Release Tour

Release Tour for Drive To To Feel Alive by CD Rachels

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Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Drive to Feel Alive By CD Rachels

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Formula Q Series, Book 2

Formula Q is the fastest motorsport in the world. Only the highest-performing athletes can make it to the grid. They drive fast, work hard, and play hard, but off-camera, anything goes.

The public knows me as Berto ‘Honeybear’ Navarro, number two driver in the fastest team in FQ. I’m a simple guy, and I’m perfectly content with my life as a motorsports celebrity. The world doesn’t need to know that I don’t like sex or dating.

I’m not gay like my buddy Damon, but I’m not really straight either. It’s time to face the scary truth: I’m probably asexual.

The only sliver of hope I have is my new friend Hunter. He helps me work through my orientation issues and doesn’t judge me for feeling uneducated and naïve. He’s sweet, smart, and generous with his time.

As the weeks go by, Hunter and I get closer, and suddenly intimacy is something I want to explore, but only with him. Hunter makes everything feel right. I thought I’d never find anyone who lights a fire in me, but my new best friend makes the fireworks go off in my heart.

I thought winning races was the ultimate high and all I needed in life. That was before I touched Hunter—now, I crave so much more. For sex and love, I finally found my green light, and I’m not slowing down.

(“Drive to Feel Alive” is a male/male motorsports romance novel. It involves waffle dates, asexuality, video game conventions, exploring true intimacy for the first time, and yes, lots of racing action worldwide. It is book two of a series, has a HEA, and can be read as a standalone)

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RIPPP! THE SOUND of half my shirt being torn from my body is so loud I bet all of Nevada can hear it. I’m in a tented booth in the small town of Coyote where I’ve been signing autographs for charity all afternoon. Now, with only a few patrons left, it seems I’ll need to be shirtless, as part of my orange, short-sleeved button-down hangs off the right side of my body. “I got it! I got Heriberto Navarro’s shirt!” The young girl in front of me squeals in delight while my friend Robesy Robespierre laughs next to me. See, this is why I don’t like being a celebrity. I’m a driver in Formula Q, the fastest motorsport in the world, categorized by the single-seater machines we race in. Am I happy to compete in professional karting internationally? Yes, it’s all I know. Does it come with plenty of perks and a sweet paycheck? Of course! Does being a celebrity come with downsides? Also yes. Apparently, in addition to dodging sports paparazzi, I have to worry about literally losing the shirt on my back. “Honey, that was impolite,” an older woman, presumably her mom, says. “You can’t go around grabbing people’s shirts!” She looks at me with remorse. “I am so sorry, Mr. Navarro.” “Uh, no worries?” I mean for it to be true, but I uncomfortably laugh while it comes out as a question. When the woman looks me up and down, I cross my arms. I’m not shy about my body—I’ve done underwear advertisements for dios sake—but I wasn’t prepared to be shirtless today. “Eh, it’s no problem for mon ami ici.” Robesy pats me on the back. He’s a fellow FQ driver, a party animal, and I’ve picked up on his Quebecoise over the years. Though right now, I kind of want to punch him in his smug symmetrical face. “He’s used to these kinds of fan interactions, eh?” He grins at me, and I glare at him. Robesy has a point; I should be accustomed to this celebrity lifestyle, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Racing is my element. Being on the track, feeling the roar of the kart underneath me, and tuning myself to anticipate the turns as well as my competition is what I live for. But I never wanted to be a celebrity. Millions of people talk about me worldwide. I’m on billboards, websites, and even trading cards. When everyone talks about you, it can feel like you don’t own the right to be yourself. To the public eye, I have to be Heriberto ‘Honeybear’ Navarro, a nickname the fans drummed up for me. I never got the average teenager experience as a kid since I kept winning at the Vypari Racing Academy in Texas. Some days, the fast-paced lifestyle gets to be too much. I don’t even use the internet often because sports channels are too much drama. I’m a simple guy, and I don’t need much more in life than all the gifts I’ve been given. “Alright, step aside, these guys are done with autographs for today.” One of the bodyguards announces that the last two people stepping up will be the end of the event. The girl who now has half my shirt giggles and walks away. Her mom turns back to me and gives me a heated stare. “I am so sorry, Mr. Navarro. If there’s any way I can help you…” Her voice trails off dripping in innuendo. Let’s add that to the list of things I’m still not comfortable with. I’m in my third season in FQ, and yes, I get plenty of female attention. This older woman is staring at me like I’m a three-course meal and she’s starving. “I’m good. No worries. Your daughter can keep the shirt. Take care. I’m going to find some clothes.” I chuckle and my cheeks feel warm. Her flirtation is flattering, but not welcome. I should love the female attention and the groupies, but even if the girls are hot, they don’t do it for me. The way this woman is staring has me squirming in discomfort. I’m feeling exposed on multiple levels, and the ripped fabric on my body hides nothing. The woman seems like she wants to argue, but Robesy cuts her off. “Hey, Berto, I’m sure this guy can take care of you and get you dressed. Sir?” He hollers to the man behind me, and I turn around. Hunter, whom we both met only hours ago, is standing there closing up a lockbox. He directs the True Self Center, an LGBTQ support center. He has blond hair, blue eyes, a wider frame, and his whole demeanor screams “kind and cuddly,” like he couldn’t hurt a fly. “Do you have a shirt Berto can borrow?”
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To celebrate CD Rachels’ new release, he is giving you the chance to win 1 of 2 e-copies of Drive To Feel Alive!

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Catch up on the Formula Q Series, Book 1 with Drive to Thrive

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Formula Q is the fastest motorsport in the world. Only the highest-performing athletes can make it to the grid. They drive fast, work hard, play hard, but off-camera, anything goes.

The public knows me as Damon ‘The Speed Demon’ Davidoff, eligible bachelor and winner of FQ titles around the world. Fans adore me and my team supports me. They don’t need to know I’m so deeply in the closet I intend to bury myself there.

Then my poor health caught up to me and my world came crashing down. I could bounce back easily if it weren’t for one little complication: my male nurse is attractive as hell.

I can suppress these feelings during the season break—I have to. I’m not going to expose my secret just because when Rocky puts his hands on me I feel a fire coursing through my veins.

As the weeks go by, I somehow let Rocky under my skin and into my heart. He’s smart, sweet, and everything I never knew I needed.

I thought I wanted a clean bill of health and to keep winning my races. Now, for the first time in my life, I want so much more. I want him, and damn if that isn’t the scariest thing I’ve ever felt.

Drive to Thrive is a male/male motorsports romance novel. It involves Christmas karaoke, New Year’s Eve parties, Las Vegas swimming pool dates, and yes, lots of racing action worldwide. It is book 1 of a series but can be read as a standalone

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About the Author:

CD Rachels has been coming up with stories since he was little. First, it was fanfiction, then YA queer novels, and now he’s moved up to the big leagues of adult MM romance. In 2020 during quarantine, he burned through more male/male romance books than he ever had in the previous 29 years combined.

He believes there aren’t enough BIPOC MC’s in MM romance, and he’s on a mission to change that. He lives in New York City with the love of his life and works in health insurance. If you’re reading this, he’s honored that you took the time to help support him as a self-published author.

Catch up with CD Rachels: Newsletter: IG: Amazon Author’s Page: CD Rachels Author Page Facebook Author Group: CD Rachels’ Chill Discourse Room

Release Tour

Release Tour : Flirting with the Stranger by Gia Stevens

Title: Flirting with the Stranger
Series: Harbor Highlands Series
Author: Gia Stevens
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Tropes: Strangers to Lovers, One Night Stand, Reverse Age Gap, Dirty Talking Hero, Boss/Employee
Release Date: March 20, 2023

A spicy boss/employee, reverse age gap novel by romantic comedy author Gia Stevens…

Have you ever mistaken a guy for a stripper and had a scorching hot one-night stand with him only to find out he’s your new boss? No? Just me?

The first time I met Van, I was instantly drawn to his charismatic smile and stunning good looks as I shoved dollar bills into his waistband.

The second time I saw Van, he walked into my bakery as the new owner and boss. That time, I kept my dollars to myself.

But there’s a problem, owning a bakery wasn’t his choice and all he wants is to sell. Somehow, I need to persuade him to keep the business, so I can keep my dream job. When he admits he doesn’t know the difference between “frosting” and “icing,” I realize I have my work cut out for me.

With each passing day, our chemistry ignites like a chocolate flambé. But it’s a distraction I don’t need. I know from experience that when I wish for everything, I end up with nothing.

Van’s young and irresponsible, he can’t possibly know anything about running a bakery or falling in love. But he’s determined to prove me wrong.

It turns out he has a few cupcakes up his sleeve that just might satisfy my sweet tooth.

Flirting with the Stranger is a reverse age gap, strangers to lovers, boss/employee romantic comedy with a hero who has a real sweet tooth for something besides cupcakes. Be prepared to laugh-out-loud one minute and swoon the next in this steamy standalone romantic comedy. Each book in the Harbor Highlands Series is set in the same world and a guaranteed happily ever after.

“Finally, you’re here.”

“Oh. Um.” Play it cool, Van. Don’t let the hot girl get you tongue tied. “Of course, where else would I be?” I flash her a dimpled smile.

“No, seriously. You’re an hour late. The least you could’ve done was call. We have a group of girls who are ready to see you take your clothes off. Let’s go.” Her dainty fingers wrap around my wrist. The warm contact sends a current of electricity coursing through my body as she tugs me up the stairs.

“Wait.” I plant my feet. “What are you talking about? Take my clothes off? I think I deserve dinner before I get naked.” I flash her a seductive smile. 

“Dinner? Are you kidding? We weren’t told we had to feed you.” She drops my hand and rests it on her hip. “Look, we have a thousand dollars for you plus tips, if you’re good, to take your clothes off and shake your ass while we all ooh and ahh over your ripped abs. You have ripped abs, right?” She lifts the hem of my shirt, exposing my hard six pack. “Oh yes, that’ll do.” Her gaze lingers on my exposed stomach for a few extra seconds before she reluctantly drops the fabric. “So, are you coming or am I calling your boss to tell him you won’t do your job?”

Fuck. She thinks I’m a stripper for her party. But it pays a thousand dollars plus tips. Since I’m jobless, I could use the cash. I wager the battle in my head for a split second and, fuck it. First time for everything. “Lead the way.” 

She spins around and climbs the stairs, the shimmering sequins on the ass of her dress hypnotizing as her hips sway back and forth. As the giggles and laughter grow louder, I second guess myself. I’ve never done this before. I mean, I’ve gotten naked before, just never with more than one girl watching.

“Our entertainment has arrived!” the bombshell announces to her friends.


Gia Stevens resides in the up north of Minnesota. She lives for the warm, sunny days of summer and dreads the bitter cold of winter. A romantic comedy junkie at heart, she knew she wanted her own stories to encompass those same feelings.

When she’s not busy writing your next book boyfriend, Gia can be found playing in her vegetable garden, watching reruns of The OC and Gossip Girl, or curled up with a good book.

Release Tour

House of Igarashi Part 1 Release Tour

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House of Igarashi Part 1 by Crea Reitan is LIVE!

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One click House of Igarashi Part 1 by Crea Reitan now!

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About House of Igarashi Part 1

There is beauty in a perfect storm – even in its violent destruction.

I’ve always been a part of the world of monsters. Storms thrive on the energy of other storms. In many ways, all monsters are perfect storms.

That’s why they’re hunted.

Content with a life of work and friends, I somehow find myself falling for the eleven gorgeous storms of House Igarashi. Settling in with them is natural, as if I’ve always been missing these pieces and suddenly I can take a breath of fresh hair.

And then the Division of Silence threatens to take it all away.

My name is Hadley. I am a lightning storm. If I lose even a single one of my men, I’m going to bring this world to its knees with blinding fury from the sky.

This is a polyamorous story with content not intended for those under 18 years of age due to graphic scenes and situations.

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About Crea Reitan

Crea lives in upstate New York with her dog and husband. She has been writing since grade school, when her second grade teacher had her class keep writing journals. She has a habit of creating secondary, and often time tertiary, characters that take over her stories. All of her RH relationships end up being heavily polyamorous – meaning it’s not just all the men for one woman. There’s also some M/M action going on. When she can’t fall asleep at night, she thinks up new scenes for her characters to act out. This, of course, is how most of her meant-to-be-thrown-away characters tend to end up front and center – and utterly swoon-worthy! Don’t ask her how many book boyfriends she has…

When not writing, Crea is an avid reader. Her TBR pile is several hundred books high (don’t even look at her kindle wish list or the unread books on her tablet). Sometimes, she enjoys crafting; sometimes, exploring nature; sometimes, traveling. Mostly, she enjoys putting her characters on paper and breathing life into them. Oh, and sleeping. Crea loves to sleep!

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Release Tour

Release Tour Fate of the Moon by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Release Tour & Excerpt: Fate of the Moon By Sara Dobie Bauer

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You’re a beautiful monster, and fate has bound us together for life.

After the murder of his parents, the rules of high society dictate that omega werewolf Shay find an alpha mate—and fast. While struggling with overwhelming grief, swirling rumors of his guilt, and the prospect of a forced marriage he’s never wanted, his courting celebration yields yet another nightmare.

Alfie is a gossip reporter and alpha werewolf who latches onto the same theory as everyone else: that Shay is responsible for the deaths of his parents. When Alfie sneaks into a courting party to get a look at the guilty young man for his column, he expects to see a murderer, but finds his fated mate instead.

Despite their mutual disdain, Shay and Alfie are now inescapably entangled—all while a double homicide remains unsolved.

As their affections grow, so does the danger to their lives. Shay and Alfie might be fated, but can love conquer suspicion, grief, and the threat of death?

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A little ways down the hall, he stopped outside a closed door when the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He rubbed his hand over the misbehaving follicles, but the feeling continued, as though something deep within him struggled to get out. It was the wild wolf inside. Alfie felt it, right below the surface of his skin. Alfie was always aware of his wolf side, but unless aroused or under extreme duress, his kind only transformed during the full moon. If he didn’t know better, he would have thought a full moon had just risen above the horizon—but no, it was still weeks away. Yet, he heard it howling and could feel it clawing, pushing him to open the door! Open the door! So Alfie opened it, revealing a skeleton of a man frowning in clear confusion at him. Despite his small stature, there was something overwhelming about the skinny brunette’s presence. Although gaunt and frail, he commanded attention with the stubborn jut of his chin and sharp intelligence in his eyes. Shay Trudeaux. Alfie took one lurching step forward. Christ, what was this all-encompassing need to take? The young man’s bravado fell away. His eyes went from suspicious appraisal to wary desperation. Alfie wanted to hear his voice, knowing that somehow it would soothe his wolf, but Shay said nothing. Instead, he trembled and hugged himself. He made a high-pitched noise before dropping into little more than a pile of bones and a stunning suit on the polished hardwood floor. Alfie’s wolf would no longer be cowed. He rushed forward and slid to the ground, collecting the unconscious man into his arms. Alfie held Shay close while brushing his fingers through the omega’s mousy brown hair. “Shay.” Alfie repeated the name, and a rush of emotion nearly knocked him over. He would do anything for this man. He would protect him at any cost. He would kill for him, die for him. They were fated mates. And all Alfie could say was a quiet, “Shit.”
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Sara Dobie Bauer

About the Author:

Bestselling romance author.

Bisexual witch.

Feminist. Pro-choice. Anti-censorship.

Timothee Chalamet freak.

Horror movie aficionado.

Vampire mermaid in a past life.

Sara Dobie Bauer somehow survived her party-hard college years at Ohio University to earn a creative writing degree. She lives with her precious Pit Bull in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film.

Connect with Sara: Website: Facebook Group: Newsletter Sign-Up: Instagram: Twitter: Freebies:

Release Tour

Release Tour for Defeat by Evelyn Sola

When David found Delaney sleeping in his bed, he never thought they’d be more than friends. But as time passes, he quickly discovers that the smallest spark leads to possibilities he never expected. Readers who enjoy spicy romances will devour Defeat by Evelyn Sola, a steamy, friends with benefits romance. I loved this book from beginning to end! Max and Summer were such a sexy couple. Summer was such a poised young woman. An old soul. The way Max loved Summer…whew!”- Amazon Review for Downfall

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A self-proclaimed bachelor, content on his own. A runaway bride, searching for her freedom. They may seem like they’ve got nothing in common, but the tiniest sparks make the biggest flames. Delaney Lewis is desperate for her freedom. From her controlling mother and the man she left standing at the altar. Her best friend is more than happy to help her escape and sets Delaney up at her soon to be brother-in-law’s house while he’s out of town, confident that when David comes home—he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Delaney safe from her crazy family. David Sutton finds the surprise of a lifetime when he discovers a woman sleeping soundly in his bed. When she explains how she ended up there, David’s heart and mind slowly open, leading to a permanent place to stay, a job, and best of all, a new outlook. The woman who was much like a stranger before, slowly becomes his friend…with a few intimate perks and before they know it, real sparks start to fly.

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Copyright 2023 @Evelyn Sola

She holds up her hand and says, “Fine. Be a confirmed bachelor, David. There is nothing worse than being in a relationship when you don’t want to be. I get that. Go and live your best life, and I’ll do the same.” She turns her back and starts toward the glass door. I take her elbow and keep her in place. “So, you’re just going to walk away from me?” I ask. “When we agreed to just sex. Those were the terms, remember? I was going to see someone else, and I let you know. You agreed to it. You don’t get to agree and throw a hissy fit.” I want to bite my own tongue. That’s not what I came here to say, but her dismissive attitude is infuriating. “So, you want to talk about rules?” She yanks her elbow from me but turns to face me. “What else did you say? No sleeping in your bed. No cuddling. No dates. Remember that? And only fucking. No lovemaking. Guess what, David? You broke every single rule. I haven’t spent a night out of your bed. Not only that, I sleep in your arms. You took me out on dates where you fed me lobster, made me laugh, and made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman who ever lived. You told me about your past. You promised to be my protector. You made love to me time after time. So, to hell with you and your rules.” She shoves my chest, but it has no impact. She does it again, and I wrap my hands around her wrists. “You’re right. I freaked out—”

About Evelyn Sola

A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come. Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion, and humor. She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.

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Release Tour

Release Tour: Abandoned But Not Alone by Nicole Dykes


Meet Me in the Blue by A.M. Johnson is now LIVE!


One click Meet ME in the Blue by A.M. Johnson today!

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About Meet Me in the Blue

Meet me… in the place where the sun kisses the horizon and sinks into blue shades of you and me.

Meet me there… where everything was always perfect. You and me and the damp grass at dawn and the gray dirt in the late evening rain.

Meet me where we were ourselves and not these two people who can’t even say I love you.

Meet me there and maybe we’ll remember…

We’ll remember the us we were before them, before miles, before lost hours, and you’ll ask what color the sky is, and I’ll say blue like your eyes.

And you’ll smile, and I’ll forget I ever missed you.


Luka and Rook have been best friends since they were nine years old.

Five years ago, Luka threw it all away.

When his dad’s health takes a turn for the worst, Luka must come home to say his goodbyes and mend the bridges he burned all those years ago. But coming home is harder than he imagined, and after reuniting with his family, there’s only one person he needs.


His best friend.

The one man he pushed away, the one man, no matter how hard he tried to forget, he can’t stop himself from loving.

Even if loving him means breaking his heart all over again.

Meet Me in the Blue is a stand alone, best friends to lovers, second chance, demi-awakening, MM romance, with a whole lot of small town heart, meddling moms, gossiping townies, self-discovery, a friendship forged of forts, Dungeons and Dragons, and a love that will stand the test of time.

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About A.M. Johnson

A.M. Johnson lives in Utah with her family where she works as a full-time nurse. If she’s not at the hockey rink with her kiddos, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard. She loves romance and all things passionate. Amanda enjoys exploring all genres and bringing life to the human experience.

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Release Tour

Release Tour : SINS of the Syndicate: The Debt by Lexxi James

Title – SINS of the Syndicate: The Debt
Author – Lexxi James
Genre – Mafia Romance, Romantic Suspense, Multicultural Romance (standalone)
Release Date – March 2, 2023

I’ve done my best to avoid him.
But when his dark eyes lock onto mine, this time,
I know there’s nowhere I can go. Nowhere I can hide.
Nowhere he won’t find me.

He is Smoke. Head of the D’Angelos.
Gorgeous and haunting. Brutal and ruthless.
He rules Chicago, and I owe him a debt.

And now…he owns me.

I should send her away…
This beautiful, innocent girl that conjures the best and worst in me.

But I won’t.
I can’t.
She had her chance and she blew it.

It’s time she learns what it means
To owe a debt to the ruler of Chicago.

And it starts with me ruining her…
Body and soul.

The Debt is a steamy romance that can be read as a stand-alone in the SINS of the Syndicate Series.

As a USA Today Bestselling author, Lexxi James has hit the top 50 bestseller lists on Amazon, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble, with books sold in over 26 countries. Best known for seductive romantic suspense, she loves matching smoking hot heroes with their soul mates. Her signature style is witty banter, high heat, and a whole lot of heart.

She proudly calls the Midwest home where she lives with the man of her dreams and the sweetest daughter in the universe. Her pastimes include reading, loading up on unhealthy quantities of caffeine, and binging Netflix and reality TV. She’s a sucker for kids selling cookies and pretty much anything on Etsy.

Release Tour

Release Tour : Only a Touch by Delancey Stewart

Title: Only a Touch
Series: Kasper Ridge
Author: Delancey Stewart
Genre: Small Town Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Cover Design: Kelly Lambert Greer

A new entrant to USA Today Bestselling author Delancey Stewart’s Kasper Ridge series of connected standalones will give you all the feels!

I’ve got a plan to get out of this tiny town and off to the adventure I’ve been dreaming of. I’m just missing one tiny thing to pull this plan off… a boyfriend.

I’ve been running the Kasper Ridge Guides and Gear shop since after high school. And for a long time, it’s been enough. But when I final in a contest to win the adventure of a lifetime, I’m ready to head out and see the world outside this tiny Colorado town.

The only problem? My inside source says the contest organizers want to give the prize to a couple. And I’m decidedly single.

Luckily, I’ve become good friends with Travis, a ridiculously handsome, intimidatingly large former fighter pilot. He’s unavailable in every sense of the word. Or at least that’s what I think…until we kiss in a moment of passion I never expected. And then suddenly, leaving town doesn’t seem like such a great plan.

Pretending to be in love with Travis isn’t hard, and the cameras following us around for the week capture some footage that make it look like it’s not too hard for him, either.

But then an “unresolved issue” from Travis’s past shows up at the resort and reminds me exactly why I don’t date tall, gorgeous men in the first place.

“This book just checked all the boxes for me. Sweet, emotional, heartfelt, steamy and funny, this read has you basking in the feels and swoon as your heart melts and a huge smile takes up residence on your face. Travis and CeeCee were cute and totally adorable together. Another superb entry for this wonderfully fun series.” – ★★★★★ Star B&N Review

Release Tour

Release Tour for Deadly Intentions by Anise St

When Viviana Spataro’s best friend was murdered, revenge became her number one focus and ten years later, her mission for vengeance is almost complete. The only obstacle standing in her way is the son of the man she wants to destroy, the sexy and lethal, Nazario Vaccaro. Fans of dark romances will devour Deadly Intentions by Anise Storm, a sexy enemies-to-lovers, mafia romance.

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Viviana Spataro had dreams and ambitions until the murder of her best friend in a New York City alley changed everything. Overcome with grief, her dreams soon changed. Instead of wanting to heal others as a doctor, she now wants to annihilate the one person responsible. Ten years later, she finally has her chance. As a mistress to one of the most notorious Mafia Dons in Italy, Stefano’s days are now numbered. Her mission of vengeance is almost complete, or it will be once she can get past the only thing standing in her way. That obstacle is her attraction to the sexy, and equally as lethal, son of the man she’s determined to destroy. Nazario Vaccaro is well aware of his father’s sins, and he’s hellbent on exacting payback of his own. Viviana doesn’t know the levels of depravity his father is capable of so she has no idea the real danger she is in. He does, and he is determined to protect her, even from herself. Will he be able to seduce her into heeding his warning as he prepares to take his rightful place upon his father’s throne? Or, will she become collateral damage in a deadly game of betrayal, sex, and secrets?

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Copyright 2023 @Anise Storm

My mind was stronger than my flesh and bones. I let those men hurt me in so many unimaginable ways, but I knew they did it with love even during those times when there was no mercy shown. It was never something I’d begged for, and it wouldn’t have been given even if I had. No amount of physical or psychological pain mattered when thinking about Stefano’s miserable life being cut short at my hands. It actually got me off in ways I never knew I could. Now, that motivation was gone, but like father, like son. Nazario had robbed me of my destiny and stolen my future. One day, I’d steal his life and we’d finally be even. I knew he was distrustful of me. No matter how many times we fucked, his suspicions never waned. I was like a damn machine. I moaned, cried, and came on command, so he’d never be the wiser. All of that was a front, though. When alone with my thoughts like I was now, there was a vulnerability I despised, yet couldn’t ever completely shake. The last two weeks had been spent in a daze. The days blurred together, and I found myself lacking a reason to live any longer. “Why are you keeping me here?” I asked aloud to myself. I knew Nazario didn’t love me. The only things that man could love were money, power, violence, and the thrill of the chase. It was all good because the only things I lived for were vengeance and sex, and with the former mostly done, I could only cling to the latter. At least, Nazario’s touch made me come, without having to think of other men. Damn, the things that man did to my body. My hands moved to my robe and I cupped my breasts through the silk material. You’re fucking mine now,” he’d told me hours after his father’s murder. “Am I?” I’d asked, and he’d spent the next several hours bringing me to so many orgasms that I’d forgotten what I had even wanted to know. Tonight, he seemed a bit possessive, too. I knew it was more for the crowd than anything else. He needed everyone to recognize him as the man in charge; and his father’s mistress being his was like the icing on the cake. I loved that dominant side of him. He exuded power, and now he had an unlimited amount of it. What would he do to me now? Would he drop me off and leave without so much as a damn word? I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t just stay in this fucking fortress day and night, playing the dutiful wife. I needed to get out of here. Some fresh air would be nice. I grabbed my phone just in case I got lost on this massive estate, and I headed outside. I started to walk through the gardens. Stefano had told me once his first wife loved flowers. He’d also told me how painful they were to see each and every day after she was violently murdered. “You never told me you’d arranged the entire thing,” I muttered as I walked along the stone pathway. It was dark, so the type of plants and foliage were hard to identify. I’d taken this same walk many times in the light and I could understand why he would want to hold on to something so beautiful. I also remembered the things Nazario had told me, including how Donna had died. God, how I wanted to drive a stake through his cold, cold heart. I almost had my fondest wish come true. My blade was sharpened and already coated in his blood. If I would’ve bypassed tormenting him and just fucking did it, this would’ve been over. “Aren’t we done here?” I’d asked Nazario that day. He’d smirked. “We’ll never be done, and if I’m wrong, you won’t be able to survive without me?” I took that as a challenge, and it was now the only motivation I had to even wake up in the morning. As easy as it was to imagine Stefano’s demise, his son was a harder task because all my body needed was his touch. He set me aflame like no one else ever had, including my friends in Sicily. This had to be fate’s way of sticking up its middle finger at me. I tightened my robe around me and continued to walk. As the night sky grew even blacker, the only thing illuminating it was the lightning off in the distance. There were barely any stars above this wasteland, and that realization made me smile. It stayed on my face until a loud boom of thunder overhead made me jump. God, I hated storms and they seemed to be a lot more frequent nowadays. I stopped and turned to see how far I had walked away from the house and it seemed to be a lot farther than I had thought. My gaze then scanned the horizon. There was nowhere to go if the skies opened up beside… My eyes zeroed in on the mausoleum where Stefano and others in the Vaccaro family lay at rest. It was mere feet away from me, while the house was a good half of mile or more. Another loud rumble made my decision for me. Hurrying over to the large burial place, I managed to get the door open just before the skies opened up. Once inside, I shuddered at how dark it was. I slapped my hand against the cold stone until I located the light. The bulb flickered once or twice when I turned it on, and I decided to light the candles near the tombs in case the electricity went out. I grabbed the book of matches and inhaled the sulfur smell as I lit one and proceeded to move up and down the walls, lighting the wicks in each candle. When done, I held the flame in front of my face. Donna’s funeral flashed in my head. It had been so beautiful, but tragic at the same time. When I’d held up the flame that fateful day and lit a candle for her, I had decided then and there that I would make sure all those responsible for her demise would pay. I later learned the one with a death sentence was none other than a dangerous and feared man. I wasn’t afraid to die. I was only afraid of one thing and that was… My eyes flew open. No, I wouldn’t allow that to happen. I couldn’t. I would never live a normal life again, because the man in the farthest tomb from me had made that impossible. I ignored the loud rumbling and scary flashes of light right outside of this building and moved down to where Stefano lay. His body was there, but his soul was in hell, where he belonged. “Are you suffering,” I asked him as I traced the letters of his name. God, how I hoped he was. I needed to believe that even if I didn’t believe anything else. I covered the match with my hand, extinguishing the flame. The slight burn was barely felt. I tossed the stick onto the floor and moved to the stone casket, which would one day house Nazario’s body. I couldn’t take out the father, but maybe I’d fare better with his son.

About Anise Storm

Anise Storm is a USA Today Bestselling author of Contemporary and Dark Romance. A Southern transplant, Anise is married with children. She has a love of football, shoes, and tall, dark heroes. When not spending time with family or traveling, she can be found either curled up with a good book or writing.

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