Friday, July 21, 2017

Review Tour - Kiss My Boots by Harper Sloan


    


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My Thoughts

I absolutely love everything that Harper writes and I couldn't wait to read the second in her Coming Home series. I so wanted more of the Davis siblings and was super excited that this one would be Quinn's story. And what a story it was. I am a sucker for a really great second chance love story and so loved Quinn and Tate together. I loved that he protected her even as it broke his heart to do so and that he came back to fight for her heart. They are sweet and sizzling together and I so enjoyed their story.

I give Kiss My Boots 5 hearts!




About the Book

In this second of the sultry, Western-set Coming Home series from New York Times bestselling author Harper Sloan, Quinn Davis might finally have a shot at her own happily-ever-after—but will she let love in, or will she tell it to go ahead and kiss her boots?

Quinn Davis prefers to live her life quietly. She’s the stereotypical tomboy with two overprotective big brothers who have always been there to protect her, especially from devilishly handsome cowboys with silver tongues. That is, until Tate Montgomery comes riding into town. Their first meeting, however, is far from something out of a fairy tale and only further convinces Quinn that men aren’t worth her time.


The only place Tate Montgomery ever truly felt at home growing up was during the long, sweltering summer months he spent at his Gram and Paw’s farm in Pine Oak, Texas. Now, Tate has returned to his childhood sanctuary seeking a fresh start—but if he’s being entirely honest, he’s not just back for the wranglers and Stetsons. During those summers, Quinn was a friend-turned-young-love who Tate lost when life threw him a curveball and he cut all ties to his past; but all it takes is one glance at the raven-haired beauty he did his best to forget for him to realize just how much he’s been missing….


Purchase Links
  

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

BN | Kobo | iBooks | BAM | Google



    


 


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About the Author

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand. 




Review Blitz - Sin by Emma Hart


     


My Thoughts

Holy hell. I absolutely fell head over heart for Damien. He was just flat out delish. Sure he starts out as kind of a jerk, but the more he pursues Dahlia the more I fell for him right along with her. Now Dahlia...I adored her and LOVED her club that is all about books. Brilliant. She is strong and sassy and falls hard for this complicated man. I so enjoyed their story and can't wait to read more in this series.

I give Sin 5 hearts!




About the Book

Damien fox lived up to his name. Cunning, sly, and dangerous, fifty percent of Vegas’ strip clubs were his.

Whatever he wanted, money, attention, women, he got.

And now he wanted to buy my bar, no matter the cost.

I wanted him to go to hell on a first-class ticket.

He played a dirty game, and I followed his rules. I let him think he would win.

Despite our differences, it was clear to see that we were no more than two broken hearts colliding in the darkness.

Closed off, sexy, and holding a pain that would crush a lesser man, he was the ultimate sin.

One I couldn’t deny myself, even though I knew better than to trust a fox...

(SIN is book one of the Vegas Nights series. Each book in this series is a standalone novel.)


Purchase Links
     

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo



     


    

       


About the Author

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.



FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / AMAZON




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cover Re-reveal - Undercover Intentions by Sapphire Knight






Title: Undercover Intentions
A Russkaya Mafiya Series Spin-Off
Author: Sapphire Knight
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: CT Cover Creations
Photograph: Eric David Battershell
Model: Kaz Van Der Waard
Release Date: May 29, 2017



Synopsis


Beau

Not everyone born of Mafiya blood wants to be in the life.
I was determined to never go anywhere near it. Headed in the opposite direction, I pushed away from my family and their legacy.

Until they needed me.
And then...so did she.

I got sucked in too deep, going after her and trying to save them all.
Now, there's no turning back. I'd do anything for my cousins, for Sasha.
After all, family is everything.

Author’s note: Warning for violence/HEA/No Cheating.







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU







About the Author

Sapphire Knight is the International Bestselling Author of Secrets, Exposed, Relinquish, Corrupted, Forsaken Control, Unwanted Sacrifices, Friction, Unexpected Forfeit, Russian Roulette, Princess and 1st Time Love.

The series are called Russkaya Mafiya, Oath Keepers MC, Ground and Pound, and Dirty Down South. Her books all reflect on what she loves to read herself.

Sapphire's a Texas girl who is crazy about football. She's always had a knack for writing, whether it is poems or stories.


She originally studied psychology and believes that it's added to her passion for writing. 

Sapphire is the proud mom of two boys and has been married for thirteen years. When she's not busy in her writing cave, she's playing with her three Doberman Pinschers. She loves to donate to help animals and watch a good action movie.


Author Links

Cover Reveal - Combust by Drew Elyse



New AP Cover Reveal.jpg






Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.

Man whore.
Ex-con.
All-around asshole.

Daz is called a lot of seedy things.

But his brothers know there’s more to him

even if it is buried deep beneath the surface.



A Disciple will fight like a savage and never give up.



As a stripper, Avery is no stranger to judgment. 

That doesn't stop her from assuming Daz is nothing more than a hot body, though.

But when tragedy lets her see behind the cocky-jackass exterior,

there's no denying the truth.


For this biker to go down, there has to be more than sparks—he needs full combustion.


Coming August 24th







Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.












Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review Blitz - Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland


 
 


My Thoughts

One of the things that I love about Vi's stories is that she gives good banter. Her characters are smart and sassy and have a way with words even the naughty ones. She definitely gave that with Rachel and the Professor. Damn that man was delish. I loved these two together from the moment she mistook him for a not so nice guy and gave him a piece of her mind. I loved it even more when she discovered she would have to deal with him as her instructor. They are total scorch together and I so enjoyed their story.

I give Beautiful Mistake 5 hearts!




About the Book

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar. He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out. When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass. You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend--smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married. He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he'd done. Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant. Only it turned out, the man I'd just told off wasn't the right guy. Oops. My mistake. Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology. I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right? That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning. Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant. I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking. Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West. 
This was going to be interesting… 






Purchase Links

iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google

  AMAZON PAPERBACK



        




About the Author

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than 1.5 million books sold, her titles have appeared in over eighty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in sixteen languages. She resides 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. 

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Cover Reveal - Tamed by a Tiger by Felicity Heaton






Synopsis

A snow leopard shifter in the prime of his life, the last thing on August’s mind is tying himself to one female. He welcomes a different one to his bed each night, or at least he had until five months ago when he became alpha. The duties and pressures of running his pride have his libido dead on arrival—until a trip to London to discuss business with the former alpha lands him in the path of a beautiful, bewitching tigress who awakens a passion in him that flares white hot and a need of her that consumes his every moment.
Promised at birth to a male she has never met, Maya has left her pride behind to go to the tiger alpha who is to be her mate, but she can’t leave without saying goodbye to her older brother, Talon. A stop in London at Underworld to see him one last time turns out far different, and far more dangerous, than how she had imagined it when she sets eyes on an alluring crimson-haired stranger who stirs new, unbidden feelings in her, desires that rouse her fiercest and most frightening instincts and demand she stake a claim on him—her fated mate.
Will Maya be strong enough to place her pride and her family’s safety before the desires of her own heart? And will August unravel his feelings for the black-haired beauty before it’s too late and he loses her forever?

PRE-ORDER LINKS



GIVEAWAY

The special sneak preview for Tamed by a Tiger begins on July 30th, exclusive to Felicity’s mailing list. Every subscriber is entered into the giveaway to win a signed personalised paperback copy of Tamed by a Tiger, with a chance to win a copy in each of the three exclusive sneak peek chapters being sent out on July 30th, August 1st and August 3rd.
Not only will joining her mailing list ensure you’re in with a chance of winning one of the signed copies of Tamed by a Tiger, it means you’ll start receiving her newsletters, where she gives away 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards in each issue, and rewards subscribers with exclusive excerpts, teasers, flash fiction and cover reveals, and plenty of fun! Plus, you’ll receive FOUR FREE EBOOKS in her Series Starter Library just for signing up!


EXCERPT

“Cavanaugh, take over a moment,” Sherry called over her shoulder, towards the other end of the bar to Maya’s left.
Her eyes leaped there.
Landed on a huge male with short silver hair who stood with his back to Sherry, the lights playing across his broad shoulders changing his white shirt from blue to red as they shifted.
He twisted at the waist to look at Sherry.
Maya didn’t hear what he said.
She didn’t hear the music.
Didn’t hear anything but the thumping of her heart.
She stared at the male Cavanaugh had been talking to at the end of the bar.
A male with flame red tousled hair and piercing silver eyes that captured hers as he lifted them from his beer to her, looking past the bartender.
Heat rushed through her, fire that burst to life inside her so fiercely she couldn’t catch her breath, and she stared at him, transfixed, lost in those silver eyes as they turned liquid, glowed around his irises and pulled her deeper still, narrowing the world down to only him.
Who was he?
In the wake of the fire that blazed through her blood, her instincts flashed to life, sweeping through her in a devastating wave that stripped all control from her.
She snapped and snarled at the females near her, baring her short fangs at them as a need seized her and drove her to obey it.
A need to fight.
She growled at Sherry through gritted teeth, her fangs slicing into her gums as they elongated.
Sherry backed off, her blue eyes shooting wide as she distanced herself.
No.
On a low growl, Maya leaped onto the black bar, and swiped at her, claws cutting through the air. Sherry ducked beneath her blow, narrowly evading it. Maya’s hackles rose, the urge flowing stronger, driving her harder. She needed to fight. She needed to make sure every female in the vicinity left.
This was her territory now.
She would make that clear.
She opened her mouth to roar.
Someone’s hand slammed down over it, and she struggled as strong arms hauled her backwards, dragging her off the bar. The male held her harder, wrestled with her and managed to restrain her arms, pinning them to her sides. She bit into his palm and he growled at her, a warning she wanted to heed but couldn’t manage to obey.
She needed to fight.
“Calm her the fuck down or you are both out of here, family or fucking not,” a male voice barked and she snarled at the owner of it—the jaguar. “Get this shit under control.”
“Come with me,” Sherry said and Maya struggled harder, needed to reach the female and fight her.
Needed to make this her territory.
Grey grunted and his grip on her tightened, and she flinched as pain arced like lightning through her bones. A show of strength. He was stronger than her, but she wouldn’t let him stop her. He could break her bones if he wanted. She would fight.
She kicked at him, battering his shins.
He bowed backwards, bringing her legs up and making it impossible for her to reach him.
Maya lashed out at everyone in her way instead.
All it did was help her brother by scattering everyone in his way, giving him an open route to take as he followed Sherry.
As she drew closer to the male with the fiery red hair, the need to fight grew stronger, drove her out of her mind and terrified her, leaving her feeling trapped inside her own body. She clawed at Grey’s arms, cutting through his coat and scoring his flesh, but all he did was hiss through his teeth. His grip on her remained too strong for her to break.
She needed to break it.
She needed to fight.
The scarlet-haired male’s silver eyes tracked her until she was level with him, and then casually he looked back down at his beer and resumed speaking with Cavanaugh.
Cold swept through her in response.
All of the fight flowed out of her and she slumped in Grey’s arms, reeling but unsure why.


PRE-ORDER LINKS



BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (Only 99c at all retailers!)






ABOUT FELICITY

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:





First Chapter Reveal - Hope Restored by Carrie Ann Ryan



The last book in Carrie Ann Ryan's Gallagher Brothers series releases in less than a week - but you can read the first chapter now! Check it out below and preorder your copy today!

 


Synopsis


The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes with the final brother who thought he had everything to look forward to, and the one woman who can handle him.

Life isn’t worth living if you don’t fight to live. That’s what Murphy Gallagher learned at a young age when cancer ravaged his body not once, but twice. Over the course of his survival, he lost his parents and his childhood, but he’s been healthy for years and has become a man he hopes his family is proud of. But when his world tilts on its axis yet again, he’ll have to learn what it means to fight not only the unknown but also his attraction to his best friend.
Tessa Stone works hard and plays harder. She’s spent her life trying to figure out who she is in the present rather than looking back. Yet when she’s forced into close proximity with Murphy, she’ll have to not only be his rock but learn how to relax enough to maybe let him be hers, as well. But seduction doesn’t stop when the world seems to, and close encounters of the naked kind might just be the first step in something much more complicated than either of them bargained for. Life, though, is for living, after all.




HOPE RESTORED releases July 25th, 2017 - preorder your copy now!

✦Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2ksZ8Tc 




Chapter One 


Sometimes, life was damn good. Other times, it kicked him in the balls until he couldn’t catch his breath. Today, luckily, was one of the good days. Murphy Gallagher grinned from ear to ear as he tried to run from his niece, Rowan. She was eleven now and getting pretty fast, but he was faster. Not that he’d actually run at his full speed around her. It was always more entertaining when she caught him and took him to her lair. As he was the evil dragon to her warrior princess, it only made sense. “Behold! My mighty sword that shall slay the dragon!” Murphy bit his tongue so he wouldn’t start laughing, but seriously, where had Rowan learned to say things like that? Of course, she was almost a teenager now and probably a little too old to play princess and the dragon, but that wasn’t something Murphy would ever bring up. Her mom, Blake, had been married to Murphy’s brother, Graham, for a little while now. Murphy hadn’t known Rowan when she was little, and he had a lot of playing to catch up on being her favorite uncle. Sure, his brothers Owen and Jake were decent uncles, as well, but he would always be the best. Jake was the artistic one, Owen the type-A, Graham the grumpy one, and Murphy was the fun one. He had to play his part and make sure Rowan had the time of her life. She’d only had her mom to play with for years, and while Blake was a kickass mother who made sure Rowan had the best childhood, Murphy wanted to make sure Rowan had even more fun now. Murphy rolled to the ground as Rowan jumped on his back, both of them laughing so hard they shook. He made sure to take the brunt of the impact so he wouldn’t hurt his niece. She giggled as she stabbed him with her imaginary sword, and he put his hand over his heart and gasped, feigning injury before letting his tongue hang out and groaning. And… the dragon was dead. “Victory!” Rowan stood up and started dancing near Murphy’s corpse like any dignified warrior princess was wont to do. “It’s about time,” Graham said with a laugh as he walked out from the porch where the rest of the Gallaghers were sitting. “I thought you’d have gotten him within the first few minutes, Rowan.” Murphy sat up as Rowan beamed at her stepdad, though she just called him “Dad” now. Murphy smiled as he remembered the first time Rowan had called his brother “Dad” in front of them. Every single Gallagher had choked up and didn’t bother shrugging it off. They might all be inked, bearded, and pierced, but Rowan referring to Graham as her father as if it were no big deal was a big fucking deal. “I didn’t want my prey to feel like it didn’t put up a fight,” Rowan said solemnly. Murphy barked a laugh. “Prey? Really? What shows are you watching these days?” Rowan turned to him and rolled her eyes with the pro of a teenage girl, rather than the eleven-year-old she was. “It was from a book, duh. Uncle Border got me a whole set of books with dragons in them.” Border was Jake’s husband and the quietest of their group, though Murphy knew Border and Jake’s wife, Maya, was slowly changing that. The triad had been together the longest out of the Gallagher relationships, and yet they still acted like newlyweds with the way they incessantly groped one another. Come to think of it, Blake and Graham acted the same way. And, hell, Owen and Liz— newly engaged— made out relentlessly, as well. No wonder Liz and Blake were pregnant; their men couldn’t keep their hands off their women. That, of course, meant that Murphy was the last single Gallagher. He didn’t mind, though. After all, someone had to bear the mantle of bachelorhood. Plus, he really wasn’t ready to start settling down yet. He’d just learned to live life as it was, no need to change everything so dramatically again. And that was enough of that. Murphy rolled his shoulders and took Graham’s outstretched hand, helping him to his feet. “It wasn’t Game of Thrones was it?” he asked his niece. Rowan rolled her eyes again, and Graham narrowed his. “It wasn’t that, Uncle Murphy.” “What did we say about rolling your eyes so much, Rowan? Use your words, not your attitude.” Rowan blushed and looked down at her feet. “Sorry, Dad.” Murphy did his best not to smile at the way Graham’s chest puffed out at that. Seriously, the man was like a damn peacock. And now that Blake was pregnant, his brother was even worse. It was as if he were the first man to get his wife pregnant. And considering Jake and Border already had a kid with Maya, and Owen’s fiancĂ©e Liz was also pregnant, it wasn’t as if babies were something totally new to their crew. Though with the way everyone kept popping them out, Murphy made a mental note to buy more condoms. There was something in the water with all the pregnancy hormones flying around like they were. Murphy followed father and daughter back to the porch and gingerly took a seat next to Liz’s former roommate and Owen’s neighbor, Tessa— the only other single person at the Gallagher family dinner. He’d hit the ground a bit hard when he rolled to make sure Rowan didn’t get hurt in her exuberance and now his muscles were feeling it. He was in damned good shape— had to be for his job— but, apparently, he needed more protein or something because his body made him feel like an old man. Murphy looked at the brunette next to him. Tessa wasn’t a Gallagher, but she was the only family Liz had, even though they weren’t related by blood. Plus, it would have been awkward as hell to not have Tessa over since there wasn’t a fence separating the two yards at the moment. Owen had taken it down after a few of the boards rotted. Eventually, they’d put it back up. Considering that the family owned a construction and restoration company, it wouldn’t take too long, but they actually had to find the time to do it. Murphy figured he’d be enlisted soon to take care of it since he was the only one without a pregnant significant other or kids to keep him busy. And it wasn’t like he minded. He liked being able to do things for his family since they’d spent so much of their lives doing things for him when he couldn’t do them for himself. And that, once again, was enough of those thoughts. “You okay, dear dragon?” Tessa asked with a wink before handing over a beer. He took it with a wink of his own. “Thanks, and yeah. That warrior princess is tough.” She laughed and pulled her long, chestnut hair behind her shoulders. He hadn’t seen her wear it down for a while since she was always working and tended to do severe ponytails. He had to say, he kind of liked it better down. Not that he’d tell her that since she’d have his balls for breakfast if he did. Every single woman in the Gallagher’s circle tended to be a ballbuster, and while Murphy loved it, he didn’t want to lose his nuts. He liked them, what could he say. “That she is, but I was serious. You hit the ground hard, and you winced when you sat down. Did you hurt yourself? Because you know, Murphy Gallagher, you may still be hot as fuck, but you’re not getting any younger.” She whispered the last part so the kids wouldn’t hear, and Murphy held back a snort. Considering he’d spent most of his life praying that he’d have a chance to get older, he didn’t mind that he had a few more aches and pains now that he was in his thirties. Hell, he’d relish the day he got wrinkles and grey in his hair. That meant he was alive to witness his body changing. For a man who didn’t know if that would ever happen, it was his own form of bliss. Of course, he didn’t tell Tessa any of that and wasn’t sure why he’d let his thoughts get that deep so suddenly. Tessa was a fantastic person and sexy as all get out, and he loved flirting with her, but there was no way he’d get into deep feelings or heavy conversation with her. Their dynamic worked because they joked around and kept things light— if a bit inappropriate at times. If he changed that, then things would get fucked up, and he didn’t want to jeopardize what they had. Hell, he didn’t want to jeopardize her position in the group. Everything was better if they just remained friends that didn’t go too deep. “Hey, Murphy, did you send over the files on the house?” Owen asked, a frown on his face as he looked at his phone. Liz was perched on his lap, their hands tangled over her baby bump. She was finally starting to show, and Murphy loved the way she glowed. She just finally seemed so at peace with being pregnant, though he knew that wasn’t always the case since the baby hadn’t exactly been planned. He made another note to himself to buy condoms. He couldn’t be too careful these days. “I did,” he answered before pulling out his phone to check his outgoing messages. “I thought you replied back.” Owen let out a sigh. “Shit, I did. Sorry. Didn’t get much sleep last night.” Murphy looked over at Tessa and winked since she loved joking with him, and she laughed before whistling. “What were you doing, Mr. Organized One, if you weren’t sleeping.” Owen looked over to where Rowan held her cousin Noah, Jake’s son, and shook his head. “Perv,” his brother whispered. “I was up finishing the final details on Blake’s house.” Blake looked over and widened her eyes. “It’s almost done? Really?” Murphy didn’t blame his sister-in-law for the incredulous look. The Gallaghers had been working on Blake’s family home for over a year now and had hit every obstacle known to man, including a kidnapping and an injured worker thanks to Blake’s former in-laws. Murphy fisted his hands as he let the rage wash through him, remembering everything that Graham and Blake had gone through when they were dating. “It’s almost done,” Graham said as he wrapped his arm around Blake’s middle, his large hand resting over Blake’s tiny baby bump. She wasn’t as far along as Liz, but she was close. Blake wiped away tears and turned into Graham’s arms for a hug. Murphy blinked in surprise at Blake’s show of emotion since she usually hid what she felt so well. Either she was feeling more comfortable around them, or it was the baby hormones. Knowing Blake, it might be a little of both. “I can’t believe it’s almost done,” Blake said after a moment. “I mean, I knew you had to be close, but…” She shook her head as if at a loss for words. Maya came up and hugged Blake, even though Graham refused to let his wife go. “These guys are pretty amazing, aren’t they? And soon, you won’t have to deal with the house at all. It’ll be in the city’s hands and only a distant memory.” She kissed Blake’s temple before going back to take Noah out of Rowan’s arms. Murphy didn’t know the whole story behind Blake’s childhood, but he knew it wasn’t good. She’d grown up affluent but with the worst kind of family. She’d run off as soon as she could, and had had Rowan when she was pretty young. And when her parents had died, they’d left the huge mansion in disrepair and neglect but had forced Blake through their will to oversee the restoration. The project had brought Graham and Blake together, but other than that, it had been a pain in the ass. And considering that Murphy loved jobs where he got to dive into the history of a place and see how to keep some of the past blended into the present, it was saying something that he truly wanted nothing more to do with the project. The others began talking about the next steps involved in finishing up the house as well as what they would do next since their last big project hadn’t panned out thanks to shady deals and selfish businessmen. But Murphy just closed his eyes and let the breeze slide over him. He’d slept for shit the night before, and he wished it had been because of a woman. Instead, he hadn’t been feeling well and had tossed and turned all night. “Hey, I’m going to go get the chips and salsa, want to help?” Tessa asked. She put her hand on his forearm, and he opened his eyes. Her hands were cold to the touch, but it could be that his skin was overheated. Ever since the chemo when he was younger, he had a hard time keeping a consistent body temperature. That’s what happened when you had leukemia when you were in grade school and again when you were a teenager. You dealt with the side effects for the rest of your life. No wonder he was damn tired. “Sure,” he said and sat up, taking a sip of his beer once he was on his feet. The others were still shooting the breeze and passing Noah around. The kid was getting pretty big since he was nearing one year old now. Or at least Murphy thought. He should probably check his calendar and make sure he hadn’t missed a birthday since their family kept growing. He and Tessa made their way to the kitchen and got out the chips and three kinds of salsa and dip that they’d made for the barbeque. Tessa brushed by him on her way to the fridge, and his cock hardened. He glared down at his crotch, annoyed with himself for once again getting hard around her. She was his friend. Sure, they flirted because it was fun, but they’d never fooled around, and there was no way they would now. They’d firmly put themselves into their roles, and he didn’t want to change that. Of course, his dick had other ideas, but hell, Tessa was hot. She was tall, mostly leg, and had just enough curves that he knew he’d have plenty to hold onto when he fucked her from behind or held her up against the wall and pounded into her. Not when. Never. He would never be fucking Tessa against anything, thank you very much. Tessa snuck a chip into the salsa and groaned. He did his best not to think about whether she’d groan like that under him, or over him… anywhere around him. “This is so good. Here, taste.” She held out a chip with salsa on it, and he bent forward, taking it in one bite as he gently nipped at her fingers. She swallowed hard before lowering her hand and giving him a sultry smile. “Like it?” He nodded before swallowing. “Spicy.” “I like a little heat, what can I say.” He snorted and took a sip of his beer. He loved flirting with Tessa, even though he had to use his hands more often than not when she wasn’t around because she kept him in a perpetual state of arousal. He couldn’t help it. She was sexy and flirted better than anyone he’d ever met, but still, they were just friends. Tessa took his beer from him since she hadn’t brought hers with her and took a sip, her eyes on him the whole time. He cleared his throat and looked away, only to glance at her breasts and notice that her nipples were hard pebbles against her very thin bra. Damn, he could just bend her over the kitchen island and fuck her right there. Just slide her jeans down and fill that tight pussy with his dick. She’d cream for him, coming hard on his cock, and he’d fill her to the brim. And… that wouldn’t be happening. He shook off those thoughts, and Tessa gave him a knowing wink before handing back his beer. He took a deep swallow, finishing it off, and then tossed the bottle into the recycling can. “Why didn’t you bring Brian?” he asked, keeping his mind on what was important. Like the fact that she was sort of dating a guy that wasn’t him. Tessa laughed and picked up one of the trays of veggies they’d also taken out of the fridge. “His name is Brent, dork. We’re not that serious and still pretty new. There’s no way I’d bring him over to one of these. We’re just casual. And why didn’t you bring one of your many lady friends?” “There aren’t that many, and I’m not seeing anyone serious right now.” In fact, now that he thought about it, he hadn’t been with a woman in over a month. Hell, no wonder he couldn’t get sex with Tessa off his mind. He just needed to get laid, and everything would work itself out. Thoughts of Tessa just might kill him, but damn, he loved being her friend. Way better than any fucking amazing sex they might have. “You’re never seeing anyone serious, Murph. It’s why we get along. Let the others be adults and get settled. We can live it up for the rest of them.” She turned and sashayed from the room, and he did his best to keep his eyes off her very bitable ass. It wasn’t exactly easy since it was right there and practically speaking in tongues at him. He followed Tessa out to the back deck and bent over the table to set everything down. He froze at Tessa’s gasp and looked over his shoulder. “What is it?” “What the fuck, Murphy?” she asked, pulling up his shirt. “What happened to you?” He frowned and straightened, trying to see what the hell she was talking about. “Huh?” “Jesus Christ,” Jake said shakily. “Your back, Murph. You’re black and blue.” “What’s wrong with Uncle Murphy?” Rowan asked, her voice shaky. Thunder pounded in Murphy’s ears, and he tried to process what everyone was saying, but they were all talking at once and trying to tug up his shirt. He pulled away from them and ran back into the house and into the nearest guest bathroom so he could check himself out in the mirror. They had to be wrong or just fucking with him. Everything was fine. He was not black and blue. There was no way this could be happening again. He was healthy, damn it, and had been for a decade. He wasn’t sick. He wasn’t bruised. But when he turned on the light and lifted up his shirt, he couldn’t think. Couldn’t speak. He’d looked at himself that morning after he got out of the shower, and the bruises hadn’t been here. Yet his side and what he could see of his back were covered in newly formed bruises. They weren’t bad yet, but he knew they’d grow. They always did. “Murphy,” Tessa whispered from the doorway. “I… Murphy…” He met her eyes in the mirror and tried to think of something to say to brush this off, but he couldn’t. He knew what the bruises meant. He’d seen them before. Every single little ache and pain, infected scratch from the jobsite, mood swing, and fever over the past few weeks came back to him in a rush. His cancer was back. And he had no idea what the fuck he was going to do about it.  



HOPE RESTORED releases July 25th, 2017 - preorder your copy now!

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About the Author


Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.