*BLOG TOUR*

*BLOG TOUR*
Overture by Skye Warren is NOW AVAILABLE!

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OVERTURE is the first novel in a brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren.

 

Synopsis

Forbidden fruit never tasted this sweet…

The world knows Samantha Brooks as the violin prodigy. She guards her secret truth—the desire she harbours for her guardian.

Liam North got custody of her six years ago. She’s all grown up now, but he still treats her like a child. No matter how much he wants her.

No matter how bad he aches for one taste.

Her sweet overtures break down the ex-soldiers defences, but there’s more at stake than her body. Every touch, every kiss, every night. The closer she gets, the more exposed his darkest secret.

She’s one step away from finding out what happened the night she lost her family. One step away from leaving him forever.

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EXCERPT FROM OVERTURE

Rest, Liam told me.

He’s right about a lot of things. Maybe he’s right about this. I climb onto the cool pink sheets, hoping that a nap will suddenly make me content with this quiet little life.

Even though I know it won’t.

Besides, I’m too wired to actually sleep. The white lace coverlet is both delicate and comfy. It’s actually what I would have picked out for myself, except I didn’t pick it out. I’ve been incapable of picking anything, of choosing anything, of deciding anything as part of some deep-seated fear that I’ll be abandoned.

The coverlet, like everything else in my life, simply appeared.

And the person responsible for its appearance? Liam North.

I climb under the blanket and stare at the ceiling. My body feels overly warm, but it still feels good to be tucked into the blankets. The blankets he picked out for me.

It’s really so wrong to think of him in a sexual way. He’s my guardian, literally. Legally. And he has never done anything to make me think he sees me in a sexual way.

This is it. This is the answer.

I don’t need to go skinny dipping in the lake down the hill. Thinking about Liam North in a sexual way is my fast car. My parachute out of a plane.

My eyes squeeze shut.

That’s all it takes to see Liam’s stern expression, those fathomless green eyes and the glint of dark blond whiskers that are always there by late afternoon. And then there’s the way he touched me. My forehead, sure, but it’s more than he’s done before. That broad palm on my sensitive skin.

My thighs press together. They want something between them, and I give them a pillow. Even the way I masturbate is small and timid, never making a sound, barely moving at all, but I can’t change it now. I can’t moan or throw back my head even for the sake of rebellion.

But I can push my hips against the pillow, rocking my whole body as I imagine Liam doing more than touching my forehead. He would trail his hand down my cheek, my neck, my shoulder.

Repressed. I’m so repressed it’s hard to imagine more than that.

I make myself do it, make myself trail my hand down between my breasts, where it’s warm and velvety soft, where I imagine Liam would know exactly how to touch me.

You’re so beautiful, he would say. Your breasts are perfect.

Because Imaginary Liam wouldn’t care about big breasts. He would like them small and soft with pale nipples. That would be the absolute perfect pair of breasts for him.

And he would probably do something obscene and rude. Like, lick them.

My hips press against the pillow, almost pushing it down to the mattress, rocking and rocking. There’s not anything sexy or graceful about what I’m doing. It’s pure instinct. Pure need.

The beginning of a climax wraps itself around me. Claws sink into my skin. There’s almost certain death, and I’m fighting, fighting, fighting for it with the pillow clenched hard.

“Oh fuck.”

The words come soft enough someone else might not hear them. They’re more exhalation of breath, the consonants a faint break in the sound. I have excellent hearing. Ridiculous, crazy good hearing that had me tuning instruments before I could ride a bike.

My eyes snap open, and there’s Liam, standing there, frozen. Those green eyes locked on mine. His body clenched tight only three feet away from me. He doesn’t come closer, but he doesn’t leave.

Orgasm breaks me apart, and I cry out in surprise and denial and relief. “Liam.

It goes on and on, the terrible pleasure of it. The wrenching embarrassment of coming while looking into the eyes of the man who raised me for the past six years.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/2MK76XA
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2Qtt15z
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2QuX6le
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Google Play: http://bit.ly/2QAJ9Co

 

Giveaway:

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5440a3541670/

 

About the Author

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.

Website: http://www.skyewarren.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skye_warren
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/skyewarren
Instagram: https://instagram.com/skyewarrenbooks
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyeWarrenBooks

RELEASE BLITZ

RELEASE BLITZ

Motion (Law of Physics, #1); (Hypothesis, #2.1) by PENNY REID

Motion, the first in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

 

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SYNOPSIS

One week.

Home alone.

Girl genius.

Unrepentant slacker.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and had everything figured out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at thirteen, finish college at seventeen, and start your PhD program at eighteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled.

Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2U1pnSv

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

 

my-review

I knew this book was going to end with a cliffhanger, but what surprised me was how fast the end of the book seemed to creep up on me.
I was so engaged in the story and loving Mona (Lisa) and Abram’s chemistry and bantering, that time flew and then… BAM!
End of story.

(I am truly grateful that there is only a month between books. (Thank you, Penny!))

I finished the book thinking:
So many questions!
So many possibilities!
What will happen?
Who will happen?
When will happen?

it's true

YIKES!
THE FEELS!

the feels

Another great, SMART story by Penny Reid!
I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the author.
All graphics have been provided by SocialButterflyPR.”

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2T5iZto

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2QYvTaB

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Motion

Nook: http://bit.ly/2R1mpvn

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

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2DoH8pv

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2T4ebo9

 

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Pre-order the rest of the series today!

Space

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SL7P09

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2WOXsrj

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

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2RRny94

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2tfBT5C

 

Time

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Gk59Aq

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2MYQ73J

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

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

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Sm1Zmu

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2WSQbXe

 

Meet Penny Reid:

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Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full-time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

 

Connect with Penny:

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2AXQQxj

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2sCQ1pi

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2W67eow

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2U3dKdW

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

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Stay up to day with Penny by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2szN34G

www.pennyreid.ninja

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour

Blog Tour

Catastrophe Queen by Emma Hart

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One hot mess. One hot boss. One too many hot encounters…

Catastrophe Queen, an all-new hilarious office romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Emma Hart is available now!

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Synopsis

It’s not you. It’s me.

No, seriously. It is me. Not only does my name literally mean “unfortunate,” but that’s the story of my life.

Everything I touch turns to cr*p. An apartment fire—that I swear I was not responsible for—means I’m living back at home with my s*x-mad parents. Yay, me!

Which is why I need my new job as personal assistant to Cameron Reid to get back on my feet. Three months in this job and I can move back out and, hopefully, remember to turn off my flat iron once in a while.

Ahem.

On paper, my job is easy. Make coffee. Book Appointments. Keep everything in order.

Until I walk in on my boss, half-naked, wearing nothing but the kind of tiny white towel that dreams are made of.

Now, nothing is easy—except our mutual attraction. But he’s my boss, and you know what they say about mixing work and pleasure: unless you do p*rn, it’s just not worth it.

Or is it?

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

 

 

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SzEyCn

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2Jtpp1m

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/CatastropheQueen

Nook: http://bit.ly/2OmHHT2

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

 

Excerpt

“I took my coffee from the counter and scanned the room for an empty table. There wasn’t one, which killed my chances of wasting more time before I went home.

With a sigh, I checked my phone for the time and headed for the door. I was going to end up at home earlier than I’d planned, and I needed to check with my mom to make sure there wasn’t anything kinky happening somewhere in the house.

I’d considered bleaching my eyes enough in the last few weeks, thank you.

I was fairly sure I was safe because my grandfather and great aunt were coming to stay to celebrate Grandpa’s eightieth birthday. It was still a miracle my exhibitionist mother shared DNA with either of them. Unlike her, they were reserved, polite, and didn’t flash their flesh in the hopes of getting out of a speeding ticket.

Really, it was no wonder I was a walking disaster.

I pulled up my messages and clicked on my mom’s name. My thumb was poised to type the burning question of whether or not it was safe to come home when I glanced up.

And saw the car screeching to a stop, mere inches from me.

I screamed and stepped back. My heel caught on the curb, sending me toppling backwards, and both my coffee and phone went flying. My cup slammed against the sidewalk, splattering hot liquid everywhere right as I managed to save my phone from certain death by concrete.

My heart was beating so fast it should have exploded, and adrenaline raced through my veins. I gripped my phone against me so tightly that the edges pressed painfully into my skin.

Oh my God.

I’d just almost died.

Maybe slightly dramatic, but I probably wasn’t far wrong. I didn’t even know I’d stepped into the road. When had that happened? Had I really been in that deep into my own little world that I hadn’t even checked for traffic?

Dear God.

How was I still alive?

The back door to the sleek, black car that somehow hadn’t run me over swung open. From my vantage position on the sidewalk, the first thing I saw was a pair of shiny, black shoes attached to legs wearing perfectly-pressed, light grey dress pants.

I dragged my gaze up from the feet, over the door of the perfectly clean car, and stared at the most beautiful man known to humankind.

Thick, dark, wavy hair covered his head, curling over his ears. Lashes the same dark shade of brown framed impossibly bright-blue eyes that regarded me with a mixture of shock and concern, and my ovaries about exploded when he rubbed a large hand over full pink lips and a stubbled, strong jaw.

“Miss—I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”

Scrambling to my feet as he approached me, I tugged down the leg of my pants and grabbed my purse. “Yes. I mean—it was my fault. I wasn’t paying attention. I’m sorry.”

He let go of the car door, showing broad shoulders and just how well that grey suit was tailored to him and picked up my coffee cup. “All the same, I think we can share the blame. Are you sure you’re not hurt?”

Just my dignity, and by this point, I was running low on it anyway.

I shifted, taking a step back. “I’m fine, really. Thank you.”

“Can I replace your coffee? Give you a ride anyway to apologize?” His expression was so earnest, his concern so genuine that I almost gave in.

Almost.

I had almost walked into the front of his car, then proceeded to embarrass myself in front of everyone on the street.

“No, no, it’s fine. I’m not far from home.” I clutched my phone and purse straps a little harder. “Again, thank you, but I should be going.”

He nodded as if he understood. “Uh, miss? Did you drop something there?”

My eyes followed the direction Mr. Dreamboat was pointing. On the side of the road, tucked against the curb, was a pair of white, cotton panties with flamingos on them.

My white, cotton panties with flamingos on them.

Swallowing, I met his bright eyes and shook my head. Dear God, please don’t let me blush. “No. I’ve never seen them before.” I backed up a little more. “Thank you for not running me over.”

Mr. Dreamboat grinned, his eyes brightening with his smile. “I’d never be able to forgive myself if I’d been responsible for running over someone as beautiful as you.” He glanced toward my panties, then winked at me.

There was no doubting that I was blushing this time around.

You could fry eggs on my cheeks.

So I did the only thing any self-respecting, twenty-five-year-old woman who’d just almost been run over, tripped, and dropped her dirty panties could do.

I ran.

But only like two blocks, because I was in heels, and I had the fitness levels of a hippo.

Then I grabbed a cab.”

 

About Emma Hart

emmahart

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

​She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

​Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

​Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.

Connect with Emma

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

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2Dr0atq

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2Dq42ez

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

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2D91d3T

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emmahartauthor/

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: https://www.emmahart.org/newsletter

Website: https://www.emmahart.org/home

 

 

 

 

Release Blitz

Release Blitz

Second Chance:  A Romance for over 40 (Sexy Silver Foxes) by L.B. Dunbar

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Cover Designer: Shanoff Designs

Second Chance, an all-new sexy, silver fox standalone from L.B. Dunbar is available now!

 

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Synopsis

Her.

A widow at forty-four, her husband left her a letter.

Contact Denton.

Once upon a time, the three of them had been best friends.

Mati Rath isn’t sure she should look back.

Her heart isn’t ready, or so she thinks.

 

Him.

A pleading phone call forces him to make a decision.

I’ll be there.

Yet, he hasn’t been home in twenty-seven years.

Denton Chance isn’t sure he should return.

The past still haunts his heart.

A desire that never left them, along with circumstances beyond their control, brings the past to the present.

Can one sexy silver fox face the woman he once left behind but never let go?

Sometimes love deserves a second chance.

 

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

 

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RTydoE

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/SecondChanceLBD

 

About L.B. Dunbar

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I’ve been accused of having an over-active imagination. To my benefit, this imagination has created over twenty novels, including the creation of a small-town world (Sensations Collection), rock star mayhem (Legendary Rock Star series), MMA chaos (Paradise Stories), rom-com for the over forty (The Sex Education of M.E.), and a suspenseful island for redemption (The Island Duet). My alter ego, Elda lore, creates magical romance through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). My life revolves around a deep love of reading about fairy tales, medieval knights, regency debauchery, and strong alpha males. I love a deep belly laugh, a strong hug, and an occasional margarita. My other loves include being a mother to four grown children and wife to the one and only.

 

Connected with L.B. Dunbar

Amazon: http://bit.ly/2ROZGHu

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Stay up to date with L.B. by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2SW11JD

Website: https://www.lbdunbar.com

 

 

 

 

Release Blitz

Release Blitz

Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition, #3) by Staci Hart

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Her fake husband is a Work In Progress…

Work in Progress, an all-new romantic comedy from Staci Hart, is available now!

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Synopsis

I never thought my first kiss would be on my wedding day.

But here I stand, clutching a bouquet of pale pink roses behind the doors of a Las Vegas chapel, and at the end of the aisle is the absolute last man I imagined would be waiting for me.

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Thomas Bane.

Bestselling author. Notorious bad boy. Savagely handsome, dark as sin, chiselled as stone. And somehow, my soon-to-be husband.

Marry him, and I’ll land my dream job. Save him, and I’ll walk away with everything I’ve ever wanted. All I have to do is remember it’s all for a show.

None of it is real, no matter how real it feels.

But first, I have to survive the kiss.

And with lips like his, my heart doesn’t stand a chance.

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

 

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DmTuOU

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WorkinProgress

Teasers

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About the Author

stacihart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

 

From roots in Houston to a seven-year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

 

Connect with Staci:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hv5OA5

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/imaquirkybird/

Website: http://stacihartnovels.com

Stay up to date with Staci by joining her mailing list: http://stacihartnovels.com/get-the-newsletter/

Join Her Reader Group Here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stacihart/

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK RELEASE:

Picture Perfect Summer

(The Kings of Castle Beach, #3) by Marquita Valentine

 

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Follow Duke King and True Prince on their epic journey of love, loss and trying to hold on to the one who got away.

 From New York Times, bestselling author Marquita Valentine comes the highly anticipated second chance romance Picture Perfect Summer.

Now live!

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Synopsis

It all started with a dare…

He was supposed to be a summer fling, but Duke King made me fall in love with him and I spent the most perfect summer by his side.

Then I met his wife—his pregnant wife.

And I had no other choice but to leave Castle Beach for good.

Ten years later, I’m back to sell my parents’ house and leave behind the memories of that perfect summer, once and for all.

But my plans for a quick visit are hindered by a sexy single dad.

I’m older and wiser, but so is he… and this time, he says he’s not going to let me go without a fight.

 

Teasers

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Pre-order your copy today!

 

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Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CDQkFY

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PicturePerfectSummerMV

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2CqIkIm

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

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2PSft33

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

 

About Marquita:

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series.

Since first taking the plunge in July of 2012 to self publish, Marquita Valentine has appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling Ebooks Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes&Noble. She’s been called “one of the best new voices in romance” (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been accused of being “a sexy, fun, and slightly addicting contemporary read” (The Book Queen).

When she’s not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high school sweetheart, Marquita lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.

 

Connect with Marquita:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarquitaValentine/
GoodReads: https://goo.gl/n84vKD
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marquitaval
Website: http://www.marquitavalentine.com
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2k1AUDl
Newsletter: https://goo.gl/ACLMkk

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

The Kiss ThiefThe Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

 


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THE KISS THIEF BY L.J. SHEN
Release Date: January 9th
Cover Designer: Letitia Hasser at RBA Designs.


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Even though it’s been a couple of days since I’ve read this story, I still can’t seem to get the characters and the story out of my head.
I keep replaying certain scenes and the dialogue between the protagonists, and I’m convinced I’m going to have to reread this book in the near future.
It was that good!

This is the first book I’ve read by L.J. Shen, and now I’m kicking myself for not reading her sooner.
(guess I’ll be purchasing her backlist)

“5- You have to fight for what you want Stars!”

The Kiss Thief was an incredible, dark, edgy, engaging story!
I was so invested in these characters and their story, that I couldn’t put this book down.
Wolfe was probably one of the most cold-hearted, calculating, and the cruellest protagonist I’ve read in a long time.

Francesca had no idea what happened in her life.
One minute she was living her life the way she had been brought up to do and everything was going according to plan. She was going to marry her childhood sweetheart, and they were going to live the life they so often talked about, then out of nowhere she’s suddenly told she’s going to marry a total stranger who thinks she’s a privileged, entitled, stupid girl.

Wolfe dispises Francesca’s father with everything he is and he doesn’t hide the fact that he hates her by association.
What Wolfe doesn’t realize at the beginning of their relationship, is that Francesca may be young and innocent, but she’s got a fire and strength to her that challenges and forces Wolfe to rethink, recalculate, and negotiate some of his actions.


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In a twisted way, the reader (that would be me) was cheering for this couple because I really didn’t want to believe that this 19-year-old girl would be trapped in a loveless, cruel marriage to a powerful 30-year-old man.
I wanted a happily ever after for Francesca because I liked her so much and also because she was a strong, smart, innocent bystander in this tragic game between her father and her husband.


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Great story!
Wonderful writing!
Amazingly complex characters!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read more from this author.

Excerpt

“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.

“Answer me,” I hissed.

“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.

“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.

“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”

Un-freaking-believable.

We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.

I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.

“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”

I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.

“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.

“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.

“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”

“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.

“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.

“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”

“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behaviour was the only thing that stood out.

I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.

“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.

“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”

“That’s your backbone?”

“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”

A conceited frown crinkled his mask as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because of this man? He’d chase.


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