Release Blitz

Becoming Her Salvation by Hayley Faiman

Title: Becoming Her Salvation
Series: Zanetti Famiglia
Author: Hayley Faiman
Genre: Mafia Romance
Release Date: August 9, 2021






Rosana Mazzilli is in trouble—big-time trouble. Her primary goal in life was to be nothing like her sisters. She’s a college graduate, she works in finance, and she wants nothing to do with the Zanetti famiglia, specifically the Made Men of the famiglia.

Until one day when she needs them—she can go nowhere but to the Made Man who saved her from an abusive aunt. When she runs to him for help, she gets much more than she ever bargained for.

Salvatore Macchio is a failure. He was unable to guard the one person he was born to protect—his little sister. Salvatore will never reconcile that he neglected to save Abriana. It haunts him—nightly.

A marriage stemming from a need to protect and pure fear. Can Salvatore protect Rosana from a fate worse than death? Mistakes can be deadly, but Rosana is determined to save not only herself but the baby that grows inside of her, too.






 

BECOMING HER BOSS – ON SALE 99 PENNIES




As an only child, Hayley Faiman had to entertain herself somehow. She started writing stories at the age of six and never really stopped.

Born in California, she met her now husband at the age of sixteen and married him at the age of twenty in 2004. After all of these years together, he’s still the love of her life.

Hayley’s husband joined the military and they lived in  Oregon,where he was stationed with the US Coast Guard. They moved back to California in 2006, where they had two little boys. Recently, the four of them moved out to the Hill Country of Texas, where they adopted a new family member, a chocolate lab named Optimus Prime.

Most of Hayley’s days are spent taking care of her two boys, going to the baseball fields for practice, or helping them with homework. Her evenings are spent with her husband and her nights—those are spent creating alpha book boyfriends.



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Cover Reveal

The Carlisle Cellars Series by Fabiola Francisco

SERIES COVER REVEAL

CARLISLE CELLARS BY FABIOLA FRANCISCO

 

Preorder link for the series: mybook.to/CarlisleCellars

#CARLISLECELLARS #FABIOLAFRANCISCO #COVERREVEAL #BARENAKEDWORDS

Series Blurb

Three siblings, a family business, and emotional twists that will lead them through a series of life changes. The Carlisles are royalty in Willow Creek. Take the journey with them as they find love, overcome challenges, and find their happily ever afters.

Carlisle Cellars is a small town series with high emotions and lots of swoon. Their family bond is tight, and their individual path to happiness is paved with heartache, love, and healing.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Not So Charming:

Amazon: mybook.to/NSC

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3uLcwqf

Jobless and homeless, I return to the town I hated growing up in desperate need of a new beginning. When small town prince, Miles, thinks his charms will work on me, I do everything to turn him down. He’s the very core that I hate in this town. But I need a job, and his family’s winery seems to be the only place hiring. Hatred turns to curiosity, and soon I’m wondering if there’s more to the man I thought I knew growing up.

Homecoming Queen:

Amazon: mybook.to/HCQ

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3w17LZP

I wanted nothing more than to be a famous country singer. I left everything behind to pursue that dream, including my first love. When I experience first-hand the filth behind the music business, I return home to clear my mind and heal. Running into Tate is inevitable, but when he discovers my secret, I question if coming home was the best choice.

Small Town King:

Amazon: mybook.to/STK

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fd0eAs

I thought losing my wife was the most difficult experience in my life. When I almost lose my daughters, I can’t bear it. Their new therapist is supposed to help them heal, but I find her words piercing my soul. We shouldn’t be together, but some rules were made to be broken.

 

Meet the Author

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.

Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.

She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorfabiola

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_fabiola

Website: www.authorfabiolafrancisco.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bm9D0b

Uncategorized

Claiming Menace by L. Wilder

Title: Claiming Menace
Series: Ruthless Sinners MC
Author: L. Wilder
Genre: MC Romance (standalone)
Release Date: August 3, 2021





⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review – “L. Wilder really knows how to draw you into a story!”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review – “My oh my! This one is awesome! I absolutely love this couple!”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review – ” This story right here, shows exactly why we love bikers.”


The second I laid eyes on Aubrey Cash, I knew she was hiding something.
The blond haired, blue eyed beauty wasn’t who she said she was.
I couldn’t force myself to turn her away…
So I hired her.

As the club’s hacker, it was my job to uncover secrets—secrets like hers.
It was the only way I could make sure my brothers were safe.
But with each day that passed, I became more and more distracted by my need to have her.

It soon became her that I wanted to protect….her that I wanted to claim as mine.

She claimed me instead



“Is there something I can help you with?”

“You could tell me what’s got you so riled up?”

“Oh, like you don’t know.”

“Why don’t you fill me in, and then we’ll both be on the same page.”

“Okay, if I must.” She pursed her lips and chewed on her bottom lip for a moment, then inhaled a quick breath before saying, “I’m not one of your girls.”

“Excuse me?”

“Last night.” She motioned her hand towards the club. “With those guys who were acting like assholes. You said ‘no one puts their hands on one of my girls,’ and earlier tonight, you said it again.”

“Yeah, and?”

“I’m sure you have many, many girls you screw around with, but I’m not one of them. In fact, I’m nobody’s girl.”

The terrified woman from the night before was gone, and the woman with fire in her eyes had returned. It was this woman who’d come into my office and asked for a job. It was this woman who’d had the strength and determination to pretend she was someone she wasn’t—this woman who was currently making my cock rise to fucking attention. I held her glare as I took a step over to her and growled, “Maybe you missed it, but you work in a fucking strip club…a strip club I run with my brothers. It’s my job and theirs to make sure the women who work here are safe from assholes who don’t know how to keep their fucking hands to themselves—like the assholes who were fucking with you last night and the guy who was fucking with you earlier tonight.” 

“Okay. Understood.”

“I certainly hope so.” Those baby blues were focused solely on me as I took a step closer and said, “But just to be sure…You should know there’s a big difference between being one of the girls who work in my club and one of the girls in my bed. Maybe one day, you’ll get the chance to know the difference.” 

I watched as a spark of interest flashed through Aubrey’s eyes. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I’d thought about having her in my bed, and from the way she was standing there looking at me, she’d thought about it too. A light blush swept across her face as she snapped, “What makes you think I’d ever want to know the difference.”

“Oh, you can deny it all you want, but we both know that you do.”

She rolled her eyes with an exasperated sigh and muttered, “You are so full of yourself.”

“Only because I know I’m right.”

She glared at me for a moment, then brushed past me and headed towards the door. “Sorry to break it to you, but I won’t be around long enough for that to happen.”








Leslie Wilder grew up in a small town in West Tennessee. A country girl at heart, she’s always thought that life is too short, but she had no idea how short it really was until her brother passed away in 2014. She’s always been an avid reader, loving the escape only a great book can give, and wondered if she had what it took to write one of the wild romances she’d come to adore. With the support of her family and friends, she published Inferno: A Devil Chaser’s MC, one year after her brother’s death. With him in mind, she fulfilled her lifetime dream of writing. Since then, she’s completed the Devil Chaser’s Series and continued on with the Satan’s Fury MC Series. She has so many stories in her head, and can’t wait to share each and every one.
Leslie has been blown away by the support of her readers, appreciating every message, review, and encouraging word she’s received over the past year. She looks forward to continuing this journey with them for years to come.



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Blog Tour

Crash by Jeanne St. James

Title: Crash: A Dirty Angels MC/Blood Fury MC Crossover
Author: Jeanne St. James
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: July 31, 2021





Another outstanding book by this exceptionally talented author! I really don’t think Jeanne St. James knows how to create a bad book! This crossover book had me from the git go with the great character and plot development that kept me anxiously turning the pages to find out what was happening on the very next page.” ~★★★★★ Goodreads Review (Pat)


Is the risk worth the reward?

It was a time to gather with the allies to witness the wedding of a president and his ol’ lady in front of the three powerful clubs that rule western Pennsylvania.
The Bloody Fury MC.
The Dark Knights MC.
And of course, Crash’s own club, the Dirty Angels MC.
Three tight-knit brotherhoods celebrating a weekend blow-out full of women, partying and more.
For Crash, it may end up being so much more.
She’s the property of another club.
Property he can’t resist touching.
But taking what he wants means risking a crack in the alliance, one he doesn’t want to be responsible for.
Creating an issue he doesn’t need to cause for his MC. For his president.
But Crash has never been one to blindly follow the rules.
Especially when it comes to someone so tempting.
In the end, she ends up being a risk he can’t stop from taking.
To hell with the consequences.

Note: While this book can be read as a standalone, it’s a crossover between the Dirty Angels MC series and the Blood Fury MC series. It’s best read after the complete DAMC series and before Blood & Bones: Ozzy (Blood Fury MC, book 9). As always, this book has no cheating, no cliffhanger and has an HEA.



Crash’s gaze followed the hot as fuck blonde as she carried the beer back to him, a smile still on her face. He wondered if she was just the type of person who was in a good mood most of the time. Or if it was an act, since her MC had visitors and they had been told to be accommodating to their guests.

Either way, the smile gave her face a glow and her eyes a sparkle that were hard to ignore.

Her long, blonde hair was on the darker side with lighter blonde streaks running through it. Her skin looked smooth to the touch and was golden brown, like she spent a lot of time out in the sun. Her eyes were almost the same color, a light brown with some gold and maybe some flecks of green in them.

Large and observant.

She was slender but with curves in all the right places. Her hips, her ass and her tits. No doubt she worked hard at her figure. Her hard work paid off.

“Sorry, I’m not a bartender. I just play one on TV,” she joked as she placed the red Solo cup filled to the very rim in front of him.

A few gold rings encircled her slender fingers, nothing bulky or gaudy but simple. Her long fingernails were painted a color that matched the color of her lips, he was sure the red color had some sort of fancy name that he couldn’t give a shit about. To him it was simply red.

“Horrible with head.”

Crash lifted his gaze from her hand holding his cup to her. “What?”

Her ears had multiple piercings but they were all small gold hoops that lined the delicate outer shells and the lobes he wanted to suck from what he could see under her hair. All of her jewelry, even the simple black cord that hung around her neck with a pendant hanging from it, were nothing outrageously expensive or blinding like a huge diamond.

She could dress simple and still look like a million bucks.

She didn’t appear to be high maintenance but she also looked like she could easily slip into that role if she chose to. She could stand next to her ol’ man and fit in, wearing exactly what she was wearing now. Just like she could wear a fancy dress and be on the arm of some guy in a tux with a champagne flute in her hand.

She could get her hands dirty or keep her nails clean and look natural either way.

He liked that.

He liked women who left you guessing how dirty they got behind closed doors.

“I said I’m not good at pouring a draft. The head ends up being too high or thick or whatever it’s called. There are people around here that can serve a draft beer better than I can.”

He lifted the cup and swallowed some of the foam until he got to the beer beneath it. “Don’t matter. It’s free, it’s cold and it’s bein’ served up by the likes of you.”



JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today and international bestselling romance author who loves writing about strong women and alpha males. She was only thirteen when she first started writing. Her first published piece was an erotic short story in Playgirl magazine. She then went on to publish her first romance novel in 2009. She is now an author of over fifty contemporary romances. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages, including interracial. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a free sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup



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Blog Tour

Frivolous by Veronica Lancet

Title: Frivolous
Author: Veronica Lancet
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Cover Design: Veronica Lancet





She was the beauty in a gilded cage.
He was the beast out for her destruction.


THE BEAST IN THE SHADOWS
Bastiano “Bass” DeVille is not a good man, and he’s never professed to be one. He lives, breathes, and dies for the famiglia. And in a world where money rules, blood is spilled and corpses abound, he is a king among men. After all, five years in prison have only increased his appetite for violence. And now… he has a new target. The girl with stars in her eyes and thorns in her heart.

THE BELLE OF THE BALL
Gianna Guerra’s blinding beauty and glamorous life propelled her into the spotlight, bringing the New York City high society to her feet. Cruel and patronizing, people would rather be in her good graces than at the end of her tongue. But one failed engagement and her world threatens to fall apart. Because she may be the Queen Bee, but even mean girls have feelings. And Gianna’s might just take her on the road of no return.

DEFILE. DEBASE. DESTROY.
May the wickedest win.

Frivolous is an enemies-to-lovers, age-gap, bodyguard dark mafia romance. It is a standalone in the Morally Questionable world. Please be advised that it contains a lot of sensitive themes. Read the triggers before proceeding.










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Blog Tour

State of Innocence by SK Mason and Debra Scacciaferro

Title: State of Innocence
Authors: S.K Mason & Debra Scacciaferro 
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Cover Design: Caroline Andrus from Melange Books



“… a well written story which is tragic and thought provoking, with lies, secrets, and is a heartwrenching and emotionally charged story.” ~Wendy’s Book Blog


Becoming a child therapist has been a dream-come true for suburban wife and mother Kimberley Mason. Happily married with three children of her own, Kimberley Mason starts a new job working with low-income families at an inner city clinic. One case captures her heart – grief therapy for a troubled little girl traumatized by the tragic loss of her seven-month-old brother to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Having lost a baby herself, Kimberley believes she is uniquely qualified to help Alexia McKenzie, her younger sister Jayleen, and their family work through their loss. But Kimberley slowly discovers lies, secrets, and deep cracks in the foundation of parents Connor and Isabella McKenzie’s lives. Alexia begins to remember what happened the night her brother died – a secret that threatens to tear the family apart.

Thrown into an emotional cyclone, Kimberley faces an impossible choice: will she fulfill her legal and moral obligations and put her own family at risk, or stay silent and risk the lives of Alexia and Jayleen?




SK MASON


DEBRA SCACCIAFERRO



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Release Blitz

Sevyn by Renee Dyer

Sevyn by Renee Dyer is releasing August 9th!
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Dark Romance
Trope: Mafia/Dark Romance/Second Chance Romance

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lAhunZ
B&N: https://bit.ly/SevynBN
Kobo: https://bit.ly/SevynKOBO
Apple: https://bit.ly/SevynAPPLE
Other Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4joWKX

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/SevynTBR

Check out this giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card: https://gleam.io/competitions/aIRMu-sevyn-release-day-25-amazon-gift-card-giveaway

Born into rival drug cartels, Kevyn Zozlov and his best friend Esperanza Torres defy the odds, finding laughter in a world full of pain. Ripped away from her at a young age, Kevyn has to learn the difference between family, loyalty, and obedience. Fear keeps him focused each day. Memories fill his dreams at night. Torn between the death he sees daily and what he believes is right, he struggles to decide the kind of man he wants to be—until a promise he makes to his mother, the person he loves more than anyone, changes everything.

“Get out of here and find Esperanza. Promise me.”

Now, Kevyn has to figure out how to make his way to the only friend he ever had—the one person who understands his damaged world. Will she welcome him back with open arms, or turn him away, leaving him more lost than he already is?

With time against him, can he find Esperanza and his happiness, or will he be another casualty of the drug war, buried in an unmarked grave with no one to mourn his loss?

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lAhunZ
B&N: https://bit.ly/SevynBN
Kobo: https://bit.ly/SevynKOBO
Apple: https://bit.ly/SevynAPPLE
Other Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4joWKX

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/SevynTBR

MEET THE AUTHOR

From a young age Renee Dyer had a love of writing, starting with a doodle pad at age four that soon turned into journals and later computer documents. Poetry became short stories and short stories became a novel.

Although she’s surrounded by males all day having three sons, a husband and a hyperactive chocolate lab, she still finds time to be all woman when she escapes into the fantasy of reading and writing romance. That is, until she needs male perspective and garners eye rolling from her husband.

She’s a true New Englander. You’ll find her screaming profanity at her TV while the Pats play and cuddling under blankets during the cold seasons (which is most of them) reading a good book. To her snow is not a reason to shut things down, only a reason to slow down and admire the beauty. Ask her questions and she’ll answer them. She’s an open book, pun fully intended.

AMAZON | GOODREADS | WESBITE | INSTAGRAM
TWITTER | BOOKBUB | FACEBOOK | READERS GROUP

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Blog Tour

Finding Hope by Erin Brockus

Title: Finding Hope
Series: Half Moon Bay Series #1
Author: Erin Brockus
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2021


A woman desperately seeking a new start. A man trying to bury his past. Can a tropical paradise help them both heal?

After her predictable and carefully ordered life is upended, Hope Collins realizes a change is in order. This comes when she unexpectedly wins a scuba diving resort on the Caribbean island of St. Croix and arrives to find things are not as expected. But she’s determined to succeed.

Enigmatic dive instructor Alex Monroe is trying to forget the past and only wants a quiet life. But that’s turned upside down when Hope arrives and he finds himself drawn toward her.

Both have their reasons for avoiding any romantic entanglements, but a series of mishaps throws them together and their resolve is tested. Even paradise can have a dark side. Can they learn to trust each other?

When two pasts collide, their scars overlap and giving love a fighting chance might be harder than Hope thought.

Ultimately, they must decide what is worth fighting for.

Finding Hope is a slow-burn, sensual, contemporary romance featuring compelling, realistic characters and an irresistible setting.






March 15 . . .


As Hope Collins squinted at the enormous airplane roaring overhead, the icy sleet from an unexpected spring storm blasted her. She closed her eyes and grimaced, setting down her two suitcases to wipe her face before grinning as a flutter rippled through her midsection. 

This is the last time—no more Chicago winters or spring surprises! Bending down, she wrestled her luggage through the automatic doors and into the departures section of O’Hare Airport. 

It was nearly 9 p.m. and the hall’s blinding interior assaulted her eyes after the darkness outside. Finding the reader boards for her airline, she joined the line of people snaking its way to the check-in desks. As Hope slowly made her way through, she smiled, trying to guess the stories of the people around her. 

No one who knew her would ever guess what she was embarking on. Those she hadn’t already told, of course. 

An hour later, she was at the front of the line, and the agent called her up. “ID, please.” His blue blazer was crisp, but he had the tired bearing of someone who had been dealing with grumpy airline passengers all day. His trim, dark-brown hair looked like he’d run a hand through it more than once. Hope handed him her driver’s license. Another plus of my new home—don’t have to worry about all the international regulations. 

The agent brought up her ticket information on his terminal and brightened. “St. Croix! Oh, I’m so jealous! You definitely have the right idea. How long are you staying?”

“I’m moving there.” The three words tumbled out of Hope’s mouth as she bounced on her feet.

He set down her ID with wide brown eyes. “That sounds even better. Goodbye, Chicago winters! You know, if you’re in the mood to celebrate, we have a discounted upgrade to first class for only $100. We have some unsold seats, so the price is pretty low for this route.”

Hope hesitated before saying, “Why not? I’m sure I’ll sleep better on the overnight flight. Upgrade me!” 

This is your new start—splurge a little!

He processed her luggage and printed her boarding pass. “Your ticket includes access to our Club Lounge before your flight.” He gave her directions and sent her on her way.

After a surprisingly painless pass through security, she continued to the Club Lounge. The check-in agent peered at her boarding pass as if he were a bouncer in a club looking to reject the undesirables. Finally determining Hope had a magic ticket, he gave her a big fake smile and welcomed her into the lounge. Refraining from rolling her eyes, Hope regarded the area as she walked toward the bar. She’d never flown first class before. 

So, this is how the other half lives. 

Armchairs were arranged in an area far larger than she’d expected. Table lamps cast a warm glow around the lounge, and several large flat-screen televisions broadcasted a national news channel with the sound off. After finding a comfortable stuffed chair near the bar, Hope ordered a glass of red wine and relaxed into the soft leather with a mouthful of velvety smoothness. It was worth the splurge.

Ninety minutes later, she sipped a glass of champagne like a celebrity after settling into her first-class seat. She smiled at the middle-aged businesswoman seated next to her.

“Business or pleasure?” The woman, who had introduced herself as Barbara, wore a navy-blue suit with a crisp white shirt and a pencil skirt. Her navy pumps matched perfectly.

Hope thought for a moment. “A little of both, I guess. I’m moving to St. Croix for a new business opportunity, but I’m hoping it will be a pleasure.” She paused. “It’s really a complete life change for me.” The flutter of excitement was back.

Barbara’s eyes sparkled. “Oh, that sounds dramatic—tell me more.”

“The short version is I’ve won a scuba diving resort there. I’m flying down now to take it over and make it my own.”

Barbara gaped at Hope before snapping her mouth shut. “I think I’m going to need the long version. Good thing it’s a long flight and we get free drinks!”

Hope smiled and took a sip of champagne. Sitting here right now, she couldn’t believe how completely her life had changed in only four weeks.


Four Weeks Ago . . .


I am NOT predictable. 

Hope opened the door of the shop, the warm coffee-scented air wafting out to her as she hurried away from the biting sleet of the winter’s morning. As she frowned at the assorted pastries on offer, her mind returned to the conversation she’d had with her boyfriend, Kyle, the evening before. 

“There’s nothing wrong with being predictable,” he’d said. “It’s reassuring, like a favorite pair of slippers.” 

She glared at him as she crossed her arms. “I’m slippers to you? Seriously? I can be fun and spontaneous, but I’m also an adult and try to act like one. Are you saying I’m boring?” 

“I didn’t mean it as an insult. Forget I mentioned it.” He sighed and went back to scrolling on his phone.

The problem was, she couldn’t forget it. She unclenched her fists and took a deep breath of caffeinated air. They had been together for nearly two years, so maybe things were getting a little stale. 

“Good morning, Hope! I saw you in line, so I made your coffee,” said the barista, Ashley, in her crisp green apron. 

Hope furrowed her brow as she swept back a lock of chestnut hair. “How did you know what I was going to order?” 

Ashley’s smile fell. “Oh! You always get a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte. If you want something else today, it’s ok. I’ll make a new one.”

Hope ran her card through the reader. “No, my usual is fine. I didn’t realize I was so, uh, obvious.”

Ashley’s sunny smile returned. “We’ve got to have our routines, right?” 

“Yeah, I guess so. Thanks.” Hope grabbed the coffee, chewing on a fingernail as she walked toward the door. 

Am I getting a wake-up call here? Kyle and Ashley?

The icy sleet once again pelted her as she left the shop and headed toward her car. Pulling her coat tighter, she had much more important things to think about. You’ve earned this promotion. It’s time to prove it to Terrance. 

Hope started her car, rubbing her hands together in front of the heating vents before driving the two miles to work. Pulling into the parking lot of Rosemont Inn & Suites, her trusty SUV only skidded a little. I really hate snow. 

She inspected the tall building before her. Built fifteen years ago, the hotel still looked modern and upscale. The light-gray rectangular facade was broken up with rows and columns of windows. Royal-blue accent lighting was still on in the darkness.

Eduardo, the front-desk clerk, grinned from his computer as she passed by into her office. “Morning, Hope. It’s another gorgeous day.” 

He soon appeared at her door, his black hair short and clean. Eduardo was thirty but looked fifteen—he complained he still got carded. “Hey, isn’t your interview today?” 

“Ugh. Chicago winters are the worst. And yes, my interview is this afternoon. Assistant general manager has a nice ring to it. If things go well, your sentence with me as front-desk manager will soon end.”

Eduardo smirked. “Well, you’ve worked here forever. They’d be stupid not to promote you.”

There was a poster on the wall of a runner breaking the tape as she won a race. The caption read, Good Things Come to Those Who Don’t Give Up. “Sometimes it feels like forever, but it’s been ten years. And thanks for the compliment.” 

~

Later that morning, Hope sat in her office looking over occupancy lists when raised voices drifted in from the front desk. She smiled at Eduardo’s soothing tone as he tried to calm a customer.

“What do you mean you aren’t giving me an upgrade? Don’t you know I’m a Gold member?” 

“Yes, I see that, and we thank you for your loyalty. Unfortunately, we don’t have any suites to upgrade you to. Our check-in time isn’t until 3 p.m. If you’d prefer to wait for a better room, I can see what opens up between now and then and call you immediately.” Eduardo used the extra-sweet tone he always took with awful customers.

The man bellowed, “This is completely unacceptable!” 

Ok, that’s enough. 

Hope rose and approached the front desk, finding a very large and very red middle-aged man looming in front of the counter. He wore a rumpled suit, and his graying hair stuck up on one side. 

She peeked at Eduardo’s computer screen to scan the details before putting on her best professional smile and introducing herself. “Hello, Mr. Goodson. Eduardo is absolutely right about no suites being available, but I have a great corner room that just opened up. Would that work? I know it’s an inconvenience, but our options are limited when checking in this early in the day.” 

Goodson deflated. He’d been puffed up, spoiling for a fight. “Ok. I guess that could work. I’ve been flying all night, and it was a terrible flight.” 

Hope’s face hurt from smiling so hard. “I understand completely. Red-eyes are the worst.” The fire in the hearth gave a loud pop, making Goodson jump. “I’ll let Eduardo finish getting you checked in. Our restaurant is open if you’d like to get breakfast.”

He shook his head, still grumpy. “At this point, I only want to get some sleep.”

“Our rooms are soundproof, so that should help. Please let me know if there is anything else you need. I’m here to help.” Hope handed him her card. “I’ll leave you in Eduardo’s expert hands.”

“Thank you,” Goodson said, flushing now. 

Hope smiled and walked back to her office. Entitled Elite Number One handled for today. He wouldn’t be the last, but she could handle people like him in her sleep. 

~

At 12:58, Hope walked through the door of the executive conference room with her back straight and shoulders squared. Terrance, the general manager, sat at the conference table with the food and beverage manager and the current assistant general manager on either side of him.

“Good afternoon, Hope.” Terrance smiled. “Please have a seat.” As usual, he looked like he could have stepped out of Inc. Magazine. Not a wrinkle in his suit, and his salt-and-pepper hair perfectly groomed.

After exchanging pleasantries, Lydia, the F&B manager, narrowed her eyes and asked, “What is your experience here, Hope?”

She straightened and met Lydia’s eyes. As if you don’t know. We have lunch once a month. “I’ve worked here ten years. Four years as a front-desk assistant and the past six years as front-desk manager. I know the ins and outs of a wide variety of hotel operations.”

Terrance steepled his hands in front of him. “You’ve done excellent work here, Hope. How do you feel your current position has prepared you for assistant general manager?”

“I’m good with people. When I took this position, the front-desk associate turnover was sky high. Nobody wanted to work the front desk.” She shifted her gaze to Mark, the outgoing assistant manager who was taking over their hotel at the Denver airport. He was also the person she had replaced as front-desk manager. “I haven’t needed to hire an employee in over a year. I don’t think any other department manager here can say that.” 

Hope turned back to Terrance. “The assistant manager needs to know every detail of the hotel and make sure the small things are done right. The front desk is the first point of contact for guests. We deal with everything, and I’ve just about seen it all. My department also has the highest guest-survey ratings in the hotel.” 

Lydia looked impressed, and Terrance had a warm glow in his eyes. 

“I’ve been here for a long time, and I’m one of the most experienced employees you’ve got. Terrance, we’ve had multiple discussions about increasing my responsibilities here. In short, I think you’d have a very hard time finding anyone more qualified for this position.”

~

Sitting back in her chair, Hope looked at the wall clock, surprised it was nearly 3:30. Still on a high after her interview, she smiled as her phone vibrated with a text from Kyle.


Kyle: Dinner tonight? I made a reservation at Olive Tree for 5:30. Ok?


Hope: Perfect! See you then.


Olive Tree was one of her favorite restaurants, and she was definitely in the mood for a celebration. Hopefully, he wants to make up for being an ass last night, though he might have a point. This new job could be exactly what I need to shake up my routine a little. 

Eduardo ducked his head into her office. “So tell me! How did the interview go?”

“Great.” Hope smiled widely. “They still have more candidates to interview, so they won’t announce the position quite yet. But they didn’t throw me any major curveballs, and I’ve certainly paid my dues here.”

“Well, you get my vote. Ok, I’m out of here.” He turned to look at her, one hand gripping the door frame. “You’re not working late again, are you?”

“Nope. Dinner date at 5:30.” 

He disappeared out the door as she rose to help with the afternoon check-in rush, happy and excited now that the tension of the interview was over. 

She may have started her day in a funk, but she was confident it would end on a high note.

~


Hope pulled down the driver’s side visor and opened the vanity mirror. Reapplying her lipstick, she ran a hand through the slight natural wave of her shoulder-length hair. She touched up her eyeliner as her hazel eyes stared back at her. Unfortunately, she couldn’t do anything about her winter-pale skin. 

Tonight was a celebration, and she wanted to look good. Kyle might not be the man of her dreams, but he was a solid, dependable guy, though a little distant sometimes. She’d certainly done worse in the boyfriend department. Stop. Do not go there. It’s been years—are you ever going to get over it? 

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. 

Some of their best dates had been at Olive Tree. Even the weather was cooperating. The sun had set, but the wind was holding off its onslaught for the moment. The restaurant had a charming, bohemian vibe, with colorful tapestries draped along the ceiling. Candles in metal lanterns sat on tables covered with brightly colored tablecloths in tie-dyed patterns. 

Hope walked through the bead curtain at the front door, inhaling the aromas of garlic and fresh pasta. Kyle sat at a secluded table. With a smile spreading across her face, she made her way over. He spotted her and ran a hand over his accountant-perfect brown hair. 

Kyle gestured to a glass. “I ordered you a glass of Malbec.”

“My favorite. Thanks.” She studied him. His face was somewhat bland most of the time, but tonight it was pinched. “How are you doing?” 

“Fine.” His voice was strained.

Ok, I guess I’ll start the conversation. 

“My interview went well, I think. Terrance seemed enthusiastic about me in the position. He had told me not to interview when this job last opened up four years ago because I didn’t have enough experience. But I do now.” Her smile faded. Kyle wasn’t listening to her. Hope tried again. “So, this is a great night for a celebration dinner. I’m trying not to get too excited, but I honestly feel like I have—”

He looked her straight in the eye as he interrupted. “Hope, stop. I’m sorry, I forgot your interview was today. I didn’t ask you here to celebrate.” He rubbed the back of his neck as he dropped his gaze to the table. “God, there’s no easy way to say this. I don’t want to continue this relationship anymore.”

At first, she didn’t think she’d heard him correctly. Then, as his words sunk in, her heart started pounding. “Wait. What did you say?” 





Erin Brockus writes romantic adventures set in exotic, tropical locales, including the Half Moon Bay series.

She was introduced to scuba diving in 1998 by her husband. They have since traveled worldwide enjoying scuba diving, and the exotic locales they have visited form many of the ideas for her characters and stories. She has even been known to don a drysuit and explore the cold, murky waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Born in 1969 in Washington state, Erin had a love of creative writing as a youngster, but the expectations of Real Life got in the way and she went to college to become a pharmacist. After practicing pharmacy for over 25 years, she reduced her hours as a practicing pharmacist to devote more time to writing.

Erin is also an avid runner and cyclist, and lives with her husband, a scuba instructor, in eastern Washington state. Finding Hope is her first novel.



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Morgue to Love


 

Morgue to Love by Megan Montgomery is releasing August 24, 2021!


Preorder your copy today on Amazon! 

US: https://amzn.to/3hrHrCx

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Blurb

Dr. Smythe is the youngest (and for my money, the prettiest) Medical Examiner in Nashville, Tennessee, only I didn’t know it last night when she was between my legs and just Soula.
 
This morning, we meet again as our careers cross paths and if I wasn’t concentrating on not spilling my guts from the nasty fumes of this D.O.A., it’d be awkward as hell.
 
Our eyes meet over the autopsy table…
…Ahem.
…Cough.
…The autopsy table absolutely covered in melty, gooey human remains that are long past recognizable…
 
I open my mouth to speak. The name, Soula, is right there on my tongue. 
Unfortunately, so is the stench–and taste of putrescine. 
 
When I wake up on a scratchy, tweed couch with a pounding headache, Soula’s handing me something steamy in a Dolly Parton mug. She’s just as beautiful in her light green scrubs as she was naked in my bed last night, but her expression is clear–She wants nothing more to do with me.
 
But I want everything to do with her.


#aromanticcomedyofterrors #ContemporaryRomance #RomanticComedy #WorkplaceRomance #ForcedProximity #OneNightStand #FirstResponder #LoveatFirstSight #Introvert #LawEnforcement #GirlSquad