She's a Lip Biter

Get ready for some Lip Biting

Category: Excerpt Reveals (page 1 of 4)

Can’t Wait for Hero by Lauren Rowe? Read an Excerpt HERE!

by Lauren Rowe

Hero, an all-new sexy standalone romance by Lauren Rowe is coming March 12th!

 

 

A standalone contemporary romance in the MORGAN BROTHERS SERIES from USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Rowe. The story of firefighter Colby Morgan that proves heroes come in many forms . .

The first time I laid eyes on Lydia Decker, I couldn’t speak. Or breathe. Or string two coherent thoughts together.

And I don’t mean any of that figuratively.

I’m not talking about a guy being floored by the sight of a gorgeous woman—although, of course, Lydia is gorgeous beyond words.

No, when I first laid eyes on Lydia Decker—my physical therapist—I was lying flat on my back in the ICU, high as a kite on painkillers, breathing on a ventilator, my bones as broken and splintered as my spirit.

When I first laid eyes on Lydia Decker, she was a ray of light in the dark. Hope for the hopeless. A salve for my singed and battered soul.

She said she’d been assigned to fix me. That she was there to bring me back to life. She said helping me was her calling.

And then she touched me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. She healed me.

And I fell in love.

But what I didn’t know . . . what I couldn’t possibly know . . . was that Lydia Decker needed fixing far more than I ever did.

 

Paperback Pre-Order on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2FfwDnM

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2lRkeOh

 

EXCERPT

 

“Okay, everyone. I’m sorry to shut this party down, but it’s closing time at the bar. Colby and I have some physical therapy to do.”

Relief floods me. That’s exactly what I was wishing she’d do—clear them all out so we can be alone.

Goodbyes are said. Hugs are administered. And, finally, blessedly, it’s just Lydia and me. “Alone at last, Mr. Morgan,” she says, taking the seat next to my bed.

I slide my hand in hers. “Alone at last, Miss Decker. There is a God.”

She smiles. “You might not say that after I get through with you. Some of what we’re going to do together is going to be extremely frustrating for you, I’m sure.”

“Bring it, beautiful lady. As long as you’re the one administering the torture, I’ll enjoy every second of it.” She rolls her eyes.

“Okay, Mr. Flirty Pants. Enough with that. Let’s get serious for a second. Okay?”

I smile broadly. “What? I can’t say you’re beautiful? Because you are. You’re drop dead gorgeous, actually. I’ve never seen a more spectacularly gorgeous woman in my life.”

She’s fighting not to smile too big and it’s adorable. “Thank you. Sweet of you to say. Incredibly ridiculous, but sweet. Unfortunately, though, we don’t have time to sit here and talk about my earth-shattering beauty all day. You’re not my only patient.”

“I wish I were.”

“So do I.”

My heart lurches.

She clears her throat. “I shouldn’t have said that. Forget I said that.”

She blushes. “Momentary insanity brought on by your outrageous charm.” She takes a deep breath like she’s pressing some internal restart button. “Okay. In all seriousness. This is going to be a long, hard road for you, Colby. But I want you to know you’re not walking it alone. Inch by inch, step by step, I’ll be right here with you, okay? My job is helping you get back to being you as quickly as possible.”

Electricity surges through my veins, and not because of her words. Because of the zap I feel through the touch of our palms. Her incredible energy is physically palpable. “Thank you,” I whisper, my eyes locked with hers, my fingers zipping and zapping with the influx of her energy into my body. “I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone but you, Lydia. I don’t want anyone else.”

About Lauren Rowe

USA Today and internationally bestselling author Lauren Rowe lives in San Diego, California, where, in addition to writing books, she performs with her dance/party band at events all over Southern California, writes songs, takes embarrassing snapshots of her ever- patient Boston terrier, Buster, spends time with her family, and narrates audiobooks. Much to Lauren’s thrill, her books have been translated all over the world in multiple languages and hit multiple domestic and international bestseller lists. To find out about Lauren’s upcoming releases and giveaways, sign up for Lauren’s emails at www.LaurenRoweBooks.com. Lauren loves to hear from readers! Send Lauren an email from her website, say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook by searching for @laurenrowebooks.

 

Connect with Lauren Rowe

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurenrowebooks/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/laurenrowebooks/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/laurenrowebooks

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9699494.Lauren_Rowe

Website – www.laurenrowebooks.com

Excerpt Reveal: Up In Smoke by T.M. Frazier

by T.M. Frazier

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Up in Smoke, an all-new gritty standalone romance by T.M. Frazier is coming February 19th, 2018!

Smoke FULL COVER.jpg

Synopsis

I’m a man without a conscience.

I deal in murder and mayhem.

I’m the best at what I do.

Frankie Helburn is supposed to be an easy job.

A means to flush her father out of hiding.

Simple.

Except there isn’t anything simple about Frankie or the secrets she’s keeping.

She’s stubborn as hell and the sexiest god damn thing I have ever seen, sending dark, dirty animalistic desire coursing through my veins.

She’s cocaine with legs. A f*cking addiction that makes me question things I’ve never questioned before. Want things I’ve never wanted before.

I might have her, but she isn’t mine to keep.

If her father doesn’t show his face, she will be mine.

To KILL.

** Other books in the King Series DO NOT have to be read to enjoy Smoke’s book. Up in Smoke can be read as a standalone. **

Excerpt:

“All these bruises,” Smoke muses. “And not one of them caused by me.” He trails a hand up my arms and down my flat stomach. “Pity, but I still have time to leave my mark on you yet.”

My entire body stiffens. I’m as rigid as a corpse.

Smoke chuckles and I’m glad I’m facing away because his laugh is pure torture, causing his erection to vibrate against my folds which are aching for more contact.

“You will be punished, hellion. You can be sure of that.”

I look over my shoulder and meet his dark eyes which darken even further as his pupils dilate. His lingering gaze rakes me over from my feet to my breasts and back down to the space between my thighs. He licks his full bottom lip.

My stomach flips. My will to fight him off doesn’t waiver, but my body isn’t getting the message. My core clenches again. I turn back around to face the tile, digging my teeth into my lower lip until I taste my own blood.

His chest presses against my back, and his hardness pulses between my legs, rubbing against my inner thighs. He squirts some shampoo in his hand, working it into my hair. He tilts my head back and rinses my hair then slides his slick and soapy hand down my body.

I’m breathing rapidly now. Short quick breaths I can’t control. There’s a deep rumble in his throat. His hand travels lower and lower on my stomach until it’s between my legs. He’s working his thumb over my swollen nub, sending sparks of need, pangs of pleasure, and a wave of self-hatred, surging within my battered body and bruised soul.

“What…what are you doing?” I ask, seeing flashes of white hot lust behind my closed eyes.

“More questions…” his voice a hearty amused rasp. His fingers circle my clit while he continues to rock his hard cock between my legs. The pressure building is so strong it borders on painful.

Tears leak from my eyes. I’m so fucking mad at myself for being turned on. For Smoke being right. I’m so wet. He feels it. There’s no way he can’t feel it.

He leans in close. I’m stone still except for the tremors gripping my body. He licks the tear off my cheek and groans. He dips the tip of his finger inside of me and I tighten around the intrusion. It’s a foreign sensation. Strange. It feels both wrong and right. Pleasurable and painful. “Your tight little pussy is weeping too. I wonder if its tears taste the same.”

I look over my shoulder as he withdraws his finger and sucks it into his mouth. He groans. “Fear or desire. They both taste real fuckin’ good to me.”

He places his hand back between my legs. When I try to squeeze my thighs together to keep him out he parts them with his knee on a grunt and begins circling my clit again. This time harder. Faster.

I’m staying as still as I can, but when I feel something begin to happen inside my body. The sparks he ignited within me are all crashing together. I can’t hold back. My face scrunches as I try to fight the orgasm fighting its way out, but it’s no use. I can’t fight it. It’s too fucking strong. I’m so fucking close.

I arch my back without thinking, pressing my ass against him, begging for more. For what I need to push me over the edge.

Smoke hisses. “Oh, what I could do to this beautiful little pussy.”

The pleasure builds and builds as he strokes me harder. Faster. I’m about to come all over his fingers when the feeling is lost.

I spin around.

Smoke is gone.

I can’t see through the steam so I shut off the spray and wipe the water from my eyes only to see Smoke toweling off in front of the sink on the other side of the bathroom.

The only proof I have of what just happened between us was real is his cock. Erect. Thick. Huge. The purplish swollen head bobs against his abs, jutting out over the top of the towel he wraps around his waist.

“What…what just happened?” I stammer, leaning back against the wall for support.

Smoke steps forward, and when I go to jerk back, he reaches out and pinches my nipple painfully hard. I yelp and leap back, slipping on the tile, falling on my ass, taking the shower curtain down with me.

Smoke rips the curtain off my head and glares down at me with a triumphant grin on his evil beautiful face. “What just happened was called punishment and you got off easy. Next time I’ll split that tight pussy in two with my fucking cock.”

He goes to leave but stops. “You want pain?” he asks. “I’ll give it to you. You want pleasure? Now that’s something you’re gonna have to earn.”

He leaves, slamming the door behind him.

I release a shaky exhale.

I’d hoped the rest of my time with Smoke would be tolerable, but there’s no fucking way that’s going to happen. Not now. Not with my skin crawling with need. I’m losing my mind. About where I am. About what this is all about. About this beautiful horrible evil man.

I feel like I’ve already been split in two.

What Smoke is doing to me is far more than punishment.

It’s pure fucking torture.

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Preorder Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2y05HHR

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wcnoPR

iBooks: https://goo.gl/7JJiUJ

Nook: https://goo.gl/31JU7a

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xAE1bu

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2xpURHV

About the Author:

T.M.Frazier is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and her young daughter.

When she’s not writing she loves talking to her readers, country music, reading and traveling. Her debut novel, The Dark Light of Day was published in September of 2013 and when she started writing it she intended for it to be a light beachy romance.

Well…it has a beach in it!

TM Frazier .jpg

Connect with T.M. Frazier:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TMFRAZIERBOOKS/

Twitter: @TM_Frazier

Stay up to date with T.M. by signing up for her newsletter today:

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http://www.tmfrazierbooks.com

Excerpt of Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

by J.T. Geissinger

J.T. Geissinger’s next novel, MIDNIGHT VALENTINE, releases February 6th and we cannot wait! Get a sneak peek below and be sure to preorder your copy now!

 

About MIDNIGHT VALENTINE

Publishing February 6th, 2018

True love never dies.

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they would be together forever. Fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye.

When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

 

Add MIDNIGHT VALENTINE to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder MIDNIGHT VALENTINE now:

✦ Amazon http://amzn.to/2iQ94Hh
✦ iBooks http://apple.co/2zC6ZGJ
✦ Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2mqYhbl
✦ Kobo http://bit.ly/2zBhsEk

 

Read an excerpt from MIDNIGHT VALENTINE:

“Hi, there, Megan, this is Coop.”

“Hi, Coop. What’s up?”

Long, awkward pause.

“Uh…I’m still standin’ outside your house.”

I walk to the windows, and there he is, out on the sidewalk near his truck.

“Are you having car problems?”

“No, I’m, uh, just waitin’ on Theo. He’s comin’ out to see you. I texted him what you said, and, uh…” Coop clears his throat. “Well, anyway, he’s on his way. I thought I’d give you a heads-up.”

The circus never stops with this guy. “That’s unfortunate, Coop, because I just got off the phone with Craig from Capstone. He’s going to handle the job.”

Coop scoffs. “Craig? That self-important S.O.B.? You like flushin’ your money down the toilet?”

“No, I don’t. Which is why I negotiated a discount.”

“Lemme guess. He probably quoted you…” He thinks for a moment, looking up at the house, then names a number which is only a few hundred dollars off from Craig’s quote, which is very irritating.

“You seem like a nice guy, Coop, but this conversation is pointless, considering your boss has no interest in working with me.”

“I never said that,” he says quickly. Our gazes meet through the window. I see how serious he is suddenly, his easy grin nowhere in sight.

“I wasn’t going to tell him you did,” I say, sensing this is somehow a matter of great importance.

When Coop blows out a breath, looking relieved, my hunch is proven right. Before I can say anything else, however, he straightens, looking down the street.

“He’s here.” He flashes me a look full of warning, then hangs up, steps out into the street, and holds up a hand.

Fascinated, I watch as a classic Mustang slowly rolls up the street, engine rumbling. It’s black, with windows tinted so dark I can’t see inside, and chrome wheels that gleam in the sun. The car stops in the middle of the street, then Coop walks over and bends down to the driver’s side window.

Several minutes pass and Coop is still standing there, talking to Theo. Or drawing pictures or whatever it is he does to communicate with Mr. Incommunicado.

“What the hell is it with this guy?” I mutter, growing more irritated by the moment.

Finally Coop straightens and the Mustang pulls up to the curb. The engine shuts off. I want to look away, but I’m rooted to the spot, staring out the front parlor window, waiting for what feels like an eternity until the driver’s door opens and Theo steps out.

Black hair.

It’s my first thought when his broad shoulders rise up over the roof of the car. I’ve only seen him in a raincoat, his head covered, but now I see he has a lot of thick, black hair, the length past the collar of his leather jacket. It’s messy. Windswept and untamed, like he only ever combs it with his fingers.

When he turns and looks toward the house, it’s like he knew exactly where I was standing. Our eyes meet with the sensation of a key fitting into a lock: a smooth, inevitable click.

A tremor runs through me, something close to fear but more primal, a pulse of restless energy that makes me want to break into a run.

I’ve never met anyone with more naked emotion in his eyes. His face is stony, but his eyes burn with a thousand unspoken things, all of which are dark.

I resist the urge to step back. We stare at each other until it becomes uncomfortable. I move first, turning to head to the front door, taking deep breaths to calm the sudden throbbing of my heart.

When I open the door, Coop and Theo are walking up the brick pathway toward the porch. Coop is in the lead, smiling nervously. “Hi, Megan!” he calls, as if he hasn’t seen me in forever.

“Hi, Coop. Long time no see.”

Coop ambles up the steps onto the porch that wraps around the front of the house, but Theo stops at the first step and looks at me, as if for permission.

“Sure, Dracula,” I say drily, unamused by this strange situation. “You’re welcome to come in. I’ll put away the garlic and crosses.”

A muscle in his jaw flexes. He doesn’t look amused, either. He steps slowly up, one big boot at a time, until he’s on the porch and I have to look up as he walks toward me with thunderclouds churning over his head. He stops a few feet away and stares down at me as Coop looks back and forth between us, visibly worried.

But I can’t pay attention to Coop anymore. Not with the boiling cauldron standing in front of me. The rumbling mountain of magma about to blow. The seething pool of silent emotions clad in a leather jacket and jeans. If I were a cop, I’d arrest this guy on the spot for disturbing the peace. All by himself, he’s a riot threatening to destroy the entire town.

On the left side of his neck, a snarl of scar tissue peeks over the collar of his shirt. His nose was broken once and not fixed well. There’s a ragged white scar above his left eyebrow that disappears into his hairline, and he walks with a barely perceptible limp, favoring his left side. And those dark, dark eyes. God, how they burn.

Whatever the accident was that he was involved in, it’s left its mark on this man, in more ways than one.

 

Watch the trailer for MIDNIGHT VALENTINE:

 

 

 

About J.T. Geissinger

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Geissinger’s Gang | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Sneak Peak: Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

by Vi Keeland

My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.
We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s. Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.
I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us. His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off. But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.
We ended up back in my hotel room. The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.
I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby. Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit. After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time. So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.
I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner. The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city. He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.
Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?
Nothing, I thought.
It’s just sex, not love.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

ADD TO GOODREADS

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Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!

(Amazon eBook will be a live release, no pre-order)

 

“You’re not going anywhere before you do two things.”
“Two things?”
“Leave your number and kiss me goodbye.”
“I…I…you haven’t brushed your teeth.”
Hunter chuckled. It felt like he could see through all of my bullshit. Reaching over to the nightstand, he grabbed his phone and held it out to me before getting up. “Toothpaste in the bathroom still?”
“The little one the hotel sets out.”
“I’ll brush. You type.”
While he was in the bathroom, I mulled over not typing anything into his phone. There was no way I was keeping in touch with a man living three-thousand miles away. A guy like him was the last thing I needed. But then I thought better of just telling him I’d put my number in. He seemed to have figured me out pretty quick. So instead, I typed my name and number, only I changed the last two digits.
And it was a good thing I did, because when Hunter returned from his bathroom trip, the first thing he did was check that I’d entered something. Luckily, he didn’t attempt to call me. Satisfied, he tossed his phone on the bed and nodded.
“Thank you. Now kiss me.”
I could see he wasn’t going to let me leave without this. So, sacrificing to make my plane, I pushed up on my toes and delivered a quick peck to his lips.
Mmm…. Nice and soft.
(And minty fresh.)
“Well…it was nice to meet you.” I turned to dart out the door, but Hunter grabbed my wrist yet again.
“I said kiss me.”
“I did!”
“Kiss me the way you kissed me last night.”
Before I could even attempt to let that sink in, Hunter yanked me against him. One of his large hands cupped the back of my neck, and he squeezed firmly to direct my head where he wanted it. Then, his lips crashed down on mine.
The shock of feeling his mouth against mine quickly dissipated as he licked my lips, encouraging me to open for him. His tongue dipped inside, and he groaned as he tilted my head and deepened the kiss. The vibration of the sound traveled between us and sent a hum through my body. Soft and gentle went out the window after that. He grabbed a fistful of my ass, and I lifted my body up onto his, wrapping my legs around his waist. As he backed us to the wall, a sense of familiarity overcame me. I couldn’t remember the specifics of our previous kiss, but I now knew deep inside what it had felt like.
My cell dropped from my hand so my fingers could tangle in his hair. Yanking on the soft strands, I couldn’t get enough. A moan from deep inside my chest moved through our connected mouths. Hunter pushed harder, his thick erection pressing into the center of my open legs. He rocked as he kissed me, causing a friction through two layers of clothing that was leading me to a place I didn’t think it was possible to go fully dressed.
It felt like he wanted to swallow me whole, and in that moment, I would have let him. My breasts were crushed to his chest, and a heartbeat raged out of control—only I wasn’t sure if it was my own or his. Jesus, where does a man learn to kiss like this?
I was breathless and stunned when our kiss broke. Hunter sucked on my bottom lip, tugging it before releasing my mouth.
His voice was strained. “Change your flight. We’re not done here.”
I swallowed, trying to gain some composure. “I can’t.” My voice was barely a whisper. It was all I could muster.
“Can’t or don’t want to?”


Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in nineteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Other books from Vi Keeland:
Standalone novels
Beautiful Mistake
Amazon eBook http://amzn.to/2uoeoJN
iBooks http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo http://smarturl.it/1btxsz

Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9
Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller
Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)
Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5
Throb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4
MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight
Worth the Chance

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance
Worth Forgiving

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving
The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you
Made for You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you
Co-written novels
Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO
Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif
Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1
Mister Moneybags
Amazon http://amzn.to/2oTaaHf
Barnes & Noble http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
iBooks http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho
Dear Bridget, I Want You
Amazon: ➜ http://amzn.to/2sGyJbZ
iBooks: ➜ http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N ➜ http://smarturl.it/o780mb
Kobo: ➜ http://smarturl.it/kfgc6a
Google: ➜ http://smarturl.it/7cvewu

“You’re not going anywhere before you do two things.”
“Two things?”
“Leave your number and kiss me goodbye.”
“I…I…you haven’t brushed your teeth.”
Hunter chuckled. It felt like he could see through all of my bullshit. Reaching over to the nightstand, he grabbed his phone and held it out to me before getting up. “Toothpaste in the bathroom still?”
“The little one the hotel sets out.”
“I’ll brush. You type.”
While he was in the bathroom, I mulled over not typing anything into his phone. There was no way I was keeping in touch with a man living three-thousand miles away. A guy like him was the last thing I needed. But then I thought better of just telling him I’d put my number in. He seemed to have figured me out pretty quick. So instead, I typed my name and number, only I changed the last two digits.
And it was a good thing I did, because when Hunter returned from his bathroom trip, the first thing he did was check that I’d entered something. Luckily, he didn’t attempt to call me. Satisfied, he tossed his phone on the bed and nodded.
“Thank you. Now kiss me.”
I could see he wasn’t going to let me leave without this. So, sacrificing to make my plane, I pushed up on my toes and delivered a quick peck to his lips.
Mmm…. Nice and soft.
(And minty fresh.)
“Well…it was nice to meet you.” I turned to dart out the door, but Hunter grabbed my wrist yet again.
“I said kiss me.”
“I did!”
“Kiss me the way you kissed me last night.”
Before I could even attempt to let that sink in, Hunter yanked me against him. One of his large hands cupped the back of my neck, and he squeezed firmly to direct my head where he wanted it. Then, his lips crashed down on mine.
The shock of feeling his mouth against mine quickly dissipated as he licked my lips, encouraging me to open for him. His tongue dipped inside, and he groaned as he tilted my head and deepened the kiss. The vibration of the sound traveled between us and sent a hum through my body. Soft and gentle went out the window after that. He grabbed a fistful of my ass, and I lifted my body up onto his, wrapping my legs around his waist. As he backed us to the wall, a sense of familiarity overcame me. I couldn’t remember the specifics of our previous kiss, but I now knew deep inside what it had felt like.
My cell dropped from my hand so my fingers could tangle in his hair. Yanking on the soft strands, I couldn’t get enough. A moan from deep inside my chest moved through our connected mouths. Hunter pushed harder, his thick erection pressing into the center of my open legs. He rocked as he kissed me, causing a friction through two layers of clothing that was leading me to a place I didn’t think it was possible to go fully dressed.
It felt like he wanted to swallow me whole, and in that moment, I would have let him. My breasts were crushed to his chest, and a heartbeat raged out of control—only I wasn’t sure if it was my own or his. Jesus, where does a man learn to kiss like this?
I was breathless and stunned when our kiss broke. Hunter sucked on my bottom lip, tugging it before releasing my mouth.
His voice was strained. “Change your flight. We’re not done here.”
I swallowed, trying to gain some composure. “I can’t.” My voice was barely a whisper. It was all I could muster.
“Can’t or don’t want to?”
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Excerpt of Buried in Lies by T.L. Smith

by T.L. Smith
Genres: Romantic Suspense

 

 

T.L. Smith’s BURIED IN LIES releases in a little over two weeks…but today we are sharing an excerpt with you! Check it out below and pre-order your copy today!

Title: Buried in Lies
Author: T.L. Smith
Genre: Romance Suspense
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Cover Design: RBA
Photo: Regina Wamba/Mae I Design 

His lips told me he knew me. 


His hands touched like old lovers. 

His eyes held secrets of a past I’d never known.

I was lost you see. 

Lost as the flowers that grew in the meadow. 

The devil told me he knew me. 

But lies had a way of unraveling, even if we didn’t want them to. 

The devil had a trick, for his love was full of acid. Acid that burnt at every touch, every linger, and I let it burn all the way to my core. 

A devil made you sin. And my devil was the worst. 

But now that devil wanted my last kiss, and it wasn’t one I was willing to give. 

He could take the acid and leave the burn behind.

I was keeping my heart, even if I died trying.

“Mouse…”
I take his moment of silence, and slip myself out from his grasp while putting much-needed distance between us.
“You’ll end up hating me, I’ll end up resenting you…” I shake my head and step back again.
“I wouldn’t.”
“You would! You had to be forced into it. It took me almost dying more than once for you to choose me. That isn’t healthy, none of this is. We aren’t good for each other. We’ll keep on burning until there’s nothing left.” Stepping back again, I’m not clear where my car is, but I know it’s not far from here.
“We need to stop, Mouse. I’m ceasing the ellipses. No more pauses or question marks for me. Now it will just be full stops.”
I want to smile at his editor’s metaphor.
I want to ravish in it.
I know better, though.
“I’m full stopping it, Wolf! Before I fall deeper down a rabbit hole where I cannot escape.”
“I’ll chase you, Mouse, right down that rabbit hole.”
Turning, so I’m walking away, I look back only once.
“I hope you catch me, I really do. But this time you may not.”



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Excerpt from What We Are Reading: Cocky Fiance by TL Smith and Melissa Jane

by Melissa Jane, T.L. Smith
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Title: Cocky Fiancé

Authors: TL Smith & Melissa Jane

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 1

He wasn’t meant to be on my radar, he was definitely the off limits guy.
My brother’s best friend, my friend’s ex, but most of all he was my boss.
Hawk Carnage resembled one thing, and one thing alone. Sex.
He used it, he knew it, he lived it. Hawk owned the biggest lingerie company in the world, and I was his leading lady.
In business.
But now business and friendship were about to be crossed. The lines blurred, and I was ready to dip my toes into the forbidden water. Because no matter how much I said I could refrain from Hawk Carnage, now was not the time.
He was to be my fake fiancé.
And I was about to sink into that forbidden water, with Hawk’s hands clutching my sides.
Lord help me because I was about to enjoy every moment of it.
Even if it was just for fun, even if it would ruin everything.
I was about to dive in head first.

As far as weeks went, this one was long and arduous. With Britta gone, the entire atmosphere was different. Dull and boring. But today she returned. Her voice filtered down the hall, warm and cheery as she greeted her colleagues. Moments later, she walked into my office, her smile bright, skin freshly bronzed. Although she was smiling, her beautiful almond eyes meant business. Closing the door, she sat opposite me and crossed her legs.

I raised my brows in amusement when she remained silent and expectant. “Good morning, Britta,” I began. “How was your leave?”

“Morning, Hawk,” she smiled, and I was reminded for the millionth time how much I missed it. “It was… refreshing and…” Her eyes gave me a subtle once over. Not subtle enough that I don’t notice. “New suit?”

“Yes.”

Her lips pursed together before she responded. “It looks great on you.”

I smiled knowing her palms would be sweaty and her heart would be pounding. That was Britta.

“I’m happy you approve.”

She wiped her palms on her skirt and looked around the room. “Is the AC not working? I’m heating up here.”

I smiled to myself at how predictable she was. Using the controller, I lowered the temperature for her.

“So, what’s on your mind?”

“Game plan,” she said instantly.

“Game plan?”

She nodded. “Tomorrow… we need a game plan.”

I tapped my pen on my desk and watched her, curious. She watched me unfazed, waiting patiently for me to respond.

“Hawk, I need you to be serious right now.”

“I’m deadly serious.”

“Then why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“Like you’re looking into my soul.”

I didn’t know about her soul, but I would’ve liked a look under the blouse she was wearing.

“I assure you,” I said, dropping my pen on the desk and leaning forward. “I’m being serious. What do you have in mind?”

“I may be over Roman, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want revenge.”

I cocked a brow. “Revenge?”

She nodded, a smile slowly playing on her lips.

“Britta Valentino, what do you have in that mind of yours?”

“I want him to remember what he lost. I want to drive him crazy.”

This time, I nodded slowly, understanding the angle she was coming from.

She paused and waited on the edge of her seat for my response.

“Did Roman ever make you scream, Britta?”

She frowns. “Scream? Yeah, we only fought toward the end, though.”

I bite the corner of my mouth to stop the smile from taking over. “That’s not the type of screaming I mean.”

This time as realization dawned, her eyes grew wide. “That’s… that’s a bizarre question to—”

“I’ll take that as a no then,” I interrupted.

“I didn’t say that.”

“It’s written all over your face. A shame. I bet you’re a great screamer.”

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TL Smith

USA Today Best Selling Author T.L Smith can be found in almost any chocolate store, eating all the chocolate. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her two kids and husband. Her favourite things to do is dancing, writing, reading and travelling the world. A lover for twisted words and things that make your heart pump. You can find her on the following links.

Website * Facebook Instagram * Twitter

Melissa Jane

Melissa Jane is an Aussie author who writes about Alpha men and strong heroines no matter the adventure.
When she isn’t writing, Melissa spends time with her husband and little Yorkie, Pocket.
Friend or like me on Facebook to stay up to date with releases

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excerpt reveal of FAULT LINES by Rebecca Shea

by Rebecca Shea

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the stunning and captivating excerpt below, and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

About FAULT LINES:

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

 

FAULT LINES is coming October 30, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!

 

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Add to your Goodreads

 

EXCERPT:

PROLOGUE

Frankie

Ten Years Ago

My fingers dig into the brown dirt between the patches of dead grass that used to once be a lush front yard. A jagged stone cuts into the soft flesh of my knee as I try to get control of the involuntary lurching of my stomach, which has me crippled on all fours.

Tears fall in streams, and I gasp for air as I hear the sound of heavy footsteps near me.

“Frances—”

“Get away from me!” I scream at the soft voice.

“It’s not—”

“I said get the hell away from me!” My stomach clenches against another wave of nausea as I hear her footprints begin to move away. “Goooooo!” I shout at her again.

I manage to look over my shoulder and see Whitney Carson’s long blonde hair swaying as she walks quickly back across the cul-de-sac to her piss yellow, beat-to-hell Mustang. I barely make out the swell of her belly as she slides into the driver’s seat and slams the door behind her. The roar of the engine tells me she’s leaving.

One last heave and there is nothing left for my stomach to expel, leaving me with only my tears. My throat burns, my breaths coming in small gasps when I feel soft arms around my shoulders.

I hear the creak of the old screen door and my mama’s worn shoes come into sight just before I feel her arms around me. “Baby girl, what’s wrong? We weren’t expecting you home from school until tomorrow…” Her voice is quiet, yet panicked as she kneels next to me, her white uniform dress getting dirty.

I finished my finals early so that I could come home early and surprise Cole and my mom, but the surprise was all mine. “Mama,” I cry between ragged breaths. “I came home early to surprise you and—”

“Stop,” she cuts me off, looking over my shoulder behind me. “Let’s get you inside. If this has anything to do with that girl that’s been coming around, he’s not worth your tears. You’re going to put your chin up and enjoy your summer.” She tugs at my arm in hopes to get me to budge.

I shake my head back and forth violently. “No. I can’t stay here,” I manage through my tears. I can’t stay and watch this happen. I can’t stay and watch them.

“What do you mean? Where would you go?” Her voice grows with concern.

“I don’t know, but I can’t stay here.” The hot summer air hangs heavy around us, and sweat beads along my forehead at my hairline. The thought of Cole touching Whitney Carson causes my stomach to flip again, and I dry heave as I pinch my eyes closed.

Mom rubs her hand over my arm as I try to gain my composure and move from all fours to sitting on the dirt. “Well, come inside until we figure this out.” Her voice is soft and sad. “I’ve always told you he was—”

“Please, stop—” I cut her off now, not wanting to talk about Cole with her.

I hear her deep sigh. “Come on. I’ll run you a hot bath. We need to get you cleaned up.”

The tears still fall in waves as my heart breaks with each step I take toward our house and away from Cole Ryan. As I think about it, the last few months begin to make sense. I sensed Cole pulling away from me. He’d become distant, not returning my calls or answering text messages. Mama called me and had told me about the rumors she’d heard, but we chose to chalk them up to small town gossip. Crescent Ridge is just that, a small town where no one has anything else to do but talk about other people and spread rumors.

Suddenly, realization hits me that the one person I trusted more than anyone in the world betrayed me. He’s been my best friend since I was eleven, my first crush, my first love, my first everything. No other person will ever etch himself so boldly into my history as Cole Ryan did. No other person held the cards to destroy me like Cole Ryan did. And did he ever.

I bite my tongue, tasting the slightest hint of blood as Mama walks me up the raggedy old front porch of our house. “Keep walking, baby girl.” She guides me through the front door. “Keep your chin held high,” she says quietly, the screen door slamming hard behind us.

She looks at me with sympathetic eyes and her voice cracks as she speaks. “Now you can fall apart, Frances. Don’t ever let him see you crumble; don’t give him that control. He is not worth your tears.”

And crumble is what I do as I sink to the faded wood floors of our living room, Mama rocking me in her lap, her fingers stroking my hair and wiping my tears. I cry and scream for the love I believed in, for the boy who owned my heart, and the loss of the one person I long for—the one person I had planned to spend my last breath with.

Mama holds me for hours as my tears come and go. At the first hints of the morning sunlight, I peel myself from Mama’s lap, my head pounding from the hours of crying. I pull my cell phone from my back pocket and press the name of the only other friend I have.

“Ash.” My voice breaks and I barely make out what she’s saying, but one thing is certain. I’m getting the hell out of Crescent Ridge and never looking back. “I’m coming,” I tell her.

Between my tears and gasping breaths, I disconnect my call and see Mama swipe at the tears on her aging cheeks. She sat here all night comforting me as I lay helpless in her lap. In the end, she’s the one person who believes in me and has loved me unconditionally, and here I am about to leave her behind. Leave everything I know and love behind, without a second thought. For good.

I know that when I drive away from here today, I’ll never be back—I can’t come back. I’m leaving my broken heart behind, along with the only man I’ve ever loved.

I toss my bag and one small box of belongings from my childhood bedroom in the trunk of my car and slide into the driver’s seat of my old Honda. Without a second thought, I put the car in drive and glance just once out my rearview mirror as I pull away. The last thing I see is Cole Ryan, hunched over the paint-chipped railing of his front porch as I drive away from Crescent Ridge, leaving him, my past, and my mama behind.

 

 

About Rebecca Shea:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

 

 

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Trailer Reveal – Fault Lines by Rebecca Shea

by Rebecca Shea
Genres: Romance

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author, Rebecca Shea, comes a new, heartbreakingly beautiful standalone romance, FAULT LINES. Don’t miss the stunning and captivating trailer below, and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

About FAULT LINES:

At eleven he was my first crush. At sixteen he became mine. At nineteen he broke my heart and destroyed me. That was ten years ago and the last time I saw Cole Ryan.

They say you never get over your first love…I beg to differ. I left my shattered heart buried in a town I never expected to return to. I erased every thought of him and buried the memories never to be found.

I moved on…now ten years later I have the perfect life, the perfect fiancé, the perfect career. Everything I ever wanted until I’m forced to go back and face my past and the man that destroyed me.

He won’t stop until I know the truth no matter how hard I fight it. In the end, lies will be uncovered, hearts will be broken, and my life as I’ve come to know it destroyed.

 

 

FAULT LINES is coming October 30, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!

 

Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Amazon Live Release Alert

 

Add to your Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Rebecca Shea:

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

 

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Instagram |Goodreads

 

 

Coming Soon… Cocky Fiance by T.L. Smith and Melissa Jane

by Melissa Jane, T.L. Smith
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Title: Cocky Fiancé

Authors: TL Smith & Melissa Jane

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 1

He wasn’t meant to be on my radar, he was definitely the off limits guy.
My brother’s best friend, my friend’s ex, but most of all he was my boss.
Hawk Carnage resembled one thing, and one thing alone. Sex.
He used it, he knew it, he lived it. Hawk owned the biggest lingerie company in the world, and I was his leading lady.
In business.
But now business and friendship were about to be crossed. The lines blurred, and I was ready to dip my toes into the forbidden water. Because no matter how much I said I could refrain from Hawk Carnage, now was not the time.
He was to be my fake fiancé.
And I was about to sink into that forbidden water, with Hawk’s hands clutching my sides.
Lord help me because I was about to enjoy every moment of it.
Even if it was just for fun, even if it would ruin everything.
I was about to dive in head first.

ONLY 99¢!!!
B&N * KOBO * iBOOKS

TL Smith

USA Today Best Selling Author T.L Smith can be found in almost any chocolate store, eating all the chocolate. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her two kids and husband. Her favourite things to do is dancing, writing, reading and travelling the world. A lover for twisted words and things that make your heart pump. You can find her on the following links.

Website * Facebook Instagram * Twitter

Melissa Jane

Melissa Jane is an Aussie author who writes about Alpha men and strong heroines no matter the adventure.
When she isn’t writing, Melissa spends time with her husband and little Yorkie, Pocket.
Friend or like me on Facebook to stay up to date with releases

Facebook * Instagram * Twitter

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Exes With Benefits by Nicole Williams – Chapter Reveal

by Nicole Williams

 

 

Coming September 18th

 

AP new - synopsis.jpg
He wants a second chance. I want a divorce. To get what I want, I’ll have to give him what he does.


From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Nicole Williams, comes a new standalone romance in the same vein as Roommates with Benefits.

 

 

PROLOGUE


Goodbye.
It was the one relationship guarantee we could all expect. Whether it was death or circumstance, tragedy or choice, it was the only promise we were assured. Goodbye. It had been coming since the day we met, and now it was here. Sooner than I’d hoped. Even sooner than the sensible segment of me had predicted.
Still, it was later than maybe I should have expected out of a relationship with Canaan Ford.
I’d been waiting all night for his truck to rumble up the driveway when it finally did just past two a.m.. Before his footsteps echoed up the stairs, I shouldered the couple of bags I’d packed and waited in the shadows of the hallway. My paintbrushes were sticking out of one of my oversized totes, tickling the underside of my arm. I’d packed everything that seemed important at the time, but now, I wasn’t sure that what I’d stuffed in my bags mattered at all.
It was late, dark, and Canaan would be coming home exhausted, hurting, and some degree of drunk. He wouldn’t see me, and I could just slip away without him knowing.
Maybe I should have left before he made it back, but whenever I tried, my feet froze to the floor before I could make it to the door. I needed to wait for him to get home first—to make sure he was okay before I left him. That might have been a messed up model of morality, but most of Canaan’s and my relationship was messed up, from the beginning to now, the ending.
He struggled with the key in the lock before shoving the door open and clomping straight toward the couch. He’d stopped crawling into bed beside me after a night of fighting and drinking months ago, like he thought it would spare me the pain of seeing him bloodied and plastered. It never had. The black eyes, the swollen lips, the bruised ribs; they were that much worse in the light of morning.
Canaan had barely crashed onto the sofa before his breathing evened out. Still, I waited another minute in the hallway before moving into the living room.
Don’t look, Maggie. Don’t let yourself look at him.
I looked. Of course I looked. I never listened to what was best for me—if I had, my life would have wound up so much differently.
He was already passed out, sprawled across the couch we’d bought at a yard sale the summer before . . .
Before all of this.
One arm and one leg were hanging off the end, his face tipped far enough toward me I could gauge the type of fight he’d been in tonight. A good one by Canaan’s definition—the best kind. The type where his opponent got in as many hits as he did. The type of fight that made him almost question if it would be the first one he’d lose. Canaan loved the challenge, the fight. He thrived off of chaos, seeming to wilt when life was simple. I used to admire that about him, and maybe I still did. It just wasn’t the life for me. I couldn’t live life like it was a battle—not anymore.
He was passed out hard, but I still crept slowly toward the front door, my heart thundering as the boards creaked below me. Even though I was moving toward the door, my eyes stayed on him.
Look away.
I couldn’t. Canaan was the best part of my life. And the worst. The best memories. And the worst. He was the high and the low and I was so damn tired of the sick cycle I thought would kill me one day.
As my hand cupped around the cool doorknob, my eyes burned. This was it. As resolved as I’d felt in the weeks leading up to this, I felt like I was being torn in half by walking away. I knew if I stayed, this relationship would be the end of me. But at the moment, leaving felt like the same.
Lying on that couch, he looked so vulnerable. Almost like he needed someone to protect him. From the world. From his demons. From himself. I’d tried. God, I’d been trying for what felt like forever, but the only thing I had to show for my efforts was scars and pain.
One of his eyes was swollen shut, his bottom lip three times its normal size, and he’d split the same eyebrow open again. It was going to need stiches. Six, I guessed. I’d gotten really good as estimating the number of stiches needed to seal a wound.
A sob rose from my chest, but I managed to swallow it back down. He was the only boy I’d ever loved—the only one I’d ever come close to loving. In some ways, he was perfect for me. But in more ways, especially lately, he was entirely wrong for me.
That was why I needed to leave. We might have been good together, but we weren’t good for each other. I knew that now.
I opened the door slowly, so it wouldn’t make a sound, then I let myself take one last look at the life I was leaving behind before I forced myself to walk away.
Now that I wasn’t looking at him, moving was easier. Each step down from our little apartment above the garage came quicker, so by the time I reached the ground, I was jogging.
Canaan’s truck was parked right beside my old car. Ancient was maybe a better description of how “mature” my car was. It was almost like he’d known I was going to leave tonight, because he’d parked his truck so close I could barely crack my door open half a foot. Getting my bags tossed into the backseat and managing to wiggle in through the door was a tight fit, but I made it work.
The moment I was inside, I jammed the key in the ignition and turned it over. I didn’t pause. I didn’t flinch. The hardest part was behind me, and now I needed to keep moving.
Easing my car around the truck, I noticed the one light burning inside the big house in my rearview mirror. Grandma knew what was happening tonight and was keeping her light on for me as her unique way of expressing that no matter what, she was here for me. She’d keep the light on—even when it felt like there was nothing but darkness around me.
My throat constricted as I kept backing down the long driveway. I’d tried saving him, but it had cost me almost everything. I was taking what I had left and saving myself.
As I rolled past Grandma’s front porch, my gaze shifted from the rearview mirror to that little garage apartment I’d lived the last eleven months in. The door was open, light was streaming from inside, and a dark, towering shadow loomed in the doorway.
My foot instinctively moved toward the brake. Canaan was too far away for me to determine the look on his face, but I could imagine it. It came easy since I’d known him as long as I had. Knowing his face was like second nature.
He stayed unmoving in that doorway for a moment, my car doing the same. It wasn’t until he started moving down the stairs that my foot flew back to the gas. If he got to me before I made it out of this driveway, I wouldn’t leave. I knew it. Walking away from someone I loved was hard enough, but Canaan wasn’t just someone I loved—he was someone I’d shared everything with. He’d walked with me through the hardest part of my life, and I’d walked with him through his. We’d been each other’s beacon, shelter, and compass through all of life’s shit . . .
So how had we gotten here? To this hopeless, dead end of a place?
He was charging down the stairs now, taking them two at a time. How was he able to move that nimbly when he’d just been comatose on the couch?
“Maggie!”
The windows were rolled up, but his shout broke through the glass, sounding so close it was almost like he was pressed against me, whispering it into my ear.
He sprinted the moment his feet touched the ground, his long arms pumping hard at his sides.
“Canaan, don’t,” I whispered inside the car, my lower lip trembling as I focused on the driveway behind me. “Please don’t.”
I didn’t miss the shadow that had appeared in that lit window. Grandma was watching me leave, witnessing Canaan trying to convince me to stay. Before, his attempts had been successful, but not this time. I couldn’t stay for him one more time—I had to leave for me.
“Maggie! Please!”
Canaan’s shouts were so loud, they were going to wake up the neighbors a few acres over. Each word emanated like a blast inside the car.
“Let me go,” I whispered as I swung the car onto the street.
Right before I could punch it into drive and hit the gas, Canaan swooped in front of the car. His chest was moving hard from the exertion, his snug white tee stained with fresh and dried blood. His face was so messed up it was practically unrecognizable, but I couldn’t help seeing the young boy with a clip-on tie walk up to me when I was frozen on a porch step, appraising me with those wild gold eyes before holding out a tiny box. How had that boy, who’d saved me back then, become the ruin of me now?
When I revved the engine, he didn’t move. Instead, he slid closer so his legs were pushing against the bumper. He raised his arms like he was surrendering, his unswollen eye landing on me. “I’m not letting you leave. Not without a fight.”
A breath rolled past my lips—a fight. Everything was a fight with him. He couldn’t land enough hits or take enough. His guilt wouldn’t let him.
Cranking down the window, I made myself glare at him. It was harder to achieve than it should have been. “I’m not something you win or lose in a fight.”
His jaw moved as he pressed his hands into the hood of the car. “You fight for what’s important. That’s the way life is. And you are worth every fight I have in me.”
“You’re too busy fighting everyone else—including yourself—to fight for me.” My sight blurred as I stared at him. So little of the person I’d fallen in love with remained. So little of who he’d fallen in love with remained in me as well. “I can’t wait around, watching you kill yourself one fight and drink at a time.”
He wiped at his split-open brow, leaving a streak of blood on his forearm. “I can change.”
My fingers tightened around the steering wheel. How many times had I heard those words come from his lips? Those same lips that claimed ownership of my first kiss?
“Yeah, you can.” I steeled myself against him a little more. “That’s not your problem. Your problem is that you won’t change.”
“This time I will.” His head whipped side to side. “It’s taken this, you trying to leave me, to slap some sense into me.”
I’d tried leaving so many times. This was just the furthest I’d ever made it. “I’m not trying to leave you. I am leaving you.” I made myself look at him. I made myself appear strong when I felt so very opposite. “This is it.”
He slowly came around the side of the car toward me. I rolled up the window halfway, aiming my eyes at the road in front of me.
“One more chance.” Even from a few feet back, I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I could smell the sweat and blood on him mixed with it, the trace of perfume that didn’t belong to me.
“You’ve had a thousand one more chances.” I studied him from the corners of my eyes, knowing better than to let them lock on his when he was this close. “This was your last one.”
“Maggie . . .” His hands formed around the lip of the window. His knuckles were split open and swollen, dried blood covering them. Still, I wasn’t sure I’d ever craved having them reach for me more. I wasn’t sure I’d ever needed him to pull me to his broken body and soul more than I did right then.
In that moment, I might have needed him more than I needed air, but I couldn’t give in. Kicking the habit was the only way to cure myself.
“Let me go, Canaan.” My legs were trembling as my foot moved back to the gas.
His head lowered so it was in line with mine. “You’re my wife.”
My left hand curled farther around the steering wheel, until I couldn’t see the gold band circling my finger. “No. I was your wife.”
His head dropped for half a second, his eyes flashing with defeat right before. “I love you.”
My chest ached. The man was the boy again, and I wanted to save him the way he’d saved me. But I couldn’t. The only person who could save Canaan Ford was Canaan Ford.
“I promised to love you forever, and I will.” My foot touched the accelerator. “But I can’t spend forever with you.”
His hands braced around the window harder when I rolled forward. “I made a promise. To you, and to myself. A promise to love you forever. To look after you as long.”
When I found my mind drifting to that overcast afternoon eleven months ago, my heart wringing when I remembered the way he’d stared at me as we repeated those phrases in the courthouse, I shook my head. Good memories weren’t enough. Hope wasn’t enough. Empty promises weren’t even close to enough.
“We exchanged vows.” My eyes focused on the road in front of me, letting go of the dead end beside me. “There’s a difference between saying them and meaning them.”
When my foot pushed down on the gas, Canaan moved with the car. “I’m not letting you go. I’m not giving up.” The car moved faster, his feet pounding the asphalt as he struggled to keep up.
“I know. But I’m giving in.” Breaking my own rule, I let my eyes meet his before punching the gas pedal as far down as it would go. “Goodbye.”
That was enough. Hearing that word shocked him just enough to still him. For one second. I didn’t ease up on the gas, not even when I heard his fists pounding the trunk as he struggled to keep up.
“I can change!” His footsteps were thundering after the car. “I will change.”
With him behind me, I let the tears I’d been fighting fall. Everything I’d ever known—my whole life—was getting smaller and smaller behind me. With every tick of the odometer.
“MAGGIE!!!” His voice pierced the air one last time before I was too far away to hear whatever came next.
It was morning by the time I stopped seeing his reflection in the rearview mirror, still chasing me into my new life.

 

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

 

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