Feels like Home by Jennifer Van Wyk

Feels Like Home, an all-new emotional standalone from Jennifer Van Wyk is coming February 5th!

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Andy Simpson never expected to be raising his teenage twin sons alone.

Then again, he also never expected to walk into his house and see his wife with another man. In their bed. Or that it wasn’t her first time.

Bitterness threatened to wrap around his heart, darkening every part of his life.

But a brightness he wasn’t even looking for entered their lives and wouldn’t let it take hold.

Christine Jameson knew all about being a single parent. But she was holding a secret. A secret she wasn’t willing to allow anyone to find out. One she’d held tight for years.

But one look at Andy, and she knew that she needed to be honest with him. That he deserved to know he wasn’t alone.

They both needed friendship. Needed someone who understood, who had compassion without judgement.

What they didn’t imagine was for it to become something more.

That they would come to share something they never thought they would experience again.

They didn’t expect for it to… Feel Like Home.

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Title: Feels Like Home

Author: Jennifer Van Wyk

Publishing Date: February 5th

Designer is Jena Brignola

Photographer: By The Free Photography

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From the Ground Up was Jennifer’s first published novel and now that she was bitten by the writing bug, has no intention of ever stopping. Jennifer makes her home in small town Iowa with her high school sweetheart, three beautiful, hilarious and amazing kids, one crazy Jack Russell terrier. This is where her love for all things reading, baking, and cooking happen. Jennifer’s family enjoys camping, boating, and spending time outside as much as possible. You’ll be her best friend if you can make her laugh and follow up with asking her what to read next. When she’s not writing, you can find her cheering the loudest at her kids’ sporting events (read as: embarrassing them), sipping coffee or iced tea out of a mason jar with her Kindle in her lap or binging on Netflix.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vZV2Ic

FB: https://www.facebook.com/jennifervanwykauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorJenVW

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Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JennifersJavaGirls/

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Sex, Not Love by Vi Keeland

My relationship with Hunter Delucia started backwards.

We met at a wedding—him sitting on the groom’s side, me sitting on the bride’s.  Stealing glances at each other throughout the night, there was no denying an intense, mutual attraction.

I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter.  Hunter held me tightly while we danced and suggested we explore the chemistry sparking between us.  His blunt, dirty mouth should’ve turned me off.  But for some crazy reason, it had the opposite effect on me.

 We ended up back in my hotel room.  The next morning, I headed home to New York leaving him behind in California with the wrong number.

I thought about him often, but after my last relationship, I’d sworn off of charming, cocky, gorgeous-as-sin men. A year later, Hunter and I met again at the birth of our friends’ baby.  Our attraction hadn’t dulled one bit.  After a whirlwind trip, he demanded a real phone number this time.  So I left him with my mother’s—she could scare away any man with her talks of babies and marriage—and flew back home.

I’d thought it was funny, until the following week when he rang the bell at Mom’s house for Sunday night dinner.  The crazy, gorgeous man had won over my mother and taken an eight-week assignment in my city.  He proposed we spend that time screwing each other out of our systems.

Eight weeks of mind-blowing sex with no strings attached? What did I have to lose?

Nothing, I thought.

It’s just sex, not love.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

 

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MY THOUGHTS

I loved Hunter from the moment we meet him. Cocky and sarcastic. Gorgeous. And his never giveup attitude. Just the kind of guy I fall head over heels for. But I also loved Natalia too. She’s strong when she has every right not to be. She can go head to head with Hunter and I loved the chemistry from day one between these too.

This was just a fun, sexy yet sweet story that takes you in from the first paragraph and you don’t want to let go of when you get to the end. Another perfect read from Vi.

SNL_VKName

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in nineteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels

Beautiful Mistake
Amazon eBook http://amzn.to/2uoeoJN
iBooks http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo http://smarturl.it/1btxsz
Egomaniac
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I
The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Co-written novels

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Mister Moneybags
Amazon http://amzn.to/2oTaaHf 
Barnes & Noble http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m 
iBooks http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq 
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho

Dear Bridget, I Want You
Amazon: ➜ http://amzn.to/2sGyJbZ
iBooks: ➜ http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N ➜ http://smarturl.it/o780mb 
Kobo: ➜ http://smarturl.it/kfgc6a
Google: ➜ http://smarturl.it/7cvewu

Love & Ink by J.D. Hawkins

I’m a world famous tattoo artist with a six month waiting list. Everybody’s begging me to put my ink on them. I’m the hottest shit in L.A., and can get any girl I want. So the last thing I expect is for Ash Carter to walk into my shop and blow me off.

I’ve spent the last seven years screwing half the women in the northern hemisphere, but nobody could come close to the girl I left behind. Ash was my world. But in order to protect her, I had to let her go. It was the biggest mistake of my life. And now I’ll do anything to get her back.

It’s been seven years since we last spoke. Seven long years of trying to ignore the memory of her skin, her eyes, her incredible confidence. She is everything I remember. Still stubborn and feisty and sexy as hell. They say you should forgive and forget. But Ash can never forget what I did. And I can never forgive myself.

She’s left a permanent mark on my heart.

But even if she takes me back, will we be able to overcome the past? Will we be able to move forward towards our future?

Love & Ink by JD Hawkins

Release Date: February 21st

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Designer: Letitia Hasser from RBA Designs

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37214694-love-and-ink

About the Author:

JD Hawkins writes erotic romance with modern-classic alpha males and strong, independant women. He currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles, CA. He loves to travel and has lived in many places, including New York City, India and Thailand. When he isn’t writing, JD enjoys surfing, training in Mixed Martial Arts, reading and taking naps. He’s always loved making up stories, especially ones inspired by real life.

Connect w/ JD:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jdhawkinsauthor/

Join JD’s Readers Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/689209171219570/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jd-hawkins

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2nENib9

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1481119.J_D_Hawkins

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaxdylanhawkins

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FuckYeaHawkins

Subscribe to JD’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ceF7oj

 

One Last Time by Corinne Michaels

One Last Time by Corinne Michaels
Release Date: February 26th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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From New York Times bestselling author, Corinne Michaels, comes a new heartwarming standalone romance.

I’m getting really good at cutting my losses.
First, the husband. Divorcing him was the best decision I ever made. But between single-parenting and job-hunting, I can’t catch my breath. When a celebrity blogging position falls into my lap, I’m determined to succeed.
That is, until I get my first assignment and actually see Noah Frazier for the first time . . . practically naked and dripping wet. My heart races and I forget how to form complete sentences. His chiseled abs, irresistible smirk, and crystal blue eyes are too perfect to be real. So, what do I do? Get drunk and humiliate myself, of course.
I’m ready to forget the awkward night, yet Noah has no intention of allowing me to move on. Instead, he arranges for me to write a feature on him, ensuring a lot more time together. One embarrassing moment after another, one kiss after another, and before I can stop myself, I realize—I’m falling in love with him.
But when the unthinkable happens, can I even blame him for cutting his losses?
What I wouldn’t give for just one last time . . .

OLT Full wrap

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ENTER to win one of ten $10 Gift Cards! 

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

Connect with Corinne:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CorinneMichaels
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCMichaels
Instagram: http://instagram.com/corinnemichaels
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7753662
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NVZmhv
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/corinnemichaels/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/corinne-michaels</p

The Thing about Love by Kim Karr

The whole stethoscope-and-white coat thing isn’t my cup of tea.
I prefer a man with an artistic vein in his body. 9 – 5 hours. And I can definitely do without the half-lidded, sleepy bedroom eyes. (Okay, sothose are kind of sexy.)

Tall, dark, and handsome doesn’t change the fact that he’s arrogant, cocky, and rude.
Not that I care, but he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with aquirky girl like me, which is why he said no.
Turns out no isn’t an option.
I have a quickie wedding to plan, and Dr. Jake Kissinger doesn’t have a choice. He looks at our situation like he’s stuck with me, but in reality, I’m stuck with him. Stuck with his pouty mouth. His long, lean body. And stuck with those loose, low riding scrub pants. (Okay, so the doctor thing is growing on me.)
When spending time together turns into more than it should, I know I’m in trouble.
He isn’t supposed to make my heart pound.
I’m not supposed to make him look twice.
And we aren’t supposed to spend the night together. (Okay, so he has more than one artistic vein in his body, and other places.)

Falling for him is definitely a mistake.
Here’s the thing…
Jake is unavailable, and I know it.
Just not in the way you might think.
I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Purchase Links
99c for release day only!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

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Kim had done it again. I absolutely loved this romance between a wedding planner and doctor.

Jules is just trying to stay afloat. Everything is riding on getting this client, otherwise she can kiss her wedding planning business that she inherited from her uncle goodbye. She thought she had it under control but it’s anything but. This is a big client and if she can just get them to agree to her plans, she’ll be saved… that is until she does the unthinkable and accuses the groom of hitting on her, except he isn’t the groom… but the brother of the bride, who now hates her. Even with everything she’s done to tank this job, the bride loves her… know they just need to convince her brother she’s the right person for the job.

Full of sexy fun, you’ll fall hard for Dr. Kiss and his dirty mind and mouth. Jules is quirky and delightful. Such a great read. I love Kim’s style and couplings. A definite must read for the new year!

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Reader * Chocolate Lover * Writer * Coffee Lover * Romantic
* Beach Lover * Yoga Beginner

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels. Best known for writing sexy contemporary love stories, she enjoys bringing flawed characters to life.

Her romances are raw, real, and explosive.

Her characters will make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel.

And her happily-ever-afters are always swoon worthy.

From the brooding rock star to the arrogant millionaire. From the witty damsel-in distress to the sassy high-powered business woman. No two storylines are ever alike.

Get ready to fall in love.

 

Chapter Reveal: Dirt by Cassia Leo

Today we have the chapter reveal for DIRT by Cassia Leo! Check them out and pre-order your copy today!

 

Title: DIRT
Author: Cassia Leo
Series: Evergreen Series
Release: January 12, 2018

 

About Dirt

A hard-hitting, emotional new series from New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo.

Jack and I had everything. Then, in one brutal instant, the universe tilted on its side, discarding us into black nothingness.

Now, I have a cocky a**hole for a husband.

The only way we communicate anymore is when we’re fighting or f**king.

With nothing left to lose, I write Jack a goodbye letter and head for Portland, where I quickly meet a neighbor who helps me find a job.

My new neighbor—broody, tattooed ex-soldier Isaac Evans—is complicated. Nevertheless, we form a fast friendship, bonding over our mutual desire to create something beautiful from the wreckage of our lives.

But despite the distance between us, Jack and I are still trying to make things work—fighting and f**king dirtier than ever. And he doesn’t appreciate my new friendship with Isaac. Not one f**king bit.

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Chapter Reveal

Chapter 1

Laurel

I hugged Jack Jr. tightly against my breast, and he molded his soft, warm body to mine. His eyes remained closed as his tiny fingers curled around the fabric of my blouse, his rosy lips puckering as he geared up for more food.

“You sucked me dry, little fella,” I whispered, leaning in to press my nose against the downy-soft, golden hair on the top of his head. I inhaled his scent and my muscles unspooled. “But I’ll be back to feed you soon. I promise.”

Why do babies smell so damn good?

Before I got pregnant with Junior, my favorite smell was orange blossoms. As a teenager, I often got scolded by my mom for picking the flowers off the orange tree in our backyard in Portland. I’d rub the creamy petals between my fingers, bruise them with my fingernails, then sniff my hand for hours until the scent wore off.

When I was pregnant with Junior, my favorite scent became the rich aroma of the forbidden coffee I could no longer drink.

After Junior was born, and my decaf days came to a glorious end, I realized how wrong I’d been. There was absolutely no scent as sweet and soul-quieting as the smell of the top of a baby’s head. Bonus points if the baby was lying peacefully on your chest sound asleep.

“Are you ever going to put him down?”

I flicked my head sideways, startled by Jack’s clear, baritone voice.

He stood in the doorway of Junior’s nursery, the silhouette of his six-foot-three athletic body framed by the warm light in the hallway. His head was tilted to the side. He’d probably been standing there admiring us for a while. After six years together, I knew Jack’s body language and facial expressions better than I knew my own face.

I stood from the rocking chair and stole one more sniff of Junior’s head before I placed him gently on his back in the center of the crib. I adjusted the left sleeve of his pajamas, pulling it down to make sure it covered his entire chubby arm. I didn’t want to imagine him waking up cold and alone in here.

Jack appeared at my side as I switched on the video baby monitor. “He’s going to be fine,” he murmured, reaching down to stroke the soft patch of hair on Junior’s head. “In fact, he’ll probably enjoy some time alone. After all, he is just like his daddy; sometimes, we need a break from the constant attention from the ladies.”

I rolled my eyes and headed for the door. “Making jokes only makes leaving him slightly less scary, you know,” I said as we stepped into the hallway of our five-bedroom dream home in Hood River, Oregon. I couldn’t wait to fill up every one of these bedrooms with brothers and sisters for Jack Jr.

Jack chuckled as he followed closely behind me. “Less scary is an improvement,” he replied, grabbing my hand to stop me in the middle of the corridor. “You promised Junior you’d be back soon. Can you also make me a promise?”

The hallway lights made his dark hair look glaringly shiny, but I couldn’t help but notice how weary his blue eyes looked tonight. Since Junior arrived three months ago, I’d been so focused on my baby boy’s vulnerability, his scent, his beauty, I hadn’t slowed down enough to appreciate how those were the same qualities that made me fall in love with Jack.

Suddenly, my worries about leaving Junior with my mother for the evening evaporated. All I wanted to do was kiss Jack, grab hold of that dark hair and make love to him for hours. I wanted to replace the weariness in his eyes with dark hunger, or maybe a glint of mischief.

I squeezed his hand and smiled at the thought of possibly having sex with him in public tonight. We hadn’t done that in a while.

“What kind of promise?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Nope, you’re not allowed to ask. Just promise me you’ll say yes.”

My stomach vaulted at the sound of those words. They were the same words Jack spoke when he asked me to marry him. I wondered what he would ask this time.

The phrase “just promise me you’ll say yes” had become like an inside joke, our own private, unspoken promise to each other that we would always do whatever it took to stay together. The last time he had uttered this phrase, he asked me to stop taking my birth control pills. With Junior here, it was easy to trust that whatever Jack asked me for this time would turn out to be exactly what I needed.

I tilted my head back so I could look up and into his crystal-blue eyes. “Yes, I can make you a promise.”

His expression became sober. “Promise me you’ll be present tonight.” He fixed me with a piercing gaze as his large hand cupped my face. “It’s just you and me for the next three hours. Promise me.”

I smiled. “I promise. Just you and me. And I’ll even put my cell phone on vibrate.” As I said the words, a sharp finger of fear prodded my subconscious, telling me it was a bad idea to risk missing a phone call tonight.

The exhaustion in Jack’s eyes melted away as he smiled. “I can deal with that, but you have to promise me one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

His smile turned almost menacing as he looped his arm around my waist and drew me close. “Promise me you’ll lemme smash that blonde bombshell booty,” he said, landing a light swat on my ass.

I shook my head as I recalled how we often had sex in public during our first year together, in our senior year at Oregon State University, Cascades. For some reason, once we graduated and moved in together, having sex in public seemed like something we couldn’t get away with so easily. We decided public sex-hibitions — or throw downs, as we more commonly referred to them — would be reserved for special occasions like anniversaries or vacations.

Truthfully, Jack and I kicked off our relationship by having sex on the first date. He was always a very difficult man to resist. When he showed up at my apartment to pick me up that night, I couldn’t resist his suggestion that we should stay in and make paper masks of ourselves, then put them on and ask each other first date questions as if we were the other person. I had never laughed so much on any date. Ever. But when he asked — while pretending to be me — if I’d ever had sex with someone on the first date, I couldn’t help but respond with, “I’m Jack-fucking-Stratton. I’ve fucked a lot of girls on the first date. But none as gorgeous as you.”

Jack always knew how to keep things fresh and alarmingly sexy. Six years in and my body still craved him almost every second of every day.

Today was our three-year wedding anniversary. We’d only had sex twice since I gave birth to Junior three months ago, and both of those times were truly awkward.

The first time was painful. My C-section incision hadn’t fully healed yet, and even trying to have sex with him behind me was uncomfortable. The second time we tried, Jack was so afraid of hurting me, he stopped midway through. There’d been a lot of oral sex happening in this house since then.

Luckily, a few weeks had passed since our last attempt, and I had repeatedly assured him I was fully healed up now. I was certain that even if the sex did hurt a little, it would still be worth it. I couldn’t understand couples that didn’t consider sex an important part of a relationship. I never felt more complete, more present, more alive than when my body and mind were entwined with Jack’s.

I smiled as I wrapped my arms around his waist. “I think I know just the place for a proper throw down.”

He wiggled his eyebrows. “Ooh. Tell me more.”

As he leaned in to kiss me, my mother’s voice interrupted us.

“Are you two making out again?” she said, standing at the top of the stairs with her hands on her hips as she gawped at us. “Well, don’t let me stop you.”

Jack laughed and I shook my head as we moved toward her.

“We’re just trying to keep you entertained while you’re on vacation, Beth,” Jack said.

My mother cocked an eyebrow. “If I wanted to watch porn, I’d open up your laptop and have a look at your internet history.”

“Mom, don’t be gross,” I protested, trying not to laugh.

Jack smiled as he held out his elbow for my mom to grab hold as they descended the stairs in front of me. “I made a special collection of links for you. They’re in a folder labeled Tantric Geriatric. You’ll love it.”

I rolled my eyes. Jack and my mother exchanged jabs like this all day.

My mother was staying with us for a few days, so Jack and I could have some time to ourselves and get some much-needed uninterrupted sleep. She was leaving tomorrow to go back to the house where I grew up in Portland. Though she pretended as if she was desperate to get home to her Craftsman cottage in the city, and I even teased her about how she was dying to get back so she could see the handsome new neighbor she’d been going on about, I knew she was going to miss Jack’s pretend insults as much as she would miss Junior and me.

My mother practically shoved me toward the front door. “I order you to go have fun,” she said, smiling as Jack opened the door and stepped outside. “And don’t come home until you’re too drunk to walk.”

I shook my head. “Thanks, Mom. Please call if you need anything. And don’t answer the door for anyone. There’s a house that got broken into a few streets away.”

She waved off my paranoia. “Stop worrying so much. We’ll be fine. See you later, babe.”

I blew her a kiss, then I closed the door behind me.

* * *

“I have to admit, having sex on the waterfront was one of my favorite public throw downs ever,” Jack said, pulling his Tesla into the long driveway of our four-acre estate. “But do we really have to wait until our fourth anniversary to do it again?”

I tugged the silky fabric of my skirt straight as I pressed my thighs together. Though my body was still raw with the evidence of the dirty deed we’d just committed, I couldn’t wait to get Jack inside and pounce on him again. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the sensation of him moving inside me, and how good he was at making me feel beautiful.

“We can do that anytime we can snag a babysitter,” I replied as he turned the car off.

He made no move to exit the Tesla. “Well, babycakes, you’d better get ready to interview a fuck-ton of babysitters.”

I laughed. “Babycakes? That’s a new one.”

Jack rarely used the same term of endearment twice in a row. He liked to keep me guessing.

He scrunched up his nose. “Yeah, that one was kind of creepy. Now that I’ve tried it out, I think I can bury that one in the nickname graveyard.”

“Try the incinerator,” I said, reaching for the door handle.

“Duly noted,” he replied, exiting the vehicle.

Jack and I glided unhurriedly along the flagstone walkway, which was lined with sparkling pathway lights. As we made our way toward the steps leading up to the covered porch, I stopped in the middle of the path and closed my eyes as I inhaled the sweet scent of the lavender and honeysuckle I’d planted with my mom’s help.

That was when I made a wish, a corny wish, but I didn’t care.

I wished that every person could find someone they loved as much as I loved Jack. I wished every child could feel as loved as Junior was. And I wished every anniversary could be as perfect as this one.

“No… No, no, no!” Jack’s voice grew louder with each no.

They say mother’s intuition is scientifically proven to exist. I knew by the tone of Jack’s voice, without even opening my eyes, that my world would never be the same. I knew in that instant, I would regret leaving Jack Jr. tonight for the rest of my life.

Though I knew something was wrong, I wasn’t prepared for what we found.

At some point, while we were lost in our blissful celebration, the front door of our home had been forced open. This discovery was what had made Jack cry out in disbelief. Father’s intuition must also be a thing, because he told me later that, even though the door was still closed, the moment he saw the gouges in the wood near the handle, he had felt that same sense of dread. That feeling that the universe had suddenly tilted on its side, discarding us into black nothingness.

The house was ransacked.

Furniture upended, paintings and flatscreen televisions torn off the walls, shards of shattered vases littered the floors. Complete and utter chaos.

The master bathroom doorknob looked as if it had been shot off. We found my mother’s lifeless form huddled against the bathtub, my baby boy’s dead body clutched tightly in her arms.

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About Cassia Leo

New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.

 

 

 

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An Ex for Christmas by Laurn Layne

Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon

 

She’s making alist—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes?

The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with acharming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.
 

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

 
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bookexcerpt2

As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.

I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.

My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.

None of that’s the weird part.

What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.

We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.

But I still feel her eyes on me.

Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.

Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.

Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”

I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.

“Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.”

Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!

I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .

There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.

And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.

I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.

Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though they’re really rare in New York.

She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.

I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.

I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.

The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”

Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.

But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.

“Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.

She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”

I freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.

She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”

I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”

Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”

Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .

Huh.

“You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”

She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!

I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—

Nope. No. Do not go there.

Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.

“Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”

“Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket. Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough.

I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.

“Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”

I whip my head around. “How did you—”

The woman is gone.

Like vanished gone.

Leaving me to wonder . . .

If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?

Have I already met my one true love?

authorspotlight2
Lauren
Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies.
She lives in New York City with her husband.
A former
e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York
City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in
2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s
written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York
Times
, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

 

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