{EXCERPT REVEAL} Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Grip by Kennedy RyanTitle: Grip
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Release Date: March 2, 2017
#Grip #KennedyRyan #ExcerptReveal

{SYNOPSIS}
Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.

I know.

I’ve been doing it for years.

I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.

And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.

Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.

All that’s left is friendship and work.

He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.

I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.

It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.

And it remembers all the things I want to forget.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

I wanted to keep this pain locked away, private. Until now. Until Grip. His eyes rest on my face. I feel his compassion, and it weighs so much I want out from under it. I turn my head to escape the honesty between us for a few seconds. Just for a reprieve. As soon as I look over the side, I realize my mistake.

“Oh, God. We’re so high.”

Breath charges up my throat, panic pushing out the last few minutes of peace. My heart jackhammers. Blood rushes to my head, and the world spins. I grip my head to make it stop.

“Hey, hey.” Grip scoots closer, eliminating the distance between us. “Put your head down as far as you can.”

The safety bar keeps me from putting my head between my knees, but I don’t think it would help anyway. Nothing helps. It’s irrational. I know I’m safe, but fear mocks me and makes me its bitch. I hate it, but I can’t stop it.

“My mom used to tell me to recite things,” Grip says from above me. “Like to distract myself when I was scared. To give me something else to focus on.”

It only makes me more anxious that I have nothing I can recite. Fear jumbles all my thoughts together, so discombobulated that I can’t even assemble the digits of my phone number.

“I can’t think of anything.”

“Okay. Hold up.” He rubs my back in soothing strokes that don’t soothe. “I’ll do it. Just listen to my voice. Focus on what I’m saying.”

I can’t focus. I can’t stop the encroaching darkness, blurring my edges and knotting my interior. It’s never been this bad, and it would happen right in front of Grip.

“I’ll recite “Poetry” by Pablo Neruda. My favorite actually.” Grip’s voice is warm but disembodied as I press my eyes closed. “It feels like he was writing my life story. Like he knew there would be this kid who needed something bigger than himself, and he wrote this to guide that kid to a different path. This has always felt like more than a poem. It’s personal. It feels like my prophecy.”

The emotion, the honesty in his voice compels me to hazard a glance at him. In the faint light of the moon and the bright lights of the carnival, I see his face. Beautiful and bronzed, a sculpture of bold bones and full lips. His eyes are intent, never looking away from mine as he begins.

His deep voice caresses Neruda’s sentiments of how poetry called him from the street and away from violence. Of how writing saved him from a certain fate and opened up a world he’d never imagined. And Grip’s right. The poem could have been written for him . . . could have foretold the story of a boy called, not from the streets of a Chilean city, but from the streets of Compton.

Passion weaves between his words and conviction laces every line. He means these words. He loves these words. Amazingly, as he’s reciting a poem I’ve never heard before, someone else’s words illuminate Grip to me. I see him clearly. A man deeply committed to his craft and who views his gift as a miracle of circumstance. As cocky as he is, I see him humbled by the means to escape a path so many others never leave. And if the poem tells his story, his eyes are a confession, never straying from mine, holding mine in the moonlight, his voice liquid poured over something sweet. As he approaches the end, my fears are forgotten, but I’m still stuck on a Ferris wheel under a darkened sky, and nothing has ever been more fitting than the final words, in which the poet says he wheeled with the stars and his heart broke loose on the wind.

There are too few perfect moments in this life. Far too few of us get them, but I am privileged to have this one with this man. When he empties his chest of his heart and empties his body of his soul for me under a starry sky on a Ferris wheel. And I know. In this moment, I know that I’m lost to him. It has been a matter of days. It has been a string of moments. It has not been long enough to tell him, but in my heart, I know I am lost.

“Did that help?” he asks.

He searches through the dim light for my fear or my panic, but they aren’t there anymore. He leans closer, so close his breath whispers over my face. I don’t know when he realizes that fear has gone and that something else has come, but I see the change in his eyes.

I think he might be lost in me, too.

The inches between our lips disappear. At the first brush of his mouth on mine, I know this kiss will never end. It will live on in my memory for the rest of my life. His lips beg entry, a tentative touch that blazes through my defenses and hastens the rhythm of my heart. I clutch his arm, skin and muscle, satin over steel. A thousand textures collide. The hot silk of his mouth. The sharp, straight edge of his teeth. The firm curve of his lips. The taste of him. God, the taste of him makes me moan. He cups my face, fingers spearing into my hair. I press so close the heat of his body burns through the thin fabric of our shirts.

“Bris.” He says it against my lips before trailing kisses down my chin. His mouth opens over my neck, hot and wet, and I arch into him, the pleasure like a train in my veins. Rushing. Vaulting. Exploding.

“Oh, God.” I’m a panting mess. My hands venture under his shirt, desperate, nails scraping at his back. “Keep kissing me.”

He’s back at my lips, devouring, our tongues dueling, dancing. This kiss has a cadence, his head moving to the left and then right, on beat, a syncopation, a simultaneity of lips and tongues. His mouth slants over mine, hot and zealous, and I link my fingers behind his head, clinging, afraid this will end. Afraid to lose the enormity of this moment. At the top of the world, so close we could almost touch the sky and with only the stars watching, I found out what a kiss should be.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Switch (Landry Family #3) by Adriana Locke

Title: Switch (Landry Family #3)
Author: Adriana Locke
Release Date: February 20, 2017
#Switch #LandryFamilySeries

{SYNOPSIS}
Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.

After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.

Then she sees her new boss.

Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.

Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.

This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

We both know we aren’t just talking about a moved stapler or a mishmash of files. As that really sets in, the air around us gets heavier. Hotter. Hazardous.

“Those things always lead to dangerous situations,” he says, his eyes trained on me.

I shift in my seat, the throb between my legs growing stronger by the second. “People do it every day and survive.”

“They may survive, but don’t things get messy?”

“Only if they do it right.”

His chair flies backwards and he’s to his feet and next to me before I know what’s happening. He doesn’t ask that I stand, but he doesn’t have to. It’s implied and my body reacts accordingly to his silent command.

We stand face-to-face, our breathing ragged. Our chests heave with the anticipation, the possibility, of what might come next.

“You are, quite possibly, the most dangerous of them all,” he says, his voice rough.

“Why is that?” I breathe.

“There’s no plan for you.”

“But you’ve already penciled me in, haven’t you, Graham?” I ask, finding the courage to play this little game with him. Being strictly professional is incredibly hard, and this is way too easy.

I can flirt with the best of them in a bar or on a college campus. But here, with him, it’s a game all its own. A level I had no idea I’d ever be a contender in. Maybe I’m not, but I’m going to play the hell out of it while I’m here … even though if I keep it up, I might not be here for long.

“What do you want, Mallory?”

“I want to do all the things you ask of me and do them better than you ever expected they could be done.”

A rumble emits from his throat as his eyes darken. My knees go weak and I grab the table with my left hand to ensure I don’t fall.

He licks his lips and flips his gaze to my mouth. I think I whimper as I lift my chin, waiting to see what he does next. My entire body is on fire for this man, my heart thumping so hard I’m sure he can hear it.

He moves so my back is pressed against the table, our food long forgotten. His hands are on either side of me, caging me in. Our eyes locked together, he leans in, a slow smirk spreading across his gorgeous face.

“Excuse me, Mr. Landry. Ford is here to see you,” Raza chirps through the line.

We exhale simultaneously, a giggle escaping with mine. There’s nothing funny about this, but the energy has to come out in some way.

“Mr. Landry?” she asks again.

“I’ll be right out. Thank you, Raza.”

“Oh, you’re so welcome, sir.” The line clicks off and Graham marches across the room and punches a button. The light on top indicates he’s not to be disturbed.

I busy myself with cleaning up our lunch, and before he’s at my side again, I have everything bundled up.

“Thanks for lunch,” I say like nothing just happened.

“Mallory …” He runs his hand through his hair, leaving one lock sticking up. Knowing what that will look like if we walk out together, I reach up, hesitating for a split second, before smoothing it out.

His hair is silky against my fingers. He jumps when I touch him at first, but doesn’t back away. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing went on in here. I refuse for it to look like something did. That’s the way rumors get spread, Mr. Landry.”

“Mallory, I …”

I get a final look at his face, reach up and straighten his tie as his eyes go wide, then turn towards the door. “I’ll send Ford in.”

“Mallory!”

“Yeah?” I turn to see him over my shoulder. He’s standing by the table, his hands in his pockets looking frazzled. When he doesn’t respond, I place my hand on the knob. “I’ll have that file back to you before I leave today. Thanks again for lunch.”

I walk out before I can change my mind.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Mack Daddy by Penelope WardTitle: Mack Daddy
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: #ContemporaryRomance
Release Date: February 13, 2017
#MackDaddy #PenelopeWard
Purchase Links: Amazon AlertiBooks / B&N / Kobo 

{SYNOPSIS}
They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie.

Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy. I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Real Good Love (Real Duet #2) by Meghan March

Real Good Love (Real Duet #2) by Meghan March Title: Real Good Love (Real Duet #2)
Series: Real Duet Series
Author: Meghan March
Purchase Links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU / Amazon CA / iBooks / B&N
#RealGoodLove #RealDuetSeries #MeghanMarch

{SYNOPSIS}
I’ve had my fair share of bad boys, but nothing prepared me for what it was like to be with a real good man.
Logan Brantley changed everything.
Somewhere along the way, what started as a fling became the best part of my life.
He makes me want all the things I’ve never had, like forever and happily ever after, but nothing worth having comes easily.
Everyone is betting on us to fail, but I’m ready to fight for this real good love.

Real Good Love is the conclusion of the Real Duet and should be read following Real Good Man.

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

I’m a woman on a mission when I step off my last flight at six o’clock at night, annoyed it took me an entire freaking day to get here since I made my plans at the last minute. As soon as I leave the rental car desk, I’m headed for my first destination. Logan’s shop.

He’s never going to know what hit him. My skirt is short, my heels are tall, and my hair, skin, and nails are perfect from the pampering I managed to sneak in this week.

I pull into the parking lot an hour and a half later, mostly because I was so busy singing along to every kick-ass female anthem on my playlist that I missed the turn and went fifteen miles in the wrong direction.

But no one needs to know that little detail.

The lights are still on, and Logan’s truck is parked in its normal spot alongside the building. No other cars remain in the lot.

I pull out my phone and switch it out of airplane mode. I told myself I kept it there all day because I was worried about the safety of my flights and obviously because of the FAA regulations, but that’s total bull.

I didn’t trust myself not to answer what must be at least a few messages from Logan. I wanted this to be a surprise. Like when Logan thought I might be pregnant, this is a discussion that needs to happen in person.

A few text messages pop up from him immediately, and they’re progressively more . . . let’s call it assertive.

 

My Sexy Man: Bruce, call me.

My Sexy Man: Seriously, babe. Call me.

My Sexy Man: CALL ME.

My Sexy Man: This radio silence shit will not fly. Call me, Bruce.

My Sexy Man: Banner Regent, don’t even try to dodge me. I know where you are, and I will come to you and show you how a real man handles this situation.

 

A smile spreads over my face. I’ve come to terms with a few things in the last twenty-four hours, and one of them is that I don’t care if I’m the first one to say those words I’ve been holding back. I love Logan Brantley, and I’m not going to let another day go by without telling him. To his face.

After I park, I slide out of the car, careful not to pull a Britney and flash anyone my vag because I’m going commando under this skirt, and strut my ass up to the entrance.

I push on the door that opens into the waiting room, but it doesn’t budge. Locked. Well, dammit, that’s not part of my plan. I bang on it, but no one comes. The beat of whatever rock song he’s listening to is thumping through the walls.

I pull my phone out of my wristlet and text him back.

 

Banner: Open the damn door.

 

A response pops up in seconds.

 

My Sexy Man: What door?

Banner: I’m waiting.

{EXCERPT REVEAL} Stay (Bleeding Stars #5) by A.L. Jackson

Stay (Bleeding Stars #5) by A.L. JacksonTitle: Stay (Bleeding Stars #5)
Series: Bleeding Stars Series
Author: A.L. Jackson
#Stay #BleedingStarsSeries #ALJackson

{SYNOPSIS}
I’m Ash Evans.
The life of the party.
Hot. Rich. Charismatic.
A tattooed rock star with the world at my feet.
I burn through women faster than the strike of a match.

I’ve embraced my lifestyle and live it to the fullest.
Until the day my lifestyle caught up to me.

Willow Langston found me at my lowest.
Literally.
Facedown in a puddle of my own blood.

I owe her my life and I have three months to repay that debt.
What I never should have done was touch her. Kiss her. Take her to my bed.

Love wasn’t supposed to be a part of the equation.
I gave up that nasty complication a long damned time ago.
Now I want her more than my next breath.
But she doesn’t know what I know.

Do I leave to protect her? Or can I face my demons and ask her to Stay?

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{EXCERPT REVEAL}

She stared back at me with big chocolate eyes.

Molten.

Her gaze washed over me like lava.

Burning up everything in its path.

“ You are so beautiful,” she said, voice hoarse.

“ Peaches,” I whispered as a warning. Wasn’t sure I trusted myself with her right then.

“ You are. Did you know…did you know the first time I saw you…when you were lying covered in blood and you opened your eyes and looked at me, that I saw it? Something so beautiful and raw and powerful. Even when you’d been broken. The way you looked at me shook me straight to my bones. And then tonight…what you did for me…I don’t…”

I roughed a hand through my thrashing hair, a perfect mirror to my thrashing heart. “ Peaches.”

Another warning.

I didn’t deserve the way she was looking at me. Like I was good and right when I was no better than the bastard we’d left lying back there on the floor.

So slowly, she reached out, shaking fingers gentle as she traced them along the scar that marked that night beneath my eye.

A tremble took me whole.

Energy pulsed and shivered and shook.

Shit.

I gripped her by the wrist and pressed the underside to my nose. “ You’re killing me, darlin’.”

“ And you’re saving me.”

A hard frown hit me. “ It was you who did all the saving.”

Sitting back a fraction, she shook her head. “ If it weren’t for you, I’d be home tonight, hiding in the dark.” Her tongue darted out to sweep across her lips. “ I never would have been brave enough to go there or to stand up to him. To say those things.”

“ But that’s where I think you’re wrong, darlin’.” This time it was my turn to reach out and touch her. I cupped the side of her face, glancing between her and the road. “ I think you’re so much braver than you’ve been giving yourself credit for. I see it there. Feel it every time I look at you. You’re incredible, Willow. Every time you walk through my door, I know it. So good that I know I shouldn’t be doing whatever the fuck it is I think I’m doin’ with you.”

She was still panting those breathy pants, and she leaned into my touch.

“ I…” she attempted before she looked down, averted her gaze. Even with her head downturned, there was no missing the blush creeping to her cheeks. She hesitated before she spoke. “ When you kiss me…it doesn’t feel like pretending. It feels like the best thing I’ve ever felt.”

I swallowed hard, crossing a line. Pushing into the boundaries that should have been firmly set in place. “ That’s because when I kiss you? It’s not pretend. When I tell you you’re gorgeous—the best thing I’ve ever seen? I mean it. And when I look at you…”

I touched the center of my chest, feeling ripped open wide. Exposed. Maybe telling her the truth when it wouldn’t do either of us any good was wrong. But there was no hiding when this girl was looking at me that way. “ I feel it right here. We might be pretending, but you can’t fake this.”

Like she didn’t trust herself, she pressed farther against the door. “ You make me want things…things I know I shouldn’t want.”

“ And what is it you want, Peaches?” I prodded low, knowing full well I was pointing us in the direction of no return. “ Told you when I came into your store that I’d give you anything.”

“ I want…” She tucked her bottom lip between her teeth, nervous or unsure whether to give me the truth.

Blood pounded mercilessly through my veins. Thickened with lust. All of it clouded my judgment, knocking loose my center of gravity.

Because I knew the look on her face. Desire was written across her like a musical score.

The way her body rocked and trembled and silently pled.

Desperate to be played.

I knew I should close my mouth. Shut this down. Drop her at home. Instead, I let the words slide free. “ Tell me, Peaches.”

The needy rasp fell from between her lips. “ I want you to touch me.”