Book Blitz w/Review – Forget You, Ethan

 

Forget You, Ethan

by Whitney G.

 

 

Publication Date: August 2, 2018

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

 

 

 

Read for FREE in KindleUnlimited: Amazon

 

**Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…**

 

I’ve hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she’s the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.) She snitched on me when I broke curfew. I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend. We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college. But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we’d never cross became harder and harder to ignore…

 

 

 

 

 

Forget You, Ethan (Forget You Ethan, #1)Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rachel has hated her neighbor since she was a young girl. He was always everywhere she looked. He was always someone to hate. He was always her strongest friend and confidante. She hated it.

Ethan had hated Rachel since he was small. Why would seeing her after several years change how he feels? Maybe he felt this way for a while. Maybe they are more than enemies. Maybe it is time to find out.

This story was a bit of a surprise. I thought the characters and their banter was great. I was not a big fan of the back and forth. For those wondering what that meant, I mean I dislike it when there are flashbacks in a book. I find it disruptive. This was a bit hard to follow, but the ending is more than worth the wait.

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

View all my reviews

 

 

 

About Whitney G.:

 

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

 

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author.

 

(If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

 

 

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

 

 

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Blog Tour w/Review – Two Wedding Crashers

 

TWO WEDDING CRASHERS
THE DATING BY NUMBERS SERIES – Book 2
By Meghan Quinn
Standalone

 

I don’t know what love is anymore.

 

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark.

 

You know the kind of spark I’m talking about?

 

Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark.

 

Except I haven’t felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me.

 

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem–but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right?

 

That’s how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase.

 

It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I’m a pro. I can handle this.

 

Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I’m doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don’t think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.

 

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Chills scream their way down my arms and legs, my nipples pucker, and just like that, with one word, all humor vanishes from our little conversation and awareness of this all-consuming man wrapped around me hits me hard.

Gathering myself, I say, “Tell me something Chris and Justine know about you.”

 

“Hmm.” His thumbs hook under the waistband of my shorts, playing with the lower part of my hipbones. His touch spurs on my pelvis, needing to rock, begging for him to go lower. My toes curl in my sandals and my back slightly arches, reaching for more. “Something they know about me.”

 

His mouth doesn’t stray from its position against my ear, and his hips start to slowly move underneath me, his legs tangling with mine. Involuntarily, one of my hands hooks the back of his neck as I hold on tightly to him, feeling like I need support from the onslaught of sensation I’m feeling.

 

I hear him say something, but it doesn’t register in my brain, which has turned to mush as his thumbs stray from my hipbones to right above my pubic bone.

 

There is no denying how turned on I am, how wet I am from his mere touch, how much—despite my reservations—I want this man.

 

With each stroke, my head turns farther and farther to the side until our noses are touching, Beck’s head bends forward to meet me halfway. My eyes flutter shut for a brief moment before I open them and am captured by those flecks of green and gold.

 

The air stills around us, our breath mixing, swirling between us, our lips so close.

 

One swipe of this thumb.

 

Another one.

 

I can’t breathe.

 

I can’t focus.

 

Another swipe, my head leans even closer, my tongue wetting my lips.

 

One more swipe . . .

 

My heart hammers in my chest, my skin prickling with awareness.

 

Beck brings his mouth even closer, only a whisper away now, and he waits.

 

Holding still.

 

His breathing feeling erratic beneath me.

 

One.

 

More.

 

Swipe.

 

And I’m gone.

 

I bring my mouth to his, slowly parting my lips ever so slightly, just enough to maneuver my mouth across his.

 

A low, provocative moan escapes Beck as one of his hands snags the back of my head and holds me in place, almost as if he lets go, I’ll disappear.

 

Needing more, I shift on his lap so I’m straddling him once again, my hands on his bare chest, feeling the powerful sinew that holds him together.

 

Our lips press and mold, mingling, taking, begging . . .

 

Desperate.

 

Beck’s tongue runs against my bottom lip, eliciting a moan from deep within me, lighting a fire so hot, so wild, my hands start to travel up his neck to his cheeks where I grip him, positioning his head so when I open my mouth, I can expertly dive my tongue onto his.
He groans, his lap shifting against mine now, his hard-on pressing against my wet and throbbing center. I match his rocking, using my position on his lap to take advantage of his length I can feel through his board shorts.

 

This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen, but God, am I happy it has. Maybe I really should live in the moment, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunity, maybe I should…

 

    

 

 

 

 

Two Wedding Crashers (Dating by Numbers, #2)Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #2, in the Dating By Numbers series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For understanding of the series, I recommend reading this in order.

Beck is talked into crashing a wedding by his married friends who need a weekend alone. He really just wants to have a hook-up of his own. Then he spies a fellow traveler who tickled his fancy, funny bone and all.

Rylee has been struck by the worst case of writers block. Along with a deadline, she is zooming in on what might be a career epic failure. Her friend convinces her to crash a wedding in order to fire up her muse. What could possibly go wrong?

This story started out with a bang! I was laughing right away. These characters truly had chemistry together before they even knew. What a great addition to the series.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

 

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

 

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

 

Facebook | Follow on Goodreads | Website 

Amazon Author Page Instagram | Follow on BookBub

 

 

Max was shaking his head. “Careers are going to be made, based on what happens over the next few days,” he pointed out.

Jules just looked at him for several long seconds. “That might be truly the most offensive thing you’ve ever said to me.”

Breaking Point - Suzanne Brockmann~~ Breaking Point

by Suzanne Brockmann

(Troubleshooters #9)

Teaser Blast – The Director And Don Juan

 

 

 

Displaying DIRECTOR_7.jpg

 

Have you pre-ordered The Director and Don Juan yet by Katy Regnery?

 

This BOOK!!!!! It has a perfect hero you will fall for in an instant!

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From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a brand new series set on Blueberry Lane!

The Director and Don Juan is the second of four books about the Philadelphia-based Story sisters who are all on the look-out for love.

Heiress Alice Story left her father’s company three years ago in a blaze of glory, inviting all of his employees to jump ship and join her, but only one accepted her offer: mail room clerk, Carlos Vega.

While Alice spent the next three years getting her own company off the ground, Carlos became her indispensable right-hand man — executive assistant and office manager, loyal counsel and trusted co-worker.

And all the while, they were quietly falling in love with each other.

When Alice is offered a lucrative business deal in Puerto Rico, island-born Carlos is the perfect person to accompany her on her trip as translator, but as they travel together from Philadelphia to Santo Domingo to Ponce, two unlikely co-workers will discover that during their three years working together, their feelings for each other have grown far deeper than they ever could have guessed.

And though business-minded, proper Alice will try her very best to ignore the longings of her heart, scorching hot, insanely sexy Boricua, Carlos, has no intention of letting her go.

 

 

Release Day Blitz – The Wanderer

Book Cover
THE WANDERER
Dahlia Donovan
Series: The Sin Bin, Book 1
Genre: MM Romance
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: April 8, 2017
Can love be found off the beaten track?
Graham Hodson lives for adventure. His entire life has revolved around his obsessive wanderlust. His inner fear of staying in one place or being with one person for too long has kept him on the go. The last thing he expects is a sudden diagnosis to ground his travel—permanently.
Boyce “BC” Brooks has screwed up his lifelong dream of being the captain of the English national rugby team. He’s lost everything. When his uncle leaves him an inn and a dog in Cornwall, he has little choice but to try his hand at innkeeper.
Can two jokesters kicked around by life and their own decisions find stability when their world shakes beneath their feet?
This book will have you laughing so hard at the easy banter between these two then clutching your chest as the emotions threaten to boil over.
– ~lil maso~, Goodreads Reviewer
Teaser

Giveaway:

WIN
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Prizes up for grabs:
$10 Amazon Gift Card + 1 eBook of the Wanderer
(One Winner)
Contest runs from April 11 – 15, 2017.

Additional Giveaway:

Be sure to also join the giveaway organized by Hot Tree Publishing.
Get a chance to win The Wanderer in paperback

About Dahlia Donovan:

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Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.
Official website: http://dahliadonovan.com/
Social media links: Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Misguided Control

MisguidedControlBlitzBanner

Title: Misguided ControlSeries: The Control Series, Book 3

Author: Anna Edwards
Publisher: Self-Published
Cover Artist: Charity Hendry
Release Date: March 7, 2017Romance 

  Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
Words: 58,000

Misguided Control

About the Book

Blurb:

Control isn’t always what it seems.

What do you see Marie Easton as? The jealous secretary whose desire for her boss turns her into a lustful bimbo. Appearances can be deceiving though as new finance director Callum Ashworth is about to find out. Can he help her see the true person behind the mask she wears and how beautiful she is? Or will his attentions lead her down a path she never thought she would go?

And what about Callum? Is he the boring accountant that you expect him to be? Or does he hide a secret that nobody ever expected, least of all Marie. With a trip to Rome, and a journey to the dark side of London. Misguided Control will take you on a love affair born out of the fiery pains of hell.

Novel contains dark storylines, hot sex with elements of BDSM and a dramatic
conclusion. You have been warned.

Loving Control (A Bonus Story)

Amy and James found their happy ever after in Divided Control so what could possibly go wrong?

Amy gives birth, that is what. Can the loving couple find an equilibrium with their new status as parents or will it be their destruction? Throw in another blast from the past and their world looks set to be rocked.

Are you ready to step into the world of control?

 

Excerpt:

She took her clothes off. Slowly. He threw them into the shower. She wouldn’t wear them again. He could throw them away.

 

She stood in her bra and panties before him. “You should leave.”

 

“I’m not leaving you alone.”

 

“But?”

 

“I’m not leaving.” His eyes had turned dark.

 

If she was honest with herself, though, she didn’t want him to go. She undid the clasp of her bra and dropped it to the floor. He averted his eyes, but she knew he could sense every movement she made by the way he gripped the sink. She reached for the waistband of her pants and pulled them down.

 

“Can you get in the shower alright?”

 

“Yes, I can.”

 

He turned the water on when she got in. Warmth washed away the filth of what could have killed her. She scrubbed her skin while tears fell. She slathered herself in the soap that he handed her. She’d nearly died. She’d really, really come close to dying.

 

Oh God. Her mum. Owen. Guilt washed over her as she cried and cried. The entire time Callum stood outside the shower. He no longer averted his eyes. He watched as she sobbed and sobbed. She didn’t want him to look away. She wanted him to watch. He needed to be close. She wished he could be in the shower with her; inside her. He could take away the pain of her life but she couldn’t. She had to be strong.

 

When she finally got out of the shower, he wrapped a towel around her and rubbed her until she was dry.

 

“I don’t have a change of clothes for you. But.” He took off his jacket, tie, waistcoat and shirt. “Take my shirt, it will cover you. My coat will keep you warm.” He put the waistcoat back on.

 

“You don’t have a girdle.” She wasn’t sure where those words had come from. All she knew was that she had looked at his muscular torso and that was what had popped into her mind. She let out a little giggle.

 

He took a step closer to her and wrapped the shirt around her. She dropped the towel to the floor, and he did the buttons up. He stopped after a few and rested his forehead against hers. “I’m so sorry. I’ve never hated having to do anything as much as I hated putting you in that position. It was the only thing we could think of. Signore Corvi had hidden things too well.”

 

“It’s ok. Everything worked out.”

 

“Mr North will be very pleased with you.” Callum hesitated on the words.

 

“And with you.”

 

He brought his lips down, so they hovered just above hers. “Marie, may I kiss you?”

 

She swallowed. “Yes. Yes, please. Kiss me.”
 

Buy Links:

About Anna Edwards

 

Author Bio:

Anna Edwards is a British Author who has a love of travelling and developing plot lines for stories. She has spent the last two years learning the skills of writing after being an accountant since the age of 21. As well as roleplaying on Twitter, she can also be found writing poetry.

Her debut novel, Surrendered Control was released in November 2016 and has received fantastic feedback on the drama of story. Divided Control followed in December and again received acclaim.

In her writing, Anna combines her love of romantic and erotic fiction with her passion for travel to give an international feel to her novels. She likes her hero’s hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, her heroines demure but spunky, and her books in a kick arse series

Connect with Anna:

Giveaway:

Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the following:

  • First Prize: set of signed paperbacks of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
  • Second Prize: E-Copies of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
  • Third Prize: Swag pack
The contest closes at midnight EST on April 22, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.
 Good luck!

Tour Stops:

April 10:

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***Kitty’s Book Spot***

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April 11:

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April 12:

The Bookworm Lodge

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April 13:

Lilly’s Book World
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Haven
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April 14:

Smokin’ Hot Reads

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Reads and Treats

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Release Blast – Love Story

  
 
Over the course of one wild road trip, 
feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.
 
 
LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Loveswept
 

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

 
 
 
 
 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

 

Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

 

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

 

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

 

I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

 

Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

 

And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

 

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

 

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

 

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

 

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

 

He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

 

Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

 

Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

 

Like, as in he actually starts?”

 

Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

 

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

 

You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

 

Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

 

Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

 

Reece agreed to fix him up.”

 

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

 

Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

 

He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

 

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

 

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

 

Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

 

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

 

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

 

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

 

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

 

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

 

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

 

 

 

Love Story (Love Unexpectedly, #3)Love Story by Lauren Layne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book # 3, in the Love Unexpectedly series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. All the books in this series are great, I recommend reading them in order.

Lucy and Reece have a history she would rather not repeat. Thanks to her parents, she has to spend time with him going across country. Even visit her boyfriend.

Reece is not sure how to approach Lucy other than to just take it day to day. He has loved her forever, but being her brothers best friend seemed to set them apart. Now they have separate lives heading in the same direction. Could this be a sign?

Such a thrilling series and this book is no exception! I love how the characters really are like magnets. This story makes you feel all sorts of things and makes a great bookclub read. I really enjoyed every page as I devoured it.

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

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. 
 

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal – Love Story

 
Over the course of one wild road trip, 
feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.
 
 
 
 
 
LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Loveswept
 

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

 
 
 
 

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and she spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

 
 
 
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!
 

 

 

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