Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon


Release Date: 19th June 2018

Genre: Historical Romance


When Wicked Comes Calling…

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain…

Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion…

But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.

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There was absolutely nothing I didn’t enjoy about this novel! Having never read a Sarah MacLean novel before, rather than berate myself i’m incline to patting myself on the back for picking a such a terrific one to start with. There was mystery and intrigue, and above all a wealth of and chemistry between two charismatic leads. 


Excerpt from Wicked & the Wallflower

Chapter One

May 1837

The Devil stood outside Marwick House, under the black shadow of an ancient elm, watching his brother within.
Flickering candles and mottled glass distorted the revelers in the ballroom beyond, turning the throngs of people within—aristocrats and moneyed gentry—into a mass of indiscernible movement, reminding Devil of the tide of the Thames, ebbing and flowing and slick with color and stink.
Faceless bodies—men dark with formal dress and women gleaming light in their silks and satins—ran together, barely able to move for the craning necks and flapping fans waving gossip and speculation through the stagnant ballroom air.
And at their center, the man they were desperate to see—the hermit Duke of Marwick, shining bright and new, despite having held the title since his father had died. Since their father had died.
No. Not father. Sire.
And the new duke, young and handsome, returned like London’s prodigal son—a head taller than the rest of the assembly, fair-haired and stone-faced, with the amber eyes the Dukes of Marwick had boasted for generations. Able-bodied and unwed and everything the aristocracy wished him to be.
And nothing the aristocracy believed him to be.
Devil could imagine the ignorant whispers running riot through the ballroom.
Why should a man of such prominence play the hermit?
Who cares, as long as he’s a duke?
Do you think the rumors are true?
Who cares, as long as he’s a duke?
Why hasn’t he ever come to town?
Who cares, as long as he’s a duke?
What if he’s as mad as they say?
Who cares, as long as he’s a duke?

I hear he is in the market for an heir.
There had been a deal, made twenty years earlier, when they were three brothers in arms. And though much had happened since that deal had been forged, one thing remained sacrosanct: no one reneged on a deal with Devil.
Not without punishment.
And so, Devil waited with infinite patience in the gardens owned by generations of Dukes of Marwick, for the third in the deal to arrive. It had been decades since he and his brother, Whit—together known in London’s nefarious corners as the Bareknuckle Bastards—had seen the duke.    Decades since they’d escaped the country seat of the Dukedom in the dead night, leaving secrets and sins behind, to build their own kingdom of secrets and sins of a different sort.
But, a fortnight earlier, invitations had arrived at the most extravagant homes in London—the ones with the most venerable names—even as servants had arrived at Marwick House, armed to the teeth with dusters and wax, with irons and airing lines. One week earlier, crates had been delivered—candles and cloth, potatoes and port, and a half-dozen settees for the massive Marwick ballroom, each now festooned with the skirts of London’s most eligible ladies. .
Three days ago, the News of Londonarrived at the Bastards’ Covent Garden headquarters and there, on the fourth page, a headline in smudged ink pronounced “Mysterious Marwick to Marry?”
Devil had carefully folded the paper and left it upon his desk. When he’d returned to his workspace two mornings ago, a throwing knife speared the newsprint to the oak.
And so it was decided.
The duke had returned, appearing without warning in this place designed for better men and filled with the worst of them, on land that he had inherited the moment he’d claimed his title, in a city he had ceded to them. And in doing so, he revealed his greed.
But greed, in this place, on this land, was not permitted.
So, Devil waited and watched.
After long minutes, the air shifted and Whit appeared at his elbow, silent and deadly as a military reinforcement, which was appropriate, as this was nothing short of war.
“Just on time,” Devil said, softly.
A grunt.
“The Duke seeks a bride?”
A nod in the darkness.
“And heirs?”
Silence. Not ignorance—anger.
Devil watched their bastard brother move through the crowd within, headed forthe far end of the ballroom, where a dark corridor stretched into the bowels of the house. It was his turn to nod. “We end it before it begins.” He palmed his ebony walking stick, its silver lion’s mane, worn from use, fitting perfectly into his hand. “In and out, and enough damage that he cannot follow us.”
Whit nodded, but did not speak what they were both thinking—that the man London called Robert, Duke of Marwick the boy they’d once known as Ewan, was more animal than aristocrat, and the only man who knew the past from which they’d fled. But that was before Devil and Whit had become the Bareknuckle Bastards, the Kings of Covent Garden, and learned to wield weapons with precision to match their threats.
Tonight, they would show him that London was their turf and return him to the country. It was only a matter of getting inside and doing just that—reminding him of that promise they’d made long ago.
The Duke of Marwick would beget no heirs.
“Good chase.” Whit’s words came on a low growl, his voice ragged from disuse.
“Good chase,” Devil replied, and the two moved in expedient silence to the dark shadows below the railing of the long balcony, knowing they would have to act quickly to avoid being seen.
With fluid grace, Devil scaled the balcony, leaping over the balustrade, landing silently in the shadows beyond, Whit following. They made for the door, knowing that the conservatory would be locked and off limits to guests, making it the perfect entry point to the house. The Bastards wore formalwear—preparing to blend into the crowd until they found the duke and dealt their blow.
Marwick would be neither the first nor the last aristocrat to receive a punishment from the Bareknuckle Bastards, but Devil and Whit had never wished to deliver it so well.
Devil’s hand had barely landed on the door handle when it turned beneath his touch. He released it instantly, backing away, fading into the darkness even as Whit launched himself back over the balcony and onto the lawn below without sound.
And then the girl appeared.


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About the Author:

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


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Genres: Dark Romance

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KNOTTED by Pam Godwin

Series: (Trails of Sin #1)

Genre: Dark Cowboy Romance

Release Date: 1st May 2018

I try to forget her.
It’s impossible.

Growing up together, Conor and I shared all our firsts.
First love, first kiss, first…
Not all our firsts.

We were sixteen the night she was violently assaulted while I helplessly watched.
I’ll never forget the sounds of her suffering.
Or my inconsolable agony when she left Oklahoma.

Years later, she returns to honor our teenage pact.
Except the boy she loved is gone, replaced by a ruthless cattle rancher knotted with secrets.
She doesn’t know my dark cravings or the trails of sin that lead to her.

I don’t deserve her, but one truth remains.
She’s mine.


★3.5 STARS★

It’s impossible to have a conversation about Dark Romance without Pam Godwin’s name being mentioned. She has an incredible ability to combine barbarous and beauty, and as a result what begins as hard to watch transforms into a display one is simply unable to keep their eyes from.

Although the synopsis to Knotted eludes to a traumatic incident, such is the skill to Pam’s writing I still managed to feel caught off guard by the events that take place. So shocking and hard-hitting was it, I felt bruised by its impact and emotionally raw.

For childhood sweethearts Jake and Conor, life irrevocably changes on that night. In it’s wake is a path that leads their lives careening in two different directions. For Conor she feel nothing but abandonment, but Jake has been bidding his time to bring her back to the home where she belong.

You’ll find I am being purposefully vague but that’s because I feel it’s a story best to express blind. That said, I found it hard to stay in the spirit in the story when it came to Jake’s understanding of what it meant to help Conor heal. I personal didn’t find him qualified enough to this in that regard, so I couldn’t help but feel removed when it came to this.

With Knotted Pam cleverly plots a storyline that not only ties its characters together by their harrowing experiences, but she also paves the way for the rest of the Trails of Sin series.


Meet Pam Godwin:

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.


Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Connect with Pam:

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Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by St. Martin's Press

CHASER by Kylie Scott

Series: Dive Bar, #3

Release Day: 17th April 2018

Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring.. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she’s pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she’d had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it’s Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?


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★4.5 Stars★

It was always going to be uphill battle for Eric Collins to be taken seriously. He’s a manwhore extraordinaire, and the very idea of monogamy is one he himself would have laughed at not a few months ago. However, with everyone around him settling down he’s weighed up the benefits and feels he has what it takes to be a one woman man.

As part owner of Dive Bar there’s no shortage of potential women to date, but longevity is the name of the game. He bides his time until his roving eye lands on newbie to the bar, Jean Antal. Eric is taken with Jean right away, and he’s not put off by the fact that the attraction seems to be one sided. He’s serious about finding a meaningful connection but the breaks are well and truly pumped once he discovers his new potential match is also a soon to be mother.

Her time chatting with Eric was a momentary welcomed relief from the stressors in her life. Her family situation as well as impending single motherhood do not leave any time for frivolities. She knows she should avoid the playboy but he happens to there to lend a hand whenever she finds herself in need. As time goes by it becomes harder to co-sign the nature of their relationship as purely friendship. Eric evolves into a character that I would go to bat for without a doubt. He’s caring and dependable and he proves himself to be unadulterated boyfriend material.

Owing to my love of Eric, my only gripe would be the lack of confidence his friends had in his transformation. Other than that, I adored every last drop of this story. It was emotional and sweet and far more intimate than expected.




DIRTY (Dive Bar, #1)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon CA | iBooksB&N | Kobo | Google Play


TWIST (Dive Bar, #2)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon CA | iBooksB&N | Kobo | Google Play


CHASER (Dive Bar, #3)

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | iBooks | Books A Million | Indiebound



About Kylie Scott

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from



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Genres: New Adult


HER DEFIANT HEART by Monica Murphy
Publication Date: March 29th, 2018
Genre: New Adult Romance

Her Defiant Heart ebook


Life can feel like a cruel joke. I grew up poor and motherless, with a father who never got over his wife’s abandonment. But now he’s gone too, and I’m dead set on finding the woman who so carelessly tossed me aside when I was a baby.

I want revenge. And I’m going to get back at my mother any way that I can.

I change my name. Start my new life in college, and just happen to cross paths with the gorgeous, ultra-rich Rhett Montgomery. He’s immediately interested in me, not that I’m surprised.

You see, I planned it that way. I meant for him to find me. He’s the one connection to my mother, and I’m using him, so I can destroy her. But I didn’t plan on Rhett being so charming. Sweet. Sexy.

And I definitely didn’t plan on falling for him either…


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Genres: Contemporary Romance


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Marriage of Inconvenience, an all new romantic comedy standalone in the USA Today bestselling, Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

MOI copy


Release Date: 6th March 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?


Staring at his chin, because I couldn’t quite lift my eyes any higher, I cleared my throat. “Should we get ready for bed?”


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Genres: Romantic Comedy



Release Date: 1st February 2018

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.



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Genres: Romantic Comedy

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MAN CARD (Man Hands, #2)  by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Release Date: 15th January 2018

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Nothing ventured, nothing banged…

I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor–our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down…
It can never happen again. I don’t even like Braht. He’s too slick. He’s a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can’t I get him out of my head?
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She’s the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don’t call her the Ashkicker for nothing.
Eventually I’ll win her over…if my past doesn’t ruin everything first.
‪★‬4 STARS‪★

January 15th is known as “Blue Monday” aka “the most depressing day of the year” here in the U.K. and I choose to believe Bowen & Eby purposely chose this day to bestow the much-awaited second release in their hilarious romcom series.

Although MAN CARD can be considered a standalone, it features two standout characters first introduced in MAN HANDS. Ashley Power is the no nonsense, go-getting firecracker of a real estate agent. She’s successful and serious and has no time for irritating and excitable Sebastian Braht. Not only is he her nemesis and rival competitor, most annoyingly he’s the object of her unsolicited porny daydreams.

Braht has made no secret of his pursuit of Ash, as far as he is concerned it’s a matter of time before she gives up the ghost and gives in to her attraction to him. The fact that he has transferred to her offices should help move things along nicely. Much to Ash’s chagrin his presence becomes more sought out than an annoyance and we see their “rivalry” become more of a romance.

By all means Braht is very much the metrosexual male, and there is no denying his lovability. Be that as it may he’s not afraid to bare his teeth when it come’s to protecting his ladies honor. I really enjoyed exploring the emotional side to him and discovering more about the man beneath the coiffed hair do.

You can consider me a fully paid up, card-carrying lover of this series! It’s full of romance, comedy and dialogue that had me in stitches on many an occasion.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo |


About Sarina Bowen:


Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

About Tanya Eby:

Tanya Eby is the Audie Award-winning narrator of over 500 diverse titles. She’s the voice of books from every big-5 publishing house as well as Audible, Brilliance, Blackstone and Tantor.

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Genres: Contemporary Romance

THE HUNT by Monica James

Release Date: 30th October 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

From international bestselling author Monica James.

My name is Hunter O’Shea and I have a confession to make…I’ve met a girl who consumes me. I know that makes me sound completely whipped, but Mary “Lamb” Mitts has the power to bring me to my knees…it’s just too bad she hates my guts. But that’s okay, because I hate hers, too. The fiery redhead stirs something in me that I can’t explain.

This temporary insanity could be due to the fact my best friend, who used to be a bigger player than me, is getting married. That must be it. I’m caught up in an Oprah moment.

The only solution is to get back in the game and forget she exists. That theory is great—too bad I don’t want anyone else.


I’m so screwed. 

Buy Links:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo |

Order Books 1 & 2: 
Book 1: Dirty Dix:
Book 2: Wicked Dix:

★3.5 STARS ★

Hunter O’Shea is the last manwhore standing due to his wing man and best friend doing the unthinkable act of settling down. To add insult to injury Hunter has the responsibility of acting as best man for the upcoming nuptials.

As can be expected he has all the attributes you can associate with a player. He’s cocky, confident, and annoying endearing with it. Nonetheless I couldn’t wait to meet the woman who would bring our self-assured hero to his knees.

Mary “Lamb” Mitts is a fiery red head who won’t be turned. Although acting as bridesmaid for her best friend’s wedding puts her directly in Hunter’s crosshairs, it’ll be a cold day in hell before she finds herself getting caught up by his charm.

In addition to the fun of their cat and mouse nature relationship was the added angst of their long-time simmering sexual attraction. They are more than happy to play the role of enemies, but when the wedding forces them to play nice, they find themselves lowering their defences until to both their surprise, their relationship becomes more love than hate.

The Hunt was a cute and fun read and I found myself caught in its web from the outset.


About Monica James:

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson.

When she is not writing, Monica is busy running her own business, but she always finds a balance between the two. She enjoys writing honest, heartfelt, and turbulent stories, hoping to leave an imprint on her readers. She draws her inspiration from life.

She is a bestselling author in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the U.K.

Monica James resides in Melbourne, Australia, with her wonderful family, and menagerie of animals. She is slightly obsessed with cats, chucks, and lip gloss, and secretly wishes she was a ninja on theweekends.

Connect with Monica James: 

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Genres: Contemporary Romance


“Grip is my ultimate…If I was forced, gun-to-the head, to make one book boyfriend real to be mine, it would be him. No questions asked.”

— Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling Author 


STILL by Kennedy Ryan

Publication Date: September 25th, 2017

Read STILL Today: Amazon US | Amazon UK |

I’ll be there.
Through thick and thin.
Ride or die.
You can count on me.

The promises people make.
The vows we take.
Assumptions of the heart.
Emotion tells us how we feel, but life…life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.
Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.

For Grip and Bristol,
Love started at the top of the world
On a Ferris wheel under the stars
But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?

Read STILL Today: Amazon US | Amazon UK |

“Mmmmm, that looks good.”

The comment grabs my attention, and I find myself smiling for the first time since I left Bristol. As she walks toward me, the approaching sunset paints the roof in shadows, but I see her clearly. Dark hair, burnished in places, falls around her shoulders. She has already discarded the dress she wore at lunch today in favor of a T-shirt and nothing else; it’s the one I just tossed into the hamper.

She tugs at my HABITUAL LINE STEPPER T-shirt, the hem landing at the top of her thighs. Where the T-shirt stops, my eyes keep going, past the lean muscles of her legs and the cut of her calves, the delicate bones of her ankles and to her bare feet. I love this girl, head to toe. Beyond this gorgeous packaging, it’s everything beneath that makes me beyond grateful she’s mine. The loyalty, the bottomless pit that is her heart, her sense of humor. The toughest girl I know is also the most tender, and I’m so honored I get to see both sides, all her sides.

“You out of clean clothes?” I nod to my T-shirt. “You gotta wear my dirty stuff now?”

An impish smile tugs at her bare lips. She’s washed away her makeup, and with it, all the sophistication she wraps around herself for her job. Up on this roof in my T-shirt, she’s just my girl. I love her in every iteration, but this is the one only I get to see, so it’s probably my favorite.

“I have clean clothes.” She steps close enough for me to smell her scent and mine mingling in the fabric. “I like the way this shirt smells.”

I drop a look over her, my eyes resting on the curves of her breasts in the soft cotton, where her nipples have gone taut under my stare.

“How does the shirt smell?” I ask, my voice as smoky as the steaks I should be paying attention to.

“Like you.” She leans forward until her breasts press into my chest. “It smells like you.”

My hands are twitching to touch her, and I finally surrender, slipping under the shirt to grasp her waist, pulling her up the few inches until our lips meet. I’ve been thinking about these steaks all day, and before Bristol arrived, I thought I was starving—but this, what I feel having her in my arms after hours apart, this is starving. It starts in my balls and tunnels up through my chest, infiltrates my heart, and presses its way to my mouth, which is open and devouring in a lips-searching, tongues-dueling kiss. I grip her by the ass, grinding our bodies together until the texture of her skin and mine, the scents of her skin and mine meld into this one panting, voracious thing that never seems to get enough.

“You better not burn my steak,” Bristol pants in between kisses.

I angle my head to send my tongue deeper into her mouth, holding her still, teasing her until she’s straining up, open and begging when I pull back.

“Grip.” My name is a whimpering complaint. She cups my neck and tugs my head back down.

“Oh, no.” I resist, laugh, and turn to the grill. “You were so concerned about me burning these steaks, Ms. Medium Rare.”

“I am.” She slides her arms around me from behind and I feel a sweet sting, her teeth gently biting my shoulder through my T-shirt. I love it when she bites me, but I’m not giving her that satisfaction yet. “But that doesn’t mean you get to stop kissing me. You have to multitask.”

One slim hand slides over my abs and past my belt to cup me through my jeans.

Damn. Not sure how long I can keep up this charade that I don’t want to screw her into the wall on the roof where anyone with half a telescope could see.

“Wow,” I say, keeping my tone unaffected, though she’s gotta feel me getting longer and harder in her hand. “Somebody’s horny as hell.”

She makes a sound that’s half outraged laughter, half indignant grunt before stepping around to stand in front of me by the grill.

“I will not be slut-shamed by my own boyfriend.” Amusement lights her eyes, turning them to quicksilver.

“Shamed?” I put down the grilling fork I’m using for the steaks and reach for her again. “No shame in being horny for me, baby. I wanna give you a gold star.”

Her eyes slide down to the erection poking her in the stomach. “Is that what we’re calling it now? Should we name it?”

“Guys who have to name their dicks probably aren’t using ’em right.”

“So I ask again . . . should we name it?”

I cock a brow and press our hips together.

“Are you implying that I don’t know how to use mine? Because that’s not the impression I got this morning when you came so hard you were singing like a bird.”

She tilts her head, her eyes wide and considering. “Did you say like a bird?” A small smile plays around her lips. “What made you say that?”

“I don’t know.” I give a careless shrug. “Why?”

“It’s silly,” she says, rolling her eyes in self-derision. “I was thinking today when I laughed it sounded like . . .”

Bristol blushes about once every Halley’s Comet, so the color washing across her cheeks makes me wonder.

“What?” I probe. “Your laugh sounded like what?”

“Like a happy bird,” she mumbles, peering up at me like I’m going to laugh in her face.

Which I do.

“Stop laughing at me.” She narrows her eyes in mock warning.

“Right.” I dip my head to catch her eyes and tease her. “Because when you tell me you laugh like a happy bird I’m just supposed let you get away with that.”

“I’m not telling you things anymore.” She narrows her eyes and folds her arms over her chest.

“Yeah, right. I’m your best friend.” I pull her back into me. “You’ll tell me everything like you always do.”

“You are, you know.” Her voice softens. “My best friend, I mean.”

When she looks at me like this, her eyes stripped of every defense, no guard in sight, completely honest and open and vulnerable, I feel slightly invincible. It’s a trick of the heart, I know, but I can’t help but think that as long as she looks at me like this, there isn’t anything I couldn’t survive, that our love is the stuff of legends, rolled in Teflon, disaster-proof. I’m as fanciful as Bristol, my laughing bird.

“You’re mine, too,” I echo her sentiment. “My best friend.”

“I won’t tell Rhyson,” she promises with a grin.

“I’m pretty sure he spits the same line to Kai.” I keep a straight face. “We have to say that shit to get laid.”

“I hate you.”

“Orrrrrrrrr do you love me and want to blow me after dinner?” I shrug and lift my hands, my palms up. “Just saying. Listen to your heart, Bristol. Listen to your heart.”

“I’m listening to my belly right now, smartass, and it’s growling. Feed me.”

“Like my mama used to say, ain’t no freeloaders in this house. What’ll you give me for feeding you?”

“Um . . .”

“I do have a suggestion, if you’re searching.”

“Let me guess—you have a ‘Will fuck for food’ sign up here somewhere?”

“I used bubble letters.” I laugh and give her ass a light smack. “You can barter that booty.”

It’s so damn easy with Bristol—our banter, the chemistry, the perfect rhythm of our conversation. It was one of the first things I noticed when we met all those years ago. We didn’t read each other’s minds or finish each other’s sentences. It wasn’t cosmic, but it was a connection that seized me by the brain and grabbed me by the balls. She was as smart as she was sexy, as curious as she was forthcoming. There were years in between when we made things complicated, when things were strained, but now with our hearts settled on each other for good, it’s simple.




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Kennedy Ryan’s GRIP series resembles a piece of music that captures the sensibilities of its listener. Each note draws on an emotion that breathes life into the words on the page. The beauty and sadness blend themselves to the power of the score, and its delicate nuances are resounding in their effect. So harmonious and melodic is the writing I was moved by the gravity of the chord Ms Ryan struck in me.

I wish were better able to articulate how consumed I became by this series. I was floored by the honesty and resounding intensity of Grip and Bristol’s relationship. From its opening note to the last, Kennedy gives performance that commands nothing short of a standing ovation.


About Kennedy:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.


Connect with Kennedy:

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Genres: Contemporary Romance

From New York Times Bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes the next standalone romance in the Original Heartbreakers Series—CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE!

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with an irresistible Original Heartbreakers story about a woman who’s never felt desired and the man who wants her more than air to breathe…

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis’s past is full of memories she’d rather forget. But there’s one she can’t seem to shake—her longstanding crush on former Army Ranger Daniel Porter. Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves the curvy Dorothea night and day, he’s as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.

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Hands trembling, she hooked the vacuum to the cart and rolled the cargo to the supply room…where her younger sister Holly was smoking a cigarette.

Coughing, Dorothea claimed the cigarette and stubbed the tip into an ashtray.

“Hey!” Eighteen-year-old Holly glared at her. “I wasn’t done.”

“You mean you weren’t done giving our guests lung cancer and stinking up the inn?”

“Exactly.” Ever the smart aleck, Holly tossed a piece of gum in her mouth and popped a bubble in Dorothea’s face. “Besides, we don’t really have guests, now, do we? Since you took over, only four people have stayed here. Mayor Trueman and his side slice, and Daniel Porter and whatever bimbo he happens to be banging.”

Not true! A few months ago, Dorothea had hired Harlow Glass, and everyone in town had rented a room to witness the former bully’s downfall.

Good times.

Dorothea hadn’t wanted to like Harlow, but dang it, something bad had happened to the girl in the years since

high school, and she’d changed. More than that, Harlow had done everything in her power to make amends, and eventually Dorothea had warmed up to her.

Now the beautiful brunette was married to reformed playboy Beck Ockley. The happy couple were expecting their first child in a few months.

A razor-sharp pang cut through Dorothea. Won’t think about my own—

Nope. Slam the breaks.

To ward off the oncoming pity party, she drew in a deep breath…slowly released it… Good, that was good.

She focused on her sister. Holly had pinned back the sides of her jet-black hair, the remaining locks tumbling all the way to the metal links anchored around her biceps. She’d paired a crimson corset top—her first pop of color in months—with a ruffled black skirt, ripped fishnet stockings and combat boots caked with mud Dorothea would have to clean from the floors.

In a town as small as Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, Holly was a legend. Unique.

“My inn, my rules,” Dorothea said. “No smoking. Ever.” Besides, she suspected the teenager only ever lit up to aggravate her. Not once had Dorothea witnessed an actual puff.

“You’re worse than a Mogwai that’s been fed after midnight.”

A Gremlins reference? Seriously?

“No wonder Jazz left you,” her sister added.

Air hissed between her teeth. Holly might hate her guts, but the teenager loved to insult her, and this barb hit harder than most.

Rather than waiting for love, as Dorothea had dreamed, she’d settled for companionship, marrying the first guy to pay attention to her. Worse, she’d believed his words rather than his actions. I adore you and only want what’s best for you…for us.


From the outset I could tell I was really going to enjoy CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE. We’re introduced to a teenage Dorothea Mathis, she’s had a horrible time at school so far, but she’s positive and upbeat that this will be her year. When her tormentor sets her sights on her it soon becomes apparent she’s due for another year of ridicule, except this time her object of desire Daniel Porter comes to her defence.

Any visions of falling into one another’s arms are quickly quashed when Dorothea is the accidental voyeur to Daniel hooking up with another girl. Although heartbreaking for her, it serves as a reminder that boys like him don’t go for girls like her.

Years later and Dorothea back in Town to help run the family Inn. A failed marriage and stalled career behind her, it’s easy to see why she’s down in the dumps about things. That is until the object of her teenage affection rents a room in her Inn. She’s not the naive school girl she once was so if he thinks he can charm her with one of his smouldering looks, he’s got another thing coming.

Daniel’s primary reason for being home is help look after his father. He struggles with guilt for being away so long, but more seriously he suffers from the residual effects of being in the Army. Daniel doesn’t need distractions which is why he finds himself frustrated he can’t get his cute Inn keeper out of his head. He’s reluctant to start anything serious, but Dorothea quickly sets him straight. Any notions of having his cake and eating it are off the menu.

Here’s where the fun really starts. Who knew that Daniel had it in him to be so incredibly sweet? He really did well raking up the swoons from me. And Dorothea? Talk about under selling yourself. She has great comedic value and a much loved snarky streak.

CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE is a banter filled, cat and mouse chase and I enjoyed every cheesy moment of it. I absolutely love it when the tables turn, and Dorothea certainly did  fantastic job of making Daniel work for it.


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About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at or


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