Review Tour – I Knew You Were Trouble

  
 
 
A feisty beauty must choose between winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
 
 
 
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept
 

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.


AVAILABLE NOW!
 
 
 
 

Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.

 

Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.

 

Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.

 

Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.

 

Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.

 

Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.

 

Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.

 

He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”

 

Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”

 

Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.

 

Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.

 

She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.

 

Coward.

 

It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.

 

Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.

 

She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Don’t.

 

He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.

 

Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.

 

Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .

 

What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.

 

Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”

 

Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.

 

Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.

 

His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.

 

Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”

 

Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.

 

Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”

 

Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.

 

Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”

 

Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.

 

She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”

 

Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”

 

She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”

 

His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”

 
 
 
 I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford, #4)I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is #4, in the incredible Oxford series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

From the time Taylor & Nick met, they were like oil and water. They occasional had to work together. They had mutual friends. It was all they could do not to kill one another, some days.

Nick has been attracted to Taylor from the very moment they met. Taylor would claim the same, if forced to do so. Their timing never seemed to click. Until one day….

This series is just phenomenal! Gets better and better with each story. I loved these characters. I loved that they did not want to be attracted to – or even like one another. It felt very real. Easy to read with a great HEA.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

 
 
 

 
 
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
 
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Release Blitz w/Review – The Friar

 

 

 

Adam Westfield gave his heart, mind, body, and soul over to God and entered the Franciscan Brotherhood, but a moment of rage had him breaking his vows and one of the ten commandments. Five years later, he’s released from prison a changed man once again. Unsure of his destiny now, he hits the road, roaming the United States, hoping to find a purpose in life again . . . and forgiveness.

A widowed mother of two, Sage Hammond is doing everything she can to hold onto the horse-breeding ranch that had belonged to her husband’s family for generations, but times are tough and she’s just barely getting by. Unable to find a ranch hand willing to work for meager wages, she thinks all may be lost and she will have to sell. Until a quiet, handsome stranger appears to be an answer to her prayers.

Adam is falling in love for the first time in his life, however, strange things begin to happen at the ranch—things that are putting Sage and her children in danger—and he finds he is willing to sell his soul to protect them. But will it be enough?

A man trying to overcome his past. A woman trying to secure her children’s future. Can they both learn to live in the present and discover that second chances do exist?

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The FriarThe Friar by Samantha A. Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Adam is starting over and trying to figure out what that mean for him. He has had a rough past with a lot of pain. He only knows he has to keep going to find where he belongs.

Sage has had a painful past as well. She has to raise her kids without their dad. She has to save her farm. She also has to figure out why she is so attracted to a stranger.

This book was full of surprises. There was honestly something inside for everyone between the pages. I had said earlier that it had “heart, reverence, joy, respect, friendship, family, and sexy!” Imagine all that with suspense thrown in. Yes, I know, really makes it a must read.

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

Connect with Author, Samantha A. Cole:

 
 
 
 
 

Blog Tour w/Review – The Boy Friend

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

Date of Publication: April 25, 2017

Blurb:

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.

She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.

She’s the bomb.

Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.

Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.

Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.

Now I want more. I want her.

All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.

Right?

If only it were that easy.

 

1

The Boy FriendThe Boy Friend by Mika Jolie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dean & Coriander AKA Cori are best friends. Yes, just friends. Only everyone around them either doesn’t believe them, or thinks they should be together. How can one find a significant other in the middle of all of this?

Cori wants to settle down. Dean wants to be the best friend for her that he can be. So what if he is suddenly finding himself thinking of her all day and all night. Is this the time to take a chance? Would the future be brighter if they gave it a try?

This was a such a fun and easy read. I really love these characters. They truly care about one another. The sexy times between them are hot too. Such an incredible and funny book! I loved it and found it hard to put down. Sure hope we visit these characters again soon.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie from Bibliophile Productions on Vimeo.

or watch the trailer on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPog98KiJaI

Guest Post w/Author Mika Jolie

Recipe Sharing – Salted caramel brownies

by Dean Conrad Morello

One of Coriander ‘Moonchild’ Phillips guilty pleasures is the combination of salted caramel anything. Tonight I’m baking one of her favorites—salted caramel brownies.

This recipe takes indulgent, fudgy chocolate brownies to the next level with a layer of salted caramel running through the center of each bite.

INGREDIENTS:

200g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing

100g chocolate

, 70% cocoa solids

100g chocolate

, 50% cocoa solids

397g can Carnation caramel

1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus a little extra for the top

200g golden caster sugar

4 medium eggs

, at room temperature

130g plain flour

50g cocoa powder

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line a 23cm square tray bake tin with baking parchment. Melt the butter in a medium pan, break in all the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for the cubes to melt.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 175g of the caramel with 1 tsp sea salt – it will loosen up. Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat with an electric hand mixer or balloon whisk until even.
  3. Whisk in the chocolate and butter. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a good pinch of table salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix. Beat briefly until smooth.
  4. Pour half the brownie batter into the tin and level it with a spatula. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter layer in 5 thick, evenly spaced stripes. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter on top and smooth it out, trying not to disturb the caramel beneath. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion. Drag a skewer or tip of a knife through the caramel to make a feathered pattern on the top.
  5. Scatter with a little more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 mins or until risen all the way to the middle with a firm crust on top. When ready, the brownie will jiggle just a little when you shake the tin. Let it cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

**This recipe was swapped from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com

 

EXCERPT:

I want her.

She wants me.

Just not enough. Actually, she’s smart. We’re a bad idea. I’m well aware of that, except I like bad ideas. Exhaling, I scrub a hand over my face. This unrequited desire needs to be tucked away. I should have put an end to these crazy thoughts from the beginning, but I entertained them . . . like a playful pet. Now, my desire has grown into a ferocious animal.

Acceptance is key here. I need to accept that I’m the boy friend, without the perks, and move on. No need for unnecessary tension. Our circle is tight. Attraction, lust, are part of the human flesh. These wild horses of my mind must be tracked down, captured, and tucked away in the Do-Not-Touch Cori file.

Find your copy of The Boy Friend at: http://mikajolie.com/books/the-boy-friend/

 

About Mika Jolie:

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.

Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

Find Mika Jolie Online:

Hosted by:
RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:
**WIN (1) copy of The Boy Friend eBook**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

or click here for Giveaway

 7

Blog Tour w/ Review – The Dangerous Billionaire

 

 

 

 

About the book:

 

 

Navy SEAL Sullivan “Van” Tate has been called home to reluctantly inherit an empire and finds himself facing the most difficult mission of all: love.

Nothing about Sullivan “Van” Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him…and the object of Van’s most dangerous desires. 

Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father’s ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can’t deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father’s company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he’s the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he’ll do anything to protect her?

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon ~ B&N ~ Google ~ Indiebound ~ Kobo ~ BAM! ~ iBooks

 

 

 

 

 

He didn’t look at her. Instead he shifted his weight onto one elbow and lifted his hand, cupping one breast in his palm. The breath hissed in her throat, the shocking heat of his touch reverberating through her like a scream echoing through a deserted house. He brushed his thumb over her aching nipple and she gasped, all the desperation she’d felt earlier rushing back.

 

He lowered his head, putting his mouth against the pulse at the base of her throat, the feel of his lips so hot she began to shiver almost uncontrollably. His tongue pressed lightly, his thumb brushing back and forth over her nipple, teasing her. She groaned, her spine bowing, pleasure like a live thing twisting inside her.

 

“Beautiful,” he whispered roughly against her skin, giving her the reassurance she needed without her even having to ask. “You’re just so fucking beautiful.”

 

He didn’t speak after that, too busy trailing kisses down over her skin, making goose bumps rise everywhere, the brush of his thumb maddening. Then he took his hand away as his mouth closed over the hard point of her nipple, hot and wet, an intense pressure building as he began to suck.

 

She groaned again, the pleasure bright and electric, her hands closing into fists beside her head. It felt so good she could hardly stand it. She whispered his name yet again, the sound raw as he teased her nipple with his tongue, then bit gently on it, making a sob catch in her throat.

 

He shifted his attention to her other breast, sucking that into his mouth as well as he slid one hand down the quivering plane of her stomach, to the fastening of her jeans. She lifted her hips urgently, unable to keep still, wanting to pull away from the maddening torture of his mouth and yet wanting him to suck harder, deeper at the same time.

 

“Hush.” His breath was hot against her sensitized nipple. “I told you to keep still. It’ll happen, don’t worry.”

 

She tried to do as she was told as he casually flicked open the button on her jeans and grabbed the tab of her zipper, tugging it down. Then his fingers were feathering light touches across her stomach, moving lower, sliding beneath the waistband of her panties. The breath sobbed in her throat as she felt those teasing fingers tangle in the soft, damp curls between her thighs, pulling lightly, sending tiny pinpricks of sensation racing over her skin.

 

She said something, she didn’t know what, maybe it was his name again or maybe it was a curse, and then she forgot it entirely as his fingers slid lower, stroking the soft, slick folds of her pussy.

 

Her hips bucked against his hand, her head going back on the pillow. He circled her clit with one finger, teasing her. Inching her closer toward the edge of the cliff but not pushing her off.

 

His mouth was so hot on her nipple, licking and sucking, torturing her as his fingers stroked unhurriedly around and around her clit, then sliding down to circle the entrance of her body, almost pushing inside but not quite.

 

He was playing with her, making her moan and move restlessly beneath him, blind now to anything but the feel of his hands on her body and the relentless pressure that was slowly building higher and higher.

 

Then quite suddenly he took his hands away and she nearly burst into tears at the loss, reaching for him as she felt his weight shift up and back.

 

“Lie still.” The rough sound of his voice rolled over her, full of command. “I’m not going anywhere.”

 

So she did as she was told, lying back against the pillows, blinking away the stupid rush of salty tears from her eyes and watching him slide off the bed. He straightened and pulled his shirt off, then got rid of his shoes. He un­ did his pants, pushed them down his hips along with his briefs, and stepped out of them magnificently, gloriously naked, but for his dog tags.

 

She couldn’t stop staring at him, following the carved lines of muscle and sinew, a work of perfect, masculine art, the eagle and trident inked across his chest making it very clear—as if his body hadn’t already—exactly what he was.

 

Dangerous, lethal. A weapon in human form.

 

He bent and got his wallet out of his pants, every movement fluid, purposeful as he extracted a foil packet from it. Then he ripped the open the foil, taking out the latex inside. And as she watched, completely fascinated, he reached down and gripped his cock in one hand, rolling down the condom with the other.

 

Big. He was really big. And beautiful too.

 

Her hands itched, wanting to touch him, to stroke down the long, smooth length of his rigid flesh, feel exactly how hard he was. But then he was moving, the bed dipping as he got back onto it. And her breath caught as he reached for the waistband of her jeans, pulling the denim down her legs in short, hard jerks, taking her panties along with them, and finally slipping them both off. Then he put his hands on her bare thighs and with ruthless insistence, spread them wide apart.

 

Another rush of vulnerability swept over her and she half sat up, breathing fast. “Van, I . . .” she began, before stopping short, not knowing what she wanted to say.

 

But he was moving forward, putting his hands on her shoulders and easing her back. “Let me look.” His voice had gentled again. “I only want to look at you.”

 

She tried to relax against the pillows, letting him hold her thighs apart, his gaze returning between them. The look on his face was so hungry, making her feel less ex­ posed and more . . . powerful almost. She liked doing that to him. She liked making him look at her as if he was starving.

 

He moved forward quite suddenly, coming over her, surrounding her with all that bare, tanned skin and strong muscle, his dog tags brushing against her sensitized breasts. The scent of him was everywhere, fresh, with that spicy, earthy undertone, and she was abruptly trembling so hard she didn’t think she’d ever stop.

 

He said nothing, looking at down at her, and this time his expression was fierce with something she didn’t under­ stand. She wanted to ask him what it was, but then he slid one hand beneath her hips, lifting them, and she felt the head of his cock slide through her folds, nudging against her clit. And she forgot what she was going to ask. In fact, she lost the power of speech entirely.

 

All she could do was lie there, shaking and desperate as he teased her, and when she didn’t think she could bear it anymore, he began to push his cock inside her, the intense stretch and burn of her pussy around him tearing a gasp from her throat.

 

She sobbed, because he didn’t rush. He went slowly. Inch by inch. Murmuring encouragement, telling her what a good girl she was, how tight and wet and hot her pussy was, and how good she felt around his cock. The dirty talk made her break out into a sweat, the climax so near she could almost taste it, making her want to shove herself up onto him or do something—anything—to push herself over the edge. But he didn’t let her, pinning one of her hips to the mattress with one hand as he lifted her leg up and around his waist with the other, tilting her pelvis so he could slide in deeper.

 

She stopped pleading, her throat too dry, her voice too hoarse. Besides, it was clear he wasn’t going to do anything until he was good and ready. She could only breathe through the pleasure that was wrapping itself around her throat and squeezing tight, making her gasp, making lights burst behind her eyes.

 

Then he was seated deep inside her, and she found herself pressed to the mattress, pinned beneath the hot, heavy weight of him. But strangely, looking up into his beautiful face, she didn’t feel crushed. She felt anchored. As if for the first time since she’d left Wyoming she’d come home in some way.

 

She didn’t speak as his arms came around her, cradling her, holding her close against him like she was a secret he wanted to keep safe. Then he drew back his hips and thrust deep inside her.

 

Chloe came apart then, sobbing against his shoulder, shattering as easily and as lightly as a sphere of blown glass, the pieces of her held together only by the strength of his arms.

 

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dangerous Billionaire (Tate Brothers, #1)The Dangerous Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This new series starts off with a bang as the Tate Brothers learn about what their father expects from his will and other documents. It sets them all off, as they are SEAL’s and don’t take what he tells them lightly. This book is the focus of Sullivan Tate’s request.

Sullivan AKA “Van” is a pretty important figure from Chloe’s childhood. So when he tells her the latest news to protect her, is hits her hard. Already reeling from the loss of her father, the added strain makes her even more vulnerable. She turns to Van to feel stronger and solve what seems to be the unsolvable.

This is already a really exciting series! I love the characters so much already. The male lead is totally H-O-T and really alpha. He seems to be so focused on what needs to be done. I cannot wait to see them again in later books. I am also very excited to read the next installment in the Tate Brothers series.

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

 

Social Links:

http://www.jackieashenden.com/

Twitter: @JackieAshenden
Facebook
: @jackie.ashenden

http://smpromance.com/
Twitter: @SMPRomance

Facebook: @SMPRomance

 

 

 

Excerpt Reveal – Ego Maniac

egomanaic-banner

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

 

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills.

 

He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

 

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant. Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

 

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated.

 

Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

 

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place.

 

I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind.

 

I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

 

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages.

 

The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing. And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

 

ADD TO GOODREADS  

 

Available for Pre-order on iBooks, B&N, Google Play, and Kobo now!

 

Preorder at iBooks ➜ http://apple.co/2fIsmvC

 

 

Preorder at B&N http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv

Preorder at Kobo ➜ http://smarturl.it/gdfzqc

Preorder at Google Play  ➜ http://smarturl.it/xmkkyl

Pre-order paperbackhttp://amzn.to/2eSNlub

 

Receive an alert when it’s live on Amazon 

http://www.subscribepage.com/f0e2q3

 

 

         

 

Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all.

                                                                       -Unknown

  chp1

 

DREW

 

I hate New Year’s Eve.

 

Two hours in traffic to make it not even the nine miles home from LaGuardia. It was after ten o’clock at night. Why weren’t all these people at a party by now? Whatever tension two weeks in Hawaii had relieved was already back to coiling tighter and tighter inside me as the town car inched its way uptown.

 

I tried not to think about all the work I was coming back to—the endless string of other people’s problems to compound my own:

 

She cheated.

 

He cheated.

 

Get me full custody of the kids.

 

She can’t have the house in Vail.

 

All she wants is my money.

 

She hasn’t given me a blowjob in three years. Listen, asshole, you’re fifty, bald, pompous, and shaped like an egg. She’s twenty-three, hot, and has tits so young they almost reach up to her chin. You want to fix this marriage? Come home with ten Gs in fresh, crisp bills, and tell her to get on her knees. You’ll get your blowjob. She’ll get her spending money. Let’s not pretend it was ever more than it really was. That doesn’t work for you? Unlike your soon-to-be ex-wife, I’ll take a check. Make that out to Drew M. Jagger, Attorney at Law.

 

I rubbed the back of my neck, feeling slightly claustrophobic in the back of the Uber, and looked out the window. An old lady with a walker passed us.

 

“I’ll get out here,” I barked at the driver.

 

“But you have luggage?”

 

I was already exiting the back of the car. “Pop the trunk. It’s not like we’re moving anyway.”

 

Traffic was at a dead stop, and it was only two blocks to my building. Tossing a hundred-dollar tip at the driver, I grabbed my suitcase from the trunk and took in a deep breath of Manhattan.

 

I loved this city as much as I hated it.

 

575 Park Avenue was a restored pre-war on the southeast corner of Sixty-Third Street—it was an address that gave people preconceived notions about you. Someone with my last name had occupied the building since before the place was converted into overpriced co-ops. Which is why my office was allowed to remain on the ground floor when other commercial tenants were tossed out years ago. I also lived on the top floor.

 

“Welcome back, Mr. Jagger.” The uniformed doorman greeted me as he swung open the lobby door.

 

“Thanks, Ed. I miss anything while I was gone?”

 

“Nah. Same old, same old. Peeked in on your construction the other day, though. Looking good.”

 

“They use the service entrance down Sixty-Third like they were supposed to?”

 

Ed nodded. “Sure did. Barely heard them the last few days.”

 

I dropped my luggage inside my apartment, then headed back downstairs in the elevator to check things out. For the last two weeks, while I was screwing off in Honolulu, my office space had been getting a total renovation. Cracks in the high, plastered ceilings were to be patched and painted, and new floors installed to replace the old, worn parquet.

 

Thick plastic remained taped over all of the interior doorways when I walked in. The little furniture I hadn’t put in storage was also still covered with tarps. Shit. They aren’t done yet. The contractor had assured me there would only be finish work left by the time I returned. I was right to be skeptical.

 

Flicking on the lights, I was happy to find the lobby completely done, though. Finally, a New Year’s Eve with no horrible surprises for a change.

 

I took a quick look around, pleased with what I found, and was just about to leave when I noticed a light streaming from under the door of a small file room at the end of the hallway.

 

Thinking nothing of it, I headed to turn it off.

 

Now, I’m six foot two and a half, two hundred and five pounds, and maybe it was just my frame of mind, my not expecting to see anyone, but when I opened the door to the file room, finding her there scared the living crap out of me.

 

She screamed.

 

I took a step back through the door.

 

She got up, stood on the chair, and began yelling at me, waving her cell phone in the air.

 

“I’ll call the police!” Her fingers shook as she dialed nine, then one, and hovered over the last one. “Get out now, and I won’t call!”

 

I could have lunged for her, and the phone would have been out of her hand before she realized she hadn’t dialed the final digit. But she looked terrified, so I retreated another step and put my hands up in surrender.

 

“I’m not going to hurt you.” I used my best soothing, calm voice. “You don’t need to call the police. This is my office.”

 

“Do I look stupid to you? You just broke into my office.”

 

Your office? I think you took a wrong turn at the corner of Crazy and Nutjob.”

 

She wobbled atop the chair, holding both arms out to regain her balance, and then…her skirt fell to her feet.

 

“Get out!” She crouched down and grabbed her skirt, tugging it up to her waist as she turned her back to me.

 

“Do you take medication, ma’am?”

 

Medication? Ma’am? Are you joking?”

 

“You know what?” I motioned to the phone she was still holding. “Why don’t you push that last one and get the police over here. They can drive you back to whatever loony bin you escaped from.”

 

Her eyes widened.

 

For a crazy person—now that I was really looking—she was pretty damn cute. Fiery red hair piled on top of her head seemed to match her firecracker personality. Although from the looks of her blazing blue eyes, I was glad I’d held off on telling her that.

 

She pushed one and proceeded to report the crime of entering one’s own office. “I’d like to report a robbery.”

 

“Robbery?” I arched an eyebrow and looked around. A lone folding chair and crappy metal folding table were the only furniture in the entire space. “What exactly am I stealing? Your winning personality?”

 

She amended her complaint to the police. “A breaking and entering. I’d like to report a breaking and entering at 575 Park Avenue.” She paused and listened. “No, I don’t think he’s armed. But he’s big. Really big. At least six feet. Maybe bigger.”

 

I smirked. “And strong. Don’t forget to tell them I’m strong, too. Want me to flex for you? And maybe you should tell them I have green eyes. Wouldn’t want the police to confuse me with all the other really big thieves hanging out in my office.”

 

After she hung up, she stayed standing on the chair, still glaring at me.

 

“Was there also a mouse?” I asked.

 

“A mouse?”

 

“Considering you jumped up on that chair.” I chuckled.

 

“You find this funny?”

 

“Oddly, I do. And I have no fucking idea why. It should annoy the crap out of me that I come home from a two-week vacation and find a squatter in my office.”

 

“Squatter? I’m no squatter. This is my office. I moved in a week ago.”

 

She bobbled again while standing on her chair.

 

“Why don’t you get down? You’re going to fall off that thing and get hurt.”

 

“How do I know you’re not going to hurt me when I get down?”

 

I shook my head and contained my laugh. “Sweetheart, look at the size of me. Look at the size of you. Standing on that chair isn’t doing jack shit to keep you safe. If I wanted to hurt you, you’d be out cold on the floor already.”

 

“I take Krav Maga classes twice a week.”

 

“Twice a week? Really? Thanks for the warning.”

 

“You don’t have to ridicule me. Maybe I could hurt you. For an intruder, you’re really kind of rude, you know.”

 

“Get down.”

 

After a full minute stare-off, she climbed off the chair.

 

“See? You’re as safe on the ground as you were up there.”

 

“What do you want from here?”

 

“You didn’t call the police, did you? You almost had me there for a second.”

 

“I didn’t. But I can.”

 

“Now why would you go and do that? So they can arrest you for breaking and entering?”

 

She pointed down at her makeshift desk. For the first time, I noticed papers all over the place. “I told you. This is my office. I’m working late tonight because the construction crew was so loud today that I couldn’t get done what I needed to. Why would anyone break and enter to work at ten-thirty at night on New Year’s Eve?”

 

Construction crew? My construction crew? Something was going on here. “You were here with the construction crew today?”

 

“Yes.”

 

I scratched my chin, half believing her. “What’s the foreman’s name?”

 

“Tommy.”

 

Shit. She was telling the truth. Well, at least some of it had to be the truth. “You said you moved in a week ago?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

“And you rented the space from whom, exactly?”

 

“John Cougar.”

 

Both my brows shot up this time. “John Cougar? Did he drop the Mellencamp, by chance?”

 

“How should I know?” This wasn’t sounding good.

 

“And you paid this John Cougar?”

 

“Of course. That’s how renting an office suite works. Two months’ security, first and last month’s rent.”

 

I shut my eyes and shook my head. “Shit.”

 

“What?”

 

“You got conned. How much did all of that cost you? Two months’ security, first and last month? Four months in total?”

 

“Ten thousand dollars.”

 

“Please tell me you didn’t pay cash.”

 

Something finally clicked, and the color drained from her pretty face. “He said his bank was closed in the evening, and he couldn’t give me the keys until my check cleared. If I gave him cash, I could move in right away.”

 

“You paid John Cougar forty thousand dollars in cash?”

 

“No!”

 

“Thank God.”

 

“I paid him ten thousand in cash.”

 

“I thought you said you paid four months.”

 

“I did. It was twenty-five hundred a month.”

 

That did it. Of all the crazy shit I’d heard so far, thinking she could get space on Park Avenue for twenty-five hundred a month took the cake. I broke out in a fit of laughter.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

“You’re not from New York, are you?”

 

“No. I just moved here from Oklahoma. What does that have to do with anything?”

 

I took a step closer. “I hate to break the news to you, Oklahoma, but you got ripped off. This is my office. I’ve been here for three years. My father the thirty before that. I was on vacation the last two weeks and had the office remodeled while I was gone. Someone named after a singer scammed you into giving him cash to rent an office he had no right to rent. Doorman’s name is Ed. Walk through the main building entrance, and he’ll verify everything I just said.”

 

“That can’t be.”

 

“What do you do that you need office space?”

 

“I’m a psychologist.”

 

I held out my hand. “I’m an attorney. Let me see your contract.”

 

Her face fell. “He hasn’t brought it by yet. He said the landlord was in Brazil on vacation, and I could move in, and he would come back on the first to collect the rent and bring me the contract to sign.”

 

“You’ve been scammed.”

 

“But I paid him ten thousand dollars!”

 

“Which is another thing that should have tipped you off. You couldn’t rent a closet on Park Avenue for twenty-five hundred a month. Didn’t you find it strange that you were getting a place like this for next to nothing?”

 

“I thought I was getting a deal.” I shook my head.

 

“You got a deal alright. A raw deal.”

 

She covered her mouth. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

 

   ★★★★  

 

We hope you enjoyed this extended preview!  

ego1   excerpt-teaser      

 

author-photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

 

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is an attorney and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today Best Selling author. Over the last three years, eleven of her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller lists and four on the New York Times Bestseller lists.

 

In 2013, she released her first romance novel and never looked back. To date, she has thirteen novels released, with PLAYBOY PILOT also releasing in 2016.  Her novels have appeared on #1 on Amazon and are currently being translated into German, Polish, Portuguese, Korean, Hebrew, French and Italian.

 

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

Excerpt Reveal – Someone Like You

  
 
A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
 
 
 
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016
Loveswept
 

 

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.
 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.


Advance praise for Someone Like You


“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

 
 
 
 
Daisy took another sip of her wine, watching as wedding guests took their places on the dance floor, warding off her boredom by trying to guess how long each couple had been together based on body language. 
 
She was a little amused to see that Emma and all of her Stiletto friends still seemed to be in the handsy honeymoon stage with their significant others, even though she knew they’d mostly been with their respective spouses for years.
 
Daisy felt a little twist of her heart. Once upon a time, she’d thought that’d be her and Gary. As much in love on someone else’s wedding day as they had been on their own. At least she’d been in love on that day. She wasn’t sure someone like Gary knew what love was. 
 
Still, she was glad to be here. Glad to be surrounded by all of this happiness, even if it was bittersweet. Daisy wished her father could be here to see this. He’d died of a heart attack a year ago, and though their dad had wreaked plenty of havoc on Emma and Cassidy’s relationship all those years ago, Daisy wished he could have walked Emma down the aisle and had a chance at the father-daughter dance.
 
The way it had worked out was rather lovely, though. Cole Sharpe, yet another Oxford writer, had walked Emma down the aisle, and a whole slew of the Oxford guys had twirled a laughing Emma around the dance floor in place of the father-daughter dance.
 
It struck Daisy that this was Emma’s family. Sure, the twins were close, but they were orphans now, and they’d never been particularly close to the rest of their extended family. So Emma had built a family here in New York, with a network of tight-knit friendships.
 
And though Daisy was happy for Emma she was also . . . jealous.
 
“I hate to break it to you, pet, but you’re pulling off the wallflower routine a little too convincingly over here.” 
 
Daisy turned, somehow unsurprised to see Lincoln Mathis standing beside her, blue eyes twinkling above the pink bow tie that he pulled off with impressive masculinity.
 
“You cheated,” she said, by way of greeting.
 
He smiled, slow and flirty, as he rested one shoulder against the wall she was leaning on, looking down at her. “How’s that?”
 
“You made them laugh and cry in your speech. I thought we agreed that you were just going to be the funny guy.”
 
He smiled wider. “What can I say, I’m alluring in a multitude of ways.”
 
“Speaking of,” she said, nodding her chin slightly to the sultry brunette making her way towards them, “I believe your previous dance partner is wanting an encore.”
 
He let out the subtlest of groans, so quiet she thought she might have imagined it.
 
“Dance with me,” he said suddenly to Daisy, straightening and looking down at her.
 
She jolted in surprise, then in panic. “I can’t.”
 
He smiled and held out a hand. “Come on now, Wallflower. I’m very good at dancing.” 
 
Wallflower. Daisy had never been a wallflower in her life. Although he had a point. She did seem to be lurking in the corner a bit. She silently scolded herself. This was everything she’d been coaching herself not to do. Not to let Gary win . . .
 
“I don’t doubt your dancing prowess,” she replied saucily, “but—”
 
She broke off. What could she possibly say? I don’t like being touched?
 
It’s not that she couldn’t be touched. She wasn’t that broken. She didn’t freak out. She’d endured Cassidy’s hug when she’d greeted him last night; she’d danced earlier with her uncle. But those men were family.
 
Lincoln Mathis was . . . not family.
 
Dance with him, she commanded herself. Don’t be that broken woman Gary tried to make you.
 
She didn’t move, and slowly Lincoln’s hand dropped to his side, just as the brunette reached them.
“I love this song,” the woman said, running a possessive hand up Lincoln’s arm. “Dance?”
 
Lincoln held Daisy’s gaze and she shrugged before blowing him a teasing good-bye kiss. “Bye bye.”
 
His eyes narrowed. “Actually,” Lincoln said, turning and giving the other woman a regretful smile, “I need to step out for a moment.”
 
The woman’s perfectly shaped brows folded into a frown. “Step out? For what?”
 
“I need to show Daisy something,” he said, bending and kissing the other woman’s cheek. “Next time, love.”
 
Before Daisy could register that she’d been commandeered as part of Lincoln Mathis’s escape, he’d plucked the champagne flute out of her hand, setting it aside before clasping her fingers in his and pulling her toward the door.
 
“Wait, we’re really leaving?” she asked with a laugh as he tugged her through the throng of wedding guests. 
 
“Yep.”
 
“I can’t,” she said. “It’s my sister’s wedding, I have family here, and . . .”
 
“But you want to leave,” he said, turning and facing her. 
 
She narrowed her gaze. “Why would I want that?”
 
He met her eyes. “Because you don’t like weddings any more than I do.”
 

 

 
 
 
Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Virtual Tour w/Review – It’s Been You

 

Rina Gray returns with IT’S BEEN YOU, an all new Crush on You novel from Crimson Publishing. When the opportunity to land a lucrative deal and promotion results in a friendly competition that then erupts into an all-out battle of desire, Tiana Holliday and Nathaniel Lawson will straddle the line between love and war in this steamy must read Fall title releasing November 7, 2016!

 

  

 

About It’s Been You:

 

Title: It’s Been You

Author: Rina Gray

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Release Date: November 7, 2016

Series: Crush On You

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9781507202180

 

Marketing manager Tiana Holliday just landed her dream job at an award-winning agency in New York City. There’s just one problem: cocky playboy Nathaniel Lawson, her old grad school nemesis, is her new officemate.

 

As the firm’s rising star, Nathan never had to compete for prime clients until all-work and no-play Tiana strutted into his workspace. When an opportunity arises to manage a lucrative sports car account and nab a big promotion, he challenges her to a wager: Loser does the winner’s bidding for one month. But their friendly little competition suddenly threatens to erupt into an all-out battle of desire.

 

As they straddle the line between love and war, they just might discover that challenging each other outside the boardroom is even more satisfying than advertised.

 

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

 

Available: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes | BAM! | Google Play

 

 

Excerpt:

 

The crowd screamed and clapped. A few rows behind Tiana, someone started a chant for the Beast. Clapping, she chanted with the crowd. The announcer waved a hand in the air and gripped the mic with his other one. “Unanimously voted to win all four rounds and still undefeated, I give you,” he walked to the corner and raised Nathan’s arm in the air, “the Beaaaaaassst!”

 

Tiana jumped and clapped as he stepped away and waved his arms in victory to the crowd. This isn’t so bad.

 

Tiana wants to have a dozen babies with you, Beast!” Mel screamed at the top of her lungs.

 

Before Tiana could renounce her Martin Luther King philosophy of nonviolence and sock her former friend in her arm, Nathan turned to face them.

 

A flicker of heat, and a big dose of danger burned in his gaze. A jolt of energy zapped and electrified her. Every particle and cell in her body awakened, liquefied, and then sizzled. His lips tipped at the corners into a lazy smile.

 

 

I’ll have your babies, too!” someone yelled from the crowd. His gaze stayed fixed on her face. His dark eyes broadcasted, “I’ve seen you naked and I like it,” to anyone who cared to see. Clenching her legs together, she quivered. Nathan gave her a cocky-ass smile as if he knew he was the cause of the mini-explosions firing within her.

 

 

A ring girl stepped into the octagon, sashayed up to Nathan, and leaned in for a kiss. Tiana jerked away from their intimate moment and held her breath for a second before looking back. Much like his fight, he ducked the woman’s advances, hopped on the stool in his boxing corner, and jumped over the ropes surrounding the ring. Landing with the ease of a panther, he stalked toward Tiana.

 

 

Mel nudged her and whispered, “Brace yourself.” Taking her friend’s wise advice, she breathed deep. Her eyes filled with him. A tall, dark, sexy, and sweaty vision. This man—this sexy beast—wanted her. Only her.

 

 

Peaches,” he growled as he snatched off his gloves and tossed them carelessly on the floor. Closing the distance between them, he wrapped one hand around her waist and cupped her face with the other. His hard, unrelenting eyes continued to broadcast a message. No going back. His tongue swiped her mouth, as if testing the waters, followed by firm, warm lips. He commanded surrender, obedience, and absolutely no negotiations. She clung to him knowing his kiss had changed everything.

 

 

Her heart slammed and knocked against her chest, and her knees buckled. She was … Damn it, am I swooning? Like a well-practiced, swashbuckling pirate, his arms snaked around her waist as he drew her body into his. Wetness pooled and flooded her lacy Vicky Secrets. Nathan had just KO’ed her va-jay-jay.

Copyright © 2016 by Rina Gray

 

 

 

 

It's Been You (Crush on You)It’s Been You by Rina Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book # 2, in the Crush On You series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading the series in order.

Tiana & Nathan went to college together and competed there. Now, working for the same employer, the old rivalry is back. If only they could resist being attracted to one another…

Nathan thought she had deceived him in the past. Now he wants to teach her to have fun and maybe gain trust between them. It is time to put the swords down, and maybe take up kissing.

This series just keeps getting better! This story was so hard to put down. The chemistry is sizzling hot and the banter is light and fun. Really an enjoyable read.

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

About Rina Gray:

 

Rina Gray is one of the newest African American romance writers on the rise. She is also a digital marketing professional who discovered her love of writing in 2012. Writing has always been Rina’s passion, though initially, she tried to deny it. In college she served as the copy editor for the entertainment magazine and newspaper. During her tenure, she had the opportunity to interview various talented entertainers including Chris Rock and the cast from Reno-911.

 

 

Rina has always been an avid reader, sneaking to read her mother’s books she had no business reading i.e. Stephen King’s The Stand, It, and Anne Rice’s various vampire series. As a pre-teen, she received a load of romance novels from a family friend and from that point on, she devoured any book related to romance or horror. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, kickboxing, or dominating game night with friends and family. Rina resides in Atlanta with her husband.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 
 

Rafflecopter for It’s Been You Virtual Blog Tour Giveaway:

 

Rina Gray is offering one (1) lucky winner a Kindle Fire and one (1) runner-up a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29292/?

 

 

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Virtual Tour w/Review – To Love And To Cherish

  
 
After 8 years of waiting…he’s got 1 month to make her his.

 

 
TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH
The Wedding Belles #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Oct 18th, 2016
Pocket Books

 

 
Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.
 
Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.
 

 

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

 

BUY NOW:
   Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo
 
 

 

 

Hello.”

 

The sexy British accented startled Alexis out of her thoughts, and she glanced up, both alarmed and intrigued to find that the face that awaited her was every bit as appealing as the voice.

 

The man was about her age—early, maybe midtwenties—and ridiculously cute. His hair was dark and maybe just a touch too long, as though he intended to get a haircut but kept forgetting. The eyes were brown and friendly, accented by trendy black-framed glasses.

 

The chunky cable-knit sweater with elbow patches—for real—bordered on dorky, but then, Alexis had always had a soft spot for dorky. He had a bit of the Clark Kent thing going on, which had always been far more her type than the overrated Superman.

 

Hi,” she replied quickly, realizing that she’d been staring.

 

His smile grew wider as he extended a hand. “Logan Harris.”

 

Darn. Even the name was good.

 

Alexis,” she said.

 

Does that come with a last name?” he teased, lowering himself to the vacant barstool beside her.

 

Not to strange men,” she retorted.

 

I could buy you a drink. Get rid of the ‘strange’ part.”

 

Alexis’s smile slipped as she remembered that romance, even flirting, wasn’t part of her plan. She’d learned the hard way that she could have one or the other—her own business or a boyfriend—not both. And even if she wanted the latter, the latter didn’t want her back.

 

No thanks; I’m fine,” she said, letting the slightest amount of chill enter her voice. The ice-princess treatment, Roxanne called it.

 

Logan shrugged, undeterred. “All right then. May I borrow your menu?”

 

She nodded, and he picked it up, perusing it for several moments and paying her no attention.

 

It was both a relief and also a bit of an insult, if she was being entirely honest, to be given up on so easily.

 

Alexis tried to turn her attention back to her laptop but watched out of the corner of her eye as he finally shut the menu, waiting patiently to catch the bartender’s eye.

 

Hi there,” he said, when the bartender ambled back over. “I’d like a Stella, and a maybe bite to eat?”

 

Alexis didn’t miss the once-over that the bartender gave Logan before the curvy redhead leaned over the bar, displaying perky boobs as she clicked her pen and pulled a notepad out of her back pocket.

 

Shoot,” the bartender said flirtatiously, looking a good deal friendlier than she had when she’d spoken to Alexis.

 

Not that Alexis blamed her. A cute Brit could do that to a girl.

 

All right then,” Logan said. “I’d like the burger, medium, with Swiss. Fish and chips, extra tartar, and . . . how’s your chicken club?”

 

The bartender blinked. “It’s good. But you want all that?”

 

I do. Thank you.”

 

Suit yourself,” she said, scribbling Logan’s order on the pad.

 

Hungry?” Alexis couldn’t resist asking after the bartender moved away.

 

Logan gave a sheepish smile. “I’m a recovering student. I sometimes get so wrapped up in my day that I forget to eat.”

 

A recovering student. What does that mean?”

 

He turned slightly toward her. “Someone’s showing plenty of interest in a strange man.”

 

She bit her lip. “I’m sorry if I was rude before. I’m just not really in the market for . . . you know.”

 

He gave her an easy smile. “Everyone’s in the market for a friend, Alexis.”

 

She opened her mouth and then shut it as she realized he was right. She could use a friend. She’d spent her entire life in Boston and knew almost nobody in New York. This guy seemed nice and nonthreatening enough—what would be the harm in a little conversation over dinner? It had been too long since she’d had somebody to share a meal with.

 

Logan seemed to know the moment she capitulated, because he turned more fully toward her. “A recovering student, Alexis, is a recent graduate. One who hasn’t quite absorbed that there will be no more finals, no more requisite all-nighters, and no more dorm sex.”

 

Alexis laughed. “Undergrad, then?”

 

He gave her a wry look. “How young do I look, darling? MBA from Columbia. Just finished up end of last year.”

 

She felt a little stab of relief that he wasn’t twenty-two.

 

He leaned toward her slightly. “Twenty-five next month, just in case you were wondering. As a friend.”

 

She tried to hide her smile and failed. “Columbia, huh? You’re a long way from home.”

 

Noticed that, did ya?” He winked. “I came out here for undergrad, also Columbia. Always figured I’d go back to London and maybe someday I will, but . . .” He shrugged. “Seems I have stuff to do here first.”

 

Such as?” She took a sip of her wine, dismayed to see that it was half-empty.

 

Well, this will probably shock you, given my vast amount of brawn, but I’m an accountant. Or at least I will be, once I get my business up and running.”

 

Alexis was impressed. “Your own business?”

 

Most twentysomethings, even those with an entrepreneurial bent, opted to get a few years of work under their belts for someone else before branching out on their own.

 

He nodded. “I’m working out of my flat for now, but I’m hoping to lease some office space soon, get some legitimacy. If nothing else to get my father off my back.”

 

He’s not a fan of your plan?” Alexis asked.

 

Logan’s shoulder lifted, and for the first time he seemed a little sad. “Both parents have had it in their head that I’d come home. Run the family business in London.”

 

Which is . . . ?”

 

He spun his beer glass idly. “Financial consulting firm. My father’s the CEO, Mum’s the COO.”

 

Wow, that’s . . .”

 

Scary?” Logan supplied.

 

I was going to say impressive. That they work together—without killing each other, I mean.”

 

They’re in love. It’s atrocious,” he said with a wink. “What about your folks?”

 

Alexis laughed. “Not in love. They divorced when I was in high school. Dad’s remarried and happy now, I think. Mom not so much.”

 

And you?” he said. “Are you happy, Alexis?”

 

She pursed her lips, surprised and yet not entirely unsettled by the personal question. “It’s been a while since anyone asked me that. Since I even thought about it, really.”

 

Think it out. I’ll wait,” he said with a wink.

 

She didn’t have to think that long. “I’m almost happy.”

 

You sound quite confident on that.”

 

She shrugged. “Let’s just say that I need a few things to fall into place in my professional life, but once that happens . . . yeah. I’ll be happy.”

 

She’d make sure of it.

 

 

 

To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles, #3)To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the 3rd and final book in The Wedding Belles series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this fantastic series in order.

Alexis & Logan met and became business partners shortly thereafter. He has always wanted more, but her single minded business kept them from pursuing more. Alexis has secrets from her past, and they may be why they are still apart.

Logan has been in love with her for the better part of a decade. Now time has run out. He has to make a decision and make it in a hurry. Can he have both? Does he want one more than the other?

This series nearly ripped me apart! This story was so – gah. How do I describe it? These characters have been throughout the entire series and without spoiling it for you, I finally got my HEA. Then, I got notice that this is the end of the series. Heart crushing, I tell you. I cannot wait for the next book out by this author. She never disappoints!

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

Don’t Miss Any of the Wedding Belles Novels:
 
 

 

 

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 
 

 

 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Tour w/Review # 2 – To Have And To Hold

 
Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles!

 

 
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Pocket Books

 

 
Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.
 
Discovering her fiancé is an international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled, hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse springs.
 
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?
 
 
BUY NOW:
    Amazon | B & N | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo
 
 
 

 

It’s not as though Brooke had meant to start dating a con man. She certainly didn’t intend to get engaged to one.

 

But that’s the thing about con mans. The good ones were good at, well . . . the con.

 

And Clay Battaglia had been a good one. The best, actually, if you took the word of the FBI agent who’d debriefed Brooke and her family—while she was still in her wedding dress.

 

Turns out that while Brooke had been happily building her wedding-planning company, Clay had been quietly and competently been getting away with every white-collar crime in the book. While she’d been planning their wedding, he’d apparently been knee-deep in yet another Ponzi scheme.

 

Brooke hadn’t even known what a Ponzi scheme was when the FBI had told her.

 

She did now.

 

Following Clay’s arrest, she spent weeks researching white-collar crime. Wanting to know what he’d been up to all those times he’d quietly kissed her forehead late at night and told her he needed to make some phone calls for “work.” Wanting to know what her life would have been like if the FBI hadn’t taken him down before they’d exchanged vows.

 

Still, while Brooke would be ever grateful that she’d learned the truth before she’d become Mrs. Clay Battaglia, she’d be lying if she didn’t admit that the timing of it had stung just a little bit.

 

If they’d only taken him down a day before. Heck, even an hour before.

 

But no.

 

Just moments after Brooke kissed her father’s cheek and prepared to marry the man she loved at the wedding she’d poured her heart into, the FBI stormed—yes, stormed—the church.

 

Clay was in handcuffs before she even registered what was happening.

 

Numbly she watched as he listened to his Miranda rights at the precise moment he should have been listening to the vows she’d spent months writing.

 

And as reality slowly sunk in, Brooke waited. Waited for him to look at her. To look at her and say that it was all a lie. All one big misunderstanding, and that they’d be on their way to Bermuda as planned by tomorrow.

 

He didn’t.

 

He didn’t even apologize.

 

No, the man she’d loved for two years with every fiber of her being merely smiled at her and then shrugged.

 

There’d been plenty of photos taken that day, but that was the one that made it onto the front page of every major newspaper on the West Coast.

 

The Greatest Con of All.” “Arrested by Love.” And her personal favorite, courtesy of her very own LA Times: “White-Collar Bride.”

 

The stories all read pretty much like you’d expect. About Clay, mostly, and the litany of accusations against him, but also about Brooke.

 

The papers had stopped short of defamation, but the implications were there. She was clueless and ditzy at best, a potentially overlooked accomplice at worst. Completely oblivious to the fact that she’d been sharing a roof with the most nefarious white-collar criminal in a generation—or pretending to be.

 

None of that had bothered her. What had bothered her was that she’d been a fool. Self-absorbed, naive, and downright blind.

 

Brooke had been dodging dumb-blonde jokes for most of her life, but the debacle with Clay was the first time she thought she might really, truly be deserving of the title.

 

She hadn’t been surprised when new clients had stopped calling. Hadn’t been surprised when current clients canceled. Nobody wanted to hire that wedding planner.

 

Brooke had even been relieved, at first. In those first weeks after Clay’s arrest, she hadn’t been able to handle any talk of weddings. Not her own, and not other people’s.

 

But the worst part of all of this, the part that kept her up long into the lonely nights, wasn’t the negative effect on her career. No, the worst part was that sometimes, in the very darkest corner of her soul, she feared that she might still love Clay, at least a little. Sure, her brain knew that all the things she’d loved about Clay had been a lie. Her brain understood that his name wasn’t even Clay.

 

But her heart? Her heart was having a harder time forgetting the way he always let her be the little spoon and tuck her cold feet against his warm calves. Or the way he’d brought her coffee in bed every morning. Or the way she’d come home after a long day with the worst sort of bridezilla and Clay would make them cocktails and sit on the deck with her, and watch the sunset and laugh.

 

She’d imagined that all their nights would be like that. All the nights for the rest of her life, with maybe with a couple of kids thrown into the mix eventually.

 

Brooke swallowed.

 

There wouldn’t be any more nights on the patio watching the sunset with Clay. Wouldn’t be any patio at all, because Brooke’s real estate broker had made it quite clear that she should be counting herself lucky to get a dishwasher in New York—a patio was out of the question.

 

So no patio. No Clay, or whatever his real name was.

 

No man at all, really.

 

No falling in love.

 

Not ever again.

 

 
 

 

To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles, #1)To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is book # 1 in The Wedding Belles series, however, there is a prequel to help you get settled in with the characters. This is a standalone novel. I recommend reading series in order for reader understanding and enjoyment.

Brooke and Seth rub each other the wrong way right from the start. She is planning his sisters wedding, so she is basically hands off. Unfortunately for both of them – all they want is hands on.

Seth is busy trying to stay above water. He has so much going on he has no idea some days. With his sister springing an unknown fiance on him, his suspicions arise.

I am already loving this series so much! The characters are fun and original. I feel like they are very real. I could not put this book down. I cannot wait for the next installment. The sexy times & the banter are worth it.

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

 
 
 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Tour w/Review – Fool For You

 

 

Can she go from BFF TO MRS? Find out in FOOL FOR YOU (Crush on You Book 1) from debut author Rina Gray…

 

 

 

About FOOL FOR YOU:

 

Sports journalist Melanie Foster has achieved most of her goals: Bomb.com job—check. Tomboy-to-smoking-hottie makeover—check. Convince her best friend, Damien Richards, to slide a ring on her finger and father her two-point-five kids—not so much. When she activates Operation: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, she never imagines her BFF already has plans to stroll down the wedding aisle with another woman.

 

Damien is in the middle of crisis mode. The non-profit for young athletes at which he volunteers is in financial trouble. He’ll pull out all the stops to rescue the organization that saved his life after his career-ending injury—even if it means sacrificing his personal happiness.

 

But when he finally wakes up to love and the very non-friendly feelings he’s long held for Mel, it might just be too late. Damien must convince her that he’s worth the risk and turn the tables to show her he’s the one ready to be a fool for love.

 

 

On Sale in Digital: July 18, 2016

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble  | Crimson |  iBooks |  Google Books

 

 

Add FOOL FOR YOU to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

 

 

 

Tiana sat with her legs crossed on the olive-green chenille couch in a ratty T-shirt and sweats, devouring a pint of birthday-cake ice cream. Not good. Melanie’s high-strung friend had a life rule to never wear ugly lounge clothes. Only silk and sexy nightgowns touched that body.

Tiana’s scrunched, I-just-ate-bad-sushi face focused on the television, which blared an Australian accent explaining the mating patterns of insects.

Melanie plopped down on the love seat beside her friend and watched a male spider do the courtship dance. She wasn’t really in the mood to see insects get it on, but she’d play along until her reclusive friend shared what was bothering her.

After the male spider did his mating ritual, the female spun him into a tight cocoon. Didn’t know spiders were into bondage, but I dig it.

“Jesus, take the wheel!” Melanie yelled, grabbing Tiana’s wrist. “Did you just see that? He was just busting a move, and she ate him! She ate him!”

Tiana licked the back of her spoon. “He didn’t dance long enough, and he wasn’t good enough for her anyway.”

“Why are you home early, sucking down ice cream, and watching insect porn?”

Tiana rolled her eyes. “Nathaniel.”

Melanie coughed into her hand and covered a grin. Nate’s antics reminded her of a little boy that liked a girl but didn’t know how to express himself.

“What did he do?”

“It’s not one big thing. It’s the little things he does to drive me crazy. Ugh! Just like in grad school.” Tiana folded her arms across her chest.

“Like what?”

“Like … we share the same office since we work on many of the same accounts. When I’m printing something and don’t immediately get up, the copies disappear. One day he attached an air horn to my seat and switched our keyboards when I went to the bathroom.” Tiana tugged on her ponytail and huffed.

“And?”

“He took control of my keyboard and pulled up a stupid clown fetish forum on my screen. Our boss came by to visit, and I … well, I almost pissed my Victoria’s Secrets!” Her spoon scraped against the ceramic bowl. “But luckily he clicked off by the time Isaac came around my desk.”

Melanie shook with laughter. “How?” She snorted. “How did Nathan find out you hate clowns?” Howling again, she clutched her stomach.

“It’s not funny! What if my boss saw the website? He would think I was some sort of freak!”

“Sorry, T.” Melanie peppered her tone with just the right amount of remorse to appease her grumpy friend. “But seriously, how on earth did he find out about the clown thing?”

Tiana scooped a big chunk of ice cream, stuffed it in her mouth, and took her sweet time answering. “In one of our grad classes, we had to write an essay about our greatest fears. I wrote about clowns.”

 

 

 

 

 

Fool for You (Crush on You)Fool for You by Rina Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melanie & Damien have been best friends since forever. They still have one another’s backs, even in their adult lives with careers. Melanie is thinking it is time for a change…

Damien has so much going on. It would really help to have Melanie support him, but she sees errors in his plans. Melanie is honest and tells him what he could do to fix it, but why would he take the easy way?

Melanie & Damien belong together and it shows right from the beginning. I was rooting for them out the gate, since they seem so in sync with one another. Damien just needed a little push. I found this story fun and hard to put down.

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

CELEBRATE THE RELEASE WITH A GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: 2 Winners Will Each Receive a Kindle Fire

Runner-Up: 1 Runner-Up Will Receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

 

 

 

 



Author Bio:

 

Rina Gray is one of the newest African American romance writers on the rise. She is also a digital marketing professional who discovered her love of writing in 2012. Writing has always been Rina’s passion, though initially, she tried to deny it. In college she served as the copy editor for the entertainment magazine and newspaper. During her tenure, she had the opportunity to interview various talented entertainers including Chris Rock and the cast from Reno-911.

Rina has always been an avid reader, sneaking to read her mother’s books she had no business reading i.e. Stephen King’s The StandIt, and Anne Rice’s various vampire series. As a pre-teen, she received a load of romance novels from a family friend and from that point on, she devoured any book related to romance or horror. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, kickboxing, or dominating game night with friends and family. Rina resides in Atlanta with her husband.


Follow Rina: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads | Newsletter

 

 

 

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js