Make Me Yours- Melanie Harlow

He’s my brother’s best friend.

The hot single dad next door.

And one accidental sext later, my massive crush on him is no longer a secret.


Make Me Yours, an all-new rom com that is all too sexy from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!


My Take: (ARC REVIEW)

Holy Hotness! This book was many things (emotional, romantic, swoony, adorable) but most importantly it was also Steamy, capital S. 

The first half of the book had me absolutely giddy. The tentative romance between the widowed single father Cole and Cheyenne, the girl next door who has loved him her whole life, was so damn sweet and hot. 

The journey to their HEA wasn’t an easy one and my heart was aching for them during the second half. 

Melanie Harlow is the queen of emotional, family oriented drama without tipping over to that all consuming angst. It’s the perfect balance of heart, humor, and steam. 


Blurb:

It’s my own damn fault. I’m thirty years old, for heaven’s sake. I’m a kindergarten teacher and a (reasonably) responsible adult. I should know better than to get tipsy and draft a fake text listing all the dirty things I wish Officer Cole Mitchell would do to me.

I wasn’t supposed to hit send.  

He wasn’t supposed to see it. 

And he definitely wasn’t supposed to text back telling me to go on . . . 

Because after that, things escalate quickly.

Cole is everything I’ve ever wanted. He’s sexy and protective. A devoted father to his little girl. A dedicated cop the whole town adores. The kind of guy you can trust to keep his hands to himself, even when you’re desperately hoping he won’t. 

I’m not the girl he thought he’d end up with, but after all this time, I might finally get the chance to say the words I’ve always dreamed of . . . make me yours.

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Excerpt

Darlene spoke up. “My mother passed them down to me, and I want to make sure they’re in good condition so I can leave them to Cheyenne when she gets married.” Then she crossed herself and closed her eyes, her lips moving in a quick, silent prayer.

 Cheyenne ignored her mother and addressed Mariah again. “My brother and I always had to wash and dry the wedding china on holidays before we went to bed. It took forever.”

“I’d stay and help you, sis, but I have to get Blair home. Sorry.” Griffin gave her a grin that said he wasn’t the least bit sorry, and Cheyenne stuck her tongue out at him. 

“Cole, why don’t you stay and give Cheyenne a hand?” My mother suggested, wrapping her scarf around her neck. 

“That’s a great idea,” Darlene said brightly. Then she sort of bent over and rubbed one hip, her expression agonized. “I’d help her myself but I’ve been on my feet a lot today and the doctor said that isn’t good for my joints.”

“You should just get to bed, Darlene,”my mother said, shepherding Mariah toward the front door. “Cole will be more than happy to stay and help Cheyenne.”

“Oh, that’s okay.” Cheyenne smiled at me and shook her head. “I can handle them.”

But Darlene beamed at me, reaching over and snatching my coat out of my hands. “That’s so nice of you, Cole. I’ll just hang this in the front closet.” Before she left the room, she and my mother exchanged a look that had me wondering if the whole helping-with-the-dishes thing had been a set-up. 

Either way, ten minutes later Cheyenne and I were pushing up our sleeves in the kitchen, the house dark and silent except for the running faucet and the hum of the dishwasher. 

“I’ll wash, you dry?” she asked, adding dish soap to the side of the sink she’d plugged and lined with a towel. 

“Sure.”

She took a plate from the stack to her left and placed it in the warm soapy water. “Oh! I almost forgot.” Slipping her rings and bracelets off, she set them on the windowsill above the sink. “So I don’t scratch anything,” she explained. 

“Oh.” I glanced down at my wedding ring. “It’s okay,” she said quickly. “You don’t have to take it off.”

“It’s fine,” I said, working it off my finger and placing it on the sill next to her jewelry. For some reason, I felt compelled to explain why I still wore it all the time. “Mariah once told me she likes when I wear it, so  .  .  .”

“I think it’s nice, ”she said. “I like a guy who wears his ring. It says something about him, you know?”

I nodded, my attraction to her growing even stronger. “Still, we’d better be careful with these dishes.”

“Damn right, we’d better,” she deadpanned. “This is my fucking wedding china, Cole. If we even look at it wrong, I might end up a spinster.” She laughed as she gently scrubbed the plate with a cloth. “My God. Is she not totally ridiculous?”

“She’s pretty bad,” I agreed, taking the plate from her and carefully drying it with the soft clean towel she’d given me. “But mine wasn’t much better tonight. Did you have the feeling something was up between them as we were saying goodnight?”

Yes,” she said. “And it’s probably my fault because I made the mistake of telling my mom you bought me dinner last night. In her mind, I believe we are now betrothed.”

I laughed. “That’s all it takes, huh?”

“Apparently. Tomorrow I’ll be pregnant because we washed dishes together after dark.”

“Wow. Guess I should have worn the rubber gloves.”

About Melanie

USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like Schitt’s Creek, Homeland, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series, AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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Website: www.melanieharlow.co

The One That Got Away by Karina Halle- Now Live!

The One That Got Away by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author Karina Halle is now live!

My Take:

(ARC Review) Karina brought the angst back with this baby. This is an epic love story, spanning over a decade of love, passion, and bad timing.

Luciano is a star football player with a troubled family history. Ruby is a young, bright eyed American looking to make a name for herself as a sports reporter. She first meets Marco, Luciano’s brother, and realizes perhaps she is with the wrong Ribeiro brother but the decision has already been made.

Ruby and Luciano are drawn to each other, but the timing and outside influences keep tearing them apart. This book is full of so much delicious tension and build up. When that dam breaks hoo-boy it is fan-yourself hot.

Highly recommended if you enjoy angst, passion, love, second (3rd and 4th) chances, redemption, HEAs, and/or crying while you read.


Ruby Turner was never meant to be mine.

When I first met her, she was a fresh, young, American sports journalist trying to find her footing in a new life abroad. She was the one interviewing me for an article, yet I wanted to know more about her. She captivated me.

But she went home with Marco that night.

My agent.

My brother.

And I did what I could to pretend I was fine with it.

After all, I’m Luciano Ribeiro. As the captain of Real Madrid, and Portugal’s National Team, it’s my job to be cool, calm, and collected, not easily rattled.

Only what I felt for Ruby over time, shook me to my very core.

It made me do things I never imagined I would do.

It started with a stolen kiss in the middle of the night.

It led to a passionate tryst.

It created a burden of guilt that I had to carry, as Ruby came in and out of my life until she left for good, leaving her mark on me.

Now, seven years later, she’s back.

She was the one that got away.

I don’t think I’ll let her go this time.

But I might not have a choice.

Because my heart still belongs to her.

And her heart might belong to my brother. 

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

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Meet Karina

Karina Halle is a former travel writer, music journalist & screenwriter, and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author of over 55 bestselling novels, ranging from horror and suspense to contemporary romance. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband, and her adopted pitbull Bruce, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette & Montlake. Her work has been translated and published in 20 languages.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

Connect with Karina

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Real Fake Love by Pippa Grant- Excerpt!

BLURB 

If people have polar opposites, Luca Rossi is mine.

His butt is in the baseball hall of fame. Mine’s comfortably seated in the hall of lame.

When he’s not snagging fly balls out in center field, he’s modeling in shampoo commercials. I once jammed my own finger while stirring cookie dough, and sometimes I forget shampoo is a thing.

He’s a total cynic when it comes to love.

I make a living writing love stories.

But after my latest broken engagement (no, I don’t want to talk about how many times that’s happened), it’s clear he’s exactly the man I need.

If anyone can teach me to be the opposite of me, it’s him.

The first thing I want him to teach me?

How to not fall in love.

And as luck would have it, he’s in desperate need of a fake girlfriend to get a meddling grandmother off his back.

We couldn’t be more perfect together, because the last thing Luca Rossi will ever be is the next man to leave me at the altar.

Or will he?

Real Fake Love is a line drive straight to the heart featuring a grumpy athlete, a jilted bride, a fake relationship, and the world’s laziest cat. It stands alone and comes complete with sibling rivalry, the world’s most awkward shower scene, and a sweetly satisfying happily ever after.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52714963-real-fake-love 

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Free in Kindle Unlimited

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EXCERPT

Henri, in the middle of Chapter Four…

It’s probably weird to be sitting on the doorstep of the man I cyberstalked after his whole love sucks speech after my failed wedding. But I won’t apologize for waiting for Luca here at what I think is his house, because you don’t get what you need in life if you don’t go for it.

Still, maybe Dogzilla and I should be waiting in my car instead? At least that way, I could turn on the radio while we wait. And the air conditioning.

I’m about to move to the car when a clunker chugs around the corner, one headlight out, and turns into the driveway.

This is definitely the wrong house.

I’m sitting on the porch of a stranger’s house, hoping that’s a woman driving, because if it’s a woman, at least I know I won’t be in danger.

Of falling in love with her at first sight, I mean.

The engine shuts off, and while I don’t often trespass at midnight, I have this feeling that jumping up with Dogzilla and making a run for it right now is exactly the wrong move. A well-timed, “Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else,” will give us all a laugh, I’ll take my cat and leave, and then two complete strangers will have a weird story to tell their friends over margaritas—or an iced tea, in my case—and huh.

This would make an excellent meet-cute for my friend Dorothea’s next steamy romance novel. I’ll have to drop her a note too.

The occupant of the car is still sitting in it, and the figure illuminated by the street light looks too big to be a woman.

Dang it.

He also seems to be—

Is he hitting his head against the steering wheel?

Uh-oh.

If I picked the house of a nutjob, all bets are off.

“Be ready to run, Dogzilla,” I whisper.

My lazy cat doesn’t move, and instead snores in my lap.

Easier this way anyway, since it’s not like I can count on her to follow alone when I take off running at full-steam.

Which doesn’t happen all that often, if we’re being honest here. I’m a writer, not a runner.

But—wait.

The way his hair is moving—

That is Luca Rossi.

I rise, cradling Dogzilla, and when Luca looks my way, I give him a finger wave and a smile.

The light isn’t bright enough for me to see what he’s saying, but his lips are definitely moving, and if I’m not mistaken, he’s wearing the same long-suffering expression my father usually has when I tell him I’m engaged.

Again.

It might also be remarkably similar to the expression Luca was wearing when he recognized me at Duggan Field earlier today too.

Not my intention to ambush him at work, I swear. I was curious about the ballpark—I’m curious about a lot of things—so when I caught wind on social media of a writer organization that was touring the park, it was easy enough to get here in time today to join the group.

And it was fascinating to see where the players work out, to smell the chairs the announcers sit in, what it feels like to stand in the dugout, and hear how many light bulbs have to be replaced every day.

There’s a pop and a creak as the car door swings open, and I suddenly desperately need to know why Luca Rossi, millionaire sports star, lives on a grocery store clerk’s salary.

For research.

I swear.

I like to do research.

It’s one of the things my ex-fiancé Kyle liked about me.

“Henri,” Luca says.

My brain hears what the hell are you doing here, and why are you between me and my bed, and I’m not asking out loud because I don’t honestly want to know.

I either have a lot of experience understanding people because I write good characters, or I have a lot of experience with frustrating men after five failed engagements.

Plus my lifelong relationship with my father.

“Hi, Luca! Great game tonight. That catch you made in center field was like—”

“The one where I didn’t move, the one where I stepped three feet to my left, or the one where I had to take two steps back?”

Okay, yeah, he had an easy game. “How did you know where the ball was going to be? That’s like—it’s like you’re psychic.”

“It’s called being a professional.” He squeezes his eyes shut briefly, opens them, eyeballs Dogzilla in my arms, and then sighs again. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company tonight?”

Wow. He’s cranky.

Not gonna lie.

I know it’s probably me.

But that’s no excuse for not forging ahead. I didn’t come all this way to chicken out. “You remember the last time we saw each other?”

“This afternoon in the clubhouse?”

“I liked your hat, but I meant the time…before that.”

He closes the distance between us with three casual steps. “Nope.”

And I go momentarily speechless as a waft of something delicious teases my nose.

But only momentarily. A quick recovery is a gift. Or possibly a defense mechanism. “The time we were together…in that town…with that big monument…and the event thing…”

No answer.

“The event thing that didn’t—”

“I’m trying to block it from my memory.”

“Oh. Oh! Thank you. That’s very kind of you. Sorry. I didn’t realize—”

“That I wouldn’t want to remember your ruined wedding, that you like to redecorate people with dessert, and that your ex-fiancé is the first man that my mother’s dated in three years and I might have to start calling him Stepdad?”

I wince.

My heart also weeps because yeah, still not over seeing Jerry lock lips with a woman who could’ve been my mother, and hearing that it might actually be going somewhere is salt in the wound.

“So, no, Henri, I don’t remember the last time we were together. At least, I won’t, once I get inside and pour myself a large enough vodka tonic. Care for one?”

Once again, I’m momentarily speechless. “Um, I’m kinda allergic—”

I cut myself off when one of his brows rises infinitesimally, and then I gasp. Of course he knows I’m allergic. We had an entire conversation about it. “Are you trying to send me to the hospital?”

“No, but I am trying to get into my house. Alone. Preferably without the sad panda thoughts I’d finally managed to shake before you showed up today.”

“Oh. That was a hint.”

“It was.”

“I’m bad with the subtle.”

He swipes a hand over his mouth and looks up at the sky, and I’m certain he’s not stifling a smile.

Probably the exact opposite.

Time to forge ahead. “I’m here because I need your help.”

“And now I pay the price for my sins,” he mutters.

I’d ask what his sins are, but my google searches were very thorough.

Normally, he really would be the last person on earth I’d turn to for help.

“I don’t want money or anything like that. And I’d rather no one know I’m here, so I’m not after your fame either, though I wouldn’t mind some tips on how to get my hair as good as yours always is. I’ve tried Kangapoo before, and—wait. Sorry. Off-topic. I need you to teach me how to not fall in love.” 

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AUTHOR BIO 

Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePipsquad 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ReadPippa 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/pippagrant 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pippa-grant 

Website: http://www.pippagrant.com 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pippa.grant  

Real Fake Love by Pippa Grant- Now Live!

My Take:

(ARC REVIEW) Real Fake Love is another laugh out loud, swoon worthy sports romance from Pippa Grant. This was possibly the silliest one yet but that’s not a bad thing. I genuinely wonder how the author’s brain works. I’ve heard all the words in the book before but not always in that order!

Henri is a lovable weirdo and Luca is a grumpy but solid and a family oriented stud. I loved watching their fake relationship turn into a real one as the tension built between them.


BLURB 

If people have polar opposites, Luca Rossi is mine.

His butt is in the baseball hall of fame. Mine’s comfortably seated in the hall of lame.

When he’s not snagging fly balls out in center field, he’s modeling in shampoo commercials. I once jammed my own finger while stirring cookie dough, and sometimes I forget shampoo is a thing.

He’s a total cynic when it comes to love.

I make a living writing love stories.

But after my latest broken engagement (no, I don’t want to talk about how many times that’s happened), it’s clear he’s exactly the man I need.

If anyone can teach me to be the opposite of me, it’s him.

The first thing I want him to teach me?

How to not fall in love.

And as luck would have it, he’s in desperate need of a fake girlfriend to get a meddling grandmother off his back.

We couldn’t be more perfect together, because the last thing Luca Rossi will ever be is the next man to leave me at the altar.

Or will he?

Real Fake Love is a line drive straight to the heart featuring a grumpy athlete, a jilted bride, a fake relationship, and the world’s laziest cat. It stands alone and comes complete with sibling rivalry, the world’s most awkward shower scene, and a sweetly satisfying happily ever after.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52714963-real-fake-love 

PURCHASE LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/34IbeSI
UK: https://amzn.to/2YI3pbM
CA: https://amzn.to/2QLF3tH
AU: https://amzn.to/3gC9FZ4 

Free in Kindle Unlimited

ALSO AVAILABLE IN AUDIO & PRINT

Audible: https://adbl.co/2YDtYiz 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31E5NT8
Paperback: https://amzn.to/3hJl4Ys 

EXCERPT

Henri, in the middle of Chapter Four…

It’s probably weird to be sitting on the doorstep of the man I cyberstalked after his whole love sucks speech after my failed wedding. But I won’t apologize for waiting for Luca here at what I think is his house, because you don’t get what you need in life if you don’t go for it.

Still, maybe Dogzilla and I should be waiting in my car instead? At least that way, I could turn on the radio while we wait. And the air conditioning.

I’m about to move to the car when a clunker chugs around the corner, one headlight out, and turns into the driveway.

This is definitely the wrong house.

I’m sitting on the porch of a stranger’s house, hoping that’s a woman driving, because if it’s a woman, at least I know I won’t be in danger.

Of falling in love with her at first sight, I mean.

The engine shuts off, and while I don’t often trespass at midnight, I have this feeling that jumping up with Dogzilla and making a run for it right now is exactly the wrong move. A well-timed, “Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else,” will give us all a laugh, I’ll take my cat and leave, and then two complete strangers will have a weird story to tell their friends over margaritas—or an iced tea, in my case—and huh.

This would make an excellent meet-cute for my friend Dorothea’s next steamy romance novel. I’ll have to drop her a note too.

The occupant of the car is still sitting in it, and the figure illuminated by the street light looks too big to be a woman.

Dang it.

He also seems to be—

Is he hitting his head against the steering wheel?

Uh-oh.

If I picked the house of a nutjob, all bets are off.

“Be ready to run, Dogzilla,” I whisper.

My lazy cat doesn’t move, and instead snores in my lap.

Easier this way anyway, since it’s not like I can count on her to follow alone when I take off running at full-steam.

Which doesn’t happen all that often, if we’re being honest here. I’m a writer, not a runner.

But—wait.

The way his hair is moving—

That is Luca Rossi.

I rise, cradling Dogzilla, and when Luca looks my way, I give him a finger wave and a smile.

The light isn’t bright enough for me to see what he’s saying, but his lips are definitely moving, and if I’m not mistaken, he’s wearing the same long-suffering expression my father usually has when I tell him I’m engaged.

Again.

It might also be remarkably similar to the expression Luca was wearing when he recognized me at Duggan Field earlier today too.

Not my intention to ambush him at work, I swear. I was curious about the ballpark—I’m curious about a lot of things—so when I caught wind on social media of a writer organization that was touring the park, it was easy enough to get here in time today to join the group.

And it was fascinating to see where the players work out, to smell the chairs the announcers sit in, what it feels like to stand in the dugout, and hear how many light bulbs have to be replaced every day.

There’s a pop and a creak as the car door swings open, and I suddenly desperately need to know why Luca Rossi, millionaire sports star, lives on a grocery store clerk’s salary.

For research.

I swear.

I like to do research.

It’s one of the things my ex-fiancé Kyle liked about me.

“Henri,” Luca says.

My brain hears what the hell are you doing here, and why are you between me and my bed, and I’m not asking out loud because I don’t honestly want to know.

I either have a lot of experience understanding people because I write good characters, or I have a lot of experience with frustrating men after five failed engagements.

Plus my lifelong relationship with my father.

“Hi, Luca! Great game tonight. That catch you made in center field was like—”

“The one where I didn’t move, the one where I stepped three feet to my left, or the one where I had to take two steps back?”

Okay, yeah, he had an easy game. “How did you know where the ball was going to be? That’s like—it’s like you’re psychic.”

“It’s called being a professional.” He squeezes his eyes shut briefly, opens them, eyeballs Dogzilla in my arms, and then sighs again. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company tonight?”

Wow. He’s cranky.

Not gonna lie.

I know it’s probably me.

But that’s no excuse for not forging ahead. I didn’t come all this way to chicken out. “You remember the last time we saw each other?”

“This afternoon in the clubhouse?”

“I liked your hat, but I meant the time…before that.”

He closes the distance between us with three casual steps. “Nope.”

And I go momentarily speechless as a waft of something delicious teases my nose.

But only momentarily. A quick recovery is a gift. Or possibly a defense mechanism. “The time we were together…in that town…with that big monument…and the event thing…”

No answer.

“The event thing that didn’t—”

“I’m trying to block it from my memory.”

“Oh. Oh! Thank you. That’s very kind of you. Sorry. I didn’t realize—”

“That I wouldn’t want to remember your ruined wedding, that you like to redecorate people with dessert, and that your ex-fiancé is the first man that my mother’s dated in three years and I might have to start calling him Stepdad?”

I wince.

My heart also weeps because yeah, still not over seeing Jerry lock lips with a woman who could’ve been my mother, and hearing that it might actually be going somewhere is salt in the wound.

“So, no, Henri, I don’t remember the last time we were together. At least, I won’t, once I get inside and pour myself a large enough vodka tonic. Care for one?”

Once again, I’m momentarily speechless. “Um, I’m kinda allergic—”

I cut myself off when one of his brows rises infinitesimally, and then I gasp. Of course he knows I’m allergic. We had an entire conversation about it. “Are you trying to send me to the hospital?”

“No, but I am trying to get into my house. Alone. Preferably without the sad panda thoughts I’d finally managed to shake before you showed up today.”

“Oh. That was a hint.”

“It was.”

“I’m bad with the subtle.”

He swipes a hand over his mouth and looks up at the sky, and I’m certain he’s not stifling a smile.

Probably the exact opposite.

Time to forge ahead. “I’m here because I need your help.”

“And now I pay the price for my sins,” he mutters.

I’d ask what his sins are, but my google searches were very thorough.

Normally, he really would be the last person on earth I’d turn to for help.

“I don’t want money or anything like that. And I’d rather no one know I’m here, so I’m not after your fame either, though I wouldn’t mind some tips on how to get my hair as good as yours always is. I’ve tried Kangapoo before, and—wait. Sorry. Off-topic. I need you to teach me how to not fall in love.” 

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AUDIO & PRINT

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AUTHOR BIO 

Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePipsquad 

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/pippagrant 

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Instagram: https://instagram.com/pippa.grant  

The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward- Now Live!

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

BLURB

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn. 

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.

Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54543311 

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/32IqJra

UK: https://amzn.to/3lBeoho

CA: https://amzn.to/3lyC2ek

AU: https://amzn.to/31HFHyl

B&N: https://bit.ly/3jbsTX7
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Google Books: https://bit.ly/2EpJYgX 

Audible: https://adbl.co/3l3jjr6 

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3fIp6za 

AUTHOR BIO

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor 

OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

Just One Year

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UK: https://amzn.to/2OEV0Aw
CA: https://amzn.to/2WvJv2D
AU: https://amzn.to/2ZFNxHI
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Apple Books: https://fave.co/2S0THyq 

Google Play: https://fave.co/2ONqJjN 

Audio: https://fave.co/2UYah3V 

The Day He Came Back 

US: https://amzn.to/2ZEqpcJ
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AU: https://amzn.to/2BfZY3O
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When August Ends

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B&N: https://bit.ly/2E9Kfok
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3iYe4XB
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3l4o57G 

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3aGl1cU 

Audio: https://adbl.co/2Ehly9c 
See more books here:http://penelopewardauthor.com/books

The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward- Excerpt Reveal!

Title: The Anti-Boyfriend

Author: Penelope Ward

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 31, 2020

BLURB

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn. 

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.

Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54543311 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

B&N: https://bit.ly/3jbsTX7
Kobo: https://bit.ly/32hslrV 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3j9rGQC 

Google Books: https://bit.ly/2EpJYgX 

Audible: https://adbl.co/3l3jjr6 

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3fIp6za 

AMAZON LIVE RELEASE ALERT: https://fave.co/2KoLPUN 

EXCERPT

Copyright © 2020

By Penelope Ward

Today, just as I got back to my door, Deacon was exiting his apartment.

“Oh, hey, Carys-Like-Paris. How goes it?” He flashed a wide smile.

When people ask me my name, for some stupid reason, I sometimes answer, “Carys, like Paris,” particularly when I’m nervous. That was the case the first time I met Deacon. 

A whiff of his amazing smell put my body on alert. He looked handsome as always. Today he wore a camel-colored suede coat with a shearling collar. His blue eyes, which stood out against his tanned skin, glimmered under the fluorescent lights overhead, which also brought out the copper tint to his otherwise medium-brown hair. He was at least six-foot-two—a beanstalk to my five-foot-four self.

This was my opportunity to bring up last night. But now that he was right here, towering over me, his musky smell saturating the air, I seemed to have lost the words. Still, I was determined to speak up now or never.

My heartbeat accelerated. Here goes. Still out of breath from my sprint up the stairs, I said, “Well, honestly, in answer to your question… I’d love to say I’m doing great, but I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. So, I’ve been better.”

He frowned. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Actually, it’s sort of your fault.”

Deacon’s forehead crinkled. “My fault?”

“Yeah. I don’t know if you realize this, but your bed is right up against mine, on the opposite side of the wall. Your…interactions…last night woke me up, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep.”

Boom.

There.

Said it.

Deacon closed his eyes momentarily. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were right behind me.”

“Yeah. It’s basically like I’m…right there.”

“Well, that was rude of me. I should’ve invited you to join.”

What? It felt like all my blood rushed to my head.

He held out his palms. “I’m kidding. Bad sense of humor comes out when I feel awkward, I guess.”

Slipping a piece of my hair behind my ear, I brushed off his comment. “I know you’re kidding.”

“Totally kidding.” He smiled. “But I’ll try to be more considerate now that I know you can hear everything. You should’ve said something.”

I tilted my head. “How exactly would that have worked? Barging in on two naked people? That’s why I’m saying something now.”

“Solid point. But I take it last night wasn’t the first time you overheard things?”

I looked down at my feet. “No, it wasn’t.”

“You could’ve banged on the wall or something.”

“I’m not one to rudely interrupt someone’s…personal happenings. I just wanted you to be aware of the situation. We don’t need to discuss it further.”

“Maybe we should come up with a code.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, If I’m disturbing your peace, you play a song and crank it up to send me a message.” He snapped his fingers. “Something ironic like ‘The Sounds of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel.”

“Can’t exactly crank up a song when a baby is sleeping.”

His smile faded. “See? That goes to show you how clueless I am. Clueless and so sorry, Carys. Truly. I’ll try not to let it happen again.”

“It better not, fuckboy!” a voice shouted from behind one of the apartment doors.

Deacon and I turned around in unison. I noticed Mrs. Winsbanger’s door move across the hall. The old lady must have been listening in. She lived alone, and I often spotted her peeking out her door, spying on people. 

Deacon grimaced. “Mrs. Winsbanger loves me.”

“Apparently I’m not the only one who overheard things last night,” I said.

His face turned red. His embarrassment was a bit surprising. I’d expected him to be more cocky. 

“I’ll move my bed to the other side of the room. That should help.”

“Well, that would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble.”

“It’s not.”

Happy to have the conversation over with, I let out a long breath. “Okay, well, I’ll let you get going.”

He didn’t budge and seemed to be examining my face. “You okay?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“You seem frazzled.”

Well, yeah. I didn’t get good sleep, I’m trying to get things done in possibly the only hour of the day I have free, and we just had the most awkward conversation EVER. 

“This is just me—my life. I have what could be barely more than an hour to eat my lunch and have some quiet time before my daughter wakes up from her nap.”

“Ah.” He scratched his chin. “How old is she now?”

“Six months.”

Deacon knew I was a single mom. He’d run into me one day and helped me bring groceries in while I tried to juggle Sunny and her stroller.

I was just about to head back inside my apartment when his voice stopped me.

“Do you need anything?” 

I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant. “Like what?”

“Something from the store? A…coffee, maybe? I’m just headed out to run a quick errand, but I can stop somewhere on the way back.”

“It’s the least you can do, monkey balls!” Mrs. Winsbanger chimed in from across the hall. 

She was apparently still listening.

“Did she just fucking call me monkey balls?” he whispered. 

At that moment, I lost it. Laughter got a hold of me, and it took almost a minute before I could even speak. Deacon laughed, too, but I think he was more cracking up at my reaction.

“No idea why she just called you monkey balls. But I haven’t laughed this hard in weeks.”

After I finally calmed down, Deacon repeated his earlier question.

“Anyway, as I was saying, can I get you a coffee or something?”

His offer gave me pause. It was rare that anyone asked if I needed anything. I had a couple of good friends in the city, but they worked and had busy social lives. It wasn’t like they were around in the middle of the day to run to the store for me. And given that it was fall in New York, it was getting chilly out. I had to have a damn good reason to take Sunny out in the cold.

Honestly, I was dying for a latte from Starbucks. Running to the coffee shop was definitely something people without babies took for granted. It wasn’t worth having to bundle Sunny up. 

“I would love a vanilla latte from Starbucks, if you pass one on your way back,” I finally said. 

“Done.” He smiled. “That’s it?”

“Just one pump of vanilla would be great.” 

“One pump. Got it. Anything else?”

“Isn’t that enough? It’s hardly a necessity. I shouldn’t be taking advantage.”

“Take advantage of me. What else do you need? Seriously. It’s the least I can do after disturbing your peace last night.”

Take advantage of me. Yup. Mind straight in the gutter. “You’re not my gopher.”

“Carys….” His baritone voice turned serious, and he repeated in a slow and exaggerated manner, “What. Do. You. Need? I could run to the store.”

There was something else I desperately needed. 

“Diapers?” I said hesitantly.

“Okay.” He laughed. “You’re gonna have to help me out with those. I’ve never purchased them in my life.”

Before I could tell him what size, he handed me his phone. I was all too aware of the brief touch of his hand.

“Enter your digits. I’ll text you from the store to make sure I get the right kind.”

I did as he said before handing him back the phone, once again enjoying the contact from that brief exchange. Cheap thrills were as good as it got these days.

He put it in his pocket. “Anything else?”

“Not that I can think of.”

“Alright. Well, if you change your mind, you can let me know when I text.”

“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”

“Talk to ya in a bit,” he said before heading down the hall. 

I stood by my door and watched him walk away. The view from the back was just as good as the front. And moreover, it seemed Deacon was just as lovely on the inside as he was on the outside.

“One pump my ass,” I heard Mrs. Winsbanger say before she slammed her door.

AUTHOR BIO

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps 

Instagram: http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor 

OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

Just One Year

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Apple Books: https://fave.co/2S0THyq 

Google Play: https://fave.co/2ONqJjN 

Audio: https://fave.co/2UYah3V 

The Day He Came Back 

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CA: https://amzn.to/3983EB0
AU: https://amzn.to/2BfZY3O
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When August Ends

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Google Play: https://bit.ly/3aGl1cU 

Audio: https://adbl.co/2Ehly9c 
See more books here:http://penelopewardauthor.com/books

Drive Me Wild by Melanie Harlow- Blog Tour!

Drive Me Wild, an all-new flirty and heartwarming, opposites-attract
romance by USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!


My Take:  Drive Me Wild brings us a lighter, funnier, small town vibe from Melanie Harlow. There’s tons of steam, tons of humor, and tons of quirky small town characters. It was a fun, quick, lighthearted read. I can’t wait to read Cheyenne’s story! 4 Stars


Blurb:

When Blair Beaufort literally crashes into Bellamy Creek wearing a ball gown and a tiara, I should have towed her car, said goodnight, and sent her packing.

I’m a mechanic, not a hotel manager. I’ve got enough on my plate trying to keep my shop from going under, my overbearing mother off my back, and my baseball team in contention for the league championship. I don’t have time for a former debutante with zero street smarts and a cash flow problem, even if she is crazy beautiful.

Problem is, she’s stranded in my small town, and I’m hiding a protective streak underneath my grumpy exterior that runs deep. So I offer her a place to stay and keep my hands to myself.

For exactly one night.

If only she weren’t so gorgeous. So funny. So eager to please. She’s a disaster behind the wheel, but she drives me wild without even trying–at work, at home, in the back of my truck . . . I can’t get enough of the way she makes me feel.

But I know better than to think it can last. She wants a fairy tale, and I’m no prince.

So when it comes time for her to leave, there’s nothing I can do but let her go.

No matter how much it hurts to say goodbye.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a8MLGM
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/drivemewild
Amazon Paperback: https://harlow.pub/DriveMeWild-pb
Add DRIVE ME WILD to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2PyRjNp


Excerpt

Switching off the lights, I followed her out onto the sidewalk, locking the door
behind us. “I need a quick shower and change of clothes. Want to come up with me?”
“Sure.”
I was following her up the stairs to my apartment, looking at her ass and
wondering if she had sexual rules and how long it would take me to break them, when I
realized she was still talking.
Shit, had she just asked me a question?
At the top of the stairs, she turned around and faced me. “So? Are you going to?”
I stood close. Ridiculously close. So close I could smell her—vanilla and
lemon—and she could probably smell me—sweat and motor oil.

“Am I going to what?”I asked, looking at her lips.
She licked them. “Listen to me.”
“Oh. Yeah. I am.” But at that moment, I was pretty sure I was going to do
something else to her too.
Suddenly she stepped back. “Good,”she said, her cheeks flushed pink. “On
second thought, I think I’ll wait outside. I’m a little warm, and there’s a nice breeze.”
“Okay. I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Nodding, she turned and descended the stairs so slowly, I wondered if she was
dizzy. I watched her hand sliding along the wooden rail, thinking dirty thoughts.
On the landing, she pushed the door open and disappeared from view, but I still
couldn’t breathe right.
What would she have done if I’d put my mouth on hers like I’d wanted to just
now? Would she have kissed me back? Would she have welcomed my hands on her
skin? Or would she have kneed me in the balls and told me to keep my filthy fingers to
myself?
She wasn’t like any other girl I’d ever met, which was both the problem and the
allure. I didn’t know how to read her.
But damn, I wanted her something fierce.
I took an ice cold shower, hoping it would help.
It didn’t.

About Melanie

USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and
her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her
kicks from TV series like Schitt’s Creek, Homeland, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs

three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series,
AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and
the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance
readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband,

two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Connect with Melanie
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2RPwr51
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NPkYKs
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/36kL7yB
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Stay up to date, sign up for Melanie’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/2P7MATT

Website: http://www.melanieharlow.com

Back Up Plan by Emily Goodwin- Now Live!

Backup Plan by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Emily Goodwin is now live!


My Take:

Backup Plan is the first book in the new Silver Ridge series from Emily Goodwin. It has all the family dynamics, heat, and heart you’d expect from an Emily Goodwin novel.

Chloe has had a crush on Sam since they met as children, but after a falling out in college they haven’t seen each other in years. They’re both back in their hometown and reconnect. Can Chloe move on from Sam’s past mistakes? Can Sam convince her he’s changed? There is a lot of steam and heat while they figure it out!

Sam was actual perfection (jacked, kind, always-willing-to-catch-you Anesthesiologist). Chloe … I wish we would have gotten to know better. So much time is spent discussing people not liking her in high school rather than who she is today. We know more about her love of D&D than we do her actual personality outside of Creepy Chloe! 3 1/2 Stars


When we were only kids, Sam Harris and I made a promise we’d marry each other if we were still single when we turned thirty. Well, my thirtieth birthday has come and gone and I’m still as single as ever.

And as far as I know, so is Sam.

But it’s been ages since we’ve seen each other, and after what he did to me our senior year of college, I wouldn’t put his ring on my finger even if he begged me to marry him. Never mind his devilish good looks. Or the fact that the playboy partier is a doctor now.

Nope, I’m sticking to my guns with this, and when I go back to my hometown of Silver Ridge for the first time in years, I won’t pay him the slightest bit of attention. Well…until he convinces me to go out for drinks to catch up. I knew it was a bad idea the moment I agreed to it.

And then he brings up our childhood promise.

It might be fun and games to him, but it’s not to me. Because as much a I don’t want to admit it, Sam has always been my first choice. And I don’t want to be nothing more than his backup plan.

  Download today on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Apple!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iP0qH2

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

Apple: https://apple.co/2ZVPcbi

Nook: https://bit.ly/2W5GNRn

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3iMHUPI

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/BackupPlanGR

Meet Emily

Emily Goodwin is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over a dozen of romantic titles. Emily writes the kind of books she likes to read, and is a sucker for a swoon-worthy bad boy and happily ever afters.

She lives in the midwest with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, you can find her riding her horses, hiking, reading, or drinking wine with friends.

Emily is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency.

Connect with Emily

Facebook: http://bit.ly/EmilyGoodwinFB

Instagram: http://bit.ly/EmilyGoodwinIG

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2EPLbu3

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2tCZn28

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pEHdf8

Website: http://www.emilygoodwinbooks.com/

Reader Group: http://bit.ly/EmilyGoodwinRG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/EmilyGoodwinTW

Southern Seducer by Jessica Peterson- Now Live!

Southern Seducer by Jessica Peterson  is now live! 

My Take:

(ARC REVIEW) This book took me by surprise! It was not exactly what I’ve come to expect from the author, but it’s wonderful that an author’s talents grow and change as they do. It has her signature heat and southern charm, but it does delve into some darker topics as well.

The balance between the dark and light is so well done. There are some raw, gut-punching, heart wrenching moments but there are also plenty of light and sexy parts. There are a lot of hot and steamy scenes that describe postpartum sex in a very real way. I loved that it wasn’t immediately sunshine and rainbows.

I am always in favor of speaking up about mental health, so I applaud the author for writing about postpartum depression and the struggles of new motherhood. It was real and raw and made my heart hurt. Beau also had his share of mental health woes so it was beautiful to watch two people who are struggling come together, despite their challenges. It’s not painted as “love heals all” thankfully, but they do realize they don’t have to push love aside in order to heal and thrive.

The friends-to-lovers relationship felt entirely believable. I loved the honesty between them and the love that existed and changed throughout their journey.

I loved the setting of the book and know that it will be a great backdrop for the rest of the series! This is Jessica Peterson at her finest and I can’t wait for more!


BLURB: I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in my life. But sleeping with my best friend tops the list.

Annabel and I have been close since college. When I left school to play pro football, she was there. While I collected Super Bowl rings and cars worth more than the house I grew up in–she was there.

I always assumed we’d end up together. Everyone did.

But by the time I retired from football, Bel was married. I thought I’d missed my shot at love.

So I buried myself in my new job as CEO of Blue Mountain Farm, a five-star resort my family and I built in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. It seems like a good place to be alone with the secret I have to keep from her.

Now Bel is a divorced single mom, struggling to raise her daughter on her own–and it’s my turn to be there for her.

So I invite her and the baby up to the resort for some much needed R&R.

Then, in a moment of bonfire-and-bourbon induced weakness, I kiss her.

And the fallout could ruin everything.

SOUTHERN SEDUCER is a full length, standalone novel. It is the first book in the all new North Carolina Highland series.

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XK4RKf

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/SouthernSeducer

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/SouthernSeducerGR

Meet Jessica

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bwTIWSVwEI7n4Oix2I35eOwZo9s0hhJkSUaO3VTkaZthw2q1l-b8ENAmjQQbaO3xwxJ3P9M5iOTKwcBeTSOVOhAg8vXF5t6HkzZ4Q-EFnXVBzSRJ0ZbZT5HKCRwgaiCjPXbzI8RU

Jessica Peterson writes smart, sexy romance set in her favorite cities around the world. She grew up on a steady diet of Mr. Darcy, Jamie Frasier, and Edward Cullen, and it wasn’t long before she started creating irresistible heroes of her own. She loves strong coffee, stronger heroines, and heroes with hot accents.

She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband Ben, her daughter Gracie, and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean.

Connect with Jessica

Website: www.jessicapeterson.com

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Instagram: http://bit.ly/JessicaPetersonIG

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That Swoony Feeling by Meghan Quinn- Now Live!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3gdW7DK

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3hGg860

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Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3hKMooI

BLURB: 

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the fourth novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and finally finding that swoony feeling.

I’m single . . . so single it’s painful.

Yup, ladies, Brig Knightly–that’s me–is still a lonely bachelor, stumbling through the streets of Port Snow, looking for the girl he’s supposed to end up with.

That is until my brother, Rogan, presents me with the opportunity of a lifetime. The Summer of Love, a secret pen pal program in Port Snow is looking for applicants and I’m the perfect fit.

I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

I found myself quickly falling in love with a pair of red lips at the bottom of a letter. Just like in the movies . . .

Life could not have been better, that was until I started hanging out with Ruth Barber. Starting a new business right next to my shop, I found myself gravitating toward her. Her smile, her humor . . . her tea sandwiches.

My attraction for Ruth came in full force, leaving me dazed, confused, and *ahem* excited.

As new feelings for two women come to a screeching halt, I have to figure out who to choose. But when I discover my pen pal is Ruth, it might be too late.

All I want in life is to experience that swoony feeling . . . but I think I might have just missed my chance.

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PROLOGUE:

**BRIG**

Hands stuffed in my pockets, I look at Reid while nibbling on the corner of my lip. “But—”
“Brig, I swear to God,” Reid says, dragging his hand down his face while we make our way past Jackson Square, toward Café Du Monde. “Do not ask about your penis turning green one more goddamn time. We all looked at it. It’s flesh colored. Any signs of green you might have seen was from the shit lighting in the bathroom. Now, drop it.”
“Yeah, okay,” I sigh, even though I don’t feel convinced.
Something happened last night.
Something terrifying.
Something that has left me shaking in my shoes—because I don’t wear boots—wanting to rip my pants down repeatedly to make sure things are still intact.
Two days ago, I turned twenty-one, and to celebrate the youngest Knightly’s freedom to hold a beer in his hand legally, my three brothers took me to New Orleans to party in style. And we did . . . up until last night, when the depths of hell tried to swallow us all whole.
Mom warned us, saying, “Don’t get into any trouble.”
My dad slapped the back of our heads before we left and told us to use our brains.
Even our sister, the oldest and wisest of the Knightly children, stared us in the eyes and told us not to do anything stupid.
And yet, we failed all of them.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? Neither had I, but I’d heard great things about the place. Drinking in the streets and peekaboo boobs on every corner.
Beignets and rice and beans.
Scandalous fun.
Sounded like a great time.
But after doing extensive research before the trip—I like to plan ahead—the one thing I wanted to avoid, the one thing that made me extremely nervous, was the voodoo magic prevalent on the grimy cobblestone streets.
You know what I’m talking about. The dark stuff, the chilling life-altering spells that can change you as a man . . . as a human.
*Whispers* Black magic . . .
We did a great job avoiding any and all scary things, until last night, when I inadvertently ran smack dab into the palms of evil.
Shocking news: I was drunk. I couldn’t tell if I was walking on cobblestone streets last night or lobster rolls—that’s how far gone I was—so when I stumbled over a palm reader’s table and broke it, I wasn’t exactly aware of the severity of my mistake.
She roared with displeasure.
Her eyes tore through me with veritable hatred that shook me to the tip of my dick.
And her gangly fingers rattled while she spoke vehemently.
Terrified out of my wits, I held up my palm while my brothers tossed her twenty bucks and asked her to read it.
I wish I could remember what she said.
The future she spoke of is all a blur at this point. Pretty sure she said something about how incredibly handsome I am and how I outshine my brothers with the curves of my jaw, but I can’t be quite sure. The boys deny that part of the story, but they don’t deny the stark hatred that spit like venom from the petrifying woman’s mouth.
My brothers, of course, didn’t make the situation any better by making fun of her predictions. They actually sparked the flame that set the fire. I might be telling this wrong—you know, completely wasted and all—but the moment the palm reader turned an evil shade of hate, I felt every ounce of fun-loving booze seep from the bottom of my feet and out into the streets, sobering me up to the point of understanding.
In a whirlwind of vengeful movements, her arms waved about, the wind swirled around us, trash from the streets danced around my jean-covered legs, and the palm reader’s eyes turned yellow—I confirmed that fact with all three brothers this morning.
Indeed, her eyes were yellow.
And then she said something I will never forget . . .
This wretch of a wench cloaked in the devil’s garb took our fate into her own hands and punished us with broken love.
Broken.
Love.
If you know me at all, you’d know that would cut deep to my very being.
Then Reid said something about her telling us our dicks were going to fall off or turn green; can’t be sure, because I was stunned. Stunned with the notion that my entire life goal of getting married and becoming a doting husband was quickly stripped from my soul and set into blazing embers, never to be seen again.
The miscreant cursed the one thing I strive for as a man . . . that swoony feeling of being wrapped up in a warm, safe relationship with a woman.
And I can’t shake it.
No matter what my brothers say, no matter how many times they tell me to drop it, I keep worrying. I keep remembering the whirl of evil that was cast upon us. I keep trying to decode the meaning of it all.
Are we truly cursed?
“There’s a table over there,” Griffin, my oldest brother, says, making a beeline toward the back corner of the incredibly busy beignet-making icon. We came here for their famous beignets when we first arrived and decided to indulge one more time.
We catch a flight to Port Snow this afternoon and before we get back to our gossip-loving town, I want to set some things straight.
Taking seats, we quickly put in an order for beignets and a café au lait each, and when the waitress leaves, I say, “Can we talk about last night?”
Reid groans and slouches in his chair. He’s in a shit mood, and I’m not sure if it’s from the phone call he got last night that he’s not talking about or if it’s because he’s hung over. Maybe a combo of both. “Can we not?”
“Aren’t you worried?” I ask, looking around at my brothers. I can’t possibly be the only one who’s concerned here.
But it seems like I might be.
Griffin is texting. His wife, I’m sure.
Rogan is staring at the trifold menu on the table.
And Reid is rubbing his eyes with his palms, looking like he wants to be anywhere but here.
“Uh, hello? Do you guys not remember what happened last night? The whole alarming witch in a cloak thing, waving her dangly bone fingers at us. Table-breaking, palm-reading curses being flung about like beads off a balcony? Ring a bell?”
Griffin sets his phone down and lets out a deep breath. His tone is the even, oldest-brother sensible voice. “We were drunk last night, Brig.”
“Yeah, we were, but it doesn’t negate the fact that we all woke up with the same story this morning. She cursed us. You’re telling me none of you are concerned?” I glance around to all three pairs of blue eyes, the same blue eyes I share, and none of them are returning the look. Which tells me they’re not willing to admit they’re just as scared as I am.
I poke Rogan in the side. “Hello, are you listening?”
“Trying not to,” he says, his fingers pressing to his left eye. “Fuck, my head is pounding.” Rogan is my second oldest brother, the quiet and annoyed one. He’s had a rough go at life and barely cracks a smile anymore. He’s more interested in punishing himself for the decisions he’s made in the past than in parting the dark cloud that hangs over his head so he can experience the world. As a retired football player, if pushed too hard, he’s been known to fight back. I think I’ll pass on leaning on him now.
“Griff.” I turn to the reasonable one in the group. “You saw it all, the way she spouted off that little limerick about broken love. She came up with that out of nowhere. It rhymed and everything. Who does that? Who wishes broken love on unsuspecting tourists? Frankly, it’s fucked up.”
The waitress drops off our food and drinks. We give her a mumbled thank you before she takes off to serve another table in the busy outdoor seating area.
Mouth full of beignet and powdered sugar coating his lips, Griffin says, “If she was half the palm reader she said she was, then she would have known that I was already married and this curse she set upon us was flawed. Yeah, was it strange that there was wind whipping around when she raised her arms—”
“The wind was weird,” Rogan says.
“Wind freaked me out,” Reid grumbles while bringing his coffee up to his lips.
“Now you chime in,” I say with an eye roll.
“Can I finish?” Griff asks, sounding annoyed. We all silence ourselves with bites into our beignets. “The wind was a strange coincidence, but I also think she was deranged. There’s no merit to what she said, and I think we would waste time thinking about it anymore than we have. Let’s just enjoy breakfast and then get the hell out of here.”
“Agreed,” Rogan says.
“Yeah,” Reid murmurs.
“But—”
They all shoot me a death glare, and I snap my mouth shut.
I’m outnumbered, and even if I try to press it, they’re not going to change their minds. They’re chalking this experience up to what seems like a drunken it-was-all-an-illusion-we’ll-soon-forget night.
But just a quick glance around the table, and I don’t buy it.
Worried brows.
Keeping to themselves.
Shifty eyes.
They’re thinking about it just as much as I am.
Listen to me, to the words I have spoken.
From this day on, your love will be broken.
It isn’t until your minds have matured
That the weight of this curse will forever be cured.
Might not seem like a big deal, but I have a bad feeling our worlds are about to be flipped upside down.
And boy, were our lives flipped.
Griffin lost his wife.
Rogan’s high school sweetheart re-emerged with a vengeance.
Reid’s restaurant, his pride and joy, was stolen from him.
And me . . . well, I haven’t been in a relationship since the fateful day when my taut and beautiful ass tumbled over a palm reader’s table. Just bad luck? That everything good, everything we loved was taken away from us?
No.
It was the curse, but surely things would improve on their own. Wouldn’t they?
From this day on, your love will be broken.

About the Author: 

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

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

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Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meghan-quinn

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LitE4x