Best Books of 2017 + Giveaway!

There’s only a few more days until 2018 is here, which means it’s that time of year again! Here are my top 17 reads of 2017 in no particular order, books I highly recommend everyone read if they haven’t already. Make sure to check out a fantastic giveaway below too! What are your favorite reads of the year? Did any of yours make my list?


1. The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews

  

#1 ~ Burn for Me: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ White Hot: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Wildfire: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Burn for Me technically isn’t a 2017 favorite but a 2015 one, but I loved this series so much that I had to include it again! The Hidden Legacy series concluded this year, and without a doubt, it’s my new favorite urban fantasy series. I am obsessed with all things Nevada and Rogan (and am praying this isn’t the last we see of them). Everything from the romance to the action to the humor to the characters is top notch in this series – if you love anything magic-related (and even if you don’t), you need to read this series!

He was looking at me like I was the only thing that had ever mattered. “If you don’t survive, none of this is worth it to me. I love you.”


2. Roomies by Christina Lauren

My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Modern day marriage of convenience, anyone? I ADORED Roomies. This is the kind of read that will have you doing heart eyes and sighing madly for days. We have our sweet heroine and our gorgeous Irish musician hero who fake a marriage so he won’t get deported. It just so happens that along the way, husband and wife fall for each other – what could go wrong? Christina Lauren balances the romance with the musical aspect of the story tremendously. If you’re interested in music, I’d definitely recommend this one!

“I’ve never met anyone who loved my playing enough to want to put a ring on it.”


3. Dating-ish and Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid

 

Dating-ish: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Kissing Tolstoy: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

Yes, I’m cheating and including two Penny Reid books as a 2017 favorite, but I had to! Dating-ish is my new favorite Knitting in the City book. Who knew robots and romance could mix so well – or be so sexy!? The main characters are charming and hilarious – they become wonderful friends that happen to be perfect for each other and fall in love. Of course, it’s not that easy, but reading how they get to their HEA was a pure delight. I highly recommend this book if you want a unique slow burn romance!

“You—being with you—was the first time I wanted real life over a virtual existence. You distracted me. I’d never been distracted before.”

Kissing Tolstoy blew me away! I love a good professor/student forbidden romance, and Penny gave that to me in this perfect little novella. I never wanted it to end! It’s adorable, smart, sexy – it’s the kind of romance where you can’t WAIT for the main characters to get together. I loved it… and am dying for more of the series!

“You are flawless to me,” I held her with might and purpose, needing her to feel the veracity of my words, “We fit together like custom pieces from a two person puzzle. And therefore, you are exactly my perfect kind of nice.”


4. Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield

My ReviewEbook • Goodreads

Grumpy heroes, FTW!!! One grumpy hero + an adorable heroine + humor + kink = a happy Lacey. This was actually my first time reading Eve Dangerfield, and let’s just say that I’m a fan for life now. For all you erotica lovers out there, get your hands on this book! I will say that it’s not for everyone, but you might be surprised too!

“Do you think we’re weird?” Kate asked, because that was the thing she’d always been afraid to ask.
Ty pulled her into his arms. “We’re weird in the best possible way.”
“So… yes?”
He laughed. “Everyone’s weird Kate, we’re the perfect kind of weird for each other.”


5. The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads

If you know me, then you know Sarah MacLean is my all-time favorite historical romance author. I have several top favorite books by her, but they were all blown away when I read The Day of the Duchess. It’s a second chance romance (my favorite) and an ANGST-FEST. My heart almost couldn’t take Sera and Malcolm’s second chance at love – but I sure did love reading about Malcolm winning back the love of his life. If there’s a historical romance you need to read, it’s this one.

“I shall have you. I shall love you. And I shall grow old in your arms.”


6. The Red by Tiffany Reisz

My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

It takes a lot for me to feel scandalized while reading, but if anyone can do it, it’s Tiffany Reisz. This book is fantastical, literally and figuratively. It is honestly the HOTTEST book I’ve ever read, and I need Tiffany to write more like this. Like I said in my review, The Red is erotica in its purest, dirtiest, and finest form… and I wholeheartedly LOVED IT. Would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a read outside their comfort zone!

His money made her a whore, but his cock had made her his slave. She never wanted to taste freedom again. She only wanted to taste him.


7. How to Date a Douchebag series by Sara Ney

 

#2 ~ The Failing Hours: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Learning Hours: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

I can’t recommend this series enough if you love new adult or sports romances! I fell in love with Sara Ney (and wrestling) thanks to Zeke and Rhett. These two heroes couldn’t be more different (a jackass vs the nicest guy ever), but I loved their books all the same. They make particularly good opposites-attract romances too. These books reminded me just why I love the NA genre so much – and I’m so glad we’re getting more Douchebags next year!

“The best part of me is you, Violet.”


8. Infini and Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

 

Infini: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Damaged Like Us: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads

Obviously I had to include my loves Krista & Becca Ritchie! This duo is so talented at writing about romance and family. Both the Aerial Ethereal series and the new Like Us series at their heart is about amazing families who will do anything for each other. It’s just that one family is part of a circus, and the other is full of world-famous celebrities – and how can you NOT read that, right? K & B never cease to amaze me with their writing talent, and I absolutely can’t wait for more from both these series!

“Circus is family.”
The love we carry for each other is the strongest and most vulnerable place in us all.


9. The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey

Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads

I can’t even explain how much I simply loved The Fortunate Ones. I was blown away by the heart and humor that’s in this book. It’s the perfect slow burn romance that I couldn’t put down. Plus, I’m always a sucker for an older, rich hero, and James Ashwood is divine. I love the chemistry between him and Brooke – they’re my new favorite couple from R.S. Grey!

I blink my eyes open to find him staring down at me with undisguised emotion—in fact, he’s looking at me as if I’m the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and it’s too much.


10. The Kingpin of Camelot by Cassandra Gannon

EbookPaperback • Goodreads

Cassandra Gannon is like the Beyoncé of indie authors for me, because she does surprise releases, but every time she does, I drop everything I’m doing and read her book. She writes the BEST fairytale fantasy retellings and they are the funniest, most romantic, most ridiculous things I ever read. The Kingpin of Camelot is a retelling of both the story of Midas and Camelot/King Arthur – I always love and am amazed with the stuff Cassandra Gannon comes up with when she retells a story in her own unique, hilarious way!

“I love you.” The words slipped out and he didn’t even try to call them back. “I am so crazy in love with you, there’s never been any hiding it. Everyone in Camelot knows I’m yours. I’m already designing the billboards to brag about it.”


11. Too Hard to Forget and Follow by Tessa Bailey

 

THtF: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Follow: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads

Too Hard to Forget is another second chance romance I LOVED! I can’t resist some good angst and Tessa Bailey gave that to me in spades with THtF. Plus, I love when a heroine wants a little revenge on the man she loves who hurt her. Peggy certainly makes Elliott regret letting her go, but this time he’s smart enough not to make the same mistake again. I always love Tessa Bailey heroes and Elliott is my new favorite one!

“Miss you?” He grated the incredulous question, dropping his mouth to her temple. “You left me without a soul. I can barely remember the days since you left. They passed without me feeling a single thing. Because you are feeling for me. You’re the only thing that keeps me from being numb. Twice in my life you’ve turned me back into a living, breathing man, and missing you… missing you, Peggy, doesn’t even begin to cover it. You revive me.”

If you’ve ever wanted a story about that hot guy you saw on Instagram who posts pictures of his gorgeous self and his dog, well it’s here! Of course, this is Tessa Bailey, so you also get a heaping dose of intense chemistry and delicious dirty talk. Follow

You couldn’t fake what we had. Couldn’t duplicate it. We were so fucking lucky to have found each other once, and even as I’d always suspected it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life.
Now I needed to fix it.


12. So Good by Nicola Rendell

My ReviewEbook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Another book involving dogs… do we see a trend here? As in, I love beautiful men and dogs? So Good is my new favorite friends-to-lovers novel. It’s is the SWEETEST book I’ve ever read – just thinking about the story makes me feel all happy inside, that’s how feel-good of a book it is. And the hero SAVES AND ADOPTS A TINY CHIHUAHUA AND NAMES HER CUPCAKE AFTER HIS BEST FRIEND/LOVE OF HIS LIFE WHO IS A BAKER!!! Can you tell how much I love that!?

“Tell me.”
“I want to take you hard, and I want to make you mine. Tonight and every night.”
“Who says I’m not yours already?” she said, all breathy, as her hand slid around to my ass, and her fingers moved into my pocket. “Who says I wasn’t yours all along and just never knew it?”


13. Trigger by Scarlett Dawn

EbookPaperbackGoodreads

Scarlet Dawn is a new-to-me author this year, but Trigger has become one of my absolute favorite new adult PNRs I’ve ever read! If you’re in the mood for an epic post-apocalyptic world with secret shifters and a clumsy yet badass heroine (and a hero who does and says things you need to fan yourself for), you NEED this book in your life!

I closed my eyes. “You are going to ruin me.”
He let go of my shoulder and placed his lips against my throat, whispering, “In the best possible way.”


14. Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nalini Singh is my PNR queen! Reading Silver Silence reaffirmed just why I love her books so much and brought me back to the early days of the Psy-Changeling series. You get an adorable, charming, gorgeous bear alpha who tries to win the heart of the seemingly cold Psy that he knows is his one and only mate. Their slow burn is one of the best things I’ve read all year and I can’t wait for more of the bears!

Solnyshko moyo.” A kiss to the dampness of her neck as he roughly spoke words whose meaning had deepened to raw intimacy with a simple change in order.
Sun of my heart. Sunshine of my life.


15. Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

My ReviewEbook • Audible • Goodreads

Some delicious M/M sports romance, anyone? We have a not-out bisexual football player who is on house arrest, and a new personal assistant who looks just like Clark Kent he wants to do dirty things to. Add in some fantastic, fiery chemistry and some witty banter, and you have Gavin and Noah. I loved everything about their sexy, sweet, slow romance – I highly recommend this one for M/M lovers! P.S. I’ve read the next book and it is AMAZEBALLS!

“Why do you need me?”
“You make me feel alive.” I kissed down to his collarbone. “Make me feel real.”
“You are real. And if you stop hiding the best parts of yourself, everyone else will see it too.”


16. Man Hands by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

EbookPaperback • Goodreads

Man Hands was absolutely H I L A R I O U S!!! It was one of the most ridiculous, funny books I’ve ever read, and I loved every bit of it. This was the kind of comedy that the more I read, the more I couldn’t believe what was happening or coming out of the characters’ mouths. Did I mention how ridiculous it was? But it totally worked, because I couldn’t stop laughing while I read. Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby make a dynamic author duo – I need more from them already!

He pulls out and collapses next to me. His leg is over mine, and he reaches across my naked breast to grab my hand. “I’m Tom,” he says.
“Brynn,” I breathe back.
“Well, Brynn… It’s really nice to meet you.”
We shake hands.


17. Black Sheep by Zara Cox

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

2017 must be the year of second chance romances, because I’m ending my list (kinda) with another fantastic second chance romance! I don’t read many dark romances these days, but I couldn’t resist the blurb of Black Sheep, and I’m so glad I didn’t. It’s a wild, crazy, intense, angsty read, a second chance romance between lovers turned enemies, with an obsessed alpha hero – how could I not enjoy it? Black Sheep is the epitome of hate to love and love to hate, and if you love dark romance, I highly recommend it!

“I love you. But it’s not the kind of love that is selfless enough to let you go. My love is the fucking selfish kind. The kind that will demand to have you in my arms when I go to sleep at night. The kind that will insist on seeing your face every morning, no matter what…. I’m the selfish bastard who needs you to breathe.”


I have to cut this list off at some point, but I do want to include some honorable mentions!

  
   

I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year’s and an even better 2018!

lacey


-Your choice of one of my favorite 2017 reads (one winner)
-Your choice of a 2018 release (one winner)
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Spotlight Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
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The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles! 

GODS. I’M AN IDIOT.

Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form.

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.

The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleiBooks • KoboIndieBound

Now here’s an excerpt from Heart on Fire! ❤

excerpt button

Griffin’s hand tightens on my arm.

I roll my eyes. “I’m not going to fall in, you know. The cliff is all the way over there.”

He loosens his hold. Sort of.

I glance up at him, trying to tame my sudden smile. Domineering and overprotective doesn’t even begin to describe my husband. There’s also deliciously jealous, but that’s another subject all together. The black stubble framing his mouth makes his full lips look impossibly kissable. It’s been hours since they were last on mine. And I love to kiss the hawkish curve of his nose. So strong and masculine. I adore that nose. And the rest of him. His powerful body. Muscle. Sinew. Bone.

I gaze up at him, nearly sighing. “I love you.”

Griffin stops dead in his tracks and glares down at me. “That’s it. We’re leaving.”

I blink. “What? Why?”

“You think something terrible is going to happen.”

“No, I don’t.” I frown. “I don’t think so.”

His eyes narrow, wariness hardening his expression. “You do.”

“What are you talking about?”

He scowls at me.

“Well, something terrible could happen,” I concede. “But that’s always true, no matter where or when. Tomorrow, I could trip over my own feet and break my neck for all I know.”

Judging by the look on Griffin’s face, I don’t think that helped.

“You only say you love me or you’re sorry when you’re scared or almost dead. You’re not almost dead, so what’s scaring you?” he demands.

“I say I love you all the time!”

“When we’re in bed. When I’m so deep inside you that you can’t feel anything but me. Not when we’re about to knock on a stranger’s door. What’s scaring you?” he demands again.

I huff. “At the moment? The way your jaw is popping like it’s alive.”

Griffin crosses his arms. “I want honesty. Right now.”

Right now, Your Imperialness?”

His nostrils flare. His hard look is spectacular.

I’m not intimidated. It makes me hot. Then again, so does just about everything at the moment, but not in the same way.

“If you must know, the magic around here is a little intense and…disturbing, but it’s not scaring me. Not really. It’s probably just something coming from whatever is down there in that God Pit,” I say, waving toward the cliff. “I’m a shade nervous. That’s all.”

His eyes stay flinty and unconvinced. “That’s all? That’s not generally cause for a heartfelt declaration, at least not from you.”

I toss my hands in the air. “Fine. I take it back. I looked at you, found you incredibly desirable, and my body got all hot and tingly. I blame pregnancy for an excess of sentimentality and…and…urges!”

Griffin stares at me. Then his mouth splits into a grin that makes me all kinds of angry. He reaches for me again, his grasp lighter this time.

“Incredibly desirable?” Looking smug, he threads his fingers through mine.

Scowling, I poke him in the chest with my free hand. “Well, you do have that whole overbearing warlord thing going on. Plus, plenty of muscles in all the right places, some good ideas, and, you know, a really big sword.”

A laugh cracks out of Griffin, and my heart swoops like an off-balance bird. He’s rarely free with humor these days, or maybe there’s just not enough of it in our lives anymore. The happy flutter that wings through my chest takes any lingering irritation away with it.

Gah! Talk about mood changes!

Griffin captures my other hand and then pulls me in to him until I’m standing between his legs. “I love you, too, Cat.”

He kisses me, his mouth pressing softly against mine. Warmth rolls straight from his lips to my toes, which curl in my boots.

“Tell me again,” he coaxes.

I shake my head, our noses brushing.

“Say it,” he demands against my mouth.

“I don’t think so.”

“Last chance,” he warns, gently nipping at my lower lip.

“Big sword.”

Chuckling, Griffin swats my bottom. “There’s more where that came from.”

I look up at him through my lashes. “I sure hope so.”

He grins. “I think you just managed coy.”

“Good Gods! Has the Underworld frozen over?”

“Next, Centaurs will fly.” He brushes his lips over mine again, not lingering, and when he lifts his head, his black hair ruffling on the faintly sulfurous wind, the teasing gleam is already absent from his eyes. “You’re sure there’s nothing else?”

“Nothing besides our baby wreaking havoc on my moods?” I shake my head. “But I wanted you before. I want you always.”

He lifts his hand and brushes his thumb across my lips. Then his fingers fall away, trailing lightly down my arm until I shiver.

“You’re the air I breathe,” he says without a trace of humor in his voice.

My whole chest clenches hard, squeezing a tight, almost painful beat from my heart. “I admire you,” I reply. “I need you. I love you with all my heart.”

Griffin offers me a different kind of smile this time, small, lopsided, gentle, and so entirely genuine. It fades almost immediately, though, and he straightens to his full, imposing height, abruptly pinning me with his warlord stare. “If you feel anything off here, we leave, with or without the potion we came for. You’ve got great instincts, Cat. Trust your gut.”

I nod. I will. I always do.

Reading Order: Kingmaker Chronicles series

  

#1 ~ A Promise of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Breath of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Heart on Fire: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

about the author button

USA Today bestselling author AMANDA BOUCHET grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French. Connect with her at www.amandabouchet.com.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Enter to win a bundle containing A Promise of Fire and Breath of Fire, the first two books in Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker Chronicles!

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books!

For my stop, I’m giving away your choice of an upcoming 2018 release under $20, open INTL as long as The Book Depository ships to you!

Here are some 2018 releases that I’m excited for!
(Click the covers to preorder)

 
   
   

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Your choice of a 2018 release under $20
Open INTL as long as The Book Depository ships to you

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Excerpt + Giveaway: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

I’m so excited to be able to share an excerpt of Roni Loren’s upcoming book, THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY! Plus, I’ve got a special giveaway for a print ARC of the book!

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Add to Goodreads

Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback
Barnes & NobleiTunes • IndieBound • BAMGoogle Play

Now here’s an excerpt from The Ones Who Got Away! ❤

excerpt button

She bit her lip. Of course with his authoritative tone, her mind put him in a uniform and some aviators. She’d never had a particular fetish for men in uniform, especially after her own run-in with the police. But the thought of Finn wearing one and manhandling her a bit had her reconsidering. She would definitely get out of the vehicle. Maybe even let him cuff her. And as inappropriate as the thought was, considering the circumstances, it was a welcome respite from her nightmare. She cleared her throat. “I think you pull it off just fine.”

His dimple appeared beneath the stubble. “You’re blushing, Arias.”

“I am not.” She tipped up her chin. “I’m just…still flushed from all the adrenaline.”

“Uh-huh. Or you’ve got a secret cop fetish.”

“Stop flirting.” She pointed a finger at him.

“Am I flirting?” he asked innocently.

“Yes. And that’s not allowed. You yourself said that kiss was a mistake. So don’t come prancing around here half-dressed with your Batman abs and talking about where to put my hands. No one likes a tease, Dorsey.”

His grin turned roguish. “I said that kiss was a mistake, not a regret.”

“Finn.”

“And Batman abs?” He grabbed the lapels of the robe like he was going to open it and check. “These old things?”

She stretched out her leg and kicked his thigh. “Stop it. You’re terrible.”

He lifted his palms in surrender and laughed. “At least you’re smiling now.”

“Yeah, well, there’s that.”

It seemed even after all the years had passed, Finn still had the ability to get her mind off things. When her mom was going through chemo and everything was doom and gloom at home, Finn could somehow figure out ways not just to make her laugh, but to do so in a way that didn’t make her feel guilty for feeling a moment of happiness.

She leaned forward, bracing herself on one hand, and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

She looked up, meeting his gaze, and realized how close she still was. Close enough to see the flecks of gray in his green eyes, close enough to kiss him. She wet her lips. “Being you. I’ve missed that guy.”

His Adam’s apple bobbed, his gaze flicking to her mouth before sliding upward again. Her heart picked up speed, and his hand closed around her upper arm. “Liv…”

“I…” Whatever she was going to say died on her lips because the way he was looking at her made her forget her words. There was want there in those green depths—lust—but there was something else. Something that made her breath stall. Need mixed with something more dangerous. A wildness.

A curl of heat went up her spine, twining with unease. So much of her wanted to give into it, to see what exactly was simmering there between them. Just grab him and say to hell with it all and make the sheets even sweatier than they already were. But as much as he was drawing her in with that look, he was also warning her off. She didn’t know how she got that sense, but it was there, loud and clear. Push me away. Run. He wanted her to stop this.

He’d told her outside what he had to offer—nothing but a one night stand. And though right now that sounded all kinds of enticing, she wasn’t going to go there. He didn’t want this. Plus, even sober, it would be too close to how she’d handled her anxiety in college. She didn’t need to chase away her nightmare with a hook-up she’d regret in the morning. She wasn’t that girl anymore.

“Finn.” The word was strained.

“Yes?”

She swallowed past the dryness in her throat. “We should get my stuff moved. It’s late.”

He stared at her for a moment and then his grip on her arm softened, his breath tickled her hair. “Right. Of course.”

He released her and she climbed off the bed with shaky limbs. She wouldn’t let herself look at him. She needed a task—something, anything, to get her mind off the man sitting on her bed. She packed up in record time, and Finn retrieved his gun from the drawer, tucking it in the pocket of the robe. No words were exchanged. When she was done gathering her things, he helped her roll her bag down the hallway to his room.

He let her inside and quickly rounded up his own stuff. He moved with quiet efficiency, awkwardness creeping into the silence between them and spreading into every corner of the room.

She leaned against the dresser, watching him, hating the growing divide. “Hey, Finn.”

He looked up, his hands full of computer wires.

“I know the kiss was a mistake and things have gotten a little weird and a lot personal tonight. But this—you and I having some time to talk—it was good. I think that’s what I missed the most when everything happened. Losing you as a friend.”

His stance relaxed. “Yeah?”

She crossed her arms and shrugged. “Yeah. We were good at the kissing, but we were better at the talking. I never had to fake stuff with you.”

His eyebrow arched.

She laughed. “That’s not what I mean, Mr. Mind-In-the-Gutter. I mean that things were easy between us. That’s hard to find with people. I’m realizing that now. I don’t…have that.”

He tucked the computer cords in his bag and straightened, his watchful gaze making her fidgety.

“And that’s not your problem, obviously.” She was rambling now but couldn’t bring herself to stop. “But I opened that stupid time capsule tonight and got to see a big long list of things I wanted to accomplish in life and haven’t. I was supposed to this. I was supposed to that.” She rolled her eyes. “I’m going to name my freaking autobiography Supposed To by Olivia Arias.”

He frowned. “Liv.”

She shook her head. “It’s fine. It is what it is. But all I’m saying is that I don’t want another regret added to the list. So I just thought you should know that you meant—mean—something to me. And maybe you could give a flying flip about me. I have no clue what your life looks like now, but I would rather not leave Long Acre later today and go back to being strangers. Because people you don’t have to fake it for are hard to find. So…yeah, that’s all I wanted to say. I’d like us to stay in touch.”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “That’s all you had to say?”

“Hey, I’m a photographer not an editor.”

“I thought you were a web designer.”

Her lips parted, closed.

He smiled. “Maybe you’re already making more changes than you think.”

She let out a breath. “Maybe I’m just tired.”

Finn stepped around the bed and held out his hand. “Give me your phone.”

She was confused for a second, her brain running on too much adrenaline and too little sleep, but eventually his request registered. She reached into her bag to pull out her cell.

He took it from her and typed a few things and then handed it back to her. “You can always call me, Liv. For anything.”

She took her phone back, her hope sinking a bit. “Right. Thanks.”

He kissed the top of her head and then grabbed his stuff. “I’m going to get out of your way so you can shower and rest. If you need anything before breakfast, give me holler.”

“Thanks.”

He stepped out into the hallway without a backward glance and headed to the room they’d left, obviously more than a little eager to get the hell away from her. She didn’t blame him. She’d apparently become the queen of awkward conversation tonight.

With a sigh, she locked her door and made her way over to the bed and collapsed onto it. Spent. Exhausted. And a little frustrated.

Finn had taken her words like she wanted someone to call when she needed help, but she wasn’t in the market for a therapist or a savior. She was in the market for a friend.

But maybe she was grasping for something that didn’t exist with Finn anymore. Maybe she was just being nostalgic. They weren’t in high school. They didn’t live in the same place. They couldn’t just hang out. The time for that had past. She needed to be okay with that.

If he wasn’t interested in keeping in touch, she wasn’t going to chase him.

She checked the time on her phone to see how many hours she needed to kill before breakfast. But instead of seeing the time, she saw the address book entry Finn had made.

His phone number.

Filed under Batman.

And a note beneath: You will never be a stranger to me.

Reading Order: The Ones Who Got Away series

 

#1 ~ The Ones Who Got Away: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Jan. 2, 2018)
#2 ~ The One You Can’t Forget: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (June 5, 2018)

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Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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One print ARC of The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
(US Only)

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Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour + Giveaway: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Welcome to today’s stop on the Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour for WILDE IN LOVE by Eloisa James! I’m so excited to welcome Eloisa to the blog today to give us a look into her latest release! Make sure to check out her post as well as enter for a chance to win an ENTIRE paperback set of one of her series!

Wilde in Love Scavenger Hunt

Hello!

I’m so thrilled to be introducing my new series and the amazing, eccentric cast of characters that stars in it—including the Duke of Lindow, his third duchess, his ten children, his ward, his twin sister, a peacock… Wilde in Love takes place at Lindow Castle during a house party to celebrate the engagement of Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—to Miss Diana Belgrave.

Booklovers for Life is kind enough to help me introduce the Wildes to the world. This blog is part of a scavenger hunt, and here is a link to the contest form for you to fill out after visiting BookLovers for Life (or you could just grab Wilde in Love and learn all about the characters that way!).

Daily prizes range from an adorable skunk purse to a complete collection of my 20+ Avon novels. )—be sure to check my Facebook page every day to find the new blog link! Good luck!

Today we are highlighting Miss Diana Belgrave. Diana is newly engaged to North Wilde; you’d think she’d be ecstatic to have captured the handsome, rich future duke but she isn’t. She avoids him at all costs and is often found hiding, wiping away a tear or two.

5 Reasons to be Sorry for Miss Diana Belgrave
  1. She’s a Georgian fashionista, with the tallest wigs and the widest gowns.
  2. She avoids her fiancée, North, at all costs (she doesn’t like him).
  3. Her grandfather was a rich grocer and everyone whispers about it behind her back.
  4. Her mother is a terribly controlling, socially ambitious <fill in the blank>.
  5. She has a secret that’s breaking her heart.

Sign up for Five Fabulous Things and hopefully you’ll win a prize! Did you know that I give away five fabulous gifts every month in my newsletter? Sign up now so you can win everything from advance review copies of my books to presents I pick up in England and Italy!

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
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Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

The first book in Eloisa James’s dazzling new series set in the Georgian period glows with her trademark wit and sexy charm—and introduces a large, eccentric family. Readers will love the Wildes of Lindow Castle!

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo • BAM

Reading Order: The Wildes of Lindow Castle series

#1 ~ Wilde in Love: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Too Wilde to Wed: EbookHardcoverPaperbackGoodreads (July 31, 2018)

about the author button

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists. After being a finalist for a RITA—the top award in the genre of romance fiction awarded by the Romance Writers of America—over ten times, she won in 2013.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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Paperback set of the Desperate Duchesses series + peacock chain (US only)

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