Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: All I Need Is You by Wendy S. Marcus

All I Need Is You Virtual Tour

All I Need Is You by Wendy S. Marcus

Release Date:  October 6, 2015

Series: Loving You #2

Publisher: Loveswept

All I Need Is You by Wendy S. Marcus

Synopsis

Perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Robyn Carr, this sexy yet sweet military romance reunites a headstrong dancer and a rugged army soldier after one steamy encounter tears them apart.

As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.

Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind.
Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.

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Advance praise for All I Need Is You

“Wendy S. Marcus has penned a perfect romance in All I Need Is You, with a sexy dancer heroine, a hot
military hero with a sense of humor, and a story you won’t want to end.” 
—New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor

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Excerpt

November 26, 2011

Dear Neve,

First off, please call me Rory. (Rhymes with “story.” Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Or Mic. We’re big on nicknames over here and that’s mine.

Thank you for your letter. I got it yesterday, which was the day after Thanksgiving. They try to do it up big here, to make the day special, but it’s not the same as being at home. And I was in a funk, thinking about my family and friends, all together at our pub, everyone there but me, stuffing themselves on Mom’s delicious turkey, Aunt Jackie’s honeyed ham, cousin Barbara’s mashed potatoes, and our neighbor Abigail’s macaroni and cheese, which is the best I’ve ever tasted. Damn it, now I’ve got my mouth watering again.

Anyhow, your letter came at the right time to cheer me up and give me something else to think about. Like the picture you sent. Hot damn. That had to be the finest female butt I’ve ever seen in a skimpy purple bikini bottom . . . or any bikini bottom, for that matter. In fact it’s so perfect the guys are convinced you’re trying to catfish me—you know, sub someone else’s pic for your own. How about we prove them wrong? Send me another picture, a full body shot this time. In that same bikini would be my preference.

To answer your question, I don’t know anyone who would call me amoral. But a dog? There, uh, may be one or two girls from my past who think so. But I’m a guy, and any guy who tells you he’s never in his life exhibited some doggish behavior is a liar. One thing I am not is a liar. That said, when I’m in a relationship, I don’t cheat. Lucky for me, I’ve got no girlfriend or special someone at the moment. And being of high moral character—if I do say so myself—I would certainly have told you, without you having to ask, if I did.

So if you’re up for writing me some sexy letters (and hell yeah, the hotter the better!) I’m more than okay with reading them. For sure I like the entertainment you’re offering a helluva lot more than any entertainment I could have gotten from a classroom of third-graders.

Now, about me. My bio probably told you I’m a twenty-three-year-old Southie from Beantown. (Translation: From South Boston.) My family owns and runs an Irish pub there, McRoy’s. My mom, dad, and three brothers all live above it. I’m the oldest. Been working at that bar for as long as I can remember. Couldn’t wait to get the hell out. As soon as I graduated high school I went straight into the army.

I’m six weeks into a twelve-month combat deployment, and I can tell I’ll be seeing a lot more fighting this time around. I’ve already decided this tour of duty will be my last. I only hope I survive it.

On a happier note . . . what I’m looking for in a pen pal? Someone to take my mind off all the shit happening here—and so far you’re doing a bang-up job. Tell me about your day. Share the story of why you and your brother are only six months apart. Tell me about your childhood, your teen years, and your dreams for the future. Tell me about the loser who needed stitches. Talk dirty to me. I think we’re pretty evenly matched in the pen pal department. I just happen to be an up-for-anything kind of guy. I don’t shock easily. So give me all you got. I can handle it. Care packages? I’m happy to get whatever you want to send.

Favorite food: My dad’s corned beef and cabbage. Favorite non-alcoholic beverage: Lemon-lime sports drinks. Favorite alcoholic beverage: Guinness Draught. Favorite color: At this point anything that isn’t tan or green. New favorite treat: Peanut brittle. Favorite part of the female anatomy: (I’m laughing because you have no idea how long I’ve been sitting here trying to decide.) A butt that looks like the one in the picture you sent is certainly high on my list. Especially if it tops off a nice set of toned legs, which I bet you have since you’re a gymnast/dancer. But for some reason I am really attracted to a woman’s feet. Not in a toe-sucking, fetish kind of way. But if a woman takes care of her feet, she probably takes good care of the rest of her. I like small, feminine feet with painted toenails. Part of the reason I love summer so much is for the opportunity to see women’s feet in pretty sandals.

Okay. I sound like a creeper. But I’m not. Really.

In my downtime I like to work with my hands, building things or repairing stuff. I run when the mood hits, which it doesn’t often. But I think chasing after you might be fun. See, something nice to think about for a change.

Well, I gotta go. Time for lunch, then some training stuff. Send out your letters as often as you like. Please don’t wait to hear back from me. Sometimes things get crazy, but I’ll do my best to stay in touch. It’ll help if you’d include your email address in your next letter.

Rory


About the Author

Wendy S. Marcus

Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. A nurse by trade, Wendy holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration, a degree that does her absolutely no good as she now spends her days, nights, and weekends mucking around in her characters’ lives creating conflict, emotion,
and, of course, a happily ever after. Wendy lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog Buddy, and blogging/ emailing/ tweeting/ facebooking with her online friends.

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Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Blow by Kim Karr

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An Undeniable Love

A Tainted Attraction

An Unforgettable Story

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Synopsis

2 fatal sides.
1 epic love.
7 days to survive.

They met in the face of danger. They weren’t looking for love. They both knew better. But they couldn’t stay away, and they fell hard.
He is heart-stopping handsome, fearless—and haunted by deadly ties.
She is breathtakingly beautiful, determined—and in harm’s way.
They should have parted. They didn’t. They never should have fucked. They did. And now time is running out. One hundred sixty eight hours. That’s all that remains. While Logan McPherson fights to save them, Elle Sterling is forced to make a choice that could change everything.
When torn between right and wrong, tainted love doesn’t have a chance… or does it?

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Excerpt

Prologue

Four Months Before

Logan

Mile after mile, I ran. Faster, feet pounding against the broken asphalt, breath crystalizing in the air. I’d been fleeing along the edge of the road for what seemed like eternity. Trucks zoomed past me, taillights fading in the distance, and still there were no sirens.

The moon slipped behind a cloud and left me moving blindly. Finally, a whistle filled the darkness. It was what I’d been waiting for.

Let’s see how bad they want this.

I spun in the opposite direction and spotted the familiar red and blue lights. With a quick jump, I vaulted over the damaged guardrail and found myself tumbling down a steep ravine.

Landing on my stomach, blood dripped from my nose, and the taste of rust flooded my mouth. I didn’t take the time to wipe it away. I had to keep moving. I’d started this game and I was going to finish it.

Quickly, I leapt to my feet and began to run again. When a sharp burning and throbbing pulsated in my right ankle, I knew my speed would be impaired. I must have twisted it in the fall. With everything I had, I tried to ignore the pain.

Adrenaline pumped through my bloodstream, making my heart race and giving me the strength I needed. I was no longer on the pavement and my terrain was harder to navigate. Trees, broken branches, and the sickening smell of the stagnant river surrounded me. I pushed onward.

It could have been worse—at least there wasn’t any ice.

Still, it was fucking freezing out here. Snow fell around me. Chilled to the bone, I tugged my hat farther down over my ears.

I didn’t stop, though—I had to keep going.

When my eyes were streaming from the cold and my leg muscles began to seize up, I knew my body needed a break. I’d find cover and play the wait-and-see game.

The dilapidated abandoned warehouse a few yards away seemed like my best choice. The hinges were rusted and appeared broken, but when I yanked on the door, it wouldn’t open.

With a sigh, I stomped my salt-stained shoes in the slush I was standing in and looked around.

No sign of them, yet.

They’d be here soon enough.

My lungs burned as I bent over with my hands on my thighs in an attempt to catch my breath.

Poised to move in any direction, I thought about my decision to bait them.

Smart?

Stupid?

I couldn’t believe the game of cat and mouse I had entered into—with the Boston Police Department nonetheless.

But I’d had enough. They’d been following me around for almost a week. Their more-than-obvious tail was bordering on harassment. Pushed to the limit, today I’d decided it was time to find out what it was all about. I was going to force their move. I left my vehicle and took off. They were tracking me, but what they were waiting for to approach me, I had no idea. At this point I had two choices—approach them or keep going. Since I didn’t want to make it easy, I kept running.

Time seemed to be at a standstill as I looked around again. I knew they were close. Yet, as I searched my surroundings, there were no signs of life; everything around me was dark except for the golden glow from the cables of the Zakim Bridge.

The bridge.

I couldn’t believe I’d ended up on the West End. That was more than a slight hike from the tip of the South End, where I’d started all this.

What time was it anyway?

Before I could look at my watch—the one my grandfather had given me, the one worth more than most of the houses in the surrounding area, the pretentious Patek Philippe with an authentic enamel dial and custom-made rubber watchband, the one almost a match for his own—a yellow beam of light shined down on me.

I guess the BPD finally decided to make their move.

A heavily Boston-accented voice carried through the wind. “Put your hands in the air where we can see them.”

“Fuck me. Really? You’re going to arrest me? For what?” My gaze scoured the area until they came into sight.

There were three of them and one of me. I didn’t plan to keep running. I didn’t need to, but even if I wanted to, there was nowhere to go. The riverbank was on one side and they were on the other. The trio moved closer and drew their weapons. I responded with equanimity and raised my palms. Still, not a single one of them lowered a gun. Step by step, they moved toward me. When they were about five feet away, I decided to help them out and face them, but before I could, the tallest figure lunged for me.

He pinned me to the wall. “I just wanted to talk. I wasn’t going to arrest you until you assaulted me. But thanks for giving me a reason.”

“I was putting my hands behind my back, asshole,” I grunted.

“Right,” he snickered.

Nostrils flaring, the fatter one grabbed me by my collar and yanked me to him. “Stop resisting.”

What the fuck?

A quick punch to the gut and a kick to my leg had me belly down in a matter of seconds.

Most men would have been scared shitless, but not me. I grew up living in two very different worlds, the only similarity being power and greed. To look at me, you wouldn’t believe I was capable of doing the things I had done. Born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I was the grandson of one of the wealthiest men in New York City.

It wasn’t my trust fund background that anyone had to worry about, though. I was also the grandson of the former head of Boston’s Blue Hill Gang—a piece of me I had tried to renounce. That I wanted to escape. But my family ties kept me bound. The Irish Mob might have changed since my father’s father ran things, but there were some things that never changed.

I’d been raised in both worlds and these cops knew it. They were counting on the Blue Hill Gang part of me to greet them.

Well fuck them very much—but that’s not what they were going to get.

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About the Author

kim karr

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

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TRSOR

Book Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Ringside by Tracey Ward

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Ringside by Tracey Ward

Genres: New Adult, Romance

Release Date: September 17, 2015

Series: North Star #3

Ringside by Tracey Ward

Synopsis

In life and in the ring, you never dish out pain you’re not willing to take.

Kellen and Jenna have been friends for years. A boxer with a shattered past and an artist with a wealthy family, they found each other against all odds. Ever in each other’s corner, they grew up together, watched relationships rise and crumble, and the only one that’s always left standing is their own.

Bound to each other by an unwavering friendship, undeniable love, and a growing desire, timing has never been on their side. Not until now.

Now they’ll find that falling in love was the easy part. That happily ever after doesn’t come softly, and the end of their story is only the beginning.

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Excerpt

He pulled my face to his and he kissed the tears that poured down my cheeks. I laughed shakily, clinging to him, and then he was standing and carrying me effortlessly into the house. Into the bedroom where he laid me down beneath him and undressed me with reverence and patience. With love. He spoke to me the entire time, his words coming in sporadic bursts between kisses, sounding like a song that I couldn’t understand. It was French on fast forward, meaning blurring by me before my brain could comprehend, but it was beautiful, the words soft and lovely like snow dusting down on my skin, giving me shivers down to my spine.

We were black and white as we came together. Drained of pretense and frivolity. Devoid of expectations. No shades of gray. No peacock colors covering secrets or lies. We were truth. We were love. East and west, coming together in a blinding, earthshattering moment of molten heat at the core of the world, at the center of the universe that exploded in brilliance brighter than the sun.

We were everything we had been denied.

We were everything we were always meant to be.

About the Author

Tracey Ward

“I don’t write romances, I write relationships. One is pretty and perfect and all consuming. The other is real.”
I was born in Eugene, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) I love writing all kinds of genres from YA Dystopian to New Adult Romance, the common themes between them all being strong character development and a good dose of humor.
My husband, son, and snuggly pitbull are my world.

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Book Tour, Fun Facts, Excerpt & Giveaway: Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs

Her Unexpected Detour by Kyra Jacobs

Release Date:  September 14, 2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Fun Facts

Hi everyone! I’m Kyra Jacobs, romance author and lifelong native of northeast Indiana, here to share a few fun facts about my latest release, HER UNEXPECTED DETOUR (Entangled Bliss, September 2015). This story is near and dear to my heart, and takes place at a fictional bed-and-breakfast a few short hours north of here in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It’s the first in the Checkerberry Inn series, and is a fun mixture of comedic moments and heartfelt healing.

Fun Fact #1: The inn was real, once upon a time.

  • Years ago, my husband and I went on a weekend golf trip to north/central Indiana and stayed at a bed-and-breakfast with the same name as my series. It was a beautiful inn, so warm and welcoming and with a restaurant to die for. Sadly, it closed a short time later, but the memory of our time there lives on in this story.

Fun Fact #2: Gardening is a passion I inherited from my mother.

  • While Kayla Daniels (the heroine of the story) and I are different in many ways, I was able to draw from the love of gardening I share with my own mother to write an instrumental scene in DETOUR. When I was young, I didn’t understand why she would spend hours in the flower beds, happily pulling weeds and planting annuals. As an adult, it started making more sense. And now that I’ve got two children of my own, I definitely get it. 😉

Fun Fact #3: The mouse is real.

  • In one scene, Kayla tells her mechanic brother of a close encounter she had with a furry critter while staying at Tommy’s shop. At the time, it was a scene I’d dreamt up. This summer while vacationing in Michigan, though, I had my own run-in with said furry critter…and felt a whole lot more sympathy for Kayla afterward. LOL

All right, enough behind-the-scenes talk, let’s do the blurb and an excerpt, shall we? I hope you enjoy this sneak peek at HER UNEXPECTED DETOUR, and thanks for stopping by today!

Synopsis

Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…

Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…

Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?

But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…      

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Excerpt

Soon a mammoth structure came into view, painted a pale yellow and the size of three colonials placed end to end. The inn was two stories tall, the second level overhanging the first to create a broad, covered porch. Even shrouded by the rain and gloom, it was absolutely beautiful.

“This is your grandmother’s?” she breathed.

“It is.” Pride tinted his voice.

“Wow.”

Brent eased the truck to a stop beside the inn and killed the engine. He cast a quick glance in the backseat, then frowned. “Guess I haven’t swapped out my ice scraper for an umbrella yet. Sit tight. I’ll run in and grab you one.”

He pushed the driver’s side door open, jumped out, and made a careful dash up to the inn’s covered porch before she had a chance to object. With a sigh, Kayla pushed her own door open and slid to the ground. What good would an umbrella do her? Keep her from getting more soaked?

Determined he not mistake her for the princess type, Kayla carefully made her way up the icy porch steps without him—no small feat in these heels of hers. But soon she was out of the pelting sleet and standing before a large, ornate oak door. A placard displaying the inn’s name hung right of the entryway just above the doorbell, giving the entrance a classy look. But much of the rest of the porch had chipped and peeling paint, making the place look a bit more tattered.

Oh, but what a little paint would do for the place. The porch itself hinted of comfort, with a variety of small hooks affixed to its ceiling for hanging porch swings and planters. And the view was nothing short of spectacular. In the distance, rolling green hills were skirted by fields on one side and a thick woods on the other. Flower beds starting to awake from their winter’s slumber lay nestled up against every inch of the inn’s frontage. And inside them, endless clusters of daffodils.

Daffodils. An all-too-familiar ache pricked at Kayla’s heart. She looked away from the ice-covered sunny yellow buds and blinked like mad, intent on keeping her composure. When would she ever get over this ridiculous reaction to some stupid flo—

“I thought I told you to wait in the truck.”

She spun around to find Brent with a red and gold golf umbrella in hand. But as he took in the look on her face, the severe angle of his furrowed brows softened, then inverted. Dang it, she hated it when people looked at her like that. Like she was hurting. Because she wasn’t, not anymore.

At least, that’s what she told herself, each and every day.

Kayla turned from him and swiped a knuckle under each eye. “Did you? I must have missed that part.”

His footsteps drew closer, and a fuzzy yellow towel settled on her shoulders. “Here. Why don’t you come inside while I try to track down Ruby?”

Again, Mr. Billy Goat Gruff provided a glimpse of his soft underbelly. She was both touched by the gesture and unsettled by it. Kayla wasn’t the needy type, and she sure as heck didn’t intend to start playing one.

“Thank you. So, who’s Ruby? Wait—you call your grandma by her first name?”

A soft chuckle greeted her ears. “Trust me, she wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Confident her moment of weakness had passed, Kayla turned and caught her hero wearing an honest-to-goodness smile. It crinkled the corners of his eyes and tugged at his hairline, bringing a softness to his features she might otherwise have thought impossible.

He looked younger, approachable. Sexy. For a moment, Kayla forgot how to breathe.

But when he met her gaze, his former stoicism returned.

“Come on,” he said. “Let’s get you inside before you catch your death.”

As she watched him walk off without another look back, Kayla wondered if he didn’t secretly wish for her to do just that.

About the Author

Kyra Jacobs is an extroverted introvert who writes of love, humor and mystery in the Midwest and beyond. When this Hoosier native isn’t pounding out scenes for her next book, she’s likely outside, elbow-deep in snapdragons or spending quality time with her sports-loving family. Kyra also loves to read, tries to golf, and is an avid college football fan.

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Book Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Stupid Love by Cindy Miles

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Stupid Love by Cindy Miles

Genres: New Adult, Romance

Release Date: September 10, 2015

Series: Stupid in Love #3

Publisher: TKA Distribution

Stupid in Love by Cindy Miles

Synopsis

Bestselling new adult author Cindy Miles is set to capture the hearts of STUPID GIRL fans again with the grand finale of the Stupid in Loveseries, featuring Memory and Jace.

MEMORY

Casualties.

That’s how I refer to the guys who’ve had the bad fortune to fall for me. They only see long legs that they wish were wrapped around them, a cat-like smile, and the reckless abandon to take on any wild dare. It’s all a game to me. Show me a bridge, and I’ll leap over the side. Give me a car, and I’ll race it. Give me a heart, and I’ll break it. I always win. I even showed Death who was boss a long time ago.

Or so I thought.

Now, time is running out, and I’m losing fast…and big. I met someone. Jace Beaumont. He’s smart, and good, and I dream about spending days exploring the summit of his perfect lips. But, I’m a grenade. I know I should leave him be. I can’t.

JACE

Study, class, work, repeat. That’s all I have time for. At twenty-five years old, I have a bit more mileage on me than the average college freshman. But, that’s what happens when you spend your youth drinking, partying, and bagging girls like it’s a full-time job. Now, I have goals. There’s just one kink in my plans. Her name is Memory. She’s every guy’s dream girl. She’s intoxicating. She’s trouble. I want to stay away. I can’t.

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Excerpt

“So, you want to know who I really am?” I asked Jace as I rose to my feet on Morgan’s Bridge. The sun was gone now, but still light enough to see. Almost dark, but not quite. “Why? Have you heard rumors? Wait! Don’t answer that,” I continued. “You’re pals with Brax Jenkins. Since he’s the king of bad reputation, I’m sure he can single out badasses just as easily.” I winked at him. “Takes one to know one, right?”

Jace laughed softly. “Yeah, he said you’re known for some pretty crazy stunts on campus. A

player. Adrenaline junkie.”

“Hmmm,” I answered. “I guess I’d be lying if I didn’t lay claim to all of those accusations. What can I say? I love to live life to the fullest.” I cupped my hands at my mouth. “I’m young! I’m twenty-two!” My voice echoed over the water and through the trees. I squatted down and shot him a lingering look. “I just simply don’t allow all of that to define me. You see,” I went on, wrapping my arms around my legs and hugging them close. With my chin resting against my knees, I looked at him. “There are many more facets to my psyche than I ever, ever let on. You know? Keeps me in a sort of shady shroud of mystery.”

“A shady shroud, huh?” he repeated, and chuckled. “What are you majoring in?”

“Fine arts,” I answered, and sat close to him. “BFA.”

“And what will you do with that?” he asked.

“I’m a self-proclaimed ornamental metalwork designer,” I told him. “And that’s pre-degree, yes sir. Got a business license and everything.” I flashed him a grin. “Calypso Designs. I make a pretty decent coin with the whirlygigs and windcatchers I create in the workshop by the barn. Any sort of crazy welded metal art statue I can dream up. Calypso Designs, Inc. Google me, why don’t ya?”

Jace just kept his eyes on me, and in the faded light they hardly looked green at all. More like shadows in the mouth of a cave. “Any siblings?”

“Nope. Only child.”

He nodded again. “You’re close to your dad?”

I smiled. “Very. He raised me alone after Mom died. Taught me about brazing rods, oxyacetylene, how to set up the fuel tanks. Taught me how to strike a torch, how not to look directly at an arc flash. Taught me…everything I know.” I felt my heart pinch, because I loved my dad more than anything. “He’s a damn good man, Jace Beaumont.”

His teeth were a ghostly white in the dusk. “I believe you, Memory Thibodeaux.”

“Okay.” I changed gears from the serious stuff. “Here’s the final chapter of tonight’s grand Thank You For Changing My Belt Date. Then we’ll have dessert. Ready?”

Jace laughed. “Yeah, why not. Shoot.”

I could barely see his features now. “Remember how I said this bridge was haunted?”

“Yep.”

“Well,” I continued. “The legend goes that back in 1923, Madigan Morgan and Company—not to be confused with the Morgans of the Morgan’s Louisiana and Texas Railroad—was commissioned to build this trestle for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Anyway, Madigan Morgan was rumored to have had a love affair with a beautiful, beguiling witchdoctor who lived in the woods, just there”—I pointed toward the forest on the other side of the river—“named Gilly from New Orleans. Right behind his wife Adelaide’s back. Well, the construction of the trestle was finally finished, but not before Adelaide Morgan found out about the affair.” I leaned closer. “It’s rumored she gathered her three brothers and went after Gilly the

witch one moonlit night.” I glanced up. “Much like tonight, yeah.” I wiggled my brows. Jace watched me closely and in silence, and although it had grown fairly dark I could still make out the amused expression pulling smile lines around his eyes and mouth. He smelled good. A faint, woodsy, clean smell. Like pine needles, with a ting of ocean spray, if I had to put a name to it. I continued.

“Well Madigan Morgan was supposedly to have scheduled a rendezvous with Gilly right here where we sit, that very night, in the center of the trestle,” I said softly. “Gilly was a raven-haired French-Acadian Cajun, you see, and had the sensual power to make a man do just about anything. And he’d fallen hard and fast for her. Anyway,” I said with a grin, and I looked out over the moon that had slowly risen, and watched the water lap at the bank’s edges. “When Madigan arrived for the rendezvous, it was just in time to see his wife and brothers-in-law binding Gilly’s hands with rope. He started to run up the hill to stop them, but could hear Gilly’s voice. She wasn’t pleading for her life. Wasn’t begging for them to let her go.” I reached slowly between the boards beneath me until my hand felt the heavy-duty nylon rope I’d placed there myself back in October when Crisco and I had bungee jumped off the bridge. Eased my hand through the slipknot and grasped it tight, all the while, keeping my gaze on Jace’s. “She was

cursing them, Jace Beaumont,” I said huskily. “Just before they shoved her off the bridge!”

Over the edge I went, just as though I’d been pushed by Gilly herself, and as soon as I cleared the boards I grasped the rope with my other hand and hung there, mid-air, just beneath the trestle.

And at the same time, Jace leapt to his feet.

“Memory!” he yelled. “Fuck! Memory!”

Hanging beneath the very place he stood, I burst out laughing. “Do you kiss your mama with that mouth, boy?”

In a flash, Jace was on his stomach and peering over the edge of the trestle at me, swinging on my rope.

“Boy, you look pissed!” I exclaimed, laughing. “I didn’t know you could move so fast—Jace!”

The moment I swung within his reach he grabbed me, and let me say that although he was muscular, he was way stronger than I’d suspected. He pulled me up and over the trestle, and I barely helped. He did it that fast. And he all but plunked me down onto the track.

Jace pushed off and stood, clasping his fingers behind his neck. “Jesus God, Memory!” He turned to me then, and I could see fury in the shadows of his eyes. “Don’t you ever fucking do that again.” He moved toward me where I was still sitting on the track, and hauled me up. His fingers encircled my arms, and he gave me a slight shake, and we were almost nose-to-nose. A muscle flinched at his stubbled jaw, and his dark brows were furrowed. His eyes flashed. “Do you have a death wish? Or are you just crazy?”

The irony of his words almost made me laugh. At the same time, though, I was touched. I was used to being egged on. Used to being dared.

I was not used to Jace’s reaction.

About the Author

cindy miles

National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her debut New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college. The second book in her Stupid in Love series,STUPID BOY, features a wickedly handsome law-breaker who falls for a beautiful, straight-A college student with an ugly past of her own.

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Book Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

 Ryker By Sawyer Bennett Tour

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Release Date:  September 8, 2015

Series: Cold Fury Hockey #4

Publisher: Loveswept

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett Cover

Synopsis

The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure is on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

 
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Excerpt

My father has never been one for pomp, sugar coating, or long segues. He cuts right to the chase. “I know you all have seen the news stories and I hate that it was leaked before I could talk to you. As of today, I have officially stepped down as the acting general manager of the Cold Fury.”

No one utters a word. Not a sound is made. This tells me that indeed, everyone has already heard the news.

“I’m appointing my daughter, Gray Brannon, in my place.”

And there it is . . . a distinct rustling sound as bodies shift in their seats. My father continues on, making firm and clear statements about my qualifications.

Graduated Princeton when I was nineteen.

Got my MBA from Kellogg at twenty-one.

Ph.D. in statistics from Berkeley at twenty-four.

Genius level IQ of 142.

Okay, Dad . . . that’s a little much. Get to the good stuff.

As I half listen to my father talk with pride about my two Olympic medals while playing for the U.S. women’s ice hockey team—one silver, one gold—I let my eyes roam over the group. The two front rows are composed of the coaching, equipment, and training staff. The players sit in clique-type groups based on what lines they play on. This isn’t by design, but I’m betting more because they have a unique bond and camaraderie. They almost have a sixth sense that enables them to read each other while on the ice.

My eyes pass over Ryker Evans, our team’s goalie, and then snap right back to him. He’s not watching my father but rather me, and I find myself unwillingly sucked into those silver-gray eyes. It happens every time I look at him, whether it’s in person or he’s giving an interview on TV, which is again proof that I am indeed a woman.

His lips tip up in acknowledgment of me and his eyes radiate congratulations. He gives me a nod of approval and then slides his gaze to my father, who is now lauding my scouting efforts for the Cold Fury. I’ve been the senior scout for the past two years and have scored some great players for the team.

I don’t immediately move my own gaze on, but rather take an unfettered moment to appreciate Ryker’s bold handsomeness. He’s called the Brick Wall in this league because he’s big. I mean really big for a goalie, but he’s still one of the most agile net minders I’ve ever seen. And still speaking as a woman for just a second, he has the face of a GQ cover model. In fact, I think he’s actually graced their cover twice if memory serves me. Dark hair, liquid silver eyes, and a beard of what looks like no more than three days’ growth that never gets shorter or longer, even during the playoffs. I’m quite sure when he’s ready to retire he could have a second career as a model if he was so inclined.

As it stands, however, I am far more interested in Ryker Evans for his athletic abilities than his face and I consider him to be one of my greatest acquisitions as a scout. I thought that even when our playoff hopes were crushed during Ryker’s first game in a Cold Fury jersey when he failed to stop a penalty shot, securing for us a big fat loss. I thought he was still a fantastic prospect even when the organization’s CFO, Bill Bowman, berated me in a staff meeting for insisting on such a pricey acquisition to the team.

I remember that day with actual fondness. Bill got all red in the face as he ranted at me, and my father just leaned back in his chair at the head of the conference room table and let me take it all on my shoulders. My father never fought my fights once I became an adult and I loved him for it. It meant he respected me.

It didn’t matter that it was wholly unfair to put that loss on Ryker’s shoulders. The fact is, the team—as a whole and with our regular starting goalie, Max Fournier—blew a three-game lead in the playoffs against Atlanta. Ryker came in cold off the bench when Max suffered a season- ending knee injury and was immediately placed in the net to face off against one of the best players in the league for a penalty shot.

And when he missed it, he became the pariah of the Cold Fury team.

At least for a little while.

But right now, it’s kind of hard to be the outcast when you have a .936 save percentage.

Yes, now my boy is back. He’s become a team leader—a man the younger guys look up to. He’s killing it on the ice, and I believe nothing is going to stop him this season. I can see it in his eyes, the tilt of his chin, the set to his shoulders. Ryker Evans, the Brick Fucking Wall, is going to lead this team—my team—straight into the playoffs. He has something to prove and that’s fine by me . . . whatever motivates him best.

“—which means that the only one who has to prove herself to you is Gray. I’m not even asking you to give her a chance because I know she’d never ask that of you either. I’m just telling you to watch and judge her on her own merits.”

My dad steps away from the podium and gives me a wink. He sweeps a hand out, indicating that I now have the floor. I didn’t have any expectations that I was going to be greeted with open arms. I didn’t expect applause, wolf whistles, or even metaphorical banging of hockey sticks to welcome me. In fact, I got more than I ever anticipated just from that quick nod of approval from Ryker Evans.

That’s fine by me.

Just makes this all the easier for me as I step up to the podium and prepare to cement my place in history.

Review

Sawyer Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey Series caught my eye a while ago but, even though I ordered the first book last year, I’ve been pushing it back because I had a ton of other books to read. Silly me! Then, I read Ryker’s blurb and I couldn’t stay away any longer. Now, I still have Alex’s book to read and I’ll definitely order both Garrett and Zach’s books because Ryker totally won me over and I can’t miss a single word of this series.

Gray is beautiful, smart, strong willed and confident. She is also the first female general manager in hockey, her father has just promoted her which means all eyes are on her and, although she is definitely the right choice and has the skills to prove it, there are many  people who dislike her father’s decision, including some of the players. She is making history and she knows she has to prove to all of them that she is prepared to handle the pressure and more than qualified to manage a hockey team. She also doesn’t take crap from anyone. (Frank is the perfect example of it and I really liked how their business relationship evolved through the book.)

“For the first time in my life, I feel interest in something other than my career. I feel needed. I feel happy. I feel cherished. I. Feel. Everything. And I don’t want to let it go.”

Ryker is charming, hot, fiercely loyal and smart. He is Carolina Cold Fury’s goalie on the final year of his contract and last season didn’t end well for him but he’s on top of his game this season. As a single dad, Ryker’s life is a little crazy trying to have time for his two daughters, manage their home and playing his best hockey. And it’s about to get crazier.

“I’m doing what feels right to me. You feel right to me.”

More than the chemistry between Gray and Ryker, they share a strong connection and they just can’t stop their feelings, especially their admiration, for each other. Soon they’re questioning everything. What will they choose? Their jobs or epic love? Their dreams or their hearts? Or can they have it all?

Ryker is definitely a keeper and I loved every moment of this beautiful story.

I received a copy of this book from Loveswept via NetGalley.

Rating:  cup  cup  cup  cup  cup

About the Author

Sawyer Bennett

USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

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Grab the other Cold Fury Romances
 
Alex by Sawyer Bennett

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Garrett by Sawyer Bennett

 

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Zack by Sawyer Bennett

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