Blog Tour + Guest Post (Character Profiles), Excerpt & Giveaway: Broken Play by Samantha Kane

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Broken Play by Samantha Kane! We have a special guest post from the author, as well as an excerpt and huge giveaway below!

Guest Post: Love Triangles/Threesomes

How many times have you read a great romance with a heartbreaking love triangle and wished that the heroine didn’t have to choose just one hero at the end of the book? Yeah, me, too. That’s what led to my first ménage romance. There’s a forbidden aspect to ménage that makes it wildly popular. The idea of two men loving and sharing the same lucky woman appeals to a lot of romance readers. Readers who have seen one too many great guys cut loose in classic love triangles. There is an art to writing a good, satisfying mmf ménage romance. Readers may not have thought much about it, but we writers do. You’re getting four romances for the price of one. Think about it. There’s the heroine and hero one, the heroine and hero two, hero one and hero two, and the three of them together. And a good ménage romance writer can make you fall in love with each pairing and root for a HEA that will satisfy everyone, including the reader.

Now get to know the characters of Broken Play!

Marion Treadwell

Marion was born in the South and raised by her father after her mother died. Her father is a legendary college football coach, revered by the football world with the highest win percentage of any coach in Division I football history. Marion hides her parentage when she arrives in Birmingham because she doesn’t want people to make assumptions about her based on who her father is. She also hates her father, for very good reasons. She’s hired by Rebels head coach Shannon Ludwig after coaching at a small Division III college in the Northeast. He knows who her father is. As a matter of fact, though she hated to do it, Marion asked her father to help her get the job. Now that she’s got it, she’s going to keep it because of her coaching skills, not her father. She doesn’t trust football players, but she’s always been attracted to them. She has no plans to get involved with any of the Rebels. But she’s always secretly desired a ménage relationship, and when Cass and Beau set out to seduce her, she’s toast. But some awful things in her past are stopping her from committing fully to a relationship with them.

Cassidy Zielinski

Cass Zielinski is the Rebels center and offensive captain. He’s Texas born and bred, with the cowboy hat and boots to show it, but he’s spent most of his career playing on the West Coast. He turned down a nice contract with the Raiders when he became a free agent in order to sign with Birmingham because the Rebels offered him front office when he retired, which isn’t too far down the road. They brought him in to help lead the brand new franchise and he takes his position seriously. The Rebels won his loyalty by not batting an eye at his demand they sign his best friend Beau Perez as well. Beau is the closest thing to family he’s got. Cass was there to help pull Beau out of his addiction and depression after he almost overdosed, and he takes his responsibility to Beau seriously as well. Cass replaced the drugs in Beau’s life with sex, introducing him to threesomes. Caught on tape by an enterprising one-night stand, the two of them became You Tube sex tape stars. Now they’re trying to outrun their wild reputation in Birmingham. But the minute Cass sees Marian he wants her. Not just for him, but for Beau, too, because he’s ready for more than one night stands with strangers.

Beau Perez

Beau is trying to live down his past drug addiction and near overdose. Like so many young athletes suddenly thrust into the spotlight, he lived life on the edge at the beginning of his career. But the recreational drugs became an addiction. When he hit bottom Cass was there to help him back to his feet. He’s never questioned why, but he’s learned to lean on his best friend over the past few years. Now he’s ready to stand on his own again. He’s tired of answering questions about the drugs and about the sex tape. One stupid mistake with the wrong woman and they’re still paying for it. He’s been in love with Cass for years, but he’ll never tell him because he won’t risk losing him. If the only way he can have him is to share him, then that’s what he’ll do. At first he’s not sure about Marian, but there’s something about her that makes Beau a better man, the man he used to be before the drugs derailed his life and career. He stands taller, talks tougher and plays better with her support and encouragement. But he’s not sure he’s ready for the public backlash a relationship with Cass and Marian could mean. Been there done that, hated it. He has to decide if his feelings are strong enough to withstand the pressure.

Broken Play by Samantha Kane

Broken Play by Samantha Kane
Series: Birmingham Rebels #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
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Perfect for fans of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake, the deeply sensual new Birmingham Rebels series introduces an unforgettable team of chiseled football gods—and the daring, provocative games they play behind closed doors.

Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.

Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.

Broken Play is intended for mature audiences.

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Now here’s an excerpt from Broken Play! <3

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Marian’s brown eyes grew big and she stared at Cass as if she’d never heard a man apologize before. Next to her, Mike turned his body abruptly in his chair to face her and she jumped.

“Whoa,” Mike said, his hands up in surrender. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”

She laughed that tight laugh again. “No, I’m sorry. I get lost in my head sometimes. Don’t bother about me.” She cleared her throat. “Don’t forget we also snagged Kitt Doyle. When he went free agent I thought he’d get more offers despite his age and injury record.”

She successfully changed the subject as Mike and Beau began to discuss how Doyle, a good veteran left tackle, would affect the offense. She glanced up and when she caught Cass’s gaze, she tensed. After a second or two, when her mouth grew tight and she looked like she might say something, he looked away. There was definitely more to Marian Treadwell than what met the eye.

He was wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, for heaven’s sake, Marian thought as she looked away from Cass Zielinski’s penetrating stare. Did he think he was a Cowboy? Wrong team. The way the Rebels played last year, nearly the wrong league. She was exasperated, but it was with herself, not him. She was letting his sun-kissed good looks get to her. All six feet four inches and 280 pounds of him. That was a lot of good-looking. He had auburn hair and a beard to match, both bleached a little redder by the sun. And the cowboy thing? Yeah, a total button pusher. But she could resist it, because damn it, that wasn’t why she was here. She didn’t want to screw football players. She wanted to coach them. She had something to offer this team. The head office saw it and so did Mike. Clearly the players were going to be a harder sell. If she could get Cass Zielinski on her side, that would go a long way to getting the others to accept her. According to everything she’d read, and from what Mike had told her, the whole team idolized Zielinski. He’d been playing, and playing well, in the NFL for over ten years. Everyone knew he’d accepted the Rebels deal because they’d promised him front office when he retired, which wasn’t too far in the future. He was thirty-one, old for an offensive lineman. And of course, the deal had included Beau Perez.

She stole a glance at Perez. He was a scary-looking son of a bitch. Taller than the average player, he was more thug than Latin lover, brooding and intense. The tattoo on his neck didn’t help. She’d heard he was a real sweetheart in person, but she hadn’t seen it so far. He obviously had Zielinski wrapped around his massive pinky finger, the way he’d jumped to remove his hat when Perez frowned at him. Somehow he’d ridden Zielinski’s coattails back into the NFL after a suspension for drugs. His drug use and overdose were a red flag for any coach. He’d spent months in rehab, and Zielinski had been a constant visitor. That was the beginning of the rumors.

She hated to admit she’d read every tabloid rumor about them. Most of her information came from the Enquirer and People magazine. They’d been caught on tape having sex with the same woman. At the same time. The sex tape had gone viral. You couldn’t Google them without it turning up, despite all their efforts to get it taken down. There was no sound, and there were some malfunctions with the recorder, but you didn’t need to hear it to know they were giving her a hard, rough fuck. Jesus, Marian had watched that video about a hundred times and fantasized about them both. She wished she’d known at the time that she’d be working with them. She would have passed it by. She could hardly look at them without picturing them naked and straining, as they slammed into the willing woman in perfect synch. They had clearly done it many times before in order to have that sort of synchronization. With Perez’s dark hair and exotic looks, and Zielinski’s reddish hair and paler skin, they had complemented one another perfectly. She began to sweat and squirm in her seat as she tried to force her attention back to what Mike was saying.

Before long her gaze slid over to Perez again. He was a loose cannon, in her opinion. For the last two years he’d walked the straight and narrow, it was true. He played hard, stayed out of the limelight, and he was clean. Regular drug tests made sure of it. But his hold on Zielinski worried her. Cass clearly led the team, but Beau just as clearly led Cass. They needed the center to make this team work. He was the center in more ways than the position he played. The team revolved around him. He made it work, made this group of losers and misfits rise above their pasts and their reputations and play some pretty decent ball. Could they be better? Yeah, they could. And Marian was going to help make that happen. She’d hitched her wagon to the Rebels’ star, and she wasn’t going down without a fight.

She had something to prove. To herself and to her father. No one here but Mike and head coach Shannon Ludwig knew her dad was Rufus Sedgeway, one of the most successful coaches in Division I college-football history. And that was how Marian wanted it. She didn’t want to talk about her father to anyone; she didn’t even want to remember he existed on most days. He’d silenced her. He’d chosen some sleazy football players and his precious winning record over her. She’d had to go crawling back to him to ask him to help her get this job, but that was it. She knew he’d gotten her a job with the Rebels because he wanted her to fail again. He wanted to control her again. But she’d show him and everyone else. They hadn’t broken her, not by a long shot.

Reading Order: Birmingham Rebels series

Broken Play by Samantha Kane Calling the Play by Samantha Kane

#1 ~ Broken Play: EbookGoodreads (Sept. 1, 2015)
#2 ~ Calling the Play: EbookGoodreads (Dec. 1, 2015)

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Samantha KaneSamantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl. With a master’s degree in American history, she spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full-time writer and mom.

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Blog Tour + Character Profiles, Excerpt & Giveaway: Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry! We have Sophia Henry on the blog today with character profiles for Auden and Aleksandr!

Hey Booklovers for Life friends! I’m Sophia Henry and I have a new series featuring the Detroit Pilots. The first book, Delayed Penalty, is the story of Auden Berezin, a Russian interpreter who unintentionally falls for her client, Aleksandr Varenkov, a hot minor-league hockey star.

Here are my Character Profiles for Auden & Aleksandr:

Auden Berezin
Birth Place: Detroit, MI
Age: 19
Eyes: Blue
Height: 5’4
Hair: Dirty Blond; length: mid-back; beach-wavy (without the beach)
Celebrity Look-a-like: Blake Lively
Occupation: College Junior/Russian Translator
Style: Dresses for the Occasion. From Soccer gear to Club wear. Nothing flashy.
Personality: Smart. Witty. Kind. Vigilant. Jaded. Walls up.
Mannerisms: Twirling Hair

Aleksandr Varenkov
Birth Place: Serpukov, Russia
Age: 21
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6’2
Hair: Dark Chocolate
Celebrity Look-a-like: Young Sergei Fedorov w/Matty Healy hair (lead singer of The 1975)
Occupation: Minor League hockey player – Detroit Pilots Left Wing.
Style: European Metro. Stylish. Trendy.
Personality: Cocky, not arrogant. Teasing, not snarky. Genuine. Passionate. Kind.
Mannerisms: Smokes clove cigarettes. Bottom lip dips slightly with a genuine smile.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I hope you love Delayed Penalty and the entire cast of characters in the Pilots Hockey series as much as I do!

Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry

Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry
Series: Pilot’s Hockey #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
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She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.

Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college. Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player—until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.

Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.

After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.

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Now here’s an excerpt from Delayed Penalty! <3

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I’m pretty sure there were only two ways Crazy Hair could have looked better than he had at O’Callaghan’s. The first was as he did right now: sitting on a bench in the locker room wearing nothing but the lower half of his uniform, including his skates, sweat rolling over his sinewy pecs and creating a happy trail all the way into his hockey pants.

The second way—I can only assume—would be if he were completely naked.

“Aleksandr, this is Auden Berezin. She will be your translator.”

“I don’t need a translator.”

I almost laughed, because he’d said he didn’t need a translator in Russian.

“You must talk with the media at some point, Sasha. They’re riding my ass to get better answers from you than ‘was good game.’ ”

Aleksandr Varenkov, hot Russian hockey god, laughed, showing the perfect set of white teeth I’d noticed at the bar.

“You have your teeth in, but you haven’t even showered yet?” Orlenko asked.

Was Orlenko a mind reader? I sure hope not, because I would be fired for thinking about my client naked.

“I wanted to look good for pictures.” Aleksandr winked at me. Then he stood, and drops of sweat raced down the hard planes of his chest.

I’d never been so envious of perspiration in my life.

“Sometimes I talk in the shower. Will she translate for me in there?”

My cheeks began to burn, so I averted my eyes, lowering them to the black Cyrillic script tattooed down his sides, then thought better of that line of sight and studied the soiled beige carpet below my feet.

“Aleks—” Orlenko sighed, rubbing his forehead.

“Zhenya,” Aleksandr began. “You know I’m kidding, yes?” He shoved a towel onto the shelf above his nameplate and walked away without waiting for an answer.

“Yes,” Orlenko hissed. He’d said it under his breath, but I heard him and wondered what my grandpa had gotten me into. “Well, that was Aleksandr Varenkov, your client. He’s a talented player and a good man. But he can be a little—”

“Douchey?” I offered in English. I shouldn’t have said it, considering Grandpa’s professional reputation was in my hands. Then again, Evgeny Orlenko was Grandpa’s friend first, so maybe he wouldn’t be too hard on me. Besides, Grandpa knew what kind of mouth I had, and he’d sent me for the job anyway.

Orlenko laughed, and continued in Russian. “Wild was the word I was looking for, but your adjective may not be that far off.”

“I’ve got it, Mr. Orlenko.”

“Are you sure?” He inspected me through thick black-rimmed glasses that were too small for his puffy face.

“As a college student with an active social life, I’ve learned how to handle arrogant douche bags.” This time I was being paid to handle one.

“I shouldn’t be having this conversation about one of my clients,” Mr. Orlenko said, his lips quirking up, then back into a tight line. At least he was trying to keep a straight face. “You’re like a breath of fresh air, Audushka. I hope you stay that way even with his off-ice antics.”

Off-ice antics? What the hell did that mean and why would I have to deal with them? “Will I have to hang out with him outside of the arena? I thought I was here to translate for media interviews after games and some practices.”

“Aleksandr speaks very little English. He’ll need your assistance in all aspects of his career; interviews, community service. At least, until he gets acclimated. Vitya said you were here for the month, is that correct?”

“Yep. All of winter break.”

“You’ll be putting in a lot of hours.”

“I’m a hard worker. And I need the cash. Got cut from the soccer team, and I have to replace the scholarship money I lost.” I was running my mouth again. Maybe I did need to tone it down.

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that. The being-cut part.” He cleared his throat. “Here’s my card. I wrote my cell number on the back. If you have any trouble or if Aleksandr makes you uncomfortable in any way, please give me a call.”

“Thanks.” I scanned the card wondering if I should try to memorize his number now, since I wasn’t sure how stable this client sounded.

After Orlenko left the locker room, I realized I hadn’t asked him what I should do next, and he hadn’t given me instructions as to where I should wait while Aleksandr showered. Since I wasn’t part of the media, I was extremely aware of being the intruder standing in a room of half-naked men. A shower shouldn’t take very long, so I dug my e-reader out of my messenger bag and sat down on the stool that Aleksandr had just vacated.

“Ewww.” I jumped up and skimmed my palm against my damp backside. Hadn’t even thought about any runaway sweat that might’ve dripped from Aleksandr’s lean, hard body onto the stool.

Stop. Just stop thinking about the shiny, wet flesh covering his impeccably carved frame.

Reading Order: Pilot’s Hockey series

Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry Power Play by Sophia Henry

#1 ~ Delayed Penalty: EbookGoodreads (Sept. 1, 2015)
#2 ~ Power Play: EbookGoodreads (Feb. 16, 2016)
#3 ~ Interference: EbookGoodreads (May 3, 2016)

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Sophia HenrySophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.

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Release Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: Fallen Crest University by Tijan

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Fallen Crest University by Tijan

Fallen Crest University by Tijan
Series: Fallen Crest #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
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Fallen Crest is back with a vengeance!

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags.

With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over.

Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target—not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target.

Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?

Buy Links:
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Now here’s an excerpt from Fallen Crest University! <3

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She was confident. She moved with purpose.

It hit me how much she changed from when she’d moved in with Analise. She’d lost everything. She hadn’t cared about anything, and she had been a badass because of it—striking out, not giving a shit. Logan and I took her in, and then she had something to lose—me. She got scared. She was pushed around by the girls and bullied by her own mother, and through all that crap, she’d still fought. She’d clawed her way back up, protecting and loving Logan and me at the same time.

Good god. I wanted to pull her on top of me. I wanted to lose myself in her.

When I sat on the couch, Sam had a knowing grin, and she sat right where I wanted her, right where maybe she shouldn’t have. My hands held her hips as she straddled me. She looped her arms around my neck and rested her forehead to mine.

Her grin never dimmed, not even as she teased, “Why do I feel like we’re in high school, and I don’t want my mom to catch us making out in the basement?”

Shit, I love this woman.

A smooth and lazy low laugh flitted from her lips. I waited for her to find my mouth with hers, but she didn’t.

She held back and her eyes traced over my face. “What happened today?”

I wasn’t going to tell her. More time. I needed more time.

Reading Order: Fallen Crest series

Mason by Tijan Fallen Crest High by Tijan Fallen Crest Family by Tijan
Fallen Crest Public by Tijan Fallen Fourth Down by Tijan Fallen Crest University by Tijan

#0.5 ~ Mason: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#1 ~ Fallen Crest High: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Fallen Crest Family: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Fallen Crest Public: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Fallen Fourth Down: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Fallen Crest University: EbookPaperback • Goodreads

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TijanI didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

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Blog Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: Find Me by Laurelin Paige

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Find Me, the second and final book in the Found Duet series by Laurelin Paige, is out now!

Find Me by Laurelin Paige

Find Me by Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
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Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.

But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.

Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Barnes & NobleiBooks

Now here’s an excerpt from Find Me! <3

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I grabbed my cell and checked the time. It was six-twenty-nine. I threw it in my purse and turned back to the mirror to give myself a pep talk. “We will not have sex. We will not have sex. We will not have sex.”

Jesus, I was so horny already, and I hadn’t even seen him yet. I’d thought about taking care of myself before JC got there but wasn’t sure if that would make things better or worse. By the time I’d decided it would make it better, Ben was there, and now JC was ringing my buzzer.

“You look incredible,” he said when I opened the door.

I blushed as I gave him a onceover. He was dressed in khakis with a fitted shirt and a lightweight jacket. Lots of buttons, I thought. Which was a good thing, considering how damn good he looked. Had he always been that buff? “You do, too.” My thighs felt hot. Good thing I’d changed out of my pants.

I really should have pulled out my vibrator earlier.

“You brought flowers?” I’d been so taken by him I hadn’t noticed the small bouquet in his hands. Three red roses dressed with some smaller white bell-shaped flowers I couldn’t identify were wrapped in a red ribbon. I hadn’t expected it. “I didn’t know you were the kind of guy who brought girls roses.”

He shrugged with one shoulder. “I’m trying to impress you. I have a feeling this date is a test of some kind, and I want to make sure I pass.”

“Not a test,” I said dismissively. Though, wasn’t that what this was? A test to see if we got along as well outside the bedroom as we did inside? “But thank you. You do impress.”

I shifted my weight to one hip and flitted my glance between JC, still standing on the other side of the threshold, and the flowers in my hand. “I should put these in water.” But I wasn’t sure I was ready to invite him in. Because in meant we’d be closer to my bed. And my couch. And my kitchen counter. All of which were locations that could be tempting.

Really, I just shouldn’t be anywhere alone with him.

Either JC felt the same way I did or he could read my mind. “You can do that later. The plastic containers on the stems should last until we get back. And we should get going.”

“Perfect.” I set them on the console table behind me, relieved and nervous all at once. I took a deep breath, grabbed my purse, and turned back to him. “Let’s go!”

In the hallway, he offered me his hand. I took it, then, there it was—the shock of his touch as his fingers weaved with mine. I let out an involuntary sigh, and with it bricks of tension fell from my body. Release. It shuddered through me as electricity sparked up my limb from where we were connected and spread throughout my body, and I wondered if this was what it felt like to melt. What it felt like to be frozen for so long and then, finally, to have the sun brush against cold ice, transforming it into something more fluid, something entirely different.

I glanced down to where we were joined, so overcome by how right it felt to be touching him in this simple way. When I looked back at him, I found his eyes pinned on me. His expression said he’d felt it too.

“You messed up, you know,” he said, as we started toward the elevator. “You were supposed to wear something that I didn’t want to rip off of you.”

My cheeks heated—actually, I wasn’t sure they’d ever cooled from the first blush he’d caused. “You said it would be impossible for me to wear anything that wouldn’t elicit that response. The only other choice was to go naked.”

“That would have been an excellent choice.”

“But not very practical.”

“I’ve never been a fan of practical.” He pushed the call button and the elevator doors opened immediately, the car likely still there from when he’d arrived.

We stepped inside, our hands still molded together. The doors closed, and I so badly wanted to turn and kiss him.

Instead I delivered the short speech I’d practiced since I’d woken up that afternoon. “I think I should tell you, I don’t have sex on first dates.”

“Wow. That’s…surprising. Considering we had sex before we’d ever even been on a date.” He squeezed my hand. “But, after you left me with blue balls this morning, I already figured out you’d turned into a prude.”

I laughed. “I’m not a prude. I’m cautious. And that’s nothing new. That’s always been me.”

“Yes, it has.” The short phrase was full of subtext, and I knew he was remembering how uptight I’d been when we’d first met. Icy. Frigid bitch.

“I’m better than I was,” I assured him.

He nodded. “I know. Otherwise you wouldn’t have given me even this much of you. And if you want to wait, then I can too.”

What I wanted was to push him against the wall and devour him.

But that was an in-the-moment want, and long-term, I wanted a relationship that was real and lasting. “Thank you. It means a lot.”

He leaned in close and, though we were alone, whispered in my ear. “I’m not going to say that I’m not dying to have you under me, Gwen. Because I am. But I’m dying to just be with you more.”

Despite the descent of the elevator, his words sent me floating. “You’re really good at that impressing thing.”

He gave me my favorite grin. “Who knew?”

Reading Order: The Found Duet series

Free Me by Laurelin Paige Find Me by Laurelin Paige
 

#1 ~ Free Me: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Find Me: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

about the author button

Laurelin PaigeLaurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, 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. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Pinterest

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Free Me/Find Me Signed Set
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Release Day Review + Excerpt: Anything but Broken by Joelle Knox

Anything but Broken by Joelle Knox

Anything but Broken by Joelle Knox
Series: Hurricane Creek #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The first in a New Adult series about small towns, fast cars, bad boys and the girls who keep falling for them.

After five years, tragedy brings Hannah Casey back to Hurricane Creek to bury what’s left of her family. She’s flunking out of college, haunted by scandal, and the only person who cares is Sean Whitlow, an irresistible bad boy with a soft spot for her. The problem? He’s her dead sister’s ex.

Sean doesn’t bleed red, he bleeds motor oil. During the week, he struggles to turn his auto repair shop into a profitable business. But when Saturday night rolls around, he’s the reigning stock-car king of the local race track. He doesn’t know how to lose-or how to walk away and leave Hannah alone with her grief.

Between her grades and her wealthy family’s dark secrets, Hannah’s barely holding her life together. And the last thing Sean needs is to get tangled up with another Casey girl. As the attraction between them spins out of control, they’ll either find a love with no limits-or go up in flames.

Anything but Broken is the first book in a new contemporary NA series by Joelle Knox, who’s also known as Kit Rocha and Moira Rogers. I liked that the description said it’s a series “about small towns, fast cars, bad boys and the girls who keep falling for them” because it’s very accurate. In Anything but Broken, we meet Hannah Casey, a damaged soul, who goes back to her hometown but is unable to deal with the grief of losing her family and the burden of having nothing but bad memories about them. She turns to her dead sister’s ex-boyfriend to cope and ends up getting more than she could’ve imagined.

I kind of paused at the whole sister’s ex-boyfriend thing, but then decided to withhold judgement until I read more, and I was glad I did. Sean and Hannah’s sister didn’t have the most stable relationship, and it ended quite a few years ago, so I got over my initial pause about them. Sean is now the owner of an auto-repair shop and a successful race track driver. He’s a bad boy with a good heart, and he was a good match for Hannah.

“Help me be a little bad.”

Hannah is lost, drifting, feeling disconnected with the world. The only thing that grounds her is her time with Sean, who she’s always had a crush on. Sadly, I felt pretty disconnected from Hannah, since she’s just so uncertain of her future that she doesn’t know what to do anymore. Her POVs always sort of dragged, so parts of the book felt really slow to me. But I liked the Hannah that was with Sean, since Sean helps her get through her problems by opening up her world. The both of them go through a lot, with secrets and lies being revealed, and the angst was pretty heavy, but for the most part I enjoyed their story.

Life is made of risks. I can’t avoid them. I can only decide which ones are worth taking. Sean’s the biggest one of all, because that’s what falling in love is all about. Trusting completely. Being vulnerable. Risking everything.

I didn’t really feel the love or romance between Sean and Hannah until the very end, which was disappointing. I liked them as individual characters, but the romance between them was lacking and felt nearly secondary to all the problems they have going on. So I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for the romance, but rather for the unique NA storyline dealing with heavy issues.

Overall, Anything but Broken is only an okay book – it has good writing, but the story was so slow sometimes that I got bored a lot. I am excited for the next book, though, because this book sets up second book’s main couple perfectly.

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Now here’s an excerpt from Anything but Broken! <3

excerpt button

I don’t stay in bed. By the time Sean comes knocking on Evie’s front door, I’ve washed my face, brushed my teeth, and torn through my room, kicking dirty clothes into the closet and wondering how I made such a damn mess when I don’t even have all my things with me.

I’m at the door before I remember I forgot to change, and it’s too late now. So I answer the door in my pajamas—cotton shorts and a tank top that feels transparent right now.

“Hey. Come on in.”

“Good morning.” He actually did something, one of the bright blue boxes from the bakery down the street from the boutique, and he hands it to me as he walks in.

“Thank you.” I carry the box into the living room, where my quilting supplies are spread out on the floor in front of the TV. Evie helped me sort scraps last night, and I went to bed without putting anything away. “Are you thirsty? I can make coffee, or we have some Cokes.”

“The bakery thinks of everything.” He tilts his head toward the box, and I open it to find two covered cups of coffee nestled inside along with the pastries.

“You’re going to spoil me,” I tell him as I sit on the couch. The coffee table is another of those pieces that looks either cosmetically distressed or lovingly salvaged—only now I know which. Evie finds them at flea markets and yard sales, dropping ten dollars on pieces of furniture no one wants, only to turn around and make them beautiful.

Just like Sean and his car—or me with my scrap quilts, I guess. Maybe we’re all obsessed with rescuing broken things.

Sean takes one of the coffees and sprawls out beside me, one arm looped casually around my shoulders. “Got any plans for today?”

Just the hospital later, but I don’t feel like bringing it up. So I reach for one of the pastries instead, breaking off a corner to nibble. “Not really. I need to open up my laptop and actually deal with some of my email, I guess.”

“Sounds fun.” He wrinkles his nose as he leans his head back and closes his eyes. “I left Gibb alone at the garage.”

I should probably feel guilty about that, but it’s hard to when he’s here, next to me, and I get to snuggle into his side as I eat breakfast. “I’m sure he can handle it. He seems really good at his job. Evie says he is, anyway.”

“She’s right.” Sean tilts his head my way and opens one eye. “You look good.”

My cheeks aren’t the only part of me that heat at the compliment. I abandon the pastry and coffee in favor of curling closer to him, because every point of contact means another giddy spark of anticipation.

It’s easier to flirt with him in text messages, but I try to capture a hint of that mischief as

I smile at him. “I stayed in my pajamas just for you.”

“I like it.” The back of his hand brushes my bare thigh.

An accident? I don’t want it to be. Holding my breath, I shift closer, chasing his fingers.

But he hasn’t moved, so I wind up rubbing my leg against his hand.Sean is watching me now. “Does Evie come home for lunch?”

I don’t think I’ve been here long enough to know for sure, and I can’t remember right now, anyway. Because that’s not what he’s really asking. This isn’t safe like the lake, with people nearby to keep us from going too far.

Whatever too far means.

“I think she might be meeting Sawyer for lunch,” I tell him, because I know she talked about it. Was it today? God, I hope so, because I can’t think with Sean watching me.

He slides his free hand into my hair and cups my neck. He doesn’t say anything, but he’s utterly focused on my mouth, and he draws in a sharp breath when I lick my lips.

It’s the reminder I need—that I’m not the only one caught in the grip of needy hunger. I press my hand to his chest, splaying my fingers wide. Not to hold him back, but to brace myself as I lean in.

He lifts me into his lap instead, his steely grip a shocking reminder of his strength. I end up perched on his thighs, my knees riding alongside his hips. Straddling him, and it’s nothing like the lake. We might be wearing more clothing—well, he is—but there’s no darkness or water to hide behind.

He can watch my cheeks flush, and he can watch that warmth spread. My tank top is too thin to hide the tightening tips of my nipples, so I crush my chest to his and kiss him before reality can catch up with me.

But it isn’t reality that crashes into me a heartbeat later. It’s sensation, the tightness spreading into a deeper heat as his tongue slicks over mine, and his fingertips edge beneath the hem of my tank top.

I want to melt. Everything inside me is screaming for it, but I break away and pant against his cheek. “I should tell you. That I still don’t—that I’m not ready—”

“For sex?” His voice is low, hoarse. Filthy.

I never thought anything could weaken my resolve. But I didn’t know I could feel like this—flustered and turned on and achy. Empty, and just thinking that makes me feel debauched. “Can we still do other stuff?”

His chest rumbles beneath mine, and his hands slide higher up my back. “Hell, yeah.”


Reading Order: Hurricane Creek series

Anything but Broken by Joelle Knox Anything but Perfect by Joelle Knox Anything but Tempted by Joelle Knox

#1 ~ Anything but Broken: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Anything but Perfect: Goodreads (2016)
#3 ~ Anything but Tempted: Goodreads (2016)


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