Weekly Wrap Up: October 20th through October 26th 2019

Books I’ve Read:

The Brutal Time

Fever

A Hundred Suns


Books with Pending Reviews:

Fever—Review coming October 29th, 2019

A Hundred Suns—Review coming April 7th, 2020


Books with Published Reviews:

Snowfall on Cedar Trail—Review Here

Small-Town Secrets—Review Here


NetGalley Requests:

A Bad Day for Sunshine


Author/Publisher Requests:

Things in Jars—Publisher Request (Atria Books)

Stranger in a Small Town—Author Request

Small-Town Family—Author Request


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz/Cover Reveal:

In Restless Dreams—Cover Reveal

The Merkabah Series—Book Blitz

Masks—Book Blitz

Between Wild and Ruin-–Book Blitz

Slider—Cover Reveal

A Ghost of a Chance—Book Blitz

Veiled Vixen—Book Blitz

Things She’s Seen—Book Blitz

The Fire—Cover Reveal

This Earl of Mine—Excerpt

Sealer’s Game—Book Blitz

The God King—Book Blitz

Haskell Himself—Cover Reveal

Pirate’s Curse: Division One—Book Blitz

Let It Be Me—Book Blitz

Finish What You Start—Book Blitz

Claimed by the Demon Hunter—Book Blitz

The Living Canvas—Book Blitz


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

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Book Blitz: Offsides (Saints and Sinners: Book 3) by Eden Butler

Offsides 
by Eden Butler 
(Saints and Sinners, #3) 
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Goodreads


Gia Jilani had rules.

They kept her safe and her head in the game. 

As the NFL’s first female general manager, there were risks to be weighed and taken.

Like Kai Pukui, the linebacker helping her team dominate on the field. 

The same quiet, beautiful man who stares too long at her and reminds her of how decadent, and risky living life can be. 

But when Gia discovers why Kai seems so familiar and why she feels so drawn to him, things like risks and love become secondary to loss and pain.

Gia will have to decide what’s more important – a life worth risking or a love worth losing.

SAINTS AND SINNERS READING ORDER
Last Love of Luka Hale
Roughing the Kicker
Offsides


Excerpt:

Kai held her leg still at his knee or how relaxed they were reclining against the wicker loungers on his balcony, watching the rain crash against the city around them. Damn that spark. It was back and seemed to have no intention of leaving. It was black everywhere now, the electricity shutting off an hour before. Now there was only Kai’s company and the crashing of thunder and the sound of the rain against the metal balcony roof to break apart the quiet of the night.

“When did you have oke?” he asked, pulling her attention from the darkness around her.

“God. I must have been…twenty-three? Couldn’t have been any older than that. I went to O’ahu with my friend Claire. It was her present to herself for passing the bar.”

Kai rubbed her bare leg as she spoke, a lazy, absent-minded  gesture Gia wasn’t sure he knew he did. She felt serene, calm even if she wore loose boxers rolled up and knotted at the waist and one of his black Steamers tees that fell off her shoulder every time she moved her hand.

“And what did you do in O’ahu?”

She smiled not sure how honest she should be. But there had been nothing between them save some mild flirtation. Besides, Gia had a past before him. She was sure to have one after he’d stepped out of her life.

“A fire dancer from Waipahu.”

The stroking on her leg stopped, then the lounger next to her shook and Gia looked at Kai, joining in his laughter. “And did the fire dancer do us proud?”

“Most definitely.”

Kai shook his head, and the rubbing continued. “There are always people who like to give the tourists the whole Hawaiian experience.

“Did you ever offer anyone the whole Hawaiian experience?

“Never a tourist.” He looked at Gia then, pressing his lips together. “But I’m keeping my options open.”

She wasn’t drunk enough for this. Not for the glint in his eyes and what it told her. Not for the smooth, slow stroke of his finger against her thigh and how it made her feel. Not for the slowness of Kai’s movements when he set her leg on the lounger, making sure that her ankle was out of the way before he came on his side to face her.

“Gia,” he said, taking the glass out of her hand. There was nothing he needed to say to her. No convincing that would make her change her mind about anything happening between them.

None of it was needed.

“My God,” she started, her tone sounding awed even to her own ears, “how you look at me.” She wanted the words back inside her mouth seconds after they left.

It was too late.

Kai was already moving.

His palm to her face, fingertips moving her chin up and Kai held his mouth inches from Gia’s, ready, waiting, breath warming her lips. “This is a profoundly bad idea,” she said, just as she smoothed her fingers over his wide arm and up his shoulders, running them along his neck to rest against his cheek.

“Then tell me to stop.”

She didn’t. Of course she didn’t.

“Can’t,” Gia said, meeting Kai’s kiss when it came for her.

Then Gia knew what every look Kai had given her meant. He was fierce with every sweeping brush of his lips against hers, with the flat of his tongue inside her mouth, tasting, touching like he couldn’t get enough of her. Every touch meant something, and Gia felt each one with how deeply he kissed her, with how he moved over her, shifting their bodies against the cushions at their backs.

This was nothing like she remembered of him. There was no absinthe or bourbon to dull her senses. There was only the rain and darkness and Kai pressed against her, showing her with the shape of his mouth and the weight of his body how much he wanted her.

“Kai…” She said the name like a wish, trying it out in a breathy whisper that was half moan, half hopeful need and Gia wasn’t sure which she meant more. She only knew that if  he stopped touching her, stopped the trail of his lips against her neck, his teeth against her skin and the steely hold of his fingers in her hair, she might just die.

“Kai…” she said again, surprised when he looked up at her, kissing her mouth, adjusting them so that his hips moved against hers and she felt the full size and shape of what he had for her.

“What do you need, nani?” He moved against her and she dropped her head back, fighting the ache that rose up between her legs. “Tell me what you need me to give you and it’s yours.”

“I want…”

Did she know? Gia wasn’t sure. In the dark, the answers came easily. There was nothing here but sensation and movement. There was quiet and the secrets only they could keep. But the morning always came. There would be no stopping it. That was the hardest truth Gia ever had to learn. You can never hide from the sun. It will always rise to meet you.

“Tell me,” he said, pulling on her leg to move them closer still together, groaning when she instinctively reacted with the brush of her hips against him.

When Kai moved his hand under the tee she wore, when he leaned back over her to move in for the kiss, Gia almost let him touch her. She almost relinquished all her control and let that lineman take whatever he wanted from her.

“Kai…I don’t…”

“Gia… please…” He grunted, pulling his hand from her bare skin but didn’t move away from her completely. She could make out the frustration in the hard lines of his features and the hard set of his mouth. When she touched his lips, smoothing her fingers over that soft skin, some of the tension left him. “You’re killing me.”

“I’m…sorry. I’m just…” She didn’t know how to explain herself. She couldn’t when she didn’t understand it herself. Gia only knew the path Kai wanted her on led to heartache and she’d had enough of that to last a lifetime. She wanted him, but not enough to risk what remained of the thing she’d once called a heart again.

Kai opened his mouth, making to speak against her fingers, but stopped, glancing into his apartment when the lights flickered on and a knock sounded at the front door.

“The super,” Gia supplied, moving her hand from his face.

“The super,” he agreed, slipping from the lounger before he pulled Gia to her unsteady feet. “I’ll help you to your apartment.”

“No,” she said, finding her ankle felt less tender and she could manage with a bit more weight on it than she’d been able to bear a few hours before. “I’ve got it.”

She was halfway to the door when Kai stopped her, calling her name over the sound of a second knock.

“If you…figure things out…”

She nodded, managing a smile. “I know where you live, junior.

“Good. Then you won’t get lost on your way back here.” 


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 31st.

The grand prizes are:

  • A signed print set of the Saints and Sinners + swag
  • 2x $15 Amazon gift cards

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233354/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play


Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help.

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Book Blitz: Masks (Art of Eros: Book 3) by Kenzie Macallan

Masks 
by Kenzie Macallan 
(Art of Eros #3) 
Publication date: October 22nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Goodreads


Betrayal can be born from the deepest love and blind trust.

Raquelle struggles as an artist to escape the shadow of her famous father. After his mysterious death, she’s convinced she needs to play in a game of deceit. Spying on her powerful client, she paints a face of betrayal that leads to a chilling discovery.

Michael appears to run the investment firm but acts as his father’s pawn. When the company is investigated for fraud, his father goes missing. Left in charge, he uncovers the shocking truth, forcing him to make a life altering decision.

Lives collide on a course driven by fate. 

The tables turn on betrayal.

Her deception pales in comparison…


Excerpt:

Raquelle had no idea how much of her soul she would have to sell to solve the mystery of her papa’s death. She coiled up in the corner, avoiding the sharp edges of the cracked vinyl seats that could snag her custom tailored dress. The cab smelled of stale cigarettes combined with someone’s last-night backseat romp. Her nerves were on edge and thoughts were scattered. Had she thought far enough ahead, she would have ordered a car and avoided the dirty, uncomfortable ride. But cabbies navigated New York City like NASCAR drivers. Trapped at the mercy of the driver, she was determined to be punctual for an appointment in lower Manhattan’s financial district. 

Surviving in the steel jungle required strength and was challenging but not impossible. Only the tough stuff survived in this brutal, unforgiving city. Compromises and sacrifices were necessary to seek out the true identity behind the mask everyone wore. Raquelle’s body had served as a negotiating tool, of sorts, to get what she wanted out of life. Sometimes that meant allowing another faceless man to use her. Used was such a harsh word. Who was she kidding? She enjoyed most of them, just not all of them. From an early age, she understood how men viewed her and how to make it work to her advantage. But this time, she wouldn’t cave to her sexual appetite. She needed this commission to be strictly by the book, no sex on the side.  

The cold spring rain coming down in sheets served as an appropriate backdrop to the memories of her dark childhood. A shiver ran under her skin, assaulted by the black-and-white film of memories of the first set of hands to handle her innocence, the end result lacking any compassion. She hugged her coat, wishing she had had the courage to change things, to say no, instead of giving into her cravings. Weak and stupid were her excuses then but never again. Her experiences had turned her into a fighter. Dread crept through her veins as she thought about where she was headed in this maze of clogged traffic.


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 31st.

The grand prize is:

  • $50 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233356/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play


Kenzie’s overactive imagination led to her first book TRUTHS in the “Art of Eros Series”. She lives in New England with her husband. Dogs, baby elephants, and pigs are her animal loves. She can’t cook but can bake up a storm. She’s also a fitness fanatic.

Fortunate enough to have traveled all over the world to places like Africa, Greece, Switzerland, Holland, France, England and, of course, Scotland. Edinburgh is one of her favorite places. They have all added to her storytelling and she looks forward to adding to her adventures.

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Book Blitz: Stateless (Stateless: Book 1) by Meli Raine

Stateless 
by Meli Raine 
(Stateless, #1) 
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.

I hunt for her.

I kill for her.

And above all, I betray my mission for her.

She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.

I do.

Treason comes in many forms.

Love is one of them.

Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.

Our teachers forgot one important detail:

Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.

Yet we do.

It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.

And I know exactly where mine are aimed.


Excerpt:

“Thank you,” I choke out.

“For what?” His eyes cut away. The air between us has changed. I can’t explain it. Suddenly, I’m uncomfortable.

And yet I just want to be with him.

“For killing for me.”

As the words come forth from my mouth, I cringe inside. I did not mean to say for me. “For me” implies that he killed the bunny out of some attachment to me.

We are not allowed to have emotions for one another. It puts us at risk.

“I did it for me,” he says, louder than he should need to.

“You did?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“To challenge Romeo.”

“Why would you do that?” My voice goes up to a sharp squeak at the end, incredulous.He laughs. “Because we are taught to destabilize power structures.” He looks around. “What do you think the compound is?


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 24th.

The grand prize is:

  • $25 Gyft.com gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233338/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Google Play


USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. 

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family. 

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Book Blitz: Samba (Sultry Nights: Book 4) by Melanie Munton

Samba 
by Melanie Munton 
(Sultry Nights, #4) 
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

Samba (n): danced to a quick, fast-paced beat, with rapid steps and a rocking, sexy swaying motion; typically has a dramatic climax

Whether Sophie Fuentes wants to admit it or not, her life has irrevocably changed ever since undercover DEA agent Max Romano blew into it. And now that she knows the truth about who he really is, everything has changed all over again. Nothing is as she thought it was. There is no one left she can trust. All she knows for sure is that she wants nothing at all to do with Max and his lies.

Max knows he screwed up majorly with Sophie. But he’s not about to let her shut him out, not when her very life is in danger. She can yell at him, she can hate him, but she can’t deny the way her body responds to him. It might be wrong, but he’s going to use the passion that burns so brightly between them to his advantage. He’ll push her to the brink of her desire until she has no choice but to forgive him. 

Their fire burns hotter than ever.
The stakes have never been higher.
The danger has never been deadlier.
But what scares Max the most is that he has no idea what’s coming for them next.

**This is a SHORT story series. Each volume is a short story serial and is an average of 30,000 words. This is NOT a full-length novel series.**


Excerpt:

Max pierces me with that killing gaze again. “I need to talk to you.”

I see Ian shoot his partner a warning glare out of the corner of my eye. I shake my head. “No, thanks.”

Max slowly shakes his head. “I wasn’t asking.”

Before I can refuse again, he not-so-calmly stalks forward, takes my arm, and hauls me through the back door. My temper is about to reach a boiling point by the time he pins me against the siding of the house. 

I shove against his chest, though it doesn’t do much. “Back off, Max. I think you’ve reached your manhandling quota for the evening, don’t you?”

Enough, Sophie. I know you don’t trust me, I know you think everything that happened between us was a lie, and I know you won’t forgive me. But right now, I’m just trying to do my damn job.”

I don’t want his words to hurt, but ay, they do.

“That’s right. I was just a job to you all along, wasn’t I?”

His features twist. “You fucking know you aren’t. You never were.”

“Then what was I?”

He presses his palms against the siding, caging me between his muscular arms. “You were a complication.”

I feel my eyes bug out of my skull, and I shove him hard. “You are a complete—”

He grabs both of my wrists with one hand, stilling me. “A complication I didn’t ignore, like I should have. Don’t you get it? I should have left you alone, Sophie. But I pursued you and got involved anyway, to the detriment of my investigation. I should have already been fired for some of the shit I’ve done over the past few days. But I couldn’t stay away from you. That had nothing to do with my job.”

I narrow my eyes. “That’s bullshit. You knew I had something on Diego. You kept me around, working your angle to see if you could get me to spill because it benefitted you. Then you got even more than you bargained for with what you heard on that yacht, and now you have to keep me around.”

“Believe me, if I’d had even the slightest idea what it was you were hiding, I would have locked you away in a safe house in fucking Nova Scotia the moment I met you.” His forehead creases. “I may have wanted to fuck you from the first second I saw you, but I want to keep you alive above all else. My feelings for you wouldn’t have mattered if I’d known the truth about what you saw that night from the beginning. I would have pawned you off on someone else and let you go in order to keep you safe.”

I can’t hear that he has feelings for me. Can’t allow myself to become convinced that it’s the truth and not just more lies. 

“Is that supposed to ingratiate yourself to me?” I challenge. “You admitting you would have sacrificed your supposed feelings if it had been safer for me?”

He absently caresses the back of my hand with his thumb. “I think deep down you know it’s true. I think that even though you might be conflicted, you can work out a lot of my lies from the truth for yourself. Because you know me, Sophie. Even though you didn’t know my real name and occupation until this morning, you know me.”

More lies. 

I have no idea who he is. The man who loaned my little sister his dog and learned how to cook from his head-over-heels in love parents is a falsity. The man who fits me so well when we dance, who showed me the kind of passion that comes along maybe once in a lifetime, who made me fall desperately in love with him, is a figment of my imagination. He doesn’t exist. He’s just a nameless figure trapped somewhere in the limbo of my mind.


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 24th.

The grand prize is:

  • $10 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233337/


Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo


Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.

Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines.

Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects! 

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Book Blitz: Tesoro by Nicole Banks

Tesoro 
by Nicole Banks 
Publication date: June 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

Tommy worked hard to establish a life outside of his father’s legacy. Son to the infamous Delucia family, he’s the heir to a throne he doesn’t want. As loyalties keep pulling him back in, he struggles to obtain a clean break. Becoming a new man is just out of arm’s reach. 

Naila is a sassy, headstrong entrepreneur with businesses in the Delucia territory. A chance meeting between the two has Tommy questioning everything about his life and what his future holds. 

As circumstances keep putting them in each other’s paths, the two can’t deny the building chemistry between them. As passions ignite, so does the tension surrounding the Delucia family, catching them both in the crosshairs of an all-out war. 

When the dust settles, there’s only one question remaining: how deep are they willing to go?


  Excerpt:

Italians had an old saying, “Colpo di fulmine.” The thunderbolt. It was love at first sight, but none of that cheesy shit. It was powerful, like getting caught in a thunderstorm and being struck by lightning. It was intense. It hit you in the heart so hard, your heartbeat changed its tune to be in time with that of the person you were struck by. It knocked you on your ass, making you reckless and completely sane at the same time. In this lifestyle, it was one of your biggest downfalls.


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 17th.

The grand prize is:

  • ebook copy of Tesoro

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233322/


Purchase Links:

Amazon


Creatively living through music, writing and yoga. 

I love the arts and how they move you and make you feel. 

Reading has always been a great love of mine right after my love of music. Each song written is a story waiting to be told. Which, along with my over active imagination fueled my desire to write about the chaos that goes on in my head.

I love stringing words together. I love making people get lost in a story and connecting with fictional characters that remind them of someone they know. 

I published my first book Shattered in 2013. It’s the first installment in the Shattered Hearts Series. 
Shattered started out as an assignment for a college course I took at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After I graduated college I went through my old papers and reconnected with the story morphing into so much more then what I wrote in my college course.

Now you can find me doing yoga, listening to music and working on getting out all the stories in my head, including dabbling in poetry. (Which I’ve always had a secret love affair with).

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Book Blitz: Roughing the Kicker (Saints and Sinners: Book 2) by Eden Butler

Roughing the Kicker 
by Eden Butler 
(Saints and Sinners #2) 
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports, Suspense

Goodreads


Book Synopsis:

Reese Noble chased this dream for a decade.

Now it was here.

The NFL.

A pro career.

All eyes on the league’s new kicker.

Millions of people expecting her to fail.

But Reese wasn’t a novelty and the spot she landed on the New Orleans Steamers was one she planned to keep.

With her teammates giving her hell and the world doubting her every move, Reese will have to fight harder than anyone else to make her dream a reality. 

Even if that means following the lead of Quarterback Ryder Glenn —the only man who brought her to the edge of ecstasy and the depths of heartbreak. The same man who broke her heart ten years before. 

In this city, there is a thin line between sin and sainthood and only the strongest can walk it.

The Sinners and Saints series is a spin off from the Thin Love series and in the same universe.


Excerpt:

Reese wasn’t restless—she was euphoric.

She was also a little hurt. 

Ryder had stood next to her during most of the game, passing along details about Carolina’s defense, things he thought she should know when she got her shot at a field goal. Their quick exchange about being friends had stood, something that surprised Reese, but Ryder had seemed a little uncomfortable around her. He wouldn’t stand too close, would lean away from her when she asked him a question or two. 

Maybe he was distracted by the game. Maybe some part of him still regretted the kiss in the gym. Whatever his reason, Ryder had only looked her way when she came off the field after her last kick, not checking to see if she was okay or getting the rundown on what the blocker had said to her. He hadn’t even joined in with the rest of the team after the game to celebrate their win. 

It was Ryder and his weird behavior that distracted Reese as she sat behind the piano, staring down at the keys. She was debating another song, maybe something a little faster than Morrison’s melancholy ballad, when the bench she was sitting on slid against the floor and Ryder dropped down next to her, his back against the keys. Several notes crashed together as he leaned back, and Reese caught the distinct smell of hard liquor coming off him like gasoline from a pump.

“Evening, Noble,” he said, that crooked smile lazy.

“Captain,” she replied moving over to give him room. He watched her shift her position, gaze on her legs when she pulled her skirt down, but otherwise Ryder didn’t speak. The silence went on for so long that Reese tried ignoring it, resting her fingers against the keys as a distraction. “Any requests?”

“How about, ‘Thinking Bout You?’”

“Talking about anyone in particular?” She banged out the first chords of Pearl Jam’s “Come Back” and ignored the low snorting laugh he released. Her back straight, Reese leaned over the keys, playing the chord lower. “I did hear that your girlfriend was at the game. She still around?”
“Is Baker?”

Reese stopped playing, taking her fingers from the keys to turn toward Ryder. “You trying to imply something?”

“Big guy like that saving the day? Lot of women would be flattered.”

Reese tightened the muscles at her jaws, trying hard to control her mounting temper. “I wonder if you’d say that to Wilkens or any other kicker that was new to your team. You know…if they had a dick.”

“Careful, Noble. We’re just having a friendly chat about your potential plans with one of our teammates.” 

She ignored him, returning her focus to the keyboard beneath her fingers, not caring that Ryder watched her, that he leaned closer as she played. He smelled of bourbon—and nothing like the good stuff Reese had brought for her new teammates that first night at Decadence. 

“You were good,” he said, and Reese’s playing slowed, but she didn’t ask him to explain the compliment. After a few more chords, she didn’t have to ask him a thing. “The kicks were golden, and you handled the bullshit like a pro.”

“Careful, Glenn, you might be paying me a compliment on accident.”

“Accidently on purpose,” he said, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, not looking her. “I always thought Coach should have let you and Witherspoon run that fake back in school.” 

Reese frowned, surprised that Ryder remembered the play. She and Witherspoon, the punter, had devised something sneaky that would have landed Duke an easy score because no one would expect Reese to do more than kick the ball. The first time they’d practiced it, Ryder had clapped, laughing like a fool at how quickly the play worked. Her father, on the other hand, hadn’t been impressed. 

Papa thought it was cheap.” Next to her she felt the bench move as Ryder looked up at her, still resting against his knees. She didn’t like his cool quietness or how the man kept staring at her like he expected something remarkable to happen. “He didn’t like fakes.”

“Yeah,” Ryder said, sitting up. He leaned so close to Reese now that she couldn’t play anything. “Like how you fake me out all the time?” 

She jerked her attention to him, that dimming temper beginning to rise again. “The hell is that supposed to mean, cabrón?

Ryder tilted his head, his breath hot, bourbon-soaked when he whispered against her mouth. “Kiss me and walk away. Tempt me and ignore everything between us.”

Reese leaned back, needing space. “You said there was no everything between us anymore. Remember that?”

“Maybe,” he continued, moving a hand to her face, pressing his palm against her cheek. “Maybe I changed my mind. Maybe I don’t like seeing you without me. Maybe I’m drunk and being an asshole.”

“Maybe,” she said, insides lit with something that liquefied her patience. “You should stop being such a selfish prick and remember that you left me. I owe you nothing, Ryder.” She pulled his hand from her face and stood up, grabbing her bag before she glared down at him. “Not one damn thing.”  

There was relief as she walked away, that no one was there to witness one of America’s favorite quarterbacks acting like an ass. Reese knew Ryder was a good guy. Other than how things had ended with them, Ryder had always been a decent person who’d never intentionally hurt anyone.

He was just drunk, she told herself, hearing the click of her own heels as she walked toward the elevator. Drunk and stupid, for some reason, about shit that died a long time ago. 

“No,” she said to no one in particular. “Damn that.”

Her temper now a blistering inferno, Reese weighed the wisdom of turning back to find Ryder and scream at him. She didn’t care if he was drunk. She didn’t care if had trouble dealing with her being on his team and the memories of all the sins they’d committed together in the past. 

“Grown ass man supposed to be…”

“Supposed to be what?” he said, coming up behind her just as the bell for the elevator chimed.

“Leave me alone,” she told him, intending to walk away, but Ryder took her arm, moving her against him and shuffling them both into the empty elevator. 

“I can’t seem to do that, now can I, Noble?”

He rested them against the wall, the dim light overhead flickering as the elevator moved. Reese didn’t know what to think of Ryder like this. She didn’t appreciate him blaming her for things that weren’t her fault. She didn’t like the jealous ex-boyfriend attitude from him because it made him look petty. 

But God did it feel good to see him making a move right toward her. It was good to feel wanted—desired—after such a long time of nothing special at all. 

“You’re confused,” she told him, making a vain attempt to push him back. Ryder didn’t budge, and if she was honest with herself, she was glad he didn’t. He smelled like cheap bourbon and expensive cologne. Both scents worked some kind of seduction on her senses that had her heart hammering and a wicked, sweet tingle thrilling between her legs. “You never dealt with…everything, and now I’m here, a daily reminder. That’s all this is.” He moved closer, hand against her face again, thumb under her bottom lip as he watched her. 

Ryder was tempting, even if he was blitzed out of his head. He never lost control. He never let his composure slip, and just then, while he moved closer, right hand slipping to Reese’s thigh, fingertips against the bare skin he brushed along the back of her leg, Reese understood that this was him doing exactly what he wanted. 

“This isn’t real…” she tried, going quiet when he curled his fingers higher up her leg and pressed her right against his hard dick.

“That feel real enough for you?” It did. It felt like perfection. It felt real and ready and everything Reese had been missing for the past ten years. When she didn’t speak, was able only to make stupid, small noises of protests she didn’t mean to leave her mouth, Ryder took advantage and angled her head up, putting her waiting mouth close enough for him to take. “Thought so,” he said, closing the small space between them to kiss her. 


Giveaway:

Giveaway ends October 10th.

The grand prizes are:

  • 2x $10 Amazon gift cards
  • an ebook set of the Saint & Sinners series

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Eden Butler is a writer of contemporary, fantasy and romantic suspense novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. 

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, reads, and spends too much time in her garden perfecting her green thumb while waiting for the next New Orleans Saints Superbowl win.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

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