I'm not horribly behind, although two of these are from last month, but I'm mostly keeping up on reviews because of trying to get on as many tours for the books I have to review instead of taking a bunch of ARCs and not making sure I get them done. Now, I probably have another audiobook finished by the time I post this, so we'll see if this goes up to four reviews instead of just three, but I'm making this post all my audiobooks I need to review.
Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan:
Release Date: December 9th, 2014 Source: Purchased from Audible My rating: 4.5 stars
I'd wanted to read this because there was a page for it in the romance coloring book I have. I finally decided to use one of my Audible credits on it. It started really good, then there was a boring patch at the beginning where I wondered what would be happening, but then it picked up again. It was a roller coaster of a ride, and I really enjoyed it. It was almost a 5 star read, but there was just something that kept it from being that for me. It had some good twists, ones that I thought I knew what was coming, but then it wasn't what I expected. A good read!
Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.
Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.
Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely:
Release Date: January 14th, 2019 Source: Purchased from Audible My rating: 4.5 stars
So this book had a full cast of narrators, almost one for every main character! That was definitely fun, but you could tell it was also definitely written for this type of an audiobook. It was a lot of fun to listen to it this way, and of course to swoon over Sebastian York's voice. Although there were times that it almost was too many people for me, just because of what I am used to with most audiobooks. But I have a feeling this may be how audiobooks are recorded more often, when possible anyway.
I loved the story, had my usual irritations with the reasons the two main characters held themselves back from just giving into their feelings as well. I also had to stop listening to this for a bit when I started because I was reading a book with a similar storyline, where the guy liked the girl that he met first, but she ended up falling for his best friend instead. Both stories were good, this one so much fun as well. It was neat to get a little time back with at least one of our characters from an earlier audiobook, Lucky Suit. Also, again with all the talk of chocolate, just made me want chocolate!
Now, you need to get this audiobook and listen to it, because there is like about an hour interview with two of the narrators afterwards, two of my favorites, Andi Arndt, and Sebastian York. And while I was disappointed they didn't answer the question I'd submitted, it was still so much fun to listen to them talk to each other and answer the questions that they did. Now, I'm still left needing to see just what Sebastian York looks like in real life. Does he match that voice?
Here is the blurb from Goodreads: There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: no matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not—under any circumstances—fall in love with your best friend’s woman. Yeah. So there’s that. Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her. Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time. And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.
*** There are three things I've never been able to resist—my friends, my family, and chocolate. Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He's been a true friend—a friend who walked through hell and back with me. Now, I'm stepping into my new future. I didn't expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City. With Leo. Suddenly, I'm looking at this man with new eyes... But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety. More irresistibly delicious than chocolate...
This audiobook is performed by: Andi Arndt (Lulu), Sebastian York (Leo), Erin Mallon (Ginny), R.C. Bray (George), January Lavoy (Kingsley), Dion Graham (Cameron), Shane East (Dean), Jason Clarke (Tripp), Joe Arden (Noah), Julia Whelan (Tabitha), Robin Miles (Mariana and Vivian), and Savannah Peachwood (RaeLynn).
Faking It by K. Bromberg:
Release Date: September 25th, 2018 Source: Purchased from Audible My rating: 5 stars
As always, I loved this story by Bromberg. She made me be able to connect with a woman who was the total opposite of me, beautiful model type of woman. But boy does she not only know how to make me laugh, but she makes me know how to cry. There were so many parts at the beginning where I felt like the one kid on The Simpsons who is always saying "ha ha" and pointing, because I felt that way whenever Harlow would pull one over on Zane. But then Bromberg also knows how to write the steamy sex, perfect when needed in the story. Another winner for me, another book that tells me Bromberg can do no wrong!
Here is the blurb from Goodreads: Faking it never felt so good in this red-hot new standalone by New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg.
Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it.
Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot — but he’s also an arrogant jackass — so... no thanks.
But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website — and the best part? He can’t say no because he’ll get caught in his lie too.
Little did I know this would entail sharing a tour bus with him for the next few months. The fact that the bus has just one bed isn’t the most ideal of circumstances, but this spokesperson gig might be the kick in the pants my career needs, so why not take a chance?
Famous last words.
Now I’m crisscrossing the country — and sharing that bed — with the one guy I can’t stand. And even worse, my traitorous body is wondering at every turn what it’s like to be down underthe gorgeous Australian. But as the miles unfurl, so does our passion… and if I’m not careful, I might end up believing that fairytales really do come true.
Book info: Title: Bump: A Secret Pregnancy Second Chance Alpha Bad-Boy Romance Author: Maggie Marr Publication date: May 21st, 2019 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Our relationship is over. We’ve loved and lost. Or that’s what we thought. It was one drunken night at his sister’s wedding and we fooled around…a one-night hook up. And then we became XWB (exes with benefits) nothing serious–just for fun. There’s no way I’d ever get pregnant right?
I look at my ob-gyn, Dr. Wong, who I’ve visited every year for the last ten years, and for a while during my marriage what felt like daily.
“But you and I both know that’s impossible,” I say.
“You having sex?” she asks.
“No, me getting pregnant. That’s the impossible part. But…” If I think about it, the me having sex part is nearly impossible too—well, at least ever since Dave and I split up and I began my sex-less separated life. Until Becca and Jake’s wedding, that is.
“The test doesn’t lie. You my infertile-myrtle are with child.”
My heart drops to my knees. A mixture of surprise and shock and panic and sadness and…even in the midst of all those feelings, one emotion by the name of joy is there too.
“But, how? I mean—”
“Again, thought we covered this part, it’s the s-e-x that makes the babies come.” She makes the universal signal for sex by sticking her pointer finger through an o she’s made with her other hand.
“Ha, ha, very funny. It’s just ever since Dave moved out I…” Oh. My. Fucking. God. My jaw drops open, my eyes widen, and panic takes the pole position in the emotional cocktail sloshing through my belly.
“There it is!” Dr. Wong says and smiles wider. “Now you remember the sexy-times that led to the baby-making.”
“Oh shit.” I press my hand to my forehead.
“Not who you want for your baby-daddy? One night stand? Hotty-but-a-notty? I get it, we’ve all been there. You have options, you—”
“No,” I shake my head. “It’s not that, it’s just…” I take a deep breath and sigh. “How far along?” Although if I do the math, with regards to my near-celibate post-separation sex life, I’m pretty sure I know exactly when this baby-making expedition took place.
“Eight weeks?” she says. “That sound about right?”
“To the day,” I say.
The wedding. The fucking wedding that both me and Dave were in. Sure Becca made a beautiful bride, and Jake a gorgeous groom, and it’s been obvious to everyone but them for about twenty years that they should be together. How could I have known that me in a bridesmaid dress and Dave in a tuxedo would be like eating a dozen oysters on the half-shell and drinking a bottle of tequila at sundown? I close my eyes. Dave and I both ditched our respective dates and fell into the sack for a weekend recidivism sex fest. The beginning of our EWB arrangement: Exes With Benefits. Who’d think that any of this would cause me to get knocked up?
Especially after the six years of infertility treatments we endured while married.
I burp. “It explains that,” I say, referring to my burping, “and my weird fixation with green olives.”
“I’ve heard green olives before,” Dr. Wong says, nodding, “but for me it was turkey burgers with cheese. Could not get enough. With a Ben & Jerry’s chaser.” She rubs her tummy. “Good times, you know, until you have to take all the pounds off. So, pre-natal vitamins and we’ll set you up on schedule for visits.”
“Why now?” I ask, interrupting her.
Again she makes the sexy-time symbol. “Maybe you were horny?”
“No, no.” I shake my head. “Dave and I tried everything for so so so so long. Everything. Why now? And how? I mean I was told that the likelihood of me getting pregnant naturally was the same as if I was on the pill, used a condom, and spermicidal jelly all at the same time.”
“Ooops!” Dr. Wong says, shrugging her shoulders. “Man, the one thing I’ve learned in this gig is that Mother Nature? That bitch? She finds a way! When she wants something to happen it does. I have this crabgrass in my front yard and I’ve done everything but blowtorch it and still it lives.”
I squint at her. “You’re comparing my pregnancy to crabgrass?”
“Well…kind of. Not really. But what I’m saying is that life is magic and sometimes I have people who sit where you’re sitting and there’s nothing I can find that’s preventing them from getting pregnant and still they can’t seem to conceive. And then I have people, like you, who’ve tried and tried and tried and have every physical reason why they can’t get pregnant and wham-o! They’re knocked up! The common element is fertilization. For natural baby-making to occur, that happens with the sexy-time. And sometimes, not always, but sometimes when the infertility treatments end and the pressure is off, sometimes Mother Nature decides to slide on in there and give you a bump.”
“Yeah, a baby bump.” She makes an arc motion over her stomach. “But for you it’s gonna be a BIIIIG bump,” she says and makes a bigger arc over her tummy. “Me? I’m a cute short Asian woman, my bumps are much more compact.”
“Uh, thanks?” I say.
“Just going by what I’ve seen,” Dr. Wong says. “So like I was saying, we’ll get you started on the vitamins and a schedule.” Her words fade into the background and my mind wanders to the man who is the father of this baby that I’ve waited a lifetime to have. Shit. What am I going to do? How am I going to tell him? And how are we ever going to get through this? Especially since our divorce is meant to be final in the next couple weeks.
Maggie Marr is the USA Today Best Selling author of hot contemporary romance. She spends her days working in entertainment and her nights writing. Maggie loves all things pop culture and when she isn't writing, she's reading or binge-watching Netflix. Never miss a new release, sale, bonus content, or extras by signing up for Maggie's newsletter here: maggiemarr.net
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?
Because I have so many to do, I'm going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.
1. Inside the Outside by Martin Lastrapes:
By the time Timber Marlow is fifteen years old, she has already killed three men. Despite the bloody and violent nature of their deaths, Timber is hardly a murderer, at least not in the traditional sense. She has lived her entire life as a cannibal within a cult tucked away in the San Bernardino Mountains called the Divinity of Feminine Reproach. The Divinity keeps itself isolated from the Outside, which is the mainstream society beyond its invisible borders. When the opportunity presents itself, Timber escapes into the Outside, bearing witness to some dark and unsettling truths about the world around her and the integral role she plays in it. But no matter how long she stays away, Timber finds out the past isn't as far away as she thinks it is. In this debut novel, laced with scenes of horrific violence and uplifting humanity, Martin Lastrapes has written a one-of-a-kind story about love, friendship, sacrifice and cannibalism. My thoughts: Hmm, this one is a strange sounding one. But, very unique. I think it might be one I might want to try some day. Who knows.
2. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon:
Their love was meant to be.
When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam Deris.
But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.
My thoughts: Sounds like a lot of other books that were popular around the time I added this to my TBR. The fact that it takes place in Ireland makes me more interested. And of course that cover is awesome.
3. The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf:
Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.
Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker’s reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.
Extensive back matter includes:
Author’s note Morse code with messages to decipher Titanic miscellany Bibliography, articles, periodicals, government documents, discography
My thoughts: Another historical event that has always fascinated me is the Titanic. So this is a book that again sounds really unique. Especially with all the extras in the back of it.
4. A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron:
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
My thoughts: Yes, I love all things to do with dogs. But no, no I just will not read any more of this type of book. I don't care that it is supposed to make us feel better about when our dogs leave us, that maybe they come back to us in our future pets. Ever since I first had to make the decision to put one of my own dogs to sleep, a decision I had to make all on my own, I can't stand to read or see anything about their deaths. I don't care how good this book is, dogs dying is just one thing I know will make me cry, but that I can't stand that crying because it leads me down the path of crying about my own dogs. In fact, I'm tearing up as I write this!
5. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab:
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School's most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.
Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn't answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can't get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.
Audrey: She's the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton's fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it,”especially since she's convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.
As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton's dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn't save.
My thoughts: Eh, nothing that is grabbing me now.
6. Blank Confession by Pete Hautman:
Shayne Blank is the new kid in town--but that doesn't stop him from getting into a lot of trouble very quickly. The other kids don't understand him. He's not afraid of anything. He seems too smart. And his background doesn't add up. But when he walks into the police department to confess to a murder, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. There's more to Shayne--and his story--than meets the eye. As the details begin to fill in, the only thing that becomes clear is that nothing about Shayne's story is clear at all.
Blank Confession is a compelling mystery that will keep readers turning pages, from National Book Award-winning author Pete Hautman.
My thoughts: I know at some point I need to read a book by this author. But, not sure if this is the one that is going to grab my attention to read.
7. Bruiser by Neal Shusterman:
"There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they're happening to me."
When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more.
My thoughts: So, while Neal Shusterman wrote one of my all time favorite YA dystopian series, the Unwind series, and I feel like I need to read this at some point, I don't know that I need to keep it on my Goodreads TBR. It is a popular book, and is in my school library.
8. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan:
Here Comes the Bride If She Can Pass Chemistry.
Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.
Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?
My thoughts: So, I'm not sure about this one? I mean, marriage? For a teenager who needs to pass chemistry? Um, when does this book take place?
9. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore:
Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir.
Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
My thoughts: Not sure if this is really one I'll ever get around to reading. So not sure I need to keep it on the list.
10. Sea by Heidi R. Kling:
Still haunted by nightmares of her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Sienna Jones reluctantly travels to Indonesia with her father's relief team to help tsunami orphans with their post traumatic stress disorder-something Sienna knows a lot about. Since her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean three years before, Sienna doesn't do anything if it involves the ocean or planes, so this trip is a big step forward.
But the last thing she expects is to fall for Deni, a brooding Indonesian boy who lives at the orphanage, and just so happens to be HOT. When Deni hears a rumor that his father may be alive, Sienna doesn't think twice about running away with him to the epicenter of the disaster. Unfortunately, what they find there could break both their hearts.
My thoughts: I like that it is set with the aftermath of the tsunami, but not sure if I'll ever get around to this one.
Final Thoughts: Tossing all but 3 again this week! Although the way this week started, keeping those first three, I thought I was going to have a problem. I also think I'm going to start pointing out how many books are on my Want to Read list on Goodreads each week. So you can see that I may have dropped some, but you can also see how many I've added during the week as well. This week, after taking these three off, I still have 3,188 books listed.
Have you read any of these? Would you suggest I keep any I'm tossing? And if you're inspired to do this on your blog, please feel free to join in and share a link in the comments, since it's not really catching on, I'm not going to waste time with the link up this week. It will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.
Giveaway: Once again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way. This week I'm upping the prize, you get to pick any two books from the pictures below, as long as they don't get traded away, or picked by last week's winner, and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice. Here are your choices:
Once again I'm going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book! Just enter the Rafflecopter below.
Synopsis: Emma Loukas had a typical teenage life. Until she didn’t. After choosing to stay home instead of accompanying her family to a minor league baseball game, Emma is not present when a suicide bomber detonates an explosive device at the entrance to the stadium just as her family arrives. In the months that follow, grief therapy and the gloomy looks from friends and her extended family do nothing but drag Emma further down into the rubble left behind by that deadly April afternoon.
To escape the sad reality of her new life, Emma heads out to California to spend her senior year with her grandmother. Getting away from her former life is the only way to survive. It doesn’t take long, though, for Emma to experience Grandma Connie’s dementia, and it’s more than a seventeen-year-old is capable of handling on her own. Now Emma fears she has just made her bad situation worse, and she begins to wonder if it’s even worth trying to survive.
But when the family mementos on the dresser catch her eye, Emma feels a bit of light turn on inside her. Maybe the way to make sense of her new life is to live the lives her mom, dad, and brother no longer can. So she sets out to achieve each of their dreams. It won’t be easy, but it’s all Emma has left, and in the process, she just may find out who she’s supposed to be.
There are exactly thirty-seven wisps on this half-blown dandelion twirling back and forth between my fingers. I’ve counted several times because I need to know exactly how many chances I’ll have.
When I was little, my teacher told me that, when you blow them into the air, dandelion seeds carry thoughts and dreams to loved ones. So, that summer when my friend Callie and I were ten, we hunted every dandelion in our neighborhood and sent a barrage of fluff into the blue Ohio sky. I aimed my hopes at Billy Martin, but now I wish I hadn’t wasted them on some boy I forgot about three months later. I wish I’d sent more thoughts and dreams to my family. I’d like to do that now, but how do you send a lifetime of thoughts in a single breath?
I stare at the bald side of this dandelion head and wonder where the other wisps have traveled and if they’ve made any dreams come true. Does it still work if half the wisps have already been spent? I work this question like a math problem as I wait for my aunt or uncle to pick me up from therapy. They’re usually late; with six kids, the to-do list never ends. I feel bad that I’m one more responsibility for them. It’s one of the many unfair things about this situation.
My phone buzzes in my back jeans pocket. Maybe they’re on the way. I tap the screen, and Callie’s name appears instead. How are u doing? ☹There’s always a sad face these days. I haven’t seen an LOL or a laughing emoji in over two months.
I text back, Okay 😊 waiting for my ride. Call u when I get home. I’m not lying when I say I’m okay. My aunt and uncle insisted I enroll in this teen therapy group. They said it would help me “process my grief and move forward.” I don’t know that I need help moving forward; time doesn’t allow for anything else. But I guess it’s helped to share a few things. They say I have something called “survivor’s guilt.” Maybe that’s true. It seems more like logic to me. I’m not the victim. I’m still alive.
“Hey,” a timid voice says from behind me.
I turn and see one of the girls from the group. She’s a sophomore at my high school. She lost her dad and little sister in a house fire.
“Hey,” I reply. “What are you still doing here?” Session ended forty-five minutes ago.
“My mom said she’d be late, so I stayed to help clean up. What about you?”
“Same. My aunt and uncle are pretty busy. Sometimes they forget me.”
She stares down at her purple Converse that match the new purple streaks in her hair. A few crickets chirp in the late afternoon air, and I continue methodically twirling the dandelion puff in my hand.
“I felt bad for Jason in there,” she says in a near whisper as her eyes focus on the movement of my hands.
“I know. He told me a couple of weeks ago that soccer was the only thing getting him through all of this.” Jason’s mom died of cancer a few months ago, and he tore his ACL last week. The moment he opened his mouth to share, a dam burst and unleashed a sadness he couldn’t seem to control.
“Sometimes it just makes me sadder when I come here.” She stares off at the cluster of trees to our right.
Her phone beeps. She checks it then puts it back in the tiny pink purse she always carries with her. I think it was her sister’s. “What’s with the dandelion?” She angles her head at my hand.
I stop the twirling. “I don’t know. I saw it in the grass while I was waiting. One time someone told me that if you blow dandelion seeds into the air, they carry your thoughts to people you love.”
“Really?” Her eyes widen then shift to the ground, scanning the grass around her. I bet there’s so much she wants to send to her dad and sister. And I know she worries about her mom now, too.
I hold out the dandelion puff. “Here. You can have this one.”
She looks up. “Don’t you want it?”
I, too, have a ton to say to my mom and my dad and my brother Connor, but there’s such sadness in her eyes—not just now but always. It’s a haze, almost as if her brown eyes are covered in all that ash that stole her happy life.
I take a step forward. “It’s okay. I’ll find another one.”
She takes it from my outstretched hand. She inhales as much air as she can and closes her eyes. When she opens them, she blows with all her might. Her breath has so much force behind it, the seeds shoot off into the air, scattering like shrapnel.
An image of my dad and Connor flashes in my mind. Every hair on my arms bristles and my muscles clench. The whole world seems to freeze, and I can’t breathe.
A moment later, a pair of headlights frees me of my paralysis. My uncle’s black minivan stops in front of us. “That’s my ride. Are you sure your mom’s coming? We could give you a ride home.”
“No, thanks. My mom is having one of her days, but she said she’d be here in twenty minutes. I figure it won’t be more than an hour.” She bites her lip and shrugs.
“Okay. See you Friday.” I wave and walk to the car.
As soon as I slide open the door, shouts and squeals bombard me. “Gimme it!” my four-year-old cousin Christian yells at his twin sister Chelsea. She sits in a car seat next to his, holding a tan stuffed dog and wearing a devilish grin.
“No! You keep throwing it at me!”
“IT’S MINE!” Christian screeches as his tiny hands form fists and his chubby legs shoot straight out in front of him.
“Kids! Enough!” my uncle Jim yells over his shoulder. “Chelsea, it’s his toy. Give him the dog.”
“But Daaaad! He keeps throwing it at me!”
“Chelsea.” Uncle Jim aims his scary parental tone directly at her.
“Fine,” she grumbles. She throws the stuffed dog at Christian and whips her head toward the window so fast her two blond braids smack her in the face.
I start to slip into the way back when Uncle Jim says, “Emma, could you sit between those two, please? They’ve been at it all afternoon.”
“Sure.” I squeeze myself between the two car seats. “Hey guys.” I smile at them while I dig around for the seat belt, but neither pays me any attention. Christian sings and trots his stuffed dog up and down his legs, and Chelsea has moved on to a book.
Up front, my fourteen-year-old cousin Joey complains, “Dad, I was supposed to be at practice ten minutes ago. You made me join this stupid summer camp here, and now you can’t even get me there on time.”
Uncle Jim glances backward, then in a hushed voice, but one that I can still hear over the talk radio, says, “Look, Joey, you know why we had to spend the summer in Ohio. So it was either play soccer here or not at all.”
“Well, fine, then you could at least get me there on time. I’m already an outsider, and this only makes it worse.”
“I’m sorry. Your mother forgot about Emma’s therapy, and Aunt Jules has the other car, so we had to pick up Emma.”
I shrink in my seat, and my chin falls to my chest. Chelsea leans over and hands me one of her fruit snacks. I know they love me and want to help.
And that just makes it all worse.
I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
I am the author of CHASING EVELINEand THE BRILLIANCE OF FIREFLIES.
I am so excited that THE MISSING SEASONby Gillian French is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Gillian French, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for FOUR signed copies of the book, Us Only, courtesy of Gillian and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for fans of E. Lockhart and Marieke Nijkamp, about friendship, truth, and the creeping fears that can't be outrun.
Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they call the Mumbler.
That's what Clara's new crew tells her when she moves to town. Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing. Spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year's Halloween prank war. And magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.
Clara doesn't actually believe in the Mumbler--not like Kinkaid does. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it's hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting to bring the stories to life.
“It’s sad, you coming here.” Kincaid takes me in, his smile fading. “Now you’ve got no chance.”
No chance. Like he read it in my tea leaves or the lines of my palm. “Why?”
“Because he only takes Pender kids. Likes our taste, I guess.” Kincaid drops his board, glides backward on one foot, never breaking eye contact. “Like . . . hopelessness.”
“And Steak-umms from the caf,” somebody says, making people snicker.
“Liver.” Trace shows his teeth. “God, I love that shit.”
“What about Gavin Cotswold?” Sage says. “Have they figured out how he died yet?”
“Mumbler got him.” Trace.
“He OD’d.” Bree gives Trace a withering look. “He went out in the woods, got fucked up, and died. His own mom thinks so.”
“I heard the animals didn’t leave enough of him behind to be sure.” Trace says. Then, to Kincaid, “Tell her about the first boy. Ricky Whoever.”
“Sartain. Ricky Sartain.” Behind Kincaid, most of the activity has stopped, everybody pulling up some concrete to listen. He’s holding court, a storyteller who knows his audience. “It all started, like, twenty years ago. Kid went missing two days before they found him on the banks of the marsh, way out by the railroad bridge.” Kincaid nods slowly, easing into it. “Somebody put their hands all over him.”
More covert laughter, Trace’s whisper: “Loved to death.”
Kincaid entwines his fingers, working his palms together in sinuous rhythm. “Squeezed him, crushed him. Mashed his spine, smashed his belly.”
A voice speaks up: “My mom said that kid got hit by the train.”
“Of course she did.” Kincaid doesn’t turn. “She also told you that Santa Claus is real and honesty is the best policy and if you’re good, you’ll get into heaven, right?”
Snorts. Somebody mimics, “But my mommy said,” whacking the boy who interrupted with a baseball cap.
“He was folded in half.” Sage grips Trace’s forearm. “That’s what I heard.”
“No.” Kincaid’s hands are tai chi slow. “Lengthwise.”
“Stop.” Bree says it under her breath; I’m the only one who hears.
“Ricky disappeared right around Halloween. That’s the pattern.” Kincaid skates a circuit around us, dismounts, and slaps the tail of the board so it pops into his hand again, all one smooth movement that I wish I could watch again frame by frame. “Truth. After, Ricky’s friends told everybody how they’d all gone out to the railroad bridge to smash pumpkins one night, and there was somebody hiding under there. Too dark to see, but they heard him, mumbling and yammering away.”
Yip, yip, yip! I look up to see audience participation, lumbering shapes aping around the others, sounding like a zoo after hours—Ahhh-ah-ah-ah! Mwaaa-hoohoo!
“Next time anybody saw Ricky, he was red guacamole.” Kincaid pauses, smiling faintly, but he’s not really seeing me now. “Ever since, Mumbler’s been around. Takes a bad kid every few years, always in October. Grown-ups have some bullshit excuse for what happened to them, but we know.”
Nods pass around the circle. I watch for inside looks—they’ll drop the act when they see I’m not taken in—but the quiet drags on. “What’s the Mumbler look like?” I hold
Kincaid’s gaze, willing him to let me in on this, let me prove I don’t scare easy. “So I’ll know him if I see him.”
Kincaid looks to Trace, again with the smile that creases his eyes into merry slits, a kid showing his little sister where Mom hides the Christmas presents. “We can take you to him.”
I’m a ridiculous, sometimes cranky, often hungry, frequently writing flibbertigibbet who really hopes she can keep doing this for a living.
My debut novel, GRIT (HarperTeen), was an Indie Next List pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and ALA Booklist, was an Edgar Award Finalist, a South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Finalist, and received both a 2018 Lupine Award from the Maine Library Association and a 2018 Maine Literary Award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.
My other novels include THE DOOR TO JANUARY (Islandport Press; Bram Stoker Award Finalist), THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen; 2019 International Thriller Award Finalist, 2019 Maine Literary Award Finalist, 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection), and THE MISSING SEASON (HarperTeen, coming 5/21/2019; preorder giveaway happening now). My short fiction has placed in Writer’s Digest and Zoetrope: All Story contests, as well as appearing in such publications as Weirdbook and Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups.
I hold a BA in English from the University of Maine, and I’m a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. Currently, I still live in my native state of Maine–shocker, I know–with my husband and sons, where I’m perpetually agonizing over my next novel (in the best possible way, of course!)
Book info: Title: Hold My Hand Author: Michael Barakiva Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Publication date: May 21st, 2019 Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn’t quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud.
With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek’s not sure he’s ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it.
Alek can’t bear the thought of finding out who he’d be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can’t forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it’s time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand.
Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
There is a process of for writing musicals that I have hijacked for novel-writing purposes. It starts with the writing of many many index cards – just a few words on each. They can each stand for a character, theme, line of dialogue, plot moment, whatever. All ideas are good ideas in this part. This will also lead me to some research, and I’ll fall through a few of those wormholes.
After some time doing this, I can usually figure out if the story has stuff. If it doesn’t, I bind all the cards up and put them in a drawer, to revisit at a later time, if/when I’ve had an epiphany about how to make it work. If the story is making sense, I can usually tell at this point: If the cards are coming out aplenty, if they’re making sense, if they’re interesting and exciting, if they communicate with each other. Then I start sifting through them – removing the ones that don’t fit in anymore, rewriting some, consolidating others. Once I have a stack (let’s say, 100 at this point) I’ll put them up on my wall, using scotch tape (really, I should be using painter’s tape, but do I? no I do not, because adulting is hard).
Here is a picture of what an early non-color coordinated attempt might look like. Please note the adorability of the index cards I have cut into triangles, which indicate time stamps.
At this point, the cards resemble something of an outline, and I’ll usually start writing there. Because I rarely have the luxury of putting full days aside for writing in this moment of my life (my day job is running the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY), when I do write, I look at the outline for the chapter I want to write the night before I go to sleep, and then wake up early and write write write. First drafts must be written in the morning, early, when I’m barely awake, so that I don’t have the ability to filter myself. On days that I can devote entirely to writing, I’ll then go to the gym or make some breakfast, do some other stuff, take a nap, and then read the morning pages. Often, I have no memory of having written them and that allows me to look at them somewhat objectively, ruthlessly, the way a writer must.
2. Do you edit as you go, or wait till you're finished before you edit? How many times would you say you go over it yourself before having another set of eyes look it over?
I’ll probably try to get 50 good pages before I send them to my editor (Joy Peskin, amazing, goddess, amazing). This will take three or four or five drafts. With One Man Guy, they were the first fifty pages. With Hold My Hand, I tried something different based on this article by Joss Whedon – he said something about not bothering to write in chronological order – that instead, you should write the scenes you see most vividly first. So I did that, writing what we determined was “the heart” of the book. I didn’t even know where it would end up, but now it’s the end of Act I and I’m not going to say anything but I think it’s my favorite scene I’ve ever written.
I probably work in 50 page chunks – writing, re-writing, re-re-writing, re-re-re-writing, before sending them to my editor for feedback, direction and spiritual sustenance.
After every 50 pages or so, I’ll also re-index card – take all the old ones down, see what I’m actually writing and how the pages have taken shape, and write the index cards in dialogue with the pages themselves. At this point, I usually start color coding the cards, which also helps because if I’m like “Why does this section suck” or “I don’t know what should happen next,” seeing visually that the B plot has been ignored for three chapters or something helps.
3. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?
I only recently learned that this is a thing, and it sounds great. But having never taken a class in writing, never thinking I’d be a writer, and not knowing how things were done, I hadn’t ever really thought about joining one. But it sounds awesome.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Look at the world, look at what is happening in the world, look at what is happening in the world that no one is writing about, and write about that.
5. What are your favorite:
The Inheritance Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin is just about as good as writing can get. It is my everything.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal – OMG these two books were amazing
On a trip to Ecaudor I got A Little Life on my Kindle because it sounded like a fun little book and although it was a book, it was certainly not fun or little – totally, truly devastating.
And I just finished the Earthsea Cycle by Ursula Le Guin. The writing is so good, so clear, so simple, so moving. What a master.
Last night, Avengers: Endgame P2 premiered and now that I’ve seen it I feel like a major chapter of my life is over.
I’ve been junking out on Netflix like it’s going out of fashion. Which, apparently, it’s not. Favorites there are:
The Magicians (thinking about getting some hedge witch tattoos on my forearm),
The OA (WTF with Season 2 finale!)
all the cooking shows (especially Salt Acid Fat Heat, or whatever the correct order is)
The Good Place (Will Jackson Harper forever)
Agents of SHIELD
Dear White People (Justin Simien, will you be my friend)
Stranger Things (natch)
And Dead To Me, which is BRILLIANT and weird and whacky and dark and funny and wonderful.
Kyle Callicott and Andrew Goldberg are my music gurus – I direct all music questions to them
Sliced apple with sunflower seed butter. It’s healthy AND caloric!
Michael Barakiva, author of One Man Guy, is a theater director and writer of Armenian/Israeli descent who lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, an avid cook and board-game player, and a soccer player with the New York Ramblers.
Title: Baby Yours Author: Kennedy Fox Series: Hunter and Lennon #2, Roommate Duet #2 Genre: Adult contemporary romance Release Date: May 23rd, 2019 Source: E-galley from Wildfire Marketing Solutions which did not influence my opinion My rating: 5 stars
The worst day of my life happened when Brandon died. We had our entire future mapped out. Careers, marriage, kids—in that order. Then the universe threw a curveball and ended it all.
As I come to terms with everything, I learn I’m carrying his baby. Now I’m living with his roommate, the guy who’s made my life a living hell the past two years. Hunter’s now the one to hold me up when all I want to do is fall.
Knowing my religious parents will never accept the pregnancy out of wedlock, Hunter offers to be my fake husband. While I think he’s gone crazy, it’s the only plan that’ll keep them in my life. So I do whatever it takes to make our relationship believable—kissing, touching, even letting him hold me when we sleep. The lines are so blurred neither of us want to admit we’re no longer pretending.
The guilt of what we’re doing eats me alive as I struggle to deal with my emotions. I push him away, but he pulls me closer, showing me how he’s always felt.
Just as I begin to follow my heart, I learn Hunter’s been keeping secrets. And I’m left to make the hardest decision of my life…
**This is book 2 in the Hunter and Lennonduet and must be read after Baby Mine. Recommended for ages 18+**
My Review: If you remember my review of the first book, Baby Mine, you'll know how far out on the edge of my seat I was waiting for this sequel to pick up from that cliffhanger. It's hard to write this review without any spoilers. But, just know that all the emotion from the first book is there. Hunter is still trying to prove to Lennon that he really is there for her, and really cares for her. But the guilt of Lennon being his best friend's girl, and the baby his best friend's, still is there, a ghost between the two of them, even when really they both do want the other one. And then there is the wrench from Hunter's past which was our big cliffhanger from book 1. That one keeps popping up, even when Hunter assures Lennon it isn't really an issue, can't be. We do get more time with Hayden, Hunter's brother who we met in the newsletter novella, Forever Mine, and also get to know a lot more about Lennon's sisters, who we will get to follow in future books in this series. This book kept me in tears, smiling with the happy times though, and loving the banter between the characters when things were good. And then the baby, loved all of that! I'm in love with this couple, these characters, and can't wait for the next duet in the series. I mean, once again, the authors did leave us with a bit of a cliffhanger!
Book info: Title: Baby Mine Author: Kennedy Fox Series: Hunter and Lennon #1, Roommate Duet #1 Genre: Adult contemporary romance Release Date: April 23rd, 2019
Synopsis: I saw her first.
Blonde. Gorgeous. Feisty. I was smitten.
But it didn’t matter because she chose him and he was my best friend and roommate. I’d never be able to compete with that, so I pushed her away instead. It was easy when she lived hours away, and I didn’t have to see her every day, but then she moved in with us. Now, I’m screwed.
To her singing in the shower every morning, dancing in the kitchen while she makes coffee, and doing yoga in our living room, I can’t stop thinking about her in all the wrong ways. She’s not mine and never will be, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to push her against a wall and claim her mouth.
She’s constantly on me for making messes, bringing chicks home every weekend, and being a smartass when their PDA gets on my nerves. Considering neither of them know how I feel, it’s not fair for the way I act toward them. I should move out so I can get over her for good; however, the selfish part of me can’t let go.
But then the unthinkable happens... When my best friend dies in a motorcycle accident, the two of us are left to grieve our loss together. Instead of pushing her away, I pull her closer.
Just as we come to terms with our new reality, she finds out she’s pregnant with his baby. And I’m left to make the hardest decision of my life...
Brooke Cumberland and Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a love of You've Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren't bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that'll make you blush and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!
Keep up with all their social media platforms for updates and info!
Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! :-) I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.
Book info: Title: The Unforgettable Kind Author: Melanie Munton Publication date: June 25th 2019 Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
A best friends to enemies to lovers romance.
As the first female lead sportscaster with FNN (Football News Network), I’ve had to be tough and unflappable for years. No matter how far we women have come, football is still a man’s world. Which is why I’ve strutted my stilettos and lipstick on every field and around every TV studio I’ve ever worked, making sure everyone knows just how much of a woman I am. I let no man get under my skin.
Especially not Kade Jennings.
We have a history, Kade and I. It goes all the way back to high school and spans our college years. We used to be best friends, but we haven’t spoken in years. Not since he left without a word, and I made it clear that I never wanted to speak to him again. Now all of a sudden he’s FNN’s newest analyst?
He thinks I’ll break. With every wink he flashes me off-camera and every grope he sneaks under the table, he assumes I’ll shed my badass shell and fall into his arms like old times.
Well screw him, his charismatic smile, and his giant di—er—ego.
I am where I am today because I’ve never let any man stand in my way.
If Kade even tries, I’ll bring him to his knees.
Fate can be a real bitch.
One minute you think you’re going to get the girl, and the next minute she’s slipping away.
It’s a complicated thing, to be in love with your best friend. That friend zone is a tricky place to be, not that I ever entered into it willingly. At least, not with Sam. Fate just seemed to place me there, despite the fight I put up.
Melanie grew up in a small town in rural Missouri. After marrying her husband, she decided she wanted to try coastal life because why not? A few months later, they moved to North Carolina where she discovered her passion for writing, and they never looked back. They are now enjoying life with their beautiful daughter in Savannah, GA and loving every minute with their little Georgia peach.
Melanie’s other passion is traveling and seeing the world. With anthropology degrees under their belts, she and her husband have made it their goal in life to see as many archaeological sites around the world as possible.
She has a horrible food addiction to pasta and candy (not together…ew). And she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.
At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the cheesy and corny of romantic comedies, and the sassy and sexy of suspense. She aims to make her readers swoon, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.
RELEASE TOUR for Love Under Construction by Aubree Valentine
Olivia Pierce is fighting to stay above water and the boy next door, the thorn in her side, won’t leave her alone. Jameson Phoenix only wants to protector, but it’s hard to do when she hates him. Things start to shift after a kiss that should have never happened, and now they find themselves questioning everything. The sixth book in the beloved 425 Madison Avenue series, is now live. Read Love Under Construction by Aubree Valentine today!
Only on Amazon + Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited
Title: Love Under Construction Author: Aubree Valentine Series: 425 Madison #6 Genre: Adult contemporary romance Release Date: May 16th, 2019 Source: E-galley from Forever Write PR which did not influence my opinion My rating: 4 stars
She hates me.
I can’t say I blame her, in fact, I thought it was best this way.
That was until I realized just how much I really cared for her.
Now all I want to do is protect her.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
I hate him.
He's always been a thorn in my side.
When my life is flipped upside down, and I'm fighting to stay above water, things between us shift, and I begin to question everything I thought I knew about the boy next door.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I never should have kissed him. It was only a matter of time.
After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.
*Each story is completely standalone.
My Review: I started off when I first heard about this series not knowing if I'd have the time to fit them in. But once I started reading a few, I was hooked. It was a good enemies to lovers story, and as I was so hooked, it was a very quick read. The relationship was one that took a bit to actually solidify into more than friends, which as usual, the one putting on the breaks irritated me with their reasoning. But it wasn't just a romance, there was a lot more family emotional parts to the story. Sad things happened, and then a family member behaved in a way that I didn't see coming. But overall it was a good read, and I look forward to reading about more of the residents of 425 Madison Avenue in future stories.
Copyright @ 2019 Aubree Valentine
With my mood dampening and all the lovebirds pairing off, I can’t think of a better excuse to get out of here. Clapping Jake on the back, I say my goodbyes and thank the guys for letting me hang with them tonight before taking my sullen ass back to my apartment.
It takes all of my restraint, not to check on Liv when I get back on the fifth floor. It would be so easy to knock on her door and tell her that I’m in love with her. That I’ve loved her for a long time. In my mind, I know it’s no use. My heart doesn’t want to listen.
I pause outside her door and touch a hand to the cold surface like it will somehow connect me to the woman inside.
“Whoa. Dude. What are you doing?” I hear the elevator ding, and Harley’s voice startles me.
“Nothing,” I shake my head and step back.
“Yeah, nothing,” he steps up beside me and shoves me toward our apartment. “Let’s go before you do something stupid.”
I huff. “Like telling her, I love her?”
“Jesus Christ, how much have you had to drink?” He questions.
“Not enough. That’s for sure.”
Harley opens the apartment door, ushering me inside. “I’m going to disagree with you. Drinking isn’t going to solve anything either.”
“Harley, it was six beers. I’m hardly drunk. Just delusional.”
“You might be right, there.” He grabs two bottles of water from the fridge and tosses me one. “When are you going to give up on her, man? Haven’t you had enough rejection?”
“Would you give up on the woman you love?”
Harley looks at me as if I’ve grown two heads. “If she treated me like shit? Pushed me away and said I made her miserable? Uh, yeah. I did; remember?”
I wince. He’s right. And I’m an asshole friend for bringing it up. “Shelia is nothing like Olivia.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. But a man has got to know when to cut his losses. Trust me.”
“It’ll be better when I finish this job and get the hell away from here. Though I feel bad leaving you without a roommate.”
Aubree Valentine is a wife, mom and avid reader. Her love of books goes far behind weaving her own stories to tell. She realized her dream of becoming a published author by the time she was in high school and knew she'd stop at nothing to make that happen.
When she's not writing, she can be found chasing after her twins or her dogs, curled up with a good book or still working with some of her favorite authors.
Welcome to 425 Madison Ave the perfect place to fall in love. Nine delicious romances set in fast-paced & sexy NYC just waiting for you to read.
The series features stories from some of your favorite romance authors: Leigh Lennon, MK Moore, Allie York, Aubree Valentine, Kay Gordon, Lauren Helms, Sylvia Kane, Katy Ames, and C. Lesbirel.
Join these authors as they come together, each with a standalone romance for you to enjoy.
Featuring some of readers' favorite tropes: second-chance romance, best friends sibling romance to a good ol' enemies to lovers romance. We've got you covered with a sports romance, a fake relationship and even an ugly duckling or two. Don't forget a brother's best friend and falling for your soul mate. Maybe a little love triangle as well. Each tale offers you something new, something different. After all, 425 Madison Avenue is the perfect place to fall in love.