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AWWM | Adult Contemporary Romance

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OPEN WOUNDS: ABEL & HOPE

 

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the first of many standalones featuring Trent Reed's new employees!

A Love Against the Odds Novel

If you could see your life from inception to your death, would you change things or would you let your death play out as fate intended?

Abel is in search of only two things. A stable job and a safe place to lay his head at night after a mistake that cost him eighteen months of his life. As if fate had plans made only for him, Abel is offered a complicated job, and a chance to redeem himself to his old boss, from an old friend. And then he meets her…
And Abel adds another item to his list—Hope.

At only twenty-six, Hope has only ever slept with one man, and at her boss’s unsolicited advice, Hope plans to forget the abuse and degradation she suffered at her husband's hand by seducing and bedding the next man she meets. Only, after Hope finds a promise of death at her doorstep, her plans are derailed and only chance at staying alive rests on the dedication of her new bodyguard and her own sheer will to live the life she deserves.

*Lightly Edited Preview*

        Hope curiously eyed the gaudy, purple and pink plastic engagement ring on Thea’s finger, as she held her hand up in the air. Her friend gazed lovingly at it while wiggling her fingers. Bright, adoring eyes met Hope’s as she gushed over the ring and continued the story of how Lex had proposed.

        “I’d given it to him as a gift, never once realizing he’d use it to ask me to marry him all these years later.” Thea sighed dramatically, as if she could barely continue without another squeal bubbling out. “He bent down on one knee, looked me in the eyes, and promised me forever.”

            Hope had zoned out halfway through the story. Not that Lex’s proposal hadn't been adorable and romantic, but she often found herself drowning in memories of the past whenever anyone brought up marriage. The idea was to leave the past in New York, but Hope found that hard to do with all the wedding talk and secrets she held inside. She smiled, but seeing the solemn look Thea gave her, she was sure it hadn't reached her eyes.

            “Oh, shit,” her best friend and boss said. “I keep forgetting that you—”

            “Stop right there.” Hope waved a dismissive hand at her words. “Don’t think for a second I am comparing this to my own life. You get to enjoy this. Lex is amazing, and nothing like Mark.” She crossed her arms over her chest in frustration. Hope had never meant to make her feel like she couldn’t talk openly, because Thea was the only person in her life who she could converse with candidly.

            Thea’s soft voice met her ears. “I know, but it’s like talking about getting pregnant around someone who can’t carry a child. You want to be excited, but you also don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

            “I know, and that puts a damper on your good news.” Hope shook off the sadness threatening to overwhelm her. “No more walking on egg shells around me.” Thea’s engagement was amazing news, and Hope was acting like a big-ass wet rag. She pushed back the agonizing memories and smiled again; this time, conveying her happiness for a friend who’d saved her ass. “Can we both agree to put my shitty past where it belongs? Way the hell behind us. Now, let me see this thing.”

Thea moved closer, placing the hideous ring out for her inspection. Seeing Hope’s reaction, her nose wrinkled and her forehead dipped. “I know, right?” Hope looked up to her. “Ugly as sin, isn’t it?”

Both women laughed at the truth because the ring was seriously fugly.

Thea took her hand back. “Maybe you should get out there and try the dating game again?”

Hope groaned inwardly. She didn’t want to hear the ‘just move on’ speech again. Because she had tried—with no success. After looking high and low, no matter who she ended up dating, she always found them to be . . . lacking. Unsure of whether it was her past, or her inability to trust, she found it painfully hard to even consider dating anymore.

“Hell, I say, the next man who walks through that door,” Thea turned to Hope with a calculating smile, “you ask on a date!”

            Hope’s eyes widened at the crazy idea. The possibility of her hitting up the next man to walk through the clinic’s front door was laughable. “No. I couldn’t possibly. You’re crazy. I don’t think—”

            “That’s right. Don’t think,” Thea spurred. “Just do.”

            Hope huffed, then saw something out of the corner of her eye. Turning to look at the door, she jolted in surprise. “Oh, for cripes’ sake.” Ms. Collis stood there, angrily banging on the door, leaving fist-sized smudge marks on the glass—a line of people standing impatiently behind her. Good thing Hope had painstakingly cleaned the doors the night before. “I think today is going to be one of those days. Is it a full moon?”

            Thea followed her gaze. “Oh, God help us.” Running to the door, she turned the locks and guided the woman behind Ms. Collis inside. As she passed the front desk, she elevated the woman’s bloody arm and whispered to Hope, “The next hot guy that isn’t dying . . . ask him out.” 

Hope’s face flushed with embarrassment.

            Behind her, a crowd of people entered, some looking as if they were drowning in snot, while others bled, or just appeared angry and annoyed. Regardless of the clientele, Hope loved her job. She’d always enjoyed the feeling of a good day’s work. In fact, the past six months at the clinic had been a way for Hope to temporarily ignore the past and focus on a possible future.

And in the beginning, Thea had been able to keep her employment hush-hush, paving the way for Hope to work without fear of one day looking up to find Mark, waiting for her. But now that employment papers were signed and turned in, Hope’s worrying increased with each passing day. She shuddered. The idea of Mark following her to Blackwater had become a waking nightmare and a monster under her bed to fear.

Pushing those feelings aside, she looked up and smiled at Ms. Collis, handing her a clipboard with documents attached. Seconds later, a biker in leather pants—crazy in this heat—a ripped and bloody shirt the size of a mountain pushed through the doors of the clinic, blood gushing from his nose. He favored his right side, and pressed his free hand to a wound seeping blood through the tattered shirt. Hope’s eyes travelled up and up the huge behemoth until her eyes met and connected with his unconcerned gaze.

Shaking herself from the shock of such a huge man, Hope pointed to the side door where the motorcycle club, or the MC, had claimed the waiting room as their own. Locals who weren’t affiliated with the gang, sat in the open waiting room to the right, while the MC took residence in the small room to the left. He nodded his head and made his way to the door.

            “Ma’am, if you could take a seat and fill this out, I’ll be right back,” Hope instructed. Ms. Collis was in to have her cast taken off. It wasn’t the least bit serious, so she would have to wait her turn as Hope triaged the more seriously injured. Hope made her way over to the bleeding man, who still hadn't opened the door to the waiting room.

            “Sir?” She came up behind him and he swiveled around to meet her gaze. Unfortunately, since Thea’s grandfather had ties with the MC before he passed, most of the gang came to her clinic when in need of medical help that didn’t require the coroner. At first, Hope had doubts, but when she got the text from Mark threatening her life if she didn’t return to his side in New York, Hope decided it wasn’t so bad if these huge, gun-toting men were there often.

            The man’s dark eyes flickered to the waiting room. “Didn’t want to get blood on the door.” His deep voice and heavy, Irish brogue caught her off guard. This man was new, or at least, had never been in the clinic while Hope was there. Since she worked five days a week, and twelve hours a day, she assumed he’d just been one of the lucky few in the MC to not have gotten stabbed recently.

            Hope glanced to his bloody hands and nodded. “Okay. Let me get that for you.” She went to open the door, when Lucy, the clinic’s receptionist, burst through the front doors, apologizing for being late as she headed to the counter. Now that she was at work, Hope could take him straight back and get him stitched up. “Actually, why don’t we have you come on back with me. We’ll see how serious these wounds are.”

He followed her to one of the rooms in the back. Hope hadn't bothered getting him to fill out any forms. The MC members never bothered with the patient information form, and always paid in cash. Hell, the clinic would probably go belly up without the money the men provided.

            Sliding a pair of purple gloves on her hands, Hope pointed to the paper-lined bed. “Have a seat.” Making her way to the cabinet, she found a pair of sterilized scissors. Routinely, Hope would ask the patient what happened, but when it came to these men, the fewer questions you asked, the better.

            “You have any allergies?”

            “No, ma’am.”

Hope was long past the initial shock of the MC members having manners. At first, she hadn't expected them to be polite, or for them to pay, but they did, and they weren’t raucous in the least. It was extraordinarily ironic that men who looked like beasts could be so composed and gentle, yet Mark, who normally wore a three-piece suit, could transform into the monster of her wildest nightmares.  

            After a quick assessment, she knew his side needed to be treated first. Asking him to lift his arm, she cut open his shirt and inspected the knife wound. Unfortunately, she’d dealt with stab wounds often, in her professional and personal life. His wound was shallow and not life threatening. A few stitches and he’d be fine. Then she could treat his nose.

            “I don’t need any stitches, doc.”

            Rolling her eyes for the second time today, she said, “Yes, you do and you are getting them.” Ignoring the growl emanating from his chest, she continued to clean the wound. At 5’5 and one-hundred-twenty pounds, Hope didn’t stand a chance against the mountain man, but she knew the first and most important thing to remember when dealing with the MC members. Never show weakness. Once you did that, your ass was grass. The men, while not complete assholes, would play on your fear. Find one sexy? Well, you’d most likely end up on your back.

          Hope didn’t have time for that shit. And while Mark had put the fear of God in her, Hope was resolute that not all men were created equal. On top of that, she and Thea, were off-limits to the members, per some scary man named Gator.

            “Piss and vinegar."  His laughter pulled her from her thoughts. “Well, doc . . .”

            “Not a doctor, just a nurse.” She winced at her words. She wasn’t just a nurse, and she regretted saying it like that. Doctors and nurses worked hand in hand, and Hope thought neither would be as effective without the other.

            “Well, nurse . . .” He ducked his head down blonde hair falling over his eyes, he pushed the strands away as he tried to read her name badge.

            “Hope,” she supplied, just as she stuck the first injection of lidocaine into his skin.

            “I’d rather you fuss with my nose,” he grunted. “My face is my money maker.”

            Hope couldn’t help but laugh. This man, while not ugly, would not be considered a model under any circumstances. His face held a crooked nose, dark eyes, and wide-set lips. Maybe he could model tactic wear for the military?

            She glanced up as coal-colored eyes shined with mirth. “Oh really? And here I thought it was your great fashion sense.” Hope plucked at the bloodied Foreigner shirt.

          Glancing down, the huge man smiled. “Yeah, that too.”

          Shaking her head, she set up her equipment and got to work. The man, who she later found out was called Spooky, asked her out a few times before realizing it wasn’t going to happen. Mark had been persistent as well. He’d asked her out a total of twenty-two times, before she’d broken down and finally said yes. Back then, she hadn't known it was a sign of systemic hostility; she’d been naïve enough to consider it charming that a man like Mark would be do persistent in wanting to get to know her.

         Hope finished up with Spooky’s stitches and nose and sent him on his way. After cleaning up the room, she headed back out to see Lucy wrestling a line out the door. Being the only low-income clinic in Blackwater had the entire staff working twelve-hour days. Hope jumped into the madness until the line dwindled, and the sun was no longer in the sky.

         Heading home that night, she huffed up the flight of stairs leading to her home, and froze when she made it to the top of the landing. There, in front of her door, sat a blue and white package. Her heart jumped in her throat, heaving her into the past.

       After every beating, he’d sent her the very same Tiffany-colored box. On one particularly horrific evening, Mark had broken her ring finger, then rewarded her with a three-carat diamond, and a card stating, When that nasty mistake heals, you can wear this.

      Hope opened her eyes, confused as to when she’d shut them. With trembling fingers, she opened the box. Inside was a diamond-studded choker. Beautiful, white diamonds sparkled in a straight line, surrounded by blood-red rubies, in a platinum setting. Covering her mouth, Hope held in a strangled sob. She didn’t want to leave Blackwater, but once again he’d found her.

     Mark’s face flashed in her mind and Hope had the sudden urge to run. Instead, she reached into her purse and pulled out the Glock Thea had made her buy. Scanning the area, she didn’t find anything out of place. How had he tracked her down? She’d been so careful.

     It has to be my new employment status. Thea had been paying her under the table, but the clinic received government funds, and in the long run, it could have hurt Thea’s clinic. So, Hope had made things right and her official paperwork was turned in.

     Hope turned back to go inside and noticed a note tucked inside her door. She pulled it out and flipped the card open.

 

I’ll give you to the count of three to come back home to me.

ONE.

Take a peek at Logan & Katie

Love brought them together, but their worlds could force them apart.

 

From Inger Iversen, the first book in a best-selling BWWM romance duology that reaches across the great divide between prejudice and love.

 

Katie Andreasson’s home office, where she writes best-selling novels, is her refuge from criticism that her private education, her success—even the way she speaks—betrays her own race. With her mother’s death, grief and increasing isolation inspire her to create Capshaw Penitentiary’s pen pal program. Even secretly participate, though her adopted father—the prison warden—would never approve.

Growing up in hardscrabble, rural Kentucky, Logan Whyte learned the hard way to stick with his own kind to stay out of trouble. Still, skirting the edges of the wrong crowd eventually landed him in prison—face to face with the kind of hard-core prejudice he never whole-heartedly embraced.

Now, with plans to get his life back on track once he’s out, he’s exchanging letters with “Kristen”. The rules dictate they can never meet, yet her neatly penned letters do more than ease him toward rejoining the human race. They make him imagine what it would be like to touch the woman behind them. Maybe even call her his.

Safely hidden behind anonymous letters, friendship takes root and grows into bittersweet yearning. But as they break down emotional walls, the truth is revealed, leaving them with the greatest challenge of all. Proving to themselves—and the outside world—that love is truly colorblind.

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42 FREE Books – MAY genreCRAVE Freebie Fair!

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FREE TRILOGY 

#Audiobook Rogue In Love

Listen to Rogue in the Dark on Audio today!

Get this audiobook FREE when you sign up for a FREE 30-day trial with Audible

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the first of many standalones featuring Trent Reed's new employees!

Ten years ago, Lex was forced to skip town, giving up everything he'd ever known. But even his time in solitude couldn't keep away the memory of the girl he'd left behind. The girl who'd offered him her innocence, and her heart.

Thea had moved on from the boy who abandoned her. Good job, fiancé, comfortable life in New York ...until everything is ripped away from her, leaving her to pick up the pieces alone.

When the care of an ailing loved one brings them back to Blackwater, Lex and Thea are confronted by the pains of the past. For Lex, that means helping to heal the broken-hearted woman he left behind. For Thea, it means refusing to let him see the gaping hole his absence created.

The old feelings still linger, but only they can decide to relight the sparks, no matter the secrets and heartaches that come with them.

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Cover Reveal | Rise of the Sea Witch by @Rourkewrites

Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

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Author Bio:

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


You Hear it First!

Listen to a sample of Rogue in Love the audiobook!

~here is a lightly edited clip~

ROGUE IN LOVE: Thea and Lex

**This 42K story follows new characters, Lex and Thea.**

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the first of many standalones featuring Trent Reed's new employees!

Ten years ago, Lex was forced to skip town, giving up everything he’d ever known. But even his time in solitude couldn’t keep away the memory of the girl he’d left behind. The girl who’d offered him her innocence, and her heart.

Thea had moved on from the boy who abandoned her. Good job, fiancé, comfortable life in New York … until everything is ripped away from her, leaving her to pick up the pieces alone.

When the care of an ailing loved one brings them back to Blackwater, Lex and Thea are confronted by the pains of the past. For Lex, that means helping to heal the broken-hearted woman he left behind. For Thea, it means refusing to let him see the gaping hole his absence created.

The old feelings still linger, but only they can decide to relight the sparks, no matter the secrets and heartaches that come with them.

The Love Against the Odds novels are all standalones with a #HEA and can be read in any order.

Cover Reveal A Moth to a Flame by @cambriahebert

Moth to a Flame
Cambria Hebert
Publication date: Spring 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense (Stand-alone)

The only thing drawn to her more than danger is him…

Danger isn’t Zoey’s middle name. But it is something she can’t forget, something she’s reminded of every time she looks in the mirror. For those reasons, Zoey has become an expert at creating the perfect illusion. Her ability to fool the eye, to create truth where there was previously none makes her the best in the business.

Working as a makeup and special effects artist for Hollywood combines her two life must-haves: her passion for makeup and hiding in plain sight.

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s safe within the heavily secured and secret studio sets, away from the public eye.

Then her perfect job becomes her perfect nightmare.

Not only does her illusion slip with the blast of icy water, but it does so in front of the country’s biggest action hero and the gossipiest of celebrity TV shows.

At first, Zoey thinks danger hasn’t caught up to her and the worst thing about her mishap is the world’s most perfect man sees her in all her not-so-perfect glory.

Until a series of unexplained “accidents” begins on set.

That’s when Zoey knows.

Danger has caught up to her… and this time she fears death has, too.

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Author Bio:

Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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#CoverReveal Captivated by Crimson by @BrynnMyers

Captivated by Crimson
Brynn Myers
Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller

She is the fated one I have been waiting for…
The crimson in her veins will restore me…

* * *

My desire for her burns like no other…
I must possess her…
Dare to touch her and you will be the one to suffer…

* * *

Nola Blair is a free-spirited photographer sent to cover the party of the century in Elizabeth Bathory’s ruined castle. It was an assignment she’d declined––twice, but when she was offered a hefty sum to indulge the wealthy eccentric, she finally gave in. Little did she know that the guests at this party were centuries old and their desires reached far beyond those of a normal partygoer.

One captivating night will change her life and the two vampires vying for her will fight to the death to get what they want. One wants her to be his and the other wants her blood.

Who will decide Nola’s fate?

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Author Bio:

Brynn Myers is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance author. After considering writing a hobby for years, she finally turned her passion and talent into a career. She came into the paranormal genre later than most but has always loved fairy-tales and all things magical. Using that love, she creates charmed worlds by writing stories involving passionate, strong willed characters with something to discover.

Brynn lives with her family in the Brevard County, Florida area.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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Rogue in Love - Audiobook

Narrated by: Michael Pauley

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the first of many standalones featuring Trent Reed's new employees!

Ten years ago, Lex was forced to skip town, giving up everything he’d ever known. But even his time in solitude couldn’t keep away the memory of the girl he’d left behind. The girl who’d offered him her innocence, and her heart.

Thea had moved on from the boy who abandoned her. Good job, fiancé, comfortable life in New York … until everything is ripped away from her, leaving her to pick up the pieces alone.

When the care of an ailing loved one brings them back to Blackwater, Lex and Thea are confronted by the pains of the past. For Lex, that means helping to heal the broken-hearted woman he left behind. For Thea, it means refusing to let him see the gaping hole his absence created.

The old feelings still linger, but only they can decide to relight the sparks, no matter the secrets and heartaches that come with them.

SNOW: Stories of Forbidden Love anthology bought to you by @KellyAnneBlount

One cabin. Sixteen stories of forbidden love.

SNOW: Stories of Forbidden Love anthology is officially LIVE!

 

One cabin. Sixteen stories of forbidden love.

SNOW: Stories of Forbidden Love anthology is officially LIVE!

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With an online audience of over ONE MILLION combined followers and hundreds of millions of reads on their stories, the SNOW ANTHOLOGY showcases talented Wattpad authors from around the globe.

Journey into the woods where you will discover a cabin surrounded by snow, filled with secrets…

The SNOW ANTHOLOGY features sixteen original novellas and novelettes in multiple genres, including Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural and Paranormal.

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Kelly Anne Blount – KellyAnneBlount on Wattpad

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Noelle N. – hepburnettes on Wattpad

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