Release Blitz


HOT NEW RELEASE! BULLSEYE by KL Savage is LIVE! #1ClickHere Just when you think you have it all, everything changes… I had everything a kid could want. A home. Food. Toys. Friends. Loving parents. And it all equaled happiness. Then my life went up in smoke. Happiness no longer existed. I trusted the wrong person. And in a blink of an eye, the cruelty of the world reared its ugly head. Four walls. Darkness. Memory loss. Chains. Sex. My first love. And people watching in the corners. Now, I’m conditioned. I need to watch. I need to be watched. No one understands the turmoil inside me. And the one person who seems to calm it? Ruby Raine. A little spitfire of a woman who released the strife I’ve been swallowing for eighteen years. She made me realize how weak I was and how strong I needed to be. To tackle my demons, I have to admit everything. I have to trust and that’s one thing that doesn’t come easy for me. Ruby shows me it’s okay to let go, to let someone steer for a bit, to give up a little control. So I let go. I let her have the reins. The road is bumpy, a minefield of explosives with her debt and my pain. Every chance she takes on me is a step I take to better myself. Love is a surprise. A dart that Ruby tossed, and it hit me in the middle of my chest. Unleashing… everything. I’m my own target. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s aim.  
Cover Reveal

UNSTEADY by Ashley Christin

Release Date: June 11

Three women. Three Letters. Three Happily Ever Afters?

When three friends find a series of letters detailing an urban myth about how the apartment they live in is the catalyst for its inhabitants to find true love, they compare it to finding fool’s gold, not taking the words seriously. Until one by one they’re each taken down by Cupid’s arrow.

Included in this box set:
Hit or Miss – A hot doctor, opposites attract, older man romantic comedy

Three’s a Crowd – A best friend’s older brother, roommate, enemies to lover’s romantic comedy

Good on Paper – an enemies-to-lovers, office/hidden relationship romantic comedy

The Love in Apartment 3B series is a collection of steamy, lighthearted, heartwarming romantic comedies with a happy endings and a cast of hilarious characters that will have you laughing out loud until the last page. No cheating. Buy or borrow this book for free with Kindle Unlimited!

Add to your Goodreads TBR List! 

Meet Everly Ashton
Everly Ashton is a USA Today Bestselling Author who wanted to try something a little different under a new name. She loves brooding heroes, spunky heroines, and happily ever afters. You can usually find her with a Kindle in one hand and a cup of caffeine in the other. And because she’s using a pseudonym she can’t tell you much more than that. 😉

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Blog Tour

Filthy Hot by Serena Akeryod

With my life on the line, will I risk it all once more to find safety in the arms of a filthy hot O’Donnelly?

Filthy Hot, an all-new opposites attract mafia romance from Serena Akeroyd, is available now!

The second our eyes meet, I feel it.
The ticking clock.
It’s only a matter of time before we come together.
Before the heat that arcs between us turns into a conflagration.

But he’s a mobster. An O’Donnelly. His notoriety is legendary.
I’m a journalist. I expose men like him, which is how I built my reputation.
Manipulating the truth is how the Five Points forged their name. It’s why he’s one of NYC’s most eligible bachelors, after all.
Whereas for me, the truth is my calling.
My purpose.

With my life on the line, will I risk it all once more to find safety in the arms of a filthy hot O’Donnelly?

Read our story in this opposites attract mafia romance, Filthy Hot, the fifth book in the Five Points’ Mob Collection.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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Her make-up was exquisite. Perfect. Utterly beautiful.

I wanted to wreck it.

I wanted to mar it, because the second we walked through those fucking doors, there’d be men there who’d see her. Who’d want her. Who’d want something that everything inside me screamed was mine.
My thumb twitched as I reached her lips. Bright red and glossy with it, they parted at the digit’s approach, and I let my gaze drift from the gleaming, pouting morsel and up to her eyes.

Nostrils flaring when I saw the challenge in hers, I growled under my breath and did as my instincts insisted.

I let my thumb slide through that gloss, dragging it aside and onto her cheek, smearing perfection. Sullying it.

“Feel better?” she rasped, no anger, more like amusement lacing her tone at my antics, as her hands came around my hips, lowering to my ass as she pressed harder, making sure that both of us were well aware I had a boner.

Much as she’d done, I threw that back at her: “Does it feel like I feel better?”

She shook her head, her eyes darkening as she rolled her hips.

“You’ll get burned,” I warned her.

“Maybe I want to. Maybe that’s exactly what I need. 

I stared at the smeared lipstick, at the mess I’d made, then I leaned forward and pushed my cheek against her clean one. “There’ll come a time when you’ll push me too far and too fast.”

“I hope so. Where would be the fun in taking things slow?”

I had to smile, but before I pulled back, feeling the deceleration of the elevator, I darted forward, nipped her earlobe hard enough to make her squeal, then murmured, “Do not reapply the lipstick when you head to the restroom.” I saw her mutinous expression and warned, “Pick your battles, little one.”

A shaky sigh escaped her, and I knew why. It had nothing to do with my dictate, and everything to do with the term of endearment. It hadn’t slipped out by mistake. It just felt right. Seemed she agreed because it turned her to goo in my arms.

About Serena
I’m a romance bookaholic and I won’t touch a book unless I know there’s a happy ending. This addiction is what made me craft stories that suit my voracious need for raunchy romance. I love twists and unexpected turns, and my novels all contain sexy guys, dark humor, and hot AF love scenes.

I write MF, Menage, and Reverse Harem (also known as Why Choose romance,) in both contemporary and paranormal. Some of my stories are darker than others, but I can promise you one thing, you will always get the happy ending your heart needs!

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New Release

HUSH by Liza James

Release Date: May 28


My life. My rules.

That’s how it’s always been for me.

Well, since I did something that ripped apart the threads of my humanity.

After that, I let go of everything that left me exposed.

Relying on myself alone was the best option.

I can’t allow anything near me anymore, not even the one girl who somehow intoxicates my blood and proves she means more.


Sacrifices were made when I was young. Vital pieces of my vulnerability were stolen from me. It would have been far too easy if I hadn’t seen her again.

So, of course, the one girl I hate most is the constant reminder of my most painful past.

She thinks I’m still the weak one between us.

It’ll be my sweet revenge proving her otherwise.

Grab Your Copy Here!

Photo Apr 14, 2 42 51 PM
Photo Apr 15, 6 01 05 PM

Meet Liza James

I remember writing my first book when I was just a kid. It was a short children’s story that my mom loved so much, she took the time to get our friend to illustrate all of the pages. 
I had decided back then, that when I grew up I was going to be an author. Funny how we grow up and things change so drastically, right? As I got older, I began the age old search of trying to figure out exactly what I wanted in life. 
I got married at 18, moved across the world with my husband and spent the next several years trying so many different things in order to find my fit. I fell in love with so many things as well, including photography, calligraphy, music, and letterpress. 
But writing and reading have always remained a constant love of mine. Oddly enough, it was the only thing I never spoke about. I kept it very private, starting several different stories and ultimately not finishing them. I never spoke about what I was writing with anyone, or very very few people once in a while. I didn’t even share what I wrote with my family or my husband.
This year, a lot of things changed. I found myself coming to a place in my life as a mom, a wife, a friend, but still not as MYSELF. I continued struggling with my own identity, struggling with who I was outside of being a wife and mother. So, I made it a goal to write and finish my first novel in 2019. I decided to CHOOSE my path and create it for myself, choose my identity and allow my passion for writing to come at the forefront of that. 
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a friend and a lover of many many things. But I am also a writer, I’m an author, and loving every moment of embracing myself in all of those things.
So, here I am today, writing this blurb about my “story” and laughing to myself just a bit. Because this is just the beginning of what my story was and is going to be, and I’m ready to embrace whatever this new adventure has for me.

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Cover Reveal

There With You by Samantha Young


Samantha Young has revealed the cover for There With You!


Releasing: August 23, 2021

Cover Design: Hang Le


For Regan Penhaligon, there’s no better place to run to than the exclusive Ardnoch Estate in the remote Scottish Highlands. Her impulsive behavior has finally caught up with her and Regan’s visit with her sister, Robyn, is an opportunity to hide from someone who has grown dangerously obsessed with her.

Determined to make amends for her mistakes, Regan plans to repair her relationship with Robyn by staying close. And when an offer of help comes from Thane Adair, Regan gratefully accepts.

Widower, Thane, needs a new nanny housekeeper for his two young children and when they bond with Regan Penhaligon, he offers her the job. But as the weeks pass and the complex American reveals who she really is, Thane struggles with his growing attraction to her.

Regan never expected to feel so intensely for Thane, but she can’t deny her passion for him or her love for his children. When someone from Thane’s past threatens his family, Regan wants to be his pillar of support. However, his continued inability to trust her might just destroy their chance at future happiness… and the person who drove Regan to Ardnoch might snuff out her chance for any future at all.


Pre-order your copy today!


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Meet Samantha

Samantha is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty books, several of which have been nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards. She writes adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. Her books have been published in 28 languages in 30 countries. She resides in Scotland.

For more information visit

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Cover Reveal

Love Me Nots by Lydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels has revealed the cover
Love Me Nots, Jasper Falls 3!

Releasing June 22, 2021

It started with a hammer…

Perrin is through with men. After dumping her cheating fiancé, she started a new career, and her life is finally on an upswing–until Gage comes into town.

Gage King, of King Construction, represents everything the small town of Jasper Falls is not. His big Texan upbringing disguises his secrets well and, at first glance, he appears all luxury and lavish sex appeal, but to a girl like Perrin Harris, he's just one big eye roll.

When Gage tries to buy the land Perrin has her heart set on, she puts a plan into action. She will stop at nothing to get what she wants, but so will Gage–and Gage wants her.

Pre-order your copy today! 
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Meet Lydia Michaels

Lydia Michaels is the author of over thirty-five novels and the consecutive winner of the 2018 & 2019 Author of the Year Award from Happenings Media, as well as the recipient of the 2014 Best Author Award from the Courier Times. She has been featured in USA Today, Romantic Times Magazine, Love & Lace, and more. As the host and founder of the East Coast Author Convention, the Behind the Keys Author Retreat, and Read Between the Wines, she continues to celebrate her growing love for readers and romance novels around the world.

Lydia is happily married to her childhood sweetheart. Some of her favorite things include the scent of paperback books, listening to her husband play piano, escaping to her coastal home at the Jersey Shore, cheap wine, 80's pop culture, coffee, and kilts. She hopes to meet you soon at one of her many upcoming events.
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Cover Reveal

Little Bird by Kally Ash

Title: Little Bird
Series: Dirty Deeds #1
Author: Kally Ash
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Cover Design: Sly Fox Cover Designs
Release Date: June 29, 2021


Fuck, it’s good to be King…

Bane Rivera: my name is well-known and feared in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.
There is only one rule that I live by—only one rule that matters—never let pussy get in the way of business.


Then Wren Montana happened.

She barged into my office—into my life—like a beautiful wildfire, demanding something of me I couldn’t ever give her: a fucking pass for her brother’s mistake.

From the moment I saw her, I knew I had to have her. To feel her spirit break under my crushing grip as she gave her very soul to me. Until she was dependent on me like a junkie for their next fix.

But she wasn’t like the other women I’d fucked and discarded. No, my Wren, my Little Bird, she was strong. Every time she told me no, every time she walked away, it only fanned the flames of my need, consuming me…

Causing me to forget my one and only rule.


$2.99 for a limited time!



“Little Bird.”
Jumping, I turned to find Bane standing there in the same suit as I’d seen him in this morning, although he’d jettisoned the jacket. His shirt was open at the collar, revealing a tantalizing look at the tattoos that continued from his neck, down onto his chest. His dark hair was fuck-me tousled, his dark eyes drinking me in.
“Jesus, you scared me,” I told him.
He smirked.
The bastard.
“Would you like a drink?”
“Fuck yes. Whisky on the rocks.”
His smile widened a little more before he turned to the bartender who was waiting at his elbow. After he’d ordered our drinks, we waited in silence. Bane was staring at me, his gaze never staying in one place too long. It dropped from my face to my chest, then lower. I had no idea what he was expecting to see. I’d come straight from work so I smelled of wet dog and was covered in hair. I’d toyed with the idea of getting changed, but I figured this wasn’t actually going to take too long. I’d find out the details, then I’d leave.
“Let’s go and sit down,” he said, handing me my drink and gesturing to the main floor of the club. I let him lead the way, trying to ignore how great his ass looked in those slacks. He picked a couple of seats at the far end of the club, as far away from the gyrating pole dancers as we could get.
“I thought you might want a little privacy,” he told me in a dark voice that made my ovaries quiver a little bit.
I took a sip of my whisky, savoring the burn. “This won’t take long.”
With humor dancing in his eyes, he also took a sip from his glass before placing it onto the small table beside him. “I make it a point never to do things fast with a beautiful woman.” He lounged back in the chair, his elbows on the high arms, his legs spread wide. I got a very vivid picture in my mind of what it would be like to be with a man like him, one that oozes dominance and power…


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I have to say I was hooked immediately by this opposites attract story and loved every minute. I definitely will be reading the full story when it releases, I can’t wait to see what happens.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The darkness in the plot had me breathless in the best way. The characters gripped you immediately and I loved the whole dynamic that they brought to the pages. Dark Romance at its finest. I need more! I absolutely loved it!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is the first time I have read this author and I am impressed with this story“

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This story screams your dark erotic romance that was borne on a mistake then turned into something “more” in the end.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This story was a real page turner that captured my attention from the very beginning! The great character and plot development kept me totally engaged as the journey between Wren and Bane unfolded! This is a book that I highly recommend reading!”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “It was amazing. Totally different from her usual books but it was incredible. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Bane is a dirty, dirty player. This is a hot read that is just the beginning of their story.”


Kally Ash is a USA Today Best Selling Author whose passions include curling up with a good book, devouring chocolate and getting kitty cuddles. Tempt Me is her debut novel, and the first book in a three book series. Some of her unicorn authors include Sawyer Bennett, Elizabeth Hayley and Haley Jenner.

Cover Reveal

Don’t Go Away Mad by Lacey Black

Title: Don’t Go Away Mad
Series: Burgers and Brew Crüe #2
Author: Lacey Black
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Melissa Gill Designs
Photo: Wander Aguiar
Model: Lucas Loyola
Release Date: June 29, 2021



The kitchen: it’s my domain, where I create the best burgers in the Midwest. I’m the man behind the grill at Burgers and Brew, the restaurant and bar I co-own with my best friends. Every night, we’re packed, the demand has never been this high. It’s the only way I want it, thriving and pushing myself to be the very best.

Then she started her new business across the street from mine.

The one woman who always got under my skin, who pushed me to be better. Lyndee was my biggest rival in school and my biggest regret.

Now, she’s in town, and as much as I try, I just can’t stay away.

I want her.


A new start: that’s what Stewart Grove means for me and my brother. He’s the one who pushed me to take the chance on opening my own bakery. I am ready for the long hours, the grueling schedule, and the hard work it will take to be successful.

I wasn’t at all prepared to come face-to-face with the man across the street.

An almost kiss in college with the world’s most infuriating man has haunted me for the last decade. Now Jasper’s here, and I don’t think I can resist him.

Things are about to heat up in and out of the kitchen.

I just pray I don’t get burned.



Only available at the following
retailers for a VERY limited time



Free in Kindle Unlimited


Lacey Black is a Midwestern girl with a passion for reading and writing. She carries her e-reader with her everywhere she goes so she never misses an opportunity to read a few pages. Always looking for a happily ever after, Lacey is passionate about contemporary romance novels and enjoys it further when you mix in a little suspense. She resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab. Lacey loves shooting guns and should only consume one mixed drink because she’s a lightweight.


Chapter Reveal

Moment Too Late by Rachael Brownell

Title: A Moment Too Late Author: Rachel Brownell

second-chance romance

Falling in love can happen in the blink of an eye.

  Falling in love can happen in the blink of an eye. I fell for Jay the moment I laid eyes on him. Was drawn to him in a way I’d never been drawn to a man before. He was everything I wanted. The man I dreamed about at night and looked for everywhere I turned just for a glimpse of his perfection. But I couldn’t have him. It was against the rules. Forbidden. He was my best friend’s boyfriend. I would never do that to her. Then she died. Looking at him became painful, bringing back memories of the reason we couldn’t be together. The reason I never pursued him. I had to move on and vowed never to look back in an attempt to escape him and the devastation in my heart. Yet here I stand, five years later, staring into the eyes of the man I still want. In the place I swore I’d never return to. With memories assaulting me from every angle. He’s still the picture of perfection in my eyes, making our attraction even more dangerous than it once was. The only difference… No one is standing in our way this time.

pre-order now for the special release price of $2.99 available June 11. read for FREE with KindleUnlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide


My phone has vibrated in the pocket of my dress no less than ten times since class started thirty minutes ago. If I were in a lecture hall with five hundred other people, I’d risk checking to see who was calling at this early hour, but this professor is an asshole. The sight of my phone will set him off. On the first day of class, he made his stance on phones perfectly clear. If he sees one, we all suffer. In our second class, we found out exactly what suffering meant when someone walked in texting. The class hadn’t even started. We weren’t on his time yet. Still, he issued a ten-page paper and only gave us three days to do it. Not a single person has been seen on their phone since. Message received. Loud and clear. My phone starts up again, and instantly the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, a chill running down my spine. Whoever keeps calling, it must be important which worries me. All my friends know all about this professor. I’ve complained about him on more than one occasion, so they know never to call during class. Not to mention they’re probably sound asleep. I’m the only idiot who signed up for classes that start before noon in my final semester of college. I didn’t have much of a choice. This class is required to graduate, and this was the only time it was offered. Sighing, I brush off my concerns and attempt to concentrate on the lecture my professor is droning on about. I’m barely able to keep my eyes open as I listen to his monotone voice go on and on about our final project, due in less than four weeks. I didn’t get back in town until after ten last night, then I overslept, having to forgo stopping for coffee on the way to class so I wasn’t late. Another one of the professor’s pet peeves. Graduation is just around the corner, though. No more early classes. No more asshole professors. Four years of hard work and dedication all come down to the next few weeks. This semester has been mentally challenging. Both on a personal and professional level if you count being a college student by day and waitress by night a profession. My days are long, the nights even longer. The much-needed rest and relaxation I was hoping for while vacationing last week never happened. Sleep eluded me most of spring break. I should have been sunbathing and sipping fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them. I was in paradise with no responsibilities. My days were my own, but they were lonely. That’s not a new concept it seems. I could be in a room surrounded by all my favorite people and I’d still feel lonely these days. I spent the first day crying my eyes out behind large, black sunglasses while my parents went on a day excursion. It was beautiful outside, the water was clear, the light breeze keeping me from overheating. The view was breathtaking. I should have been enjoying it with a smile on my face. Or at the very least, taking a nap and working on my tan. What did I do instead? Once I knew my parents were gone, I went back to my room and curled up under the covers. My eyes were puffy and red. It hurt to keep them open. I was exhausted from my early flight, but aside from being physically tired, I was emotionally drained. My heart was splintering in my chest. Every time I thought about that night, I felt a new fault line appear. It wouldn’t be long before it shattered and there would be nothing left. Because I gave him my heart two years ago. Willingly. Without asking for anything in return. I expected him to treat it with care. To guard it. To keep it safe. What did he do with it? Nothing. That was only my first mistake, though. My second? I didn’t ask if he wanted it. Nope. I ripped it from my chest, shoved it in his hands, and smiled. It happened so fast I didn’t give it a second thought. There was no time to overthink what I was doing because it was over before I knew it even happened. Why was I so reckless? Because there was something there. The moment I saw him I felt it, the connection. It was magnetic, the pull I felt toward him. The way he held me in his arms was heavenly, as if I was meant to be held by him and only him. Love at first sight. I was crazy, right? That never happens in real life. Sure, you read about it in romance novels, but I’ve never heard about it happening to anyone I know. Hell, my mother said it took her two years to get my dad to open his eyes. He says he was just waiting to see if she was worth the effort. Great role models, right? But after twenty-five years of marriage, two petitions for divorce that were eventually withdrawn, and one affair on my father’s part, they seem to be doing okay. That’s a lie. My parents tolerate each other at best. Neither of them are getting any younger, and I think they’re afraid of dying alone. My father turns sixty-one this year, and my mother will be sixty. At that age, who wants to start over? I’d be scared, too. Hell, I’m scared right now. Of the way I feel for him. Of the power he has over me. The power to destroy my heart. Power I gave him without a second though. You’re an idiot, Andrea. Yup. Even my subconscious knows what a big mistake I made. Four more weeks. Then I can leave here and start over. I’ll take what’s left of my heart and pray there’s someone out there who can mend the broken pieces. Someone who’s meant just for me. Shaking away the thoughts, I turn my attention back to my professor. He’s walking my way, his eyes locked on mine. Either I’ve been busted for zoning out or he’s just having a bad day. The scowl on his face gives nothing away. It’s the same expression he’s worn since day one. “You have ten minutes to decide your topic. Please turn them in to Ms. Morris.” He motions to me, and I wave enthusiastically. It’s more for show than anything. Maybe if I smile and pretend to be excited he’ll think I was paying attention after all. “She’ll bring them to my office after class.” Or not. He’s definitely aware I zoned out. This is my punishment. I get to run across campus to drop off topics to him and sprint back in less than fifteen minutes for my next class. It won’t be easy, especially considering I chose to wear a dress and heeled sandals today, but I’ll make it work. At least my next professor isn’t a dick. He probably won’t even notice if I slip in late. Taking the large, manila envelope he’s extended in my direction, I nod in understanding and avert my eyes quickly. I still have to come up with my own topic, and I’ve spent the last forty minutes mentally beating myself up. Didn’t I just do that for the last seven days? Sure did, and it ruined what should have been a perfect vacation in paradise. It’s about time I stop. That’s the thing about guilt. It refuses to let go of the grip it has on your soul. It wraps itself around you and holds on for the ride, laughing the entire time. Look at the wrong person, guilt smacks you across the face. Think about them, guilt’s there to remind you why you shouldn’t. Get close enough to smell their woodsy scent? Throat punch. Guilt is a bitch. The only way to get rid of it is to clear your conscience. Like you have the balls to do that. She’s right. I don’t. Because telling my truth would destroy more lives than my own. And if I’m going to hell, I don’t find it necessary to bring company. Four more weeks. I can survive that long. I’ll just lock myself in my apartment. I’ve been doing it all semester, what’s a few more weeks? Everything is going to be fine. I’ll suffer so she doesn’t have to. I’ll pretend I’m not miserable, that my heart’s not broken, the way I have been the last two years. My heart for hers. By keeping what happened a secret, I’m saving her from the heartbreak. That’s what friends do. They jump in front of a moving car to push you out of the way. They sacrifice themselves, their own happiness, so you can find yours. As soon as the professor is out the door, students crowd my desk, thrusting papers in my face. I slide them all in the envelope one by one and stare down at my blank form. I’m the last one left. Alone. Again. You would think I’d be used to the silence by now. I live alone. Spend my nights locked in my apartment. I’ve pushed my friends away and barely answer my phone. I’m the reason I’m isolated. I’m the one responsible for feeling lonely. I’ve done this to myself and I have no one else to blame. Well, I could start pointing fingers, but at this point, why bother? It won’t change what happened two years ago or three months ago. No one can erase the past. We either learn from it, try to be better, overcome the obstacles, and grow as a person. Or we wallow, allowing ourselves to suffer in silence. It feels like I’m constantly teetering somewhere in the middle. I’d love to say I’ve learned my lesson, but I find myself wallowing more often than not. Attempting to focus, I’m feverishly scribbling when another chill washes over me, this one more pronounced than the last. Goosebumps pebble my exposed legs, a shiver making it’s way up my spine. I’m rubbing them with my free hand when I hear the soft click of the door, followed by the vibration of my phone again. Finally removing it from the confines of my pocket, I find Summer’s face smiling at me. My second mom. The one who adopted me into her family the first day I met her. Who’s shown me more love in the two years I’ve known her than my parents have in my twenty-two years of life. Sliding my finger across the screen to answer, I greet her warmly, a huge smile on my face. I missed seeing her this morning at the Java Bean. Not only did I need the caffeine, but her hugs make everything better. Not feeling well? Get a hug from Summer. Fail an exam? Summer’s hug will make you forget about it. There is no limit to the power of her hugs. Summer’s heart is so big you can feel her love when she hugs you. The way she says my name has alarm bells sounding in my head. I can almost hear the tears streaming down her cheeks, her big, beautiful heart breaking in her chest. And when she finally tells me why she’s calling, I feel the remnants of my already fragile heart shatter. Her words bring tears to my eyes, clouding my vision, my smile fading as the phone falls from my hands. The screen cracks as it hits the floor, but I barely register the sound. Suddenly I’m being pulled out of my chair, my legs wobbling slightly, and into his warm embrace. He’s fresh from a shower, the woodsy scent enveloping me, causing my heart to studder. Home. That’s what it feels like to be wrapped in his arms. But right now, not even he can calm the frantic beat of my heart as it pounds against my rib cage. The thump, thump, thump rattling in my ears is the only indication I’m not dreaming. This can’t be happening. “I’ve got you,” he whispers as his hand runs up and down my back. My fists are tightly gripping the front of his soft T-shirt. I can feel the rapid beating of his heart beneath my hands, whereas mine suddenly feels like it’s come to a complete stop. When my legs give out, he scoops me up and sits with me in his lap. I can’t even bring myself to fight him. Tension and guilt are swirling around me, taunting me, but it’s no match for the devastation that’s pressing on my chest. “Breathe, Drea,” I hear him say as he tucks a piece of stray hair behind my ear. “Just breathe.” In. Out. In. Out. Easy, right? Yet I can’t seem to catch my breath. I’ve never been able to with him this close. “I have to go,” I say, scrambling off his lap, gathering all my things and shoving them in my messenger bag. I’m out the door, his protests cut off when it closes behind me. Four weeks. I can survive four more weeks. Then I’m gone. I’ll leave this place behind me and never look back. There’s nothing left here for me now anyway.  

Rachael Brownell is an award-winning author of contemporary, New Adult, and YA romance. Rachael lives in Michigan with her husband, son, cuddly dog, and hateful cat. She published her first book in 2013 and has since released more than 30 additional titles. Her books have been known to take you on a rollercoaster ride – from sweet to dark and everything in between.

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