Once Upon A Page

Give us books and no one gets hurt

#ReleaseBlitz How We Fall by Melissa Toppen

by Melissa Toppen
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Release Blitz

Title: How we Fall

Author: Melissa Toppen

Cover Designer: Cassy Roop – Pink Ink Designs

Release Date: April 21, 2017

Add to Goodreads

It’s not always about how we fall- it’s about where we end up once we land.

I remember the very first time I laid eyes on Cole Lincoln. It still feels like yesterday when he stumbled into my life with his messy brown hair and dark eyes. Even though I was only ten years old at the time, I knew right then and there that he was going to change everything.

From that point on Cole and I were always together—inseparable—and I naively believed we’d be best friends forever. But forever didn’t last nearly as long as I expected.

We grew up and grew apart, life driving the distance between us, but my love for Cole never faltered. Even long after he moved away, leaving me and our little town behind, I still carried a piece of him with me every single day. Because Cole wasn’t just my childhood best friend- the boy who knew me better than anyone else in the whole world. He was also my first love- a part of my very core.

When a tragic death brings us face to face again after six years, every single memory comes rushing to the surface. Only this is not the boy I fell in love with all those years ago. The man before me is hardened, intimidating, and so damn sexy I practically melt when those dark eyes meet mine for the first time in six years.

And like the first time he walked into my life, I know with complete certainty that everything is about to change.

How We Fall is a STANDALONE Contemporary Romance

 

UNIVERSAL LINK

 

 

 

 

Melissa Toppen is a Reader’s Choice Award Winning and Bestselling Romance Author of New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic and Romantic Suspense. She is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction; writing what she loves to read.

Melissa was born and raised in a small town in Ohio and now resides in Cincinnati with her husband and two children, where she writes full time.
In addition to spending time with family and friends, Melissa loves going to concerts and is obsessed with the T.V. shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time and Outlander.

Connect with Melissa Toppen

Website| Facebook| Goodreads| Twitter| Instagram| Amazon| Pinterest

Other Books by Melissa:

#ReleaseBoost Fox by S.M. Lumetta #ChapterReveal #Excerpt #Giveaway @givemebooksblog @smlumetta

by S.M. Lumetta
Genres: Contemporary Romance

 

Title: Fox
Author: S.M. Lumetta
Series: Bodhi Beach #1 (Standalone)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: S.M. Lumetta
Release Date: April 17, 2017
Blurb

What’s a little sex between friends?Sophie Fordham never thought much about motherhood until her body forced her to. With the onset of early menopause, she knows if she wants to have a baby, it’s now or never. So what’s a single, financially-strapped girl to do? Go with what you know, of course.Fox Monkhouse has been Sophie’s gorgeous best friend since preschool. This sun-kissed surfer boy has no shortage of ladies, but she’s hoping he’ll put that aside to help her out. As there’s never been anything romantic between the two, things get awkward when she asks him to put a bun in her oven—especially since it has to be done the old-fashioned, no-pants dance way.

When Fox agrees to do the deed, Sophie is ecstatic. But she soon realizes that this chance at a baby could cost her everything. Keeping sex and emotions separate is clearly not in her wheelhouse especially when her best friend is involved. If their relationship can’t evolve into something new, their unusual arrangement could destroy the friendship of a lifetime.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
Excerpt
Chapter 1
The Diagnosis: “It’s menopause.”
Laughing. All the laughing. Until Doctor Beaufort looks at me like I’ve cracked. I stop myself and swallow. “Wait, what do you mean, ‘it’s menopause’?”
“Sophie, your symptoms and test results point to perimenopause. Your estrogen levels have been a little all over the place, and with your erratic cycle, it’s extremely likely that early menopause has begun.”
I’m glad I’m not drinking or eating because I would have choked. Oh, scratch that—I’m choking on my own spit. It’s so great that I don’t even need to put anything in my mouth to choke.
The studio audience in my head reacts on cue, complete with cheering and lewd gestures.
“I’m sorry?” I ask, my throat on fire as I cough roughly. I sound like a veteran smoker. Or maybe even like I’ve moved past that into voice box territory.
My doctor finally notices my insta-panic and waves her hands in front of her face. “That is to say it could be.”
I gasp, hacking up a lung for good measure and in hoping I heard her wrong. “But… I’m twenty-eight.”
This is where the audience supports my outrage with a sharp gasp followed by a dead silence.
Doctor Beaufort smiles, her teeth blindingly white next to her dark skin, but it does not comfort me. “I’m aware of your age,” she says with humor. “But I’m pretty sure this is premature menopause. It can hit women as young as their early twenties, though it’s rare.”
I stare at her, my mouth agape but still trying to form a word or two. All that comes out, though, is “buh buh buh… buhhh.”
For all the erratic and weird symptoms for the past six, maybe eight months, I never even considered this a possibility. Ever since I dumped that life-suck Brett, I blamed everything—from cycle woes to crazy unusual mood swings and a bout or three of awful night sweats—on stress and the breakup. Though the first missed period caused a different kind of nightmare. Or as my best friend Nora put it, The Pregnancy Panic Heard ’Round the World.
Dr. Beaufort is talking, but my brain is white noise. I’m forced to shake my head a bit to tune back in.
“Twenty-eight is certainly not common either but it’s not unheard of,” she continues, oblivious to my dumbstruck noises—or maybe because of them. “And it’s not immediate. As you probably know, menopause itself is a process. It can take years to complete itself. So you may still have time to have a child if that’s in your life plan! Many women going through menopause have a ‘oops’ baby.”
“Baby?” I ask, and I sound like I’ve never heard of them. I flash back to The Scare and for a quick second, wonder if that wouldn’t have been a blessing. Jesus, no. Then I’d be attached to Brett forever. I shudder. My credit score is still in the toilet because of him. That’s more than enough of a legacy and intrusion on my life.
My resulting silence stretches out before the both of us, but not because I have nothing to say or ask. It’s mostly because I find that I cannot speak.
“Sophie?” Dr. B begins, and I think she asks me a question, but it sounds like I’m underwater.
I have sudden trouble focusing and feel my body sway. The room leans into a cartwheel and everything goes black.
***
When I wake, I’m happy to find I did not, in fact, fall off the “spread and swipe” table after all. However, a nurse holds my legs up toward the ceiling. Dr. Beaufort hands me a paper bag.
“I’m not hyperventilating, Dr. B,” I murmur, pushing the bag away. I sound drunk. Great. Maybe I had a stroke, too? That would be a tasty cherry on top of this shit sundae. “I choked and then I freaked out.”
I’m well aware of my dramatic tendencies. At times. Occasionally. When it suits me.
“You passed out,” she says simply, no judgment. “Do you feel light-headed?”
I do a mental check. “I’m good.” Sitting up slowly and with assistance, I notice the nurse is my oldest friend in the world, Fox Monkhouse.
“What the fuck?” I try to kick him, but it comes across like the death throes of an extremely long, uncoordinated fish. “I’m commando, Fox! Shouldn’t there be a female nurse in here?”
The attempted kick seems even more foolish now. I pull my hospital gown tight in the back and slap my thighs together to hide my cooter.
“Mr. Monkhouse was just outside when you fainted. And he has a master’s in nursing,” Dr. B adds, unaware that I’m familiar with his qualifications. Even so, that doesn’t mean I want him all up in my lady biz. “He’s a professional.”
“Yeah, but a professional what is debatable,” I say.
He breaks into a huge grin.
Jerk. “What are you even doing here? You work at Shoreline!”
Fox rubs the corner of his eye with his middle finger. “Same hospital network,” he says, faux professionalism oozing everywhere. “They needed a floater today.” He makes an incredibly immature face behind Dr. Beaufort’s back as I try desperately not to crack up at “floater.” His immaturity rubs off too often for my own good. A few instances of which flit through my mind. The facial expressions that result are likely horrifying. I’m glad I cannot see my face right now.
“Are you all right, Sophie?” she asks, looking at me with concern. “I take it you and Fox are friends.”
I fake a cough and clear my throat. “Fine. And yes, I guess you could say we’re friends.”
Fox snorts, tucking a stray sun-kissed curl behind his ear. The rest of his shoulder-length blond hair is tied back. “I’ve known Sophie since we were… I’m not sure, five?”
“Four,” I correct, just to be a bitch. He rolls his eyes, and I smile. “When my family moved in down the block, I hadn’t started preschool yet.”
“Oh, right. We bonded over the ice-cream man.”
“Rocket Pops.”
“Ohh,” he moans, damn near orgasmically. Dr. Beaufort shoots him a look, but he’s not paying attention. “I loved those.”
“It’s basically frozen sugar and food coloring,” Dr. B throws in her two cents. “It’s—”
“Don’t crap on my childhood, Beaufort,” he snaps jokingly, but realizes his place with an “oh shit” expression. “I mean, yes, doctor. Sorry. Yes, of course. You are totally correct.”
The idiot pauses to clear his throat. I catch Dr. B minutely shake her head in what I assume is exasperation. I completely understand where she’s coming from. After an awkward beat, he picks up where he left off.
“Anyway, Sophie wouldn’t go to school unless I was in the same class. She needed me.”
“He was held back,” I add. “Started preschool at seven.”
Fox coughs, “Asshole!”
Dr. B rolls her eyes before looking at me. “I stand corrected on the professionalism. Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m good, Dr. B,” Fox says.
“I’m okay,” I say at the same time. At least, I’m okay where the fainting is concerned. The rest is still pretty sketchy.
“Good,” she says, eyeballing Fox with a sliver of a smile on her face. She pats me on the shoulder and tells me to get dressed. “We can chat more in my office before you go. Mr. Monkhouse, let the patient dress, please?”
“I will,” he says with a nod. She smiles as she walks out.
“Did you sleep with her? Or are you trying?” I ask him.
“I don’t shit where I eat,” he says.
“Oh, really?” My eyebrows jump for my hairline as my eyes drill into him my blatant disbelief.
“She’s twenty years older than me!”
I tilt my head, waiting. He’s holding out. He knows damn well he’s nailed a colleague or two well into their forties. Such as… “Rita?”
His mouth drops open, his dual-colored eyes going wide. Thanks to his scrubs, the green one shifts to blue-green or turquoise like the ocean and the hazel one looks golden. I still marvel at how strange yet beautiful they are.
“Wow, pulling out the stops,” he says. “Fine, I have cleaned up on the nurse aisle before, and a couple docs, but I’ve learned my lesson. It gets ugly.” He opens the door and stops. “Get dressed.”
I wait for him to close the door behind him before I peel off the gown and put on my clothes.
“Why’d you faint?” he asks when I get out into the hall. He’d clearly waited just outside.
I lightly punch his arm, noting a slight sunburn on his nose. Someone went surfing this morning and forgot his sunblock. “Don’t you have actual work to do, stalker?”
“Not at this very moment.” He looks around. “So what’s up? Are you okay?”
“Low blood sugar,” I lie. It feels gross, especially given his sincerity. I never lie to my best friends. “Forgot to eat this morning.”
“Forgetting to eat? That’s not like you.” Likely sensing my bullshit, he steps a little closer. “You’d tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you?”
I’m warmed by his concern, but I’m not yet ready to discuss anything. Time to redirect.
“Are you calling me fat, Monkhouse?” I like giving him shit. Not to mention, I’m quite comfortable in my own skin. At five foot nine, I’m pretty lanky with the exception of a bit of a bubble butt that popped out when I was in college.
“Always, Porky.”
An elderly woman walks by at that very moment. She stops to spit at him and expresses her extreme outrage on my behalf. “Horrible man! You want me to crush his man business?” she asks me, holding up her cane, which has flames painted on it.
“Um,” I stammer. I pretend to think about it while Fox’s eyes grow wide.
He purses his lips as if to say, “be serious!”
I turn back to my savior. “That’s very tempting, thank you. But I’m okay.”
“You’re sure?” Harley Quinn’s grandma doesn’t buy it, and is clearly looking to dole out a beatdown. Maybe she got bad news today, too.
“Totally.” Leaning toward her, I cup a hand by my mouth to offer an aside. “I have it on excellent authority that his dangle isn’t exactly swinging in the breeze, if you know what I mean.”
She nods knowingly and threatens Fox with her badass cane one more time before walking away.
“Wow,” I say after she turns the corner. “That was like tenth grade all over again.”
In high school, I struggled to keep on weight because my metabolism was pretty high. Some incredibly rude people called me “Rexy,” so Fox would call me “Chubs” in protest. He got in loads of trouble because the perceptive teachers of Bodhi Beach High assumed I was, in fact, anorexic and Fox was bullying me. Since the actual name-callers were girls, that slipped right under their radar. Fox, however, was loud and proud about it. It was a hell of a mess, but in the end, it was just my friend sticking up for me in his own poorly thought-out, controversial way, as per usual.
“I’ve never been threatened with the official cane of the Hells Angels before,” he says, wiping the spit off his scrubs.
“Go back to work,” I say with a giggle. “I’ll talk to you later.”
“You coming to the barbecue this Saturday?” he calls after me. “It’s my birthday, you know.”
“Wouldn’t miss it, old timer. Is the bonfire going to be legal this time?” I wink. Fox’s house is on the beach. It was his grandpa’s and he inherited it, the lucky prick.
“Of course not!” He rethinks his volume. “I mean, yes. Yes, it is. Bring beer. Oh, and is your brother coming?” he asks.
“You know, I haven’t talked to Cameron in a few. Seems like he’s been a little incommunicado, according to my mom. I don’t see how he’d miss it though.”
Fox nods. “Well, I hope he can make it! Tell him to come in drag because I want to motorboat him again. I don’t know where he got those falsies, but they were super comfortable to stick my face in.”
I perform the expected eye-roll followed by an about-face toward Dr. Beaufort’s office. “See you then, perv,” I call.
“Takes one to know one!”
***
After a more in-depth conversation with Dr. B, I’m not very good anymore. I may only have one good year of fertility if I want to conceive a baby without assistance. Or I could have five years, maybe more, but even that’s hard to say. Menopause is not only hard to predict, but makes my cycle erratic, which heavily lends to the odds against me. I thought I wanted kids but I’m hella single at present. It’s been eight months since I dumped Brett, and after that debacle, the “do I want kids” question is, well, questionable. With my new and the-opposite-of-improved timeline, I’m forced to address an issue I should have had more than a decade to consider.
Freezing some eggs is supposedly a legit option as I’m otherwise healthy and a good candidate for it. “But I wouldn’t wait,” Dr. B had said, stressing the point that I might not have very long to decide. “Think about it. You have a little time, but don’t think too long. Before you know it, it could be too late.”
I told her I didn’t have to think. I don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to plunk down on iced egg-os. Thanks to Brett’s bullshit and my stupid trusting heart, I loaned him the money to start his deejay business. I blame blind lust.
I ended up charging a bunch of stuff, which the imbecile sold for cash to blow at the bookie’s. Turned out, he didn’t want to start a business, just further a secret gambling habit. My credit took a nosedive along with our relationship. I’m still wading out of the debt he helped create and I have no money left to take out a hit. Where’s the justice?
I have my grandma’s 1967 Mustang convertible that’s worth a little money, but she’s not all original or in the greatest shape. I’d also need much deeper, unindebted pockets to pay for the work needed to make her a showstopper. I can’t imagine parting with it to pay shit off for my stupidity.
With all this on my shoulders, I sit in my not-very-cherry classic Mustang convertible in the parking garage and cry. And cry. And cry until I’m thoroughly dehydrated and have a mark from the steering wheel on my forehead. The setting sun is piercing directly through the structure when I come up for air.
It’s well past rush hour, and there shouldn’t be much in the way of gridlock left on the 405. So there’s that.
Author Bio
S.M. Lumetta was born in Detroit, MI, and now resides in NYC. Since she was small, she has adored storytelling in all its forms, especially books and films. Sooner and later, she figured out that since her love of words was overwhelming, she had no choice but to take the words in mind and share them. Romance is her favorite read, but horror and crime novels are a close second. She loves to travel and has a bucket list of places to visit long enough for several lifetimes. She also has a plethora of unnecessary t-shirts, a penchant for sarcasm, and a unholy love for the oxford comma.
Author Links

WEBSITE
TWITTER

#ReleaseBoost Fallen Crest Home by Tijan #Excerpt @givemebooksblog @TijansBooks

by Tijan
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Young Adult

 

Title: Fallen Crest Home
Series: Fallen Crest #6
Author: Tijan
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 17, 2017
Blurb
It’s been years since my mother was in my life.
I healed.
I learned to accept love.
I lived.
That’s all done. She was away, and now she’s back.
I’ve avoided her for a year and a half, but I can’t hide anymore.
Mason has an internship in Fallen Crest, so we’re heading back for the summer.
And when we got there—no one was prepared for what happened.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS 
PAPERBACK

Excerpt
My hand cradled the back of his neck, holding him prisoner.I didn’t want him to look away, to move away.I wanted him inside of me.

His eyes darkened and as if reading my mind, he moved back to pull his pants off. After grabbing a condom, and pulling it on, he came back and settled between my legs.

My arms went back around him, like returning to their home.

“Sam,” he murmured, tracing a finger down the side of my face. He tucked some hair behind my ear, and then I felt his lips against mine again.

Yes. Home.

That’s what this was.

I groaned, my head falling back, and I felt his soft chuckle against my skin, but then he reached down and shifted, lifting my leg until I wound it around his waist. He dipped in, shifting, and I felt him at my entrance. He paused, then slid inside.

My eyes closed and I relished the feel of him in me.

He began moving, thrusting inside of me.

As he kept going, and he slid his hands up my arms to capture my hands, I opened my eyes. We were staring back at each other, watching each other. I could feel him reaching inside of me, searching, claiming me. Everything in my body yearned for him, yearned for more. I wanted more. I needed more.

The second he touched me, everything blared alive. I was awakened. Always.

In and out. Mason kept thrusting.

My fingers clamped down over his, sinking deep as his pace quickened.

“Mason,” I gasped. Weak. His onslaught kept going, harder, faster. “I love you.”

He groaned, climaxing, and his body clenched as he thrust into me a last time. It sent me hurdling over the edge, and I wrapped both arms around his neck, hanging on.

A moment later, he brushed a soft kiss on my forehead before he slipped out.

I still lay beneath him.

I didn’t want to move.

I didn’t want him to move, and eventually, we slept like that.

 

I woke later, but I was still in his arms. He was curled up behind me, and I went back to sleep again. All the doubts and questions would be there tomorrow.

Also Available

 

Start the series with Fallen Crest High
99c and now available at all retailers
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Coming Soon
HATE TO LOVE YOU
Releasing Fall 2017
Author Bio
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing Fallen Crest Seven (untitled) along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

 

Author Links

#BlogTour ~ Paper Fools (Hearts and Arrows #1) by Staci Hart ~ #5StarReview #2017Fave @imaquirkybird @jennw23

Paper Fools by Staci Hart
Series: Hearts and Arrows #1
on April 17, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, New Adult

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

five-stars

Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess.

Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.

Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.

It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.

Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.

The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.

If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses.

*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and reedited just for you.*

In the game of love, she never loses. 

Paper Fools (Hearts and Arrows, #1)Paper Fools by Staci Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Be still my heart. I fell hard and fast for this read and dreaded it ending. Staci Hart delivers yet another book that I have classify as a favorite. Part romantic comedy, part new adult, part contemporary romance, Paper Fools left me exhilarated. There are two stories, cleverly meshing into one, and multiple voices delivering humor, sadness and oh so much angst. Paper Fools is one of my favorite reads of 2017 as it’s entertaining and captivating, a read I can’t recommend enough.

At the center are Dean and Lex, but really their story begins with The Olympians. Confused? You won’t be. What drives Dean and Lex together is the mythical contest between Aphrodite or “Dita” goddess of Love, and Apollo, a healer and seer. When Zeus declares a 30 day challenge with Dita and Apollo as opponents, the lives of humans Dean and Lex are transformed.

Dean and Lex, well it’s not often the chemistry between hero and heroine is as palpable as it is with Dean and Lex. With the immediate connection and then the anticipation of something more, it became all too much. I thought my heart would crack. There are times when you can almost feel the pheromones coming off the page, and this is exactly how their attraction to each other is, instantaneous. If you’ve felt something like it before, you know exactly what Hart means to elicit. It’s a moment where time stops. And it’s something completely foreign to the two of them. They both have baggage and circumstances keeping them a part. But resistance is nearly futile when the goddess of love has something to lose.

Hart means to make you feel a conflict though. You’ll want Apollo to win the battle against Dita. Just as Dean and Lex’s connection is magical, his story is heartbreaking. And the more we uncover all the mischievous activity between the Olympians, his story gets sadder and more desperate. He really is outmatched against Dita but she might have a little sympathy for Apollo.

In the end, this was pretty much a one sitting read. Thankfully I started on a Friday afternoon and I only let bio needs get in the way (food and all). I just felt completely invested in this story, for all the characters and their trials and tribulations, and couldn’t much wait to see each Olympian make their plays and to see how Dean and Lex react. Do yourself a favor and dive into the world of Staci Hart’s Olympians.

~Review by Cyndi

 

Read Today!

Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~

Add to GoodReads 

teaser-obsession

About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an eIMG_8015ntrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Connect with Staci:

Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Website ~ Newsletter

five-stars

#ReleaseBlitz ~ Revelry by Kandi Steiner ~ #Excerpt @KandiSteiner @jennw23

Revelry by Kandi Steiner
on April 20th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Title: Revelry
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017
Add to TBR

From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

 

I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.

“Change your mind?” I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.

Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. “About?”

“Tubing?” I asked. That was why he was here, right?

“Oh.” He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. “No, I have somewhere to be…” His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I’d strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.

He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. “I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC.”

My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.

“No frills, Wren.”

I threw my hands up in surrender. “I promise.”

He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.

“I can’t,” he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.

I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.

Tucker was in the driver’s seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.

All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.

“Hey, you ready, Wren?” Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.

“Yeah, one sec!” I called back.

I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I ‘d tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.

Possession.

And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn’t let it go.

“Be careful, okay?” His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.

He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn’t acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he’d disappeared from view.

And then everyone looked at me.

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

 

Page 1 of 198

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén