Tuesday, December 20, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Guiding the Grouch by Shanna Hatfield

Guiding the Grouch
Shanna Hatfield
(Summer Creek, #5)
Publication date: December 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

He’s a billionaire set on escaping the holidays and his demanding family.
She’s a single mom with a sunny smile who keeps her heart safely hidden.
When she makes him her personal Christmas project, what could possibly go wrong?

Gabe Gatlin would do anything to evade the obligatory family holiday hobnobbing that is nothing more than one horrible business event after another, all wrapped up with a gaudy Christmas ribbon. Then the opportunity arises to explore a property in the small town of Summer Creek, Oregon, and gives him the idea to run away for the holidays. This year, he’s skipping Christmas. All he has to do is hide out until January in the quirky little town where the residents have dubbed him Grinchy Gabe. But when a delightful woman starts making his sleigh bells jingle, he might find it impossible to avoid losing his three-sizes-too-small heart.

Single mom and waitress, Dani Latham, has two priorities: give her son the stable life she never had, and spread joy to her friends and neighbors in Summer Creek. When a stranger with a grinchy attitude sits at her table, she makes it her personal mission to make him smile. As she guides him into a flurry of Christmas festivities, she starts to wonder if this grounch’s heart will ever return to normal size. And even worse. . . if it does, who is going to save hers from breaking when he leaves?

Will a little Christmas magic and wonder bring these two lonesome people together?

Discover the joys of the season mixed with humor, holiday fun, and moments that tug at your heartstrings in this sweet contemporary Christmas romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

As he listened to three more calls from Monique, they got progressively more annoying. The call from just an hour earlier ended with her making threats to “have Daddy fire you” if he didn’t come home and fulfill his holiday obligations.

“Maybe I don’t want to be there,” Gabe said, unaware of his dark glower or that he spoke aloud as he scrolled through a dozen of Monique’s infuriating text messages. “Maybe I’ll skip every holiday from now until the end of time. Maybe I actually despise Christmas and all the hoopla of the stupid, stupid season!”

“Well, aren’t you a grouchy one,” a teasing voice spoke from beside him, “I believe you could use a dose of Christmas cheer before you whip out the phone book and begin alphabetically listing all the people you hate. Or is it loathe?”

Gabe had no idea about her reference to the phone book, and he didn’t care. Irritated at being interrupted, he glanced up and stared at the server.

The stunning woman smiling at him could have been an angel as the overhead lights created a halo around her golden hair. Hers was a rare beauty. The kind that didn’t need makeup to enhance it, although she wore a light coat of mascara and lip gloss. She was of medium height and willowy, with high cheekbones, a generous mouth, and hazel eyes that twinkled with mirth. If she lived in New York City, he had no doubt she’d be in high demand as a fashion model. What was a woman with her looks and seductive voice doing in such a backwater place taking food and drink orders?

He envisioned her in a ruby-red velvet evening gown, strolling on his arm to a symphony performance. The picture in his mind was so real, so clear, he felt the oddest sense of knowing this woman deep in his soul.

Dumbfounded by his thoughts, Gabe felt like someone had sucked the air right out of his lungs.

The woman slid the menu closer to him “Chef Owen is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest. You can choose anything and know it’s going to be wonderful. Take a look at the menu. I’ll be right back.”

The angel strode across the room, walked behind the bar, and disappeared through a doorway before he could engage enough brain cells to utter a single word to her.

Gabe picked up the menu, but it might as well have been written in hieroglyphics based on his sudden inability to read. It was like his brain had just decided to take a vacation and left him in the lurch.


Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes sweet romances rich with relatable characters, small town settings that feel like home, humor, and hope.

Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”

When this farm girl isn’t writing or indulging in rich, decadent chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. She also experiments with recipes, snaps photos of her adorable nephew, and caters to the whims of a cranky cat named Drooley.

To learn more about Shanna or the books she writes, visit her website http://shannahatfield.com or find out more about her here: linktr.ee/ShannaHatfield

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Monday, December 19, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: One Bossy Date by Nicole Snow

One Bossy Date
Nicole Snow
Publication date: December 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

An accidental date brings together two instant enemies in this hilarious and steamy grumpy boss romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow.

Never sweat the small stuff, they say.
How about when you wake up with a giant stranger showering in your hotel room?
There’s nothing tiny about Brock Winthrope.
He even roars like a lion when he sees me. I scream back. And after narrowly avoiding a murder scene, we’ve got trouble.

He says he’ll fix our reservation blunder since he’s the manager (he’s not).
He thinks I’ll smack his resort with the rotten egg review from hell (I might).
I’ve never seen a man so grumpy groveling his heart out to wow me (it’s working).
Oh, but it gets better.

Brock whisks me away on an amazing “date” and things get heated.
I’m still dreaming about obnoxiously hot kisses under the stars months later when fate strikes.
I wasn’t supposed to see him again.
Not at this dumpster fire marketing job I desperately need.
Not when I crash into him—literally.
Definitely not when I find out he’s the crankyface billionaire CEO signing my checks.

Cue the freaking out.
The stormy glares.
The tension thicker than quicksand.
The hopeless promises to “just do my job” without choking on Mr. Grumpmuffin’s attitude.
What’s worse than one messy date with your radioactive boss?
One more.

Expect enemies-to-lovers fireworks! Delightful banter, slow-burn sweetness, plus one office beast who finally learns how to smile for the lady who ignites his world.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I push my face to that crack of light, trembling.

There’s definitely a low hissing sound like water. The shower, I think, thousands of little rainfall droplets splashing against a hard surface.

Could it really be a maintenance guy who skipped on giving notice?

Could it be that easy?

But at three o’clock in the flipping morning without any notice?

It could be a burst pipe or a malfunction, though.

My toes scrunch. I place my hand on the door, ready to throw it open and accept my fate.

I wind up cracking it another couple inches.

The shower roars louder.

At first, I can’t see through the glassy part of the stall.

But when the silhouette moves in the steaming fog—

Holy shit.

Okay. Deep breath.

So, the staff wouldn’t be showering in my bathroom. We can rule out innocent mistakes.

A minute ago, I was determined to be Miss Danger incarnate, but all the adrenaline that moved me this close to certain death evaporates.

The lamp in my clammy hand feels like it weighs a ton.

I really, really don’t want to do this.

But what’s the other option?

Just up and wait for Mr. Shower Psycho to come slaughter me in bed? Or run for the front door screaming and pray he doesn’t catch up while I wait for the private elevator to this floor?

Yeah, no.

I’m out of time and options. It’s go time.

So I throw the door open, clasping the lamp like a bat.

I played softball years ago. I’ve got this.

If only anything on Earth could prepare me for what I find.

…are hot serial killers a thing?

Because this guy is a certified GQ model.

A six-foot-plus wall of muscle surrounded by steam. He must like his showers scorching hot.

It takes a few seconds to peer through the haze, and I can’t make out much more until he moves.

Believe me, I see enough.

His whole body is toned and tight and chiseled by a mad sculptor dead set on crafting the perfect man.

His large hands lather foam over biceps bigger than my head.

I have to unglue my eyes as he stands beneath the spraying water with his eyes closed, smiling like he enjoys his own touch a little too much.

With a body like that, I’m sure the narcissism comes naturally.

My gaze slides down his broad chest, diamond-cut abs, and sculpted pelvic bone to—

Oh, no.

Heat throbs under my cheeks. I hate that I bite my lip, but I’ve never seen a man who’s part stallion before.

Moby Dick has nothing on this well-endowed freak.

For a second, my brain rabbits, wondering what it would feel like to wrap my hands around something that enormous—if I could even close them.

Let alone do anything else.

Every part of this man is made to punish.

All rough strength and hard edges and a literal battering ram jutting out between his legs, half-hard from the steam, I guess.

But back to that whole serial killer thing…is he a convict?

Did Hawaii have a supermax jailbreak recently I didn’t hear about?

My body squirms at the thought, still hideously stuck on Goliath and his stupid scary, stupid hot good looks that are making me—what else?—stupid.

There’s no other word for it when my arm turns to mush and the crystal lamp slips out of my sweaty hands.

It shatters against the floor a second later like someone throwing a box of ornaments.

“Oh, crap,” I whisper, totally paralyzed.

Everything happens in slow motion.

Goliath’s eyes pop open and his head whips around. He glares at me like a tiger rudely awakened from a nap.

Uh-oh.

With my one and only weapon in pieces on the floor, there’s no hoping he doesn’t see me now.

Raw instinct takes over.

I scream before I even realize I’m doing it.

I scream so loud my throat hurts, but my voice has no off switch.

I scream for dear life for ten solid seconds until my own ears ring and I’m winded.

Then I stumble backward, doubled over and breathless.

Maybe screaming bloody murder was good.

Maybe, by some miracle, someone will hear me up here and send help.

Except the presidential suite is the only room on this floor, and you have to use a card in the elevator to get up here.

So unless there’s an employee diligently working graveyard shift one floor down…

I’m so screwed.

Amazingly, Goliath isn’t out of the shower yet.

That means I still have time.

I need to run like hell for the elevator while I have a head start.

Sucking in a deep breath, I straighten up, willing my legs to move.

I’m about to turn and run but the shower door swings open so fast it’s dizzying.

My lethal Adonis steps out, snapping a towel from the shower rack. He whips it around his waist faster than I can blink.

My gaze follows his movement.

Again, I hate that he’s so hot.

I hate that I’m losing time as I spin around for the door, practically leaping for it.

“Stay or it’s going to be much worse!” he bellows, his voice rolling thunder.

Author Bio:

Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.

Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty. With over a million books sold, she lives for the joy of making two people fight with every bit of their soul for a Happily Ever After.

Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: For the Love of Brigid by Nanette Littlestone

For the Love of Brigid
Nanette Littlestone
Publication date: December 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Discover an ancient legend, powerful magic, and heartwarming romance in the gentle hills of western Ireland.

Tongue-tied around men, the only place shy librarian Brigid Cleary finds love is in the books she reads. Certainly not in the novel she’s writing—as appealing as a dusty desert. Then a famous mystery writer enters her life to research an Irish legend related to her family. As their easy conversation grows, Brigid develops feelings. There’s just one large problem—he’s engaged.

With two failed books behind him, Andrew Connally is desperate for success. The Irish legend has to pull him through. When Brigid invites him to Ireland for a family celebration, in exchange for his help with writing, he jumps at the chance. But surprises emerge in this enchanted land. The flames of attraction climb, and the legend pulls them both on a powerful journey.

As the secrets of the legend come to light, Brigid and Andrew discover an unexpected path to love and the dreams they both desire.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Chelton, New York

Walking up the path to my house, I think about Annemarie’s love and encouragement. The best of friends, she’s always buoyed my spirit and helped me through crisis after crisis. Setting up the library after Gran’s death was a major undertaking, one I’d felt incapable of handling. There were thousands of books. Whole rooms to remodel. Furniture and lighting and wallpaper to choose. So many times I thought I’d go insane. But with Annemarie’s help, we met every obstacle with determined positivity. And now here I am with a gorgeous mansion that feels more like a home with enormous playrooms.

Smiling, I climb the stone steps to my door and reach into my pocket for the key.

“Excuse me, are you Brigid Cleary?”

My heart stutters and I whirl with a gasp. A pleasant looking man stands by the steps, slightly hunched in his winter coat. “By all the gods!” I yell. “Ye startled the crap out of me.” I wince at the hint of Irish in my voice.

“Beautiful and Irish.”

“Of course I’m Irish.”

He steps closer. “They said you were, but—”

“They? They who?”

“My publisher. Well, his assistant. So you are Brigid Cleary.”

I lean against the door to my house, my heartbeat beginning to slow. He doesn’t look like he’s going to attack. “Who wants to know?”

“Andrew. Andrew Connally.”

Not the Andrew Connally. No, it can’t be. I shiver as a gust of wind bites through my clothes. “Well, Mr. Connally, why are you here?”

“Do you suppose we can continue the Inquisition inside? It’s freezing.”

So he’s not immune to the cold. “I’m not in the habit of inviting strangers into my home.”

“That’s understandable, and certainly fair, but . . .”

“But it’s freezing.” And five more seconds might turn us both into icebergs. “Go around to the library entrance.” I point to the right. “I’ll meet you there.”

When he leaves, I unlock the door and walk inside, my toes stiff and painful. What I really want is a hot drink and a warm fire, but somehow I’ve picked up a stray man. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he were the famous mystery writer? What a story I’d have for Annemarie.

With that, I hang up my coat and scarf and make my way through the library, turning on lights as I go.

Cold gusts of air follow when I let him in. He stamps his feet loudly, the heels of his shoes thudding against the thick carpet. “This is the last time I’m coming here in the winter.”

“I’ve been imagining the tropics all day. Care to go with me?” I can’t believe I’ve issued an invitation. To a complete stranger.

“I just might do that,” he says with a smile that looks so honest, so pure, and so familiar.

I stare and he matches my stare. Open. Inquisitive. And a little mischievous. I have to ask. “Are you the Andrew Connally?”

The Andrew Connally? Well, now, I’m not sure.”

He’s playing with me. “You know, the mystery writer.”

“Ah, that Andrew Connally.”

“Yes, that one. Because you look like him. I mean, I’ve never seen him up close, just on the back of book jackets. And his smile is so . . . well, professional yet engaging. As if he’s inviting you to come closer, to get to know him better, to have a conversation. And your smile just then, it was . . .” I’m rambling. To a stranger. I never ramble. I never talk to strangers either. But now, with Andrew, my mouth is literally a fountain of words.

I shake my head to clear whatever unfortunate clutter has collected and realize we’re still standing by the entrance. Where are my manners? “I’m so sorry. Would you like to sit down?” I move through the lobby and into Hush Hush, the cozy area for adults with long couches and a wide fireplace just perfect on this frosty night. Crouching before the fake logs, I turn on the gas and watch the flames come to life.

For long moments my guest gazes into the fire. He seems softer in person than on his back cover photos, if he even is the Andrew Connally. He still hasn’t answered that question. And his wavy hair, chestnut brown with flecks of gold, hangs longer, brushing his shirt collar. Much more youthful than that stern, suit jacket look he projects. And more dashing. But does his personality match his profile? Is he staid and somber or casual and easy-going? And, more importantly, what is he doing here?

Author Bio:

Get ready for a journey of the heart! Award-winning novelist Nanette Littlestone believes in happily ever after. But most people don’t live fairy tale lives, so her stories explore the struggles and heart-wrenching decisions we make, as well as the joy, delight, and happiness when we embrace our dreams. It’s all about the love.

Her books include “The Sacred Flame” (a historical novel in ancient Rome), “Bella Toscana” (the contemporary sequel), “The Heart of Everything” (an underwater fantasy), and “For the Love of Brigid” (the Irish romance coming out Dec 2022).

She lives in Atlanta, GA but still calls California home, loves making origami butterflies, and watching romantic movies that make her cry. Her favorite quote: “Flattery will get you nowhere. Chocolate, everywhere.”

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BOOK BLITZ: Bystander by JR Pomerantz

Bystander: Seven Stories from the New Espionage Collection
J.R. Pomerantz
(The New Espionage Collection, #1)
Publication date: November 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Literary Fiction, Thriller

Can you survive the new espionage?

There are no sidelines.

There are no boundaries.

In the new world order, there’s no such thing as an innocent bystander.

Seven shocking stories from the New Espionage Collection by award-winning author JR Pomerantz.

The Terrifying Importance of Mental ealth Jesse’s suffering from synthetic broccoli’s surprise side effects. When he gets hospitalized with both its victim and perpetrator, who will pay the ultimate price?

T-Rex The Deputy Administrator of the State Department has a bone to pick with the Secretary of State, and they both might be fossils.

Golden Boy 144: Marigold Baby Jalia helps Harper give birth in the depths of their corporate greenhouse. Will the labor interrupt their labor long enough to get both of them fired?

The Farm When their visit to their older brother’s pot farm turns deadly, Michael and Baxter fight for their lives in the Northern California woods.

Golden Boy 288: Marigold, Baby Only Jalia knows whose image is manifesting in the mysterious marigolds of Fulfillment Center 6. Can she and Harper keep it a secret from the rest of the greenhouse?

Maury Always Makes It After Maury’s son-in-law goes missing at sea, he and Rico take the investigation into their own hands. Can two elderly alcoholics get to the bottom of a deep-sea fishing mystery?

The Sucking Clarity of Mental Health The battle at Hampton Behavioral Health Facility continues. With synthetic broccoli on the menu, justice can’t be served.

Bystander is your first peek at the subversive, satirical, smart-mouthed New Espionage Collection.

Brace yourself to enter the terrifying near-future of synthetic food, mind control experiments, and one man’s battle for justice against a bad broccoli.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Several of us were gathered in the television room, waiting for the third and final cigarette break — the last activity of the day. We were all watching NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, a preferred television program of the infirm, it seemed. I was reflecting on how bad the astigmatism in my right eye had gotten since my admittance to the Hampton Behavioral Health Facility, and I was thinking about what I would say to Lester Holt in a live television interview as I watched NBC Nightly News with my left eye closed.

Lester Holt: Are you the spokesperson for your generation?

Me: Yes.

Then I reach out.

And I throttle that poor, trustworthy news anchor.

I’ll make a great famous person.

This particular Nightly News segment was a follow-up to a story they had done earlier in the year about the instances of encephalitis in frozen broccoli, the subsequent cover-up by the agricultural conglomerates, and, ultimately, the manufacture of synthetic broccoli. This Nightly News segment included an interview with The Executive Agricultural Secretary of the United States.

The interview illuminated several things, important to me personally:

  1. Synthetic broccoli may cause insanity or induce coma.
  2. Synthetic broccoli may cause genital abscesses.
  3. The Co-Executive Agricultural Secretary, assistant to the Executive Agricultural Secretary, was sitting right next to me, mumbling and wringing his pasty hands. They were showing a picture of him on television. I looked at the television. I looked at him. I looked back at the television.

Slowly, I put one, two, and three together, but I only arrived at a sum total of five. I blamed the medication for this.

Meanwhile, The Man Who Ate the Letter H, my roommate at the Hampton Behavioral Health Facility, had leapt upon The Co-Executive Agricultural Secretary, I mean, like right up onto his knees, screaming and shaking him by the sweater vest. I marveled at his balance and tried to ignore the one-sided fighting.

The Co-Executive Agricultural Secretary was still just babbling and shaking his head. Even now, I was adding things up and I still didn’t know what was happening.

Later on that night, The Man Who Ate The Letter H told me everything.

  • The Terrifying Importance of Mental ealth

in Bystander: Seven Stories from the New Espionage Collection

Author Bio:

JR Pomerantz was raised in New Jersey, moved sixteen times, from Albuquerque to Kabul, and now resides in Silver Spring, Maryland. Hobbies include using all the forms of transportation in the world, flamenco guitar, and knitting. She hopes to one day own and operate a coffee farm, or at least live on one. Or near one. Just down the road, maybe. She won't pop in every day to say hello.

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BOOK BLITZ: Wrapped Around My Heart by Kelly Collins

Wrapped Around My Heart
Kelly Collins
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Mark Cantwell has a life most men can only dream of—he’s rich, respected, and ripped. There’s only one thing he wants—to regain control of his grandfather’s company. When the chance finally pops up, he jumps at it even though it means ruining Christmas for his executive assistant, Jess Stone.

Jess Stone will do anything for her handsome boss. He’s everything she wants in a man so when he needs her during her family’s annual Colorado Christmas celebration, she doesn’t hesitate to adjust her plans.

What should have been a simple flight and a quick meeting turns into a road trip from hell, leaving the pair stranded in a motel room together in the middle of a snowstorm.

Will Mark take the first chance he can to just get on with his business, or will he realize all he wants for Christmas is Jess?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

He lifted his head for the briefest of moments and gave me a slip of a smile. I loved this little power exchange we had going. He’d demand, and I’d push back. Not a lot, just enough to get him to smile.

“Is this a hostile takeover?” It was a valid question since the man gobbled up companies like I did chocolate candies.

Mark laughed. “No, it’s something new.” He brought a pen to his mouth and chewed on the end, then laid it on the desk‐ top. “It’s a partnership.”

I was tempted to snatch the pen he’d been chewing on but let that thought go. Instead, I leaned in like I would if I were to tell him a secret.

“Can I be candid with you?”

He leaned in like every word I uttered was important. “I always want you to be honest with me, Jess.”

I lifted my head so we were eye to eye. “Forgive me for saying, but you don’t come across as the kind of man who plays nicely with others.”

He looked up at me with eyes the same color as a smog-free California sky. “Oh, I’m really quite good at playing, Ms. Stone.”

He only used my last name when he was making a point he didn’t want me to forget, but what was his point? His words seemed naughty in nature. Combined with his sly smile, and I was certain he was teasing me.

“I’d love to see that, Mr. Cantwell.” I made a note to get him the report within the hour. “But in all honesty, you don’t seem the type of man who likes to share, and a partnership implies sharing.”

He sat back and folded his arms across his broad chest. The smooth fabric of his custom suit gripped his muscles. “We’re talking about two different things. I can play all day and never have to share.” He took the last bite of his muffin and watched me for a second. “I never share. Once something is mine, it’s mine forever.”

A shiver ran down my spine. He was probably talking about money or possessions, but when he looked at me and said those words, my heart beat wildly. What would it be like to be Mark Cantwell’s woman for a minute—a day—forever?


Author Bio:

Like FREEBIES? Join the VIP readers at http://bit.ly/KellyCollinsFreeBook for members-only exclusives!

~ Tip: Just hit "FOLLOW" for notifications about deals & new releases! ~

International bestselling author of more than thirty novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.

Kelly has sold more than a quarter of a million books worldwide, and in 2021 she was awarded a Readers' Favorite Award Gold Medal in the Contemporary Romance category for A Tablespoon of Temptation.

You can learn more about Kelly at www.authorkellycollins.com.

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Natural Disaster by Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde

Natural Disaster
Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde
(Deserted Island, #2)
Published by: Dangerous Press
Publication date: December 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Carter Morelli had a plan when he left London: deliver the wildlife photographer and then complete his secret mission. Except a lethal enemy has watched their every move. They tampered with the plane, leaving them stranded on a deserted island.

And they kidnapped June Porter, the innocent photographer.

In order to save her, Carter must confront the mysterious man in the jungle.

Who is he? Savior or betrayer?

He has no choice but to face the greatest enemy of all: the powerful feelings that draw him toward both June and the man in the jungle. Those feelings might kill them all.

Welcome to the Midnight Dynasty… The warring Morelli and Constantine families have enough bad blood to fill an ocean, and their brand new stories will be told by your favorite dangerous romance authors.

WARNING: This book is intended for readers eighteen years old and over. It contains material that some readers could find disturbing. Enter at your own risk…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

A shadow stands up from the sand.

One shadow. Theo.

Alone.

He’s standing in sand that has been thoroughly fucked up by a plane landing on it, and that motherfucker, that green-eyed innocent who needed encouragement to fuck June, is alone. What happened to her? He looks rough, but not particularly beaten. Not shot. The relief is threaded through with stark cold fear. Where the hell is June?

I’m running before I realize it.

Before I’ve had time to catch my breath and assess the situation. Doesn’t matter at all that I’ve just run through the jungle. I could run forever, but I don’t have to. It’s against mission protocol to drop my entire backpack on the ground, but I shrug it off and let it fall.

Theo turns at the sound.

I have two strides to notice his black eye—he has a black eye, someone hit him—and then I’m on top of him. “Where is she? Where the fuck is she?”

He’s just strong enough to stay upright when my fists collide with his chest. His shirt pulls tight in my fists. The crash of the ocean is loud in my ears, or maybe it’s my pulse. “Don’t.”

I want him to tell me she went for a swim. That she’s hiding behind the goddamn jungle leaves. That she’s building a fucking sandcastle.

Anything to disprove the desolation in his beautiful dark eyes.

Don’t. That one word is my worst nightmare.

“What did you do with her?” I shout into his face.

His cheeks are red with the fight and the bruise under his eye is going a deep purple already. It speaks to the force of the hit. I want to brush it with my fingertips, want to demand to know who did it so I can kill them, and that would be the wrong fucking thing, because he’s here and June’s not and her absence strikes me as offensively wrong.

I’ve gone wrong. I’ve gone so fucking wrong.

I shouldn’t want her here at all, but I do. I shouldn’t be relieved that he’s here, but I am. I shouldn’t want to punch him and kiss him at the same time.

“I’m sorry,” he says, his voice hoarse.

A heartbeat passes, maybe two, and I back him up toward nothing, toward more sand, and drag him in closer. I make my voice dangerously soft. “Sorry about what, Theo?”

He doesn’t make any move to touch me.

He doesn’t lift his hands to shove me off.

He just…looks away. “I didn’t want to ruin her, Carter. We were touching her. Kissing her.”

“We fucked her six ways to Sunday. I know that. What did you do?

“I saved her the only way I could. By sending her away.”

Author Bios:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter

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Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.

Amelia is a USA Today best selling author from northern Michigan. Be her friend!

Author links:
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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Trapping His Queen by Selena Michaels

Trapping His Queen
Selena Michaels
(The Petrov Legacy, #1)
Publication date: December 6th 2022
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller

After being betrayed by my own, I found myself banished to a crap-hole city in the northeastern part of America, a disowned Bratva royal in hiding, wanted by the Mafia for crimes against a Don.

I’m simply biding my time, plotting my return to Russia to reclaim my family inheritance and my Bratva throne from my little brother…

But then I met her in some dingy bar with terrible music and even worse alcohol.

What is better than returning to Russia to oust my brother and reclaim my birthright? Doing so with an heir already secured in the soft womb of a gorgeous woman.

I will abduct her. I will seduce her. I will breed her. And then she will die, as tradition dictates. So why am I finding myself envisioning a future with her by my side?

As for my little malishka, she dreams of freedom and yearns to escape my claim. But I will never let her go. Only death will part us now, and how soon that happens depends on her.

Trapping His Queen is a full-length standalone novel with an HEA, but the series presents a better reading experience when following the suggested order. This series contains dark elements, including an over-the-top villain who does as he pleases. Please read at your own discretion.

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EXCERPT:

I would not shoot my fucking little malishka. She just needed to get her act together before I took her back to my bedroom and taught her some fucking manners.

“Sign it.” I glared at the marriage license on my desk.

Honestly, I was just as happy to forge her signature, but I had a point to prove.

The priest stood by the door and watched this all play out in patient silence. I could almost guarantee that this was not his first shotgun wedding. Plus, I was paying him handsomely for his trouble. As for Roman, his eyes bounced between me and Sloane like this was a tennis match. But even he knew this situation was too volatile for him to intervene.

My malishka would find no allies in this room.

The hate in her eyes would haunt my dreams for the rest of our lives, but I had to do this. I needed to stake my claim on her. Mind, body, and soul.

We were the darkest of soul mates. I knew I was forever seared into her mind since the day I kidnapped her. Her body was mine from the moment I’d impregnated her. Her soul would never forget mine now that we were bound together in the eyes of our deity.

Now I just had to make it legal in the eyes of American law.

“Malishka,” I growled. “You are either with me or against me, and if you are against me, you will not like what I will do.”

Sloane pressed her forehead to the barrel with flashing eyes. “Go on! Do it. If you’re going to kill me, stop being a fucking pussy about it and get it over with.”

She was trembling, her beautiful body shaking despite her bravado. She was scared. And she should be. But she was also smart enough to know I wouldn’t kill her…

Yet.

Not while she was carrying my child.

My cock hardened in my slacks. Fuck she was beautiful. Even defiant and afraid, I wanted to bend her over and rail her. Her fear was like an aphrodisiac to me.

I shifted into Russian to thank the priest for his time, reminded him of the very generous sum I had donated to the church earlier that day, and promised to drop off the signed paperwork. I then told Roman to see him out.

Once we were alone, I glared at Sloane. “Are you going to sign it or not?”

Stunned, I saw that she was nibbling on her lip like she was contemplating her options. There weren’t any fucking options.

In order to keep her focused, I pulled back the hammer.

Eyes widening in alarm, Sloane wrapped her arms around her belly as if to protect the baby and screamed, “Fine! I’ll fucking sign it!”

Tears poured down her face as she snatched up the pen, scrawled a half signature on the line, then threw the writing device down. She then stared blankly at me, as if to ask, “Are you fucking happy now, asshole?”

I took in her radiance, her heaving chest that showed my name etched into her skin, the way the light sparked in her watery eyes, her quivering lips so full and kissable.

I had broken her yet again. But I also knew how to put her back together with two words.

“Good girl,” I whispered.

She covered her face and slowly crumpled to the floor, as if the weight of my words were too much to bear. She sobbed uncontrollably, pouring out all her frustration, anxiety, and grief into the rug.

I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She tried my patience, true, and I let her get away with shit I would never allow another, but love was nothing if not complicated and dramatic.

“You don’t love me. You’ve forced me to marry you, and you don’t even love me.”

Her words hurt my heart, as did her tantrum.

This stress wasn’t good for her either. It wasn’t good for her or the baby.

Author Bio:

Selena Michaels writes romance novels with adult aged characters (and lots of twists you'll never see coming). Her novels often stem from her own experiences growing up in the small town of Pennsylvania, along with other people’s experiences she has met along her life journey.

Selena is a devoted (obsessed) fan of anime and has an extensive collection of manga that graces her office as she writes. She currently lives in Virginia with her amazingly supportive husband, her adorable son, and her spoiled yet precious dog.

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Monday, December 12, 2022

ANTHOLOGY RELEASE BLITZ: Pasko Na, My Love~A Holiday Romance Anthology

Pasko Na, My Love: A Holiday Romance Anthology
Publication date: December 6th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Family, heart, and a Merry Christmas Happily Ever After.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all ‘round Hacienda Luz bustled in celebration of Natividad Luz Moore’s 100th birthday.

A Filipino American woman of courage, strength, and heart, Lola Naty has touched the lives of many. Celebrities and politicians make merry, fine dresses and barong Tagalogs shimmer, and food and drink flow freely. And it’s all to honor family, tradition, and the very essence of that thing called love.

While Filipino ballads fill the chilly Northern California air, hearts throb and passions ignite as seven remarkable couples find love in all the right—or wrong—places.

**

From acclaimed and bestselling Filipino American authors—Elle Cruz, Maan Gabriel, Maida Malby, Mia Hopkins, Sarah Smith, and Tif Marcelo—comes Pasko Na, My Love, a holiday romance collection that is sure to warm your heart and uplift your Christmas spirit.

  • Volcanic Love by Elle Cruz
  • My Only Love by Maan Gabriel
  • So It’s You by Maida Malby
  • Illicit by Mia Hopkins
  • Last Minute by Sarah Smith
  • The Deal by Tif Marcelo

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Google Play / Kobo

Volcanic Love by Elle Cruz

Sophie is a thirty-year-old with a wildly successful sex podcast. She has secretly been in love with Travis, her older brother’s best friend, for years. A mistake from the past tears them apart. Sparks fly when they when they see each other five years later during her grandmother’s one-hundredth birthday celebration. Sophie will have to put aside her insecurities to win back Travis’s heart so she can finally have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of.

My Only Love by Maan Gabriel

He’s on his way to the White House. She’s fighting for women’s rights on the streets of DC.

Ten years ago, Drew and Angelica broke off their engagement while in law school. They both attribute their failed relationship to young love and ambition. But when Drew begs Angelica to attend his grandmother’s 100th birthday and pretend for one week that they are back together, sparks fly between them. Is it pretend when the feelings from the past never truly went away?

The thing is, Angelica doesn’t want to be Senator Hizon’s number one. Selfish as it may seem, she wants to be his only one – his only love.

So It’s You by Maida Malby

Vida and her maternal grandmother, Naty Moore, share a special bond—the same birthday on Christmas Eve, fifty years apart. This year, Lola Naty will celebrate her 100th birthday, and Vida plans to do everything to make sure her grand party goes off without a hitch. Even if that includes hiding the identity of the man she’s dating.

Rafa Balmaseda fell for Vida long before he became her grandmother’s physician. Ten years younger than her, he chafes at being kept a secret. When he pushes for a deeper commitment, will Vida continue to deny his role in her life? Or will she finally admit that they belong together?

Illicit by Mia Hopkins

Event planner Eden Rosales and Catholic priest Nick Salgado reunite at Hacienda Luz and settle a score fourteen years in the making.

Last Minute by Sarah Smith

Twenty-eight-year-old Ruby is in charge of catering the 100th birthday party of her grandmother. As the baby of her family, Ruby has grown up in the shadow of her older, more successful cousins, so she’s determined for her catered dinner to go off without a hitch. But when her head chef calls out with food poisoning the day of the party and sends chef Mason Waller as her replacement, Ruby is pissed. She’s loathed Mason ever since he screwed her over in culinary school five years ago. There’s still plenty of fire between these two … in more ways than one.

The Deal by Tif Marcelo

Prodigal cousin Oliver Moore returns to Hacienda Luz to attend Lola Naty’s hundredth year birthday party only to find out that he’s not on the guest list from divorcĂ©e event planner Norah Sha. In catching him as he tries to break in, she feels sorry for him and makes a deal to sneak him in, both discovering Christmas can still bring forgiveness and new love.



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Sunday, December 11, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Badge of Honor by India Lord

Badge of Honor
India Lord
Publication date: December 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Scars—a badge of honor denoting strength.

Milly
My hellish month is looking up!
I’ve scored a private nursing job.
No more sleeping in my car, stressing about my debts.
My patient is a military man. Gorgeous. Tattooed. Built. He’s also temporarily blind and tries to sack me during my first hour on the job.
I’m way past desperate, so let him try to banish me.

Connor
All I want is to recover and return to my men in Afghanistan.
The problem is without my sight, I’m helpless as a kitten.
My family treats me like a child. When they get tired of my temper, they hire her.
The woman is determined, I’ll give her that. But there’s something about her that intrigues me, makes my mind wander to kissing and pleasure and soft curves.
Too bad we have no future.

Contains a grumpy, injured military man, a scarred nurse, and a little small town instalove, which makes everything better.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Hold still while I clean your face. You’re bleeding everywhere. I’m going to place my hand on your shoulder.” A verbal warning, so he didn’t freak at the physical contact. I continued to inform him of my intentions.

The tension left his broad shoulders, and his frown relaxed maybe a millimeter. Up close, he was a handsome specimen. More rugged than pretty, his skin a golden bronze from sun exposure. A shaggy beard framed his mouth and jawline, and he wore a pair of black shorts and nothing else. Tattoos curled across his biceps and decorated sculpted pectoral muscles.

“Are you staring at me?” he asked, his bandaged gaze turning in my direction.

“Yes.”

“Well, stop.”

“I’m a nurse.”

“It doesn’t feel like a nurse stare,” he muttered.

A snicker escaped me. “Hold the gauze to your cheek while I open the iodine.”

“It’s not that bad.”

“True, but you’ve bled over the sheets.” I seized his right hand and lifted it to his cheek.

“You’re bossy.” Now he sounded intrigued rather than grumpy.

“It comes with the job.” I deftly opened the iodine bottle and transferred the yellow liquid to a blob of cotton wool. An instant later, I lifted his hand and covered the wound with the pungent liquid.

Ow.

“Don’t be a baby.” I lifted the cotton wool and applied a plaster covered with cartoon characters. “That should do the trick.”

“What have you done?” He’d heard the grin in my words.

“Nothing.”

“You’ve used my niece’s plasters,” he said after a long pause. He stood abruptly, anger and frustration returning to his features. “Dammit, I don’t need a nurse. Talk to Carolyn on your way out, and she’ll pay you for today. You’re fired.”

Author Bio:

An incurable romantic and a lover of reading—romance, of course—it was inevitable India Lord turned to writing next. India writes sassy, steamy romances with strong alpha heroes, curvy heroines who are no pushovers, and a happy ending. A must, in India’s opinion.

When India isn’t writing, she loves to walk and explore the countryside. She’s also a dedicated researcher of cheese scones—her favorite treat to eat with a cup of tea.

 

Keep in touch by joining India’s newsletter: https://indialord.substack.com/

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

NEW RELEASE BLITZ: Moon Tamed by Audrey Greene

Moon Tamed
Audrey Greene
Publication date: December 6th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Coraline Patten enjoys nothing more than facing new challenges, but when she’s asked to evaluate Moonriver’s ruling faction, she worries she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

Allasandro Stephans has reigned since she’d been a child, unwavering in his dedication to Moonriver. His heir, Calden, has supported him every step of the way. Together, the shapeshifting widower and his son appear to be the perfect men for the job of preserving and protecting their home.

When Moonriver’s heir asks her to free his father from the burden of leadership, Coraline is determined to do what is best for her people, even if it costs her the love of her life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Sila snickered. “With that comment, you just guaranteed your selection. That is what normal people call testing their luck. Have you worked for the Hunters before?”

“No.” With Sila, short and to the point worked the best. If I gave her a single opening, she would talk me to death and force me to regret my decision to be her friend.

Sila meant well, however, even when she drove me mad.

My friend rubbed her hands together. “They’re pretty nice to work for. While most of them are predatory shifters, they’re respectful of time and energy. It helps they can smell fatigue and frustration, and they understand a happy worker is a better worker. They stop problems before they become problems as a general rule. The male temps get the short straw—they get into pissing contests with the Hunters. Us women? We already know how to avoid the pissing contests. We win when we don’t play the game.”

When Sita started spouting sexist nonsense, it often sourced from a bad night with her latest suitor. “Did you have a bad date last night?”

“It was horrible. Who knew a Legacy researcher could be so clueless? I educated him, but there won’t be a second date. He was so dry I thought about asking him to do my laundry.”

The few times I’d dated a Legacy member, I’d emerged better educated but lacking in the basic relationship department. Members of Legacy lived for the pursuit of old knowledge. Intellectual company appealed, but I also longed for the other facets of a good relationship, including physical affection, sweet nothings, and someone I could be near in safety and comfort.

Still, Legacy members could be taught, and I’d met more than a few who were kind to a fault but oblivious. “Maybe you should give him a second try, Sila. You bothered to educate him. Why not benefit from your tutoring. Is he nice?”

“He is disturbingly nice,” she complained.

Well, some problems had simple solutions. “Teach him to get a little rough with you, then.”

“I might. He texted me this morning. I replied that I was getting my work assignment. You think I should try him again?”

“He’s nice and can be taught, Sila. Find out if he cooks and cleans. If so, he might be the perfect man.”

“You make a good point.” Sila sighed, dug out her phone, and tapped at the screen. “There. I told him that, assignment allowing, I’m free most nights this week if he’d like to get together. This might be for the best. I was about to hit up someone from Moonward.”

I winced. Of Moonriver’s factions, Moonward attracted the most ambitious men and women with an interest in magic. Witches made up most of the membership, but they accepted all types. “Dangerous dates are not wise, Sila.”

“I’m looking for love. That is dangerous.”

No kidding. Before I could reply, our manager rang his little silver bell so he could deliver the news—and reveal who would assist the Hunters. “I’ll keep this as short as possible, as we have a busy day. I already drew the name for the Hunter contract while you gossips talked up a storm.”

When Almon Friarin went the route of serious efficiency, we had a higher number of requests than normal.

“Today is going to be fun,” Sila predicted.

I huffed and refrained from cursing. “Sure. It’s going to be about as fun as a lobotomy.”

Before I could further embarrass myself, our boss said, “Line up for your assignment. You’ll just have to accept I won’t be turning our job into a circus today. Maybe tomorrow. The Hunters of Moonriver have asked for discretion.”

“Well, this sucks,” Sila muttered. “He lured us all here so nobody would skip out on a crazy day.”

“You’re probably right.” My fellow co-workers queued up to receive their assignments, and I joined the line, dragging Sila with me. “Be grateful it’s not a parade. Or worse, a positive reinforcement day.”

“Good point. There is only so much public praise I can handle a year. A ten-minute lecture on how good I am at following basic instructions would break me today.” Sila made a show of shuddering. “Last time, one of the clients had sent him a photo of my work along with praise. I almost perished.”

I knew of one way to derail my friend before she delved deeper into the dark waters of her self-inflicted stress. “Did you get a raise?”

“Ten cents an hour for accomplishing perfection.”

Well, that backfired in a painful fashion. “I’ve never gotten a raise for perfection,” I informed her.

“I asked for it. Did you?”

The next time I got pulled into our boss’s office, I would make a point of asking. “Did the ten cents an hour actually help your budget?”

One of the distinct disadvantages of remaining unaffiliated was our pay; the factions made a point of paying their members competitive rates for their work. Migrant workers made up the majority of the unaffiliated, although holdouts like me existed.

I accepted lower pay and less say in the governing of Moonriver in exchange for flexibility and freedom.

“Every penny counts, except when it doesn’t.” Sila shrugged.

Author Bio:

Audrey Greene writes sweet paranormal and urban fantasy splashed with some romance and hints of science fiction. She lives in California, loves going to the beach, and appreciates taking the time to smell the roses.

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Friday, December 9, 2022

B@@K REVEAL: Queen of the Underworld by Felicity Heaton

Queen of the Underworld
Felicity Heaton
(A Guardians of Hades Series Prequel)
Publication date: January 31st 2023
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Hades, the wickedly dark god-king of the Underworld, needs a queen…

And he’s chosen Persephone.

All Persephone has ever desired is control of her own life, and someone noticing her once in a while. Kept in her mother’s shadow, and overlooked by the entirety of Olympus, her dream seems impossible… and now she’s doomed to wed a dull god of her mother’s choosing…

Until she crosses paths with a handsome, dark warrior who rouses wildfire heat in her veins—a male whose immense power is unmistakable, and who matches the fearful tales whispered in Olympus—stories of a cruel, heartless king who rules his realm of death with an iron fist.

When Hades abducts her and imprisons her in the depths of the Underworld, a dormant part of her awakens. And as she slowly discovers the truth about him, Persephone isn’t sure whether the snarling, dark beast of a king is her doom… or her saviour… but she knows one thing…

She will embrace the fire he awakens in her with every heated glance, and every vicious growl.

And use it to tame him and forge her dreams into reality.

Because, Persephone, the quiet, gentle goddess of nature, desires a king.

And nothing will stop her from claiming his black heart.

Queen of the Underworld is a forced proximity, enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance novel retelling the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone, and a prequel in my Guardians of Hades series. In the vein of an adult beauty and the beast, it features a grumpy-sunshine pairing that will steal your heart, with a secretly cinnamon roll hero and a secretly fiery heroine, and a powerful forever kind of love. All Guardians of Hades books have no cliffhangers, a guaranteed happily ever after, and some strong language.

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Author Bio:

I'm a NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY and International Best-Selling Author writing passionate paranormal romance books and series for adults.

I love to create detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! All of them alpha as you would expect in paranormal romance, and every book with a guaranteed HAPPILY FOREVER AFTER!

Sign up to my newsletter for exclusive sneak previews, freebies, special offers and more! (copy / paste link into your browser):

http://bit.ly/FH-VIPS

Fans of paranormal romance books by authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole and Christine Feehan will love my books too.

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BOOK BLITZ: Resting Grinch Face by Alina Jacobs

Resting Grinch Face
Alina Jacobs
Publication date: November 17th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

I might not be able to ruin his life, but I will ruin his Christmas.
Yeah, I’m totally a grinch. But I come by it honestly.
Because of Oliver Frost, I flamed out at Harvard in the most humiliating way possible.
Now I’m back in my small town—just in time to suffer through a display of small-town Christmas cheer so festive it will make you puke your eggnog. But who cares about being home for the holidays when you live with your family like a loser and have to share one bathroom with seven other people?

I plan to spend my Christmas purgatory being tsked at by elderly residents and passive aggressively prodded by my mom’s friends about what I plan to do with my life.
I don’t know, Deborah, work in the Christmas market and get screamed at by tourists because I didn’t put enough sprinkles on their little brats’ coffees? Seriously, who gives five-year-olds that much caffeine anyway?!

See? Like I said. A grinch.
I hate Christmas.
I set a nativity scene on fire.
Got in a fistfight with an elf—I lost, by the way.
And threw a vat of Snowman Surprise all over Oliver. Don’t ask. Small-town Christmas insanity.
Sleigh what? Oliver is here???
The man who humiliated me and ruined my life?

Ho ho ho, fuck no.

He doesn’t deserve a quaint small-town Christmas.
He doesn’t deserve a fancy Christmas tree from my family’s farm.
And he certainly does not deserve to win a bottle of whiskey in the daily Christmas market raffle.
Goddamn, I needed that drink.
He should be haunted like Ebenezer Scrooge by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Or at least the Ghost of Hookups Past.

Momma’s gonna have herself a very merry Christmas revenge.
Swapping the salt and sugar so his Christmas cookies are ruined? Be still, my shriveled little heart.
Spying on him so I can gather recon to ruin his holidate? Damn, I forgot how ripped his chest was.
Sneaking down his chimney to steal all the presents under his tree? Amateur hour.
Until I get caught…

Guess I’m spending Christmas in jail.
But when he sees I’m not wearing a bra under my ugly Christmas sweater, Oliver smiles like Santa has come early.
Crap! I knew I should have worn my good underwear.

Hold on to your stockings because the eggnog is spicy and mostly booze. This is a fuck-second-chances, Santa-stalker, holiday-revenge romantic comedy. Featuring Christmas-hating heroines with poor decision-making skills, ripped guys who will leave a very large package under your tree, and adorable corgis dressed up as reindeer, this standalone book has a happily ever after, guaranteed!

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I slid like a squirrel straddling the roof peak, scooting along the ridgeline to the massive brick fireplace. I pried the round ceramic top off and stuck my head inside.

The Victorians liked their fireplaces.

While my parents’ wood-burning fire was more of a stovepipe, this house had been built to hold a massive fire.

I swung my feet over and shimmied into the chimney. Below me, Max must have figured out what was up because he was barking, the noise echoing up the chimney shaft.

“Dang, I can’t believe I fit,” I marveled. The cold air whipped my face, and I had a moment of clarity.

“Maybe this was a bridge too far,” I said and tried to hoist myself back up.

The chimney rim was slick with ice. My hand slipped. Then I fell down into the sooty black tube.

I stopped abruptly, my teeth knocking together.

“Help,” I squeaked.

I was stuck in the chimney, my arms wedged up above my head. Every time I let out a breath I slid farther down. My skirt was wedged under my boobs, and my sweater was wrapped around my head and neck.

“Help!” I rasped, kicking my legs. “Max, get help.”

The dog’s frantic barking changed to excited yips.

A pair of strong arms wrapped around my soot-covered thighs.

In any other scenario, I would have been really put out that Oliver was finally touching me only after I had flaked on working out the past year and developed a layer of winter flab. But I just wanted to be free. It was difficult to breathe.

“Save me,” I forced myself to whisper.

“Shit,” Oliver said, giving a solid tug on my legs.

I wedged down farther.

“I think you’re stuck in there.” His hands disappeared.

“Don’t leave me,” I begged.

His hand was back, his thumb stroking me reassuringly on my ankle.

“Don’t worry. I’m going to call the fire department. We’ll probably have to dismantle the chimney. I’m sure my neighbors will complain to me about it.” I heard the eye roll in his voice. Then his phone emitted beeps.

I kicked my feet. “Don’t you dare, Oliver Frost. Don’t you dare call the fire department. My mother will find out. I’ll be the talk of the town for years. Decades. It will be on my tombstone.”

“I can’t leave you here,” he said, voice echoing up the shaft.

“Oh, yes you can. I insist. I’ll be dead and done rotting in about three weeks. Then we can all just pretend this never happened.”

“Are you insane?”

Oh God. I had a horrible thought.

He can probably see straight up my crotch.

Was I wearing my nice underwear? Did I even own any sufficiently nice underwear?

“Please,” I begged. “My life is shit. Please just try pulling me out one more time?”

“I’m afraid to make you more stuck. Embarrassment won’t kill you.”

“It literally will,” I shrieked with my remaining breath.

Oliver muttered something that sounded like “God save me from this woman.”

“Fine,” he grumbled, moving the logs and the metal grate out of the way. “I’m giving this one shot. Then we’re going to host the fire department for the second time in as many days.”

After a rustling of fabric, his large hands slid up my bare legs.

“Sorry for manhandling you like this.”

His bare arms circled my waist, and I squawked as he wrapped them around my bare torso, connecting my body with his.

I could feel his bare chest against my thighs.

His head was somewhere in crotch vicinity, and he squeezed me tight.

Maybe I could just tell him to eat me out and then die happy.

Oliver gave a sharp hard tug. My sweater slipped up.

He adjusted his grasp and pulled, grunting hard.

“I think I’m moving,” I called.

He gave one more strong tug. My sweater ripped, and then I was free, tumbling down in a heap of ash and yarn on top of him.

He was covered in black soot. It was all over his pale skin, turning his hair a dark gray and making his eyes a startlingly bright blue.

“See,” I said, spreading my arms. “I knew you could do it. And you wanted to call the fire department.”

He didn’t say a word. He was staring at me, or more specifically my boobs.

I looked down.

“Elf balls.”

Author Bio:

If you like steamy romantic comedies with a creative streak, then I'm your girl!

Architect by day, writer by night, I love matcha green tea, chocolate, and books! So many books…

Sign up for my mailing list to get the free novella, AFTER HIS PEONIES, along with special bonus content, giveaways, and more!

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