Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Cristin Harber's Titan World by Various Artists

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Today is the day - the Titan World books are now available on everywhere! Don't miss these incredible novels all set in Cristin Harber's Titan World.

Did you miss what Titan World is all about? Here's a recap from Cristin herself:

 
I am excited to announce the Titan World stories! From military romance and romantic suspense to contemporary romance and paranormal, a few of my favorite authors have jumped head first into our heart-pounding world and penned their stories with Titan twists. You will see familiar characters from popular, bestselling series as they collide in fantastic collaborations! Plus I’m excited to introduce two debut authors who you may already know if you are familiar with all things Team Titan.
Please join me in welcoming the Titan World authors: Claudia Connor, Gennita Low, Jessie Lane, M.L. Buchman, Megan Mitcham, Sharon Kay, Karyn Lawrence, Amber Addison, Anna Bishop Barker, and Tarina Deaton.
Quick Q&A
Am I writing a story too? You betcha! Déjà vu will be Doc Tuska’s story. He’s not a Titan team member, but he is a familiar and constant face in the series—perfect for Titan World!
Which Titan characters will be in the other author’s stories? The authors had free rein. Some took on Titan like missions while others wrote backstories to characters and expanded on their families. They took scenes from current Titan books and expanded in a new direction.
What is the reading order of the Titan World? There is NO READING order (Even if one of the retailers has randomly assigned a series number. Ahem, I’m looking at you, Amazon.).
Okay, now on to the good stuff! You can order your books here:

harber-dejavuAbout DEJA VU by Cristin Harber

“Amnesia Allie” should’ve been one of Dr. James Tuska’s normal patients: another CIA asset who they wanted well-cared for and then sent on her merry way. Everyday work at his niche medical practice was never that interesting… until she claimed the impossible. “He’s my fiancé.” James had never met Allie, yet he couldn’t say no even if he was part of the Agency cover up. Now the Agency wants her dead.
Between the lies and the hiding, the woman who turned the CIA upside down with three words brought him to his knees.
And then Allie disappeared… Nothing would ever be the same.

About WHERE I BELONG by Claudia Connorconnor-whereibelong

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and New York Times best-selling author Claudia Connor comes an exciting collaboration…
An unexpected meeting at the beach and a young nephew who won't take no for an answer, has Mia Winters' brother, Owen, falling hard and fast.
Charlotte feels something too, but violently losing her mother at a young age has her afraid to take a chance.
With only five days, Owen will have to work fast if he has any hope of winning Charlotte's heart.

low-edgeoftemptationAbout EDGE OF TEMPTATION by Gennita Low
From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and New York Times, USA Today best-selling author Gennita Low comes an exciting collaboration…
Walker, Titan's newest recruit, has been sent to rescue Nadine Kincaid, DARPA's scientist working on a special state-of-the-art exoskeleton for COS Command's Super Soldier Spy Project. Instead, the tied-up Nadine turned out to be Nadia, Nadine's twin sister, who has been protecting her sister all along. Now the two of them have to work together to keep the newest exoskeleton blueprints out of the enemy's hands.


About TARGET OF MINE by M.L. Buchmanbuchman-targetofmine

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Award winning author M.L. Buchman comes an exciting collaboration…
The Night Stalkers 5E (5th Battalion, E Company) flies again, going where no one else dares to venture.
NAME: Nikita Hayward
TEAM: DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6)
MISSION: To prove her worth
NAME: Drake Roman
TEAM: Night Stalkers 5E
MISSION: To enjoy the ride
Nikita Hayward earned her place on DEVGRU and she proves it every day. Being female? Not a factor. Fighting alongside the very best? Absolutely where she belongs.
Drake Roman flies with the most elite helicopter company, the 5E, because they fly out to the limit. And when the time comes to fly past it? His helo and his minigun lead the way.
When the two of them join on a mission into the unknown, then they discover who lies precisely at the center of that Target of Mine!

lane-bulletsAbout BULLETS AND BLUEBONNETS by Jessie Lane

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and best-selling author Jessie Lane comes an exciting collaboration…
What happens when Titan and Ex Ops work together?
Terror has gripped the NYPD. A rogue snipper took out, not only the NYPD’s SWAT snippers and police chief, but several others. Now they must turn to the only person they can trust: Jared Weston and the Titan Group.
There’s only one problem. The Titan Operatives are currently tied up with their own missions. Unwilling to leave the NYPD hanging, Jared Weston cashes in a favor from Commander Jaxon Wall. Only, Jared doesn’t want to send Jaxon’s Ex Ops Team for the job; he wants to send in someone Jaxon has kept secret: his goddaughter, Billie Jean Beasely, one of the best snipers working for the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, if only her male counterparts would let her prove it. The NYC mission could finally give her that chance.
Thing is, Jaxon Wall isn’t willing to send his goddaughter in alone. He wants to send one of his own men to help her. Chase Anderson.
Will Chase turn out to be yet another man who thinks Billie is less of a shot just because she’s a woman? Or will Billie finally meet a man who realizes she loves her bullets as much as bluebonnets?

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About TWISTED DESIRE by Sharon Kay

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and award winning author Sharon Kay comes an exciting collaboration...
Rhys MacLeod is a warrior first and a hacker second. Preserving the balance of power among supernatural beings is his prime directive, as well as keeping it far from human eyes. The discovery of a man killed by magical force on a Chicago street lands him on an op he didn't expect. He's good, but solving this crime requires a call to the best of the best.
Parker Black of Titan Group never met a network he couldn't infiltrate. Along with Titan team member Locke Oliver and Megan, a scientist who witnessed the murder, they uncover a maze of encrypted files and unethical DNA manipulation.
Rhys is duty bound to keep all supernatural details hidden from his human friends, so identifying the killer becomes more complicated when clues indicate the perp isn't human. And when the murderer shows up at their location, every second counts before its true nature is revealed.

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About NEVER MINE by Megan Mitcham

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and USA Today best-selling author Megan Mitcham comes an exciting collaboration…
Jillian Cooper never wanted Callum, until a dream morphs him from her best friend's husband to a singular nocturnal fantasy. Revolted by her own mind and loyal to a fault, she refuses to give the dream life. Still, it manages to make her awkward around her only family; Amery, Callum, and their two stunning daughters. As an orphan and an Explosive Ordinance Tech with the Navy, things have a way of crashing down around her. The world crumbling call came in the form of a single car, single fatality accident. Amery died.
While she spins in dizzying circles, the girls she's loved since they were in their momma's belly cling to her. When Callum's strong arms fortify them and keep them all from falling apart, Jillian's inner struggle reaches a breaking point. She does the only thing she can to honor her friend's memory...run to the other side of the world to contract for Titan Group, an elite private securities force in need of an EOD.
Callum Bradfield adapts and overcomes. Even after the tragic death of his wife, his core values as a Navy SEAL march him forward...to safer waters. His gig as mission transport for Base Branch—the special operations force for the UN—isn’t as adrenaline laden, but he refuses to make his girls orphans.
Things are beginning to regroup when Jillian bales on his girls—and him—without a word. To ensure she's safe, he hacks her personal information and follows the crumbs into Titan's database. Crossing that line gets them both under a microscope in the middle of a desert, searching for the proof they need to show their innocence, while he tries to convince Jillian he's more than just her dream.


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About FLIGHTPATH by Amber Addison

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Amber Addison comes an exciting collaboration…
Being married young isn't a thing of the past in Louisiana. And for Madelyn and Seth, it's a way of life. Except, no one prepared them for the road ahead.
Moving to new places more times than either of them could count with new battles to fight at every stop, their road to happiness is bumpy.
Between Air Force Pararescue school, deployments, a baby, and the strain that military life can put on a family, they’ve discovered life has to fall apart in order to fall back together again.
When a terrorist attack puts Maddie's life in grave danger, their lives definitely fall apart, and Seth knows saving her might be the only thing that saves them.

lawrence-downtime

About DOWNTIME by Karyn Lawrence

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and USA Today best-selling author Nikki Sloane writing as Karyn Lawrence comes an exciting collaboration…
It’s a romantic getaway for the newlyweds. Or is it?
Parker Black’s brilliant computer skills keep Titan Group running, but now he’s getting some much needed downtime. He’s taking a break from the war room to spend it in the bedroom with his brand-new wife Lexi, and whisks her off to a historic resort nestled in the hills of West Virginia.
Only, there’s a secret buried beneath the hotel. What’s hiding in the converted bunker threatens a lot more than just his romantic weekend, and he’s going to need Lexi’s help to crack inside. Cut off from his own security team and facing a ticking clock, Parker’s about to realize there’s no such thing as downtime when you work for Titan.

barker-goingunder

About GOING UNDER by Anna Bishop Barker

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Anna Bishop Barker comes an exciting collaboration…
EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT UNDERWATER
Clinical researcher Rebecca Shaughnessy’s life has always been planned, ordered, controlled, logical. She isn’t a damsel and she doesn’t need a hero.
Ex- Army Ranger Max Lawrence’s life is a study in balancing. War and compassion, aggression and tenderness. He isn’t looking to be anyone’s hero, even if he does appreciate the trusty steed and the mighty sword stories.
But there is a monster from the past. A monster who simply takes. And this time it intends to take everything.
In every good fairy tale there are dragons and monsters. The dragon in this tale may be their fiery attraction but the monster won’t remain in the past where it belongs. When the monster resurfaces, this damsel and her knight must brave the currents and fight to keep from going under.

deaton-rescuedheart

About RESCUED HEART by Tarina Deaton

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Tarina Deaton comes an exciting collaboration…
“Please, Jordan. It’s Emme.”
The last thing Major Jordan Grant expected was to be pulled off his unit’s deployment for a civilian mission. But when Titan calls, you answer — especially when the mission is to rescue the younger sister of your childhood best friend.
Moments away from death, NGO nurse Emme France could only pray for a miracle. The last person she expected to see in the smoke and dust was Jordan Grant, her teenage crush and litmus test of all the men she’d dated ever since.
Lying low at Titan’s exotic Abu Dhabi headquarters while the media furor around her rescue settles, Emme and Jordan explore a mutual attraction that is no longer young and innocent. Days in the desert paradise ignite desire and blur reality…until they return home, where Jordan rejoins his deployed unit and Emme is left alone to reevaluate her life and priorities.
Their passion was forged in the fires of combat. Will the home fires be enough to keep the burn alive?

Get your hands on all of the Titan World books now!

Release Blitz: Caged by Brittany Crowley

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Caged
By
Brittany Crowley
Release Date:January 24, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hosted By: Chance Promotions

Buy Now: Amazon


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SYNOPSIS

Savannah
I was perfectly content with my life, or at least I thought I was. Then Zander ‘The Hitman’ Cage walked into my bar with those hypnotizing blue eyes and everything I ever thought I wanted flew out the window. Giving him a chance was the easiest decision I ever made. He ripped apart my safe little existence and took me along for the ride of my life. He was a fighter, a hero and every woman’s fantasy.
Zander
I didn’t need any distractions coming up on the biggest fight of my career, but fate had other plans. Savannah was a breath of fresh air and the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I never planned on meeting her, I also don't plan on letting her go. I'll do whatever it takes to show her that I'm more than just the name, and will stop at nothing to make her mine.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brittany Crowley grew up in Massachusetts and still lives there today. She is a stay at home mom to her three little ones and loves every second of it. Getting into the world of romance after she had her first child, she was hooked. Never thinking she had what it takes to write, she had many ideas in her head but never put them on paper. Now you can find her trying to keep up with her crazy kids and writing any chance she gets.




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Release Blitz: Crazy Good Love by MF Isaacs

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CRAZY GOOD LOVE
(Crazy Love Series #1)
By
MF Isaacs
Release Date:January 24, 2017
Genre: New Adult
Hosted By: Chance Promotions

Buy Now: Amazon


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SYNOPSIS

Hannah

After 18 years of being sheltered by my dad and brothers, the only thing I want is to go off to college and experience life like any other girl my age. I’ve spent endless hours dreaming of ditching dad approved clothes and brother approved social events.

I want to make my own friends and explore...relationships.

I wasn’t prepared for my dad and brother to embrace Steve, the tattooed man who was hanging out shirtless in my dorm room on move in day. How can I explore friendships much less relationships when Steve has taken over as my primary protector? Acting like my brothers used to, only the feelings he invokes are nothing brotherly.

I just want to explore...Steve Morrison, the alpha male who happens to be my roommates overprotective brother.

Steve

All that is left of my family is Curtis, my fraternal twin brother and Sierra our younger sister. My mission is to protect Sierra with everything I am. I will be there to prevent her from being sucked into the typical college experiences including dating and partying. No way will I let her fall for the stupid guys on campus.

I won’t let her be distracted by anyone…even her roommate.

I have reasons for needing to protect Sierra. Most guys my age wouldn’t understand, but most guys haven’t experienced what I have. I don’t care what people think about me. My mission is clear.

I won’t be distracted by anyone...even her roommate.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I’m MF Isaacs, I live on an island in Southeast Alaska with my husband and our handful of kids. I grew up in a family of four sisters, living in the Seattle area. My parents proved over and over that I was the favorite child; my dad secretly took me to breakfast on Saturday mornings and my mom taught me the art of ignoring children while trying to finish reading the next chapter.
I live for vacations, a good book and the Seahawks. I’m a sucker for beautiful sunsets and hot book boyfriends.

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

GOODREADS AUTHOR PAGE

WEBSITE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Cover Reveal: Damon: Mob Boss by Reece Alpha

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Title: DAMON: Mob Boss (A Bad Boy Mafia Romance)
Author: Reece Alpha
Release: TBA
Hosted by: Chance Promotions






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SYNOPSIS

Damon wants nothing more than to be the mob boss of the Rafe Family.
He thinks he can run the business better than the current mob boss, Vincent.

A plan set in motion.
No way anything can go wrong
Except he wasn't expecting her.

Clara Rafe is Vincent's only daughter. Beautiful, smart, and funny she is everything Damon doesn't need right now.
But will she be the key to overthrowing the family he wants to destroy?

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Release Blitz: Silhouette by S.E. Cooper

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Silhouette (The Hunter Series #1)
by S.E. Cooper
Live Now
Hosted by: Chance Promotions

AMAZON UK → http://amzn.to/2h83t0E
AMAZON US → http://amzn.to/2gVSAfv
AMAZON AU → http://amzn.to/2gQNwbA
AMAZON CA → http://amzn.to/2g0fX56

BARNES & NOBLE - http://bit.ly/2j671xm





Synopsis


"Daddy, what is a white lie?"
My father put down his spoon and looked at me thoughtfully.
"Why'd you ask, Princess?"
"I heard you talking yesterday and you said 'one more white lie isn't going to make a difference.' I just want to know what you meant."
"You heard that, huh?" My father tilted his head to study me. "It's just a small lie you tell when you don't want to hurt someone's feelings. It's nothing for you to worry about."
My eyes grew wide. "Like when you told Aunt Rena that her pie was good even though it tasted icky?"
"Exactly." He smiled.
"Or when you told the man last week that you hadn't seen Uncle Bruno and you had?"
The Smile fell from his face and he straightened in his chair. "No, Princess, that was a different kind of lie."
Scrunching up my nose, I asked, "What kind of lie was that?"
My father swallowed hard before replying. "That's the kind of lie where you have to have a real good memory."

As an inquisitive child, the woman known as Clarissa Solano, could never have imagined how significant those words would become. That she would spend years twisting the truth: hoping and praying that she would not contradict herself and expose the secrets she keeps locked inside. Most of the people in her life don't really know her at all. She forces them to swallow her lies, but she is the one who feels the bitter aftertaste of deception. When Lane Hunter sweeps into her life, she finds herself opening up in ways she never thought possible. He sees beyond the façade to the woman beneath and knows instantly that he wants her. However, all is not as it seems and when secrets and lies are exposed, it threatens to destroy them all. This is the first book in a series of standalone HEAs


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EXCERPT

Kerr gave me an inquisitive look. “What’s this girl mean to you, Lay?”
“She’s just a case.” I confirmed as casually as I could.
“I call bullshit, Brother. If we are going to continue working on this, I need to know what she means to you. Really, means to you,” he pushed.
What does she mean to me?
It was a valid question; one I wished I knew how to answer. I had only known her a short time, but she had come to mean a fuck of a lot to me. The thought of anything happening to her made me want to rip my heart out of my chest. Knowing now that she was living a life that was not her own, made me want to claim her in a way that she would never be lost again. I decided to choose my words carefully. The last thing I needed was shit from my brother and another lecture from my dad.
“Remember when I was in my freshman year, and I was going out with Molly Anderson? You offered to drive her home for me and you…”
“Okay, Lay. I know where this is going,” Kerr groaned and rolled his eyes.
“Well, you know how I didn’t speak to you for over a month? ”
Kerr cringed a little and began to sway back and forth on his heels, looking just as fucking guilty as he did back then.
“Yeah, of course I remember, how the fuck could I ever forget?”
“Well, if you so much as lay a finger on her, you are dead to me.”
Kerr sucked air between his teeth. “You mean like dead, dead?”
“Dead. Dead.” I reiterated, grinding my own teeth just in case he was somehow missing the point.
“Fan-fuckin-tastic,” Dad groaned. “I’ve been waiting nearly three years for you to get your head out of your ass and start living your life again, and the one fuckin’ girl you shouldn’t be anywhere near is the one you want.”
The room went silent as all the air was sucked clean out of it. I closed my eyes and fought the burn. I could not believe my father would choose to go there. Kerr cleared the emotion from his throat and placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Well, it looks like we’ve got a job to do,” he told me with a soft smile.



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AUTHOR BIO

S E Cooper lives in Scotland with her husband, their two boys, a crazy cat and a bonkers bunny. She has always loved to read and write stories but it wasn't until she discovered the wonderful world of self-publishing and became inspired by some of her favorite Indie Authors that she decided to take the plunge herself. Her hobbies include photography, spending time with her family and daydreaming.

Promo Tour: Dirty Dealers by Tia Louise


Dirty Dealers by Tia Louise

Date of Publication: January 24, 2017

Blurb


My job is to protect.
I'm the best, the king's elite.
She's the only thing that could ever distract me.

Logan Hunt is a guard. He's constantly aware of his surroundings, knowing every angle. He's intense, dedicated and focused. He'll take a bullet.

His new assignment is to protect the queen regent, keep his eyes on her at all times. He's more than up to the task.
Until a face from his past returns, and the mission he's sworn to complete becomes his biggest liability.

DIRTY DEALERS is an all-new stand-alone CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE with sizzling suspense coming Jan 24, 2017. It features secrets, lies, double-crosses, angst, a touch of darkness, and panty-melting sexytimes.

Available From


About Tia Louise



The "Queen of Hot Romance," Tia Louise is the Award-Winning, International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.
From "Readers' Choice" nominations, to picking up USA Today "Happily Ever After" nods, to winning "Favorite Erotica Author" (2015) and the "Lady Boner Award" (2014) (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.
A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations...
Books by Tia Louise:
ONE TO HOLD (Derek & Melissa), 2013
ONE TO KEEP (Patrick & Elaine), 2014
ONE TO PROTECT (Derek & Melissa), 2014
ONE TO LOVE (Kenny & Slayde), 2014
ONE TO LEAVE (Stuart & Mariska), 2014
ONE TO SAVE (Derek & Melissa), 2015
ONE TO CHASE (Amy & Marcus), 2015
ONE TO TAKE (Stuart & Mariska), 2016
THE PRINCE & THE PLAYER, 2016
A PLAYER FOR A PRINCESS, out now!!!
Paranormal Romances (standalones):
ONE IMMORTAL (Derek & Melissa #SexyVampire), 2015
ONE INSATIABLE (Koa & Mercy #AlphaShifter), 2015

Find Tia Louise Online

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Promo Post: Contract Signed by Marie Harte


Contract Signed (Triggerman, Inc. Book 1) by Marie Harte

Date of Publication: January 17, 2017

Blurb


Three assassins and a… baby?
How many assassins does it take to change a diaper?
Three assassins have met their match…and it wears diapers.

Triggerman, Inc., Book 1
Noel "Ice" Cavanaugh's method is foolproof. Get in, do the job, get out, melt away without a trace. Chill out until his next mark is assigned. Neat. Tidy. No mistakes.

This time, though, something isn't right. Two somethings. First a random attack that feels not-so-random. Then he discovers someone's left a baby on his doorstep with a note claiming it's his. And the sexy neighbor who found the boy first has too many questions in her eyes to ignore.

When her handsome, mysterious neighbor suddenly asks her out on a date, Adeline Rose has suspicions he's fishing for "help" with his bundle of…joy? By date's end, she's convinced NOel's just as distant as he seems—until a scorching goodnight kiss ends with sex against the nearest wall, the heat between them burning away all thoughts of careful.

Now Noel has more than one problem on his hands. Splitting baby duty between three badass assassins, figuring out how to fit more time with Addy into his no-room-for-error schedule…and keeping both of them safe from the danger he's increasingly sure has followed him home.
Warning: Beware a killer with a heart of gold, a baby who needs constant changing, and unrequited love that's actually quite…requited.

Available From


About Marie Harte



Award-winning author Marie Harte has been writing professionally since 2005. She's both a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author and has written over 100 books and counting. Marie writes books with heat, humor, and character.
She writes independently and for several publishers, to include Sourcebooks and Samhain. Though currently writing contemporary romance, she also writes paranormal and romantic suspense.
Before turning to writing full-time, she earned a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and spent several years in the United States Marine Corps as a communications officer.
Marie currently lives in Central Oregon with her family. There's nothing she likes more than finding a good book to read and a great cup of coffee to drink.

Find Marie Harte Online

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Blog Tour w/Giveaway: Worth the Wait by A.J. Pine


WORTH THE WAIT

by AJ Pine Kingston Ale House #4 Publication Date: January 16, 2017 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary Romance

BUY:

Synopsis: I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it. I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse. I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss. The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart. goodreads-badge-add-38px


Excerpt:



Prologue

Senior Year

(Ten years ago)

A turtleneck would hide it. It didn’t matter that it was Memorial Day weekend and the warmest day of the year so far. Brynn was going to the party. Sure it hurt to swallow, and maybe she was running a fever, but this was it. Her last chance. All year she’d promised herself she would kiss Spencer Matthews before she graduated, and graduation for the class of 2005 was in one week. Time was running out. This was it, their last hurrah before he left for school in California. There was no way she was going to miss it.

“Oh…my God. What’s wrong with your neck? Ew, Brynn. What are those bumps?”

Leave it to her sister, Holly, to notice…and with a flair of drama only Holly was capable of. She stood in Brynn’s bedroom doorway but already looked poised to make a run for it.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Brynn insisted, but even her voice was a dead giveaway. She could barely get that second word out. It sounded more like a gurgle than a word. It didn’t matter. She would power through. Spencer was going to be at the party, and he expected her to be there, too. It would have been enough if he’d just stopped by her locker to say hi, but she played his words over and over again now.

“You’re going to be at Becket’s tomorrow night, right? Promise me I’ll see you there.” It was a simple request, and Brynn was determined to comply.

Jason Becket was her class’s notorious party thrower, and tonight’s festivities were guaranteed to be epic. So, of course, she promised Spencer she was going. He was single for the first time this year, and so was she. Still. The stars had finally aligned, and nothing was going to stop her from turning fantasy into reality. Mind over matter, right? If she didn’t admit she was sick, she wouldn’t be sick.

“And your voice!” Holly continued. “You sound like the worst Kermit the Frog impersonator I’ve ever heard.”

Holly was two years younger and a typical drama student. She performed whether she was on stage or not. Tonight was no exception. And anyway, who was she to say Brynn’s voice was the worst Kermit she’d ever heard? Cut a sick girl some slack. If she was going to sound like a frog, she was going to sound like a good frog.

But she wasn’t sick. So it didn’t matter. She needed to focus, keep her eye on the prize.

“Do you know what’s supposed to happen tonight?” she asked her sister, and Holly recoiled. Did she sound contagious? It was possible her ears were clogged. Hell, everything was clogged, and everything hurt. But this was her night, and she was not contagious because she was a healthy, seventeen-year-old girl who just couldn’t swallow without the threat of tears.

Holly took a step back toward her own room. “Ugh, Brynn. It’s so cliché to like a guy like Spencer Matthews. He’s, like, too perfect. Any girl would get an inferiority complex around someone like that. Better yet, I bet he’s so good his girlfriends don’t even get mad. They get bored. I think the best guy is the one who pisses you off every now and then. Like…like Patrick and Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You!”

Life was not some romantic comedy. Holly was full of shit. Of course Spencer was perfect. That’s why she’d crushed on him the whole year, biding her time until he was single and would maybe, hopefully, look at her the way she looked at him. Today she was sure he did—or would once they found a moment alone tonight. If being a hot, smart, football-playing-marching-band drummer was a crime, Brynn wanted to be his willing accomplice. Seriously, a guy who started pregame on the field with the band—in his formfitting football uniform—and spent the rest of the game as running back…how hot was that?

Brynn attempted a groan, which really freaking hurt, but she wouldn’t give whatever plague she was carrying the satisfaction. If anything, a twenty-four-hour bug had taken up residence in her throat, which meant she was at least a quarter of the way through it at this point. She was probably already on the mend.

“Have you ever felt fireworks?” she asked.

Holly answered her sister with a roll of her eyes and slid down the wall until she sat on the floor in the hallway, still keeping clear of Brynn’s room.

“Okay,” Holly said, waving her on. “I’m comfortable. And this feels like a safe distance from patient zero.”

Brynn wanted to groan, but she thought better of what that would feel like on her throat and instead plopped down on the foot of her bed, sweat beading at her hairline.

“Fireworks,” Brynn said again. “Falling in love—knowing you’re in love because when you kiss the guy who’s the right guy…” She closed her eyes and smiled dreamily, despite how miserable she felt.

Holly took the liberty of finishing her sentence. “Fireworks?”

Brynn nodded, then opened her eyes. “That and ‘I’m a Believer’ will start playing in my head.”

“Love doesn’t come with fireworks and soundtracks filled with songs by the Monkees, not that I’ll ever understand how Mom got you obsessed with a forty-plus-year-old boy band. I think you might be delirious with fever or something.” Holly laughed. “Hey, maybe that explains your taste in music, too!”

Brynn huffed. “Whatever. You’re only fifteen. You’ve never been in love.”

Before Holly could offer a rebuttal, the front door opened, and Brynn let out a tiny whimper of relief because if there was one thing Holly could call her on, it was Brynn never having been in love, either. God, if she could just make it to the party and kiss Spencer, she knew there’d be fireworks…plus Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones harmonizing in her head, no delirium necessary.

But with the sounds of footsteps bounding up the stairs, Brynn’s dream slipped further away. It was for sure Jamie because he never knocked. He was practically a resident in the Chandler house. Jamie would take one look at her in a turtleneck and yoga pants and put the kibosh on the whole operation.

Time to rally.

Brynn pulled her hair out of the bun sitting atop her head and finger-combed the curls. Then she swiped on some lip gloss and affixed her best smile—until she tried to swallow, and her eye betrayed her with a rogue tear.

Jamie appeared at the top of the stairs and stopped in the doorway, his too-straight, sandy hair slicked back like Leo DiCaprio in the Titanic ballroom scene. Brynn sighed. She loved Titanic. Why couldn’t Rose just move over on that piece of driftwood? There was definitely room for two.

Brynn blinked a couple of times. The fever must be rising, because she could swear Jamie looked super cute tonight, and she did not have thoughts like that about Jamie Kingston.

He ran a hand through the product in his hair, and a shock flopped down over his eyes before he pushed it back again. She did not find this adorable, either. Because that would be the weirdest, looking at her best friend like that. Besides—Spencer. Spencer was the issue at hand.

“Holy shit, B. What happened to you?”



Jamie wasn’t sure whether to take a step into the room or back down the stairs. He always thought Brynn was beautiful, but she looked bad. Like, really bad. Her eyes were bloodshot and her cheeks flushed. And her swollen neck? Whoa.

She stared at him through the thick lenses of her glasses perched mildly askew atop her nose. Her wild brown curls were matted to her face, dampened with sweat. But this was just at the hairline. The rest was a tangled sort of nest-like display, which could only mean she’d just taken it down from a bun. Jamie was the only one Brynn let see her immediately post-bun, and he took a certain pride in this—even if he was here to take her to a party where she planned to kiss another guy.

“Sleepy Jean, I say this with love, but you look like shit.”

She flopped back on her bed and groaned. This was how he knew something was really wrong. He didn’t call her Sleepy Jean solely for her inexplicable love for the sixties TV band, the Monkees. Brynn really was a “Daydream Believer.” She saw opportunity in every situation and never took no for a final answer until she’d exhausted all other possibilities.

Jamie took a chance and moved toward the edge of the bed. Screw it. He sat down next to her, resting a hand on her leg.

“What’s with the turtleneck, Dieter?” He raised his brows.

Brynn laughed. At least he thought it was a laugh, but she also could have been trying to blow bubbles in mud. Sprockets was her favorite Saturday Night Live skit, another one of Brynn’s retro faves, this time from the nineties, and although Mike Myers wasn’t on the show anymore, Jamie had a stockpile of his parents’ VHS recordings for them to watch whenever the mood struck. He smiled to himself. Brynn was clearly sick, but he made her laugh, and that was something.

She sat up, tears pooled in her eyes. When she pulled the turtleneck down to her collarbone, Jamie sucked in a breath.

“Duuuuude. You’ve got mono.” The glands in her neck swelled on each side like she was a cartoon character who had swallowed a small branch that got stuck in her throat just below her head.

The tears came fast now, tears that tugged at his heart because he knew what they were for. He knew whom they were for: Spencer Matthews.

“My throat hurts so much, Jamie. I can’t even swallow.”

Okay, so maybe he was a selfish asshole. It’s quite possible the river of tears was for the extreme pain she was in. He knew what it felt like because he had had mono sophomore year, and it sucked.

He brushed a damp curl off her forehead and tried to tuck it behind her ear. But Brynn’s hair had a mind of its own and had no intention of obeying. Kind of like the girl herself.

Jamie bit back a smile.

“Mono?” Brynn croaked.

Holly was still in the hall, standing up now and, at the utterance of the word “mono,” she ran to her own room and slammed the door.

“Let me know when you’re on some antibiotics or something, and then I’ll come out!” she called from the other side.

He chuckled. Typical Holly.

“Where are your parents?” he asked, and Brynn flopped back down on the bed.

“Out,” she whined. “My dad has some work dinner thingy in the city, so they’re staying the night in a hotel.”

He looked at the pout on her lips, letting his mind wander for a few seconds. What would it be like to kiss those lips? What if he was the guy Brynn was willing to risk her health—and others’—to see?



She whimpered, and he drifted back to reality.

“Holly!” Jamie kept his eyes on Brynn while he called for her sister.

“What?”

His eyes grew wide. Holly sounded much closer than she should have, considering she was barricaded next door.

“The vent,” Brynn said, and Jamie couldn’t help but laugh.

“You guys still do that?” he asked, heading toward the wall Brynn’s room shared with Holly’s. He dropped to a squat and directed his request toward the metal slats of the vent in the floor.

“Holly?” he called, using his indoor voice this time.

“James?” she responded, and he had flashbacks to when he and Brynn were in middle school, sitting in her room doing homework while Holly and her friends giggled and squealed next door, some of them professing their love to him—through the vent, of course. Brynn had always laughed and rolled her eyes.

“Don’t they know you’re practically our brother?” she’d once said. Jamie hated that she still saw him like that now.

“Call your parents and ask if I can take Brynn to urgent care,” he told Holly.

“Okay, James.” He could hear her smile.

“And Holly?”

“Yes, James?”

“Stop calling me James.”

He smiled, too. Then he heard Holly speaking to her mom.

“Are you sure it’s mono?” she asked him.

“Pretty sure,” Jamie said. “I had all the same symptoms.”

He glanced back at Brynn, who had turned to her side to watch the back and forth between Jamie and Holly. He wondered if she had any clue what she did to him, if she knew how much he wanted to scoop her up in his arms and hold her until she felt better. And maybe after that, hold her a little more.

He lay down next to her and tilted her glasses up so he could swipe a thumb across her tear-streaked cheek.

“You’re burning up, B.” He let the frames fall softly back against the bridge of her nose.

“I know,” she whispered. “I took my temperature. But I thought if I didn’t admit how bad I felt that I could ignore it.”

He pressed a kiss to her forehead, her skin like fire against his lips. But he didn’t care, not if he could give her the smallest bit of comfort.

“You know I’d give my left arm to make you feel better, right?”

She pressed her lips together and nodded. “It’s not that big of a sacrifice, considering you’re a righty. If you really cared—” She cut her own joke short to attempt a swallow, and it only made her cry more.

“For you, Sleepy Jean, I’d give them both.”

Fuck. He was a goner. How he made it through this year without blurting out his feelings was a mystery, because when she looked at him like that, like he was the only one who could fix the mess that was her night, the words repeated over and over again in his head: I’m in love with you, B. But she’d made no secret of how she felt about Spencer Matthews since the school year started, which meant Jamie was well practiced in the fine art of holding it all in.

“Mom wants to know how high her fever is.”

Brynn tried to clear her throat, then moaned in pain before she said, “One hundred and two.”

Jamie repeated the response to Holly, then sighed as he looked at his miserable friend.

“Does she want them to come home?” Holly asked, and Brynn shook her head, her eyes still on Jamie.



“Are you sure?” she asked. “Because this is it. Our last high school party. I don’t want you to miss it, too.”

Shit. If she only knew how many other parties he would have skipped if it meant a night alone with her instead… But all he said was, “I’m sure.”

Brynn tilted her head back in the direction of the vent.

“My night and, let’s face it, my goal for the year are out the window,” Brynn said. “Tell them Jamie will take me to the doctor, and then I’ll go to sleep. They don’t need to ruin their night.”

After Mrs. Chandler insisted she speak to Brynn, Holly chucked her phone into the room and ordered Jamie to sanitize it when Brynn was done.

And that was that. Instead of taking Brynn to the final bash of their senior year, he’d take her for a blood test, maybe top off the night with a throat culture. Man did he know how to impress the ladies.

“This was supposed to be my night, Jamie,” she said after getting off the phone. “My night. And now all I want to do is chop off my own head to end the pain.”

He laughed. He couldn’t help it. She was cute when she was a mess.

“First of all,” he said. “I think the whole beheading thing might be a little more painful and a lot less practical than, I don’t know, going to urgent care? And second, this can still be your night. Just a different kind. We’ll see a doctor, get you a nice prescription for some codeine, a pint of Cherry Garcia, and a stack of Dieter tapes—as long as you still have the VCR hooked up.”

She sniffled and sat up. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get sick?”

He shook his head. “I’d chance it to take care of you. Plus”—he gave her a knowing smile—“you’re not supposed to be able to get mono twice. I’m probably immune to your plague.” To prove it, he kissed her on the forehead, happy to show her she didn’t have to be alone tonight. But even in her state, all the kiss did was prove to him how hard it was to just be her friend.

“Okay, maybe we’ll get you a quick shower, too.” The least he could do was lighten the mood, for both of them.

She sniffled again. “Can we listen to the Monkees in the car?”

He put his arm around her, pulling her head to his shoulder.

“Anything for you, Sleepy Jean.”

And he would do anything for her, even step aside for someone else. He’d made it all the way to junior year not falling for her. It had taken him dating Stephanie Delaney to realize no other girl made him feel the way Brynn did. Though who’s to say it wasn’t always there, this thing between them? Correction—this thing between them only Jamie seemed to feel. And who was he to stand in the way of her dream? He wouldn’t be that guy, letting his feelings interfere with her happiness. They had too much history for that kind of selfishness. Brynn made her choice, and it wasn’t Jamie. But tonight the universe seemed to be on his side, postponing the torture of watching her fall for someone else. Tonight was not for Spencer Matthews. It was for Jamie and Brynn. Even if they were only friends.

DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE KINGSTON ALE HOUSE SERIES!
three-simple-words-cover

BUY:

Synopsis: She’s holding out for a happy ever after.
Annie I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.
Wes The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league. Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.
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Six Month Rule New Cover

BUY:

Synopsis: She created the game, but the rules are about to change.
The second I met Will Evans in his three-piece suit with that hot as hell British accent, I wanted him. That is...until he insulted my shoes and stole my corner office. Now I have to work side-by-side with the surly British arsehole who just set my career back six months. It's fine. That accent won't get to me, no matter how sexy it sounds when he asks permission to do things professionals shouldn't do. On the couch. In the corner office I still wish was mine. Maybe we can't keep our hands off each other, but I'm sure as hell not falling for a guy who lives an ocean away. Because in six months, he's leaving for good. I don't do broken hearts, but you know what they say... There's a first time for everything. Each book in the Kingston Ale House series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
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the-one-that-got-away-1-cover

BUY:

Synopsis: How far will one man go for the woman he's loved since high school?
Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler's best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they've had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on. But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he's ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he's been by her side all along.
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ABOUT AJ PINE

aj-pine
AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires and superheroes. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.

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