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Tori Albert is eighteen, her confidence level is zero. Her life experience…also zero. She’s a girl lost in the shuffle, hiding in the shadows, craving attention. If only someone, anyone, would notice her, maybe life would improve.
Grant Donovan can’t stop noticing Tori, but she is young, inexperienced and naïve. She is also his best friend’s younger sister. Grant knows the best thing he can do is just walk away. So why the hell isn’t he walking away?
When a late night knock lands across her bedroom door, Tori knows what stands behind it could end in disaster…but how many time does opportunity come knocking?
Just when she thinks her luck is finally changing, the assurance Tori believes she has finally found is taken away. With new assets and a new goal in sight, Tori will soon learn her new found confidence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Unfortunately, some things you just have to learn the hard way.
*Contains Mature Content
This is a sweet story about finding yourself and learning that beauty is who you are and not what you look like. To get others to love you, you have to find the love within your own image. If you can appreciate who you are, there is someone else that will too. In this case, it just took a little longer.
Tori was never the most popular girl, she hid in the background so unsure of herself. She didn’t want to be the only girl in the picture without a body to show off, she wanted the guys to notice her, she wanted one person, just one, to look at her and tell her she was the most beautiful woman. She wanted someone to tell her she was perfect and love her with everything he had. But sadly, that just wasn’t the case. Sure she was thin. But that was about all she had going for her. She didn’t have a woman’s body. She didn’t have the curve appeal and she knew it. No guy would ever look at her like she was the one. She had no confidence in herself. Just once she wanted to feel something with someone. Even if he wasn’t the one, she just wanted someone to kiss her and make her feel for one moment that she could be.
Grant always thought she was beautiful, but he knew she was young and she was inexperienced. But he always thought she was amazing. He knew that the guys were looking at her but he knew she never once saw it. He was always a gentleman around her and was always the “nice” one of her brother’s friends. But he could never do anything with her or about it. It was breaking the rules of friendship with her brothers. You just didn’t do that. But he wanted her to know she was worth something. He didn’t want her to feel ashamed of herself.
After everything that happened with Kyle, he knew he could never do anything to her. He was going to protect her and keep her safe as long as he could. But when it came right down to it, he knew the first thing he had to do was make her believe in herself more. He could never push the boundaries and after all was said and done, he knew his only option was to walk away.
After all the time she spent worrying that she wasn’t pretty enough or good enough or thinking that guys just didn’t notice her, she decided it was time to change it all. But she wasn’t going small. She was going for it in a double D kind of way. She knew she held the cards in any dealings with me if she had the assets to make it happen. But even with all of the changes she made to her appearance, there was one thing she would never let go of, her time spent with Grant. She carried a piece of what they had with her at all times to remind her.
But after all this time and seeing him again, could they find that spark they once had? Could they get to where they wanted to be with everything that was going against them? So much of who they were stood in the way of who they could become.
This book was heartfelt and touching. It was a book about discovering who she was and learning to accept who she was and that yes, in the great somewhere, there is someone who would love her just the way she is. I loved watching her grow and learn and become who she was going to be. Though I wanted to slap some of the decisions out of her on several occasions, Tori really was a beautiful person, inside and out.
But Grant… now let me just tell you he had just as much growing to do. He had his own set of fears and his feelings were one of them. He had just as much growing to do in the book, we just didn’t see as much of what he went through after he left. You just couldn’t help but fall for him. He was a nice guy who was looking out for Tori, he was also trying to be what she deserved and he knew that she needed to find herself in life before anything else could happen.
It is a beautiful story and though it has been years since I was that age, I think all women can appreciate what Tori went through in one way or another. It was a touching story about finding the strength inside yourself to be the person you always never knew you were.
“Look around the bar, Grant. Give us an idea of what your type is. We’ll help hook you up with the perfect girl.” My sister’s friend, Gabby, tossed a pretzel into her mouth, and chewed while talking.
I scanned a few of the girls seated closest to us. Fair skin, red hair, casually sipping a beer and chatting with her friends. She was pretty, but not for me. Moving along. Dark hair, exotic, confident, drinking a Martini. Her eyes connected with mine and she rolled them uninterestedly. Not a problem, the feeling was mutual. Next. Ponytail and glasses picking at the label on her bottle of beer. Cute, but once again, I wasn’t interested.
“Doesn’t look like you see anyone,” Gabby said, exchanging glances with my sister, Julie.
I gave another glance around the room at the pretty faces surrounding us, but still no one held my attention. All of the girls were attractive. Just none of them seemed to do it for me.
Not like her.
The dull ache forming in my chest stopped me from going down that road again.
Crowds and drinking were never my scene. I was eager to leave even though we hadn’t been there very long. No matter what part of Jersey you were in, the bars were always mobbed. I’d almost forgotten how crowded it could get; it’d been so long since I was home. Not that Jersey was my home anymore. We paid the tab and the three stools we vacated were immediately snatched up in the packed bar.
As we made our way through the hoard of people, my eyes fell on a girl with the most unnatural looking blonde hair I’d ever seen. Platinum locks so light her hair actually bordered on white and eyes an odd shade of blue that just didn’t look right. Even in the poor lighting of the bar, I could see her make-up was piled on thick. Her jeans were tight and her blouse was low cut. The heels on her boots were high and her boobs were…ginormous. Way too large for her small frame. She stood in a circle of laughing girls, but there was something familiar about the sweet sound of her laugh that stood out.
After passing the group of girls, I turned my head to catch one last glimpse of the busty blonde before being tugged from the bar into the fresh night air.
What was it about that girl? Did I know her? What was on her wrist?
“No. Way!” Julie and Gabby both stated dramatically in unison.
“No way what?” I asked, turning to face them.
“There is no way in hell we would ever let you go for a girl like that.” Julie laughed, patting me on the back.
“Like what?” I questioned, lifting my brow.
Gabby shook her head giggling and Julie answered for both of them.
“A desperate girl with big, fake boobs.”
Ruined is book four in the She Who Dares series, but can be read as a standalone.
I like to fuck. A lot. Anywhere, anyway, as long as I’m shooting my load in or on some pretty young thing I’m good. In fact, scrap that, they don’t even have to be pretty. What can I say? I’m an equal opportunities kind of guy.
I pride myself on being able to turn even the most self-respecting woman into a dirty slut. I make no apologies for my life or my behaviour. I don’t care about anyone really, certainly not women.
Except her. I care about her, which is why I pushed her away.
I suppose I’m what you would call the good girl, the sensible one. I’m that girl, the romanticist. I believe in ‘the one’, in that all-encompassing love that leaves you unable to breathe without it.
The thing is though, love is an uncontrollable animal. The heart often declares war on the mind, and even the most rational being can become completely consumed by love.
Sometimes rational is boring. It’s the taste of the wild side that makes you remember you’re alive. The heart wants what the heart wants, even if you end up completely ruined in the process.
LP Lovell is an Indie Author from Salisbury, England. She’s known for her seriously laid back attitude, sick sense of humour and a general lack of brain to mouth filter. Fuelled by copious amounts of Diet Coke, she likes to create feisty female characters who bring men across the pages to their knees. If she’s not writing then LP can be found riding her horses, or walking her ever present writing companion; Tulula the dog.
Playing With Temptation (The Player’s Club, Book #1)
Release Date: March 23, 2015
When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy.
Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom . . . everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance.
When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most . . . her heart?
“Tell me something,” he murmured as he caressed the sensitive crease of her elbow with a stroke of his thumb, gratified to see the pulse at her neck flutter at his touch and her eyes darken with that same desire he’d witnessed last night. Even her nipples beaded against the pretty pink dress she wore. “Are you more afraid of me or the stalker?”
Her gaze turned guarded, contradicting the sugary-sweet smile she gave him. “I’m not afraid of you.”
No, not in a threatening sense, but physically he could feel her resistance. Hell, the way she’d bolted on him last night was a clear indicator that the combustible chemistry between them had spooked her. Given this second chance, he planned to take full advantage of their time together and the attraction that hadn’t dissipated one iota. But first, he needed to knock down some of those walls she’d erected between the two of them.
“Maybe you should be afraid of me,” he said, giving her a wolfish smile. “Because I’m itching to put you over my knee and spank you for being so insubordinate last night.”
Her brows shot up, and then the most beautiful thing happened — that strong, confident woman he’d met last night at the club reappeared right before his eyes.
Fire and sass sparked in her gaze, making him hard in a flash. “Oh, I’d like to see you try.”
He flat-out grinned, welcoming this more flirtatious side to Raina. He lowered his head closer to hers, so that his mouth was near her ear. “Sweetheart, it would be my greatest pleasure to feel your smooth ass beneath the palm of my hand. But I don’t think that Dean or Mac would appreciate me doing so right here in their conference room. However, if you’d like to wrestle it out later to see who comes out on top, I’m certainly game.”
She gaped at him, though there was no misinterpreting the amusement in her gaze. With the awkwardness between them finally dispelled, he released her arm but didn’t step away. “Now let’s get you to work before I change my mind and give everyone in the office a titillating peep show, with your bare ass as the main attraction.”
About Erika Wilde:
So, why the new pen name?
As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.
Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship.
I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates.
Find Erika Online:
Q/A with Erika:
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
PLAYING WITH TEMPTATION is a spin-off series from The Marriage Diaries. While writing those stories, other characters started appearing on the page, and once I introduced The Players Club, I knew that those secondary characters needed to get their own stories!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in everyday life, watching a TV show where a situation I’m watching turns into an idea, or reading a magazine article that sparks my imagination. Nothing is off limits!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Everything, LOL! Seriously, the more books I write, the harder it gets, probably because I’m always striving to write better, and fresh and new plots and conflicts. Luckily I have a great critique partner who helps me through those challenges.
What are your current projects?
I just finished up the 6th volume in my Marriage Diaries series, and I’m now concentrating on The Players Club. I don’t write more than one series at a time.
Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
Well, my first book, published back in 1995, was written as Janelle Denison, and it was a paranormal/angel type story called KISS OF AN ANGEL. Considering that was 20 years ago, I think my writing style has changed dramatically. I also think my writing is tighter, and much sexier, too!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main message is to be who you are, and don’t change for anyone. You will find someone who will love you just the way you are.
Sexy in the City Author Event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in Manhattan on May 30, 2015. All proceeds of the event will be going directly towards the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer.
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You can predict the tides but not the changes they make. Gunnison Del Valle was the current in the tide that was about to change my life.
Crash one we met.
Crash two we fell in love.
Crash three changed our perfectly planned lives forever.
When the band begins to play, I can’t help but smile. I feel at home. This beach is my other home, now if only I could dance. As couples begin to shag on the dance floor, I can’t help but look at Brett’s reaction. He’s taking it all in and watching their footsteps. I begin to giggle. “What?” he asks. I stand and take him by the hand. “I have no clue how to do this.”
“It’s easy. Just remember, one-two-three rock back. I’ll help you, no worries.” I wink. After a few songs, he becomes a natural and, we are laughing, smiling, and dancing like we have been dance partners for years. When the song ends, they slow things down and Brett never lets go of my hands. Instead, he pulls me close to him as we sway back and forth and my lips meet his.
He takes me from the dance floor and leads me to the marshwalk. We walk hand in hand from Wicked Tuna to Sisters Marina while looking at all of the fishing boats and yachts. On our way back, we walk a little slower and stop to watch the tide flow into the marsh. Brett wraps his arms around me and I can’t help but look into the clear Carolina night sky and pray this is real.
AMAZON * B&N * GOOGLE PLAY * iBOOKS * KOBO
Casey Peeler grew up and still lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. Her first passion is teaching students with special needs. Over the years, she found her way to relax was in a good book.
After reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston her senior year of high school and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.
Casey is an avid reader, blogger (Hardcover Therapy), and author. Her perfect day consists of water, sand between her toes, a cold beverage, and a great book!
Connect with Casey
IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU by Jessica Scott
(March 31, 2014; Forever Mass Market)
She plays by the rules . . . Captain Ben Teague is many things: a tough soldier, a loyal friend, and a bona fide smart-ass. He doesn’t have much tolerance for BS, which is why he’s mad as hell when a trusted colleague and mentor is brought up on charges that can’t possibly be true. He’s even more frustrated with by-the-book lawyer Major Olivia Hale. But there’s something simmering beneath her icy reserve–and Ben just can’t resist turning up the heat . . .
. . . and he’s determined to break them
The only thing riskier than mixing business with pleasure is enjoying it . . . and Olivia can’t resist locking horns–and lips–with Ben. He’s got more compassion in his little finger than any commander she’s ever met, a fact that makes him a better leader than he realizes. But when the case that brought them together awakens demons from Olivia’s past, she will have to choose between following orders–or her heart . . .
I saw a quote of Facebook the other day, “Too often when you ask a warrior if he suffers from combat PTSD, his answer is NO. If you want to know the truth, ask someone who loves him.” That quote took me right to the pages of this book. But this book is more than just PTSD. This book is heartfelt and heartwarming and an insightful look at the tough side of the military. Not only do they struggle through combat, but the struggle continues when they return home.
Ben has just been given a bigger leadership role in his company. But he doesn’t want it. Ben feels loyalty to his brothers and those who fought along side him and he wants to protect them as much as he can. He know there is always more to the story than what you see on the outside.
Olivia doesn’t see it that way. She sees the law, she knows who is trouble and who needs to be removed, regardless of the circumstances. She is not going to let it go. It is the law and she will stand by it at any cost.
But when Ben and Olivia find themselves with a whole new set of struggles. Ben wants to do things his way and still show a level of compassion to his soldiers that served along side him and especially the one who saved his life. Everything is more than just an order to him, it is personal. But Olivia sees things differently, she does not see them through the same lenses as Ben. She sees a scared little girl that no one will listen to. She sees her past and those who have walked the path before her that she couldn’t help. She is not willing to risk it all again.
But the more they struggle with one another on the cases they must deal with, the heat begins to burn up the pages. Oliva and Ben are just so unbelievably perfect for one another, but can they keep their personal interest in one another separate from the business on the base?
I know I have said it before, but Jessica Scott just does so much with her military based books. She reaches in and touches lives and they always leave me with a deeper emotional connection to the military and the good and bad that goes along with it. I love her writing and I love her characters. I love the passion and compassion in her work. This book is absolutely no exception.
Internally flawed characters struggling with the true right and wrong of the situation and when they are in uniform the struggles seem to be that much more difficult. The military doesn’t have room for grey area. But Ben is determined to do right by his men. They have given a lot to their country and to one another, just getting rid of them isn’t always the best option. I am glad he fights for his men. There is just something so touching about the military and the military way of life. Jessica Scott brings it all out and makes it a touching and beautiful story.
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house. She’s written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She’s pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she’s been featured as one of Esquire Magazine‘s Americans of the Year for 2012.
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At what point do you stop wishing on stars?
Hannah Mills was content in her life. She was the personal assistant to best-selling author, Melissa Loring. But now Melissa was engaged to the famous actor, Will Martinsson, and they were traveling around the world based on his filming and interview schedule. Hannah loved traveling with them, but she didn’t want to run into Royce Rivers, Will’s co-star and friend. The same man she called friend, until one night, things went too far. She tried as hard as she could to keep him out of her heart and body, but she knew if she saw him again, she’d lose the battle, and she couldn’t allow herself to fall for him.
Royce Rivers grew up in the spotlight, a second-generation actor. When he was younger, he did everything and anything to rebel, becoming a typical Hollywood statistic on bad behavior. It took many years, but he cleaned his act up and was at a point in his life when he could try and enjoy it. Then one Miss Hannah Mills walked into his life and nothing was the same. He knew she was keeping something from him. If there was one thing he was familiar with, it was demons, and she had hers. What started as fun and games with a new friend, soon changed to something more. Royce wanted nothing more than to slay the demons which kept her away from him so they could have their happily ever after.
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her debut novel After the Storm. She is a self-proclaimed dork that loves to make people laugh and can trip over nothing. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd but is quiet and shy on the outside.
She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.
When not writing you can find M. watching football (Go Bears!), NASCAR, or classic movies, watching her husband and father restore classic cars, and seeing who can be sillier, her or her son, and of course reading.