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Trapped with Her Alien Mate by Kate Rudolph


They can live happily ever after if they can defeat a particularly lethal Santa! 
Trapped with Her Alien Mate by Kate Rudolph releases November 9th!


Last minute holiday shopping should be a breeze…
That’s Jody’s thought as she walks into the store. Then she spots the hottest alien she’s ever seen.
But any fantasy she might have is interrupted when the next guy walks in.
He looks like Santa.
Evil Santa.
And he’s got evil toys to keep her and the other shoppers locked in the store so he can do evil things to them.
Jody’s determined to get out, and hot alien, Aldyn, is determined to help her.
And if they can defeat Evil Santa, she might just find a hot Detyen male in her life and under her tree.

#alienromance #scifiromance #scifi #paranormalromance #pnr #romance #greatreads #hotread #mustread #bookbuzz


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Sharp Edges


Sharp Edges (Full Throttle #2) by Elizabeth Knox & Erin M Trejo

Cover Design by: Clarise Tan, CT Cover Creations

Models: Katie Marie & Robert Kelly

Photography by: Dante Dellamore



My name is Antonia Degrossi. I live in the best of both worlds. My father is the President of one of the most notorious MCs in Florida, and my mother, well, she is Italian royalty as far as the mafia is concerned.

I spend my time split between Roma and Florida to meet both their needs. For I’m their only child and both of their empires will eventually fall on my shoulders.

I’m a princess of two worlds: the motorcycle club, and the mafia.

Only, while my mother is eager to hand it all over to her only daughter, my father makes me prove myself.

I’m the only woman who’s ever been given two silver platters loaded with power, and I’ll do whatever it is he wants of me. Even if it means running recon on a club who’s expanding their territory.

Little do know what they’re walking into.

Yet, neither did I.

He was a man in the club. He wasn’t supposed to be anything more than that. Now here we are, our paths crossing again and everything could come crumbling down in the process.


Everything happens for a reason. At least in our world. I’m the VP of this club and for good reason. I love Miami and everything about it. This is my home.

The night she showed up in the club, I was wasted and wanted a good time.

When our paths crossed a second time, I knew it wasn’t fate. It was something more.

She’s different in every aspect of the word. She holds her head a little higher than most other girls. That gives me reason to suspect out chance encounters weren’t planned.

When our world is rocked, I have no choice but to look at the woman that caught my eye.  

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The Guy From The Internet by Birdie Song

The Guy From The Internet
Birdie Song
Publication date: November 2nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.

Holly Chee does not have her life together. She’s flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.

But she does have her channel, where she livestreams her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France… assuming he’s even who he says he is.

Goodreads / Amazon


“I didn’t know Nick was engaged, jie,” Candy remarks over water filling the sink. At first, I pretend not to hear, but she nudges me. “Did you?”

“Yeah, I knew.”

“They haven’t even been together as long as you guys were. Are you still friends with him?”

“Not really.”

“How come?”

Oh, Candy… She has no idea. Inside, I’m busting to tell her the whole story, but the words are all tangled up inside me. She’s only fifteen. How can I possibly explain the mess that was my relationship with Nick? If she wasn’t so conscientious with the dishes, she’d see me standing here, mouth opening and closing like a fish, with a dirty fork still in my hand.

“It was too hard,” I finally manage. “Different schedules, you know?”

“Ugh, great… Now they’re wet.” She flicks water off the wrist and pushes the rainbow of yarn bracelets up her arm. She holds them up to her face and grimaces. “And they smell like prawn sambal.”

“Want help taking them off?”

“No, it’s fine. They’re already wet. Gross.” She takes my plate from me. “Why did you break up with him, jie? I thought he was really nice.”

“He, um…” Could I tell her Nick cheated on me with his now-fiancée? Even just pulling the thought together makes the back of my neck burn.

“Oh…” Candy drops the plate into the water. “You didn’t break up with him, did you?”

I won’t cry in front of my little sister. She doesn’t need to see that. My lips aren’t trembling and nothing pricks my eyes, but there’s tension in my face. I can feel it. It’s the ache that lets me know I shouldn’t try to speak, lest everything fall to pieces.

I shake my head.

She puts her hands on her hips and tilts her head. “Well, it’s his loss.”

Author Bio:

I write sweet stories about people falling in love.

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Deal Breaker

For Sophie, crushing on her best friend’s brother was old news, and Max never stopped thinking about what could be even though his sister’s best friend was off-limits. When they find themselves at a destination wedding, does their first kiss end up being their last? Readers will devour this best friend’s sibling romance from Julie Archer. The Holiday Springs Resort series open for the holidays and DEAL BREAKER is now live!

Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

A fall destination wedding with friends to break up the monotony of adulting? Yes, please! It all sounded like fairy-tale bliss until Sophie remembered her best friend’s brother was going to be a groomsman. She’d been in love with Max since high school. Autumn had deemed Sophie’s crush on her brother as “gross” and vetoed any further talk about it – ever. Would it be wrong for a girl to hope for a little fun with the hottest guy in the bridal party? When a little too much booze and a game of truth or dare the night before the big wedding has Sophie planting a giant kiss on Max’s lips – and him running as fast as he could to barf after – she’s certain the two of them don’t stand a chance. Sophie was off-limits for Max but that didn’t stop him from fantasizing about her. While his word was normally his vow, his attraction wouldn’t be denied. For years, Max had dreamt of how their first kiss might be. Although he had imagined it countless ways, never did he picture it being alcohol-fuelled. His stomach lurched and he rushed to the bathroom to puke his guts out. What should’ve been an incredible greeting became yet another embarrassing experience. Now not only did Max have a massive hangover to deal with, he had to figure out a way to undo the mess he’d made with the one girl he ever really wanted. Was their first kiss their last or can Max convince Sophie it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker? Escape to the romantic paradise of Holiday Springs and warm up with your next happily ever after. Goodreads ➝


Copyright @Julie Archer 2020

Autumn’s voice chimed from the depths of my bag. “Soph? Sophie? Are you still there?” I scrabbled to retrieve the phone. “Yes, sorry. Did you hear that? It’s totally unheard of for him to offer me an early finish.” She laughed. “You should have taken it. We could have had coffee, and you could give me tips for my date.” I echoed her laughter. I was the last person she should be taking dating advice from. “Now, where were we?” “Travel plans for the wedding. You, me, Jodie.” And Max, I added silently. Ugh. Why was I thinking about him now? “Max has to be there early, for the rehearsal dinner or something, otherwise he’d drive us.” I drifted off into a fantasy of spending several hours in a confined space with Max Coady, watching him drive, the muscles in his forearms working as he took control of the wheel, breathing in his aftershave…reluctantly I shook myself back to the present. Seriously, I had to get this crush under control. Maybe I’d meet someone at the wedding who would sweep me off my feet. I sighed. Who was I kidding? Unrequited love was a bitch. Of course, I couldn’t tell Autumn this. Not since she’d decided at the age of fourteen that I couldn’t ever—EVER—date her brother. I’d had to keep my fantasies under control since then. Maybe that was one of the reasons I hadn’t managed to find a serious boyfriend. Because no one ever compared to Max. “Soph? Where are you?” Autumn’s voice broke into my reverie. “I asked what time you want to meet on Friday. It’s going to take us around an hour and a half to get there.” “Ha, longer if Jodie’s in charge of directions.” I half giggled, half grimaced. I’d been on enough road trips with Jodie to know we needed to add at least another half an hour onto our trip time. She had an uncanny knack of getting close to a place, but not actually to it. There had been plenty of times we’d driven past where we were meant to be simply because she couldn’t work out how to get us there. “Do we have a map?” “Didn’t you get the ton of information Brianna sent with the invite? I reckon there’s a map in there with directions from every state in the US!” Autumn laughed. I thought back to the day the invitation pack had plopped onto my doormat. Thicker than a college acceptance pack, it contained every single piece of information about the day. Not to mention a few pictures of throwbacks to the proposal, engagement party, and bachelor and bachelorette parties. Apart from finding out the date, I’d shoved the rest of it in a drawer in my kitchenette. I was still finding glittery horseshoes in my apartment weeks after the damn invite had been delivered. “Well, good. Because with Jodie driving, we’ll probably need them!”

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About Julie

Julie Archer is the author of contemporary romance featuring rock stars, small towns, a healthy dose of angst, some steamy times, and always a happy ever after! When not writing, she can usually be found binge-watching teen drama series on Netflix, or supporting Spurs (the English Premier League football team, not the American basketball team!) from my armchair, and running around after her two feline children, Corey and Elsa. Real angst. Real romance.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub | Instagram

About the Holiday Springs Resort Series

Nestled deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania, Holiday Springs Resort promises to bring the heat this winter! Join Forever Write PR and seven amazing authors as they take to the slopes on the adventure of a lifetime and find their happily ever afters. From hot bartenders to brooding exes, Holiday Springs Resort is the place to be. Each story features a brand new couple and a fun trope to love from our amazing line up of authors including second chance romance and best friend’s sibling to jilted brides and friends to lovers. Your holiday wonderland won’t be complete without a widower, office, and enemies to lovers romance. We’ve got a remarkable line of up must-read romance authors including, A.M. Williams, Julie Archer, Kim Bailey, Moni Boyce, S.E. Rose, Stacey Lewis, and B. Ivy Woods. Follow the Holiday Spring Resort series on Facebook for more on release dates, cover reveals, and exclusive book news ➝ This series and all promotional events are brought to you by Forever Write PR – Forever your source for all your writing needs. #BRVL
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His Dark Reflection

Title: His Dark Reflection

Series: Heart and Haven, Book Three

Author: Heloise West

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 2, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66100

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, action, blue-collar, law enforcement, mystery, crime

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Disgraced FBI agent Nick Truman failed to save his sister, who was held hostage by a drug cartel until he could give them Alex Crow, who eluded him. His epic downfall lands him in witness protection, where he plays by the rules and keeps to himself. But the murder of his neighbor brings danger to his door. He unexpectedly finds himself the champion of innocents and helplessly attracted to the homicide detective in charge of the case. Nick knows it won’t end well. Homicide Detective Hank Axelrod is good at digging out secrets, maybe because he hides a big one of his own. He also suspects his husband has one foot out of the door of their marriage and the specter of single life looms unpleasantly on the horizon. A murder resembling a previous one brings Nick into his world, a man who claims to be a mystery writer looking for a real-life resource. Hank’s instincts say he’s more than that, and he’s rarely wrong. Torn between the errant soon-to-be-ex husband and the distracting, sexy stranger, Hank needs to focus all his attention on his murder case before he becomes the next victim.


Excerpt His Dark reflection Heloise West © 2020 All Rights Reserved Hank rattled the keys in a one-handed grip to shake loose the house key from the rest. No lights on in the house and beyond late for dinner—starving and sleep deprived too. In his other hand, he held a thick file of case notes because the night wasn’t over for him yet. At least Len had left the porch light on. After letting himself into the house, he placed the file on the end table, keys on top, and toed off his shoes. The windbreaker he shrugged out of hadn’t done much to keep the spring cold off. The rocking chair in the living room creaked. Hank spun around, hand going to his holster. “Easy, cowboy.” Len yawned. He snapped on the table lamp beside him. “I fell asleep. What time is it?” “Jesus, Len. It’s two in the damn morning. Let me put this away.” At the bottom of the closet, the gun safe sat on a shelf. He knelt, spun the dial, and tucked the gun away. When he turned, Len stood, arms across his chest, brown hair tousled. Another yawn stretched his mouth wide. Hank, tired to the marrow, pulled Len into a bone-crunching hug, and Len laughed against his shoulder. Relief tickled through him. On the drive home from the station, he’d feared the house would be empty. He inhaled the scent of Len’s pricey shampoo—vanilla and sweet tobacco with a hint of whiskey. His heart twisted with anxiety. “I’m sorry. I—” “You got caught up, I know. ’Sokay.” Len yawned again. “But I’m beat. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed wants me in bright and early tomorrow, so…” He stepped away from Hank’s embrace. Hank let him go with reluctance. “There’s lasagna and meatballs in the fridge. Or maybe you’re ready for bacon and eggs?” “Neither. Both. I’ll figure dinner out while I read the case notes again. I need to make sure this guy doesn’t walk.” Len turned around. “Hon? I know. You’ll be great. You always are. Night.” “Night,” Hank responded as he picked up the paperwork. He sat in the rocker Len had vacated with the file in his lap and fell asleep with the first page between his fingers. He awoke with a snort, thinking he’d heard Len’s muffled laughter and smiled. When he glanced at his watch, twenty minutes had passed since he’d first sat down. He’d sleep in tomorrow, but he still wouldn’t have caught up on all the sleep he’d lost over this one. Hank stood and stretched his aching muscles, contemplating a shower, but his deepening desire for bed and maybe sex to relax him led him into the bedroom and not the kitchen. Len’s nightstand lamp glowed, and his side of the bed rumpled but empty. Len’s soft giggle came from the other side of the bathroom door. Hank rapped his knuckles against the oak. “Hey, babe?” The toilet flushed. “I’m washing up! Be right there.” A cold weight settled into Hank’s belly at his husband’s rushed, edge of guilty tone, slithery and with pointed scales brushing against his tender insides—a too-familiar feeling tilting the world on its axis. The bathroom door opened, and Len came out wreathed in the scent of mouthwash and minty toothpaste. “All yours.” He smiled but wouldn’t meet Hank’s eyes, making it all the harder for Hank to dislodge the sick feeling in his stomach. “Who were you talking to?” Len turned away from Hank. “One of the new interns drunk-dialed me. She’s a hoot, so we talked. Come to bed, Hank. You must be wiped out.” He slid between the sheets and pulled on the covers on Hank’s side. Liar, the serpent in his belly whispered. “I fell asleep in the rocker, so yeah, I guess I am.” Too tired to fight, he gathered up pajama bottoms and a T-shirt and headed into the bathroom. When he came out, Len lay facing away from Hank, his breathing even. Maybe asleep. Hank doubted it as he climbed into bed turned away from Len, his eyes wide in the darkness. * Hank slept later than usual, exhaustion stealing any memory of dreams he might have had. When he awoke, Len had already gone to work. What had Hank been so afraid of last night? He went into the kitchen and started up the coffee. Not the first time one of Len’s friends had called drunk or upset. Len had a lot of friends. They helped him through Hank’s late nights. Although their marriage went to hell last spring, in the end, love forced them to work things out. Hank believed in Len, still believed the tearful, heartfelt promises of renewed fidelity. He shoved a bagel into the toaster oven. But—he plopped down on a kitchen chair as if his bones had untied themselves—why did he have such a weird feeling last night? A couple of weird feelings, actually. He’d believed Len when he returned to him and promised fidelity. Yet, he spent too much time with liars, thieves, cheats, and murderers, so maybe the distrust had rubbed off on him? Or should he stick with his gut feeling Len had more to hide? It wouldn’t be the first time…but he’d hoped they’d done with the past. Ugh, second-guessing himself again. He couldn’t afford the drain on his confidence today. The toaster oven tinged. With a fork, he dragged out the bagel. He loaded it with butter and the homemade strawberry jam his mother had made. He didn’t trust much of humanity, long before he’d become a cop. Hank didn’t want the scum bleeding into their relationship. Distrust bred more distrust. He often found it tough to leave the hard-guy persona behind at the office, to let his softer side out around Len. It’d been difficult when they first met, but Len had been patient. Well, Hank would be patient too. What if a family issue had set off Hank’s alarms, a secret Len didn’t want to share yet? He’d demolished the bagel as the wheels turned in his head. Sucking on his sticky-sweet fingers of one hand, he opened the fridge with the other for a second bagel. Last night’s dinner sat wrapped in cellophane on the shelf. He had to talk to Len. But first, where did he leave the damn file?


NineStar Press | Books2Read Universal Link

Meet the Author

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance. She travels and gardens with her partner of fifteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

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Ocean Heart by Ally Aldridge

Ocean Heart
Ally Aldridge
(The Soul Heart Series, #1)
Publication date: December 1st 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

High school teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Between a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.

When Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic, she causes more harm than good. The soul reapers are coming and there’s a werewolf hungry for merblood. All secrets wash ashore sooner or later, and Mariah’s about to discover hers.

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble. Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, self acceptance, and romance that literally sparks.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


My blood began to boil… except the bubbling felt more like a tingling. Didn’t he have any compassion for what he was doing to Jace and I? The angry current coursed through my veins. So charged, I felt a need to defuse. I threw my hands in the air and screamed.

“Mariah-,” Mum began but stopped.

Dramatically, the sky lit up like a stormy backdrop to my anger. Lightning pitched down from the sky and hit the lorry, cutting the engine out. The black cloud moved in to darken the before clear sky. The first plop of rain sent a chill through my cotton t-shirt. In no time, the sky was emptying buckets of rain.

“Temper, temper,” Jace teased.

“Quick!” Mum yelled over the rumbling sky as it began to chuck it down, “Everyone inside.”

We ran in. Denny invited the removal men to take shelter in our home with the promise of sampling their famous Sparkle Cakes and a brew.

As Jace and I were about to run up the stairs, Mum pulled me to one side.

“Are you okay, Mariah?”

“What do you think?” I snapped at her stupid question.

She tugged on my sleeve. “You must stay in control of your emotions.”

I shrugged her off me and hurried up the stairs with Jace. In my room, we revelled in the storm’s blessing of extra time together. I grinned, pleased with myself as if I had caused the storm.

Author Bio:

Ally was born in London but grew up in Suffolk which is where most of her YA Fantasy novels are based.

She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, and together they are raising two cats, their son and daughter.

When Ally is not writing (or at her day job), she loves spending time with her family at the local beach, in the forest or watching way too much Netflix.

Ally loves a cup of tea and has been known to order one on a night out.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Soul Heart Readers FB Group / Twitter / Instagram


To thank everyone who orders Ocean Heart between 1 Oct and 30 Nov, they author would like to offer them the chance to win a bookish prize of goodies.

There is a UK prize and an International prize. The winner will be announced live on 1 Dec at 8pm GMT, during her launch party on YouTube:

Full details and entry here!

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Title: Restricted

Series: The Verge, Book One

Author: A.C. Thomas

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 2, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63900

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, pansexual, gay, nerd/scientist, pilot/space cowboy, space travel/road trip, space pirates, missing person, size difference, twins, virginity/loss of virginity, class difference

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Dr. Aristotle Campbell is a desperate man. His twin brother has been abducted, and Ari will do anything to find him. Forced out of the comfortable solitude of his laboratory, Ari must leave their home world of Britannia and search the farthest reaches of space for his other half. He hastily equips himself with a flawlessly tied cravat, a handful of clues, and his small science vessel. Now, all he needs is a pilot to get him across the Verge, a barrier separating the civilized world from ungoverned space. Pilot Orin Stone is a desperate man. No ship, no pay, no prospects. He spends his days barely scraping by in the rough colonies lining the Verge interior. When he gets an offer from a frantic, upper-crust professor in need of a pilot, he has no choice but to take the job. He just can’t believe it when the professor turns out to be the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen and that his offer includes a ship of Orin’s own. If Orin can keep his heart (and other portions of his anatomy) from leaping every time sweet, innocent Dr. Campbell looks at him, this should be his easiest job yet. Rugged Orin and aristocratic Ari work together to navigate the lawless areas of space beyond the Verge, soon discovering that they work well together in all areas. Their immediate and intense attraction to one another is an obstacle to their plans that neither saw coming. More than sparks will fly when they break through the force field and enter restricted space, all alone together for the perilous journey, leaving barriers to their growing attachment far behind. In their search across the stars, can two desperate men find their home in one another?


Restricted A.C. Thomas © 2020 All Rights Reserved Chapter One “You want me to do what?” Ari straightened his shoulders, hands folded together on the table between them, suppressing a wince as his skin stuck unpleasantly to a thick smear of residue best left uninvestigated. Somewhere behind him the sound of glass breaking was followed by a bowel-shaking roar, a meaty impact, scuffling sounds, and hearty guffaws. Definitively best left uninvestigated. He sniffed quietly, regretting the action as the odor of stale beer and unwashed bodies assaulted his senses. Forcing himself to meet his companion’s bored regard, he cleared his throat before speaking in as firm a tone as he could manage. “In the interest of saving both of our time, I’ll cut to the chase. I require a pilot capable of navigating uncharted areas with immediate availability and a willingness to negotiate a flexible pay schedule.” Mr. “Call me Orin, honey” Stone slumped back in his seat with careless, sprawling grace, the edge of one enormous scuffed leather boot sliding across the floor to rest a millimeter away from the polished black toes of Ari’s spats. “So, just so we’re clear— You’re asking me to find you a pilot ready to jump right across the Verge into the deepest, slimiest dark, for—and this is the bit that really sticks in my throat, pumpkin— You want me to find you some sap willing to do all that for, apparently, no pay.” Keen bourbon eyes swept Ari from head to toe, that restless boot finally edging just close enough to touch. “You’re cute, sugar. But you’re off your rocker.” Ari’s chair scraped against the floor as he jolted forward in his seat, one hand closing around the fraying cuff of Orin’s greatcoat. “This is a matter of utmost urgency. My brother is—” He paused to clear his throat after an embarrassing crack in his voice. “My brother is missing; he has been abducted by an Outlier fiend, and I am utilizing every resource at my disposal to ensure his safe return. My inquiries led me to you, with the assurance you could facilitate a jump with immediate effect. Now I demand that you either provide said assistance, or you cease wasting my time.” Orin fixated on the white-knuckled grip holding his sleeve. The coiled strength of his thick forearm underscored Ari’s awareness that he could break free at a moment’s notice with very little energy expended. “What kind of resources are we talking, here?” Orin’s eyes narrowed under a heavy brow, the sweep of space-black lashes unexpectedly elegant against his brutish visage. Ari drew a long breath, attempting to steady his resolve. “I possess a three-year-old Xalanthe Explorer model 953V. It is in exemplary condition, and I am prepared to offer it as payment upon my brother’s safe return to our home on Britannia.” Before he finished speaking, Orin sat up in his chair, the full extent of his imposing size suddenly evident even while seated. He turned his hand in Ari’s grip, long fingers wrapping easily around his thin wrist. “You’re trading your ship. A brand-new ship. To any asshole willing to fly it? Just to finish a little game of hide-and-seek with your brother who—no offense, Red—sounds like he ran off with a bit of strange?” Aristotle bristled, slim shoulders rising to his ears as the heat of an angry flush spread from the unfortunate ginger of his precisely parted hairline down to the white of his starched collar points. “He did not ‘run off’! He was abducted. I have no more time to waste with your nonsense, sir. Are you able to assist in my endeavor, or shall I continue pursuing a pilot on my own?” A lopsided grin spread across his companion’s face, revealing a hint of prominent canine and a surprisingly charming set of dimples. Orin gave another insolent sweep of his gaze, ticking to the length of Ari’s throat rising above his cravat. The rumble of his voice dropped low enough that Ari had to strain to hear him above the surrounding chaos. “Hmm, that depends, Red. That blush go all the way down?” The clatter of the cheap aluminum chair against the cracking concrete floor was lost in the cacophony of raucous laughter, clinking glasses, and blaring synth music that characterized drinking establishments on the rough ring of colonies lining the Verge. Ari wrenched his arm away as he stood, breaking free. He turned his back, adjusting his waistcoat with trembling fingers as he wracked his brain for alternative solutions. He had only taken a half step away from the table when a firm grip on his coattails wrenched him backward. He swung around, fists in a pugilist’s stance, raised to the smiling face of Mr. Stone. “Whoa now, slow up there, professor. If you’re wanting to trade a whole damn ship for the temporary services of some sleazy sack of shit with a pilot’s license, I got just the guy you need.” Knees weak with relief, Ari nearly attempted to sit before remembering he had overturned his chair, which was now likely glued to the filthy floor of the saloon. “Excellent. Where can I find this person?” That lopsided grin opened up into a full-blown smile, revealing rows of white, uneven teeth. “You’re looking at him, sweetheart.” Ari twitched at the endearment, unaccustomed to the way they seemed to drip from the pilot’s every phrase like butter melting off the plate. He turned fully to face him, coattails twining around his narrow hips as Orin maintained his grip, tugging once with a waggle of thick brows at Ari’s resulting unintentional pelvic thrust before releasing him with a flourish. Orin pushed off from the table, broad shoulders rising up and up to just above Ari’s line of sight. Ari swallowed an obvious comment on the pilot’s intimidating height, realizing how much he’d underestimated the man’s size. Ari stared straight ahead at the hollow of Mr. Stone’s throat, bronze skin left exposed by the open vee of his collarless shirt. A few dark, curling hairs peeked out of the opening, inches from Aristotle’s nose. A strange fluttering sensation swept through his abdomen at the sight. Recognizing the sensation as inappropriate at best and disastrous at worst, Ari turned on stiff legs and led the way out of the saloon, doing his utmost to avoid brushing up against the rough clientele. Heads swiveled to follow Ari even as they ignored the much larger figure of Mr. Stone following close behind his every step. Ari ducked his head as they emerged into the daylight, squinting against the intrusive brightness before heading off toward the nearest dry dock, zeroing in on his ship after a few minutes’ walk. Mr. Stone was a silent shadow at his back, footsteps shockingly light for a man of his size. The small exploratory vessel stood out among the busted-up freighters and speeders cluttering the dock. Clean panels of riveted steel shaped the subtle curves framing the centerpiece—a large frontal view screen. The only unnecessary ornament was that of the exaggerated dorsal fin, the sight of which had caused Aristotle’s brother to laugh out loud when they first purchased the ship. Ari’s back stiffened at a low whistle, two familiar notes usually directed with prurient interest. Mr. Orin Stone was circling his ship, one hand, large and square as a shovel head, trailing long fingers over the surface with surprising reverence. “What’s your name, beautiful?” He directed his inquiry to the ship but turned to Aristotle as though expecting an answer. Ari cleared his throat. “As I have previously mentioned, it is a Xalanthe—” Orin cut him off with a rude sound pushed between full lips. “She.” Ari opened his mouth to reply, mistaking a brief pause for the conclusion of the pilot’s statements. “Ship’s a she. And she’s a pretty little thing, deserves a name. If you don’t have one for her yet, I can think of something fancy to call her. Something with a bit of glitter to it. Little lady like this one deserves to shine.” His eyes in turn glittered at Ari, sparkling with amusement and apparent satisfaction upon viewing the small science vessel. Without looking away, he spat into one rough palm before holding it out to Aristotle as if to shake. “You’ve got yourself a deal, Red.” Ari recoiled from the offered hand, curling his own into protective fists at the notion of sealing a verbal contract with an exchange of bodily fluids. “That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.” Orin’s throaty laughter rang out against the polished metal panels of the ship exterior, echoing across the shipyard. “Is it now? Well, stick with me, sugar; I could really expand your horizons.”


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Meet the Author

A.C. Thomas left the glamorous world of teaching preschool for the even more glamorous world of staying home with her toddler. Between the diaper changes and tea parties, she escapes into fantastical worlds, reading every romance available and even writing a few herself. She devours books of every flavor—science fiction, historical, fantasy—but always with a touch of romance because she believes there is nothing more fantastical than the transformative power of love.

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Bitterburn by Ann Aguirre

Title: Bitterburn
Series: Gothic Fairytales #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 31, 2020


Amarrah Brewer is desperate and grief-stricken.
For ages, the town of Bitterburn has sent tribute to the Keep at the End of the World, but a harsh winter leaves them unable to pay the toll that keeps the Beast at bay. Amarrah volunteers to brave what no one has before—to end the threat or die trying.

The Beast of Bitterburn has lost all hope.
One way or another, Njål has been a prisoner for his entire life. Monstrous evil has left him trapped and lonely, and he believes that will never change. There is only darkness in his endless exile, never light. Never warmth. Until she arrives.

It’s a tale as old as time… where Beauty goes to confront the Beast and falls in love instead.


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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ann Aguirre has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in Mexico with her family. She writes all kinds of genre fiction, but she has an eternal soft spot for a happily ever after.


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Then He Happened by Claudia Burgoa

Then He Happened
Claudia Burgoa
Publication date: May 6th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Jason is a cynical rich playboy.
He doesn’t take life seriously,
He doesn’t believe in settling down.

Eileen’s thirtieth birthday is almost here.
But as always she’s her parent’s afterthought.
Her family is too busy planning a shotgun wedding for her older sister—and she has to help.
It’s just another year where she’s overlooked.
But the best man is smoking hot and actually notices her and makes her feel special.

Jason doesn’t believe in commitment, but Eileen intrigues him.

She’s not the kind of girl he usually hooks up with.

She doesn’t even fall for his charm.
He’s made it his task to convince her that he’s not the shallow man she thinks he is.
But can Jason give up his playboy lifestyle to become what Eileen needs?

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It’s a perfect day to take one last trip to Steamboat before the season closes.

But where am I?

Racing from Boulder to Colorado Springs to look at a wedding venue for my cousin. Marek fucking owes me.

When I heard they would extend the ski season this year, I was so excited. But how well that worked out. Saturdays are supposed to be fun days.

I don’t ask for much. I just need a place, a plan, a beautiful companion, and a bottle of liquor. See? Straight forward, nice and easy. That keeps me satiated for an entire weekend. It really doesn’t take much to keep me happy and satisfied.

What’s abso-fucking-lutely not satisfying, is touring the grounds of the Broadmoor to scout the perfect place for a shotgun wedding.

“So what’s wrong with Vegas again?” I suggest, half joking.

Eileen shrugs. “Nothing. It’s a great town, really weird. Lots of movies take place there. I don’t know why people hate on it so much.”

“But for a shotgun wedding or maybe eloping?” I clarify. “My assistant can make the reservations. I’ll get a plane. We’ll be there before six. There are plenty of venues. We could probably pick one on the spot.”

She laughs. Like seriously laughs for about a minute like I just said the funniest, most amazing joke in the history of jokes.

When she finally sobers up, she asks with that curious voice, “Did you run that idea by Charlie already?”

I rub the back of my neck sheepishly. “No.”

“Well if you do, I want to be right there. I’ll have my camera ready.”

I shoot her an unimpressed frown. “I’m not joking.”

“Me neither.” She shakes her head, laughing once again. “She’ll try to kill you right on the spot. That’s worth taping.”

“Oh come on, it’s a great idea,” I insist.

“You’re talking about my sister,” she says, waving her journal in my face. “She thinks the only wedding worth having is a wedding that’s as glamorous as a royal affair.”

“We could make Vegas glamorous,” I grumble.

“Mom wouldn’t like it either. What about the guests? Would you fly all of them, pay for the accommodations and their expenses?”

Well, I can’t argue with that. I shrug. She smiles and looks back at the horizon.

“I think either here or the Mountain View Terrace,” I say because I’m done exploring the grounds.

“What do you think?”

She hums. “I think the Mountain View Terrace would be perfect at sunset. Especially if we take this place up on that discount for doing Friday instead of Saturday.”

That sounds reasonable. “Okay, but will her royal obnoxiousness, Princess Charlie agree to that?”

Eileen snorts. “As long as it looks amazing on her Instagram account, I’m sure she’ll agree to that.”

She seems so sure of herself. But with all the bullshit we’ve been through and all the crap her sister’s put her through, I don’t want us to fuck this up.

“But is this the place?” I ask earnestly.

She looks around for a bit. Her eyes comb over every inch of this place so meticulously.

“What do you think?” I ask while she studies the landscape and compares it with the pictures.

She stands on the middle of the gazebo looks left right and then toward the mountains.

“Does it make you want to say I do?” she asks curiously.

I shake my head. “There’s nothing that would make me stand up in front of a bunch of people and say I do.” Again, I don’t say.

“So a smaller setting?” She doesn’t even look at me as she talks. She’s admiring the mountain view. “This isn’t too big. They said up to a hundred and thirty guests. We don’t have to invite everyone to the ceremony. We’ll take whatever they have for the reception.”

It’s still too many people, I think.

She turns back to me, as if reading my fucking mind. “You’re being weirdly quiet. Still deciding about your ideal wedding?”

Instead of responding, I ask a question of my own. “Does this place make you want to tie your life to another person?”

She squints, craning her neck to look up at me. For a few beats she remains quiet.

“I don’t know if this is the place,” she says. “First I’d need the right guy. I’m not getting married to just anyone.”

“So you’re still looking for him?”

She turns to look at me and flashes this smile she has on her face so fucking much. There’s such tenderness in those eyes. That face just soothes me.

“I’m too busy to get a haircut let alone date someone who isn’t worth my time. But you know, I wouldn’t marry someone just because I got pregnant.”

“Like your sister,” I say what she’s trying to avoid.

She shrugs.

“I look at her and Marek and I’m just not feeling it” she says, taking the scene in one more time before walking toward me. “Wouldn’t you want to organize the most important day of your life?”

“I think they’re busy trying to score a house,” I say.

“When I find a guy worth shit, I don’t want to be worried about a wedding or where we’re going to live.”

The air is thin here. It goes well with the crisp afternoon air. Eileen is cool, but calloused when it comes to love. Wonder if it’s a family trait and she’s just a gold digger.

So I prod a little. “What if he can only afford a studio, doesn’t have a car or can afford to pay for the wedding of your dreams?”

“Maybe that’s why 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce,” she says. “People get married all the time for all the wrong reasons. You do it because you’ve come to realize that someone cares enough to see your bullshit and love you anyway. If you’re too concerned about her looks, her job…where she lives…you’re wasting your time.”

She sighs. “I don’t think that many weddings are about love. They’re a convoluted status symbol. If you want it so badly, just elope.”

My eyebrows shoot up. Well fuck, I wasn’t expecting that. “What if you can afford the wedding?”

She gives me an impish smile. “Then, I’ll think about inviting a few people and do something small. Ten, fifteen people from each side of the family. You seem like the kind of guy that would let her do everything pay for it. You like to please people.”

“And why the fuck would I do that?”

“Middle child, we have the tendency to make everyone happy, right?”

“Maybe I would help her organize it.” I let my gaze wander around, anywhere but her direction. “I’m here, aren’t I?”

That last statement doesn’t sit well. We don’t know each other, and she just assumes—not that she’s wrong about it.

“Come on,” she says inviting me to stand right by the gazebo. “Let’s try this out.”

“Try it?”

“Duh, we need to test drive this place.” She extends her hand wiggling her fingers as she calls me to her. “What do you think?”

I take her hand. It’s warm. Her grip soft yet firm. She feels so familiar. I don’t know what it is that I’m waiting for as I stand right in front of her. She squeezes my hand, kinda like she’s saying, “chill the fuck out.”

Reluctantly, I take a deep breath. This place smells like pine with hints of hazelnut and cherry? Warm and bright, just like her. Her eyes stare at me curiously. Then, she nudges me to stare at the horizon again.

“Could you?” she whispers with a chuckle. “Doesn’t it make you want to fall stupidly in love?”

The sky goes on forever. Just like her laugh.

I swallow thickly, terrified of how she made my heart beat fast.

“Yeah,” I mumble, holding her tight because I don’t want to fall.

Author Bio:

Claudia is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Colorado, working for a small IT. She has three children and manages a chaotic household of two confused dogs, and a wonderful husband who shares her love of all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

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