Exclusive Excerpt: Taming Lily (#3, The Fowler Sisters) by Monica Murphy

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Coming next is the third installment in the sexy romance series, The Fowler Sisters. Now,  it’s Lily Fowler’s story that we’ll experience, as she meets an alluring man while she tries to escape it all. But Lily can’t run from her troubles permanently. I’m excited to share an excerpt from Taming Lily, which will be out next week!

Taming Lily: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks ✦

Synopsis

Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren, Emma Chase, and Maya Banks, the anticipated finale in New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy’s sexy contemporary romance series about three fiery and determined sisters with their own ideas about life and love.

I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and the sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. And soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s who I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—and what-ifs be damned. . .

Excerpt

“Well, well, you’re alive,” rose greets me, sounding extra grumpy. “I hope you know I’ve been worried sick. In fact—”

I cut her off before she can get another word in. “I need you to promise you won’t tell anyone that you talked to me.”

She pauses, and I can hear her suck in a harsh breath. “Why?”

“No questions. Promise me, Rose.” My voice is as firm as my resolve. If she can’t promise, I’m ending this call. And I won’t call her again until I’m back in Manhattan.

Not sure when that’s going to happen, though.

“I can’t tell Violet?” she asks. “She’s worried too. I don’t want to keep secrets from her.”

“Especially not Violet.” She’d have no problem continually calling me, wearing me down until I have to answer. And then she’d most likely heap on the guilt, and that’s the last thing I want to deal with. “No one else can know where I am.”

“But why? Are you in hiding or what? The gossip sites have been wondering where you’ve disappeared to.” Another pause. “And what about Caden? I tell him everything. He’s the last person I can keep a secret from.”

I want to roll my eyes but don’t. Besides, the effort would be wasted because no one can see me. Of course she tells her husband everything. They’re so close, so madly in love and wrapped up in their own little world.

And I’m all alone in my hotel suite, my hand patched up and wrapped tightly, a little high on pain medication. Talk about a shitty start to my so-called vacation. “Not even Caden. I’m trusting you, baby sister. Only you, so I need you to promise.”

“Fine.” She sighs, sounding completely put out. “I promise.” Her voice is small and I feel a twinge of guilt for putting her through this.

But then I push right past it.

“Okay, good. I’m calling to let you know I’m all right. I got your texts and I know you were worried but I swear, every- thing’s fine. I’ll be home soon,” I tell her in a rush of words.

I can’t admit the real reason I called her. That I was scared when I came to after I passed out—something I don’t really remember even doing—and found myself lying on the beach, two medics hovering above me and checking my pulse, cleaning my wound and making me yelp in pain. I was so disoriented and scared and I had no one. Absolutely no one to stand by my side and reassure me that everything was going to be all right.

I was alone. I didn’t even have my mystery rescuer to help me out. He’d ditched me the minute I passed out, I guess. The hotel employee didn’t catch his name; he had no idea who he was and neither did I.

They put me in an ambulance and took me to a nearby hospital despite my weak protests. Luckily I didn’t need stitches, just a few butterfly bandages to keep the gash closed and my hand wrapped in white gauze and a weird fishnet-looking covering that kept everything in place. They put me on antibiotics and pain meds, filling the prescriptions right there in the hospital pharmacy before they sent me on my merry way.

It had been a terrifying experience. So horribly real, when I rarely, if ever, have to deal with the real world. It’s as if I’ve lived my entire life playing pretend and when shit finally got ugly and I couldn’t run, as per my usual mode of operation, I didn’t know how to handle it.

That’s why I reached out to Rose. I needed to hear her voice, needed her to ground me and remind me that I do have someone I can count on.

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Reading Order

Each book can be read as a standalone.

 

About Monica

New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

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Review: The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey

My Thoughts

Delightfully fun, flirty and irresistible.
The perfect summer read!

5stars

Synopsis

the allure of julian lefrayFrom: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all…

XO,
Jo

My Review

Fun, fun, fun! This book was a joy to read. It touted great humor with some enjoyable tension and banter. Between giggling, swooning and flipping the pages as fast as possible, I couldn’t put it down. I loved the framework of the story. Loved that our protagonist, Jo, was a struggling blogger from small town Texas, trying not only to make it in her industry, but also in New York. And of course, as soon as our dimpled and alluring hero enters the scene, their moments together conjured a permanent smile on my face. R.S. Grey has this wonderful ability to develop relatable characters who you want to hang out with, who you want to laugh with. From the very beginning, I just knew this was a book I would love. It simply made me happy to read it.

The story centers around Josephine “Jo” Keller, a fashion blogger who focuses on style on a budget, while imbuing humor into her posts. She hasn’t had the easiest time in New York City since moving from Texas, and she’s nearly broke. This move was her big chance to do something she loved and she’s working hard to make it… to differentiate herself among the rest of the fashion bloggers.  Jo finally lands an invite to a prestigious event, and it’s there that she comes face to face with the impeccable looking Mr. Julian Lefray.

“He didn’t even know the effect those dimples had on my girly parts. One word: Ijustgotpregnant. Yeah, that’s one word.”

Julian is the brother of Lorena Lefray of Lorena Lefray Designs, the company to which Jo recently applied. He’s gorgeous, wealthy and also just recently moved to New York to help his sister run her expanding design business.

Jo and Julian meet at the event, and quickly make an impression on each other. Soon after, Jo finds herself the opportunity of a lifetime working as Julian’s assistant. From the beginning, they have an easy connection, with a smoothly flowing relationship that vacillates between laughing and working, and well, er… lusting, lusting and more lusting. Because one thing is for sure, the more time they spend together, the more the tension escalates.

“The continuous tease of having to be around him the last few weeks had built up the desire in my veins. Each day the passion had built with no outlet for escape.”

Very quickly, the friendship becomes important to them both, but as their feelings morph into something significant and desire threatens to boil over, they must both consider what they are willing to sacrifice for taking the risk of opening up to each other.

The entire story is deliciously entertaining and a very quick read. Funny, light-hearted and romantic, this is the perfect summer read to gush about with friends. I look forward to seeing more from Grey, who is quickly becoming a go-to author for feel-good reading.

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About R.S. Grey

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

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Excerpt: YOU by Caroline Kepnes

YOU EXCERPT

YOU by Caroline Kepnes—a intense and deeply disturbing thriller—has captivated countless readers since it’s release. For me, it was like reading through slit fingers, afraid of what would happen, but too engrossed to look away. Joe Goldberg, our psycopath protagonist, pulls us deeper into his head, scene after scene, as we waited to see what would happen next. Now, a new novel is certain to deliver the same kind of chills and thrills. Hidden Bodies is coming early next year and I can’t wait to read it. But first, if you’ve yet to read YOU, I’ve got an excerpt from the book below.

YOU: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks ✦
Hidden Bodies: AmazoniBooks ✦

Synopsis

YOU kepnesFrom debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone GirlAmerican Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

Excerpt

YOU walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam. You smile, embarrassed to be a nice girl, and your nails are bare and your V-neck sweater is beige and it’s impossible to know if you’re wearing a bra but I don’t think that you are. You’re so clean that you’re dirty and you murmur your first word to me—hello—when most people would just pass by, but not you, in your loose pink jeans, a pink spun from Charlotte’s Web and where did you come from?

You are classic and compact, my own little Natalie Portman circa the end of the movie Closer, when she’s fresh-faced and done with the bad British guys and going home to America. You’ve come home to me, delivered at last, on a Tuesday, 10:06 A.M. Every day I commute to this shop on the Lower East Side from my place in Bed-Stuy. Every day I close up without finding anyone like you. Look at you, born into my world today. I’m shaking and I’d pop an Ativan but they’re downstairs and I don’t want to pop an Ativan. I don’t want to come down. I want to be here, fully, watching you bite your unpainted nails and turn your head to the left, no, bite that pinky, widen those eyes, to the right, no, reject biographies, self-help (thank God), and slow down when you make it to fiction.

Yes.

I let you disappear into the stacks—Fiction F–K—and you’re not the standard insecure nymph hunting for Faulkner you’ll never finish, never start; Faulkner that will harden and calcify, if books could calcify, on your nightstand; Faulkner meant only to convince one-night stands that you mean it when you swear you never do this kind of thing. No, you’re not like those girls. You don’t stage Faulkner and your jeans hang loose and you’re too sun-kissed for Stephen King and too untrendy for Heidi Julavits and who, who will you buy? You sneeze, loudly, and I imagine how loud you are when you climax. “God bless you!” I call out.

You giggle and holler back, you horny girl, “You too, buddy.”

Buddy. You’re flirting and if I was the kind of asshole who Instagrams, I would photograph the F–K placard and filter the shit out of that baby and caption it:

F—K yes, I found her.

Calm down, Joe. They don’t like it when a guy comes on too strong, I remind myself. Thank God for a customer and it’s hard to scan his predictable Salinger—then again, it’s always hard to do that. This guy is, what, thirty-six and he’s only now reading Franny and Zooey? And let’s get real. He’s not reading it. It’s just a front for the Dan Browns in the bottom of his basket. Work in a bookstore and learn that most people in this world feel guilty about being who they are. I bag the Dan Brown first like it’s kiddie porn and tell him Franny and Zooey is the shit and he nods and you’re still in F–K because I can see your beige sweater through the stacks, barely. If you reach any higher, I’ll see your belly. But you won’t. You grab a book and sit down in the aisle and maybe you’ll stay here all night. Maybe it’ll be like the Natalie Portman movie Where the Heart Is, adapted faithlessly from the Billie Letts book—above par for that kind of crud—and I’ll find you in the middle of the night. Only you won’t be pregnant and I won’t be the meek man in the movie. I’ll lean over and say, “Excuse me, miss, but we’re closed” and you’ll look up and smile. “Well, I’m not closed.” A breath. “I’m wide open. Buddy.”

“Hey.” Salinger-Brown bites. He’s still here? He’s still here. “Can I get a receipt?”

“Sorry about that.”

He grabs it out of my hand. He doesn’t hate me. He hates himself. If people could handle their self-loathing, customer service would be smoother.

“You know what, kid? You need to get over yourself. You work in a bookstore. You don’t make the books. You don’t write the books and if you were any good at reading the books, you probably wouldn’t work in a bookstore. So wipe that judgmental look off your face and tell me to have a nice day.”

This man could say anything in the world to me and he’d still be the one shame-buying Dan Brown. You appear now with your intimate Portman smile, having heard the motherfucker. I look at you. You look at him and he’s still looking at me, waiting.

“Have a nice day, sir,” I say and he knows I don’t mean it, hates that he craves platitudes from a stranger. When he’s gone, I call out again because you’re listening, “You enjoy that Dan Brown, motherfucker!”

You walk over, laughing, and thank God it’s morning, and we’re dead in the morning and nobody is gonna get in our way. You put your basket of books down on the counter and you sass, “You gonna judge me too?”

“What an asshole, right?”

“Eh, probably just in a mood.”

You’re a sweetheart. You see the best in people. You complement me.

“Well,” I say and I should shut up and I want to shut up but you make me want to talk. “That guy is the reason that Blockbuster shouldn’t have gone under.”

You look at me. You’re curious and I want to know about you but I can’t ask so I just keep talking.

“Everybody is always striving to be better, lose five pounds, read five books, go to a museum, buy a classical record and listen to it and like it. What they really want to do is eat doughnuts, read magazines, buy pop albums. And books? Fuck books. Get a Kindle. You know why Kindles are so successful?”

You laugh and you shake your head and you’re listening to me at the point when most people drift, go into their phone. And you’re pretty and you ask, “Why?”

“I’ll tell you why. The Internet put porn in your home—” just said porn, what a dummy, but you’re still listening, what a doll.

“And you didn’t have to go out and get it. You didn’t have to make eye contact with the guy at the store who now knows you like watching girls get spanked. Eye contact is what keeps us civilized.”

Your eyes are almonds and I go on. “Revealed.”

You don’t wear a wedding ring and I go on. “Human.”

You are patient and I need to shut up but I can’t. “And the Kindle, the Kindle takes all the integrity out of reading, which is exactly what the Internet did to porn. The checks and balances are gone. You can read your Dan Brown in public and in private all at once. It’s the end of civilization. But—”

“There’s always a but,” you say and I bet you come from a big family of healthy, loving people who hug a lot and sing songs around a campfire.

“But with no places to buy movies or albums, it’s come down to books. There are no more video stores so there are no more nerds who work in video stores and quote Tarantino and fight about Dario Argento and hate on people who rent Meg Ryan movies. That act, the interaction between seller and buyer, is the most important two-way street we got. And you can’t just eradicate two-way streets like that and not expect a fallout, you know?”

I don’t know if you know but you don’t tell me to stop talking the way people sometimes do and you nod. “Hmm.”

night. Only you won’t be pregnant and I won’t be the meek man in the movie. I’ll lean over and say, “Excuse me, miss, but we’re closed” and you’ll look up and smile. “Well, I’m not closed.” A breath. “I’m wide open. Buddy.”

“Hey.” Salinger-Brown bites. He’s still here? He’s still here. “Can I get a receipt?”

“Sorry about that.”

He grabs it out of my hand. He doesn’t hate me. He hates himself. If people could handle their self-loathing, customer service would be smoother.

“You know what, kid? You need to get over yourself. You work in a bookstore. You don’t make the books. You don’t write the books and if you were any good at reading the books, you probably wouldn’t work in a bookstore. So wipe that judgmental look off your face and tell me to have a nice day.”

This man could say anything in the world to me and he’d still be the one shame-buying Dan Brown. You appear now with your intimate Portman smile, having heard the motherfucker. I look at you. You look at him and he’s still looking at me, waiting.

“Have a nice day, sir,” I say and he knows I don’t mean it, hates that he craves platitudes from a stranger. When he’s gone, I call out again because you’re listening, “You enjoy that Dan Brown, motherfucker!”

“See, the record store was the great equalizer. It gave the nerds power—‘You’re really buying Taylor Swift?’—even though all those nerds went home and jerked it to Taylor Swift.”

Stop saying Taylor Swift. Are you laughing at me or with me?

“Anyway,” I say, and I’ll stop if you tell me to.

“Anyway,” you say, and you want me to finish.

“The point is, buying stuff is one of the only honest things we do. That guy didn’t come in here for Dan Brown or Salinger. That guy came in here to confess.”

“Are you a priest?”

“No. I’m a church.”

“Amen.”

You look at your basket and I sound like a deranged loner and I look in your basket. Your phone. You don’t see it, but I do. It’s cracked. It’s in a yellow case. This means that you only take care of yourself when you’re beyond redemption. I bet you take zinc the third day of a cold. I pick up your phone and try to make a joke.

“You steal this off that guy?”

You take your phone and you redden. “Me and this phone…” you say.

 

“I’m a bad mommy.”

Mommy. You’re dirty, you are.

“Nah.”

You smile and you’re definitely not wearing a bra. You take the books out of the basket and put the basket on the floor and look at me like it wouldn’t be remotely possible for me to criticize anything you ever did. Your nipples pop. You don’t cover them. You notice the Twizzlers I keep by the register. You point, hungry. “Can I?”

“Yes,” I say, and I am feeding you already. I pick up your first book, Impossible Vacation by Spalding Gray. “Interesting,” I say. “Most people get his monologues. This is a great book, but it’s not a book that people go around buying, particularly young women who don’t appear to be contemplating suicide, given the fate of the author.”

“Well, sometimes you just want to go where it’s dark, you know?”

“Yeah,” I say. “Yeah.”

If we were teenagers, I could kiss you. But I’m on a platform behind a counter wearing a name tag and we’re too old to be young. Night moves don’t work in the morning, and the light pours in through the windows. Aren’t bookstores supposed to be dark?

Note to self: Tell Mr. Mooney to get blinds. Curtains. Anything.

 

I pick up your second book, Desperate Characters by one of my favorite authors, Paula Fox. This is a good sign, but you could be buying it because you read on some stupid blog that she’s Courtney Love’s biological grandmother. I can’t be sure that you’re buying Paula Fox because you came to her the right way, from a Jonathan Franzen essay.

You reach into your wallet. “She’s the best, right? Kills me that she’s not more famous, even with Franzen gushing about her, you know?”

Thank God. I smile. “The Western Coast.”

You look away. “I haven’t gone there yet.” I look at you and you put your hands up, surrender. “Don’t shoot.” You giggle and I wish your nipples were still hard. “I’m gonna read The Western Coast someday and Desperate Characters I’ve read a zillion times. This one’s for a friend.”

“Uh-huh,” I say and the red lights flash danger. For a friend.

“It’s probably a waste of time. He won’t even read it. But at least she sells a book, right?”

“True.” Maybe he’s your brother or your dad or a gay neighbor, but I know he’s a friend and I stab at the calculator.

“It’s thirty-one fifty-one.”

“Holy money. See, that’s why Kindles rule,” you say as you reach into your Zuckerman’s pig-pink wallet and hand me your credit card even though you have enough cash in there to cover it. You want me to know your name and I’m no nut job and I swipe your card and the quiet between us is getting louder and why didn’t I put on music today and I can’t think of anything to say.

“Here we go.” And I offer you the receipt.

“Thanks,” you murmur. “This is a great shop.”

You’re signing and you are Guinevere Beck. Your name is a poem and your parents are assholes, probably, like most parents. Guinevere. Come on.

“Thank you, Guinevere.”

“I really just go by Beck. Guinevere’s kinda long and ridiculous, you know?”

“Well, Beck, you look different in person. Also, Midnite Vultures is awesome.”

You take your bag of books and you don’t break eye contact because you want me to see you seeing me. “Right on, Goldberg.”

“Nah, I just go by Joe. Goldberg is kind of long and ridiculous, ya know?”

We’re laughing and you wanted to know my name as much as I wanted to know yours or you wouldn’t have read my name tag. “Sure you don’t wanna grab The Western Coast while you’re here?”

“This will sound crazy, but I’m saving it. For my nursing home list.”

“You mean bucket list.”

“Oh no, that’s totally different. A nursing home list is a list of things you plan on reading and watching in a nursing home. A bucket list is more like… visit Nigeria, jump out of an airplane. A nursing home list is like, read The Western Coast and watch Pulp Fiction and listen to the latest Daft Punk album.”

“I can’t picture you in a nursing home.”

You blush. You are Charlotte’s Web and I could love you. “Aren’t you gonna tell me to have a nice day?”

“Have a nice day, Beck.”

You smile. “Thanks, Joe.”

You didn’t walk in here for books, Beck. You didn’t have to say my name. You didn’t have to smile or listen or take me in. But you did. Your signature is on the receipt. This wasn’t a cash transaction and it wasn’t a coded debit. This was real. I press my thumb into the wet ink on your receipt and the ink of Guinevere Beck stains my skin.

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Exclusive Excerpt + Signed Giveaway: Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely

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Sweet Sinful Nights by bestselling author Lauren Blakely is live today!!! This latest is a full-length, standalone erotic romance novel that follows the love affair of a new couple, Brent and Shannon. Brent and Shannon’s story is sexy and will keep you on the edge of your seat, squirming and asking for more! Scroll down below for a message from Lauren, a brief Q&A, an exclusive excerpt and a signed giveaway.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo ✦

 Message from Lauren

Dear Readers:

I am thrilled to share some exciting news with you! Many of you have been patiently waiting for SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the story of Brent Nichols and the woman he loves. Many of you already know Brent since he’s the younger brother of Clay Nichols, from NIGHT AFTER NIGHT….The good news is this-SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS is Book One in a new erotic romance series, Sinful Nights, written in the high-heat, high-stakes, high-glamour style of the Seductive Nights series that readers know and love, but heading in a new direction with a new family that’s full of drama, checkered pasts and dangerous life-and-death secrets.

SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS kicks off this new series with a fiery, passionate, and suspenseful story of two lovers reuniting after ten years. Each book in this series follow a new couple and will be set against the backdrop of sin, money, sex, greed, passion and love in the city of Las Vegas. Brent’s love interest is Shannon Paige, and she has three brothers. Yep, you guessed it – each of her brothers will be getting a book! And while each book in the Sinful Nights series follows a new couple, get ready for a storyline that will carry across the entire series — a story of danger, risk and high-stakes suspense.

Sinful Nights Q&A

Does this take place after the events in the Seductive Nights series?
Yes. This story begins one year after the final Seductive Nights book.

Can I read this if I haven’t read the Seductive Nights series?
Yes! You won’t miss a beat if you start with SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS. That’s why it’s Book One!

Brent is Clay’s brother. Does this mean Clay will be in SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS?
Why yes! He will indeed appear in a handful of scenes!

Is this series similar to the Seductive Nights series?
Absolutely. The hero in book one is a Nichols man! Nichols men are known for being dirty, passionate and fiercely loyal! You can also expect scorching hot sex scenes, dirty talk, high-class and glamorous settings, and passionate love. Have I mentioned the heat? :)

Synopsis

A sexy, suspenseful new romance novel from Lauren Blakely, author of the New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series…. 

She was the one who got away… 

Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret, especially since she’s all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice.

Easier said than done…

Shannon Paige has hardened her heart to the man she was once engaged to be married to. After the way he left, and after the hell she’s been through with her checkered family, there’s no way she’s letting him into her life again. The problem is, the second she sees him, he’s more handsome and charming than before. And she’s torn between wanting to fight with him and wanting to sleep with him – maybe both. Soon they fall into each other’s arms, consumed with a desire that burns through the years.

But if these two fiery lovers are going to have a real second chance at this kind of intense, passionate, bone-deep love, he’ll have to give her his whole heart, and she’ll have to give up all the secrets from her messy past.

And that messy past is about to spill over into her carefully constructed present… 

Excerpt

He laced a hand through her hair. “Do you have any idea how much I want to be everything to you again?”

She shook her head. She was still stuck in time. The freshness of the hurt felt so new again. “Do you have any idea how devastating it was when you broke up with me?”

He groaned, sounding annoyed. Defeated. “I thought we weren’t going to talk about the past,” he whispered as he kissed her neck. His lips were barely there, just the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings. Even so, the kiss turned her liquid. How the hell could they kiss and argue? But then, thaT was what they’d always done. Even while they fought, they could never stop touching.

“I can’t hide from the past. I can’t move on unless we talk about it.”

“Then tell me,” he said roughly. “Tell me what you want to talk about so we can start over.”

“How do I know it will be different?” she asked, as she leaned her head back and succumbed to the strange combination of kissing and confessing. Or touching and talking. “Because of the shoes, because of the bracelet, because of scarves and lunches and the dinner and the tickets this weekend to Alvin Ailey?”

“No. Those are just things. It’s what’s behind those things that matters, and that’s how I feel for you. Because I would do anything to have you back,” he said, holding her face and forcing her to look him in the eyes.

And as she did, something inside her cracked open. The ice that she’d packed around her heart that he’d been chipping away at day by day, thawed completely.

“It’s harder for me to just start over than it is for you,” she blurted out, even though it was selfish, what she was saying. She knew that. But she couldn’t escape the painful truth of who she was. She stared fiercely at him, keenly aware of both the intensity of this conversation and the pressure from his erection between her legs pressing hard against her damp panties.

“Why? Why is it harder for you?”

“Because you broke my heart—don’t you get it? Mine had already splintered into a million pieces one night in a driveway, and I can only sustain so many breaks before it’s shattered.”

She stopped moving on him, and let the tears slide down her cheeks, as they’d done so many times with him. He gathered her close in his arms, and stroked her hair.

“Let me be the one for you. I won’t break your heart again. I promise.”

Reading Order

Sinful Nights is a four-book series. Each book will follow a new couple.

Sweet Sinful Nights (#1) – Available Now
Sinful Desire (#2) – September 29th
Sinful Longing (#3) – January 2016
Sinful Love (#4) – March 2016

About Lauren

Lauren BlakelyLauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller.

One of her latest, 21 Stolen Kisses, is a new adult romance filled with angst and romantic tension. This summer she’ll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).

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Must Read of the Week

Jul-07Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I read this book in a day, I just loved the freshness of the story. It’s about a girl who moves from New York City back to Los Angeles, where she grew up, after a failed relationship and countless mistakes. When she meets up with her old high school boyfriend, a simple choice forever alters the course of her life. We experience both paths, seeing just how much her decision changed everything… including who she was ‘destined’ to love. It was really well done and I loved it! Maybe In Another Life is out July 7th (read an excerpt here).

Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

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Release Recap

(Click cover to order)

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Releasing This Week

Breaking Stars by J. Sterling (Available Now)

Breaking StarsAn actress since she was fourteen years old, Paige Lockwood finds herself craving a little normalcy after a scandal rocks her otherwise predictable world. With everyone in her life attempting to control her, she takes matters into her own hands and leaves town without so much as a plan or a destination.

But the destination finds her as car trouble forces Paige to settle down in a small Southern town as she waits for repairs. There she meets the handsome, albeit standoffish, Tatum Montgomery, and both of their lives are forever altered as they learn that sometimes when you aren’t looking for love, it finds you anyway.

The real question is: Can you hold on to it when you’re from two completely different worlds?

Reading Order: Seeing Stars (Review) 99¢ | Breaking Stars

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Priest by Sierra Simone (Available Now)

Priest sierra simoneThere are many rules a priest can’t break.
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I’ve always been good at following rules.
Until she came.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.

Standalone novel.

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The Allure of Julian Lefray by RS Grey (Available Now)

the allure of julian lefrayFrom: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all…

XO,
Jo

Standalone novel.

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Spin Ruin (A Mafia Romance 2-Book Bundle) by CD Reiss (Available Now)

spin ruin cd reissTheresa Drazen wants to know one thing.
Is there something wrong with her?
Because from what she can see, she has money, brains, a body that does the job. Yet, she keeps getting shelved. Most recently, by her fiancé who happens to be the DA.
And she’ll get over it, really. No problem. She’ll just have a nice, short encounter with a mysterious Italian named Antonio who may or may not be involved with some kind of alleged criminal activity…blah blah…
Let’s call a spade a spade.
He’s a mobster.
Let’s face a few more facts.
He’s hot. He’s smart. And if anyone breathes on her the wrong way, he’s got no problem beating their head against a Porsche until they’re willing to lick up their own vomit to make it stop.
Just about everything about that turns her on.
Yeah. There’s something wrong with her.

First two books in the Corruption series. Rule is the third book and coming in August.

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About Last Night by Belle Aurora (Available Now)

about last nightMatt Quinn has been an escort for most of his adult life. He’s so good at his job that he’s booked months in advance.
An enquiring email from a potential client finds him intrigued about the shy, awkward woman. A back and forth is started and before Quinn knows it, a friendship is formed.

Time passes and Quinn is smitten.

There’s only one problem…

The client is his best friends little sister.

She’s off limits.
He knows better.

Staying away from one another is easier said than done.

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Be My Temptation by Rachel Brookes (Available Now)

Be My TemptationYou met Josh Crawford and Ashlyn Hart in Be My December, now its time to read their story.

One night connected them.
One decision separated them.
One craving tempted them.

Ashlyn Hart was done with men, or at least those outside of her books. After stupidly falling for the charms of her cheating ex and having her heart broken yet again, she decided to create a new life. One that involved a career change, a new wardrobe, and the possibility of moving abroad. There was just one hurdle: the confident, stubborn and insanely-tempting Josh Crawford.

Josh Crawford hid behind the cliché bachelor lifestyle and a never-ending parade of women. He knew the game and played it well, but the night he tasted perfection four years ago never left him. Back then, he made a spur of the moment decision, one that he has battled with ever since. But beneath the playboy façade was a yearning that wouldn’t disappear. A craving for the only woman who could bring him to his knees: Ashlyn Hart.

Two weeks changes everything.
One night unravels the deepest of desires.
A simple taste unleashes memories that can’t be tamed.

When the girl who dreams of a happily ever after collides with the guy who lives the ultimate cliffhanger, what ending awaits them? Will fear overshadow love? Will the past play hindrance to the future, or will temptation conquer it all?

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Ride Steady (#3, Chaos) by Kristen Ashley (Jun 30)
★ VBB Recommendation ★

ride steady cover chaosThe ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy—until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . 
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he’s the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa’s acting, it’s clear she’s falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker’s secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa—or ride away forever . . .

Reading Order: Own The Wind | Fire Inside | Ride Steady | Walk Through Fire

Read my 5-star review.

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When You’re Back by Abbi Glines (Jun 30)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever.

A chance meeting in Rosemary Beach has turned into a fairy-tale romance as Reese prepares to move in with Mase on his family ranch in Texas. With the loving support of the Colts, and her recent discovery that she has family of her own, Reese can finally move on from the dark horrors of her past and into a bright future.

But Aida isn’t going to let that happen. The beautiful blonde has been raised to think of Mase as her cousin, but it’s clear to Reese that Aida doesn’t love Mase like a cousin should.

And then there’s Captain, the inescapable stranger who has connections in Dallas and Rosemary Beach—and who conveniently shows up wherever Reese happens to be. Hot, mysterious, and plain-speaking, Captain isn’t afraid to tell Reese what he thinks about Mase—and how he feels about her.

As the competition for Mase and Reese’s hearts heats up, Reese’s past begins to unravel, illuminating shocking truths that will forever change the lives of the happy couple—and set the final stories of Rosemary Beach in motion.

Reading OrderFallen Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Never Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Twisted Perfection (Wood + Della) (Review) | Forever Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Rush Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review)| Simple Perfection (Woods + Della) (Review) | Take A Chance (Grant + Harlow) (Review) | One More Chance (Grant + Harlow) (Review) | You Were Mine (Tripp + Bethy ) | Kiro’s Emily (Kiro + Emily) | When I’m Gone (Mase + Reese) | When You’re Back (Mase + Reese)

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Insider (#1, Exodus End World Tour) by Olivia Cunning (Jun 30)

Insider Exodus EndToni wants to be an insider.
Logan just wants inside her.

She’s finally ready to rock…
Toni Nichols set aside her dreams to raise her little sister, but now she’s reaching for the stars as the creator of a revolutionary interactive biography about Exodus End. She’s on tour with the rock band to immerse herself in their world, but how will she ever gain the trust of four veteran superstars who’ve been burned by the media before? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Then again, good things can come in hard packages.

He’s always ready to roll…
Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he’s not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he’s looking for his next thrill in extreme sports. So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention? Is Toni the real deal or just digging up dirt on his band? Logan’s eager to rock Toni’s world and roll her in the sack, but when she starts to get too close to his heart, she takes her insider look to a place he may never be willing to go.

First in a series.

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Borrowed & Blue: Something Borrowed, Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Jun 30)

A beautifully repackaged bind-up of two of Emily Giffin’s beloved bestselling novels

Something Borrowed: A novel for every woman who has ever had a complicated love-hate friendship. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan firm and a diligent maid of honor to her best friend Darcy, Rachel White has always played by all the rules, quietly accepting the sidekick role to Darcy in their lopsided friendship. But that changes the night that Rachel confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

Something Blue: A story of betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness. Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply–and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love.

Compilation of two novels.

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Red Carpet Kiss by Melissa Brown (Jun 30)

red carpet kissAfter penning a series of bestselling novels, Eleanor Riley vowed to leave her past—and the man who broke her heart—far behind. As the creator of one of television’s most beloved dramas, Elle couldn’t have written a better comeback for herself. But her success doesn’t leave much room in her life for romance…until Luke Kingston enters the scene.

Luke, a stunningly handsome star, is set to play the latest love interest in Elle’s show…but he’s got his eye on Elle, and she can’t deny their sizzling chemistry. Then Elle has a chance encounter with Troy Saladino—the man who had been the love of her life—and suddenly a million old feelings are rushing back.

With two gorgeous men pursuing her, Elle can’t decide who holds the key to her heart: her new love or her old flame. Will her choice bring her happiness—or more heartbreak?

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Searching for Always by Jennifer Probst (Jun 30)
★ VBB Series Recommendation ★

searching for alwaysNew York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

Reading OrderSearching for Someday (Review) | Searching for Perfect (Review) | Searching For Beautiful | Searching For Always

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Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel (Jun 30)

between us and the moonA luminous YA love story that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation. 

Sarah—Bean to her friends and family—is an aspiring astronomer and champion mathlete. She lives behind her beloved telescope, with her head in the stars and her feet planted firmly on the ground. For as long as she can remember, she’s also lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett.

But after a traumatic end to the school year, Sarah goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family, determined to grow up. It’s there that she meets gorgeous, older college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl like Scarlett. He thinks she’s older, too—and she doesn’t correct him.

For Sarah, it’s a summer of firsts. Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this romantic and heartfelt coming-of-age novel about how life and love are impossible to predict.

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Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely (Jun 30)

The New York Times Bestselling author of Seductive Nights delivers the first novel in a passionate, suspenseful and sinfully sexy new series! 

She was the one who got away…

Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret, especially since she’s all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice.

Easier said than done… 

Shannon Paige has hardened her heart to the man she was once engaged to be married to. After the way he left, and after the hell she’s been through with her checkered family, there’s no way she’s letting him into her life again. The problem is, the second she sees him, he’s more handsome and charming than before. And she’s torn between wanting to fight with him and wanting to sleep with him — maybe both. Soon they fall into each other’s arms, consumed with a desire that burns through the years.

But if these two fiery lovers are going to have a real second chance at this kind of intense, passionate, bone-deep love, he’ll have to give her his whole heart, and she’ll have to give up all the secrets from her messy past.

And that messy past is about to spill over into her carefully constructed present… 

First book in a series.

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Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye (Jun 30) Read an excerpt

hard to let go coverFive dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet–a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo shop following a bad break-up–and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with the criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights . . . and in his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.

Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.

Final book in Hard Ink series.

Reading OrderHard As It Gets | Hard As You Can | Hard To Hold On To (novella) $1.99 | Hard To Come By | Hard To Be Good $1.99 | Hard to Let Go

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