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Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi! My name is Kendall, I'm 22, a university student and I'm from Scotland. I'm a Reader, Reviewer, Blogger and occasional YouTuber. Yep, that about sums it up :)

Monday, 29 February 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Submission Specialist [Still a Bad Boy 02] by Ada Scott!

 
Instead of Prince Charming, I got Him.
 
Skylar
I promised I’d save myself for my wedding night.
 
Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a fake marriage to a heavyweight MMA fighter.  I couldn’t have known how good it would feel to be pinned under all those muscles and tattoos, squirming, panting, and even whimpering in ecstasy.
 
None of us knew how deeply he was involved with the mafia.
 
When he disrespects them, they think they can use me to punish him.
 
They’re wrong.
 
He’s a tank in human form.
 
And he’s coming for me.
 
Austin
Men tap out inside the ring, women surrender themselves outside of it.  That’s always been my specialty.
 
I chose Skylar because she was so innocent.  A good girl like her would help sell my reformed image to the public.  To corrupt her and leave her ruined for all other men would be my hottest conquest yet.
 
But I found more in Skylar than that.  Who’d have thought that the first woman I wanted to lay more than once would be my wife?
 
Now they think they can take away what is mine?
 
Even if I have to kill every last member of the Bertolini Crime Family…
 
I’m coming for her.
 
 
Check it out on Goodreads!
 
Buy your copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble
 
 
Author bio:
 
Join me here for free downloads, discounts and news:http://adascott.com/free-bad-boy-romance-download/

A former office drone, a former nurse, I now spend every waking moment doing what I love, creating and publishing these steamy stories about bad boys from the mafia, motorcycle clubs, and mma that make me, and hopefully you, weak at the knees! Anywhere a bad boy can be found, I'll be there taking notes and making it even sexier :)
 
 
 
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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Stacking The Shelves [10]!

http://www.tyngasreviews.com/
 
Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where we show what books we got recently. I do this post once a month.

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book, they can all be shared!

Purchased (Ebooks):

 
 
Gifted from Authors/Publishers:
 
 
Maids of Oaklands Manor by Terri Nixon
(Thank you, Little, Brown Book Group!)
(Thank you, A.K. Michaels!)
 
 For Review from Author/Netgalley/Edelweiss:

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Perfect Life by Erin Noelle!

 
Excerpt!

   “What is that?” Oliver scowled at the gallon of milk I’d just set in the shopping cart. “Does that stuff even come from a cow?”
   Confused, I lifted the carton up in the air and skimmed over the label, thinking maybe I’d grabbed the wrong thing by mistake. Once I realized I hadn’t, I cut my eyes over at him and gave him the what-in-the-world-are-you-talking-about look. “Of course it comes from a cow,” I scoffed. “It’s fat-free, organic milk. You said you needed some for your cereal, right?”
   With a snicker, he shook his head and walked around the cart, taking the milk out of my hands and placing it back in the cooler. Then, shuffling farther down the dairy section a few feet, he reached down and pulled out a gigantic plastic jug of chocolate milk. Donning a huge grin, he proudly placed the replacement milk in the cart and gave me a triumphant nod. “You can’t ruin Peanut Butter Captain Crunch with that healthy crap you picked. Chocolate milk is the only way to go. Please tell me you’ve tried it before.”
   “Uhhh . . . no. I’ve never tried any kind of Captain Crunch, not with regular or chocolate milk,” I laughed. “Actually, I’ve never had any kind of cereal, unless you count granola or oatmeal.”
   “What? No cereal?!” Oliver’s eyes grew wide with astonishment. “Surely you ate some when you were a kid.”
   “Nope. Never.” I shook my head emphatically.
   Moving back to the rear of the cart so he could push it down the aisle, he continued to gape at me in disbelief. “Really? Not even like the gross stuff like Shredded Wheat or Raisin Bran?”
   “I’m serious. Not even the gross stuff.”
   He stopped momentarily to add butter, sour cream, and cream cheese to the growing pile of food, and then resumed his skeptical questioning as we headed toward the bakery. “How is that even possible? I mean, even if your mom didn’t keep it in the house for whatever reason, how did you not try it when you spent the night with friends or went on vacation? Cereal is like a staple of all kids’ diets. It should probably be its own food group.”
   I shrugged nonchalantly, pretending to read the nutritional facts on the back of a package of pita bread crackers while strolling next to him. “I dunno. I didn’t grow up like most kids. I didn’t stay out over at friends’ houses, and at home, we had a personal chef who did all of the shopping and cooking, so I ate what was put in front of me . . . which was always whatever my mom wanted. She was very strict and disciplined about her diet. We usually had egg whites with fresh fruit, or something similar. Then, when I went away to boarding school, I had a meal plan, so it was pretty much the same thing. I ate whatever the cafeteria was serving that day. And I can assure you, my ass is thankful it was never a bowl of sugary cereal with chocolate milk, or I’d have lived on the elliptical machine when I wasn’t studying,” I joked to hide the mixture of disappointment and embarrassment coursing through me.
   Glancing up, I was surprised to find him staring so intently at me, and although I had a hard time placing the expression brewing in his fascinating eyes, there was no denying my body’s physical response to his attention. Much like the first time I met him, and several occurrences since, goose bumps prickled over my skin as warmth arose in my core. He looked at me like no one had ever looked at me before, and it was equally as unnerving as it was exhilarating. I never wanted him to stop.
   “What?” I questioned in a hushed voice once I realized we’d been standing in front of the baguette stand, staring at each other for who knew how long. “Is the cereal a deal-breaker on the friendly colleague thing?”
   Oliver barked out a laugh, my words obviously breaking him free of whatever train of thought he’d been lost in. “No, Rizzo.” He shook his head as he began moving forward again with the cart. “It’s not a deal-breaker, but you are aware it’s the first thing I’m making you eat when we get back to the apartment, right? I don’t care how long you’re gonna have to work out later. I promise every bite will be worth it.”
   Half an hour later, as I sat at his table slurping down the remnants of my first—but definitely not last—bowl of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch with chocolate milk, I could see the I-told-you-so smile dancing in the creases next to his eyes, and once again, he was right . . . it was sooo worth it. And I was starting to think he might be too.
 
 I had the perfect life.

The perfect husband.
Colin Cassidy—the incredibly talented, extremely gorgeous, and unbelievably humble star NFL quarterback.

The perfect career.
As the recently-appointed executive director for the Boston chapter of Mending Hearts, a child abuse prevention and treatment program, my daily reward was helping to keep vulnerable, innocent children from being preyed upon and destroyed. It’s all I’d wanted to do since I was a teenager.

Perfect city. Perfect car. Perfect house with the perfect view.

From the outside looking in, it was impossible to find a single flaw in my life. I had it all. Everything I’d ever wanted.

But that kind of perfection came at a price.
Demanded the ultimate sacrifice.

What happened when I discovered what I’d been missing all along?
When I began to question if the lies were worth protecting?

What if suddenly the last thing I wanted was to be perfect?
 
 
Check it out on Goodreads!

Buy your copy from Amazon
 
 
Author bio:

Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child.

A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels.

Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, the Luminous Duet, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, MILF: Wrong Kind of Love, Spark and Flame.

Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.


 
Giveaway!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Cover Reveal: Ray of Light [Ray 01] by Audrey Rose!

 
My brother is an idiot. He won the lottery and invested all of his money in a run-down bowling alley. Since he’s barely making it, he moved in with me.

Great.

Having him around the house isn’t the worst thing in the world, but he does make a mess like nobody’s business. My friends Zeke, Jessie, and Kayden keep me sane but there’s only so much they can do.

And it’s definitely not the worst thing in the world when his old friend, Ryker, moves to town.

The second I lay eyes on him, I’m hot under the collar. He makes my body burn in longing and freeze in desperation at the exact same time. When he talks, I don’t listen to anything he says because I’m staring at that hard jaw and those kissable lips like I already own them.

But he’s a bed hopper. A playboy. A heartbreaker.

I’m all down for some hot, sweaty, yummy sex even if it doesn’t have a fairy tale ending. I’ve been down that road before. I know the drill. But with Ryker, it’s different.

Because I know I’ll fall in love with him.

For now, I’ll steer clear of him and keep my hands to myself. It can’t be that hard, right?

Or can it?


Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!
 
Author bio:
 
Nothing worked for me.
 
I went to college because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. All my friends were doing it, and since they jumped off the bridge, I did too. Talk about peer pressure.
 
I studied psychology and sociology because I’ve always been fascinated by people, their behaviors, and their beliefs. It was something that captured my attention, but only for so long.
 
My true passion was writing. There was nothing I’d rather be doing than making up a story even if I didn’t show anyone. It was my obsession, my escape. Growing up in a broken home gave me some issues. Reading was the only relief I had to that.
 
After college, I worked different gigs to keep the lights on in my apartment, but the second I clocked out, I was slaving away on a manuscript that I had no intention of showing anyone else.
 
When I finally told people I wanted to give this writing thing a shot, they practically laughed at me. “A million to one,” they would tell me. “Sorry, girl. It’s not gonna happen.”
 
Well, this is me proving them wrong.
 
My first novel, Ray of Light, is coming out April 4th. And I intend to finish the series this year.

 

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Release Day Blitz: Elastic Heart by Mary Catherine Gebhard!

 
Excerpt!
 
    Another knock sounded on the door and I burrowed farther into my couch. If it couldn’t hear me, then it couldn’t get me, right?
   “Nami open your door! It’s me, Law!” I perked up a bit, looking at my door with less hostility and more interest. Why was Law here? Still, my interest was not enough to get me off the couch. Law was persona non grata in the DeGrace house.
   “Go away!” I yelled, curling myself in blankets.
   “I will stay here and wake up all of your neighbors if you don’t let me in!”
   “Go ahead!” I yelled back. “They hate me anyway!” Silence radiated through the wood, and I hoped that Law had decided against staying. When I’d all but settled back into my alcohol-induced comfort, I heard something truly disturbing.
   Singing.
   Loud, operatic singing.
   I could hear Law clearly through my door, though the language was unknown. He was bellowing the notes, his voice getting higher and louder. It was beautiful, but it was also incredibly annoying. I didn’t mind him waking up my neighbors—they’d been less than kind to me; I did mind, however, my neighbors calling the police. I didn’t want to deal with the police. Ever again, if I could help it.
   I opened my door, angry, slightly tipsy, and using my blanket as a cape. Law didn’t stop singing even though I opened the door. He continued, his voice an operatic majesty that did not belong in my hallway. He even gesticulated with his hands.
   “Stop!” I yelled. Law continued to sing, gesturing at my apartment that I blocked with my body. I glared furiously at him as I let him enter my apartment. He only stopped his song when I closed the door behind us.
   “What the hell was that?” I fumed, trying to block him farther entry into my apartment. If I could keep him contained to just the entryway, then I technically hadn’t lost.
  “Puccini. Madama Butterfly.”
   I scoffed and, remembering why I hated Law, got to the point. “Why did you come here?”
   “I decided that I do care what you think of me.” Before I could respond, Law pulled me in both arms and kissed me on the mouth, hard.

What do you do when the man who raped you has the entire police force in his pocket? When you’re called a slut, a whore, and a liar?

You get your own justice.

My name is Nami DeGrace, and six months ago I was a normal college student. I was volunteering on the campaign of a man I believed in, a man I thought to be good and noble. Then one night that man forced himself on me and everything changed.

The police didn’t believe me. The media reviled me. My friends abandoned me. I dropped out of college and only have one mission in life: make him pay. That is, until Nick Law came in to my life.

Indomitable, infuriating, and irresistible, Law is complicating things.

 
 
Check it out on Goodreads!

 Buy your copy from Amazon
  
 
Author bio:
 
Mary Catherine Gebhard bites off more than she can chew and sometimes calls herself Eva Natsumi. She's lived in Salt Lake City, Utah her entire life, but occasionally goes on vacation from reality. Don't worry, she sends postcards.
 
 
 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Release Blitz, Review & Giveaway: Hopeless Vows by Rachael Duncan!

 
Publication date: 22nd February 2015
Paperback edition: -
Source: Kindle
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis: It was a social experiment that was supposed to lead to my happily ever after.

The rules were simple:

1. Marry a complete stranger chosen for you by a panel of experts.
2. Live together as man and wife for eight weeks.
3. Make a decision to stay together or get a divorce.

Call me crazy, but I had complete faith in the process, until I saw who was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Austin James has never met me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know him. With no other choice, I say my vows and pray I can make it through the next eight weeks. Then I’ll leave. What connects us is my best kept secret, and I’ll protect it at all costs even if that means walking away from the only person I’ve ever cared about.

I was actually really excited when I found out about this book! I do have to admit though that after I read the synopsis, it reminded me quite a lot of the book Talon by Carian Cole, which I read a few months ago! I loved this author's Lies and Truth duology a lot though, so I knew that I was going to read this book regardless! I signed up to review an ARC for the Release Blitz, and I'm so happy that I did! I loved this book a lot! It only took me a few sittings to read and I zoomed through it! The plot was also amazing, and although it had a similar situation as to what Talon by Carian Cole did with the characters marrying a complete stranger, it didn't have the same plot line at all! This made me really happy! The plot developed at the perfect pace and it had some secrecy and some really hot scenes in it! It did take quite a lot of the book until I found out the secret, but I didn't expect it to be what it was! It changed the plot completely! I loved that there were quite a few twist and turns too!
The characters were also amazing and totally made this book for me! Jillian was the main female character, and she married a complete strange without knowing a thing about him! I'm not sure if I would ever do something like that, but Jillian was contend and happy to a degree with doing it! I loved Jillian! She was easy for me to connect with and she had so many good qualities about her! I could also understand why she kept her secret from her love interest! It would have impacted their relationship a lot, and the last thing she wanted was for her love interest to hate her because of something that she had nothing to do with! I admired Jillian a lot for her decision, but I think the impact would have been less explosive if she had told her love interest before he found out the way he did! I still admired how Jillian handled it all though! Austin was the main male character, and he was a totally hot guy that, like Jillian, married a total stranger that he knew nothing about! I loved Austin a lot in this book, and it was very easy to see his feelings for Jillian grow as the plot progressed! He was very cute with Jillian too and he was always sending her flowers and chocolates! It was so cute and romantic! Austin had also experienced a huge amount of loss in his life, and my heart completely went out to him! It must have been so hard for him to lose his entire family in such a horrific way! I could also understand Austin's anger when he found out Jillian's secret! It impacted him a lot, but he also went through a lot of realisation in this book! I loved that this book was written from both Jillian and Austin's point of views! I wasn't sure if it was going to be written from dual point of view, but I'm really happy it was! It expanded the plot and it was amazing to see their feelings for each other grow through both of their eyes! I can completely understand why this book is a standalone! Everything was wrapped up and the ending was so beautiful! I had a huge grin on my face whilst reading it lol! I can't wait to read more from this author and I'll definitely be anticipating her next release! The cover for this book is absolutely stunning! I loved it as soon as I saw it and I love that it has a real-life couple on it! Big thank you to Rachael and Enticing Journey Book Promotions for an ARC of Hopeless Vows!

 
Check it out on Goodreads!

Buy your copy from Amazon
 

 
Author bio:
 
Rachael Duncan is an Army wife to her amazing husband, Steven, and mother to their beautiful daughters, Natalie and Zoe. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and went off to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor's degree in political science. With initial plans to work in politics, she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked on Capitol Hill for a House Representative. After a short time, she realized it wasn't for her and began pursuing other careers until she started writing. She's author of Tackled by Love and The Lies and Truth Duet.
 

 
Giveaway!
 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Release Day Blitz: Dark Touch by Aimee L. Salter!

 
Tully isn’t alone in her skin. Whenever she touches someone, they feel everything she feels. All her ugliness. All her darkness. All her pain.

The only thing she wants is to be left alone—and to finally get out of her small Oregon town.

But then she meets Chris. He’s everything she’s not. Light. Trusting. Innocent. And he wants Tully.

Tully knows she should spare him the heartache of being with her. But when he touches her, she’s not sure she’ll have the strength to push him away...

From the author of Every Ugly Word comes a poignant, emotionally raw story about the violence that plays out behind closed doors and the all-consuming passion of first love.
 
 
Check it out on Goodreads!
 
Buy your copy from Amazon
Author bio:

Aimee L. Salter is the author of the gut-wrenching Every Ugly Word, a gripping and emotional story about the devastating consequences of bullying, and Dark Touch, an equally raw story about the violence that plays out behind closed doors and the all-consuming passion of first love.
 
Aimee lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and son where she writes made-up stories that tell the truth about life. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you're really thinking. And she'll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn't.

 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Porn Star by Laurelin Paige & Sierra Simone!



You know me.

Come on, you know you do.

Maybe you pretend you don’t. Maybe you clear your browser history religiously. Maybe you pretend to be aghast whenever someone even mentions the word porn in your presence.

But the truth is that you do know me.

Everybody knows Logan O’Toole, world famous porn star.

Except then Devi Dare pops into my world, and pretty soon I’m doing things that aren’t like me—like texting her with flirty banter and creating an entire web porn series just so I can get to star in her bed. Again. And again.

With Devi, my entire universe shifts, and the more time I spend with her, the more I realize that Logan O’Toole isn’t the guy I thought he was.

So maybe I'm not the guy you thought I was either.


Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Pre-order your copy from iBooks

Author bio:

Laurelin Paige is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She's a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there's kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters.
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.

Giveaway!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Love 'Em by Kelley Harvey!

 

CHAPTER ONE


My brand new shoes bite into the back of my heels and squish my toes. I fill a paper cup with water and set it aside without ingesting so much as a sip.

Shayna takes my elbow as I pass by for the fifteenth time. “For Christ’s sake, sit down. I wasn’t nervous until you started pacing.”

I press my finger to the twitch at the corner of my left eye. “This is going to be a disaster. I know it.”

“It’ll be fine. Relax.” My best friend for the last three years fluffs my corkscrew curls around my shoulders and grasps my upper arms. “A live studio audience will be good. I promise. You’ll be so happy you did this.”

“Somehow I doubt it. Why couldn’t you have kept your mouth shut when Sam called?” Blah blah blah, that’s what she did. Info dump right into my agent’s ear, and that was the cannonball on the catapult that shot me straight to the gates of Hell.

Shayna was the first to be invited on the show, and after she talked to Sam, I got a call too.

Shay whirls me around to face a blank wall. She holds her hand up as if she’s painting a scene. 

“Picture this: You’ll sell a million books, and then you can take me to Cancun. We’ll sip fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas, delivered to us on golden trays by hot cabana boys who don’t speak our language. We’ll say the rudest things and smile and still get laid at the end of the day.”

A smile pulls up the corner of my mouth even as I rub the ache between my eyebrows. “If you say so. Let’s just hope Jackson Tremaine is feeling charitable tonight.”

She sticks her tongue out. “Jackson Tremaine can go fuck himself.”

I straighten her platinum blonde, not-quite-human-hair wig and tip her bug-eye sunglasses down enough to stare into her baby blues. “You think all men should go fuck themselves. You know, most of them want the same things we want. To be loved. To be respected. You just have to give them a chance.”

“Every year, I offer about a hundred of them a ‘chance’. All but three have failed, and those already belonged to other women.” Shay quirks her auburn eyebrow. Good thing the shades hide the dead giveaway that she isn’t really a blonde bombshell.

A sad sigh escapes before I can catch it. “I’m so sorry, sweetie, but maybe you need to consider another career path?”

Even though her eyes are hidden again, it’s as though I hear them rolling.

“Thanks for the advice, but I make an excellent living in my current line of work. As much as I love you, Ronnie, you and I have two different philosophies when it comes to men. I’m good with that.”

A petite woman pops into the room. “Ladies, he’s going to bring you out one at a time, starting with you, Ronnie. In five.”

My stomach grabs hold of my esophagus and trembles as the second hand ticks away the moments. My first live appearance on television is tying me into knots.

Appearing on the Up Late with Jackson Tremaine show should be a boon, but it’s probably going to blow up in my face. Like a big fat dirty bomb. Lights out.

My instinct says that he’s a shark and I’m a guppy. He’s going to chew me up and spit me out. That’s if I’m lucky, and he doesn’t swallow me whole.

No. I won’t let him. He’s a man, like all the other men I’ve studied since I was twelve and Dad skipped out on my overbearing, never-to-be-pleased mother. If she’d have shown him some love and compassion, he’d have stayed. I’m sure of it.

I have to remember that about Jackson. Underneath his Armani suits and Rolex watches, he wants the same things as everyone else—respect and love. That’s all. Show him some respect, and he’ll return the favor. And, after tonight, I can move on and watch my book sales skyrocket as I ring in the new year, and my bank account will follow suit.

Shayna stands in front of the full length mirror in the corner and applies a fresh coat of the blood-red lipstick she purchased specifically for tonight. “Can you tell that it’s me?”

I rub my finger along my bottom lip. “Well, I can tell it’s you, but I’d know you with a bag on your head. That sassy sway of your hips and the way you talk with your hands would give it away. But, I think you’re all right. Most people don’t pay that close of attention. I’m certain your secret’s safe.”

“I only want to ensure my potential clients can be assured that their unsuspecting, cheating bastards won’t know what’s coming when I make my move.”

I shake my head. “One of these days, Shay—”

“I know. I know.” She brings her tone up an octave, mimicking me. “‘One of these days, you’re going to meet the man of your dreams. You’re going to read my book. You’ll fall in love. And wah,wah, fucking wah.’ Save it, Rons. I am perfectly happy with my life. I’ll let you do the loving. I’ll stick with fuck and release, thank you.”


Offstage, the silent monitor flickers in the dark. On screen, two insanely gorgeous men smile at a shared joke and holiday lights twinkle in the background. The host tidies his stack of note cards, tapping them on the desk and tucking the one at the front behind the others.

Jackson’s voice has a velvet covered rasp, even sexier in person than on television. “Eleven days to Christmas, and a brand new year waits just around the corner. Many will make and break resolutions. How about those resolutions to find love or dump a dead weight relationship?”

His smile widens as he holds up his hands, trying to calm the masses as they cheer.

When the crowd quiets, he says, “The ladies who make up this duo are actually very best friends. The livelihood of both women depends on love, in one capacity or another. I call them Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em, if that tells you anything at all about their respective career fields.”

He brushes his fingers through chocolate-colored hair. “Let’s meet Love ‘Em first. How many of you gals have your eye on a man who seems to stay just out of reach, or one who doesn’t want to commit?”

Someone in the audience cat-calls about her guy.

“And we’re glad you’ve got a man who’s hung like King Kong.” Jackson answers the bawdy lady while he winks at the camera. “Anyway, our next guest thinks she knows men. Love ‘Em’s got us all figured out and has put her wealth of knowledge into book form.”

My stomach takes a plunge to my feet. Here we go.

He holds up my book and exchanges a knowing look with his first guest as he stands. “This guide for women is supposed to help you ladies catch and keep your dream lovers. Please welcome the author of Decode the Man in Your Life, Ronnie Fitz.”

The handler ushers me toward the stage’s side entrance. “Watch—”

Applause drowns out whatever he’s saying as I clear the edge of the royal blue curtain. The clipboard-wielding guy gives me a shove toward Jackson Tremaine who waits three feet ahead with his hand held out in greeting.

Jackson has the clearest sage green eyes I’ve ever seen, dark around the edges but almost white at their center. They crinkle at the corners as he smiles at me, sending my heart into an abnormal rhythm. The hand he holds out to me waves me out, drawing me to him like a—

Something grabs my ankle. Crap. A cable running across the floor is wrapped over my beautiful new shoe. I try to compensate with my other foot, but it makes it worse. I stumble forward, losing my balance as my plastered-on smile falters. Instead of shaking his hand, I fall against Jackson Tremaine’s muscular chest.

Strong arms come around me, pulling me up and tight against him. His scent, something like sandalwood and cinnamon, envelopes me. His laugh vibrates through my breasts, now pressed firmly against his pecs.

The audience goes bat-shit wild with applause.

Oh my—Hell. In Hell. Right now. This can’t be happening.

Mr. Tremaine hangs on tight until the crowd quiets.

“Well, that’s a great start to a new relationship. But I’m afraid I’m happy in my bachelorhood, Ms. Fitz.” He sets me away from him, adjusting first his tie and then his junk right in front of God and everybody.

Heat floods my face, and I don’t know where to look. “Oh, I’m—so sorry. I tripped.”

He tosses a sly look at the closest camera. “No worries. I don’t mind at all. I enjoy a beautiful woman in my arms any time—but only for a short time.”

Jackson takes my hand, sending tingles up my arm. “I’ll hold on to you until we get you safely into your seat.”

He leads me to the chair between guest number one and the side of the desk.

Jackson stage whispers to the other man. “Be careful of this one, Bax. Love ‘Em’s quite a handful.”

Casino mogul Baxter Ransom nods as he offers his hand. “Nice to meet you, Ms. Fitz.”
I do the best I can to swallow my embarrassment. “Likewise.”

Jackson returns to his seat. “So, Ronnie—you don’t mind if I call you that? You’ve put together this instruction manual, if you will, for women.”

I brush my wild curls away from my face with trembling fingers. “I suppose you could call it that. It’s really only common sense things that most of us already know but fail to put into practice in our everyday lives.”

“I read the book last night—well, parts of it—and I’m not convinced.”

The lead weight in my gut grows.

No, it’s okay. He’s playing Devil’s Advocate. It’s his job.

“Oh? What part do you need help with?” I smile, but inside my heart is shriveling into a raisin.
He’s making me out to look a fool, and no one is going to buy my book by the time he’s done with me.

He leans back in his chair, propping his feet on his desk. “Well, this whole idea that a woman can get the guy she wants, simply by showing him deference and respect…”

I take a quick breath, heat simmering in my stomach. Dumbass is twisting my words. “I didn’t say deference.”

He laces his fingers across his flat belly. “Oh, maybe I read that incorrectly. Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of a woman who shows a man respect. I don’t buy that it will get him to commit.”

The fire in my gut stirs. “Well, think about it, Mr. Tremaine. What man doesn’t want the woman in his life to tell him how amazing he is on a daily basis?”

I wait, but he just sits there, smugness poised on his too handsome face. It’s as if he didn’t hear the question I asked.

“Well?” I prompt.

His eyebrows go up, fake surprise in his expression. “Oh, that wasn’t rhetorical?”

No wonder he’s still single.

I let out a huff of air. “How many men get the respect they want and deserve from the women who profess to love them? The principals in my book all come down to one thing: men aren’t as complicated as ladies think they are. They want love just like women do. The biggest difference is what they perceive as love.”

He squints as though considering my words. “Well, they do say perception is ninety percent of reality. My ninety percent says this is a load of rhino dung.”

My jaw drops.

Did he really just say that—about my book, my magnum opus, in front of billions of people?

I snap my mouth shut and glare at him. “Maybe your perception is what’s full of shit.”

His eyes widen, and his gaze darts to a man on the sidelines with a clipboard and an apoplectic vein popping out on his forehead.

“Oops, probably shouldn’t have cursed. All those pesky FCC regulations.” I smile sweetly at my asshole of a host.

Jackson nods to the vein guy, whips his feet off his desk, and holds my book up once more.

 “And there you have it, folks. Want to know how to get a man? Buy the book and have him in the bag by Valentine’s Day.”

He tosses the book aside and smiles directly at the camera set in the middle isle of the gallery of seats. “Our next guest, BFF to Ms. Fitz here, is pretty much her polar opposite.”

In ways he will never understand.

Jackson grins. “Leave ‘Em—remember that’s her nickname. Sorry, I can’t reveal her true identity, because she needs the anonymity to run her business. Leave ‘Em claims she doesn’t believe in true love. Well, I suppose not, considering it’s her job to prove it isn’t out there.”

Jackson stands and claps. “Please welcome our next guest. She’s the person other women hire to test the men in their lives.”

Shayna glides onto the stage—no tripping for her. She’s much too graceful as she waves and blows kisses Marilyn Monroe style. Maybe she’s taking that wig too seriously.

Shayna takes Jackson’s offered hand in both of hers as Baxter and I shuffle chairs to make room for Shayna in the seat I vacated, closest to the host.

Jackson seats my friend and takes his own chair. “So, you’re the temptress who actually tries to get men to cheat before you report back to your clients.”

“I suppose you might describe my work that way.” Shayna’s lacquered fingernail taps out a rhythm on the arm of her chair.

“You set up and ambush unsuspecting men?” Mr. Ransom shifts in his seat.

She licks her bright red lips. “I only make an overture they could easily ignore. It’s only a trap for those men already predisposed to cheat on their significant other.”

Jackson Tremaine leans forward, his elbows on his desk, chin in his hands. “So, Ms. Leave ‘Em, do you actually screw these cheating guys?”

Shayna grins. As usual, she’s unfazed by direct barbs. As a matter of fact, I’m fairly certain she likes it.

“No, I never go that far. I’m not a prostitute. I simply do my best to lure the men to willingly place themselves in a compromising position. I always stop before anything too serious happens.”

Baxter rubs his chin, as though contemplating what Shayna has said. “Never?”

“Never.” Her shades hide her rolling eyes, but I’m certain that’s what she did.

Baxter lifts one eyebrow. “Hmm.”

Jackson barks a laugh, which he unsuccessfully tries to cover with a cough. “Excuse me. I—oh hell, I can’t lie. I just had a fantastic idea.”

Our host sends a sly look toward the camera to his left before he turns his full attention to me. 

“So, Ms. Love ‘Em—Ronnie—would you be willing to wager that should a woman use the techniques in your book, her man won’t have the propensity to cheat, because he’d be so enamored of her and happy at home?”

Baxter Ransom coughs, and Shayna whips around to me, her mouth slightly agape.

My throat goes bone dry. “Um—well, I mean—I—”

Shayna jumps to my rescue. “A cheater will cheat, no matter how wonderful his woman is. Some guys are scum. Cheaters cheat, no matter what.”

I lay my hand on her arm. “Wait. No. I believe most people cheat because something in their relationship is lacking.”

Shay elbows me. “Shh.”

I toss her a look.

She ignores me. “No. A cheater is a cheater is a cheater—no matter what.”

The mischief coming off of Jackson Tremaine is almost palpable, and the audience goes silent. 

It’s as though they know he’s going to do something outrageous, which he probably will. And they’ll all think it’s epic, only I’ll probably be shoved to a lower level of Hell. Even the slight shifting and shuffling that usually goes on in a crowd dies down as he continues to study me and my friend.

He looks around both of us. “Bax, you’re a gambler.”

Mr. Ransom draws back. “Well, my business is gambling, but—”

“Let’s make a wager, shall we? Right here on live television.”

My bladder twitches. Nervousness makes me need to pee. I could probably fill up three adult diapers at this very moment. Whatever Jackson has in mind is bound to be bad for me, terrible for my book, and probably horrible for my long-term career goals.

Baxter leans closer to Jackson. “Go on.”

“Let’s see which of these two ladies’ juju works best.” Jackson wags his eyebrows like he’s a villain in a cartoon.

Shayna pops up out of her seat. “That’s not how I run my business.”

“Aw, c’mon, now, be a sport.” Baxter grins, his eyes trailing from her fake hair all the way to the five-inch heels of her platform fuck-me boots.

Jackson looks straight into the main camera. “What do you think, America? Shall we wager that Love ‘Em can’t use the techniques in her book to keep Leave ‘Em from taking her man?”

Shayna falls into her seat with a thud. “She doesn’t even have a man.”

And there it is. I let out a sigh. All of America knows I’m a love specialist who’s not in love and has no man. No hint of a man in my life—not even an old toothbrush still haunting my medicine cabinet from a man I once had. I’m sunk.

Jackson cocks his head, as though he can hardly believe what he’s heard.

I open my mouth to rebut her statement, only to be interrupted.

“Do you not have a significant other, Ms. Love ‘Em?” His green eyes are too beautiful for someone like him. Nasty, evil people shouldn’t get to be gorgeous. Not fair. They should be ugly as a warning to children not to become emotionally corrupt.

I close my eyes. I so hoped this wouldn’t come up. Of all the things, why this?

I clear my throat. “That has absolutely no bearing on—”

He holds up one finger. “Wait. Hear me out. I take it from your reply that the answer is no?”

Panic sweeps over me in a rush of hot tingles up the back of my neck and across my face. I fight the urge to jump up and run off stage. “No significant other at this time.”

The twinkle in his eyes makes me want to scratch them out of his skull. I’ve never met a man I liked less.

Ever.


I toss my purse onto the counter in the kitchen. “Worst. Day. In. History.”

“I don’t want to hear it. You could’ve avoided that entire exchange.” Shayna drops into a chair at the table and unzips her thigh-high boot.

My jaw falls almost to my navel. “I could have avoided it? What about you?”

Shay kicks off one boot. “Not me. You’re the one who should’ve said no.”

You should have, too.”

She tilts her head to the side, glaring. “No. I couldn’t. My work depends on women trusting the fact that if their guy is a cheater—if he’s going to cheat at all—it would be with me. If I were to say I couldn’t possibly entice your guy—whoever the fuck that ends up being—into cheating, then why would anyone ever hire me?”

“Who’s going to buy a book on how to catch and keep their man from a woman who isn’t confident enough to say that she can keep her man enthralled enough that he’ll turn down the opportunity to go at it with a blonde dressed like a prostitute?”

“Prosti…” Shayna looks down at her outfit and giggles. “Yeah, I guess I am kind of dressed to head down to the boulevard and hawk my ample wares.”

She shimmies her tits in her too tight black leather jacket. “Day-umn. I didn’t even get the big O from that one. How about you?”

“What?”

She makes no sense to me sometimes.

Shay extricates herself from her other boot. “I mean, Jackson Tremaine fucked us both, and good.”

“I guess he did.” I drop into the chair adjacent to hers. “It’s not exactly like we can bail—not now that the entire country is waiting to see which one wins.”

She side-eyes me. “We could tell Jackson to fuck off, and dust off our hands and move on.”

I let out a weary breath. “No. We can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because millions, if not billions, of people saw us on that show. You’re fine if you bow out. You’ll continue to do your thing. But me? If I back out, I’m screwed six ways to Sunday.”
She rubs the teensy crease between her brows. “Aw, c’mon, Rons. Your book’s success isn’t completely dependent on Jackson Tremaine’s show. You just don’t want to rock the boat.”

“Rock what boat?”

“The boat where everyone does what’s expected and no one does what they shouldn’t. The viewers expect you to be part of this bet. You’ll do it, if for no other reason than that you’re afraid to break the rules.”

I huff. “What rules? I don’t know what you mean.”

“Girl, you’ll fall in line behind whatever perceived rule there is in any given situation. I hate to break it to you, but you, my friend, are a goody two-shoes. In your mind, there’s some invisible rule that states the gauntlet has been thrown. Therefore, you must meet the challenge.”

Goody two-shoes? Gauntlet?

“I break plenty of rules, thank you. It’s only that I happen to know this particular thing can sink my career faster than the Titanic went down. I’ve worked too hard for that to happen.”

Shay cast a skeptical glance at me. “What rules have you broken lately?”

The answer eludes me. I search through my recent memory. Nada.

I scratch my head. “I—I don’t know. Who keeps a journal of broken rules? Just… ugh, stop already. We have to do this bet.”

“Oh whatever. I’ll do it, because you’re my friend, and I’d cut off my right arm for you—that’s my masturbation hand, just so we’re clear about what I’d be giving up.”

Only Shay would point that out.

I can’t help but smile. “At least this way only one of us will be screwed.”

“Well, if I’m the one who loses, please make sure you throw me a pittance when you see me lying outside your gate with my tin cup.” She unpins her wig.

When she shakes her red hair down her back, it cascades like a waterfall. The slight wave in it is probably there from being rolled up under her Marilyn get-up. It’s moments like this that I hate her.

“I’d almost kill to have your hair,” I lament for the umpteenth time.

She shrugs. “Well, I would kill to have your curls. So you’d best sleep with one eye open, bitch.”

Shay’s African Gray whistles and squawks in the living room. 
“Bitch. Who you callin’ bitch?”




RONNIE
He’s rude. He’s crude. He’s socially unacceptable.
Jackson Tremaine gets under my skin as easily as he gets into my pants.
He’s the prince of late night television and he single-handedly ruins my life between commercial breaks.
That’s fine. Payback’s a bitch, and she’s named Ronnie Fitz.

JACKSON

Ronnie thinks she knows men, but she don’t know Jack—jackshit, that is.
The biggest problem with Ronnie Fitz? She’s addictive.
I had the best night of my life with her, and now she decides we can only be friends?
Screw the friend-zone.
It’s the fuck-zone or no-zone with Jackson Tremaine.




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Author bio:

Kelley and her husband Mike live in North Central Texas. Having two daughters, one teen and one in her early twenties, keeps them on their toes. In other words, they’re saturated in angst and excitement. Kelley often feels as though she lives on Teenage Drama Island and desperately needs a vacation to Adult Sans Kids Resort. The upside is she’s always awash in oceans of inspiration.


 Kelley enjoys reading YA and NA, although on occasion she gets caught reading other genres. Writing is her full time job. Though it’s hard work, it’s also a dream come true. Her characters knock on the door of her heart and constantly poke their heads out the windows of her imagination. She hopes you connect with them as deeply as she does.
 
 
 
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