Release Blitz

CRASHING EAST by Aly Stiles

♪ 𝙃𝙊𝙏 𝙉𝙀𝙒 𝙍𝙀𝙇𝙀𝘼𝙎𝙀 ♪

𝐂𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐄𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐲 𝐀𝐥𝐲 𝐒𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄! 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐬-𝐭𝐨-𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞-𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭/𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫 𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞! 𝟏-𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲!

BLURB He’s the bane of her existence. She’s the latest thorn in his side. Until angry sparks hint at a passionate blaze. Personal Assistant Hadley Crawford was already against her boss’s decision to front a new band with a disgraced ex-rocker. Imagine her surprise when Viv’s new bandmate is also the arrogant jerk from upstairs. So what if he’s talented, hot, and captivating? People resist unhealthy attractions all the time. What’s the step below rock bottom? That’s where Julian Campbell lives after the collapse of his former band and the death of his sister. A year later, things only get worse when his deadbeat brother-in-law drops off his niece and never comes back. The last thing he needs right now is his nightmare neighbor showing up to thwart his one chance at getting back on his feet. But things get complicated when painful secrets turn a bitter rivalry into a risky attraction. What if the same fire driving them apart is the only thing strong enough to save them? CRASHING EAST is an enemies-to-lovers and single-parent/guardian rockstar romance that can be read as a standalone. Add to your Goodreads TBR http://bit.ly/CE_GR PURCHASE LINKS US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RY6Z3YD UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RY6Z3YD AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08RY6Z3YD CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08RY6Z3YD Universal: http://mybook.to/CrashingEast Catch up with the series: Book 1 – Rising West ➤ http://mybook.to/RisingWest Book 2 – Falling North ➤ http://mybook.to/FallingNorth Book 3 – Breaking South ➤ http://mybook.to/BreakingSouth TEASER ABOUT THE AUTHOR From angsty and dark to snort-laugh funny, Aly writes romance from her soul to yours. AUTHOR LINKS Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/alystiles Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20866879.Aly_Stiles Facebook https://www.facebook.com/authoralystiles/ Facebook Reader Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlysBreakfastClub/ Newsletter http://www.subscribepage.com/r4a5s1 Promo Master List (bloggers) https://www.subscribepage.com/r4a5s1_masterlist Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authoralystiles/ Twitter https://twitter.com/aly_stiles Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/authoralystiles/ Spotify https://spoti.fi/2BThWpZ Website http://www.alystiles.com/ YouTube – Author Aly Stiles https://bit.ly/35ibyY8
Cover Reveal

Dare Darker by Pepper North


 

☆.¸(*•.¸(´*•.¸(*•.*★*.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.☆
✯•••✯ ✰ COVER REVEAL! ✰ ✯•••✯
☆.•*(¸.•*(¸.•*(¸.•*★*•.¸)`*•.)`*•.¸)*•.☆

Dare Darker by Pepper North

Number one bestselling erotic author, Pepper North, dares to go darker in the Leave Me Breathless Black Rose Collection…

Do you want your fantasies to come true?

When this simple question appears on her computer, Mia Daniels dares to answer ‘Yes’. One honest response sends the willowy brunette on a collision course with her every forbidden desire.

Domineering and magnetic, Rafael Montalvo selects Mia to be his at first sight. Soon, she is ensnared in his shadowy world, unable to resist the new life that he controls completely. Rafael’s darkness just might be everything Mia has ever needed. And so much more.

*** TRIGGER WARNING: The stories in the Black Rose Collection are considered dark romance. Some aspects may be sensitive for some readers. ***

#Steamyreads #bookstagram #Romancebooks #Bookaholic #Booklover #readersofinstagram #bibliophile #statstory #goodreads #oneclick #booklovers #instabook #igbooks #bookish #bookshelf #TBR #bookboyfriend #bookaddict #ilovebooks #contemporaryromance
@dragonfly ink publishing @Leave Me Breathless @Pepper North @cherylsliterarycorner
Uncategorized

STRAIGHT UP by Charity Ferrell


 

🧡🧡 TEASER BLAST 🧡🧡

𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐔𝐩 𝐛𝐲 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝐧𝐝! 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐲’𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲!
𝐏𝐫𝐞-𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲! 


Amazon US: https://amzn.to/37KwYgk

Amazon World: https://bit.ly/3eQyzn7

Apple: https://apple.co/2YVI4Lg

B&N: https://bit.ly/3dU7Pla

Google Play: https://bit.ly/311CZ7a

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3e2XL9L

UNIVERSAL: https://books2read.com/straightupbook

Lincoln:
I went from a penthouse to sleeping in a prison cell.
From the VP of a million-dollar empire to a felon.
All for a crime I didn’t commit.
Now that I’m free, I vow to stay out of trouble.
The only problem? She’s trouble wrapped in a bow.

Cassidy:
My type? Bad boys.
Until my bad boy boyfriend got me arrested.
I’ve moved to a new town and sworn off relationships.
Until I meet him … my Prince Charming … fresh out of prison.
Trouble and bad boys never felt so good … until it all falls apart.


Add to your Goodreads TBR list: http://bit.ly/SU_CF_GR

Bloggers sign up to review here: http://bit.ly/3suhiI5

#comingsoon #StraightUp #Charity Ferrell #TwistedFoxSeries #needtoreaditnow #readmoreromance #booknerdigan #bookaholic #wildfiremarketingsoluti
Release Boost

Tore by Kat Mizera

Tore by Kat Mizera is available now!
Single Mom Second Chance Hockey Romance

Amazon — https://amzn.to/2KcYNqi
Universal — getbook.at/Tore
Apple — http://apple.co/3nFuB5q
Nook — http://bit.ly/34m05pO
Kobo — http://bit.ly/37s0qJC

Swedish-born hockey player Tore Brekken thought he’d be a bachelor for life. The parties, the women, the lavish vacations— and the Ferrari. He had everything he could ever want, but his extreme lifestyle has been taking a toll. As much as he hated to admit it, he needed to settle down. He just didn’t expect to go from seriously single to daddy material overnight.

Single mom Margot Delgado’s life revolves around her four-year-old daughter Gracie. Tired of being let down, she doesn’t have time to waste dating men she can’t count on. Especially some hotshot hockey player with a playboy reputation as big as his… bank account.

But when the annual Fantasy Night rolls around, Margot decides to let her hair down— and for once she isn’t just someone’s mom, but someone’s wildest fantasy. From the first taste she knows she could get drunk on the way Tore makes her feel, and one night with him will never be enough.

When reality comes crashing down, and things get complicated, will they both be willing to risk it all for a chance to win big?

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Kat Mizera is a South Florida native. Born in Miami Beach with a healthy dose of wanderlust, she’s called Los Angeles, Long Island, upstate New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Atlanta home. She’s never been able to pick which locale is her favorite, but if pressed, she’d probably choose the west coast.

A typical PTA mom with a wonderful and supportive husband (Kevin) and two amazing boys (Nick and Max), Kat can usually be found scrapbooking or indulging in her second love (after writing) – traveling. Greece is one of her favorite places in the world. She loves that Athens is a big city with a small-town feel. The food, beaches and culture keep her going back as often as possible.

Kat’s been a working freelance writer for nearly 30 years. She sold her first article–a review of a rock concert–for $10 in 1985. Since then she’s been an entertainment journalist, waitress, bartender, legal assistant, food critic, magazine editor, substitute teacher, and sports writer. She also spent some time working at A & M Records in Los Angeles.

As you can guess from her Las Vegas Sidewinders series, Kat loves hockey and occasionally writes articles about her favorite team, the Florida Panthers. The rest of the time, she writes novels: sexy, romantic fiction that she hopes makes you as happy as it makes her. There’s something enticing about hockey players and romance…

Connect with Kat:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatmizera/
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lzRBG6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKatMiz
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2li6zRe
Website: http://www.katmizera.com

Cover Reveal

Dare Darker by Pepper North

Do you dare to enter the dark?
Dare Darker by Pepper North is coming February 9th.
Check out the heart-stopping cover!

PREORDER TODAY:
US: https://amzn.to/3p4v1TF
UK: http://amzn.to/3sL9NMT
CA: http://amzn.to/3peY6Mc
AU: http://amzn.to/2M2XASZ

#coverreveal #covershare #comingsoon #preorder #darkromance #romancenovels #romancebooks #steamyreads

BLURB:

Number one bestselling erotic author, Pepper North, dares to go darker in the Leave Me Breathless Black Rose Collection…

Do you want your fantasies to come true? 

When this simple question appears on her computer, Mia Daniels dares to answer ‘Yes’. One honest response sends the willowy brunette on a collision course with her every forbidden desire. 

Domineering and magnetic, Rafael Montalvo selects Mia to be his at first sight. Soon, she is ensnared in his shadowy world, unable to resist the new life that he controls completely. Rafael’s darkness just might be everything Mia has ever needed. And so much more.   

*** TRIGGER WARNING: The stories in the Black Rose Collection are considered dark romance. Some aspects may be sensitive for some readers. ***

About Pepper

USA Today bestselling author Pepper North is a hybrid author whose contemporary, paranormal, dark and erotic romances have won the hearts of many loyal readers. After publishing her first book, Zoey: Dr. Richards’ Littles 1 on Amazon in July 2017, she now has over fifty books and collections available on Amazon in four series.

She is one of Amazon’s Most Popular Erotic Authors, rising to number one in the top 100. She credits her success to her amazing fans, the support of the writing community, and her dedication to writing.

Follow Pepper Online!
Amazon — amzn.to/3pJwbVw
BookBub — bookbub.com/authors/pepper-north
Facebook — facebook.com/4peppernorth
Goodreads — bit.ly/36ROTBL
Instagram — instagram.com/4peppernorth
Pinterest — pinterest.com/4peppernorth
Twitter — twitter.com/4peppernorth
Web — 4peppernorth.club
YouTube — bit.ly/3lPBAb3


Pre Order

In Flames by Elise Faber

In Flames by Elise Faber releases on January 25th!

Amazon — https://amzn.to/3hf13JB
Universal — getbook.at/InFlames
Apple — http://apple.co/2KkMFnn
Nook — http://bit.ly/34DOrH3
Kobo — http://bit.ly/3mGUwJ0
Google — http://bit.ly/3pgOLmV

Healer Suz was known for her cool head, steady presence, and impeccable composure under pressure—a pressure that included magical attacks against her people, the Rengalla, and her on the front lines, healing any injuries they sustained.

But her position at the Colony was more than that.

If someone twisted their ankle, she repaired the tendons and ligaments.
If a baby was being born, she was there, welcoming them into the world.
If an idiot soldier got hurt doing idiot soldier things, she yelled at them . . . then healed whatever injury had brought them her way.

She took care of people. The need was ingrained in her heart and soul.

Along with . . . loneliness.

She wanted someone of her own she could take care of.

The trouble was she wanted a particular someone.

And Graham hadn’t ever bothered to give her the time of day.

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author, Elise Faber, loves chocolate, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team—the Sharks!—are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise changes her hair color more often than some people change their socks, loves sparkly things, and is the mom to two exuberant boys.

She lives in Northern California. Connect with her in her Facebook group, the Fabinators or email her at elisefaberauthor@gmail.com.


Connect with Elise!

Website: https://www.elisefaber.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisefaberauthor/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fabinators
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/elisefaber
Twitter: https://twitter.com/faberelise
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bdnmEj
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2Ilspyd

Book Tour

Indigo

Indigo
by Paula Berinstein
Genre: Time Travel Romance, Adventure
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation?
Esther Rubens is looking forward to getting to know her new community in South Carolina and repairing her troubled marriage. But as soon as she arrives in Charleston her life begins to diverge from the idyllic picture in her mind. Her physicist husband, Melvin, is arrested for driving while black, she inherits a strange English property from a cousin she didn’t know existed, and she learns that her great-grandmother Sophie, a brilliant scientist kidnapped by the Nazis, discovered the secret of time travel of all things.
Intrigued by Sophie’s cryptic journal Melvin begins to experiment with time travel, but his anger at the police makes him careless. The process backfires, killing him and throwing Esther back to 1750. Attacked by an unknown assailant the moment she arrives, she seeks protection at an indigo plantation belonging to a dashing planter with a dangerous secret, negotiating a deal that guarantees her safety. But she soon realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. What she discovers on the plantation is far more horrific than anything she could have imagined.
Overwhelmed, she attempts to flee just as the planter’s mysterious, handsome brother arrives from England seeking refuge-and offering an opportunity that’s too compelling to turn down. But can he be trusted? And are the two of them strong enough to vanquish the evil that’s pervading the lowlands? Only time will tell.
The first title in the Indigo series.
Paula Berinstein (Paula B) is the author of the Amanda Lester, Detective middle-grade/YA series, which features a descendant of the Sherlock Holmes character Inspector Lestrade and is set in the English Lake District.
She is also the author of a new time travel series for adults, Indigo.
From 2005 to 2012, Paula produced and hosted the popular podcast The Writing Show (http://www.writingshow.com). She holds degrees in English literature and librarianship from UCLA.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon giftcard– 2 winners!
Blog Tour

More Heat Than The Sun Series by John Wiltshire

more heat than the sun

Series Blog Tour & Excerpt:

More Heat Than The Sun Series By John Wiltshire


Book 3: The Bridge of Silver Wings Out Now

3_Book 3JW_ Cover

Released January 22nd

Nikolas and Ben discover that bonds aren’t forged with blood or scars, but in the hearts of men strong enough to love.

Siberia in winter isn’t a place for good men. There is nothing Nikolas won’t do to keep Ben alive. Nikolas has exorcised his demons, but when they end up stranded in Russia, the monster inside needs to be let loose. Ben discovers the truth of the adage, ‘be careful what you wish for’!

Home again, Nikolas then faces an enemy he can’t defeat: Ben Rider himself. Discovering a new family, Ben realizes he’s been living too long in the shadows cast by Nikolas’s all-consuming love. For the first time, life apart from Nikolas is possible.

Is Nikolas strong enough to let Ben go?

Universal Link

Goodreads

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Excerpt from The Bridge Of Silver Wings

Nikolas had forgotten how quickly kissing always swelled desires that couldn’t be satisfied in public. But the need this time, and after the shock he’d received, was more urgent than usual. He glanced around the dark, underground space and pushed Ben into a shadowed corner. After a while, though, he held Ben off, reluctantly, his face stinging from stubble, knowing Ben’s would be too. “I don’t like you in this job either, Ben. I’m jealous of the people you meet, and what I know they want from you. We’re not saints, either of us, and the temptations put in front of you are exceptional now. I understand that.” Ben kissed into Nikolas’s neck, one of Ben’s favourite places, where, Ben told him, he always smelt so incredibly good. “I’m not tempted.” He shook Nikolas a little to make his point. “That’s exactly what I’m trying to say. I never have been since I met you.” Ben gave his neck a little nip. “Maybe it’s because I’m scared you’re going to kill me if I fuck someone else.” Nikolas laughed ruefully. “Yes. I apologise for that comment. I was…upset. What are you doing?” Ben tapped him reprovingly on the nose. “After all these years you still haven’t worked out what I’m doing when I do this?” Nikolas closed his eyes and swayed as Ben found and released his cock. Then he shook his head. “Not in here. I draw the line, Benjamin.” He stilled Ben’s hand and readjusted his clothing. “Come. We’ll talk more about this later. Perhaps things do need to change again.” Ben grunted with thwarted desire but began to walk back to the car. Nikolas caught his arm. “One thing, I’m not bored with you.” He clearly could have elaborated, but it wasn’t in his nature, wasn’t his inclination, to talk about things. Nikolas preferred to do; as soon as he got Ben home, he indulged his preference. He took Ben as soon as they came in through the red door, pushing him to the floor of the hallway. He kissed him all through their shower and then, in bed, gave Ben his body, and when Ben was fully sated, Nikolas rose over him again and possessed him one more time, until their flesh was almost seared with the other, melted together. Only then, when neither could have raised a flag for another round, let alone the necessary equipment, Nikolas whispered softly into the back of Ben’s neck, “I thought you were leaving me.” Sometimes, he avowed things in the dark he couldn’t say in the brighter, more critical light of day. Ben rolled over to face him, pulling the covers higher over their shoulders. “Do you know, sometimes I wish we’d never taken off those handcuffs. That everywhere I go you’d have to come, too, because you’d be attached to me and couldn’t get away. That’s what I feel, Nik. You’re moving away from me. Why didn’t you talk to me about Russia? Why can’t I come, too? Jesus, I sound like a whiny baby. I hate what you’ve turned me into. This obsession I have with you isn’t normal.” Nikolas stroked thoughtfully over Ben’s cheekbone with the pad of his thumb as he listened to Ben’s attempt to sound rational. Ben stilled the hand. “Do you remember what you told me once, that when you were a boy on Aeroe no one liked you because you were so wild, so different?” Nikolas nodded. “I was beaten continually, but it never made any difference.” “Why not?” “I don’t understand what you mean. Why should I change to suit other people’s inadequacy?” “Jesus, Nik, you were just a boy. How could you’ve been so sure of yourself? It’s not normal. What if they hadn’t disliked you; what if they’d loved you and what you did hurt them? Maybe no one could understand why you constantly did things that hurt them. Everyone I spoke with on Aeroe loved you more than Nikolas, but you drove them to distraction, pushed them away with your refusal to compromise. Do you see what I’m saying? There’s a fine line between love and hate, obsession and loathing.” “You’re saying your obsession, as you so flatteringly put it, will turn to loathing unless I take you to Russia with me.” “Oh, you’re the very devil when you’re in this mood.” “What? I’m in a very good mood now. You’re not leaving me, and I’m your obsession. Oh, and you paid for dinner, for once.” “It’s never going to be how I want it between us though, is it?” “You’d want us just like this all day and all night, wouldn’t you? Be honest, Ben.” Ben sighed and rolled onto his back. “Yes. I guess I would.” “Would you allow us to leave the bed to eat?” “You’d be handcuffed to me, remember? So we’d have to leave together.” “That would make pissing interesting.” Nikolas began to trail his fingers around from Ben’s chest down to his belly button and up again.
JW_rerelease twitter ad

Book 4: The Other Country

4_Book 4JW_ Cover

Releasing January 29th

Nikolas is the sanest, straightest, person Ben knows, so can anyone tell him, why is he on a gay therapy course?

Nikolas Mikkelsen could make a very long list of unpleasant things he’s endured in his life. Then order it from ‘nearly killed me’ to ‘extremely horrific and don’t want to do again’. And what did it say about his forty-five years that being hit by a tsunami would be a considerable way down this list? But nothing, not torture, imprisonment, nor starvation has prepared him for what he now has to endure for Ben Rider’s sake-attendance on a residential, gay therapy course. At least he has a new contender for the top spot on his ‘my awful life’ list.

Pre-Order Universal Link

Goodreads

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Go back to were is all began…

Book 1: Love Is A Stranger

1_book1JW_ Cover

Released January 8th

Loving a total stranger can be very hard work sometimes. How do you love someone who exists entirely in the shadows? How do you love a man who describes himself as dead? How do you get that ghost to love you back?

Ex-SAS soldier Ben Rider falls in love with his enigmatic married boss Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen, but Nikolas is living a lie. A lie so profound that when the shadows are lifted, Ben realises he’s in love with a very dangerous stranger. Ben has to choose between Nikolas and safety, but sometimes danger comes in a very seductive package.

Universal Link

Goodreads

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Book 2: Conscious Decisions of the Heart

2_book2JW_ Cover

Released January 15th

Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen learn that danger comes in all shapes and sizes and often in places you least expect it. Nikolas’s dark past calls to him, inexorably dragging him back into its seductive embrace.

While he goes on an errand of mercy to Russia, Ben travels to Denmark to learn Nikolas’s language. Convinced Russia’s vastness will swallow Nikolas, Ben doesn’t see the enemy much closer to home. Thinking he has lost Nikolas, Ben then makes a terrible decision that threatens to destroy everything they have together.

Focused on this very personal horror, bound by a new level of commitment, they have no idea that a greater threat is coming. And when it arrives, it changes everything—even the definition of commitment.

Warning: This story contains the violent death of a minor character and some graphic violence and gay sex.

Universal Link

Goodreads

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Books 5-8 Coming Soon

all 8

Series Universal Link

Goodreads


JW AUTHOR AVATAR

About John:

John Wiltshire is the pen name. The author was born in England, but she travelled widely whilst serving in the British Army, living in the States and Canada and Europe. She retired at the rank of Major, and finally settled in New Zealand.

To date the author has written 14 novels.

Connect with John: http://johnwiltshire.co.nz https://www.facebook.com/johnwiltshire.nz Amazon Page | Goodreads


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Excerpt Reveal

Enemy Dearest

 









Amazon 


























I loved him. I lost him. And now he’s back. 


August Monreaux was a stormy sea of a man, the dark between the stars, an electric chill cutting through a crowded room—all wrapped into one wicked, beautiful package. 


He was also off-limits. 


My entire life, I was kept a safe distance from the notoriously virulent Monreauxs, banned from so much as breathing the same air. And like the good daughter I was, I obeyed those rules. 


Until the one time I didn’t …


Only while I sampled him, he devoured me like the forbidden fruit that I was. And in the blink of an eye, my worst enemy became my first love. His poison became my antidote. His touch, my addiction. 


After we severed our ill-fated ties, I thought I’d never see him again. 


Until he crashed back into my life at the worst possible moment—and asked me to marry him.


But it wasn’t that simple.


It never is. 


Turns out marrying a wealthy powerhouse of a man comes with a price. 


But walking away, could cost me everything.









“Drink up, Rose girl,” he says. “The night is young.”

Out of politeness, I take a sip. It’s bitter on my tongue and smells like a more expensive version of the canned beer my father drinks after a weekend overtime shift.

“You sure you don’t want to go back downstairs?” I ask.

He takes a sip. “Positive.”

“Everyone’s here to see you, you know.”

He rolls his steel-gray eyes. “They’re not here to see me. They’re here because they want to know what it’s like to be me … if only for a night.”

“Really?” I tease. “All of them? Every last person downstairs is here because they want to be you, August?”

“Yes. Even if they’re too stupid to realize it.” He doesn’t flinch, doesn’t miss a beat. Doesn’t seem the least bit amused. “On the surface, they want free beer and some pictures they can post that makes them look cooler than they are. But deep down, they’re curious. Maybe a little jealous. Completely unaware that they’re in the midst of hitting their peak.”

“That’s no way to talk about your friends.” I take a sip, letting the bubbles play on my tongue.

“Friends? I wouldn’t know. Never had any.” He tosses back a mouthful of beer, holding my gaze captive.

I roll my eyes. “Whatever. Weren’t you, like, prom king at your school or something a couple years back? You can’t tell me you don’t have friends.”

“They’re void-fillers. Nothing more, nothing less.” He captures my wrist in his hand, gentle. And his thumb circles my pulse, forcing it to quicken in response.

I pull away.

“Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? Poor little rich guy? Is that your schtick? Is that how you get ass?” I keep my words soft and light, but I very much mean every last one of them.

“Last thing I need is your sympathy. And I’m definitely not poor—or little. I don’t have a … schtick and even if I did, I wouldn’t need to use it to get ass.”

Without warning, he cups the side of my cheek. A tender move for someone so dark. I rake my teeth over my bottom lip—a protective move because I’m quite certain he’s seconds from attempting to devour me.

I don’t have a chance to tell him no though, because the second he leans in, the bedroom door flings open and Adriana appears in the doorway.

“Oh, my god. I’ve been looking all over for you,” she says, oblivious to what this looks like. “I thought you left or something.”’

“What’s up?” I ask.

August takes a step back, raking his hand through his hair and exhaling.

“That Isaac guy is a douche. I want to leave.” She pulls out her phone, the screen lighting her face in the dim room. “My cousin is on her way to get us. She’ll be here in twenty. You ready?”

August and I lock eyes, and I swear there’s a silent plea for me to stay. But even if I wanted to, I couldn’t. I came here with Adriana. I’m leaving with Adriana. But more important than that, I would never so much as think about staying for a Monreaux.

“She’ll meet you out front in a second,” August tells her, though he’s looking at me.

Adri’s dark brows rise, as if she’s finally realizing we were up here alone together, separated by mere inches before she barged in.

“Oh,” she says. “Oh. Um, okay …”

“I’ll be down in a sec,” I promise her. “It’s fine.”

Adriana disappears, closing the door behind her.

“You’re not actually leaving, are you?” he asks.

“Of course I am …”

“I can get you a ride home.” He takes a sip of his beer.

“It’s not about that.”

He releases a hard breath, his stare narrowing and his full mouth pressing flat.

“Well, that’s too bad,” he says. The moonlight from the window behind me paints soft shadows on his face. In this light, he doesn’t look so intimidating. “Was hoping I could get to know you a little more.”

“Really? You wanted to get to know me?” I laugh, using air quotes and rolling my eyes. “Because something tells me you were looking to score,” I continue. “And you and I both know that’ll never happen in a million years.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re you and I’m me. I don’t think I need to elaborate.” I place the barely-touched beer bottle on top of a nightstand and head for the door. “It’s nothing personal.”

“Don’t insult my intelligence, Rose girl.”

“I’m just stating the facts. We can’t help the family we’re born into. We have no control over what our parents did or didn’t do.”

“So why should we suffer the consequences?” he asks.

He has a good question. I pause for a second. “Because we love our parents. And we respect their wishes.”

I reach for the door knob when he comes closer.

“Must be hell,” he says.

“What?” I stop in my tracks.

“Living by other people’s rules all the time. Never doing what you want. What a fucking waste.” He takes a drink, letting his tongue caress the bottle mouth for a split second.

“Adriana’s waiting.”

“Give me your phone.”

“What? Why?”

“Give me your phone, Rose girl.” He holds out his palm.

“I’m sorry, but no. I have no need for your number. I have no reason to ever text you. I’m flattered by your confidence and your drive to defy authority or whatever you’re going for with this, but this is me kindly passing,” I say.

“For the shirt,” he says, his words staccato’d. “If you could text me when it’s ready, I’ll arrange to pick it up.”

Oh. Right.

“It’s a four hundred dollar Baccarin,” he adds. I can’t help but feel it’s his bruised ego’s way of making me feel like an expensive shirt matters more to him than seeing me again. “And I’d like it back.”

Without another protest, I dig my phone from my bag and hand it over. When he returns it, I discover he’s programmed his name as ENEMY DEAREST.

















Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi. 


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