started talking to him about something but I couldn’t pick it out.

Travis came into my line of view as he fumbled through the duffel bag at my feet before pulling out a large gun. He pushed himself out of the window so he was leaning out of it with his chest facing the car. Finn was doing the same, only Travis seemed to be sitting on the arm rest on the side of the door, not putting him out of the car as much as Finn, who was literally sitting on the window edge.

“Lacey!” Finn yelled. He slumped quickly back into the car. “Hold my legs for me.”

Without giving me a chance to say yes or no, and without second guessing the trust he put in the girl he kidnapped hours ago, he forced himself back out the window. I crawled over to where he was and held onto the top of his legs. I sat on my knees, putting them directly on his feet to try to put more weight on him to keep him from falling out of the car.

“Next time, don’t make such a grand entrance,” Cameron yelled in the direction of where Travis’ body was. Cameron’s window was rolled down as well, but I don’t know how much he was actually doing since I felt like Finn was blocking most of his view with his body.

“Excuse me?” Travis shot back. I could barely hear him but he must have moved his head in slightly as he spoke. Otherwise, I think the wind and bullets would have carried his voice away.

“Let’s lay on the horn and tear up the roads as we come home to get everyone’s attention, what an idea!” Cameron scolded.

“Sorry, you’re going to have to yell louder if you want me to hear you over the squealing tires and bullets being shot at me,” Travis demanded.


Author Bio:

J.S. Christine has been writing novels since 2011 and graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. She strives to give readers worlds they can relax in with characters they can call their friends. Her novels typically travel down the obstacle-ridden roads of self-discovery with music blasting in the car’s speakers and the occasional explosion off to the side. Her first novel, Sparked, was self-published in 2016. When she isn’t writing, she can be found binge reading books, burning cookies, attempting to run, or teaching her three cats how great popcorn is.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Twitter


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S.H.R.E.D: Gorgon Rising – Blitz

S.H.R.E.D: Gorgon Rising
Stu Jones
(Espionage and Defense, Super Humanoids for Reconnaissance)
Publication date: May 10th 2022
Genres: Action, Adventure, New Adult


THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON KNOWN TO MANKIND ISN’T A MAN.

High above earth in a low orbit facility, an experimental clean energy project known as Erebos—which taps into the vacuum structure of space—destabilizes and is jettisoned into the planet’s atmosphere.

Far below, unaware of the danger rocketing toward her, nineteen-year-old Sasha Kino goes night surfing to clear her head after a fight with her father. When Erebos crashes into the ocean the device fuses her DNA with that of an orca and Sasha is altered beyond recognition. She is stronger, can hold her breath longer, and can swim deeper and faster than any creature on the planet—but her newfound abilities may come at the cost of her humanity.

Captain Alric Jager, head of the U.S. Navy’s Special Projects Division, is sent to clean up the Erebos situation. But when Jager learns of what the device did to Sasha he decides to steal them both. Driven by a dark and twisted legacy, Jager is determined to create the ultimate super soldier – no matter the cost.

Torn between the land and the sea, and ruthlessly hunted by Jager, Sasha must rediscover who she is and for what she is willing to fight.


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EXCERPT:

With one last yank, Sasha tore the restraint collar, popping and fizzing in a shower of sparks from around her neck. In a single stride, she vaulted forward. Her body crashed through the dark glass of the observation room, slamming one of the two men inside against the far wall. In a bumbling fit of terror, the other fell to the floor, scrambled to all fours, then ran screaming for the hallway. As he did, he slapped a large red button on the wall labeled containment breach.

The screaming high-pitched wail of an emergency beacon filled the air, the walls around Sasha flickering with intermittent flashes of red. Instinct, strong and powerful, told her to run, but her higher brain held her fast: what they’d done here was illegal, and she needed evidence. She scanned the various consoles. There, a flash drive. No time to waste. Jager’s men must be on their way. Any data she could grab was no good if she couldn’t get it off the ship.

Snatching the data stick from the console and looping the lanyard around her neck, Sasha gave one last look to the unconscious man slumped against the floor and turned for the door. She stepped into the strobe-lit flash of the corridor and hovered there, her heart beating fierce in her breast.

On either side of the corridor, two pairs of Strykers squared up, the dark brown tones of their flesh offset by midnight black BDUs. They tensed, the banded muscles of their arms taut. No one moved.

“I don’t want to fight,” Sasha said over the wail of the alarm, her heart still thrumming. “But I’m not staying locked up here anymore.”

“You don’t have a choice.” The one named Alvarez said through clenched teeth. “Get back in, or we’ll put you back in.”

Sasha knew she should be afraid of these men, but then she remembered about how easily, accidentally even, she’d killed the whalers. How moments ago, she’d torn a titanium collar from her neck and crashed through a seemingly impenetrable two-inch-thick layered sheet of armored glass.

Sasha steeled herself as the four Strykers advanced on her from either side, their fists raised. “I don’t want to hurt you,” she said.

The Strykers stopped, exchanging amused glances. One of them closest to her, a man with a cropped mohawk, let out a chuckle. “We’re not the ones who are about to get hurt, darlin’.”

Sasha’s skin flushed hot. Her eyes narrowed to slits as she flexed her clawed fingers. “That’s what you think.”

Author Bio:

SWAT Sniper. Adventurer. Multi-Award-Winning Author of Epic Genre-Bending Thrillers.

A veteran law enforcement officer, Stu has served in patrol, narcotics, criminal investigations, as an instructor of firearms and police defensive tactics and as a team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. Recently, Stu served for three years with a U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force – hunting the worst of the worst.

He is the author of multiple sci-fi/action/thriller novels, including the multi-award-winning It Takes Death To Reach A Star duology, written with co-author Gareth Worthington(Children of the Fifth Sun).

Known for his character-driven stories and blistering action sequences, Stu strives to create thought-provoking reading experiences that challenge the status quo. When he’s not chasing bad guys or writing epic stories, he can be found planning his next adventure to some remote or exotic place.

Stu is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain literary.

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Ice Floe – Blitz

Ice Floe
Melissa Birling
Publication date: April 28th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult


SECRECY IS SAFETY. SISTERHOOD IS EVERYTHING.

Seventeen-year-old Glacia didn’t plan to track a kidnapper, stick a middle finger to the government, and fall into a forbidden summer fling. This is simply what happens when you’re the resident odd girl out, in a shoal of all-female mermaids whose values are a little cracked. Or a lot cracked, if you consider government-endorsed murder and the seizure of male infants to be an issue.

When society rules, family, and romance collide, Glacia fights back the best way she knows how: by taking the matter into her own combat-trained hands and kicking some tail. The problem is, no amount of training can prepare Glacia for the crime circle she discovers, secrets she unveils, and human guy she can’t get out of her head. Glacia finds herself at a crossroads where she must decide whose rules to follow. Who she can trust. And ultimately…who lives and who dies.


Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

We’ve been sitting on the ledge a while now, mostly staring at the view. I steal occasional glances at Tucker. I can’t shake the feeling that there’s a force between us. Energy. A pulse. A magnet. Something. Every time I focus my thoughts elsewhere, he pulls me back in. It’s distracting.

“You ready to head down?” he asks.
“You might as well get started. I can’t climb down with all your equipment in the way.” “I have an extra harness. You should come down with me.” He reaches for his pack and stands up.

I jump up to join him. “No way. I’m not hooking myself into that death trap.” “Glacia, come on. This cliff is super challenging, and it’s way more difficult to climb down than up,” he says, his voice growing louder. Here we go again.
“I’ll be fine once you get your stuff out of the way.” I raise my volume to match his. “It’s not safe. I would feel horrible if I let you climb down and you got hurt.”
“Let me?”
“Not let you. It’s your choice.”
“I choose NO.”
He clenches his jaw tightly and grinds his teeth. I take a few steps back in preparation.

There’s enough room up here to land a solid kick to the face. That should knock him out, then I’ll have to figure out a way to climb down his cat’s cradle setup. Tucker crosses one arm over his chest and raises a hand to cover his mouth. We glare at each other – at an impasse.

“Let’s make a deal,” he offers. “You climb down with me using a harness and rope, and I’ll take you on a boat ride.”

This catches my attention.

“That’s right, I saw you light up when I mentioned my dad’s boat shop,” he continues with a cocky air.

He’s more perceptive than I gave him credit for. Volatile and perceptive. A hefty combination.

“Have you ever been on a boat?” he asks.

I shake my head. I would love to go on a boat. Tucker knows how to fix them and can teach me everything a trainer could, plus more. What am I thinking? This is crazy. I can’t go on a boat with a human. What excuse would I give if I got caught? I can’t pretend I’m seducing. Everyone knows that’s not high on my priority list, and you’re not supposed to seduce alone. Maybe I could say that I’m collecting information to share with the girls I teach… Hmm. That’s almost believable, given my dedication to the studio.

Tucker can tell I’m on the fence about it and ups the ante. “I’ll teach you to drive the boat.”

Unfair. Of course, I want to learn how to drive a boat. That’s a beyond useful skill in my back pocket. I peek down the cliff face to assess the reliability of Tucker’s wedge-rope system. Stupid. Like I know what I’m looking for.

“Fine,” I agree. “We need to be hooked together, so if I die, you die.”
“Seems reasonable.”
“AND I get to drive the boat.”
“Deal. Let’s see, today is Monday, and I already have plans tomorrow. Wednesday?” “What time?”
“Eleven a.m. on the Ula pier.”
“I’ll meet you there.”
Tucker flips his pack around, unclips a belt, and offers it to me. “Do you know how to wear a harness?”
I snatch it from him, compare it to his gear, and step into the leg holes. When I have it all clipped in, I throw my hands on my hips. “Now what?” I ask.

Tucker leans in toward me, rope in hand, then pulls back and reconsiders. “That’s not quite right,” he says haltingly. “Can I fix your harness?”

“I already agreed to this mess, didn’t I?”

He rolls his eyes. “I think that’s a yes. Pull the harness up – it has to sit higher on your hips.”

I follow his instructions, and he flops the rope over one arm. He moves in closer and bends down to reposition the harness. His fingers wrap around the loop against my leg as he pulls it up below my hip. My heart beats faster and my insides twists. I evaluate the top of Tucker’s head in an effort to distinguish these sensations from other emotions. He secures the loop and raises his gaze to meet mine.

“Is that too tight?” he asks. His hazel eyes penetrate mine. The edges are a deep brown that blend into a murky green with an amber starburst around the pupil.

I shake my head and look away. I hope he can’t tell how disoriented this is making me. “Pull the tabs on your waist tighter,” he instructs.
I cinch the waist while he rearranges the other loop on my leg. Why is this making me so agitated? He’s only fixing my gear so I don’t fall to my death. Tucker gathers the rope into his hand and reaches out to tie it to the front belt loop. As he does, his fingers brush my skin just below my belly button. A jolt of electricity shoots through my body. I take in a small gasp of air and hold my breath. He freezes, his fingers lingering on my stomach. Did he feel that too?

Author Bio:

Melissa Birling strives to experience life from a “both and” rather than “either or” perspective. She enjoys living in metropolitan cities and on a small farm. She appreciates burn-your-tongue Mexican cuisine and delicious London pub food. Lately, Melissa spends her time engaging with cyber security professionals and mermaids. Not actual mermaids, although if you know any, she’d love to meet them.

The revelation that one can be both a successful corporate consultant and a fantasy author who writes about mermaids, encouraged Melissa to finish her debut novel, Ice Floe. The emotional high of typing “The End” at the completion of her first draft, triggered a writing spree that hasn’t stopped since. On any given Saturday or Sunday, you will find Melissa writing. She won’t respond to any attempts at human engagement, because she’s “at a good part,” but you’ll find her typing away, nevertheless.

Melissa lives with a ceaselessly supportive husband and their dog who enjoys hunting neighborhood skunks.

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Hungry For More – Blitz

Hungry for More
Scarlett Se Leva
(Determined, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

I craved her.
I loved her.
Until she disappeared without a word.

I was doing just fine then she stumbles back into my life.
The sight of her has reopened old wounds.

They say it’s best to forgive.
But all I want is revenge.

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EXCERPT:

Fucking hell, this isn’t the time to be reminiscing. The atmosphere becomes stifling. My breathing labors. I can feel Simone getting closer.

I look across the room and gasp, taking a couple of breaths to get my treacherous heart under control. The bastard betrays me, thumping erratically at the sight of her.

Is it even possible that Simone has gone from beautiful to otherworldly? She ages like fine wine. Yeah, that shit is cliché, but it’s not when it’s true. Her dress hugs every curve, leaving nothing to the imagination. My eyes follow the deep v down her chest, showing the swell of her breasts.

I want to run over and shield her from the eyes watching her. Old habits die hard.

Every motherfucker in here can see her.

She’s not yours.

My mouth curves up with an image of her on her knees, my hands fisting her hair as she gags on my cock.

I’m fucking sick.

I shake my head to rid myself of the image.

Our eyes collide. Turmoil brews in their depth. Simone braces herself for my reaction. She drags her eyes across my body, giving it a once-over. My stomach muscles knot like rope at the perusal. There’s no warm embrace. Simone doesn’t run to me, begging for forgiveness.


Author Bio:

Scarlett Se Leva writes unexpected, steamy, suspenseful romance.

When Scar isn’t busy penning her next book, you can find her with her family watching movies, drinking wine, curled up in a corner with a book or running after her three daughters.

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Cocktails & Crushes – Blitz

Book & Author Details:

Cocktails & Crushes
by Katrina Marie

(Out of the Ashes, #1)
Publication date: April 14th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: Out of the Ashes will be the best bar in the county. At least that’s what I promised my uncle before he passed away.

With all the changes we’re making, more challenges arise. The crowd seems to get rowdier with every day that passes, and most days I feel like I can’t keep my head above water.

That is until Dylan, the kid I used to babysit, walks in. He’s definitely not a kid anymore. But he might just be what I need to keep the bar running smoothly. Too bad he isn’t staying in town.

Guarding my heart is the least of my problems, but I’m not sure how long I can fight my attraction

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

No. I shake my head in disbelief. This boy, I mean man, did not just waltz in here like he’s someone and plop himself on one of my barstools. He must be out of his ever-loving mind if he thinks he can come in here and demand an audience with me. I mean seriously, who the hell does he think he is?

I pick up a new rag and continue wiping down the counters, waiting for him to say whatever he’s come to say. I’m not trying to be hostile toward him, but I am trying to tamp down my attraction. It feels wrong to find someone I’ve known since they were a kid so damn hot. But here we are. Lisa is tilting her entire body toward us to see what chaos is undoubtedly about to go down. Soon, I’ll have to check on the diners, but they can wait a bit.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what it is I want?” He lays his forearms across the bar top and leans toward me. I don’t miss the way his arms flex at the movement. He’s definitely not the scrawny kid I used to babysit anymore.

“That depends.” I pause in my cleaning. It’s only lunchtime, but I know once the sun sets, more people will show up. It’s inevitable. They keep this bar growing, though. We’ll be able to double the capacity if Stella can talk me out of my fear of expanding this place. I really hope everything we’ve done has made Uncle Max proud.

“Depends on what?” I catch his smirk before I turn away, making sure the rest of the bar area is ready for this afternoon and evening.

“If it makes you leave faster.” My back is to him so I can’t see his reaction, but the laughter is mocking.

“Probably not. At least, if I get my way.” Now I turn around. He’s been in town less than a day, and he’s acting like he can come in here making demands. I don’t think so.

“Which is what, exactly?” My hands are on my hips and I feel like an adult waiting for their petulant child to tell them what they did wrong.

“Is that problem you had with those guys last night a common occurrence?” He pauses for a few seconds, but doesn’t give me a chance to respond. “Because your bartender, Carlos, told me it’s been getting worse.”

That traitor. If he were here, I’d give him a piece of my mind. “I can handle idiots like those. I’ve spent my entire life in this bar. There’s nothing that will knock me down.”

Dylan leans back, crossing his arms over his chest. The t-shirt tightens and holy hell, he needs to stop doing that. “Really? Because you did get knocked down last night. This place has gotten a lot more traffic since I left. With that kind of growth, you need someone that can handle situations like those.”

I shrug. He has a point, but I don’t want to concede. “We’ve handled it just fine until this point. Is there a reason you’re bringing this up?”

“Yep,” he nods. “I want a job.”

“Seriously?” He has to be kidding. Who knows how long he’ll even be in town? I haven’t seen him in years.

“Please, Angie.” He slides off the barstool and walks around the bar until he’s right in front of me. “I’ll need something to do while I’m here helping my mom.”

Great. “That means you’ll end up leaving at some point in time. What am I supposed to do when that happens? As you can tell, we are short on staff as it is.”

“I can help train someone to replace me when I know the date I’m leaving.” He leans forward until we’re mere inches apart. His light brown eyes hold so much of that boyish uncertainty from when he was young. “If it helps the decision-making process, I’m not keeping the money for myself.”

What? If not for himself, then who? Maybe he has a girlfriend back home wherever that is. I’m already shaking my head no, when one of my lunch regulars calls my name. “I don’t have time for this right now, Dylan. And I’m not sure what I’d have you do, unless you have experience working in a bar.”


Author Bio:

Katrina Marie lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two children, and fur baby. She is a lover of all things geeky and Gryffindor for life. Welcome to Your Life is her debut novel and she hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

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Loving the Bad Boy – Blitz

Loving The Bad Boy
Autumn Miller
(Rags to Riches, #2)
Publication date: March 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

A coming of age love story about a bad influence, sweet vengeance, and a whole lot of heart.

Millie

My father – the Earl of Amhearst – intends to marry me off to a man I can neither love nor tolerate. He invites potential suitors to the Marriage Games, a series of tasks to complete before one is declared the winner.
The prize? Me.
Trapped by circumstances, my only way out of this farce sees me walking into tattoo parlours and sex clubs, looking for a suitably tattooed man that my prejudiced father will hate on sight.
Except, while the man I find will undoubtedly rile my father’s blood, forcing him to rethink his humiliating plans, the heavily inked, handsome bad boy I set my sights on makes my blood hot for entirely different reasons.
He’s all I want in the entire world. Too bad he’s only my fake boyfriend.

Mal

Being propositioned by a gorgeous young woman wearing the shortest dress known to mankind was the last thing I expected tonight.
But whatever the terms, I’m game.
Enrage her up-tight father? Done. Be her pretend lover? Try and stop me. Wear a tux and attend a lavish party for the country’s elite? I’m there.
A few days after I agree to her plea for help I find out who she really is – Lady Amelia Harrington-Scott, heiress to the indecently wealthy seat of Amhearst.
But Millie doesn’t know that I met her father – a long time ago. That he tainted the only good thing I ever had in my life. That he embodies everything I hate about the peerage.
He’s my enemy, which makes her my enemy, too.
But I didn’t know our story would be so much more than revenge, Millie right at the heart of it.
And I am blown away.

This is the second book in the Rags to Riches series. Although this is a standalone book, I strongly recommend that you read Marrying the Heiress first to avoid any spoilers and get maximum reader enjoyment. The characters featured in MTH will feature again here, their storyline extended within Loving the Bad Boy.

Mature content. Please refer to the foreword or Look Inside feature.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

This is where Millie is in a sex club, trying to track down a suitably tattooed bad boy to rile her father…..

The visual of the man leaving the room hits me instantly, like a visceral call from every single tiny piece of me. I can only watch, my heart in my throat as the man exits, running a hand through his dark hair. He looks thoroughly worn out, like he’s had a good time in that private room, and it fills me with livid, hot jealousy.

Wearing dark grey jeans and black biker boots, a black T-shirt is balled up in his fist that showcases his heavily-inked torso. And it’s magnificent, leanly strong with dense, intriguing tattoos covering just about every inch of it. I’m too far away to distinguish many, but one dominates his back: an angel. The broad black wings are spread wide, the feathers edging over the curve of his biceps. He has full-length sleeves too, but because his head is slightly bowed, all I can see is a neat beard on a cut jawline. Chestnut-brown hair flops onto his forehead even when he stabs a hand through it again, his arm muscles rippling with the movement.

He is absolutely breathtaking.

My feet move before I have a chance to think it through, desperate to follow the gorgeous man who’s already disappearing towards the front door. He’s dragging the T-shirt back on his body, and even in the relative dark of the main room I can see his back muscles work, gleaming in some light from the TV screen. He has the physique of someone who works with their body on a daily basis. Who uses their strength to hone muscle and tighten abs. Who could show a woman a fucking good time.

I want to know what lucky bitch got to be with him, working up a delicious sweat. I want to torture myself with that image, wishing it were me. Because I don’t just want to proposition this man to help me out. To enrage my father and make him rethink his plans.

I want him. I want him so badly that my heart hurts.

Author Bio:

Autumn Miller lives in Norfolk, England. She studied French and German at university in London, and ended up in marketing. As part of her degree she lived in Karlsruhe, Germany for a year, where she travelled extensively.

When she’s not writing, she’ll be engrossed in a book, catching up with friends in the pub, or cleaning up after a husband, three children and a dog. Failing that, she’ll be dreaming up meet-cutes, gorgeous men and sassy dialogue.

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