Book Blitz: Mercenary by Bella Di Corte #RomanticSuspense @XpressoTours

Mercenary
Bella Di Corte
(Gangsters of New York, #3)
Publication date: November 13th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I had something to live for.

The moment I saw him, I knew.

His eyes would hypnotize.
His lips would speak the most beautiful promises.
His body? Made for pleasure.

But if Corrado Capitani thought that he could fool me into thinking he was a good man, he was wrong.

The moment I saw him, I knew the truth.

Those eyes hid his poisonous heart.
Those lips were vessels of deception.
That body? Made for inflicting pain.

He wasn’t sent from heaven. He was sent to drag me back to hell.

I had something to die for.

Alcina Parisi had a price on her head, and she’d eluded the best. She thought no one would ever find her, but I did. Everyone in our world called me Scorpio–the man who never let the enemy go. But she was a weapon, not an adversary, and I’d claimed her as mine.

Mercenary is the third of three books set in the savage world of the Gangsters of New York series.

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EXCERPT:

Alcina took my chin in her hand. “He does not matter. Nothing else matters. But us. This moment.”

“You going to stay faithful to me for a hundred years?” I said to her. “When I’m locked behind bars and men like him are hovering around you constantly?”

“I will stay faithful to you until the day I die,” she said, squeezing my chin, coming down and giving me a kiss that was even more solidifying than a blood vow. “You have me forever, Corrado.”

“For every sunrise,” I said.

“For every sunset, too. You are my night, and I am your moon,” she said in Sicilian. “Something to live for. Something to die for. You are my body, and I am your heart. For as long as there is a breath in me.”

Author Bio:

Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.

Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs.

Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.

She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at belladicorte@gmail.com if you’d like to reach out.

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Cover Reveal: Eventually Evie by Cat Lavoie #RomCom @CatLavoieBooks

Eventually Evie
Cat Lavoie
Publication date: January 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

How are you supposed to get your life back on track when the Universe won’t stop messing with you?

After a series of personal and professional setbacks, interior designer Evie Glass has lost faith in herself and the world. The last thing she needs is her loud, boisterous family poking their noses in her business, so that’s why she avoids opening up about anything—especially her love life—during their weekly dinners. Thankfully, her bestie and next-door neighbor, Matilda, always has her back.

When Evie is asked to cat-sit Matilda’s beloved rescue, she’s not thrilled at the prospect. One well-meaning mistake later and a distraught Evie is rushing her furry charge to the ER where she meets and is instantly smitten with Fletcher West, a charming veterinarian who seems to return her interest. That is until they both realize they’ve met before—ten years ago when he was dating her temperamental cousin. Fletch’s break-up with Bee put him at the top of her family’s hit list and makes him the last person Evie should be dating.

In addition to navigating a secret romance with Fletch, Evie must also deal with a demanding new job, an eccentric client from her former life, and an ex who’s suddenly blowing up her phone. She convinces herself she’s got it all under control, but what happens when things start falling apart and Evie learns she’s not the only one keeping secrets?

One thing’s for sure…

Eventually Evie’s got to take a chance—on love, on life, and on herself.

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Author Bio:

Cat Lavoie is a chick lit writer from Montreal, Canada.
She loves writing fun and quirky romantic comedies and is the author of BREAKING THE RULES, ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN, PERI IN PROGRESS and MESSING WITH MATILDA.

A fan of all things feline, Cat loves cats and hopes to someday have a house full of them in order to officially become a crazy cat lady. (But one or two cats will do for now.)

If she isn’t reading or writing, Cat enjoys listening to podcasts (mostly comedy and true crime) and watching way too much TV. She fell in love with London many years ago and hopes to go back one day. Cat is currently at work on her next novel.

To connect with Cat and find out more about her books, visit CatLavoie.com and follow @CatLavoieBooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Book Blitz: If the Broom Fits by Sarah Sutton #youngadult #romancebooks @SarahMaeSutton

If The Broom Fits
Sarah Sutton
Publication date: October 6th 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Halloween really is the worst.

Blaire’s got to be the only person on the planet who hates Halloween. At least the only person in her small town, which practically worships the holiday. Ugh. And it doesn’t help that her super-hot ex-boyfriend, Lucas, is determined to convince her otherwise by making her take part in “festive activities.” Apparently carving pumpkins and watching scary movies is going to magically change her mind about the holiday? Yeah, right.

But Blaire has never told anyone the truth of why she hates Halloween or the truth about why she broke up with Lucas. She’s definitely never told anyone about how much she second-guesses that decision. Being around him is so much harder than she thought, especially when it looks like he’s starting to move on.

And when she gets a letter in the mail from someone who broke her heart, can Blaire overcome the negativity drowning her? Or will her bitterness and secrets push everyone she loves away?

With scary movies and pumpkin spice, If the Broom Fits is a sweet and heartfelt autumn romance that will put you in the spirit of Halloween.

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EXCERPT:

“You look like a dork.”

Donnie didn’t even glance down at himself as I spoke to him, his expression self-assured. “I do not.”

I pressed my lips tightly together to keep from smiling. “You definitely do. Why are you dressed like a shark?”

Or, at least, that’s what I thought he was supposed to be. The silvery-blue material covered his entire body, accented with a hood and a face hole. It didn’t quite reach his ankles since he was so tall, which made the whole thing look a little silly. An extra bunching of material gathered at his armpits, so his arms stuck out a little at his sides.

A tiny little fin was even attached to his back, and it flapped with each movement he made.

“It’s sea-life dress-up day,” Donnie said in a cheerful voice. “I thought this was pretty clever.”

Author Bio:

Sarah Sutton is a YA Romance author, bringing you stories about teenagers falling in love (sometimes with magic)She spends her days dreaming up ideas with her two adorable puppies by her side being cheerleaders (and mega distractions).

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Book Blitz: Say You’ll Be There by Billie Dale #NewAdult #RomCom @author_bdale

Say You’ll Be There
Billie Dale
Publication date: October 1st 2020
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

From award winning author Billie Dale comes a second chance love story muddling the line between love and hate. As young love goes Joey and Preslee were perfect but nothing last forever and the world is ready for the taking. Dale’s sassy wit shines in comedic fashion with Say You’ll Be There, book two in Love in Seven Mile Forge.

At sixteen, Joey Holmes handed me his heart.

At eighteen, I threw it at the Now Leaving Seven Mile Forge sign on my way out of town.

A silly teenage game of seven minutes in heaven spiraled us from friends to more.

We shared our firsts. Loved with the innocence of immaturity.

I wanted out. A fresh start far away from our tiny home town. Joey didn’t care where we were so long as we were together. I couldn’t spread my wings without clipping his. My heart told me I was doing what was best when I left him broken in my rearview mirror.

With a threat breathing down my neck, I’m forced to return home but Joey isn’t the skinny boy I knew. Nope, now he’s the sexiest Chief of Police in three states and he hates the very air I breathe.

Can the hot cop keep me safe from the danger lurking in the shadows or will the bleached bones of the skeletons in my closet be our tragic end?

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Book 1 in the series, Wannabe More, is only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“Preslee,” his soft voice turns hoarse, “I lo…” My index finger silences him this time.

When I plopped down his palms landed on my back, rubbing up and down while I situated myself. Now, his spanned fingers inch through the ticklish place under my arms, gliding until both my breasts sit in his hands. A slight ocean breeze peaks my nipples. The pads of his thumbs brushing against them makes keeping my thought train maddening. I deserve top accolades in the resisting temptation Olympics, but I need to say this.

“Show me. Exhale our past. Inhale our present. Until our world slows on its axis, threatening to grind to a halt, we make our second chance more than words. So many times, people use those eight letters in place of the sentiment to make them true. Love is a hug for no reason, support on the worst of days and shared joy on the best. It’s breakfast in bed, a ride from the airport, a forehead kiss, holding hands, sending a song which makes you think of me, handling vapid telemarketers, saying ‘bless you’ when I sneeze, thinking I’m beautiful when I’m really a hot mess, and seeing no other woman but me, trusting someone with all of you… it’s an entire planet of little subtle conveniences, flirts, and simplicity but conveying what matters without uttering a syllable. We save the words to use when actions can’t.”

A lopsided grin hooks up one side of his lips for a fraction of a second before they touch mine. He draws back, waggling his brows. “I’m all for a little less talk and a lot more action.” A whispered kiss followed by a sinful smirk. “Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’.” I expect another peck but he shifts, dusting his lips along my cheek instead before hitting me with a hell of a smolder. “Everything I do, I do for you.” He finds the other cheek. “I don’t want to miss a thing.” Now my nose. “More. Than. Words. Preslee, you’re the flame. You were the first and you’ll be the last.” Warm breath skates down until his mouth takes mine in a searing possession.

Author Bio:

Billie Dale lives in no-where middle earth. Lost in a small village in the Midwest with four kids, three animals and an amazing, word inspiring-book boyfriend, worthy husband.

A blogger by nature and a writer because she got tired of arguing with the voices in her head. She loves and lives the words on the page, whether writing them or reading them; her life is consumed by the worlds her head creates.

Her greatest wish is for readers to fall in love with her words as much as she loves writing them. She loves to create new worlds to explore and writing words that will take root in your soul.

Paranormal, New Adult, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary — there is not one box she fits in. She’s a rebel in the author world who writes what her head tells her even it jumps from genre to genre.

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Book Blitz: Dance with Death by Brynn Ford #RomanticSuspense #DarkRomance @XpressoTours

Dance with Death
Brynn Ford
(The Four Families, #2)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Dark Romance, Suspense

Holding onto hope was dangerous, but letting go of it would be fatal.

We’d made the worst mistake of all—we had fallen in love. But all the love in the world couldn’t save us from our captivity. Just when we thought we would be okay, a future we never should have hoped to have was taken from us.

Our master was preparing to hurt us in his rage against our love. The only thing worse than the physical pain of the injuries he gave me was the ache of knowing what was to come.

He was going to tear our love apart.

I thought my life was hell before, but my master was prepared to teach me that I was wrong. Dead wrong.

I was about to learn the true definition of torture, of torment, of despair. I could only dream about the man I loved, hope that he might someday fulfill his promise to find a way to save us both. But I had already learned the hard lesson that hoping only made reality harsher.

The harsh reality was that my love was lost, my hope was gone, my life was over.

And I was forced to learn the steps for this slow dance with death.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content, violence, and mature themes including scenes where consent is not sought or given. The author in no way condones such heinous acts, but rather seeks to immerse the reader in the true horror of the characters’ experience. This book also contains suicidal themes. This is your trigger warning – reader discretion is advised.

SERIES NOTE: “Dance with Death” is book two of three in the Four Families trilogy. It is not a standalone and the books must be read in order. Book one—“Counts of Eight”—is available now. The author plans to release book three by early 2021. The cliffhanger ending may leave you gasping and desperate for the finale in book three. Best of luck to you, daring readers.

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EXCERPT:

I’m happy to let her think that I am the only place she will ever be able to turn for comfort.

She should turn to her master to fulfill that need.

I have every intent to take advantage of her fragile state.

Boldly, she lifts her head and slowly meets my eyes. There’s fear there behind the sapphire blue—fear and desperation and longing.

“I want you, moy khozyain.

I grip her waist with both hands and turn her, backing her up to the marble countertop. She swallows, her eyes locked on mine as I stare and press myself against her. I loom above her, my breath steady but heavy, exhaling my internal flames over her, reminding her that I was born from hellfire.

A reminder that she’s come to the devil asking to be burned.

Her features have softened from her normal cold as ice stare. Her eyelids seem heavier as they droop to hang a sultry frame over her blue irises. Her eyebrows are relaxed from the way they usually slant toward her nose, wrinkling her forehead sternly. Her lips are parted and rosy in color, and I feel her shallow breaths puffing against my throat.

“You want me…to do what?”

This question is her test.

Will she back down, afraid to speak her truth?

Will she prove herself to be a rebellious slave and demand rather than ask?

Or will she tell me what she thinks she needs and sweetly ask her master to oblige her?

Author Bio:

Brynn Ford is an independent author of romance in all of its beautiful and sensually taboo forms. She is a lover of the dark, twisted, and playful and strives to bring the unmentionable aspects of passionate romance into her stories.

Brynn resides in the Midwest with her husband and sons, whom she expects will someday be embarrassed by their mom’s books. When she isn’t obsessively writing, you may find her binge watching favorite shows while eating far too much junk food or fanatically reading, always seeking to lose herself in the emotional roller coaster of a damn good story.

She is quite the idealist, despite her fascination with the wicked and warped aspects of humanity. Some of her stories may run out of words before a happily ever after, but she’s a firm believer that her characters continue to live on outside the pages in the minds of her readers. Stories don’t end just because there aren’t anymore pages to turn.

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Cover Reveal: Savage Devil by Daniela Romero #NewAdult #SportsRomance @Daniela_Writes

Savage Devil
Daniela Romero
(Devils of Sun Valley High, #2)
Publication date: January 4th 2021
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports, Young Adult

It’s hard to deny a Devil …
Especially one who promises you a night you’ll never forget.

One night.
No exchanging names.
No exchanging numbers.

That was the deal we made.
I was moving away. I’d never see him again and I wanted to leave Sun Valley with zero regrets.
Only I got more than I bargained for and nine months later delivered a bundle of joy complete with ten tiny fingers and ten perfect toes.

A year and a half later, I’m back.
And this Devil is no longer the devil in my dreams. Now he haunts my nightmares.
He’s savage.
He’s sinful.
And I’m barely a blip on his radar.

I came with good intentions. Determined to tell him the truth. But with so much on the line, I’m beginning to reconsider.
Because making a deal with the devil again just might be another mistake.

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Author Bio:

Daniela Romero is a Snarky AF, Latinx Author, who happens to also be a Mom of 3. Born and raised in sunny California, she now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest and is happy to enjoy all four seasons even if the snow can sometimes be a bit much. She hates cheese–of all kinds–and yes that means she orders cheeseless pizza. Daniela is an ENTJ all the way which means she loves to talk (a lot) and is probably as extroverted as they come so feel free to shoot her a message, send a raven, throw up smoke signals. Whatever it may be. She love’s chatting with readers so feel free to stalk her.

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Book Blitz: Stay by Jessica Frances #LGBTQ #ContemporaryRomance @XpressoTours

Stay
Jessica Frances
(In Midsummer #3)
Publication date: September 4th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

One screaming baby. One too many diaper disasters. One surprise shooter. One victim. One perpetrator. One blast from the past.

Having a surprise baby dropped at your doorstep has to be the worst kind of relationship buzzkill in history. Instead of dating, now Rocky and I have shifted into becoming exhausted parents with zero time for any kind of fun. Everything is moving so fast that something has to give. I just hope that something won’t be us.

Then, when a shooter comes after Rocky and their aim is a little too close for comfort, important questions need to be answered. Who wants Rocky dead? How far are they willing to go to make it happen? How much luck can one person have before it runs out? And where on earth did Rocky put those spare baby diapers?

With someone gunning for not only Rocky but also our relationship, one has to wonder just how many hits we can take before it all falls apart.

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EXCERPT:

“Is he still peeing over your face?” He says this so casually, as though this is a completely normal question to be asking your partner. Although, I suppose it probably is completely normal for many parents.

“Unfortunately, I’m fun to aim at.”

I stand up and watch Rocky point his finger at Ryder. “Please stop peeing over Conner’s face. I’d rather like my boyfriend pee-free if possible.”

Ryder grabs ahold of Rocky’s finger and wipes his slobber over it.

“Thanks for standing up for me. You really told him,” I drawl, rolling my eyes. It seems everyone listens to Rocky except for his kids, who seem immune to his commanding tone. Ryder isn’t even biologically his, and he still isn’t affected.

“Fine, how about this?” He turns to face Ryder again. “You give us one night completely uninterrupted, and I’ll give you one night free pass when you’re older to skip vegetables.”

I shake my head again. “Think you gotta know your audience.”

“Fine, how would you do it?”

I lift Ryder up and turn him to face me. “Ryder, I promise you this will be much funnier if you pee on him instead. So, try that from now on, got it?”

“Hey!” Rocky gives me a gentle shove while I laugh.

Ryder seems to sense the mood and grins.

Author Bio:

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Book Blitz: Escape by Deana Birch #RomanticSuspense @DeanaBirch

Escape
Deana Birch
(The Covington Heights Crew #1)
Publication date: September 1st 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

FROM POPULAR ROMANCE AUTHOR DEANA BIRCH

Book one in The Covington Heights Crew series

The only thing she has to give is exactly what they want.

The Covington Heights Crew has a funny way of protecting their own. With rapes from rival gangs and human trafficking riddling their poverty-stricken streets, they’ll keep the girls from their neighborhood safe—for a price. No money? No worries. They have quite creative payment plans.

Messed up? Yeah, they know. They’re criminals.

Twenty-one-year-old Fiona Thompson was happy to stay off the radar of the twisted drug dealers who encourage her mother’s habit. She’s sure that she can work her way out of Covington and find a better life for herself and her baby sister. But then she beeped. Loud.

Second-in-command Leo Ricci is a poser. The web of lies he’s spun for a life unravels every time he’s around Fiona—every day he’s trying to keep her safe and every second he’s avoiding his destiny.

When his missteps challenge the authority to which he’s pledged his allegiance and Fiona’s life is at stake, there’s only one solution—become the man he never wanted to be and leave the place that was saving him from a worse, but unavoidable fate.

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EXCERPT:

Fiona

The dark gray grime around the rim of the tub would not go away, no matter how hard I scrubbed. I flipped my long ponytail over my shoulder and sprayed the foaming cleaner into the corner where tile met porcelain. While my efforts would bear no fruit, I couldn’t stop. If I could just make our dirty apartment shine, there had to be hope for our lives.

The baby whimpered then wailed from her crib in the back bedroom, and I stored the worn-down green sponge and the bottle that promised gleaming effects on top of the medicine cabinet, rinsed my hands in the sink and went to tend to Violet.

Her sobs quickly morphed into coos once she was in my arms and I’d shushed her with an easy bounce and kiss on her sweaty head. Even though she could walk, I carried her to the kitchen, and I wasn’t surprised to see that my mother had not left any milk. After a diaper change—at least we had those—I packed Violet into her wobbly stroller and rode the slow, rickety elevator down to the ground floor of our apartment building. The florescent light flickered over the beat-up metal mailboxes as we crossed the depressing lobby.

The sun shone bright and blinded me for a quick second. The weather had two gears, hot or storms. And while the storms were a relief from the heat, the wind and rain that came with them didn’t make running errands easy. I navigated the stroller through the cracking cement of the courtyard, careful not to step on anything sharp or deadly with my flimsy sandals.

Predictably, the Covington Heights crew were huddled around their bench across from the run-down park—all in their signature black jeans, which must have been torture in the heat. In three months, their numbers had doubled and I was sure it could officially be considered a gang. I recognized a couple of them from their lives before they’d decided to become delinquents. I was even sure the tallest one had been a star basketball player in his day. And, while their matching pants unified them, the physical similarities stopped there. Blonds, shaven heads, dark hair in a man bun… They were all different in race and creed.

Internal groan. I was brewing a perfect stew of resentment, hate and disgust for those fuckers—and maybe just a pinch of lust. Ripped asshats. They were like a calendar spread for hot bad boys.

Their business was an endless supply of drugs that fed my mother’s meth habit, and groupies drooled around them like they were rock stars. Gross.

But they were also an anomaly. As long as you called Covington Heights home, they kept you safe, client or not. And for that, I gave them my respect.

Maybe it had been my odd hours that had kept me off their radar—the sole benefit of working the night shift. Not to mention, the maid’s smock and comfortable shoes I had to wear to work hadn’t done much to make me stand out. Or perhaps I was just too old for their tastes. Their female hangers-on didn’t exactly look over eighteen—not that it was any of my business. And not that I had been paying attention.

But the whispers I had heard about them weren’t all horrible. Girls had sworn they were harmless, a notion I couldn’t quite swallow with their primary source of income.

Violet sucked her thumb in the stroller below me. I lowered my head and picked up my pace to pass by the group of drug-dealing male models.

“Hey, little mama,” a dark-haired guy with a black tank top over his muscled chest called. “Where you been hiding?”

Great. I’d officially bleeped on their screen. Fuck.

I let out a slow breath before turning with a wry smile. “Been here all my life, big boy.” And a big boy he was. He had almost a head on me. It was best to ignore his olive skin and dark inviting eyes below thick brows. I kept walking.

“Hey!” Black Tank Muscle Man stepped in front of the stroller and my breath hitched.

I met his gaze, and even though my spine was like an iron rod, I softened. “I’m just trying to get some milk. I don’t want any trouble.” And I certainly wasn’t interested in being their customer. With my thumbs hooked on the handle and a hopeful smile, I opened the rest of my fingers in a small surrender then clasped the stroller again.

Black Tank’s eyes traveled the length of my body and he licked his plump lips that looked like the softest thing on him. Jesus, he dripped danger and sex at the same time. Those two ingredients should not be allowed to mix.

He jutted his clean-shaven chin toward the stroller. “This your baby?”

I should have lied. Single moms were probably less appealing to someone like him, but for whatever reason—maybe fear of being caught by one of the crew that did know me—I told him the truth. “It’s my sister. Please let us pass. She needs her milk.”

He stood his ground, staring at me for a long beat. I couldn’t tell if he was mind- or eye-fucking me. But there was nothing pure about the vibes he was sending, of that I was sure. A lump grew in my throat and I wouldn’t allow myself to try to swallow past it. I was a girl who’d grown up in the projects. I knew damn well that if you gave an inch to a bully, they would take a whole damn mile.

After one more glance at my chest, which made me hate the boob fairy who’d given me D cups, he stepped to the side. The tension from my back released and I pushed Violet to the deli. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that those foreboding, dark eyes followed me the whole way.

On the return trip, his electric, wicked energy stalked me, haunted my every step. Yeah, I was officially on the radar and had no idea why or how to disappear from it. It was only once I’d closed the door to our apartment on the seventh floor, gotten Violet her milk and turned on her favorite program that I allowed myself to shudder in the corner of our tattered brown couch.

What was worse was that I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The hard truth was that I’d liked his attention, even though I was sure I hated him and all he stood for. At least I wasn’t stupid enough to trust him. But, to be fair, I didn’t trust anyone—an addict for a parent could do that to a girl—and, yeah, Black Tank certainly did not have take-you-out-to-dinner-and-buy-you-flowers ideas forming in his beautifully dark eyes.

I made Violet a peanut butter sandwich with our last two pieces of bread and cut an apple that we shared as I ate instant oatmeal. While the clock ticked closer and closer to when I needed to leave for work, it came—the instinctual awareness that my mom would be late coming home, again. And therefore I would be late for work, again.

I cleaned the small mess we’d made from eating—I didn’t think what I’d done could qualify as cooking—and I sat with my uniform on, ready to bolt out of the door, as I assumed the too-familiar position of waiting for my mother to get home.

Over the years it had been a sad and constant element of my life. When she was late, I usually knew why, and I was sure that this time would be no different. The door finally opened thirty minutes after I’d needed to leave and her skinny, fidgeting frame walked through. Every ounce of my being hated leaving Violet with my mom while she was high, but if I didn’t work, we would be worse off than we already were, and I didn’t want to imagine what that might look like.

My mom ignored me and went straight to the kitchen, where she took out a glass and filled it from the tap.

Fighting with her, high or sober, was a battle I’d surrendered to in high school, so I hid my sigh and stood.

In the calmest voice I could muster, I asked, “Can I have the phone, please? I need to let work know I’m running late.”

She darted her bloodshot eyes around the room, looking anywhere but at me. As she twisted her lips, I understood that the phone was gone—either lost, stolen or sold. Great.

“Right,” I said with a knowing nod. “I’ll be back for breakfast.”

Her guilty conscience must have been keeping her from both eye contact and speaking, because she turned her back to me and drank the rest of her water. I hurried out of the door and flew down the seven flights of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. It was all I could do not to run through the courtyard and down the three streets to the subway station, where I was lucky enough to catch a train, my heart still thumping in my chest.

At the stop in Midtown that led to the hotel where I worked, I bolted up the stairs, retying my long hair into a tighter ponytail as I went. I entered the side door in the alley for employees and hauled ass down the stairs to the locker room where we kept our personal belongings.

The cold LED lighting was a bright contrast to the dark basement, and I had to blink several times to adjust my eyes. But once I’d focused, I saw my supervisor sitting on the bench in front of the row of mint green metal lockers.

Fuck.

“Fiona.” He crossed his arms and frowned. Sweat puddled around his thinning blond hair. Carrying around his massive stomach must have been a lot of work.

“I know.” I brought my hands together in a plea and slumped. “I’m so sorry. I’d love to say it won’t happen again, but my mom—”

He held up his chubby hand that looked more like a ball of dough with five short, fat sausages sticking out of it. “You’re fired.”

My chest contracted at the loss of oxygen.

“No, no, no, no, no. Please.” I needed to make him understand. Me losing that job wasn’t just a paycheck. It was our livelihood. The government didn’t hand out checks to addicts anymore. The only thing we had for security was the shitty apartment, because no one in their right mind would want to live in our neighborhood.

A neighborhood where the police rarely made an appearance… A neighborhood where criminals ruled with wicked eyes, iron fists and where they openly exploited the addictions of their own… Where girls gave up hope of leaving and settled into worshiping drug dealers because instant gratification was more attainable than a long-term plan…

No. I needed this job. I had a fucking dream. Get the fuck out of Covington Heights. Roly Poly on the bench in front of me did not understand what he was doing to me and my sister.

“Mr. Hansen…please.” There was no need to fake the tears streaming down my face and I hoped my trembling bottom lip would show him how desperate I was. I tapped my fingers on my cheeks as I searched his mole-like eyes for any hint of sympathy. There was none.

“I’m sorry, Fiona. If I can’t keep my cleaners in line then it’s me without a job. I’ve been warned about being too lenient. I can’t stick my neck out on the line for you or anybody else. It’s nothing personal.”

For him, maybe. For me, it was everything.

Author Bio:

Contemporary romance and erotica writer Deana Birch was named after her father’s first love, who just so happened not to be her mother. Born and raised in the Midwest, she made stops in Los Angeles and New York before settling in Europe where she lives with her own blue-eyed Happily Ever After. Her days are spent teaching yoga, playing tennis, ruining her children’s French homework, cleaning up dog vomit, writing her next book, or reading someone else’s.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Book Blitz: Scandal’s Promise by Pamela Gibson #historicalromance @pamgibsonwrites

Scandal’s Promise
Pamela Gibson
Publication date: August 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance

Haunted by questions and her own insecurities, Lady Emily Sinclair longs to discover why her betrothed abandoned her and married another. Seven years have passed, but the pain of his betrayal still lingers, buried beneath layers of humiliation and mistrust. When he returns after the Napoleonic Wars, she vows to avoid him. If only her foolish heart felt the same.

Broken and addicted to his medication, widower Andrew Quimby, Lord Cardmore, rattles around his ancient manor, oblivious to his deteriorating health and state of mind. When he learns the woman he was forced to abandon remains unmarried, he vows to try to win her back, even if it means returning to a society he despises.

But Andrew soon discovers he has a secret enemy. Threatening notes appear and sinister accidents put those in his inner circle in danger. Can he overcome his demons in time to keep them safe or will everyone and everything he loves disappear forever.

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EXCERPT:

A tiny birdlike woman with sharp features stared at him from across the room. Her bonnet and outwear lay neatly on a chair. Next to it was the heavy woolen coat and hat of the young boy with frightened eyes who clutched her hand.

Andrew’s breath hitched as he looked at the child. Blue eyes, glistening with unshed tears, peeked up at him from a narrow face with a defiant chin. His guinea-gold tousled hair was cut short and his clothes were fashionable, albeit wrinkled.

The woman raised her head and glared at him. “I beg your pardon, my lord. I realize the hour is late. My name is Bricker. I was told to deliver Master George to you and then be on my way. I’ve taken a room in the village coaching house for the night, and I will return to London in the morning.”

Andrew forced himself to meet her gaze and speak in a calm voice while turmoil swirled in his gut.

“You can’t leave him here.”

“I can and I will.”

“Why now?”

“My employer’s wife has passed on, and he has no interest in the child. Madame was the one who insisted on providing the boy with a home. Master George was the only link she had with her daughter.”

“And you?”

“I’ve been his nurse since his birth at his grandparents’ London home.”

“If you are leaving, who will care for him?”

“With all due respect, that’s your problem, my lord.”

She turned to the child who began to sob. He buried his face in her skirts and fisted his small hands in the folds, his back shaking.

Her body vibrated with hatred. “See what you’ve done. You’ve upset him. He’s only six years old and not accustomed to cold toffs like you.”

Andrew stiffened, repressing the urge to curse. Instead he modulated his tone. “He cannot stay. I have no staff, no nursery. There’s nothing here for him to wear or play with. You must leave and take him back to where you came from.”

“His valise is outside in the hall. It has his belongings. He hasn’t much. As you would know if you’d deigned to take an interest in him.”

He supposed the verbal blow was deserved, despite the circumstances now confronting him, but his patience was at an end.

What the bloody hell am I to do with a child?

“You’re right. I know nothing about children. You can see he’s distressed. Can you not stay? I can pay you.” Panic gripped his throat, threatening to strangle him.

“I have another post. And now I must take my leave. ’Tis cold and wet, and I long for my bed.”

“Don’t go,” implored Andrew. “He’s crying. What does he need?”

“Give him a bit of soup and a bed. He’ll be right as rain in the morning.”

She disengaged the boy’s hands and bent down to face him. “You mustn’t cry, Master George. This is your home now. I’m sure his lordship must have a horse or two in his stables. You’ll see what a fine house this is when morning comes.”

The woman led the boy to a spindly chair and seated him. The child hid his face in his hands and wailed like his heart was broken. With a final pat, she put on her coat and hat and strode toward the door. “My hired conveyance is waiting. I’ll see myself out.” Footsteps echoed in the hall, fading as the woman reached the outer door.

Ralston stood with his hands behind his back, his eyes wide. The child’s wailing increased, and Andrew cringed. How was he to stop the noise? His valet hovered near the doorway. “Lester. Bring the new housemaid. I believe her name is Matilda. She should be in Mrs. Evans’s quarters or nearby.”

“Very good, milord.”

Ralston, who’d been silent during the drama seemed to recover from his stupor and frowned. “Do you even know who this is?”

“Sadly, I do.”

“Do you mind enlightening me? I admit, this is more entertainment than I’ve had in a decade.”

“His name is George.”

“I believe I got that.”

“He is—he is my son.”

Ralston fell into a nearby chair. “I’m astonished. I’d heard Caroline died in childbirth, but I thought the child was stillborn.”

“He’s very much alive, as you can see. And hear.”


Author Bio:

Author of eight books on California history and fifteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, the Rescue Cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her quarterly newsletter and occasional blog. Or follow her in these places:

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Cover Reveal: Million Miles Off by Alice Bane #SciFiRomance #NewAdult

Million Miles Off
Alice Bane
(Million Miles, #2)
Publication date: October 20th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Just when I was destined to start a new life, a new beginning, with Korin.

Beautiful

Sweet

Endearingly awkward Korin.

Nathan, my loathsome ex-boyfriend, just stomped all over my happily ever after.

Exes are exes for a reason, they say. They belong in the past. Yeah… Try telling that to Nathan Hanway. He has quite literally put me in a place I’d rather not be.

A high-security facility with as many dark, nebulous secrets as hallways. Surrounded by people with shifty eyes. I’m forced to endure the impossible, under his supervision.

Thing is, I don’t have time. I’m sort of running against a biological clock. I need to get out of here before the colossal sacrifice I’ve made goes to complete and utter waste.

I despise you, Nathan, I really do.

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Author Bio:

Alice Bane holds a BSc and a voracious interest in all things extra-terrestrial. Self-identifying as a citizen of the universe, she has opted to travel the cosmos through her words. Million Miles Away is her debut Sci-Fi Romance novel.

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