Tag Archive for Recommendation

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover ~ Blog Tour & Review~

 

WITHOUT MERIT

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing a mistake deserves is forgiveness.

Visit www.WithoutMeritbook.com for teasers, tour dates and more.

 

ABOUT WITHOUT MERIT:

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, WITHOUT MERIT explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

FIND COLLEEN ONLINE:

Website: www.ColleenHoover.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ColleenHoover

Twitter: @ColleenHoover

Instagram: @ColleenHoover

 

My Review of Without Merit

Without MeritWithout Merit by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Colleen Hoover never ceases to amaze… Without Merit is one of my most favourite YA reads of all time. All.The.Feels.

I have tried for a week to write my review for Colleen Hoover’s latest release, Without Merit —this book was brilliant—but I’m having a hard time writing it without spoiling the story. Do I write about the main character, Merit Voss, and how she reminded me what it was like to view life through the eyes of a teenager? Do I write about how Colleen Hoover didn’t just give me one character to fall in love with, that she gave me an entire family?

There are so many reason why I loved Without Merit; the fabulous writing, the unique storyline, and the angst-filled moments that tore at my heart. The characters in this story are powerful and unforgettable—Wolfgang and Cheesus definitely won’t be forgotten— but for me, next to Merit, I will never forget Barnaby Voss. Pieces of every Colleen Hoover book I have read have stayed with me—usually angsty bits, and I knew as soon as I started Without Merit this would be another story to stay.

As a mother of a teenager, I’m excited for my daughter to read this story. I know she’ll be sucked in just like I was. I wholeheartedly believe there are lessons to be learned from this story and look forward to discussing it with my her.

If you are looking for a page turning story that will take your heart on an amazing rollercoaster ride, you need to read Without Merit. So many feels. So much more that a YA romance. A story not to be missed.

*I was provided with a complimentary copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

 

WITHOUT MERIT

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

http://www.withoutmeritbook.com

Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00

eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99

  

ORDER WITHOUT MERIT:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wiVRyr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vtqsL8

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/2wTAhCc

iBooks: http://apple.co/2xrD7ie

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2gqKTBG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xgXDBh

Google: http://bit.ly/2eRebFr

Nook: http://bit.ly/2gXsDA2

 

Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!

Enter the Rafflecopter  to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!

 

Don’t miss Colleen on tour for WITHOUT MERIT:

SEATTLE, WA

Monday, October 2nd

THIRD PLACE BOOKS

7:00 PM    

17171 Bothell Way NE

Lake Forest Park, WA  98155

https://www.thirdplacebooks.com/event/colleen-hoover-without-merit

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/137295906877328/

 

LOS ANGELES, CA

Tuesday, October 3rd

CHEVALIER’S BOOKS

7:00 PM    

126 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90004

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-talk-and-signing-with-colleen-hoover-for-her-new-book-without-merit-tickets-37139282594

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1911946199130358

 

KANSAS CITY, KS

Wednesday, October 4th

WOODNEATH LIBRARY CENTER

7:00 PM    

8900 NE Flintlock Rd

Kansas City, MO  64157

http://www.mymcpl.org/events/calendar/story-center-speaker-series-colleen-hoover

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/174560183089713

 

CHICAGO, IL

Thursday, October 5th

ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP – LA GRANGE

7:00 PM    

26 S La Grange Rd

La Grange, IL  60525

http://hooverandersons.brownpapertickets.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/264445024062577

 

CINCINNATI, OH

Friday, October 6th

JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS

7:00 PM    

2692 Madison Road

Cincinnati, OH  45208

www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3081217

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/113057092698266

 

POTTSTOWN, PA

Saturday, October 7th

BOOKS-A-MILLION

6:00 PM    

Coventry Mall

351 W. Schuylkill Road Ste G16

Pottstown, PA  19465

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-colleen-hoover-at-books-a-million-pottstown-pa-tickets-37311651153

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/352249878530498

 

NEW YORK, NY

Sunday, October 8th

NEW YORK COMIC CON

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM   

500 West 36th Street

Hudson Mercantile

New York, NY  10018

https://www.showclix.com/event/ColleenHoover5yf6nuy

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1979991848924145

 

DALLAS, TX

Tuesday, October 10

SMU BOOKSTORE

7:00 PM    

B&N College

Southern Methodist University Bookstore

3060 Mockingbird Lane

Dallas, TX  75205

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/colleen-hoover-book-launch-for-without-merit-tickets-37360492238?ref=elink

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/746877452165014

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover ~BLOG TOUR~

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IT ENDS WITH US

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

“Colleen Hoover reminds readers that love is a fragile thing, built from courage, hope, and tears. Every person with a heartbeat should read this book.”
– Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

Visit www.ItEndsWithUsBook.com for teasers, tour dates and more.

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ABOUT IT ENDS WITH US:

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of SlammedThis GirlPoint of RetreatHopelessLosing HopeFinding CinderellaMaybe SomedayUgly LoveMaybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

FIND COLLEEN ONLINE: 

Website: www.ColleenHoover.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ColleenHoover

Twitter: @ColleenHoover

Instagram: @ColleenHoover

 

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still trying to process my emotions after reading, It Ends With Us a few months ago. Definitely a 5+++ read!

*WARNING – By choosing to read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover you will embark on an incredibly touching, and emotional journey. You will laugh…You will cry…And you WILL be blown away by absolutely brilliant writing. Make sure you have tissues, vodka and chocolate ready to help ease your emotions. Happy Reading!

Colleen Hoover amazes me with every story she tells, but something about It Ends With Us is different. I knew within the first few pages, this book would not be put down until the very last page had been turned… I also knew that this was a story that would probably bury its self deep in my heart.

Colleen Hoover always fills her stories with well-developed, fabulous characters we can’t help but fall in love with. Lily’s strength and determination made her real and relatable, a lovely character. Then there is Ryle… Well, I can’t really say anything about Ryle without possibly spoiling the story, so I’ll just go with WOW! Alyssa and Marshall are adorable — one word comes to mind when I think of Marshall, “onsie” 😉 . Now, there are some book characters who are forever ingrained in our minds after we meet them, and although I loved every single brilliantly written character in this story, one character stood out for me and I don’t think I will ever be able to forget him…Atlas. I can’t wait for you to meet Atlas. My heart melts when I think of this character and I’m sure yours will too.

So much of It Ends With Us tugged at my heart and honestly, I feared this book would utterly destroy me. Not gonna lie, I cried reading this one. I cried heart-broken tears and I cried happy tears. But I wasn’t destroyed…I was enlightened. Within the pages of It Ends With Us there is a lesson. There will be readers who can relate to this lesson and there will be readers who may know someone who, can relate to this lesson. But I really do feel like, It Ends With Us is more than just a fictional romance. Just keep swimming has such a deeper meaning for me now.

It Ends With Us is an incredible read, one of my favourites from Colleen Hoover. Definitely a book I highly recommend. Nic

*Make sure to read the Note From the Author at the end of the story, but PLEASE, make sure you read it at the end. Do not jump a head.

**I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review**

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IT ENDS WITH US

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

http://www.itendswithusbook.com/

Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501110368 | August 2, 2016 | $16.00

eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501110375 | $7.99

 

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Grab your copy of IT ENDS WITH US:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a6fCwq

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/29F2fWU

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/29v3dBz

iBooks: http://apple.co/1PBTd6h

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/29BOZ2V

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1PBT7f1

Google: http://bit.ly/29OkBCI

Nook: http://bit.ly/20aafzY

 

Now for the fun….the #ItEndsWithUs Contest!

Enter the Rafflecopter  to win a signed copy of IT ENDS WITH US and a limited edition Everything’s Better in Boston magnet (trust us, you’ll get it after you read the book)! (3 prize bundles in total) Contest is open until August 26th.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7c519361146/

 

Don’t miss Colleen on tour for IT ENDS WITH US: (these will not apply after 8/10 dates)

BOSTON, MA

Tuesday, August 2nd

BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH

7:00 PM

279 Harvard Street

Brookline, MA 02446

www.brooklinebooksmith.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1765869680321385/

MADISON, NJ

Wednesday, August 3rd

SHORT STORIES COMMUNITY BOOK HUB

7:00 PM

23 Main Street

Madison, NJ 07940

www.shortstoriesnj.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1816436548588340/

NEW YORK, NY

Thursday, August 4th

STRAND BOOK STORE

7:00 PM

828 Broadway

New York, NY 10003

www.strandbooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1266828406680888/

 

CINCINNATI, OH

Friday, August 5th

JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS

7:00 PM

2692 Madison Road

Cincinnati, OH 45208

www.josephbeth.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/277088292641430/

CHICAGO, IL

Saturday, August 6th

ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP

2:00 PM

Meiley-Swallow Hall

On the campus of North

Central College 31 S Ellsworth Street

Naperville, IL  60540

http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/260878437616737/

LOS ANGELES, CA

Sunday, August 7th

CHEVALIER’S BOOKS

6:30 PM

126 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90004

www.chevaliersbooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/260712770964176/

PHOENIX, AZ

Monday, August 8th

CHANGING HANDS BOOKSTORE

7:00 PM

6428 S. McClintock Drive

Tempe, AZ 85283

www.changinghands.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1188482081195713/

HOUSTON, TX

Tuesday, August 9th

BARNES & NOBLE – Town & Country

7:00 PM

12850 Memorial Drive

Houston, TX 77024

www.barnesandnoble.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1755063464713808/

DALLAS, TX

Wednesday, August 10th 
HALF PRICE BOOKS

7:00 PM
5803 E. Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75231
www.halfpricebooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1714556692137769/

Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, Book 1) by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake ~ NEW REVIEW~

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From the New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series . . .

They are the Perfect Gentlemen of Creighton Academy: privileged, wealthy, powerful friends with a wild side. But a deadly scandal is about to tear down their seemingly ideal lives . . .

Maddox Crawford’s sudden death sends Gabriel Bond reeling. Not only is he burying his best friend, he’s cleaning up Mad’s messes, including his troubled company. Grieving and restless, Gabe escapes his worries in the arms of a beautiful stranger. But his mind-blowing one-night stand is about to come back to haunt him . . .

Mad groomed Everly Parker to be a rising star in the executive world. Now that he’s gone, she’s sure her job will be the next thing she mourns, especially after she ends up accidentally sleeping with her new boss. If only their night together hadn’t been so incendiary—or Gabe like a fantasy come true . . .

As Gabe and Everly struggle to control the heated tension between them, they discover evidence that Mad’s death was no accident. Now they must bank their smoldering passions to hunt down a murderer—because Mad had secrets that someone was willing to kill for, and Gabe or Everly could be the next target . . .

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1hV7YYC

 

Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1)Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

 Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen book #1) authors, Shayla Black and Lexi Blake for yet another brilliant read! These two ladies are my go-to authors when I want a scorching HOT read packed full of story, and Scandal Never Sleeps was EXACTLY that… SCORCHING! I’m sure my Kindle would have asked me for a cigarette if it could  I couldn’t put this sexy, edgy, mysterious read down!

Shayla Black and Lexi Blake are brilliant at creating sexy alphas to make a woman lose her mind over! I dare you not to swoon over these Effing-Sexy gentlemen. A strong, charismatic, businessman, lawyer, Naval officer, spy and politician…Need I say more  Thank gawd this is the first book in a series because there is far too much hot and sexy for just one book. This girl is hooked and I can’t wait to see what happens with the rest of the Perfect Gentlemen

I haven’t slept much the last couple of nights because I couldn’t put this book down. I love a fabulous well written mystery, one that keeps me guessing—no predictability. Scandal Never Sleeps had me on the edge of my seat. So many facades to this brilliant mysterious story and it’s characters. Definitely not a predictable read.

If you’re in the mood for sexy read but want something that isn’t too deep, a story that you won’t be able to put down because you’re on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next… Scandal Never Sleeps is the book for you! One-click your copy today and take a sexy gentleman to bed with you tonight Nic

**I was provided with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review**

Still the One by Jill Shalvis ~Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway~

Still the One - Blog Tour Banner

 

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Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Release Date:  April 7, 2014

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

 Flirty and Dirty Book Blog’s Review of Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Still the One (Animal Magnetism, #6)Still the One by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jill Shalvis is one of my go-to authors, I know I’ll always get great story with unforgettable characters. The Animal Magnetism series is what started off my love for this wonderful author, and Still the One is just another fabulous example of why I love this series and Ms. Shalvis writing!!

Still the One is AJ and Darcy’s story, another couple to add to my list of favourites. Again, Ms. Shalvis took me on a sexy, emotional journey with wonderful, realistic characters. A determined woman trying to get her life back, who won’t admit she needs help — especially from a sweet, strong, silent, sexy, alpha *inserts sigh and swoon*. Are you hooked yet?? 😉

Still the One is angsty and packed with sexual tension. As always, Ms. Shalvis had my undivided attention within the first few pages and I couldn’t put this book down until I was completely finished! I dare you not to fall head over heals for AJ and Darcy’s story – I did!

If you aren’t yet familiar with Jill Shalvis you are missing out. The stories in the Animal Magnetism series can be read in order or as stand-alone books. Still the One could be just what you are looking for in your next read.  Nic

**I was provided with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review**

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Books a Million

 

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About the author:
Jill Shalvis is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. She has written more than four dozen romance novels and lives in Nevada with her family.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Unimaginable by Dina Silver ~~Release Day Blast – Blog Tour & Review~~

We’re celebrating the release of The Unimaginable by Dina Silver! Check out the excerpt below and enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite! 

 

Title: The Unimaginable
Author: Dina Silver
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery/Suspense

SYNOPSIS:

From the author of One Pink Line comes a story about letting go of the past and finding bravery in the depths of fear. Set on the sun-soaked beaches of Thailand and the rough waters of the Indian Ocean, The Unimaginable paints a vivid portrait of a young woman on a journey to find herself—and her harrowing fight for survival.

After twenty-eight years of playing by the rules, Jessica Gregory moves from her small Indiana town to Phuket, Thailand. But her newfound routine is upended with the arrival of Grant Flynn, a captivating, elusive man who is sailing around the world while trying to move on from a past tragedy. Jessica volunteers to help crew Grant’s boat, Imagine, on a passage across the Indian Ocean and finds herself falling in love with him as the voyage gets underway. But when disaster strikes, Jessica must summon her courage as the crew is confronted by unspeakable terrors––and, aboard a boat named for such promise, comes the unimaginable.

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The UnimaginableThe Unimaginable by Dina Silver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5++++++ This is one of the most incredible books I have ever read. You MUST add The Unimaginable to your TBR!

I have been trying to write this review for sometime, unsure of how to express just how amazing this book truly is. So here goes.

I found The Unimaginable to be an incredible, emotional journey of a young woman setting out on her own for the first time in her life. This beautifully descriptive story had my full attention right away, making me want to know more about the lovely young woman I had just met, and where her story would take me.

The characters are beautifully written and well-developed and I felt an immediate connection to them all thanks to Ms. Silver’s brilliant writing. Particularly to one little boy, whose presence touched my heart deeply. There is also no denying the strength of the relationships between the characters in this story. Whether the relationship is one of friendship, love or fear, Ms. Silver was able to make me feel the connection. I dare you not to fall in love with Jessica, Quinn and Grant.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading The Unimaginable, but I definitely wasn’t prepared to be sitting up at three in the morning, heart in my throat and tears in my eyes. So many emotions in this fabulous book. I won’t lie, Dina Silver completely broke my heart and I’m not sure if I can forgive her…You’ll see 😉 The Unimaginable is like nothing I have read this year and for all my heart may have been broken, I found this to be a very uplifting story.

If you are looking for a beautiful adventure with the added touch of a tummy-fluttering romance. A journey that will your break your heart and mend it back together… Look no further, The Unimaginable is one of my favourite books of 2014 and I hope it will be one of yours.  Nic

*I was gifted a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review*

EXCERPT

“Excuse me.”

My thoughts were elsewhere when I heard a man’s voice and then looked up from the dustpan to see him standing at my classroom door. His voice was strong and captivating, much like the rest of him.

“Can I help you?” I asked, and we locked eyes. His smile made me catch my breath.

“Sorry to interrupt. I would like to make a donation to the school.”

I brushed some loose hairs out of my eyes. “How are you with a broom?”

“Horrible.” He looked around. “But I’m a great storyteller.”

He was older than me, late thirties maybe, with rugged good looks. I guessed it’d been at least two days since he shaved. But he was tall and strikingly handsome, and his comment piqued my interest.

“Maybe you’d like to come to one of my classes and share your stories.”

He cocked his head and rubbed the back of his neck, then nodded. “Okay, you’re on.”

My face lit up. “Really? I didn’t think you’d actually say yes.”

“Then why’d you ask?” I let out a small laugh.

“I would love to.” He took a couple steps closer. “You look familiar,” he said with a knowing glance.

“I do?”

“Yes.” He crossed his arms. “I just said you did.”

I shrugged and then leaned the broom against the desk and extended my hand. “I’m Jessica. I’m a teacher here, and also the assistant director.”

He shook my hand, and I felt it in my heart.

“Grant Flynn. Nice to meet you, Jessica. You’re American?”

“I sure am. Sounds like you are as well.”

He nodded. “How long have you been in Thailand?”

“About four months.”

“Have you been with the school the whole time?” he asked.

“I have. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

He crossed his arms again and studied me. “I see,” he said, not taking his eyes off of me. “Are you the right person to talk to about making a donation? I’d like to leave a check if that’s all right.”

“Of course, yes.”

He grabbed his checkbook from his front pocket and pulled a pen from behind his ear. His presence put my nerves on high alert, and the irony that I was behaving like a giddy schoolgirl was not lost on me either.

“Thank you, Mr. Flynn. This is very kind of you.”

Many visitors to Phuket would come by the local schools and leave donations. It was sort of a ritual for some, a way to leave their mark, a gesture of kindness for many boaters to visit the schools and bring supplies or leave a small contribution of a hundred dollars or so.

“Please call me Grant,” he said as he wrote.

I stood behind him dusting myself off when Sophie walked in.

“Hey, mate, what are you doing here?” she asked.

Both Grant and I looked at her, but he answered. “Told you I was going to come by this week.”

“Right. You met my girl, Jess, did ya?”

He turned to me. “I did. She was helping me decide whether my donation should be manual labor or monetary, but I’m going to stick with my original plan.”

He tore the check out and handed it to me.

“You two know each other?” I asked.

“Grant’s been coming in to The Islander all week,” she said.

He pointed at me. “That’s where I know you from.”

I nodded. “Thank you,” I said, taking the check from him. “I’ll see that our director gets this today, and I look forward to hearing your stories.”

I glanced down and nearly gasped when I saw the check was for five thousand dollars.

“I appreciate it.” He touched my shoulder. “See you later,” he said to Sophie, then waved his hand over his head and walked out, allowing me to breathe freely once again.

Sophie and I went to the window and watched as he got into his rental car.

“You know him from the bar?” I asked.

“He and his mate have been coming in every night. I’m surprised you haven’t seen them. They’re docked at the marina, both Americans.”

“Niran had me on lunches last week.”

“He’s a charmer, eh?”

I nodded. “And quite generous.”

“How generous?” she asked.

“Five thousand dollars generous.”

“Shit, no,” she said, and whisked the check from my grip. “Skylar’s going to freak. You working tonight?”

“Nope. Not until Saturday.”

“All right then. See you later,” she said, and left.

I picked the broom up and saw the bus arrive, but all

I could think about was Grant Flynn.

When I came to school the next morning there was a package at the front door with my name on it. Inside were two DustBusters and a note that read: These are more my speed. I’ll see you in class tomorrow morning.
Grant

GIVEAWAY:
(1) Kindle Paperwhite and signed prints of: KAT FIGHT, ONE PINK LINE, FINDING BLISS, and THE UNIMAGINABLE (US)

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AUTHOR BIO:

Dina Silver is an author, a wine drinker, and an excellent parallel parker. She is the author of Kat Fight, Finding Bliss, and One Pink Line, which was chosen as a 2012 Top Title by IndieReader and was a finalist in their 2012 Discovery Awards. She lives with her husband, son, and twenty-pound tabby cat in suburban Chicago. She’d prefer to live where it’s warm year round, but then she’d never stay home and write anything.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Death’s Shadow by T.J. Hamilton ⭐️NEW REVIEW⭐️

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Release Date: December 1, 2014

Death's ShadowDeath’s Shadow by T.J. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Absolutely BRILLIANT read! Dark and edgy, TJ Hamilton will have you on the edge of your seat! Death’s Shadow is not to be missed!!!

I was intrigued by the smokey ballerinas on the cover of Death’s Shadow – my eldest daughter is heavily into ballet. So a story about Russian ballerina — count me in… I had no idea how intense this story would be.

T. J. Hamilton had my undivided attention from the first paragraph…WOW! Powerful stuff! Not knowing anything about the story prior to starting it, I could tell I was about to be taken on an emotional ride — and boy, was I right! There’s a warning in the beginning of the book about the subject matter, but never once did I feel like the author had taken it to far or was too graphic. Yes, some of the scenes are intense, and left me picking my jaw up off the ground, but every scene — every scenario was played out perfectly and tastefully. Still, the subject matter is touchy, nonetheless. It was great to read a book packed full of story.

Tatiana is such a complex character. I don’t think I was able to grasp how complex she was until I finished Death’s Shadow. Her story is gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring for what she has overcome in her young life. Yes, her story is fictional, but some of her life experiences could very well be pulled from the newspapers over the last few decades. There was a movie I watched years ago with Naomi Watts called Eastern Promises and there was a girl that reminded me of Tatiana.

Luka, I wanted so much more of Luka <3 For all the complications in his life, I felt how strongly he loved and wanted to protect Tatiana. Thank you Ms. Hamilton for giving Luka a voice, he wouldn’t have been the same.
All of the characters in this story were well-developed and well written. Even if their presence was only a short time, they left a mark in my mind.

If you love a darker read and are looking for something more than your standard romance, you need to add Death’s Shadow to your TBR.  Nic

View all my reviews

~BLOG TOUR~ Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis

Rumor Has It Tour Banner

I am so excited that Flirty and Dirty Book Blog is one of today’s stops on the Rumor Has It Blog Tour.  I am so in love with this book and its brilliant characters and I know you will be too!  

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He’ll help unleash the new woman in her…

Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect.

Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.

To Griffin, Kate as always been his little sister’s friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something lasting…
Rumor Has It (Animal Magnetism, #4)Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rumor Has it by Jill Shalvis is a must read! Make sure to add this one to your TBR! I couldn’t put this heartwarming book down! I dare you not to fall head-over-heels in love with fabulous read and its brilliant characters!

Honestly if it wasn’t for receiving an advance copy of Rumor Has It, I would probably have passed this one by! I just feel that the cover of this book does nothing for how truly AMAZING it is! Within the first few pages I was hooked, there was just something about Kate that drew me in, now one of my favourite female characters! All of the characters in Rumor Has It are brilliantly written, I loved each and every one of them and you will too! BUT, wait until you meet Griffin!!!! There is something about this man that will have you immediately swooning for him! I am having a hard time getting over my crush on Griffin <3

Rumor Has It is the whole package, witty banter, touching moments and plenty of angst that will make your heart ache but will not leave you feeling gutted. One of my most favourite things about this book is that it is sexy and SMOKIN’ HOT without being very graphic! LOVED IT!!! Sometimes I find myself skimming through graphic love scenes because I find that my mind needs a break. Fabulous build-up between the characters and loads of sexual tension that will leave you begging for more.

I was sad for Rumor Has It to end, it was an incredible book that I am so lucky I didn’t miss out on. Believe me, you don’t want to miss out on this read either!  Nic

 

22370About this author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky animals. Any resemblance to the quirky animals in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website atwww.jillshalvis.com for a completely booklist and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Jill’s Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/JillShalvis

 

Q&A with New York Times Bestselling Author, Jill Shalvis 

We’d like to give Jill Shalvis a warm welcome to our blog today!  Jill is the bestselling author of over four dozen romance novels, including her upcoming sexy contemporary romance RUMOR HAS IT, book four in the Animal Magnetism series set in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho.  Jill is known for stories that are sexy, fun and full of heart.  The 4-time Rita nominee and 3-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe.  Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog.

Q:  Can you tell our readers a little bit about the Animal Magnetism (Sunshine, Idaho) series, and where your inspiration came from?  

A:  I’ve always wanted to write a series where I could incorporate cute animals.  Cute animals and sexy heroes together, who can resist that.  So I came up with a series about a set of wildly alpha brothers running an animal center in Sunshine, Idaho at the base of the Bitteroot Mountains.

Q:  What is your favorite thing about writing this series? The sexy men, the heroines, or the animals?

A:  All of the above, but okay, let me admit the truth – the combination of hot guys and adorable animals is pretty much irresistible for me.

Q:  What do you think makes romance readers and the romance community so strong? 

A:  I think what makes the romance community so strong is that romance readers are awesome.  They’re loyal and dedicated and always so willing to help support our community by talking about the books and making it okay to read whatever you want, may that be straight contemporary, romantic suspense, erotica, whatever.  I love that.  As far as having a strong presence, that is an accidental cause of working alone most of the days out of the year.  Reaching out to romance readers and writers via social media is just a really great way to not always be alone.  🙂

Q:  Are contemporaries your favorite genre to read as well as to write? If so, can you give our readers some of your favorite recommendations?  

A:  Yes, though I love to read everything, across all genres.  Heck, I’m happy reading the back of a cereal box.  But as for my recommendations in the contemporary genre, you can’t go wrong with Robyn Carr, Kristan Higgins, Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, Lori Foster, Rachel Gibson…

Q:  Do you think reading romance makes us expect more from our own romantic partners? What effect do you think romance has on those that read it?

A:  We’re writing fiction.  Not nonfiction.  But made up stories, fantasies really.  I’m not writing “How To Have A Hot Romance.”  Or “How To Train Your Significant Other Into Being A Perfect Mate.”  I’m writing a fictional tale.  I think our readers are sharp, and are well aware and capable of knowing the difference between a pat Happily Ever After and real life.  If I can provide someone with a fantasy, a little escape from her reality, then I am considering it a job well done.

Q:  You write so many wonderful contemporaries, how do you keep each novel fresh and exciting?

A:  Keeping it fresh is a constant battle, and I struggle with that daily.  I just love writing, and this genre, and work hard to do the job so I can keep doing it and pleasing readers.  Also, I find that stalking neighbors and friends, and being extremely nosy about their personal lives and conflicts is very helpful.  🙂

Q:  What’s your advice for a first-time pet owner?

1. Read up on your pet, on the specific breed.

2. Be patient.

3. Be patient.

4. Be patient.  🙂

5. Oh, and if there’s training issues?  Chances are it’s you, so revisit #1.

Q:  The interactions shared between you and Alpha Man always entertain; what is a recent “He Said, She Said” between you and Alpha Man that we may not have heard yet?

Me:
What are you eating?

Him (mouth full):
Nothing

Me:
It smells like Oreos.

Him:

Me:
Are you … eating Oreos? I thought we were out of cookies!!

Him:
There’s only four left.

Me:
I need two.

Him:
I’ll give you one.

Me:
No! You can’t eat just one cookie!!! There’s a rule!!!

Him:
Show me the book where this rule lives.

Me:
I’LL WRITE YOU THE $%#!#$!@ book, give me a second cookie and no one gets hurt!

Him:
Is it possible that you need something to go with that cookie?

Me:
Milk?

Him:
I was thinking Midol…

Q:  Your friendship with Kristan Higgins and your friendly battle for “Man Wars” has become infamous.  Why do you two connect so well?

A: I think our chemistry translates well because it’s genuine.  You can’t fake a real friendship.   We connect on lots of levels, such as competing for readers (kiddin!), and because we’re both raising aliens—er, teenagers.

Q:  What’s next for Jill Shalvis?

A:  If you read RUMOR HAS IT, you may notice a new vet is working at Belle Haven. Dr. Wyatt Stone.  He and his two sisters, Darcy and Zoe,  are each going to get their own story next year. 🙂

The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan ~NEW REVIEW~

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I love Kendall Ryan books, they’re always packed full of story and sexy hotness!!  I was super excited for the release of The Impact of You but I seriously had no idea what I was in for as I very rarely read a synopsis and never read teasers.  WOW!!!  Seriously amazing read!!!  Not as scorching hot as some of Ms. Ryan’s other books but much more  emotional and sexy hot.  I do promise though that the sexual tension in this read will get you heated 😉  My heart was working over time while I was reading The Impact of You!

 

Avery is trying to move on with her life and escape the ghosts of her past.  My heart ached for this beautiful girl who had to live with the repercussions of an error in judgement while she was still so young.  I understood Avery and how trusting she once was and I completely understood how the events of her past shaped who she was.  Jase is…. WOW!  I double-dog-dare you not to fall head over heals for this wonderful incredibly seductive sexy character 😉 Suffering from his own issues in life, something draws him to Avery.  I honestly felt that they were two kindred spirits.  I loved both of these characters.

 

Kendall Ryan has tackled some very tough issues in The Impact of You and WOW did she ROCK it… seriously speechless!  I have to say that this has probably been one of my favourite Kendall Ryan books.  The story was real, the emotions it invoked were raw and I was completely engrossed!  For all there is a fair amount of angst I didn’t find it to be too over the top.  If you are looking for a read to get your heart beating and your pulse racing, I can assure you the sexual tension in The Impact of You is just what you are looking for, it was killing me… fabulous build up and release:-)

 

The Impact of You is one read you will not want to miss out on.  Tackling real life issues tastefully with brilliant writing and amazing characters.  You will fall in love with characters and their story.  N.  5/5 

Amazon

B&N Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-impact-of-you-kendall-ryan/1115538528?ean=2940016418650

Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/324256

 

The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan ~BLOG TOUR~

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I can’t tell you how excited we are about being one of the first stops on the The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan, Blog Tour.  

This is a brilliant read and I can’t wait for you all to meet Avery and Jase!  Make yourself comfortable and take a look at The Impact Of you 🙂

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The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan

~New Adult Romance~ 

Needing an escape from her past, Avery chooses a college where no one knows her. Keeping a low profile was the plan, falling for the intense frat boy, Jase wasn’t. Yet she can’t deny how alive she feels when he’s near. Even as common sense implores her to stay away, her body begs her to get closer.

Jase, numb from his own family drama, has grown bored with weekends fueled by nameless girls and countless bottles when he meets Avery. Helping her cope with her past is better than dealing with the bullshit his own life’s served up. Determined to drive away the painful secret she’s guarding, he appoints himself her life coach, and challenges her to new experiences. Getting close to her and being the one to make her smile are simply perks of the job. 

But when Avery’s past boldly saunters in, refusing to be forgotten, can Jase live with the truth about the girl he’s fallen for?

**Recommended for 17+ due to mature themes and sexual content.

~~Excerpt~~

Jase takes a sip from his coffee, his eyes still watching mine over the brim of the cup. “There’s something I don’t understand,” he says, running a hand through his messy hair. “You said you had a high school boyfriend, and you guys were pretty serious…”

Oh God, I can’t have him asking questions about Brent. “Uh huh.”

“And yet, you’ve never…” He raises his eyebrows. “So I take it you guys never messed around?”

I feel like I’m having an out of body experience. I can’t believe Jase wants to talk about my past…love life, or lack thereof. This is crazy. I feel like I’m floating above us, watching, preparing to witness my demise. “We experimented a little, but never had sex.”

He frowns. “And no orgasms for you?”

“Why are you so obsessed with my non-orgasmic status? Some girls just don’t have them, okay?”

“Um, no. That is most definitely not okay with me.”

I roll my eyes. “Madison said I probably would have if he… never mind.” I need a muzzle. Seriously, I should be shot. The things he’ll get me to admit to….

Jase pins me with an icy glare. “If he what?”

“Used his mouth,” I squeak out. It wasn’t actually how she’d put it, but I wouldn’t use those rude words to describe it.

“And he wouldn’t?” Jase’s eyes widen.

I shake my head. “He said he didn’t do that.”

Jase throws his head back in disgust, groaning as his eyes roll back in his head. “Any guy who has a policy against that is a fucking idiot.”

The nervous waves crashing inside me erupt into an all-out frenzy with this information. Jase’s opinion on oral sex shouldn’t ignite my sex-drive, make my skin tingle, or heat my lady parts, yet that’s exactly what happens.

His expression grows dark, more serious as he leans in closer. “Baby, if you let me, I wouldn’t come up for a week.”

Holy. Crap.

Nic’s review of The Impact of You

I love Kendall Ryan books, they’re always packed full of story and sexy hotness!!  I was super excited for the release of The Impact of You but I seriously had no idea what I was in for as I very rarely read a synopsis and never read teasers.  WOW!!!  Seriously amazing read!!!  Not as scorching hot as some of Ms. Ryan’s other books but much more  emotional and sexy hot.  I do promise though that the sexual tension in this read will get you heated 😉  My heart was working over time while I was reading The Impact of You!

Avery is trying to move on with her life and escape the ghosts of her past.  My heart ached for this beautiful girl who had to live with the repercussions of an error in judgement while she was still so young.  I understood Avery and how trusting she once was and I completely understood how the events of her past shaped who she was.  Jase is…. WOW!  I double-dog-dare you not to fall head over heals for this wonderful incredibly seductive sexy character 😉 Suffering from his own issues in life, something draws him to Avery.  I honestly felt that they were two kindred spirits.  I loved both of these characters.

Kendall Ryan has tackled some very tough issues in The Impact of You and WOW did she ROCK it… seriously speechless!  I have to say that this has probably been one of my favourite Kendall Ryan books.  The story was real, the emotions it invoked were raw and I was completely engrossed!  For all there is a fair amount of angst I didn’t find it to be too over the top.  If you are looking for a read to get your heart beating and your pulse racing, I can assure you the sexual tension in The Impact of You is just what you are looking for, it was killing me… fabulous build up and release:-)

The Impact of You is one read you will not want to miss out on.  Tackling real life issues tastefully with brilliant writing and amazing characters.  You will fall in love with characters and their story.  N.  5/5 

Amazon

B&N Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-impact-of-you-kendall-ryan/1115538528?ean=2940016418650

Smashwords
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/324256

 

View More: http://marisehlersphotographycom.pass.us/kendallAbout the Author

Kendall Ryan is the author of the bestselling erotic romance novels UNRAVEL ME and MAKE ME YOURS. She’s addicted to reading and writing romance novels filled with angsty tension, kissing and alpha males.

She lives in Minneapolis with an adorable husband and two naughty puppies, one of which may be part monkey. She’s hard at work on her next novel, RESISTING HER, which will be available in mid-2013.

You can find Kendall lurking online at: www. KendallRyanBooks.com or on Twitter, where she spends far too much time fangirling over fictional hotties, @KendallRyan1

 

 

Eyes Wide Open by THE FABULOUS Raine Miller ~IT’S ALMOST HERE~

ewoAfter month of waiting the next instalment of The Blackstone Affair, Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller is nearly here!! Eeeeeeeep!!  I just finished this AMAZING book and I have to tell you I am speechless!!  I can’t put into words how much I LOVED Eyes Wide Open but I guess I have to figure that out for my review!!!  I am so in love with Ethan and Brynne’s story!!!

Enjoy the first chapter and make sure to add Eyes Wide Open to your TBR.  Did you know that a fourth book is in the works???? SQUEEEEEEEEE!

Goodreads | Untitled (The Blackstone Affair, #4) by Raine Miller – Reviews, Discussion,Bookclubs, Lists

Amazon Canada  Eyes Wide Open: The Blackstone Affair, Book 3: Amazon.ca: Raine Miller: Books

Amazon US  Eyes Wide Open: The Blackstone Affair, Book 3: Raine Miller: 9781476735603: Amazon.com: Books

Amazon UK  Eyes Wide Open: The Blackstone Affair Part 3: Amazon.co.uk: Raine Miller: Books

Chapter 1~

Ethan’s eyes held on to me as he mastered my body, his grip firm on my hips, his thick flesh filling me up and moving inside me, his mouth all over me, his teeth on my skin.

All of this from the man who had broken though the walls I’d built and captured me. They were demonstrations of touch and pleasure, a means of cementing the connection between us, of keeping me close to him. It was his way. He didn’t need to worry, though.

Ethan had me.

Despite the whole mess tonight, he had me in his arms and underneath him, his commanding strength taking charge in the way it’d been from the beginning. Holding me safe. That night on the street when he’d coaxed me into his car and the later phone calls demanding I acknowledge him were just the start of my understanding of Ethan Blackstone. There was so much more to the man than I ever imagined back then.

I wasn’t going anywhere. I was in love with him.

“I want my cock in you all night long,” he rasped, his blue eyes flashing against the moonlight as he moved. Looming over me, he plied my body in every which way as the light shone on our naked bodies through the balcony window. Hands, mouth, cock, tongue, teeth, fingers—he used them all.

Ethan said things to me like that during sex. Shocking stuff that made me hotter than hell, nourishing my confidence, and showing me how much he wanted me. It was precisely what I needed. Ethan was my answer, and he knew exactly what I craved. I don’t know how he understood me so well, but he did without a doubt. Tonight had affirmed that message loud and clear. I guess I could finally admit that I was in need of another person in order to be happy.

That other person was Ethan.

I’d let someone in. The hard shell around my heart had been compromised, and very thoroughly too. Ethan had done it. He’d worked on me, and pushed me and demanded my attention. He never gave up on me and loved me in spite of my cavern of emotional issues. Ethan did all that for me. And now I could revel in the fact that I was loved by a man whom I loved in return.

“Eyes on me, baby,” he commanded on a harsh breath. “You know I have to have your eyes when I take you!” His hand had moved up to grip my hair and he tugged. He never hurt me when he pulled it, though. Ethan knew just how much pressure to exert and was fully aware it sent me over the edge. I did know about his need for my eyes being on him and I held onto his fiery blues with everything I had.

But Ethan knew more about me than I knew about him.

“You’re going to come first!” he gritted out, thrusting deep and hard, finding the sensitive spot within me needed to accomplish his directive.

As I felt the pressure build I let myself go to that perfect place of ecstasy, pinned beneath Ethan’s body, which was burrowed in mine, his blue eyes just inches above me. He took my mouth as the orgasm ripped into me, filling another part of me, making me accept more of him, binding us together more deeply.

His orgasm followed mine within seconds. I could always tell he was close from how he tightened to inhuman hardness right as he was about to come. The feeling was out of this world and intensely empowering. That I could pull such a reaction from him and elicit such feeling in another person did something to me. Something that healed me a little bit each time it happened—I kept getting better inside my head because of Ethan and the ways he showed his love for me. I had some hope about myself that I could be happy and live a normal life.

Ethan had given me that.

“Tell me, baby,” he exhaled in a harsh whisper, but I could hear the vulnerability that accompanied the boldness. Ethan wasn’t without his own insecurities, he was just a mortal like the rest of us.

“Always yours!” I truly meant my words as I felt him let go inside me.

When I opened my eyes sometime later, I realized I must have dozed a bit. Ethan had rearranged us halfway on our sides, but we were still joined together. He liked to stay buried inside me for a while afterward. I didn’t mind, because it was something he desired and I loved making him happy.

I just wish he’d tell me more about his dark place. He was afraid to share and while it bothered me, I mostly understood his fear. I often wondered if his reasons for needing to touch me all the time and possess me so thoroughly during sex, and afterward too, had something to do with his time as a prisoner. They tortured him and scarred him and hurt him. It pained me just remembering how he’d been that night when his dreams woke him up in a panic.

I trailed my fingers over his shoulder and back. I imagined the angel wings of his tattoo and the words below them. And I felt the scars too. Ethan flicked his eyes open and pegged me hard. “Why wings? They’re beautiful, you know.”

“The wings reminded me of my mum,” he said after a moment or two of silence, “and they covered many of the scars.”

I leaned forward, kissing his lips with a soft touch. I cupped his jaw and decided to take the plunge. I didn’t want to scare Ethan away from talking to me if he was in a mood, but figured I had to try again at some point. “And the quote? Why that one?”

He shrugged and whispered, “I think I died a little tonight.”

So much for him opening up and sharing. He wasn’t up for any more delving into his past. I could tell. “What do you mean you died a little?”

“When I couldn’t find you after that message came in on your mobile.” He traced my cheek and then my lips with his finger—just the lightest touch, and I felt a shiver roll through me.

“Well, you did find me eventually, and no dying allowed, mister. That would be a real major buzzkill.” I tried to tease him into a lighter mood, but it didn’t seem to be working. When Ethan was in a serious frame of mind, he didn’t just switch out of it easily.

“I’m glad you feel better,” he paused and thrust his hips with a renewed erection, sinking in deep, “because I needed this with you, badly.”

“I’m here and you have me,” I murmured against his lips as he draped my legs over his shoulders and took charge of another round of pleasure.. Once was rarely enough for him.

Ethan made me feel desirable. He made me feel beautiful and sexy, from the words that came out of his mouth to the touch of his body in mine when he made love to me. And afterward, when he held me against him like I was precious.

Somebody wanted me, despite all that had gone down in my past. Someone was willing to fight for me. I was important to another person. To Ethan I was. The power in that knowledge was life-changing.

Ethan’s particular brand of attention was intense and a lot to accept at first, but it worked for me. Ethan worked for me. He could show me how much he wanted me, and for the first time I had some hope that we could really make this relationship work. The “let’s go slow” part hadn’t happened at all like we’d agreed when we first met. But if we had gone slowly, I very much doubt I’d be naked in bed with him at the Somerset coast, in an English manor fit for a king, which happened to be owned by his sister, and being fucked to the brink of another magnificent orgasm right now. A girl has to take things as they come.

It took a bit for me to rouse myself after the second round of sheet-clawing sex, but I managed to wriggle out of his hold to head for the bathroom so I could clean up and prepare for sleep. I loved how he touched me all the time. I needed it, plain and simple, and Ethan knew that. It was just another way in which we were emotionally compatible.

I filled a glass of water and took the pill Dr. Roswell had prescribed for my night terrors. I had a routine. Birth control and vitamins in the morning, sleeping pill at night, once I was ready to actually sleep. I smirked into the elegant bathroom mirror that looked like something out of Buckingham Palace, realizing that bed and sleep were never synonymous when with Ethan. We spent a great deal of time together in bed not sleeping, but I wasn’t complaining.

I didn’t expect to find him awake when I came out of the bathroom, but his eyes were open, tracking my every movement as I settled back into bed. He reached for me and held my face, something he did often when we were close like this.

“How come you’re still awake? You must be exhausted after that long drive,” I paused for emphasis, “and all that superb shagging—”

“I love you and I never want to let you go,” he interrupted.

“So don’t.” I looked into his blue eyes, which seared me in the dim light.

“I never will.” He said it with some hardness and I felt that he really meant it.

“I love you too, and I’m not going anywhere.” I leaned in to kiss his lips, the rasp of his beard stubble well familiar to me now. He kissed me back, but I could tell he had more to say and could feel the edge in him, which was surprising considering the orgasms he’d just pounded into me.

“The thing is I—I need something more permanent with us. I need you with me all the time so I can protect you and we can be together every day . . . and night.”

I felt my heart begin to thud rapidly, whispers of panic taking hold. Just when I got comfortable with one aspect of us, Ethan pushed for more.

He’s always been that way . . .

“But we are together every day now,” I told him.

He furrowed his brow and narrowed his eyes a fraction. “It’s not enough, Brynne. Not after what happened tonight and that fucked-up message from God knows whom. I have Neil working on your mobile trace right now and we’ll get to the bottom of it, but I need something more formal that tells the world you are off limits and untouchable by whatever designs they might have on you.”

I swallowed hard, feeling his thumbs start to move over my jaw as I tried to imagine where he was going with this. “What do you mean when you say ‘formal’? How formal are we talking?” Man, my voice was thready, and my heart felt like it would leap out of my chest the next moment.

He smiled at me and leaned in for a soft, slow kiss that calmed me some. Ethan had always calmed me, though. If I was unsettled or scared, he had a way of comforting me and easing the stress of the moment. “Ethan?” I asked when he finally pulled back.

“It’s okay, baby,” he said soothingly, “everything will be all right and I’ll take care of you, but I know what we need to do—what needs to happen.”

“You do?”

“Mmm-hmm.” He rolled us over and held my face again, propped on his elbows and trapping me beneath his sculpted limbs, hard and smooth against my softer parts. “I’m sure of it, in fact.” His lips dropped to my neck and kissed up to my ear and then down my jaw, over my throat, and back to the other ear. “Very, very sure,” he whispered between gentle kisses. “I realized it tonight as soon as we got here and I saw that you were wearing this.” He kissed the spot where the amethyst pendant he’d given me lay in the hollow of my throat.

“What are you so sure about?” My voice was faint, but every word rang out clear as a bell in the short distance between us, as if I’d shouted my question.

“Do you trust me, Brynne?”

“Yes.”

“And you love me?”

“Yes, of course. You know that I do.”

He smiled down at me again. “Then it’s settled.”

“What is settled?” I implored against his gorgeous face, which had mesmerized me from the first, one side of his beautiful mouth turned up confidently, holding me firmly beneath him in a possessive hold so typical of my Ethan.

“We’ll get married.”

I stared at him, sure the words that just came out of his mouth were out of a scene from a romance novel. Maybe I was having a dream. I hoped.

Ethan shifted on top of me and shot that idea to hell. Holy fucking shit!

“It makes perfect sense,” he said with a slow grin, “we make an announcement that goes out big, have you move in with me officially, and let everyone know your fiancé is in the security business—”

“Are you insane?” I cut him off and saw his eyes moving over my face, studying my reaction to his words. “Ethan, I can’t get married. I don’t want to. I’m just getting used to being in a relationship. It’s way, way too soon to even consider something like that for us . . .”

He grinned down at me, utterly calm and confident. “I know, baby. It is far too soon, but the world doesn’t have to know that. To them it looks like you’re about to be the wife of the former-SF, high-profile CEO of Blackstone Inc. To whoever is out there with an agenda, they get a message loud and clear. That they need to keep the hell away from you; that they won’t be able to touch you in any way, shape or form, and that they won’t get close enough to even blink at you, let alone deliver threats like that fucked-up shit from last night.” He kissed me softly, looking very proud of himself. “It’s a brilliant plan.”

I just kept staring at him, sure he was a figment of some fantastical dream I was having. “It’s also dishonest, Ethan. Have you even considered what you are asking me to do? To lie? To mislead our families and friends into believing some fiction that we met two months ago and now we’re getting married?”

He stiffened above me, and his jaw got that stubborn set to it. “When it comes to protecting you, I’ll do whatever I need to do. I’m not taking the risk with you—it’s too late for that. I told you I was all in, and that’s not changed in the last hours.”

His glaring expression was more than a little intimidating, even in the dim light. I tried to explain myself. “Well, no, my feelings haven’t changed either, but that doesn’t mean we can . . .”

My words trailed off as I tried to process what he’d just so confidently declared—that getting married would be a good idea—just like eating more vegetables or wearing sunscreen was a good idea. I had to wonder if the stomach bug that had got to me tonight was making me hallucinate.

“There’s no reason we can’t.” Ethan looked a little wounded as he studied me carefully, and it gave me a pang of regret, but only for about two seconds. What he was proposing was absolutely insane. I could barely wrap my head around being in love with a man who’d stormed his way into my life, audaciously and without apology, a mere two months ago. How in the hell could I agree to a marriage based on my protection from some mysterious threat of unknown motivations by unnamed people?

“I—I’m—you’re absolutely out-of-your-mind crazy right now! Ethan, do you realize what you are proposing here?”

He nodded at me, his face just inches from mine. I couldn’t really tell what he was thinking right now either. He wanted his way, I could guess, but his motives were what surprised me more. I knew he loved me. He made sure to tell me often. And I know my feelings for him were the same . . . but . . . marriage?! I was sure he couldn’t have suggested anything more of a shock to my fragile emotional grid than this. Surely Ethan didn’t want a wife. This was way too soon.

“Yes, Brynne, I very much know what I just said to you.” He kept his face neutral but firm, giving away nothing.

“You want to marry me, a woman you just met eight weeks ago, who has relationship phobias and—and a fucked-up past—”

He shut me up with a dominating kiss, the kind that left no doubts about the seriousness of his proposal. God! Am I in Bizarro World here? I let his mouth plunder mine for a moment, then brought my hand up to the back of his head. I tugged him back and cupped his cheek, seeking his eyes again.

“Baby . . . that thing tonight spooked me,” he whispered. “I didn’t plan this out; I just know what feels right. I want you with me. You won’t need a work visa any more. You can live here and work in London somewhere in your field. You’ll have time to find the perfect job without pressure to wrangle the immigration laws, and most important, we can be together. It’s what I want. I can shield you as your husband. I can make sure you’re always protected. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to keep you safe. I love you. You love me, yeah? What’s the problem? It’s the perfect solution.” He tilted his head at me and squinted his eyes like I was being illogically stupid.

“I’m not anywhere close to being ready for that, Ethan, despite how I feel about you.”

“I’m not either and the timing is horrible, but I think it’s our only good option.” He softly brushed my hair back from my face with a gentle touch. “I’m willing . . . and I think you should at least consider it.” He gave me the eyebrow look. “I’m not enduring another episode like we had tonight at the National.”

I started to protest but he shushed me with another demanding kiss that was so very typical of him. He held me beneath him, pressing me into the soft mattress and stroking into my mouth with a skilled tongue. I let him kiss me and just floated along for a bit, trying my best to process what he’d shared.

“Before you get all feisty and worried, I want you to just think about it for now. We could have a long engagement, but the announcement is what will make people sit up and take notice. We had a tough night and there’s a ton of shit to be sorted, but in the end, we’re together and that won’t be changing.” He kissed me on the forehead. “And you’re moving in with me.”

I just stared at him and took in his words.

“That last part is not a request, Brynne. What went down tonight was utter madness and we cannot be living in two places.”

“God, what am I going to do with you?” I stifled a yawn and realized the pill was making me sleepy. I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue this conversation much longer. The idea flashed through my mind that he might have used that fact to his advantage. Ethan wasn’t good at poker for nothing.

“You’re exhausted, and quite frankly I am too.”

I yawned again and agreed with him. “I am . . . but I still don’t know what to even say about what you’re suggesting,” I told him, speaking into his eyes, which were just inches from mine.

He snuggled me against his body in preparation for sleep and buried his face in my neck. “You’re going to go to sleep right now, and think about it . . . and trust me . . . and move in with me officially.”

“Just like that?” I asked.

“Yeah, just like that.” His lips moved against the back of my neck. “It’s simply the way things have to be.” I felt his stubble graze my skin as he pressed close. “I love you, baby. Now go to sleep.”

Ethan’s strong arms folded around me did feel magnificent, despite the fact that I thought he was out of his ever-loving mind. But knowing that he would do something so drastic for me just to keep me protected, that he loved me that much, made the small smile on my face feel quite fucking fabulous, to quote my soldier-mouthed lover.

I did sleep then, safe in his arms.

 

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